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Non-Asian AYCE recs please

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I have 8 highschool students visiting from Japan, spending 3 days/nights in Toronto.
They are planning to do barbeque one night, stone-oven pizza one night,and are asking for good (or great:)) AYCE for the third night.

They are on a study tour (visiting old age homes) so food is not extremely important, but at the same time I don't want to feed them garbage.
They don't want Japanese food (naturally), nor anything Asian, which they can eat chep back home.
I don't know how exotic they'd be willing to try but I'm suspecting Ethiopian may be too much of a challenge for them, for example. (I've had visitors from Japan try sourdough on one occasion and almost half of the group could not take it)

Anywhere in the GTA will do, all of them are under drinking age, none vegetarian, two cannot drink milk, one allergic to shrimps/prawns and crabs.
They are also visiting other provinces including Quebec, so I don't have to worry about offering them other provinces' specialities (e.g. poutine).

Any recs?

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  1. Not sure if any of these are any good but they came to mind for non-asian.
    Vinnie Zucchini or Frankie Tomato for Italian or Tucker Marketplace, or
    Hot House Cafe

    1 Reply
    1. re: minto

      i think vinnie zucchini on dufferin is closed

    2. Here are the only places I can think of for dinner:

      - Salad bar at Sierra Grill in Bayview Village mall
      - Hot House Cafe has a buffet on Wednesday nights only
      - Vinnie Zucchini
      - Frankie Tomato

      IMO, the last two are pretty yucky. But for students from Japan, they may be acceptable. Personally, I would probably go with Hot House. Sierra Grill is decent, but it really is just a glorified salad bar, so there aren't any "mains".

      1. How about one of the Brazilian style churrascaria spots? There's Red Violin in Greektown, which is dinner and a show on weekends, and Carnaval Grill in Richmond Hill that I know of. There might be others that have started up.

        If you're not familiar with the concept, you get a little wheel in front of your plate. Turn the green side up, and waiters will keep offering you grilled meats served off large vertical skewers. Turn the red side up when you're done.

        1 Reply
        1. re: KevinB

          Piatti Pizza Pasta Rodizioon Eglinton east of Yonge offers the same AYCE tableside service concept but with Italian menu. $25pp for dinner. Haven't been but there are a few (mixed) comments on the board.
          http://www.dine.to/piatti

          -----
          Piatti
          150 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

        2. For more expensive AYCE (in the $50 pp range) there is the Old Mill Inn, and Essence of Unionville in the Hilton. I believe both have AYCE lobsters (cold, split small lobsters).

          1. frankie tomato, tuckers marketplace are probably the best options if you have a bus for transport. if not, hot house is awesome. you could also try an indian buffet. there are so many reco's on ch.

            1. I wouldn't recommend Frankie Tomato's for Japanese kids. I've had Italian food in Japan a few times and was amazed by how good/authentic it was. Frankies could be a real turn-off in comparison.

              1 Reply
              1. re: graydyn

                Agree exactly. Especially depending on which part of Japan your students are from (big city versus smaller city), Italian food can be quite a bit more refined than FT.

                If the budget allows, I'd highly recommend Red Violin (see above) as well. In addition to the grilled meat buffet, there's also a pretty decent appetizer bar and some grilled fruit at the end (all AYCE).