Eating my way through the Toronto Marathon – 10/19/08
Chower’s I am heading to Toronto the weekend of October 18th for the Toronto Marathon. In addition to experiencing the culinary adventure that Toronto has to over, I am looking to hit a lot of sights on Saturday with a pasta dinner and run a mere 26.2 miles on Sunday and have a romantic dinner to celebrate! Below is my draft culinary itinerary – any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Breakfast - Carousel Bakery’s Peameal Sandwiches at the St. Lawerence Market
Lunch – Little Italy – planning on walking around and finding something – have recommendations for Il Gatto Nero (Pizza) & The Fish Store (Fish Sandwiches)
Dinner – Scaramouche pasta bar
Breakfast – bagels by hotel
Post-race beers and lunch - The Rebel House (beers) and The Black Camel (BBQ Sandwiches)
Pre-dinner snack – Chinatown - planning on walking around and finding something – have recommendations for Mother's Dumplings, MAGIC WOK and Spadina Garden
Late Dinner - Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar
Breakfast - Bonjour Brioche and then hit the road.
Too bad lots of good places are closed on Monday's here (as mentioned) you can try the Senator Diner for breakfast (www.thesenator.com) they're pretty good, great atmosphere too. In Chinatown, I'd recommend Swatow, just north of Dundas on Spadina. Never had a bad meal in there. I'd also suggest avoiding Il Gatto Nero. In fact, I've never been blown away by any meal I've had in little Italy. Cafe Diplomatico is old school, checkered tablecloths, etc. The food is hit and miss, but their pastas are always reliably good. The pulled pork at Black Camel is awesome, you'll enjoy that.
Never had understood the craze for the Back Bacon Sandwiches...I've tried many times ...but never can finish...bun is a pasty white kaiser and the bacon is chewy and not really tastey...Terroni on Adelaide East would be my pasta choice....Lunch and visit to Little Italy always good...and although the Fish Store is good it's a little hole in the wall....avoid Gatto Nero...I'd head to the Rebel House and eat there...China Town and Kensington Market are great venues...Breakfast at Le Petite Dejuener on King East could be an alternative to Bonjour Brioche ....Good Luck on race day and enjoy our beautiful City...Miranda
You're aware that Scaramouche Pasta Bar isn't a pasta bar per se? Yes, they have noodles, but the "pasta bar" part of the name refers to the menu that's slightly cheaper than the expensive main Scaramouche dining room. It's not really a carb-load kinda place.
There's a Magic Wok in Chinatown?
You've done your homework, well done! You've put together a very nice itinerary for yourself. The one BIG uh-oh I see is that Bonjour Brioche is closed on Mondays. So unless you want to swap it for your Saturday breakfast, you may have to count it out. Actually, the peameal bacon at Bonjour Brioche is fantastic - thick cut and juicy. So if you wanted to go there and order a side of it with some other yummies (like their decadent french toast or one of the savory egg tarts or quiches), you could kill two birds with one stone.
Couple of other comments:
Great call on Scaramouche Pasta Bar! You can't go wrong there. But if you don't have a car and you want pasta closer to the downtown core, there are lots of options, so just holler if you want some recs.
Your pick of Rebel House for beers is a good one, but the food there is actually excellent, so you may not need to leave to go to the Black Camel.
Mother's Dumplings is great and cheap! But if you hit that before even a late dinner, you may not find you have much of an appetite for dinner, as the dumpling and noodle portions are quite large. Though you will have just run a marathon, so I may be underestimating your ability to eat.
Good luck with the marathon and your chow itinerary!
Avoid Il Ghatto Nero. Save your money, please. Do yourself a favour and don't waste your time.
I was there this weekend and was disgusted by the service (non-existant) and the food.
We ordered the calamari appetizer, and the plate arrived with calamari (clearly frozen, not fresh, then deep fried and overdone) with three small shrimp in the mix, and a large blob of mayonnaise as the dipping sauce, that had turned yellow on top, when it has been sitting out too long and develops that film/ crust?
We also ordered the pizzas- Fra Diavolo and the Traditional. The Fra Diavolo came with mushrooms (right out of the can, you could tell they weren't fresh and chopped), salami (the only redeeming feature), tomato sauce, cheese and hot peppers. As an Italian, I expected Italian hot peppers, only to find chopped small, Thai green peppers chopped up on my pizza.
The Traditional also had sweet green peppers, but both were skimpy on ingredrients.
In two hours, our waitress came over once to take our drink orders and food order- she delivered our drinks, and our calamari, and took off. Never saw her again. A man with a white apron who seemed to be delivering food and cleaning tables brought us our pizzas. We were never asked about the food or if we wanted another drink and eventually had to go inside the restaurant just to get our bill because we could not see a server anywhere on the patio.
Wow, sounds like one helluva weekend! I'd say that your itinerary is bang on... Fish Store is a great spot, but not for a crowd. There also has been recent controversy about the standards slipping at JKWB, but for a late casual Sunday dinner, I'd still say it's a pretty good bet. Post-marathon, you're gonna need the salt, anyway.