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Places to try near Eglinton/Don Mills

c
chunkymonkeyboy Apr 18, 2009 11:33 AM

Hi,

We drive to the Eglinton/Don Mills area twice a week and would be interested in any suggestions for casual restaurants in the area, lunch or dinner. We're open to any kind of food--but would prefer not to have to park near Yonge/Eglinton.

Thanks!

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  1. Full tummy RE: chunkymonkeyboy Apr 18, 2009 12:00 PM

    There's Congee Star at 900 Don Mills, just a piece north of Eglinton, on the west side. Also, within the next week the new plaza at Don Mills & Lawrence is supposed to open with some restaurants in place. I understand that Linda, by Salad King, will have a location there; their original location downtown is said to be one of the best Thai restos in the city, so that should be worth a try.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Full tummy
      atomeyes RE: Full tummy May 18, 2009 06:43 AM

      i second Congee Star.
      Their congee is great (order them with the dough fritters, of course).
      i personally love their chicken wings, but order them with the chinese spice instead of fish sauce.

    2. z
      Zengarden RE: chunkymonkeyboy Apr 18, 2009 03:07 PM

      Sorento's is in the same plaza as Congee Star. It's pizza and pasta but the food is good and honest.

      1. t
        thenextbite RE: chunkymonkeyboy Apr 18, 2009 03:19 PM

        My absolute favorite in Bamiyan Kabob. It is at Thorncliffe and Overlea, so a 2 minute drive from Don Mills and Eglinton and well worth it. It's incredible Afgani food - fresh and wholesome. Salad, brown rice, an Afgani naan (different from Indian naan) and meat if you wish: Lamb, Filet Mignon, Tandoori Chicken, etc... the prices run you from $6 for a wrap sandwich to $12.00 for the full meal with tons of food. You will not be disappointed!!! Only thing is, it's not formal... tile floor, you order at the back and sit until they call your number but it just doesn't matter - the food is sooooo good! Oh, and it's clean, too.
        62 Overlea Boulevard, (416) 429-7514.

        1. pinstripeprincess RE: chunkymonkeyboy Apr 18, 2009 03:32 PM

          there's a couple posts somewhere that you should search for that will have some interesting suggestions. for now i can recall:

          palm something? it's in the flemingdon plaza and offers a carribean buffet for lunch for about $7. go during prime lunch hour because the freshness will be much better. it's cheap and reasonably tasty but most of all i think fun. ok variety.

          bamiyan kebab - i can't recall where exactly this is right now but it is in the area. look up reviews, i think there was a very favourable thread all about it a couple years back.

          iqbals - in the same area as bamiyan kebab and offers indian thali type meals beside the grocery store. i thought it was just ok but is recommended by others who enjoy indian food more than i.

          i would consider travelling a little distance north to lawrence east for awesome middle eastern options and my favourite baklava and fried chicken (fritou)... yums!

          6 Replies
          1. re: pinstripeprincess
            c
            chunkymonkeyboy RE: pinstripeprincess May 2, 2009 05:20 AM

            Can you tell me some specific middle eastern places to try? Also, any thoughts on a place with good fattoush? I tried Tabouli as recommended on another thread and was disappointed...

            1. re: chunkymonkeyboy
              t
              torontofoodiegirl RE: chunkymonkeyboy May 2, 2009 08:59 AM

              Armenian Kitchen (On Vic Park, north of Eglinton) is great. If you search this board, I think you'll find quite a number of positive reviews.

              1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                pinstripeprincess RE: torontofoodiegirl May 2, 2009 01:32 PM

                i'm not a huge fan of armenian kitchen as they do things a little different and so i miss some ingredients at times. i wouldn't go for the shawarma there but have enjoyed the falafel and kibbeh.

                shawarma empire - there are lots of people who love it and i know someone who nearly insists on going every lunch. i thought it was really nice but i wasn't a fan of their fluffy pita. really powerful spicing to the meat. i do want to try their falafel though as they fry it fresh.

                i would have suggested farhat in the past but they've fallen off my radar hugely since they seemed to have stopped caring one ounce about the food.

                i can't recommend fattoush... i just don't really eat it! though i'm sure if you asked someone would likely have suggestions for the lawrence east area.

            2. re: pinstripeprincess
              pinstripeprincess RE: pinstripeprincess May 17, 2009 11:07 AM

              just wanted to add onto my suggestion of fritou because it's really such an odd gem. the chicken is lightly breaded, crisp and spicy but not terribly so... more in a good layered warmth kind of way. the chicken itself are always legs, large, and very moist.

              but the location that sells it is called sinai cafe and they serve up a limited menu of somali food. they do some great goat. they have the meal options listed on a piece of postercard by the counter and a laminated menu on the tables. the goat really intrigued me and was perfectly cooked... moist, tender and good meaty flavour. large amount of meat on what appeared to be pieces of leg. it comes with a boring iceberg salad but you also get a gigantic plate of rice (the whole meal is $11 and easily feeds 2) that is tinted with some cheap saffron, a few spices and medley of canned vegetables. this is a very bizarre instance of the whole being better than the sum. it's not gourmet, it's not even amazing but it's actually quite tasty and fitting... i wouldn't hestitate to get it again and we ate it all.... if you saw how large this plate of rice was you'd be amazed. the guy working the counter was surprised we didn't need a container to take the rest away. i noticed a bit late that one of the options was with injera that they seem to make in house and fresh... much thicker than the ones i've had at ethiopian places but looks quite similar. i'll be tempted to get that next time.

              lastly, a jug of sugary juice and bowls of soup that i can only describe as what was in the bottom of the medley of veggies can were given complimentary. odd, yet fitting but both ok.

              oh... and if you are a fun of hot sauces... this place has a wicked one. it looks like they do it up in house... it's a green, fruity, thick concotion that is quite potent. we mixed it into the rice so we didn't burn our tongues out but it really added some great heat along with a nice fruity undertone. we took a container of what we had left in the bowl to go! one of the best hot sauces i've had in a while.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                Davwud RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 12, 2010 05:21 AM

                I had the Thali at Iqbal last week and it was quite good. One of the guys I eat lunch with was dying at the smell.

                DT

                1. re: Davwud
                  Paulustrious RE: Davwud Apr 12, 2010 10:08 AM

                  The thali is not available at the weekend for some reason.

              2. t
                tochowchick RE: chunkymonkeyboy Apr 18, 2009 04:09 PM

                There's a place in Flemingdon Plaza (Don Mills just north of Overlea) called Caribbean Palms...really nice jerk chicken, rotis etc. I believe they have a buffet at lunch...never tried it but their other stuff is good and the owner is super nice guy.

                I also like Bamiyan and Iqbal that other's have mentioned...

                1 Reply
                1. re: tochowchick
                  d
                  dory RE: tochowchick Oct 17, 2010 03:58 PM

                  Another place in the same Flemingon Plaza is Shaheen Tikka and Kabab House. We stopped there the other night and really enjoyed our meal. We tried seek kababs, (ground beef), chicken tikka, the spinach and cottage cheese paneer, chicken korma, rice pulau, and naan. The food was dedently presented, and medium spiced upon request. The chicken korma (with bones) had a very tasty sauce but next time I would order boneless. Generally I prefer chicken on the bone but there was so little meat in the dish it was a bit disappointing. Oh and of course kulfi for dessert and mango shakes. I am not very familiar with this cuisine so have little to compare it tobut we certainly enjoyed it and would go again. The standout for me was the naan. Hot , light and delicately crispy on the outside. I particularly enjoyed the sesame seed variety. I assume they serve lunch, there are picnic table outside, and they advertise weekend breakfast which I plan to try sometime. The plaza is under construction, and this restaurant is next to Caribbean Palms tucked back in from the parking lot.

                  -----
                  Caribbean Palms
                  747 Don Mills Rd, Toronto, ON M3C1T2, CA

                2. c
                  chunkymonkeyboy RE: chunkymonkeyboy May 2, 2009 05:15 AM

                  Hi everyone-thanks for all of the tips! Last week we took thenextbite and pinstripeprincess's advice and went to Bamiyan Kabob. We loved it! We had kofta (seasoned beef) kabob and half chicken kabob. Chicken breast meat was a little on the dry side but very flavorful. The kofta was full of great spice flavor. The mexican-style fresh salsa/sauce that comes with the meal is delicious and goes so well with the meat--is this a traditional Afghani condiment? The naan was fresh off the grill and hot and yummy! We were there on Wed. 9-10:30pm and it was packed the entire time. Service was a bit slow but we didn't mind because it tasted like it was all being made fresh. Can't wait to go back and try more of the menu but we will certainly try the other places suggested on this thread--keep the tips coming, we never would've found BK otherwise! Thanks!

                  1. t
                    thenextbite RE: chunkymonkeyboy May 17, 2009 02:30 AM

                    Today my sis and I went to the new Don Mills Shopping Centre... beautiful by the way... but here's where it stands for restau's:

                    Salad King by Linda was TERRIBLE and I will never go their again... they don't yet have their liquor license, though not a big deal. They lost our reservation but accommodated us anyway. The tables are sooo crammed in you cannot walk between them when there are people sitting in the chairs. The wait staff were all extremely thin and had trouble getting around. We asked for ice in our juice drinks but received none. Tons of waiters walking around with water jugs but not filling glasses. We took a while to decide but when we did decide and closed the menus it took a good ten minutes for our waiter to show up after asking other wait-staff if we could place our order and we were told they'd get our waiter. We ordered spring rolls and they were tiny, very greasy and cold. I ordered the Beef Panang. The beef was tough and almost all of the veg was what I call "filler, cheapy veg" aka green pepper. There were a few chunks of red pepper but not much at all. The sauce was fantastic, though!!! My sister ordered the Golden Tofu. The tofu was not cooked long enough for her liking. Throughout the meal the owners (two ladies) came by more than once to discuss our dining experience with us. We were honest and told them of the issues we were having. They made absolutely no attempt what so ever to compensate us for the poor food or service. I will NEVER return. The prices they charge are far too high for the dining experience. Bet even at lesser prices, it still wouldn't be worth it.

                    Prairie Ink Restaurant, located in the bookstore in the complex has a wonderful menu, prices range from $12 to $30 for entrees, yet the decor misses the mark and looks like an Ikea cafeteria. I have not sampled the cuisine so I cannot comment, but I have perused the menu and the dining room. The menu honestly looks fabulous for selection and ingredients. The decor, well, apparently they were going for a chic, sparse, modern look and as I have stated, it's very poorly executed. They do have a take-out area so they have left the kitchen rather exposed, lending itself even more to a cafeteria look even though it is a proper sit-down dining room. I can think of a hundred places with better ambiance for that price range. I have offered feedback to the staff there and they say that my comments are common - we'll see if they do anything with that feedback.

                    Lastly, at the moment, the other option is Jack Aster's - no comment... it's just Jack Asters...

                    Other restaurants are due to open shortly so hopefully they'll offer better dining experiences.

                    For now I'll quote my husband: "You can always buy better, but you'll never pay more!"

                    CAIO CHOW

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: thenextbite
                      g
                      goldbed1886 RE: thenextbite Sep 12, 2010 07:02 PM

                      Salad King by Linda was not that bad, certainly a bit crammed. I did have some problems with the food, namely the option to select how hot you want the food. Firstly, they fail to mention it strongly enough, so if you do not specify, you get strangely bland and unhot Thai food. Thai food is essentially the balance between sweet, salty, hot and sour. If you miss out the hot then there's something fundamentally wrong. Now, when you do order with an appropriate amount of heat, I think you pick a number from 1 to 20, then all they seem to do is add a certain amount of dried red chili to whatever dish you've ordered. It just seems wrong to me, as it's not cooked in with the dish, so you get a small bit of the heat from the chili regardless of what number you pick. Secondly, certain dishes require addition of heat from sources other than dried red chili! That said, the dishes were authentically cooked. I have heard that most places in Thailand serve their food with chili, lime, salt and sugar on the table (I haven't been there yet) so I guess the addition of the chili is not unheard of, but it just didn't seem to gel with me.

                      Prairie Ink is long gone now, but was good when it was open.

                      Not much left to go to in the new Don Mills Plaza, but a sandwich at McEwan's, maybe, but only if you're looking to spend > 10 bucks....

                      -----
                      Salad King
                      340 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M5B1R7, CA

                      1. re: goldbed1886
                        Full tummy RE: goldbed1886 Sep 13, 2010 08:35 PM

                        I'm assuming you mean Linda, and not Salad King. When Linda (the restaurant) moved to Don Mills, Salad King remained in its old location until the collapse of the exterior wall a couple of months ago:

                        http://www.saladking.com/

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                        Salad King
                        340 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M5B1R7, CA

                        1. re: Full tummy
                          g
                          goldbed1886 RE: Full tummy Oct 4, 2010 09:31 AM

                          Yep, I'm sure on their menu it says something like: "Linda, by Salad King" or some such thing, hence my confusion. Clearly she wanted to keep some sort of link to the old place.

                    2. l
                      lamaranthe RE: chunkymonkeyboy Oct 7, 2010 03:26 PM

                      Millie’s - 1980 Avenue Road - (416) 481-1247 = $$$ Tablecloth, linen napkins, verandah, good service, excellent food - Check for recent reviews

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