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Aug 23, 2008 03:33 PM

Gourmet food store?

Is there anything like the Gourmet Warehouse (Vancouver) in Toronto? Basically a food store that specializes in more "exotic" food stuffs. What I'm essentially looking for is Summerhill Market for us mere mortals who don't drive BMW SUVs and perhaps even greater variety and selection.

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  1. Not quite sure what you meant in the last part of your post.

    There is a Whole Foods in Toronto at Ave/Bloor.

    There is also Pusateri's, but if fancy cars get to you, hahaha... well Pusateri's customers drive cars that you thought only existed in the movies. :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: abscissa

      Meaning I'm looking for gourmet food items without the Forest Hill pricing. I don't want to pay for a $10 jar of mango chutney that can be had elsewhere for half.

    2. Gourmet Warehouse (and your post) is not very revealing but you may find your items at Nasr, P.A.T., SLM, Kensinton, Loblaws on Queens Quay, Costco, Cumbraes, T&T, or Chinatown. I am not embarrassed in a VW. at these spots.
      P.C. sells a direct substitute for McCanns at $4.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jayt90

        While all those places have elements of what I'm looking for; I want to browse in one place.

        1. re: jayt90

          There's the Arz Bakery & Fine Foods, if you're looking for Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foodstuffs. 1909 Lawrence East between Pharmacy & Warden. Inexpensive and delicious.

          1. re: mummy2Luna

            Occaisional trips to Arz, Nasr, and nut specialties on Lawrence E. will cover Mediterranean area, but OP is looking for a one stop place w/minimal pricing.

        2. Boncheff and Pasquale Bros. in Etobicoke are possible choices. Boncheff is esp. good for decently-priced EVOOs, vinegars, condiments, fresh herbs, and magazines. Both are more or less plutocrat-free zones.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Kagemusha

            I think you understand what I'm after....EVOO beyond what Loblaw's carries, 10-20 year old basalmic vinegars, hot sauces, aioli, mustards, spice rubs, etc. All those odd food stuffs you'll find at Williams Sonoma, shelf at Kitchen Stuff Plus, etc but collected into one place.

            1. re: sbug206

              Boncheff does that. Selection isn't exhaustive but more than good enough in the categories you're after. They're NOT extortionately priced, either. Very cheap fresh herbs all year--really nice in January. They actually run periodic specials on oils, vinegars, teas, etc. Check out the "food zone" they're part of south of Olivewood down to the Queensway, east of Kipling--bakeries, butchers, cured fish, pastries, etc., mixed in with body shops, mechanics, and machine shops.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                boncheff may have closed their food section by now.

                on my last visit everything was 30% off and so i stocked up on items but as i left i inquired as to why it was all on sale and apparently they were shutting down the food section and focusing on the nursery. really too bad, very nice selection of gourmet bites though i was disappointed with my recent french lemonade (virtually sprite!).

                i would go to pasquale bros then. not the same selection (definitely lacking in the chocolates) but very nice italian focused product. love the cheese shop and the $6 sandwich and drink deal.

              2. re: sbug206

                Domino's in the basement of St. Lawrence Market (south building) has a lot of what you're looking for. And if they don't, there are a couple of other shops also down there that have similar products, but often different brands/choices - i.e. the place across from Rube's Rice, and the place with a lot of frozen goods that also has a good number of hot sauces, dressings, etc.

                1. re: gregclow

                  Try the cheese boutique, its got some interesting finds. Its on a side street near the south kingsway (In Etobicoke)....Whole Foods in Oakville is also a great place....and I third St. Lawrence market!

                  1. re: pancake

                    Sorry but Cheeseball Boutique and Whole Foods are the Axis of Evil to many--and I suspect the original poster is among 'em. Along with Pusateri's they're among the most extortionately priced food vendors in the GTA.

                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      Really - I am by no means in the "upper class" but I still do feel the cost is worth the difference in quality between products sold at whole foods versus those sold at the general supermarket.
                      Their deli offerings, home cooked pizza, cheeses and meats have never disappointed.
                      I guess I don't mind paying for a higher quality product. The two places I mentioned happen to offer them all under one roof, for the one stop shopper who does not want to skimp on quality.
                      I am sure their are many smaller venues in Toronto that specialize in quality products, but I am not sure anywhere else would match whole foods in terms of variety.

                      1. re: pancake

                        The price/quality quotient at those places just doesn't work me and, no, I don't get paying a premium at Whole Paycheck for what I can source at Loblaws/Fortino's/ Longo's anyway for a good deal less.

                        1. re: Kagemusha

                          There's a gourmet foods shop opened by one of Toronto's "top chefs". He's been on cooking shows, CityTV...etc. Forget his name. I think he's Scottish origin. The shop is located by Don Mills & Lawerance. Near Don Mills Shopping center. They carry gourmet cheeses and other gourmet cooking food ingredients. Does any one know the name? They have a website.

                          1. re: BDD888

                            Okay I'll bite. You wouldn't be thinking of McEwan's by any chance??