Toronto trip this past weekend - Impressions
Hello Toronto Ch'ers,
Because you were so kind as to give me loads of advice on my "Toronto eats and things to do" post last week, I thought I would return the favor and give you my impressions of your wonderful city. (Sorry this might be kind of long)
We LOVED the place! Not just because of the food, but I'll start with the food since that is what this site is all about.
Arrived in Toronto on Friday about 11am. Promptly visited the concierge to get a map and received a little lesson on how to get around.
First order of business was DIM SUM. So, off the China Town we went. After reading up on CH, I decided on Rol San. It was a great choice. Although I have never had Dim Sum (I have had dumplings and wonton wrappers, etc) before in the traditional sense, I could tell that these were something that had to be on the right track. Full of flavor and fresh, our assortment was darn good. We had pork and shrimp dumplings, beef tripe (a first for both of us), shrimp dumpling, short rib in pepper sauce, mushroom dumpling, fried eggplant, some kind of white puffy thing with some kind of meat, and hot cakes. We ordered way too much. Which is a shame because we were still a little full at dinner at 8:30 (plus the heat and all the walking decreased the appetite as well).
For dinner we dined at L'unita. All in all it was pretty good. I had the seared tuna with lemon watercress and my wife had the truffle risotto (which was the first time either of us has tasted truffle as the main ingredient) with a side of asparagus. The tuna seemed fresh, seasoned nicely, and perfectly cooked (rare) and the grilled lemon on the side was a nice touch. I don't know if everyone is going to hate me for saying this but, the risotto was just ok. Everyone gets so excited when they talk about truffles. In fact we sat in the side dining area and saw the chef and another coworker smelling the truffle when they brought it out of its "vault". They seemed giddy! Anyway, the risotto seemed a bit under-seasoned and not worth $30. Getting picky here, but some of the the asparagus still had the woody part of the stalk, a place charging ~$50/head should get this right. For dessert we had the cannolis - these were GREAT! All in all, pretty good but slightly overpriced compared to what we got at Jamie Kennedy for about the same price (but we'll get to that later).
On Saturday we wanted to go to Wish for breakfast upon one of the CH'ers recommendation. But, what do you know, it wasnt open until 10:30. We didnt want to wait that long for fear of ruining our appetite for lunch. So, we wandered down towards the lake as we were heading to St. Lawrence Market. We couldnt find a place to eat so we just decided on a Second Cup, and I hated myself for it after seeing all that I could have been trying at the market if I had been hungry! Seriously folks, your St. Lawrence Market is amazing! I am JEALOUS!
Anyway, back on track. Another CH'er recommended Rose's Cafe on Broadview. So we stopped in on our way to Greek Town. Rose's was a neat little place, a tiny cafe/market. We had both the fresh and fried spring rolls with 2 kinds of sauce. What a great deal, $7 including drinks a some great rolls. Only wish the fried rolls were freshly fried. She had them sitting at the counter and were room temp. Still very tasty. Our mid afternoon snack consisted of gelato at a place in St. Lawrence area (dont remember the name). I am no gelato aficionado but it was pretty good.
Now for Saturday dinner...Jamie K wine bar. Great restaurant! We had the yukon fries, grilled sardines, encontrote of beef with mushrooms, duck confit with sweet potato puree, and filet of grass fed beef with baby carrots. I know the menu probably changes so some of these might not be familiar, but they were all excellent! This was my favorite experience of the trip. I'd go back a 1000 times!
Sunday breakfast consisted of Tim Hortons egg sandwich, have you heard of the place ;-)? Again, because we didnt feel like finding a place to eat at 9am fearing nothing would be open. We headed back to Greek Town for lunch at Pantheon (after reading some CH reviews). We had a very nice lunch before heading home. We ordered the Combo Plate consisting of grilled squid, grilled octopus, sausage, grape leaves, spinach pie with a side of the Greek Village (Horiatiki??) salad, and the the honey cake for dessert. Everything was wonderful and a great way to end the trip.
So, in summary, WHEN CAN WE MOVE TO TORONTO? HAHA. It truly was a pleasant trip and hope to return many times. I also liked the fact that "Going Green" seems to be a mainstream idea that the government supports, where we in the States have to do whatever we can on our own - I applaud you for this. Also loved the public transit system...something we have ZERO of in Detroit (oh wait, we have the People Mover). Had a conversation with a few Torontans and all seemed very nice and truly happy to have us visit.
Thanks for your help.
Glad you enjoyed Rose's (think that was my tip). the meatball subs there ($2/each).
there's a reason why i went up from 168 to 180 lbs since i moved here! its the food.
but that is great that you explored the city. next time, you will have to head to the western side to try Foxley's et al
Nice report and thank you for your kind words about TO. You should move here, we welcome friendly yanks (esp. the resistors). BTW we call ourselves Torontonians but the rest of Canada call us a**holes...and we like it!
Next time you are around greektown, just east of it on the same street is a mom and pop style greasy spoon called Motorama, they have a good and cheap breakfast (standard bacon/sausage and eggs) and they are open early for it. Greektown tends to end around Pape, but this place is walking distance (a few blocks) from the subway.
It's always nice to see someone so impressed with the city you live in, especially things that residents aren't as impressed with (being from Tokyo, Toronto's public transit doesn't really impress). Torontonians complain a lot, about everything, and it's interesting to see how much we take a lot of our city's qualities (there may be places that are much better for certain things, but there are also places much worse) for granted.
No one's going to hate you for not liking a dish (talking about your risotto comment).
Nice to hear you had a good time. Next time you're here, you should check out the Farmer's markets too. Those are fun.