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May 5, 2008 12:47 PM

Royal Beef on Danforth

Don't exactly live in the neighbourhood, but stop in when I'm not up to dealing with the crowds at Meat on the Beach.

As much as I want to like Royal Beef, it's a real stretch for me.

The last couple of times I've gone in looking for a recommendation, it's been met with a kind of flippant shoulder shrug. It's not that I don't look like I have a few dollars to spare or anything.

Overall, I find the place a bit drab and lacking life. The butcher guy is pretty grumpy.

I'm sure I'll go back, but I think they could do so much better. I sure get the impression they don't really care.

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  1. You must deal only with Gord at the meat counter and tell him exactly what you want. They have never put their best stock on display. Other than the beef, though, their meats and poultry have never been top notch. Gord doesn't have (founder) Paul's personality, but he's always been okay. If he has become grumpy, or doesn't seem to care, something significant is wrong. The other guys working there don't have much to offer.

    The front of the store, Carm's Deli (she's Paul's widow) is as lively as ever.

    1. I'm sad you haven't had a good experience. I love it there and go every 2 weeks or so. I have been helped with recipes I had in hand and been given new ones. I know this happens often - one person's heaven is another's hell. And while there have certainly been some things I will stay away from (their sausages are not my favourite for example) I have found every cut of beef I've tried to be exactly what I wanted and the chicken flavourful...

      1. We usually go at least once a week and more often now that we're grilling meat almost every night. The tri tips are fabulous for the barbecue. Gord is always accommodating about cutting the meat the way we want, for instance, we usually want a smaller chunk of beef for pot roast (in the winter), so he will cut one in half and wrap the other half for our freezer. It's too bad you got a negative impression because my experience is that they really do care.

        And I agree, it's better to ask for the meat and cut you want or choose from the meat counter, don't bother with the wrapped stuff on the side. And I also agree the sausages are not great.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JamieK

          Gord treats me well when I pop in. The steaks are fantastic and are a great price. He'll cut whatever I want from the back. The mild Italian sausages aren't bad, neither is the lamb, but I am usually there for the steak. It's great stuff and personally I think it's better than Meat on the Beach and anything at St. Lawrence Market.

        2. Saturday morning - fresh ricotta is amazing, still warm.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mila

            Saturday mornings wouldn't be the same without RB: fresh ricotta, canolis (I've never had better) and pitas with fresh tzatziki.

            They also carry some pretty good cheeses - they introduced me to "drunken goat".

            And then there's the chaurice sausage. Paul talked me into putting some in my turkey stuffing a few years ago and it was a brilliant idea.

          2. I've had great experiences there. The tri-tip is always great and they're very nice to my little boy. Plus they're specialty items are often good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: air621

              I too have a soft spot for this place. I only had the opportunity to order from Paul Estrela a couple of times before he passed away, but Gord's always been fine enough to deal with (he never complains when I ask him to cut my shorts ribs). Truth be told, I've only ever bought short ribs and tri-tips from this place, so I can't speak to the quality of the rest of the produce (but I think Allen's still claims it gets all its beef from Royal Beef, and I like the burger at Allen's...).