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One day, this Friday, in Toronto (West Queen West)

The wife and I will be in Ontario this weekend for a wedding, but unfortunately we will only have Friday to explore Toronto. We are staying that night at the Gladstone Hotel in West Queen West. For reference, we're in our late 20s and from Brooklyn. Trying to catch up on this board is a Herculean task, so I was hoping for some quick pointers to get me started...

Our flight lands around noon and we'll have a car, so what would you do with a free Friday afternoon and no plans? Are any worthwhile markets open for perusing, or neighborhoods I should know about that have a high density of great eating (maybe with some culture mixed)?

I imagine Friday night we'll be looking for an unpretentious, albeit delicious meal near our hotel in West Queen West. Vdara appears to be a board favorite, and Nyood looks like something we'd enjoy. Please let me know what I'm missing. I'd love something exciting...

Thanks again for answering what I'm sure is a tired question......

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  1. Something exciting? How about Mother India on Queen W. east of Lansdowne. Yummy, yummy East Indian style rotis. They are huge and delicious. Very unpretentious.

    1. skip vdara and nyood and leave the car in the garage and walk up up ossington and check out he scene there, or cross under the bridge and head the cadillac lounge for some music and parkdale's largest patio...the food isn't great but he vibe is good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: robgm

        I second this notion. There are good local places to eat at up and down Ossington.

        Foxley
        Delux
        Pizza Libretto
        Union

        I'm sure you'll have a good time.

      2. take the car up to markham and richmond hill and immerse yourself into the intensity of a true china-city. there are plenty of posts on good dining up there but it's a matter of what you're looking for... dim sum, dumplings, noodles, finer dining... etc. one of my favourite "cheap" stops is the ten ren's at hwy 7 for their fresh fruit bubble tea. real fruit is just so much more refreshing than powdered gunk.

        Vdara is NOT a board favourite. what exactly is it that makes you feel nyood would draw you in? would make it easier to suggest alternatives.

        12 Replies
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          If you don't want to bother going out of the city I would recommend Terrori or Pizzeria Libretto. Both are fairly close to the Gladstone.

          Vdara has been mentioned a few times lately but you can definately do better.

          1. re: paper_bag_princess

            I'd just leave the car and head east along Queen to Kensington Market lots of posts about it on here. Then on the way back stop in on Ossington for a drink. Or, if you want to stay closer Ossington has lots of good restaurants. You can look up Foxley, Delux, Pizzaeria Libretto or even just a general search for Queen/Ossington. It's a popular strip with a selection of bars and restaurants.

            1. re: jamesm

              The Gladstone to Kensington? That's a heckuva walk. I'd take the car and park at the municipal lot at Kensington instead.

              Walking east along Queen takes you past Poutini - share one as you walk. (Hint: add a bit of malt vinegar to go with their relatively bland gravy - it adds zip).

              You will also pass by Oyster Boy (just before Trinity-Bellwoods park). If the weather co-operates (and that's a big IF given this summer of rain), you might want to get their deep-fried oysters and fish and chips to go, and have an impromptu picnic in the quite beautiful park.

              From the park, there's a couple of fairly boring blocks, but once you get to Palmerston, things begin to pick up. Lots of interesting shops and holes in the wall. I can't say I've tried them all, but many look like they're worth a visit.You could go all the way to University before you run out of quality real estate.

              Once you're tired, the good news is you can just hop on the Queen street car, and it will drop you off right in front of your hotel. Oh, and at Ossington, which runs north from Queen just across from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (which, when I was a boy, was affectionately called the "loony bin"), you can walk a block up to Argyle where you'll find Venezia, an excellent Portugese bakery, Golden Turtle for Vietnamese, and "Frantic City" - a treasure trove of used records and books.

              1. re: KevinB

                Gladstone to Kensington is a long walk? I walk there regularly from Roncesvalles. It takes a little longer than a half hour.

          2. re: pinstripeprincess

            I'd say you go for dim sum for lunch, straight from the airport in Richmond Hill or Markham. Highly recommend Yang's......Maybe check out an Asian mall afterwards, such as First Markham Place or Pacific Mall. You will not find this level of quality for Chinese food in NYC, not even Flushing.

            After that, check into Gladstone, walk around and develop a hunger. Eat at the restaurants in the surrounding area as mentioned in this thread (foxley, delux, union, etc...). Ignore Pizzeria Libretto, you have Difara's, why bother. Nyood has a very foo foo "to be seen" feel to it, I haven't been so I can't comment on the food.

            Afterwards, do a bar crawl and people watch. That area is admittedly very Williamsburg by nighttime. Bars include Beaconsfield, Drake, Sweaty Betty, Lot 16, Levack Block, Wrongbar, etc......If you feel like dancing and such, pick up a copy of Eye or Now, local weeklies akin to Village Voice.

            At the end of the night, you can settle the booze w/ a poutine from Poutini.

            -----
            Yangs Fine Chinese Cuisine
            9665 Bayview Ave, Richmond Hill, ON L4C, CA

            1. re: aser

              Williamsburg is exactly the right point of comparison!

            2. re: pinstripeprincess

              Thanks for the reply!
              Vdara just came up several times in searches for Queens West, all with more or less favorable reviews. While I wasn't wowed by the menu, I was willing to trust Hounders...
              Re: Nyood, the menu seems unique with interesting ingredients, and I couldn't get a reservation until 9:15p which led me to believe that it was the place to be.

              Restaurants that draw us in would be places with high-quality seasonal ingredients, non-fussy preparations and laid-back atmospheres. I'm not sure if the analogy works here, but we definitely prefer Brooklyn restaurants to those across the river in Manhattan.

              However, if the Toronto scene is great food in loud venues, we're totally up for it!

              1. re: EJC

                From that description I'd say Union would be right up your alley.

                1. re: JennaBean

                  Yup, Union sounds like exactly what you want. It gets busy so a res is essential.

                2. re: EJC

                  i would skip nyood for dinner, and go to one of the ossington places mentioned already, BUT would drop by Nyood late at night for desert and a glass of icewine or such. nyood is a scen-y kind of a place (and pretty stunning visually), but also fun, with very attentive service and no attitude. watching the crowd and street from the bar while enjoying one of their excellent deserts (champagne float is my favourite) is a fun way to end the night.

                  1. re: EJC

                    i was pretty much thinking exactly along the same lines as aser, since you're out in the car and already by the airport you really should go north and get dim sum... i really can't think of where you will ever experience what goes on in markham and richmond hill in the US. it is a unique cultural hub.

                    based on what you said i'd also agree with suggestions for union over nyood. the food at nyood is good but the 9:15 reservation means you're going to get hit with the "club & drinks" crowd and it's already pretty loud in there during the dinner hour. even with our produce coming out to shine over the next couple of months, nyood's focus isn't really on local whereas union is - what you seemto be drawn to. it's brand spanking new but really trying to offer something great.

                    if somehow magically you have some time on saturday then the kensington market area or st lawrence market area would be great to browse around even if it is for a quick moment. lots of culture as well and very toronto centric but still not quite reaching the impressiveness of scale that markham/RH have.

                3. Friday afternoon is a good time check out the St. Lawrence market. Take the Queen street car east from the Gladstone all the way to Jarvis, then walk south to Front (2 blocks) and you're in the neighbourhood. The market is fun to walk around and great for food culture.

                  Kensington is also a good choice - less alive on a Friday afternoon than on a weekend. Likewise, take the Queen street car east to Spadina, walk through our Chinatown and go a bit northeast to find Kensington. Plenty of good food places. Torito is a favourite on this board. But for dinner, it might make sense to head back to Ossington - it's a fun strip and there are plenty of restaurants to suit your needs (Foxley, Union?)

                  Welcome to the city!

                  1. If you only have one day in Toronto then I would suggest spending it walking about the city versus touring the 'burbs... unless you have a real interest in Chinese food in particular, in which case absolutely make the pilgrimage to Richmond Hill.

                    Your location is excellent and if you're into walking then I'd suggest heading down Queen to Spadina, through Chinatown, detour through Kensington, and walking across College to Ossington and then back to your hotel. This is a 5km-ish square with lots to see/do in terms of art galleries, culture, shopping, and feeding/drinking (and you have access to cabs/public transit if you want to pull the chute and head back to your hotel bar to drink).

                    I really like Nyood (the red violin is a great cocktail and I like the their Aviation too). The spicy short ribs, polenta, and winter vegetables (I know veggies sound boring, but these are not!) are my favouite dishes. And the lemon brulee bombe is great. It can get loud, but not insufferably so. There are other good options on Ossington, but I would absolutely recommend a reservation on Friday night... the thought of just walking up Os. and finding something without an hour+ wait is extremely unlikely and I would find that an annoying way to spend my vacay. But after dinner Reposado (a tequila bar with back patio!) or the Painted Lady (New Orleans theme) could be very fun for drinks.

                    If you're passing through Kensington I love the black rum cake at the Caribbean bakeries, the empanadas at Jumbo Empanadas, and there is allegedly great vegan (?!) gelato at a place called Hibiscus. The Skyard at the Drake would be great for an afternoon cocktail/snack, although it gets very zooish at night (which may or may not be your thing).

                    Torito (Spanish tapas in Kensington) might be another thought for dinner.

                    Please do let us know where you end up!

                    1. I'm sure you are confused by now. Although the 'northern' Chinese is the best, I'm not sure you want to spend all day up there, and your arrival time is probably too late for lunch and too early for dinner - also, the traffic 'out-of-town' on Fridays is horrendous - my guess is you'll spend more time sitting still than moving - in two out of the last three weekends I've had to head out past the airport in the 1:30-3:30 range and traffic heading east/north has been ridiculous.
                      Nyood is a short walk - and is pretty good. Not sure an effort to go elsewhere is worth the trouble - the Ossington strip MOSTLY doesn't take reservations - Union is an exception, but my guess is it's already fully booked (I haven't been so can't comment on quality), but elsewhere (on Ossington) it's a zoo.
                      And walk along Queen in the afternoon, or visit Kensington (ethnic) or St Lawrence (more whte-bread) markets

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: estufarian

                        re: ossington - delux takes reservations, and both foxley and pizza libretto take phone numbers to call you when your table is ready (in the meantime, you can hang out in the hood and grab a coffee or a drink). i got a table a foxley with a 10 minute wait in the midst of the blackout street party last friday, so it's not as difficult as all that.

                        1. re: estufarian

                          I was able to get a reservation at Union for last Friday and called on Wednesday so it might not be a problem (although we ate a bit later - 9 pm). I recommend it - the food was very good and it's a fun area where you can get a drink afterwards at one of the bars.

                        2. Don't eat at the Gladstone, there's 10 (at least) more interesting spots within six blocks of the place. It's OK but it's no Poutini! And definitely hit Kensington Market during the day. It's hipster heaven (funny hats optional).

                          1. Wow, thanks a lot! You guys are incredibly helpful. Union looks perfect, and I was able to snag an 830p reservation for Friday night. A dim sum lunch in Richmond Hill would be amazing - hopefully our flight is on time, and Mrs. EJC's plans also include copious amounts of dumplings upon landing.

                            Fitting in a trip to Kensington, browsing/shopping along Queen West, and bar-hopping down Ossington... it sounds like we'll have an exhausting day.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: EJC

                              Fitting in a trip to Richmond Hill will definitely eat up a lot of your time. It's totally worth it (I love Yang's), but if you want to maximize your time downtown, you could get dumplings in Chinatown, which is literally right next door to Kensington Market. So you could hit both neighbourhoods and basically eat you way through the afternoon. For northern style dumplings and noodles, hit up Mother's Dumplings on Huron St. For Cantonese dim sum, Rol San is generally the favourite in Chinatown.

                              Enjoy your visit!

                              1. re: TorontoJo

                                i agree. for one day, you will waste much too much time in a car between airport, markham/richmond hill (they're not THAT close to the airport), and then west end downtown. start with dumplings in downtown chinatown, and begin your exploring from there.

                                1. re: Kasia

                                  I take that a lot of the naysaysers are downtown dwellers that rarely venture to the burbs.

                                  If you want to do dim sum downtown, you're looking at Lai Wah Heen. The rest aren't destination worthy for out of towners. This is Hong Kong high end quality dim sum, with the price to match. It'll be more expensive than Richmond Hill/Markham.

                                  http://www.metropolitan.com/lwh/

                                  1. re: aser

                                    Rol San is worthy for Dim Sum and it is square in the middle of Spadina and Kensington and Queen W and then Ossington and it is not all concrete and malls like Markham. I would never think of sending an out of towner who is here for one day all the way out to Markham - especially on a Friday. I would be pissed if somebody did that to me. The person saying we must all be downtown dwellers is losing site of the fact the the poster is a downtown dweller, not necessarily us. And they are coming in from the airport. I take it you have never tried to drive across the 401 from west to far east on a Friday afternoon!

                                    Yes there is awesome dim sum in Markham, but Rol San is very good too and will make for a MUCH better day for our visitors!!!!!

                                    Sorry but I had to chime in because I would want somebody to tell me that!

                                    1. re: deelicious

                                      exactly. if i had a day to spend in new york, and was staying in LES, i'd be pissed if someone sent me to queens for lunch, even if it was delicious indian:) i do live downtown (actually in the neighbourhood where our visitors will be staying), and go to markham fairly regularly to visit in-laws, so my advice was very much on my very real sense of how far it is, and how much time it might take. it will not make for an enjoyable day to explore the city before the wedding festivities.

                                      1. re: Kasia

                                        They're not coming from downtown, they're coming from the airport. Hence they're midway on the journey up north anyway.

                                        Again different strokes for different folks. Some people on this post thinks the trek is worth it, others like you don't.

                                        Just because it's a suburb doesn't make it a "concrete & malls" wasteland as implied. It really has a dynamic pocket of cuisine/culture up north, which I find provides the best bang for buck in the city.

                                        I like both aspects of the city, downtown and the burbs. I find a lot of people are biased against the latter.

                                        1. re: aser

                                          I don't think it's helpful to polarize this discussion as one of city vs. burbs. The OP will need to choose going to Markham or exploring the neighbourhood closer to the hotel and not both because of time constraints. Like it or not, the reality is that traffic on a Friday on the major routes in this city is a nightmare. Not sure you appreciate the practical and helpful advice given to this tourist with respect to traffic affecting some choices which has nothing to do with which cuisine and neighbourhood is the better choice. Think of traffic leaving Manhattan on a Friday afternoon - I think the OP can appreciate this example.

                                          1. re: aser

                                            i don't drive, so time wise i really can't tell you what works best. the one thing i have noticed is that morning rush hour is into the city and evening rush hour is generally out of the city (barring any sports events). if you are against the current, it works out pretty darn well!

                                            even with the extra time, i still heartily agree with what aser is saying. there is something VERY unique about markham and richmond hill irregardless of it being suburban. i imagine that one could get a really good dose of everything you want around that major hwy 7 intersection and then can head right back out. while it's not walkable we're talking 2 minute drives between a few locations. the cuisine up north is better than what you're getting in downtown chinatown and i almost feel that there's no point in going to TO chinatown if we're going to compare it even to manhattan chinatown. there isn't much that makes our chinatown that much more interesting or unique. staying downtown to me would mean making the trek over to st lawrence market or kensington (which, yes, is right beside chinatown) instead. if i had access to a car i would definitely go up north... but when i travel and have limited time i will pack in two dinners a night to get my full experience in.... so i guess that's just how i roll.

                                            1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                              I would fully encourage the OP to fit in all of the suggestions posted here!!!!!!! I know I would try to do this. Unfortunately, I can speak to the traffic patterns from daily experience; the 401 between Peel and Durham regions is almost always congested in both directions. I hope the OP isn't scared off by the strange direction this thread has taken and recognizes that Toronto and surrounds are very easy to navigate, just not always as quickly as needed. Being from Brooklyn, I suspect they will bring their urban sensibilities with them.

                                        2. re: deelicious

                                          Rol san is not excellent dim sum, I will have to strongly disagree with you on that. Again, if poster wants to keep it downtown, Lai Wah Heen is it.

                                          The poster specifically stated he/she had a car, which tells me they're willing to travel for great food. I would not have suggested it if they were sans car. Personally, I don't mind extra time in a car if it meant getting the best of the city. They can get Rol San like dim sum back home, so why bother?

                                          They could either drive up the 400 or take the 401 east to 404, which isn't exactly "far east". Yang's is 15-20 mins north from 401/404.

                                          Another compromise could be Grand Chinese for dim sum, which is right by the airport. Again far superior to Rol San.

                                          1. re: aser

                                            Sorry I did not mean to suggest or imply that Rol San competes with Lai Wah Heen. But I do feel Rol San is very good with great value. I don't know why you quoted me as saying it is "excellent". If the poster wants to spend some cash I would also recommend LWH over RS. Who knows...

                                            As far as the drive is concerned. The OP is now informed. I am not assuming that just because they have a car, they want to sit in it for a couple hours to and fro, en route to a homogonized chinatown in Markham.

                                            1. re: aser

                                              I heartily support Aser's suggestion of Grand, in the Doubletree Hilton.

                                              They have amazing noodle rolls (the grouper and mushroom ones are my favourite), superior dumplings (try the scallop dumplings!) and this great dish involving baked cod in pastry ... yum!

                                              Here's a link to a much more detailed and thorough review.

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/557688

                                              -----
                                              Grand Chinese Cuisine
                                              655 Dixon Rd, Toronto, ON M9W1J3, CA

                                  2. well,by the time I post this your food is covered on where to eat but a suggestion that is near where you staying and just a fun place to grab a drink, just go under the bridge and try either:
                                    cadillac lounge
                                    (1296 Queen Street West) , it is just a bar with a great patio to sit back and enjoy a drink. And if you lucky you can take in a fun rockabillie show.(and they do a sunday rocakabillie brunch)

                                    if you want a nice glass of wine you can try Cafe taste (1330 Queen St West (@ Brock St.)

                                    both are a short walk from where you staying. however, Cadallic has more atmospher but that might be due to the fact they have a great patio. Both places serve food which is not half bad.

                                    I agree with alot of the people, go to kensington market (but be aware alot of the places do close around 6 or so) , it does have lots of food places to look at and some fun shops.
                                    However, if you do go to Kenisington I would suggest taking the ttc, for a few reasons. It cuts down cost and hassel of trying to find parking and allows you to see more of Toronto

                                    ( I would suggest go to the market, and from there you can walk across spadina ave, you see china town along the way ( it get out your tourist shoping for Toronto shirts out of the way with buying like 3 for ten bucks) and turn on queen street for your shopping needs.

                                    you could also go to st.lawrence market
                                    (http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/shopp...
                                    )(parking is behind the building)

                                    also near where you staying and part of our canadain culture , you can go to Poutini's House of Poutine (1112 Queen St W), or if you want to try a more upscale place for poutini,(upscale not pretentious) go to Utopia (586A College Street) (however, Utopia is not really walking distrance from where you are staying but is close)

                                    I hope this helps all my suggestions have websites you can check out..
                                    Good luck and hope you enjoy Toronto

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bsv

                                      EJC, after all this...would love to hear about what you end up doing on friday, and your thoughts! I love hearing about what out ot towners think of our grand city and food!

                                    2. Folks, we've removed several posts on this thread regarding driving times and directions. While it's fine to provide some driving information, and even to disagree with someone else's information, endless arguments about how long it takes to get from one place to another are off topic.

                                      1. I also must recommend staying in the Queen W/Chinatown/Kensington/Ossington circuit. There's so much variety and you can relax while you make your way. Hope you enjoy Toronto!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Marumari

                                          If I came into Toronto and was staying right on Queen street, within walking distant to some interesting areas I'd be pissed if someone sent me to Markham for the day.

                                              1. re: JennaBean

                                                Let's not beat a dead horse, we agree to disagree.

                                        2. In this case, I think it would be best to go with the suggestion of dim sum at the Grand (similar quality to the high end R. Hill places, only it's right at the airport) and then head straight downtown and have some dumplings there for starters. There's enough on the agenda already, particularly for newcomers. And mid-afternoon traffic is brutal, regardless of direction. DVP Finch to Lawrence? C'mon now.

                                          1. Thanks again for everything guys.
                                            One quick question...

                                            if we decided on LWH for a dim sum lunch tomorrow, is it a place that we'd need a reservation for?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: EJC

                                              it might be best to call from the airport just to be sure you don't wait too long. the weekend is the really busy time - on friday you should be able to get a table (although you may have to wait a little bit). enjoy your stay here!

                                              1. re: EJC

                                                Normally yes.
                                                But August may be OK on a Friday lunch as many people leave town for the weekend.

                                                1. re: EJC

                                                  Lai Wah Heen is a great choice, you'll certainly enjoy it. You shouldn't have a big problem w/ getting a table. They don't get as busy as the dim sum spots uptown.

                                                  Post meal you're w/i walking distance of Chinatown/Kensington.

                                                  Let us know how everything goes....

                                                  1. re: aser

                                                    Agreed, Lai Wah Heen is a great choice (and better than my rec of Rol San -- I totally forgot about it). It's more expensive than the Richmond Hill/Markham spots, but the quality is excellent and the location will allow you to explore downtown.

                                                2. Only one day to explore and eat in Toronto ?! I suggest go right to the hotel to check in, then go to Lai Wah Heen as there is no place in Richmond Hill/Markham/Toronto which can match the 'overall' quality of dim sum at LWH, this is simply the best dim sum experience you can have in Toronto.

                                                  Stay in Downtown and pick a few areas from all these wonderful suggestion to explore until dinner time. If you decide to stay in downtown area, pick a restaurant as so many has been suggested here.

                                                  But if you don't mind driving and want something interesting, memorable that you cannot found anywhere in New York City, Brooklyn or Flushing, drive up to Richmond hIll for dinner (as the traffic on the highway 404 should be slow by that time) and order a 5 pounds lobster at "Omei Seafood Restaurant" on Hwy 7 (not the one on Steeles). Just the lobster with a dish of veggie - "Dried fish Gai Lan" and have the lobster done 3 ways. I am sure you will be very very satisfied.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: skylineR33

                                                    I am really interested in doing a richmond hill/markham exploration. Where should I go? What places should I stop at?
                                                    Thanks in advance

                                                    1. re: pancake

                                                      Depends on what you want to eat. In case if you have not seen it, this reference thread will give you some idea :

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/619392

                                                  2. Ontario Board,
                                                    Thank you all for your advice last week, we had a blast in your province and can't wait to get back.

                                                    Upon landing on Friday we decided to stick around the city - so we started with dim sum at the DoubleTree Hotel instead of venturing up to Richmond Hill. The two of us definitely over-ordered, but enjoyed just about everything that came. I think the unanimous favorite was a fish and pea leaf dumpling.

                                                    After dim sum, we checked into the Gladstone, and began our walking tour to Kensington and back. Along the way we stopped for a few drinks at random places, nothing that stood out. Kensington provided us with vegan ice cream @ Hibiscus (great flavor, strange texture), and a couple al pastor tacos at a random shop.
                                                    We then headed down Spedina where we picked up a dirt-cheap banh mi, and some mangoteens for a snack back at the hotel. I never see mangosteens in NYC, so they were a treat, and banh mi are way too trendy here (my local shop sells them for $6), so I appreciated the authentic $1.75 one that I found.
                                                    Walking back to the hotel, we stopped in Oyster Boy where we had some fantastic oysters and beer. The friendly bartender made sure to get us an assortment of Canadian oysters that I was unfamiliar with.
                                                    Stuffed, we made our way back to the hotel to clean up, as dinner reservations were 2 hours away.
                                                    Dinner was at Union. Homey place, seated immediately. Our waitress was a bit overwhelmed, but sommelier Christopher stepped in and was able to help us out with specials, drink orders, and eventually even food orders. He was incredibly helpful and a pleasure to talk to after our meal.
                                                    As we'd been gorging ourselves all day, we opted for 3 apps, and one entree. The best appetizer was the special cold melon soup finished with chili oil. The green salad and elk sliders were both tasty but not memorable. We then split half of a roasted chicken. Far from ambitious, but beautifully executed - we loved it, along with the kale, chard, potato salad, and fries.

                                                    We ended our night bouncing between the porch and the front room at Cadillac Lounge. I'd love to have a place like it in my neighborhood. With tired feet, we bailed on Poutini and instead grabbed a disappointing plate of poutine from the Gladstone Bar.

                                                    Driving back from our wedding in Peterborough yesterday, I noticed a road sign for Markham Road, and immediately thought of this thread. I wish I'd done my homework, because after 15min of driving, we finally consulted a map and realized that we were a long way from any destination. We found a serviceable Hakkan meal in a strip mall, hopped on a toll road, and made our way to the airport.

                                                    Thanks again for your help!

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: EJC

                                                      You are a true chowhound for fitting in all that food in one day! Thank you so much for reporting back -- glad you had a good trip.

                                                      1. re: EJC

                                                        Wow, you covered a lot of ground. I would have needed a food-induced nap in there somewhere

                                                        1. re: EJC

                                                          Great to hear you found some mangosteens. The reason you can't find them in NYC is because they're banned in the US. It's due to the government trying to control the spread of a fruit fly associated w/ mangosteens. They're available in Chinatown in nyc "if" you are a known regular, they're hidden. Speaking Cantonese or Mandarin helps too. You're also paying an ultra inflated black market price too, 2-3x more expensive than what you paid in Toronto.

                                                          Thanks for taking the time to write a review.

                                                          1. re: EJC

                                                            Told you not to eat at the Gladstone ;}

                                                            1. re: EJC

                                                              I'm so glad you enjoyed the Grand! I don't think I've ever had that dumpling. I'll have to try it.

                                                              I was at Union Friday night as well (sitting at the bar) and similarly had a very good experience with the service. Christopher and the server (I've forgotten his name) were both great. The elk sliders were as you describe them. We had the fish (cod) which was a touch overdone for my liking but otherwise lovely. The rabbit was very simply prepared: tasty, lean and enjoyed by both. The chef also gave us a lovely amuse. We enjoyed but were overwhelmed with the huge amount of potatoes given to us in fry and salad form. We also shared a great bottle of French white. No room for dessert this time.

                                                              It sounds like you had a great trip, EJC. : ) Thanks for posting your thoughts!

                                                              1. re: EJC

                                                                Wow, you really made the most of your brief visit! Thanks for reporting back and I'm glad you enjoyed your time in our city.