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Best bets on the Danforth

f
fussychow Jan 13, 2009 06:45 AM

Looking for a casual dinner on the Danforth with some good food, but didn't want to go as pricey as Lolita's Lust? Any suggestions? Past searches on the board seem to indicate my gut feeling that most of the greek places on the strip seem to be mediocre at best. Doesn't need to be greek food, we're open to anything, the Danforth is just a handy location....

Thank you!

  1. ekim256 Aug 12, 2010 09:09 AM

    I'm glad this thread is re-awakening. I love the Danforth :) Here's a review of some of the stuff that I've tried there, most pictures are festival fare since I only started taking pictures a bit more recently. I didn't include anything east of Donlands, but I've tried Walima (okay Morrocan food, I heard Marrakech is better). In a nutshell, the restaurants that I'd probably hit are Mezes & Zorba's.
    Pictures can be found here: http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.com/2010/08/food-festivals-to-neighbourhoods-taste.html

    Avli Restaurant :: Good grilled calamari, enjoyable halal lamb...but there's better at Zorba's
    Grilled Calamari ($5) - Flavourful & not too chewy. I've had better grilled calamari from a vendor at July's Corso Italia festival (the name escapes me), as it was more tender but this wasn't bad at all.
    The spare ribs didn't look too appetizing and I had more than my fair share of shrimp the day before at the T&T Night Market. However,the halal lamb looked juicy and smelled great...too good to pass up! Halal Lamb:was a great, a little tough to eat while walking around, but it was juicy and flavourful. However, it was trumped by...

    Louis Meat Market :: Better lamb than Avli, good quail but not better than Zorba's
    Perhaps because it was a thicker cut, but it was far juicier & more tender. We also preferred their flavouring over Avli's halal lamb.
    I managed to grab our quail right as it came out from the kitchen. These tiny little birds are so delicious and packed with flavour, you really can't just eat one. Which is why grabbed another at Zorba's...
    While Louis Meat Market's lamb chop beat Avli, Zorba's quail was much better. My friend enjoyed his chicken gyro from Louis, but I was pretty set on a Messini's gyro so I didn't try it.

    Caffe Demetre
    Run-of-the-mill dessert place. Decent strawberry ice cream...but not even close to Sweet Fantasies' cone. Meh

    Oceans Treasures Fish Market
    Warm crab-au-gratin in a shell was a nice find at Danforth. Warm, soft, with melted cheese it was good with the white bread. While we enjoyed it, I can't help but wonder what a really good crab-au-gratin tastes like and where I can find it...anyone wanna point me in the right direction? :D

    Astoria :: Decent pork souvlaki...Zorba is better
    Every year, Astoria is very popular for their shish kabobs. Selling at $3, pork souvlaki kabobs with buttered bread were selling at a crazy rate. While tasty, I found Zorba's pork skewer better. However, I enjoyed their pork enough to consider giving them a try for a lunch or dinner.

    Greek Community of Toronto Tent - only at the festival
    Mind blown. Baklava was amazing and I probably have diabetes from single-handedly devouring 8 Loukoumedes.
    Every year, I pass this tent without much of a thought. I am so fixated on trying the different restaurants that I don't venture close enough to see their fare. I was missing out big time.
    After peering at this for a bit from the side, a wonderfully friendly Greek lady began chatting with us and told us about the homemade baklava. It looked different than the typical dessert that you see in restaurants, as it was circular instead of a layer pastry. I've only tried this dessert once - at 93 Harbord which left me very underwhelmed. However, my friend was drooling at the sight of these honey-drenched desserts so we picked one up.
    I took a stab, expecting to try a bite and give my buddy the rest. However, the second I popped a forkful into my mouth my sweet tooth awoke and began demanding more, More, MORE! This was ridiculously good, and we stood there forking up every last piece. My friend said that it was the best baklava he has ever had!
    After we were done, we promptly turned around to get more. Afterall, how often do you get to eat homemade baklava?! I'm already looking forward to a repeat of this next year...
    Loukoumades ($3/8) (or as I like to call 'em, honey balls!
    )These delicious puffs were drenched in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. I tried one and I was hooked...and proceeded to greedily eat seven more. In my defense, we had a total of 9 puffs, meant for 6 people. 4 people were in a bar and did not come out to join us for dessert, and my friend stopped at 1. It was either throw these babies out, or eat 'em. Clearly made the right choice The insulin-spiking, diabetes inducing, delicious, delicious choice.
    Kataifi ($3)
    Kataifi is filled with almonds, walnuts, cinnamon and sugar. The stringy dough is fluffy dried wheat that's soft and very pleasant.
    My friend kept referring it to Shredded Wheat. We wondered if drizzling shredded wheat with honey, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon and brown sugar would be tasty...anyone care to experiment?

    Zorba's Shishkebob House :: Best quail & pork
    My friend was rather disturbed by the overwhelming amount of rotating line quail. Legs wiggling in the air as they knocked against each other, skewered birds kept spinning and spinning...We stopped and stared for a moment, a bit mesmerized before making a beeline to join the hungry queue.
    My friend sarcastically suggested that we try the Kokoretsi, which are lamb intestines wrapped around liver, spleen, and heart. Thinking he was serious, I eagerly nodded and said that I was glad he was open to trying new things! Imagine his relief when an employee scratched it off the menu. Darn. Must return to try it in the near future, or else my curiousity will get the best of me!
    Quail - Best quail!!
    I was grateful that they chopped the bird in half - it was much easier to eat this way. I was also pleasantly surprised to spot the heart in the quail - did I miss it in Louis Meat Market's version? Or was it removed prior to cooking? Still unsure. Either way, Zorba's quail was far juicier and more flavourful
    Their combination of spices was fantastic and I will definitely be returning for a full meal there.
    Pork Kebob
    We especially liked their pork, as it was much juicier, flavourful, and all-around tastier than Asteria's kabobs. [Compare] Less environmentally friendly with the Styrofoam containers though.

    Mezes
    Good kalamari & salty saganaki
    Perfect on a cold night, Mezes' saganaki is a favourite late night snack. Decent souvlaki platters and appetizers, Mezes is a good place to go with friends after a day out and I've enjoyed several decent dinners here.
    The service is consistently good, and while it's never completely empty, we've never had trouble grabbing a table for a group without a reservation. Decent food for average prices.
    Saganaki - While on the salty side, I can never resist ordering this from the menu. Not usually a fan of cheese, this is the exception. Warm, crispy and gooey, and perfect for sharing.
    Kalamari Dinner - Thick calamari, battered and deep fried this is one of the better calamari dishes that I've tried in Toronto. This dinner comes with roasted potatoes, a Greek salad, and a very generous dollop of tzatziki. Personally, I prefer ordering it as an appetizer to share amongst the table.
    Aegean Fare Special - Beef and chicken cooked in wine, with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and tomatoes. Flambéed with brandy. Served with roast potatoes.
    While I enjoyed the roasted potatoes, I found the vegetables a little oily the beef tough & overcooked. I wouldn't order this again.

    Messini's Authentic Gyros
    Busy, good chicken souvlaki. Have yet to try the lamb gyro. Greasy Greek Spoon Diner.
    Messini's Authentic Gyros are often touted as Danforth's best gyros. I've tried their chicken and pork gyros, chicken slouvaki, Greek fries, and Spanakopita (spinach pie). Unfortunately, every time that I've visited they had run out of the lamb gyro and they weren't serving it during the festival! An elusive beast, the lamb gyro has evaded me three times. The "authenticity" refers to the French fries they stuff inside each wrap.
    While I prefer the chicken over the pork, I wasn't blown away by these gyros. The pork was quite dry, and while the chicken itself was good the fries at the festival tasted stale and mushy. The fries in my gyros when I dined in Messini's were unmemorable as well.
    I think that fresh & thinner-cut fries in these gyros would make a world of difference! Despite my disappointment, I plan to return to get that elusivelamb gyro. Perhaps my perception of Messini's will change to match the hype?
    In contrast, I've tried their Chicken Souvlaki a couple times. Both times they were quite satisfying...perhaps the chicken is best left for the souvlaki, lamb for the gyro, and pork for the chops from Louis Meat Mart!
    Greek Fries - Round fries topped with feta cheese, olive oil and oregano - once again, I am unimpressed with their fries. I prefer mine fresh cut and very crispy, whereas these tasted like they were reheated from a frozen supermarket batch. With a great plate of fries, the feta cheese and oregano would have been a great combination.
    Spanakopita - While I enjoyed the spinach, I felt that this was a bit on the greasy side. I've heard that Athen's Bakery just down the street makes a great non-greasy Spanakopita which I plan on checking out soon.

    7 Numbers Danforth
    Service was good...food was not
    I was quite disappointed with this meal - the zucchini flowers were very oily and poorly deep-fried, the sardines were boring with a sloppy side of vegetables, and my entree was covered in oil with one sad, mushy piece of potato. Huge thumbs down, and I haven't been back since.

    Anyways I hope this helps future Greektown visitors. Mezes and Zorba's ftw!
    Pictures: http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.com/2010/08/food-festivals-to-neighbourhoods-taste.html

    Erin =
    )http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.com/

    -----
    93 Harbord
    93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

    Messini
    445 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

    Avli
    401 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

    Zorba's
    681 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L2, CA

    Mezes
    456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

    7 Numbers Danforth
    307 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N7, CA

    Walima Cafe
    1450 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: ekim256
      p
      pluckypear Nov 21, 2010 10:42 AM

      I agree with your review of Mezes and have always had good food while there. I detest 7 Numbers and do not understand why people like this place?

      -----
      Mezes
      456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

      1. re: pluckypear
        g
        gilbert1111 Jan 26, 2011 07:17 PM

        Confessing that I have not carefully read this whole thread, I will still pop in and say that some of the best [not Greek] food on the Danny is at The Auld Spot. It's also a warm, welcoming place.

        -----
        Auld Spot
        347 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

    2. s
      soobey Aug 10, 2010 04:03 PM

      I've always found Mezes to be tops for Greek food on the Danforth. Their octopus appetizers are better than any I've had elseware, service is very attentive, nice list of greek wines, and some unique menu items like kleftiko (which I believe is lamb or chicken with spinich and feta wrapped in phylo).

      -----
      Mezes
      456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

      1. jo_jo_ba Jun 23, 2010 03:13 PM

        I'm surprised no one's mentioned The Local Company yet - they're incredible!

        -----
        The Local Company
        511 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K 1P5, CA

        8 Replies
        1. re: jo_jo_ba
          m
          millygirl Jun 23, 2010 05:55 PM

          Incredibly what?

          1. re: millygirl
            haggisdragon Jun 23, 2010 09:01 PM

            Every time I walk by that place I get the shivers.

            1. re: millygirl
              p
              phoenikia Jul 12, 2010 09:47 AM

              incredibly blech, imo ;-)

            2. re: jo_jo_ba
              b
              bytepusher Jun 24, 2010 10:28 AM

              They have recently changed chefs so I don't know if your experience still holds.

              1. re: bytepusher
                jo_jo_ba Jul 11, 2010 08:39 PM

                That's true, I hadn't realized that.

              2. re: jo_jo_ba
                a
                arugula Jan 26, 2011 04:09 PM

                Incredibly preposterous. They made us sit in the window, inches from tables on either side, even though the place was empty. We made friends and bonded over our mutual hatred of the food.

                1. re: arugula
                  foodyDudey Jan 26, 2011 04:18 PM

                  Why did you go there and how was the food? I just won't enter that place. It has the same owners as the now closed Trappezzi, obviously they could not run that one.

                  1. re: arugula
                    b
                    bytepusher Jan 26, 2011 04:55 PM

                    There was a very brief period where they had a decent chef who was really trying but it seems he ran out of patience with the owners. At one point he had been working on a new seasonal menu and about a week before it was supposed to launch they waltzed in and pronounced that they had decided to switch the theme to Greek.

                2. h
                  Herne May 9, 2010 08:58 AM

                  I no longer go to the Danforth during the summer. Once they start installing the outdoor tables and fencing off the sidewalk I am angered by the need to walk past a 15 foot fenced off portion of the sidewalk and maneuver through the remaning 3-4 feet often reduced by flower boxes.

                  Everybody wants to make money (restaurateurs and tax dept) but the Danforth has gone too far ininconviencing thier ptrons.

                  1. Paulustrious Mar 16, 2010 02:53 PM

                    Add one for Bistro Camino, and honorable mentions for Melanies, Dukem, Djerba La Douce and Jean's VK. You can probably tell I live nearer the East end of Danforth.

                    1. amphorafoodie Mar 16, 2010 02:16 PM

                      Christina's for their seafood plate!

                      1. JamieK Jan 28, 2009 10:40 AM

                        Anyyone tried the new Casa di Giorgio at Danforth and Monarch Park? I suspect it'd be pretty much the same as the other one on Queen but I've only had the pasta there. Just got a flyer and am happy to see they deliver. Anyone tried their pizza? Love Bona but I like to have a change now and then.
                        http://www.casadigiorgio.ca/menus.html

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: JamieK
                          t
                          TheWheel May 8, 2010 03:36 PM

                          Pizza at Casa Di Giorgio is some if the best "Toronto style" pizza in the city> Not as good as most of the top rated places on chowhound but a step above your average cheese and peperonni joint.

                          -----
                          Casa Di Giorgio
                          , Toronto, ON M5G, CA

                          1. re: TheWheel
                            h
                            hungryabbey May 8, 2010 08:33 PM

                            is it thin/thick? Can you describe it?

                            1. re: hungryabbey
                              m
                              millygirl May 9, 2010 09:02 AM

                              I would say thin-ish. Not as thin as say Libretto, Terrone or Queen Margherita but not thick either. I guess medium. Does this make sense?

                        2. Charles Yu Jan 26, 2009 03:44 AM

                          After our meal at Melanie's (1870 Danforth) last weekend. Highly recommend it . Good food at great pricing!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Charles Yu
                            haggisdragon Jan 26, 2009 09:29 AM

                            I just read a favourable review of Melanies the other day Charles Yu. Could you please tell us a little more of your experience there? Oh scratch that I just found your other thread. Thanks!

                            1. re: haggisdragon
                              c
                              chef223 Jan 26, 2009 05:38 PM

                              Avoid Globe Bistro I had a horrible experience their a little while back. The service clumsy and almost rude. The food was nothing at all , no originality at all , a bite off of the " local" theme that has invaded the Toronto restaurant scene. If you want real Canadian food then go to JK's or Canoe, Globe is not worth the effort.

                          2. haggisdragon Jan 24, 2009 12:37 PM

                            I agree with grandgourmand about 7 Numbers. It can be inconsistant but I will always go back for the atmosphere and the sexy duck. I had braised rabbit there once. It was the first time I had tried rabbit and I was divine.
                            Allen's is a favorite of mine the food is consistanly good, and its really only the heirloom meats that are pricey.
                            For greek I have to agree with the general consensus that there is not much difference between one place and the next. I've been to Astoria loads of times and its always been okay, with sometimes grumpy service. I've tried maybe a dozen other places once and never bothered going back. One place that stood out, I thought, was Pan. My girlfriend and I dropped in there on a whim, early on a Saturday evening without reservations. And one of the owners, an eccentric and very friendly lady, with a little to much perfume on, found us a table but warned us that we would have to leave before the res came in. We enjoyed the food and the service, good wine list, and we did not feel rushed. Plus they had some less typical options like sauteed chicken livers with garlic and lemon (yummy). I will go back there some time.

                            The Auld Spot is a friendly pub with some interesting daily specials, and I have seen lots of families dining there early in the evening.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: haggisdragon
                              t
                              trishna Jan 24, 2009 01:47 PM

                              I second the Pan recommendation. The grilled calamari is outstanding. Nice atmosphere (pre-belly dancer, at least - why do restaurants insist on this?), good wine list, excellent dishes all around - we've been 3 times now and will continue going back. It's our standard go-to spot when company arrives from out of town and we want to show them that neighbourhood.

                              1. re: trishna
                                b
                                bruceter Jan 25, 2009 12:56 PM

                                Auld Spot. Good Food. gorgonzola spring rolls for starters.

                                1. re: trishna
                                  p
                                  pluckypear Mar 16, 2010 01:45 PM

                                  I also enjoyed the Auld Spot and their oysters were yummy.

                              2. a
                                arugula Jan 24, 2009 05:44 AM

                                There isn't much I love on the Danforth, but Seven Numbers is a really nice, cozy and respectable Italian restaurant. It's hip, but also family friendly, and the food is just really well done.

                                Allen's is also nice, but many of the dishes are preposterously over-priced, which ends up making me feel cheated when I have to look at price before I order.

                                I'm convinced that the Danforth has done more to harm the image of Greek food than promote it. The good Greek food I have had was at Avli, Omonia (terrible name) and Pappas.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: arugula
                                  grandgourmand Jan 24, 2009 06:01 AM

                                  Seven Numbers is inconsistent I find. The one thing that's always good is the sexy duck leg. I've had a few misses. And sometimes I find the service amusing, at others annoying. Overall, though, I would go back because the food is mostly good and the pricing is attractive. And as far as casual italian goes, I find it way more enjoyable than Terroni (menu comparisons aside).

                                  I love Allen's. But when you see $45 dishes on the menu, it really seems out of place. However, it's always packed, so I don't think they're planning any changes.

                                  1. re: grandgourmand
                                    Squeakycheese Jan 26, 2009 05:48 PM

                                    "sexy duck leg"?

                                    1. re: Squeakycheese
                                      haggisdragon Jan 26, 2009 06:01 PM

                                      its like an italian version of duck confit, very tender, served with its own jus,so tasty and simple

                                  2. re: arugula
                                    e
                                    embee Jan 24, 2009 08:08 AM

                                    The Danforth was once home to very delicious Greek food. In the seventies and eighties, when much of the clientele was actually Greek, it was very different. It wasn't a tourist zone and I sometimes ran into Papandreou when having a late dinner. The late night coffee houses were wonderful, if too smoky for my lungs.

                                    I remember the souvlaki at Delphi, the whole barbecued lambs at Omonia, the bubbling pots at Strouga, Ellas, and Byzantium, and the somewhat more upmarket food at the Odyssey and Palace. Pan, in the late nineties, was still very nice, though the Canadiazation and decline were well underway by then. Those that remain are nothing like they were decades ago.

                                    1. re: embee
                                      z
                                      ziggystardust Jan 24, 2009 08:54 AM

                                      Which places would be best for Greek food for someone on a budget? I love Greek food but these days I have to factor in value even if it trumps quality and authenticity to a certain degree. I'm not a wine drinker and I don't care if the place is time worn. Decent food washed down with a cold beer at a reasonable price is alls I'm after.

                                      1. re: ziggystardust
                                        p
                                        phoenikia Jan 24, 2009 10:52 AM

                                        Zorba's would be my pick for Greek food on a budget. It's home cooking (sometimes the seasoning needs to be adjusted), not refined Greek cooking. They serve traditional Greek foods that are hard to find elsewhere, like patsa (tripe soup), kokkoretsi (grilled innards) and stuffed lamb's heads (sometimes a daily special). And it's definitely time worn.

                                        If you do go to Zorba's, stick with the cheese, chicken or meat based dishes (soups, pastitso, souvlaki (I like their lamb souvlaki), whatever special is in their hot table)- seafood is not one of their strengths. If you want fried calamari, you're better off at Mezes or Pantheon (not maybe great for a person on a budget, but more likely you'll get decent calamari).

                                        Also, for an economical treat, I like Athen's Pastries for spanakopita, loukamades and bougatsa.

                                        1. re: ziggystardust
                                          e
                                          embee Jan 24, 2009 11:24 AM

                                          Zorba's, which is east of Pape. Have the gigantes (lima beans) and the avgolemono soup, whatever else you try. You should have one of the saucy items from the display. Don't bother with the roasted stuff or souvlaki.

                                          1. re: ziggystardust
                                            r
                                            Raquel Jan 25, 2009 11:09 AM

                                            Go to Astoria.

                                            Their portions are very large. And funnily enough, I was just commenting to a friend the other day that the one place that will be alright is the Danforth through a recession: their prices are some of the lowest in the city, and their portions are HUGE usually! Perfect recession food. Because really, real Greek cooking comes from those days, anyway.

                                            Again, Astoria's your best bet for what you're looking for. Go and report back. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

                                      2. v
                                        Vinnie Vidimangi Jan 19, 2009 11:18 PM

                                        Bibiche( soon to move!)
                                        Djerba La Douce
                                        Wahlid (? (new , divine couscous , was once 1450 Danforth)
                                        Bistro Camino.

                                        All cheap, all different. Helps to know your way arounf the menu.
                                        VVM

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                          c
                                          CarolineInToronto Jul 3, 2010 06:40 AM

                                          Definitely Camino out at Danforth & Dawes road. Yum!

                                        2. janel Jan 15, 2009 05:57 AM

                                          In the cold weather we're having now, I like going to Sakawaya for the ramen.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: janel
                                            d
                                            DishyDiva Jan 15, 2009 06:01 AM

                                            I'm with you, janel! There's nothing like a steaming, heaping bowl of noodles to warm the soul. I also like Sakawaya's udon and soba noodle soups.

                                          2. b
                                            bittermu Jan 13, 2009 09:02 AM

                                            If you'd like to venture a bit outside of Greektown, a little farther east there's also Rendez-Vous (Ethiopian, W of Coxwell) and Relish (tapas, E of Woodbine) that will fit your budget.

                                            -----
                                            Relish
                                            2152 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1K3, CA

                                            Rendez Vous
                                            1408 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1M9, CA

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: bittermu
                                              plaerdemavida Jan 14, 2009 06:32 PM

                                              Pantheon!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              the decor is tacky but the food is great and it's superauthentic. Order a couple of starters (calamari is great, so is the 'flaming' cheese, can't remember the name) and the delicious lamb chops. The lamb chops come with a Greek salad. All this is enough food for two people to share. On top of that they'll bring you complimentary desert.

                                              1. re: plaerdemavida
                                                r
                                                Raquel Jan 15, 2009 05:17 AM

                                                You know, it's my Dad's favourite restaurant on the Danforth, but I'm not such a fan.

                                                The last we went there, for a family birthday party, I can't say I was that impressed with the food. I found the souvlaki had a weird toughness to it, as well as a too-strong, almost processed garlicky flavour to it. Even the rice seemed weird to me, too dry and with corn (???) and other frozen veg in it. We also ordered the meat 'pikilia' platter and while that had some lamb chops on it, they were a little over-charred. The previous time I had gone, it was ok, and it was only 2 of us, so I don't know....overall, I guess it would be too inconsistent for my tastes. But I agree, when they do old-school well, they do it really well there, including the service. By the way, the 'complimentary' cake they give you at the end of your meal is either a 'karithopita' (car-ree-tho-pita), basically a ground walnut cake, or, 'ravani' (ra-va-nee) cake which is a semolina cake with syrup. Both are absolutely excellent, and for me, the highlight of every meal at Pantheon!

                                                1. re: Raquel
                                                  p
                                                  phoenikia Jan 15, 2009 06:11 AM

                                                  My last visit to Pantheon in November was quite mediocre, so I haven't been recommending Pantheon for seafood the way I had been recommending the restaurant in the past. The grilled calamari was ok, but in no way special. The texture was not exactly tender, and the marinade seemed salty, heavy handed with the seasoning, but not enough lemon. I got tired of the taste pretty quickly. Seemed to be about the same quality as the grilled calamari I've had at Mezes or Megas. Maybe fried calamari is a better choice at Pantheon these days.

                                                  Not a destination restaurant for me, but fine for a regular weeknight meal if I'm in the neighbourhood.

                                                  1. re: phoenikia
                                                    atomeyes Jan 24, 2009 03:39 PM

                                                    the best way I would describe Pantheon - actually most of the Greek restaurants - is as parent-safe as restaurants get.
                                                    nothing spectacular or sophisticated about the food. relatively tasty, but not breathtaking or awe-inspiring.
                                                    ate at Pantheon this month and it was a yawner. was better than Myth, believe it or not, but pretty much the same as Astoria, Kalviya and all the other similar places in Greektown.

                                                    the best restos in Greektown are 7 Numbers, Globe, Emburlija Flamenco and Lolita's Lust. None are Greek. Take that for what its worth.

                                                    1. re: atomeyes
                                                      p
                                                      phoenikia Jan 24, 2009 04:02 PM

                                                      I agree that the Globe is one of the best restaurants on the Danforth. I would say it's the best restaurant on the Danforth for dinner, if you're looking for high quality ingredients, great service and contemporary/continental food. But many people go to the Danforth for Greek food/flavours (regardless of the discussion of whether good Greek food exists in TO restaurants), so the Globe isn't going to be a good fit if you're not craving continental food.

                                                      I wasn't impressed by the quality of the tapas at Embujo Flamenco. Thought the portions were skimpy, and the quality of the shrimp was marginal. I prefer Cava, Coca and Cambalache for tapas. I haven't been to Torito or Casa Barcelona.

                                                      Haven't been to Lolita's Lust. I wouldn't consider 7 Numbers to be the same quality as the Globe, but I would recommend it as a decent restaurant if you're looking for casual Italian food on the Danforth.

                                                      The meal I had at Lambros last week was a great meal, probably the best Greek meal I've had in the last 12 months

                                                      -----
                                                      Globe
                                                      124 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K1N1, CA

                                                      Embrujo
                                                      97 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N2, CA

                                                      Lolita's Lust
                                                      513 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P5, CA

                                                      7 Numbers Danforth
                                                      307 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N7, CA

                                                      Lambros
                                                      397 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

                                                2. re: plaerdemavida
                                                  a
                                                  aveivy Jan 15, 2009 05:40 AM

                                                  The flaming cheese is Opa! Saganaki. "Opa!" is really just an exclamation. Saganaki apparently refers to the pan, as the cheese has other names (I've always assumed it was kefalotiri, but I've found a variety of recipes that call for different specific cheeses - but they're all firm and a little salty).

                                              2. f
                                                fussychow Jan 13, 2009 08:28 AM

                                                Thanks very much to all of you!

                                                1. r
                                                  Raquel Jan 13, 2009 08:10 AM

                                                  As a Greek, and a fierce supporter of our cuisine (yes, we have one, you just haven't seen the best of it...yet), I would say that our cuisine is best experienced, here on the Danforth, when enjoyed old-style, and old-school. And for that, I highly recommend Astoria. High-quality, old-school Greek food is exactly what you'll get. And, within the price points you're looking for.

                                                  And to be honest, I know you said it doesn't have to be Greek, but other than Lolita's Lust, which I also highly recommend (both for food and service), the Danforth is most well-known for Greek food. I would go with that.

                                                  13 Replies
                                                  1. re: Raquel
                                                    v
                                                    Vinnie Vidimangi Jan 19, 2009 11:16 PM

                                                    Souvlaki is not Greek. Greek restaurant cooking in Toronto ended when Strouga closed. Any diissent? Oh for the Acropolis when it was above LIndy's Religiou sGoods on Dundas!
                                                    VVM

                                                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                      e
                                                      embee Jan 20, 2009 05:25 AM

                                                      Of course souvlaki is Greek, but it's street food rather than "dining" food. The Greek food you refer to is still available at Zorba's.

                                                      1. re: embee
                                                        v
                                                        Vinnie Vidimangi Jan 20, 2009 11:08 AM

                                                        Souvlaki is Greek the same way that a knish is Jewish.
                                                        VVM

                                                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                          e
                                                          embee Jan 20, 2009 11:30 AM

                                                          Of course a knish is Jewish. If it wasn't, it would be called a pastie or something :-)

                                                      2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                        r
                                                        Raquel Jan 20, 2009 03:29 PM

                                                        I was just about to be outraged by your post. And then I stopped for a second. And thought for a second if, as a Greek child, we were ever served souvlaki. The answer is a resounding "NO". Actually, I think you'd be hardpressed to find ANY Greek homes that ever served souvlaki at home.... This is a very good point that you make and an important one, because I don't think Toronto has really seen the likes of any "real", (and delicious) Greek food. Perhaps it's time..... Thanks for reminding us.

                                                        1. re: Raquel
                                                          foodyDudey Jan 20, 2009 05:03 PM

                                                          On my street, at least 25% of the neighbours are Greek. The family right beside me is Greek, and they cook souvlaki on the BBQ in the summer.

                                                          1. re: Raquel
                                                            p
                                                            phoenikia Jan 20, 2009 05:15 PM

                                                            It depends on the Greek family. Souvlaki has always been a part of our family's summer bbqs, probably because a whole spit-roasted pig, goat, or lamb (aka souvla) doesn't make sense if you have less than a dozen guests coming to eat. Many of the Greek gatherings in Toronto are large enough that families choose to roast an entire goat, pig or lamb, rather than serving souvlaki.

                                                            The meat (lamb in our house) marinates for several hours and I always have the task of putting the meat on the skewers. We grill it outside, the old-fashioned way with charcoal briquets. None of that modern propane bbq stuff.

                                                          2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                            Full tummy Jan 20, 2009 05:28 PM

                                                            According to wikipedia, souvlaki is Greek and dates back to ancient times.

                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souvlaki

                                                            1. re: Full tummy
                                                              e
                                                              evansl Jan 21, 2009 04:57 AM

                                                              It all depend what you mean by Greek. The word souvlaki is certainly Greek and the food is certainly pieces of meat grilled on skewers. But...

                                                              Just about ever Mediterranean culture, and even far beyond, has an almost identical dish. So yes, souvalaki is Greek, but it is not uniquely Greek. I've had Italian spiedini, for example, that was virtually identical to "souvlaki."

                                                              BTW: I've tried most of the souvlaki places on the Danforth. I am now convinced that deep beneath Danforth Avenue there is a single huge kitchen that makes souvlaki and sends them on a system of conveyor belts up to the restaurants all along the street. It's all the same stuff, no matter where you go.

                                                              I can remember when going to the Danforth meant that the the waiter invited you into the kitchen and you pointed at the pot with the food that you wanted. Now that's Greek food in a Greek restaurant. No conveyor food belt then.

                                                              1. re: evansl
                                                                foodyDudey Jan 21, 2009 05:10 AM

                                                                Of course all the souvlaki on Danforth Ave should taste the same, they all use the same time-honoured recipe from the ancient times. :-)

                                                                Or they buy frozen marinated souvlaki from the same supplier. But who cares about souvlaki? It keeps getting mentioned every time we talk about food in Greektown. I've lived here since 1992 and don't think I've had souvlaki in a restaurant here more than once and that was probably in 1993. There's a lot more available on the menus, you should try something different.

                                                                1. re: evansl
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                                                                  Pincus Jan 21, 2009 07:54 AM

                                                                  You can still do that at Zorba's, except you point to what's on display behind the protective glass shield between the kitchen food and you.

                                                                  1. re: Pincus
                                                                    k
                                                                    KevinB Jan 25, 2009 11:53 PM

                                                                    They used to let you do that at Ellas, on Pape just north of Danforth, but truth be told, since moving to Richmond Hill, I haven't been to Ellas in years (is it still open?!). The kids prefer grilled items over stews and moussaka, so we normally end up at Astoria or the Friendly Greek (atmosphere at the latter - meh, but the food is simple and good, and a pretty good value).

                                                                    1. re: KevinB
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                                                                      embee Jan 26, 2009 06:56 AM

                                                                      Ellas on Pape expanded and "upscaled" many years ago. While some of the stews they did so well in the seventies remained on the menu, they really expected you to order things such as steak and (mainly frozen) fish, possibly preceded by some mezes. It was better than average for the area, though not wonderful.

                                                                      They closed the Pape location a few years ago. It's still vacant. They still have a large banquet hall on Danforth Rd. I've been to several Greek weddings there over ten years. There was very little Greek food served at these weddings (none at all at a couple of them). We mainly got well done steak or roast beef.

                                                          3. j
                                                            julesrules Jan 13, 2009 07:48 AM

                                                            Aji Sai for sushi
                                                            Zorba's for steam table Greek, giant plate of tasty food for $12.95, little atmosphere
                                                            Allen's burger, I heartily recommend only beer as your side

                                                            1. f
                                                              fussychow Jan 13, 2009 07:42 AM

                                                              There's 4 of us, we usually order an appetizer or 2 to share, I wanted to then keep mains under $16 - is that doable?

                                                              13 Replies
                                                              1. re: fussychow
                                                                foodyDudey Jan 13, 2009 08:15 AM

                                                                The menu is online: http://www.lolitaslust.ca/lolitas-lus...

                                                                Amost all mains are over $20, as I said you can just order 2 "small plates" each and you won't leave hungry.

                                                                Another option for you (from the GLOBE newsletter) is this:

                                                                Globe's Best Burger and Beer - $15 in January
                                                                I'm throwing down the gauntlet and can state unequivocally that Globe Bistro has one of the best burgers in town (and I have had them all). We start with 8 ounces of freshly ground naturally-raised Ontario prime rib on a house-baked bun that fits just right. Accompanied by a pile of crispy frites and topped with cheese curds, Northern Woods mushrooms, double-smoked bacon and house-made pickle, I would cross the Bloor Viaduct for this lunch.
                                                                In January, we will be featuring our burger and a local pint for $15. Nap optional

                                                                Available in the lounge area at dinner.

                                                                1. re: foodyDudey
                                                                  grandgourmand Jan 13, 2009 08:44 AM

                                                                  That's actually a good price for a high end buger and a pint. Have you tried it?

                                                                  1. re: grandgourmand
                                                                    foodyDudey Jan 13, 2009 09:21 AM

                                                                    I had one in the summer and it's good. I'd go there for lunch today but since I'll be there Thursday evening for the winemaker's dinner, I'll wait till next week.

                                                                    1. re: grandgourmand
                                                                      t
                                                                      tjr Jan 14, 2009 06:25 PM

                                                                      I haven't tried their burger, but at that price, I can't see it being a bad deal. Considering how much a pint costs at most restaurants, the burger would have to be pretty awful to not be worth the price. I can't see Globe selling a garbage product, so I guess I'll try it out as soon as I get a chance!

                                                                      1. re: tjr
                                                                        aser Jan 14, 2009 11:53 PM

                                                                        Could do a burger comparison. Split one w/ a companion at Globe then hop across the street to have one at Allen's. I call that a good day.

                                                                        1. re: tjr
                                                                          grandgourmand Jan 15, 2009 04:52 AM

                                                                          No kidding. And it comes with fries and "the works". Not to mention a good way to test out Globe's cuisine if you haven't yet. It's on my "to do" list.

                                                                          1. re: grandgourmand
                                                                            foodyDudey Jan 15, 2009 05:35 AM

                                                                            I was at the winemaker's dinner last night, and the four of us had a great time. The people I took had not been there before, and they loved the food. I'd suggest going to a winemaker's dinner as you will be able to try quite a few courses. We tried 6 different wines last night Each course was excellent and perfectly matched with the wine.

                                                                            Click here to see what was on the menu. http://www.globebistro.com/Portals/84...

                                                                            1. re: foodyDudey
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                                                                              phoenikia Jan 15, 2009 06:08 AM

                                                                              foodyDudey, what was the crowd like last night at the Winemakers' Dinner? How many people attended? Is it one big table, or the regular Globe set-up? I was thinking about taking part in that dinner;)

                                                                              1. re: phoenikia
                                                                                foodyDudey Jan 15, 2009 06:42 AM

                                                                                It's held in the room on the second floor, that's the one between the balcony level and the rooftop. There are usually 4 or 5 tables set up.
                                                                                I didn't count how many attended last nught, but there were 7 at our table. (the 4 of us plus 3 others). The three other tables had either 8 or 10 people at them. At our table, was Daniel Speck from Pelham estates who would get up and speak about each wine we were trying, and someone from the Cheese Boutique. (I was at the other end of the table so didn't get a chance to talk to him much)

                                                                                The age group looked anywhere from 30's to late 60's, with not as many younger ones as I remember from the previous dinners. But that shouldn't matter. Everyone is friendly.

                                                                                1. re: foodyDudey
                                                                                  p
                                                                                  phoenikia Jan 15, 2009 06:45 AM

                                                                                  thanks foodyDudey:)

                                                                      2. re: foodyDudey
                                                                        haggisdragon Jan 24, 2009 12:06 PM

                                                                        That's a good deal. I want to go tonight. Do you think I could sneek in on Saturday night without res? Thanks

                                                                        1. re: haggisdragon
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                                                                          pluckypear Mar 16, 2010 01:43 PM

                                                                          Allen's turned me off because they seem so snobby. They gave my party a hard time about choosing our own table, I am paying I want to choose where to sit. The wait staff/host acted as though it was some high class joint and not just some pub on the Dan. Food was nothing special but nice choice of beers on tap. Will not go back though.

                                                                          1. re: pluckypear
                                                                            l
                                                                            literonomer May 7, 2010 04:47 PM

                                                                            Amen to that. I recently went in at about 4pm and tried to make my way to the back patio. I was actually stopped, and asked whether I planned to eat. I had only been planning on having a drink, and so I was told I was not allowed to sit on the patio because "it's our busiest time"!!!!! Excuse me?! It was four pm--and the place was EMPTY. Naturally, I left straightaway. Such a shame that many of the places with decent patios in Toronto (Victory Cafe, I'm looking at you) also have Nazis in charge of them.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Allen's
                                                                            143 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N2, CA

                                                                    2. foodyDudey Jan 13, 2009 07:02 AM

                                                                      What price range are you looking for? You can eat at Lolita's Lust quite reasonably. If you order two "small plates" per person to share and no main course, it may be as low as $24 pp + drinks.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: foodyDudey
                                                                        p
                                                                        phoenikia Jan 14, 2009 06:00 PM

                                                                        What dishes would you recommend at Lolita's Lust, foodyDudey?

                                                                        1. re: phoenikia
                                                                          p
                                                                          pluckypear Mar 16, 2010 01:41 PM

                                                                          I also enjoy Rails and Ales, but to play pool. There beer on tap is tasty too. I don't eat meat but my boyfriend did enjoy the burger.

                                                                        2. re: foodyDudey
                                                                          Brain of J Jan 27, 2009 07:23 AM

                                                                          A personal favourite of mine is Rails and Ales on the north side of Danforth, just a bit east of Pape. Don't go for the atmosphere but their 1lb burger is great. Super juicy, proper ground meat, decent fries. It's just a shame the place is a bit on the dank side....

                                                                          1. re: Brain of J
                                                                            p
                                                                            phoenikia Dec 14, 2010 03:24 PM

                                                                            I like the Greek fries at Rails and Ales, mad with round slices of potato rather than standard french fries. Haven't tried the burger yet.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Rails and Ales Billards Lounge
                                                                            1106 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L5, CA

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