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Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

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RealAle Jun 11, 2010 02:00 PM

So I find myself moving back to Whitby, after 15 years away, during which time I came to the realisation that there's more to good eating than lousy roadhouse chains and dodgy sushi places.

And so my question, friends: are there any restaurants in Whitby Durham region that you can unreservedly recommend? I've heard Mexico Lindo is pretty good, and the Greek Tycoon used to be a decent choice for untaxing Greek. And Starr Burger is there of course. But other than that... There seems to be a real current of mediocrity and pretension flowing through a lot of restaurants out here -- any recommendations for reliably good restaurants would be gratefully appreciated.

Any thoughts?

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  1. t
    TexSquared RE: RealAle Jun 11, 2010 02:29 PM

    Buster Rhino's in Whitby for BBQ
    Bellagio's in Pickering for Italian veal sandwiches
    Big Boy's in Pickering (same plaza as Bellagio's) for burgers

    Those are three of my go-to places in Durham, I'm sure others will chime in. I'm honestly not too impressed with the Lindo "chain". Overpriced for what you get (as far as quantity and quality).

    -----
    Buster Rhino's
    2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

    8 Replies
    1. re: TexSquared
      jayt90 RE: TexSquared Jun 11, 2010 05:27 PM

      I haven't gone to Big Boy's, though I can walk there.
      Reason: a review that they pre-cook their burgers. No chance of medium rare, or beef ground on site.

      1. re: jayt90
        crazee RE: jayt90 Feb 21, 2011 06:24 AM

        As a cook Jayt90 I have to tell you...legally we cannot serve a medium rare burger, due to the inherent contamination issues with ground meat. Safe food handler standards in Ontario require it to be cooked to 165 internal temperature. If I were to serve someone a med/rare burger and they got sick they could sue the restaurant, we could also be shut down. Where I work the burgers are cooked fresh and homemade, but must be med/well done.

        These standards do not apply to steak/roast beef etc.

        I am with you on liking my beef on the less cooked side, I hate well done meat of any kind. Sadly I have to save that for home where I can do what I want.

      2. re: TexSquared
        BamiaWruz RE: TexSquared Jun 12, 2010 11:56 AM

        Big boys also has the battered and deep fried mars bars, I went there once for that. Not sure about the burgers or other foods on the menu as haven't tried.

        1. re: TexSquared
          w
          wontonfm RE: TexSquared Jun 12, 2010 01:53 PM

          Seconding Buster Rhino's! fabulous BBQ.

          WON
          http://whatsonmyplate.net

          -----
          Buster Rhino's
          2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

          1. re: TexSquared
            sweetie RE: TexSquared Jun 21, 2010 11:12 AM

            I found the burgers @ big boy to be a little too pre fab as well. I didn't seem like they made any thing on the premises, it all looked and tasted like food service type stuff.

            1. re: TexSquared
              t
              TexSquared RE: TexSquared Sep 7, 2011 12:46 PM

              Just a heads-up for anybody planning on making the trip out to Pickering. Bellagio's is closed for renovations until Monday September 26.

              1. re: TexSquared
                h
                hidpage RE: TexSquared Sep 14, 2012 11:26 AM

                After 6 years of eating around Durham our faves are:

                Breakfast-

                #1 is Anjeliques in Ajax. (huge portions, unique and large menu, shredded hashbrowns, great coffee, peameal and egg sandwich is amazing and decent renovation)

                #2 is Rainbow Restaurant in Oshawa (this place is unreal! Family run forever and large portions and great quality breakfast. )Also good for lunch. A virtual hole in the wall on Simcoe St S. but worth looking for.
                #3 is Michaels Eatery in Ajax.( great standard fare, fast and fresh,super friendly, always get your order right)

                Lunch/Dinner Casual

                * Halibut Time in Ajax for fish and chips (Daddy's Little Grill a close 2nd)

                * Sushi and Rolls in Ajax. Best all you can eat dinner options, the taste is very traditional Japanese, I recommend the tempura shrimp stuffed sushi rolls (Tokyo Maki)

                *Island Mix in Ajax for West Indian (amazing quality and authentic Roti and fun menu)

                *Mt.Everest in Ajax for Indian (spicy Vindaloo is wonderful as well as their butter chicken) (creepy interior but great for takeout.)

                *Daddy's Little Grill in Ajax makes a mean homeade souvlaki platter. The best Tzatziki.

                *Bobby C's in Bowmanville (blue cheese salad and a substantial seafood platter....heaven.)

                *Pizza Pino's is the only place we will get pizza!

                *Blossom Garden in Ajax for Chinese. Never fail hot and fresh delivery...and there is chicken in the chicken balls not just batter like House of China : (

                Higher End

                *Port at Frenchmans Bay ( portions are not huge but flavour is there, the menu has changed for the better recently) and presentation is A+ as well as atmoshphere.

                *Bella Note in Whitby does Italian right (their mussels are superior and the marinara they are in is gently flavored with Jalepeno's, handmade gnocchi excellent)

                Fails:
                -Any Lindo Restaurant EXCEPT Cielito Lindo in Pickering, the owner is always the cook and makes a chicken pasole soup that is spectacular.
                -Chatterpauls (overpriced and trying to hard to be pretentious instead of finding a great chef)
                -Sauters Inn (I want to like it here but I find it weak compared to a made at home German feed)
                -EggsCrepes chain, and most other chain breaky joints to be frank)
                -Il Fornello just plain sucks unless you are going for wine on the patio
                -wild wing, montana's, shoeless joe's etc etc. Ewwww.

                What our choices have in common are that they are independent and NOT franchised. The people who run restaurants for their livelihood desire customer satisfaction and try harder to impress.

                There is also a cute coffee shop called Debbie's on Harwood in Ajax that has some nice desserts which I find are hard to find out...anyone know anywhere to go for a beautiful cake that doesn't boast pretty over flavour?

                1. re: hidpage
                  c
                  cwheeler RE: hidpage Oct 1, 2013 07:35 PM

                  Thanks for the recommends - Debbie's is definitely a great place!

              2. t
                TexSquared RE: RealAle Jun 11, 2010 07:10 PM

                Oh yes, definitely recommend Burbs Bistro and Bar in Pickering over any of the overrated "waterfront" choices at the foot of Liverpool.

                -----
                Burbs Bistro
                1900 Dixie Rd, Pickering, ON L1V6M4, CA

                2 Replies
                1. re: TexSquared
                  m
                  MDMD RE: TexSquared Feb 4, 2011 12:43 PM

                  The Waterfront has redone the menu and seriously upgraded the food. You can get an excellent meal there now.

                  1. re: MDMD
                    t
                    trulibra RE: MDMD Feb 21, 2011 04:56 AM

                    I second that, for the Waterfront Bistro. Husband I and go there fairly regularly. At first, we hesitated, for we had been there before (several restaurant name changes) and we were pleasantly surprised this time! I even tried their Winterlicious menu, and it passed!

                2. Selleck Stache RE: RealAle Jun 11, 2010 10:34 PM

                  The Villa on Highway 2, west of Brock, is a reliable go to for sushi for me. I am also interested in some other Whitby options, I'm needing to expand my rotation of restaurants these days!

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: Selleck Stache
                    BamiaWruz RE: Selleck Stache Jun 12, 2010 11:57 AM

                    I like Makimono in Pickering and Ajax! Sushi, Sashimi and all you can eat is something I go for often.

                    It's right by pickering town centre on Liverpool.

                    There is some yummy lahmbajeen middle eastern pizza style and other foods at Open Sesame in Ajax on Bayly too.

                    I wasn't too impressed with hot rocks cafe in Whitby as it was kind of on the expensive side, but the food was delicious.

                    1. re: BamiaWruz
                      t
                      TexSquared RE: BamiaWruz Jun 17, 2010 01:11 PM

                      Have you been to Kobo Gourmet for sushi in Pickering? I keep driving by it but have never checked it out:

                      http://www.kobogourmet.com/

                      Looks like it's actually owned and operated by Japanese, unlike the sushi places you've listed. Don't get me wrong, Makimono and Sushi Mountain are OK for AYCE (as is Ten-Ichi in Scarborough which is my favorite AYCE place).

                      I'd like to try "authentic" but I'm not quite ready to splurge on the high-end places (Kaji, Zen, Hiro, the usual suspects) yet, so I'm hoping one of the sushi veterans here has tried Kobo and can tell me if it's a worthwhile choice.

                      1. re: TexSquared
                        BamiaWruz RE: TexSquared Jun 17, 2010 08:52 PM

                        Haven't tried it. However it may be the one I heard of at the Organic Expo in guelph while purchasing some organic miso paste, the man said he supplies it to a japanese restaurant in the area which is very popular.

                        I'll look into it next time I'm thinking sushi :) Thanks!

                        1. re: TexSquared
                          scarberian RE: TexSquared Jun 17, 2010 09:16 PM

                          Actually Zen is quite reasonable in price. Go at lunch and order their bento boxes, it's worth it.

                          1. re: TexSquared
                            scarberian RE: TexSquared Jun 20, 2010 04:32 PM

                            Just had dinner at Kobo's today for Fathers' Day and it was solid Japanese food. The sushi was very fresh and the wasabi had a good kick. The prices were very reasonable and they also offer omakase. My daughter had the breaded pork cutlet and it's by far the best version of a tonkatsu (?) I've tried -- succulent and not oily. My wife had the teriyaki salmon which was presented in a more Westernized way (it was served on rice, but came with small roasted potatoes and sauteed vegetables. It worked! The service was friendly and efficient and I left feeling very satisfied, but not heavy. The only very minor thing they may want to work on is the atmosphere. It seemed more diner like than say the atmosphere at Zen (Zen plays mellow Japanese music, whereas Kobo had a local radio station playing rock music -- it wasn't annoying, but seemed out of place).

                            1. re: scarberian
                              jayt90 RE: scarberian Jun 20, 2010 06:34 PM

                              Thanks for this. I'll go. Never gave it much thought because of no reviews, and a thoroughly dull store front. Maybe I'll ask them to change the music.

                              1. re: jayt90
                                scarberian RE: jayt90 Jun 21, 2010 03:01 PM

                                Forgot to mention, my wife ordered the California Roll and it seemed different from other places. It wasn't bad -- it tasted fresh, clean -- but lacked something that ,say the Cali Roll at Zen has. Everything else we ordered was very good. If I were to rank it, I'd say a good second to Zen, but definitely above places like Niji, Icki Sushi, etc.

                              2. re: scarberian
                                t
                                TexSquared RE: scarberian Aug 14, 2010 05:49 PM

                                Went there today for lunch finally. Wow.
                                I've never been to any of the high end places (the usual suspects, kaji, zen, hiro; it's getting repetitive to hear them recommended over and over and over again) but this place is definitely a step up from any other Japanese I've had so far.

                                Wife had the tonkatsu and said it was the best she's had, beats the one from the diner at J-town and blows away any of the AYCE versions including Ten-Ichi and Makimono. Like you said, succulent and not oily. I had the lunch sushi which was nice, I could definitely taste the difference in quality of the fish and especially the rice. The AYCE places go cheap/lazy on this and use plain white rice for their nigiri. but Kobo does not; could taste the vinegar dressing in there and the wasabi wasn't weak unlike most places.

                                Since your complain was the music, this time it was instrumental jazz music (which also didn't quite go with the food but oh well), don't know if it was off local radio, satellite radio, CD, online, or some other source as I never heard a DJ or commercials.

                                Long story short -- strong recommendation for this place especially if you've only had AYCE or "phony" sushi and want to step up. I will definitely return for dinner and try the omakase next time!

                              3. re: TexSquared
                                j
                                jjmellon RE: TexSquared Nov 19, 2010 04:58 AM

                                Tried Kobo last Saturday night because of the discussion here. The chef is Japanese, and the waitresses appear to be recently arrived from Japan. We ordered the house-smoked salmon salad, the sushi omakase, grilled sea bass and a mixed seafood grill. All of them were very good, and the prices are relatively low. Of high end Japanese restaurants I only know Solo Sushi Ya in Newmarket -- this is in the same league, but a notch lower in the standings. I'd say it's a very good choice for Japanese food in Durham region.

                                1. re: TexSquared
                                  m
                                  MDMD RE: TexSquared Feb 4, 2011 12:44 PM

                                  Kobo has excellent food.

                              4. re: Selleck Stache
                                xssnrg RE: Selleck Stache Aug 13, 2010 07:29 AM

                                The Villa is my 'go to' for sushi. Love the maki set - tempura shrimp role for lunch. Yum Yum. Fresh. Fast. Great ambiance and the price is approx. $10.

                              5. Torontotonto RE: RealAle Jun 13, 2010 07:56 AM

                                We have recently eaten at Nice Bistro for lunch. It was very good...I think it has gotten lukewarm reviews in the past. I thought it was great Bistro food. Eldorado for Mexican, the chef is Mexican and he will prepare some nice things there. Service is dodgy but the food is very good. Teddy's is very good for deli sandwiches, Montreal Fries and Steamies for..you know. Crispy's for Fish and Chips.
                                Buster Rhino's for BBQ.

                                1. Dr Butcher RE: RealAle Jun 13, 2010 05:50 PM

                                  I didn't like Big Boys, the burgers were big but were full of filler. They tasted to me like a giant Harvey's burger. The fries were totally forgettable, they were dry and tasted like they'd been sitting in the fridge for a few days.

                                  Greek tycoon was a total let down. I had gyros which came from a package, my SO had chicken souvlaki that was bland (although prepared well). We had an order of saganaki, no booze and left with a bill that was around $50 including tax and tip. Overpriced and underwhelming. I have not found good Greek in Durham yet.

                                  Starr Burger is my choice for burgers. It's always packed, stick with the Starr burgers, and not the pre-made steakettes. Excellent fries and onion rings as well.

                                  Sinatra's has decent veal sandwiches. They can get expensive if you add cheese or extra toppings though, they are $1 each IIRC....

                                  I like Makimono, Sushi Mountain, and Oishi Maki in Ajax and Whitby, they are all solid but unspectacular sushi places. Steer clear of Sushi T&T, and Kyoto House which are sloppy and aren't up to the same standard as the others I mentioned.

                                  Mexico Lindo is decent but never wowed me, I guess you could always go to Taco Bell for worse.

                                  BR's for excellent BBQ without the need for 15 hours and a smoker. Bare bones dining but excellent food and service, probably the best order of fries in Durham.

                                  Montreal Fries, is good but you can replicate the steamies at home pretty easily. Generous poutine, which uses a 'poutine sauce' not a brown gravy. Not exactly a 'destination' but in the area it's worth a stop. Confusing parking and one way streets make stopping a headache at times.

                                  Krispy's in Brooklin, great fish and chips, excellent onion rings (some of the best I've had) and a decent value. A nice change from the ripoff prices some places try to gouge for pre-fab onion rings.....

                                  I stay away from North End Burger, it's always busy because it's cheap. You get what you pay for, pre-fab steakettes, frozen fries..... I assume it's like the east end version of Johnny's.

                                  Tangerine has a couple of good dishes but many are forgettable. I like their Pakoras, but most everything else I've tried was 'meh'.

                                  Stanley's Fish and Chips is another good option (and a couple of doors down from Krispy's in Brooklin). I didn't think the fries were as good as Krispy's although the fish was very nice.

                                  Chatterpaul's gets some good reviews but I have not been. I have heard mixed things about the new Brock House but again I haven't been.

                                  If you like pita sandwiches, Pita Deli is awesome, good falafels and massive portions. Super friendly owners of both locations.

                                  -----
                                  Mexico Lindo
                                  1821 Scugog St, Scugog, ON L9L, CA

                                  Chatterpauls
                                  3500 Brock N, Whitby, ON L1R0G2, CA

                                  Pita Deli
                                  1600 Champlain Avenue, Whitby, ON L1N 9B2, CA

                                  North End Burgers
                                  605 Brock N, Whitby, ON L1N8R2, CA

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Dr Butcher
                                    g
                                    Gormlaith RE: Dr Butcher Jun 29, 2012 12:02 PM

                                    Sorry to say, but Stanley's has changed owners/management recently (it is 29 June 2012) and the service and food is NOT the same. The fries were horrible, there were only two ladies working the entire place (this includes the kitchen) and, therefore, service was painfully slow. I saw at least one table walk out. Once the food arrived, it was OK, but definitely not the same. I think they are trying to use the same recipes, but it isn't working. We won't go back. I wonder if the Whitby location has suffered the same fate.

                                  2. BamiaWruz RE: RealAle Jun 13, 2010 09:50 PM

                                    Mount everest in pickering for indian?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: BamiaWruz
                                      sweetie RE: BamiaWruz Jun 21, 2010 11:18 AM

                                      Yes, I really like the meal I had there. Apparently they do a buffet @ lunch or is it on the weekends? I can remember, I ordered a la carte, the bread is good and our family favorite butter chicken was solid. Personally though my favorite was deep fried cauliflower, I am not sure if this is Indian, but I would order this again (and again and again).

                                    2. Dr Butcher RE: RealAle Jun 14, 2010 07:19 AM

                                      I have tried a couple of Indian places in Durham and wasn't a fan of either:

                                      Mount Everest, I will admit that I have only had the buffet so I can't be too judgemental. They had a good naan.....

                                      I also didn't like Signature Indain cuisine. I stopped in for their lunch specials a couple of times and I'm pretty positive I heard the microwave beeping as I sat at the bar waiting. Their vindaloo curry was grainy and somewhat off-putting. Again good naan though!

                                      I stick to Cheetal at Kingston Rd and Miltary trail in Scarborough, it's cheap and delicious. Dishes average $2-$3 cheaper than most other places I've been.

                                      -----
                                      Mount Everest
                                      611 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L9, CA

                                      1. l
                                        Lefty RE: RealAle Jun 14, 2010 12:59 PM

                                        We just had lunch at Odine-Japanese & Thai Fusion in Ajax (Salem and 2) and it was very good.

                                        -----
                                        Thai Fusion Restaurant
                                        969 Coxwell Ave, Toronto, ON M4C3G4, CA

                                        1. jo_jo_ba RE: RealAle Jun 17, 2010 04:33 PM

                                          I third Buster Rhinos - and actually Azian in Oshawa is pretty decent too. For good Italian try either Fazios or Avanti Trattoria in Oshawa.

                                          -----
                                          Fazio's
                                          33 Simcoe St S, Oshawa, ON L1H4G1, CA

                                          Buster Rhino's
                                          2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                          Avanti Trattoria
                                          17 King St E, Oshawa, ON L1H1A8, CA

                                          1. z
                                            zoohort2 RE: RealAle Jun 17, 2010 04:33 PM

                                            Nice Bistro used to be my fave when I lived there...http://www.nicebistro.com/

                                            1. Full tummy RE: RealAle Jun 17, 2010 05:58 PM

                                              And just to add to your question, what's the latest word on Pepperberries Bistro in Brooklin?

                                              -----
                                              Pepperberries
                                              38 Baldwin St, Whitby, ON L1M1A2, CA

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Full tummy
                                                t
                                                tuttebene RE: Full tummy Jun 17, 2010 06:23 PM

                                                Closed a while ago. Building is under construction and looks like another resto may be going in.

                                                1. re: tuttebene
                                                  s
                                                  Sacherboy RE: tuttebene Jun 22, 2010 06:26 PM

                                                  Apparently it will be an Italian Restaurant, Corrodo's (sp?) sign says opening soon, which I guess means sometime in the next three months.....

                                                  1. re: Sacherboy
                                                    t
                                                    tuttebene RE: Sacherboy Jun 25, 2010 06:50 PM

                                                    As in Teddy Corrado?

                                              2. d
                                                durham175 RE: RealAle Jun 21, 2010 01:03 PM

                                                We really liked the roast lamb and exohico at Greek Tycoon, we tried the souvlaki another time and were not impressed.

                                                Pita Delite in Ajax is very good.

                                                For sushi our favourite place is Akashia on Kingston road, the service is slow, the atmosphere is ok but the sushi is very good.

                                                Still looking for a good pizza in durham ..

                                                -----
                                                Pita Delites
                                                102 Harwood Ave S, Ajax, ON L1S2H6, CA

                                                Greek Tycoon Restaurant
                                                1101 Brock St S, Whitby, ON L1N4M1, CA

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: durham175
                                                  Torontotonto RE: durham175 Jun 21, 2010 01:15 PM

                                                  Have you tried Pizza Pino? It was in the top 5 for best pizza in Toronto from Breakfast Television. Took me 2 years to find a pizza joint in Durham. Thought it was very good.

                                                  -----
                                                  Pizza Pino
                                                  855 Westney Rd S, Ajax, ON L1S3M4, CA

                                                  1. re: Torontotonto
                                                    d
                                                    durham175 RE: Torontotonto Jun 21, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                    Thanks! will try it out for sure.

                                                    1. re: Torontotonto
                                                      Dr Butcher RE: Torontotonto Jun 22, 2010 11:15 AM

                                                      Had Pizza Pino for lunch, a very solid pie. It reminded me of Montreal style pizza, loaded with toppings and the cheese applied on top.

                                                      The cheese seemed a little rubbery to me, not sure if they're using real mozzarella or a cheese product however.... It's not overly expensive when compared to local chains and far better. Thanks for the rec!

                                                      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30...
                                                      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30...
                                                      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30...

                                                      -----
                                                      Pizza Pino
                                                      855 Westney Rd S, Ajax, ON L1S3M4, CA

                                                      1. re: Torontotonto
                                                        t
                                                        TexSquared RE: Torontotonto Jun 25, 2010 02:23 PM

                                                        Third (or fourth?) recommendation for Pizza Pino. Amazing stuff.

                                                        I'm not familiar with Montreal style pizza so I can't agree or disagree with that assessment, but as Dr. Butcher said it's not significantly more expensive than chain pizza but blows them all away in quality. What was really telling is, "extra" or "double" cheese is not offered as an option. You won't need it....

                                                        -----
                                                        Pizza Pino
                                                        855 Westney Rd S, Ajax, ON L1S3M4, CA

                                                      2. re: durham175
                                                        w
                                                        wiggy. RE: durham175 Apr 2, 2011 05:11 PM

                                                        +1 for Pita Delite. I've made several stops there on the way home to Brampton and have been consistently happy with whatever I order. I'm a hero at home when I show up with falafels, hummus and baba ganoush. Definitely worth a visit and I'm glad to have found the place listed here.

                                                        Wandered around that little strip mall to see what else there is and tried out House of China for takeout. That was a $60 disaster. Mushy food, lots of off flavours and low end ingredients. I won't be poking my nose in there again ever and would advise other folks to stay clear.

                                                        -----
                                                        House of China
                                                        100 Harwood Ave S, Ajax, ON L1S2H6, CA

                                                        Pita Delites
                                                        102 Harwood Ave S, Ajax, ON L1S2H6, CA

                                                      3. i
                                                        iheartpie RE: RealAle Jun 22, 2010 12:03 PM

                                                        Pizza Pino's has delicious pizza, IMO. Keep in mind its a big heavy pizza loaded with toppings and cheese. We usually need a knife and fork.

                                                        I have personally never had a bad meal at Mt Everest, either eat in or take out. I always enjoy the little buffet, and yes, the naan is great.

                                                        I like Halibut Time for fish and chips on Hwy 2 near Westney in the Sobey's plaza. I always get the halibut. Big portion, nice batter, nice fresh chips.

                                                        Not personally a fan of Tangerine, I prefer Federicks in Scarborough, but its ok.

                                                        Tried Tommy's on Bayly for souvlaki, NOT IMPRESSED. Over priced, oily pita bread and some of the worst calamari I've ever had.

                                                        I can always get a nice breakfast at Station st Grill.

                                                        -----
                                                        Mt Everest Restaurant
                                                        469 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X9, CA

                                                        Pizza Pino
                                                        855 Westney Rd S, Ajax, ON L1S3M4, CA

                                                        21 Replies
                                                        1. re: iheartpie
                                                          BamiaWruz RE: iheartpie Jun 22, 2010 12:34 PM

                                                          Thanks for the pizza reviews, and pictures Dr Butcher.

                                                          I'm gonig to keep this place in mind.

                                                          Also I've always wondered if Halibut time was any good, will give it a try.

                                                          1. re: iheartpie
                                                            t
                                                            torontodrummer RE: iheartpie Jun 25, 2010 06:16 PM

                                                            Big thumbs up on Pino's, Mt. Everest, and Halibut Time! All great.

                                                            If you want Greek food, I think that Milos Greek restaurant on Kingston Rd. in Pickering is fantastic. Good, solid well-prepared basic Greek food, great service, HUGE portions (easily enough for lunch the next day). As good as or better than on the Danforth, I think.

                                                            1. re: torontodrummer
                                                              t
                                                              TexSquared RE: torontodrummer Jun 25, 2010 06:26 PM

                                                              Has Milos cleaned up its act? Remember, that used to be a Friendly Greek but lost the franchise because they couldn't match the quality of the rest of the chain, so they went on their own. (we were told this by someone at the Morningside/Kingston Friendly Greek) There was a noticeably difference (and not on the good side) between that location and Morningside/Kingston. Tried them once after they changed the name (since they always have coupons in the junk mail and local papers), haven't been back since, it was that bad.

                                                              1. re: TexSquared
                                                                m
                                                                madtrini RE: TexSquared Nov 16, 2010 12:38 PM

                                                                A franchisor would not release a franchisee on its own volition, unless they were doing irreparable harm to the brand, which was not the case. Who would turn away additional revenue?

                                                                Rather, the owners let their franchise agreement expire and opened up their own Greek restaurant. They're basically offering the exact same food, service, quality and atmosphere, without having to pay franchise royalties. They already established their core clientele - so why not go solo?

                                                                With that said, I don't find Milos' fare as good as the restaurants in Greek Town. It is certainly fine food, and offers good value. However, it's not the definitive Greek experience...

                                                                1. re: madtrini
                                                                  t
                                                                  TexSquared RE: madtrini Nov 16, 2010 12:45 PM

                                                                  I agree. We avoid Milos no matter what. It's horrible.

                                                                2. re: TexSquared
                                                                  ToxicJungle RE: TexSquared Dec 30, 2010 09:26 AM

                                                                  We were there about a month ago, really disappointed. Lack of a lot of things to my taste.

                                                              2. re: iheartpie
                                                                jo_jo_ba RE: iheartpie Jun 25, 2010 08:22 PM

                                                                Halibut Time is AMAZING - used to live one street over from there and ate there regularly!! Tommy's has gone way downhill, sadly - when they first opened they were awesome. I don't know about Station St., but I know the chef there and, well... I'm in no hurry to patronize them...

                                                                Pizza Hunt is delicious and cheap in that area, and Kerry's was an old favourite (and another neighbour). Stay FAR away from Church 22 Steakhouse though. Trust me.

                                                                1. re: jo_jo_ba
                                                                  BamiaWruz RE: jo_jo_ba Jun 26, 2010 05:05 PM

                                                                  WOW I wish I knew about halibut time, so many times I found myself in that plaza and avoided it because I thought it was bad.

                                                                  Yikes. I want fish and chips now!! Great that it's so close because then I can leave my SO at home since he's allergic to seafood.

                                                                  1. re: jo_jo_ba
                                                                    h
                                                                    helenrist RE: jo_jo_ba Sep 22, 2010 10:39 AM

                                                                    What reasoning would you have to stay away from 22 Church Steakhouse?

                                                                  2. re: iheartpie
                                                                    sugarcube RE: iheartpie Jan 16, 2011 04:07 PM

                                                                    iheartpie, which pizza would you recommend getting at Pizza Pino`s?

                                                                    Thanks in advance!
                                                                    http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com/

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Pizza Pino
                                                                    855 Westney Rd S, Ajax, ON L1S3M4, CA

                                                                    1. re: sugarcube
                                                                      t
                                                                      TexSquared RE: sugarcube Jan 16, 2011 06:13 PM

                                                                      We usually get either the Pino Special or the Veggie (not the Veggie Special). IMHO, pick which one has your favorite combination of toppings, what you'd order anywhere else, and see how they make it for you. Unlike the chains, they don't apply toppings/sauce/cheese using a spray gun set to "fine mist". As I said earlier in this thread, notice they don't offer "extra cheese" or "double cheese" as an option... you won't need it.

                                                                      http://www.pizzapino.ca/menu1.html

                                                                      1. re: TexSquared
                                                                        sugarcube RE: TexSquared Jan 16, 2011 06:37 PM

                                                                        Thanks for your suggestions TexSquared. I look forward to trying this place.
                                                                        Have you tried the garlic or pesto pizza before? Those have piqued my interest.
                                                                        Also, I appreciate the heads up on the cheese. My instinct is to always order more of it! haha

                                                                        I've been doing some more research on places to eat in this area. Do you have any thoughts on Masseys Restaurant, Hot Rocks Diner, Pete's Big Bite, and Red House?

                                                                        Thanks in advance for your help!

                                                                        http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com/

                                                                        1. re: sugarcube
                                                                          BamiaWruz RE: sugarcube Jan 16, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                          The ranch is very interesting. They gave me the wrong pizza but it was delicious.
                                                                          The mistake was corrected and they delivered me a whole new pizza (the one I ordered) so they're very nice there.

                                                                          Prices are a little high but it's worth it, the dough is great and there is tons of cheese like the other posters mentioned. It also tastes great leftover, not cardboard like at all.

                                                                          1. re: BamiaWruz
                                                                            sugarcube RE: BamiaWruz Jan 17, 2011 06:15 AM

                                                                            Hi BamiaWruz,

                                                                            Is it a ranch dipping sauce or used as a base on the pizza? If so, which one is it?
                                                                            Thick crust pizzas are my favourite so this place sounds like it will fit the bill nicely.
                                                                            Thanks for your help and comments on Pino's!

                                                                            http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com/

                                                                            1. re: sugarcube
                                                                              BamiaWruz RE: sugarcube Jan 17, 2011 04:35 PM

                                                                              It's the chicken and ranch, the ranch is the sauce on it and there is chicken and cheese I think. It was one major screw up and by time they got my pizza I already ate half of it.

                                                                              It's called colonel something pizza.

                                                                              1. re: BamiaWruz
                                                                                sugarcube RE: BamiaWruz Jan 17, 2011 06:37 PM

                                                                                Thank you! Hopefully I can convince my friend to eat here tomorrow even though she is requesting something "light" lol.

                                                                                1. re: BamiaWruz
                                                                                  sugarcube RE: BamiaWruz Jan 20, 2011 06:55 PM

                                                                                  We were in the area the other night and tried the mammoth clamshell of a panzerotti at Pino's. It was filled to the brim with our 3 fillings of choice as well as tomato sauce, and what I suspect was a pound of mozzarella cheese. It tasted perfect with the crust which was so light, fluffy, and flavourful.

                                                                                  We also ordered a small garlic pizza, which was quite a letdown. The garlic base was much too light and I was quite a bit disappointed at how little flavour there was in general. The pizza crust here wasn't as thick either. It was flat and quite lifeless.
                                                                                  The panzerotti was the definite winner of the evening.

                                                                                  http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com/

                                                                            2. re: sugarcube
                                                                              h
                                                                              helenrist RE: sugarcube Jan 21, 2011 05:43 AM

                                                                              The Red House is actually called 22 Church Steakhouse which has amazing fresh food made to order.

                                                                              1. re: helenrist
                                                                                sugarcube RE: helenrist Jan 21, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                                                Thanks for the information Helenrist. I'll make sure to try it next time I'm in the area.
                                                                                Cheers!

                                                                                http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com/

                                                                                1. re: helenrist
                                                                                  t
                                                                                  TexSquared RE: helenrist Jan 21, 2011 09:17 PM

                                                                                  The poster you're replying to might have been referring to Red House at Whites and Kingston, a Thai/Malaysian restaurant:

                                                                                  http://www.theredhouse.ca/

                                                                          2. re: iheartpie
                                                                            s
                                                                            sandymctyre RE: iheartpie Sep 10, 2011 09:04 PM

                                                                            Thanks for the rec, "iheartpie"! I have been waiting to try this place for a while, and I was not disappointed! Had the Mediterranean Pino, truly a pizza pie, you weren't kidding when you said knife and fork! It was reminiscent of Columbo's on the Danforth that we used to frequent. I will definitely be going back.

                                                                          3. t
                                                                            tuttebene RE: RealAle Jun 25, 2010 06:43 PM

                                                                            A great lunch choice is 3 Steps Up Coffee House. Great for lattes, soups, and sandwhiches. All fresh, locally sourced, prepared on-site and focus is on organic.

                                                                            840 Brock St., just south of Starr Burger.

                                                                            1. Breadcrumbs RE: RealAle Sep 22, 2010 11:26 AM

                                                                              Good luck with this quest RA. While I can say a lot of good things about Durham, the restaurant scene here is sadly lacking. I do look forward to trying some of the spots folks have suggested here though so thanks for posting your question.

                                                                              I've read through some of the suggestions in this thread. Here's what I can add:

                                                                              Avanti Trattoria in Oshawa. I'd recommend for thin crust pizza, not because it's excellent but because its better than others we've had in Durham...and we've tried all the thin crust pizza spots we know of. For "wood oven" pizza it really doesn't have that flavour. Some items are purchased pre-made such as the bruschetta topping (dry oregano...blah!). We've had the pastas, they underwhelmed us in terms of their flavour and value.

                                                                              Chatterpauls - This is the best quality dining experience we've had in Durham. The food is freshly prepared and Chef Chatterpaul has his own unique style (he used to be head chef at Shrimp Cocktail - they suffered from his departure). The pasta dishes at Chatterpauls can be over-sauced but are pretty good.

                                                                              Mexico Lindo - We did eat there and it was ok. We will not be going back due to their repeated public health violations ( at more than one of their locations) Here's the most recent report FYI)

                                                                              http://www.durham.ca/departments/heal...

                                                                              Greek Tycoon - didn't impress us, nothing special. Food was bland, lukewarm and over-priced.

                                                                              Buster Rhino's - good quality, tasty ribs, chicken and sauce

                                                                              Bellagio's - I'd highly recommend the gelato and the arancini. The veal sandwiches have not impressed us. Veal is almost the same thickness as the breading and there was a seasoning in the breading that just didn't appeal to us and I couldn't put my finger on what it was. A dried herb not oregano, basil or thyme....it was quite overpowering we thought. The owners are very nice and the gelato alone is well worth the trip.

                                                                              Starr Burger - see health violation report above

                                                                              None of the Asian options here have compared to what you'd find in most other cities. Paul Wong's in Pickering (close to Bellagio's) is the best of the lot but nothing remarkable. We have not tried Kobo's but will do so now.

                                                                              Fazio's failed to impress us. They have a pizza spot and it was disappointing. The crust wasn't terrific and I expected a better sauce from an Italian restaurant. The main restaurant has been around for quite a long time. We love Italian food but this place just failed to impress us.

                                                                              Pita Deli does have great middle-eastern take-out. Sandwiches, fatoush are excellent.

                                                                              Nolio's is a new Italian take-out spot in Whitby at the Kendalwood Plaza. Their chicken parm sandwich was excellent, good sized pieces of chicken breast, almost too much to eat. Their tomato sauce was fabulous, very authentic. Unfortunately they don't do veal or eggplant. The meatball sandwich didn't sit well with us at all. The owner is very hospitable.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Fazio's
                                                                              33 Simcoe St S, Oshawa, ON L1H4G1, CA

                                                                              Buster Rhino's
                                                                              2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                                                              Mexico Lindo
                                                                              915 Taunton Rd E, Oshawa, ON L1H7K5, CA

                                                                              Shrimp Cocktail
                                                                              843 King St W, Oshawa, ON L1J2L4, CA

                                                                              Chatterpauls
                                                                              3500 Brock N, Whitby, ON L1R0G2, CA

                                                                              Greek Tycoon Restaurant
                                                                              1101 Brock St S, Whitby, ON L1N4M1, CA

                                                                              Pita Deli
                                                                              1600 Champlain Avenue, Whitby, ON L1N 9B2, CA

                                                                              Avanti Trattoria
                                                                              17 King St E, Oshawa, ON L1H1A8, CA

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                Underdog Rally RE: Breadcrumbs Sep 22, 2010 01:29 PM

                                                                                I agree with Chatterpauls. While the menu is similar to that of a stereotypical suburban big box restaurant, I found the food preparation to be several notches higher. It's still not great food or great value by GTA standards, but it's better than most of the other "let's just cover everything in bland cream sauce" or "here is a big piece of grilled meat" offerings in the area.

                                                                                As I read this thread, I'm slowly coming to realize why we just cook at home when I visit my Whitby-dwelling parents. There really isn't much that interests me out there other than Buster Rhinos. Whitby isn't exactly a hamlet... you'd think that there would be some demand for more than burgers, steaks, Tim Hortons and Swiss Chalet (not that I don't appreciate Swiss Chalet). Someone needs to go open a good dim sum place, or a chain of sketchy Indian take-out counters and Pho dives.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Buster Rhino's
                                                                                2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                                                                Chatterpauls
                                                                                3500 Brock N, Whitby, ON L1R0G2, CA

                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                  Breadcrumbs RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 2, 2011 05:17 PM

                                                                                  A little update on my earlier post. After hearing some positive things about Signature Indian Cuisine in Whitby, we decided to give it a try today. We chose to get take-out so I can't comment on the dine-in experience but can say that we were generally, pleasantly surprised by the quality and authenticity of the food.

                                                                                  All dishes were made to order to accommodate a food allergy. The Naan was wonderful, pillowy-soft and freshly baked in an authentic tandoor. Butter Chicken was good. The sauce was delicious the chicken was a little over-cooked. The Malai Kofta was another highlight with a silky-smooth, rich tomato cream sauce. The Tandoori chicken was also delicious and perfectly cooked. The Palak Paneer was just ok, under-seasoned for our tastes and the Aloo Gobi was also a bit bland and the veggies were on the soft side. Overall though, we were quite happy with the meal and we'll definitely order again.

                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: Breadcrumbs Feb 21, 2011 06:47 AM

                                                                                    Just an update to my earlier report on Chatterpauls. Based on our recent dining experience, I can no longer recommend this restaurant with confidence. On this visit we found the food to be over-priced, over-seasoned and most dishes were very oily.

                                                                                    I don't recall ever being charged $11.95 for Bruschetta at any restaurant so at that price, my expectations were high. Very, very disappointing. Tomatoes were under-ripe, pink and flavourless. Garlic was raw-tasting and overpowering. The "plum tomato cajun broth" on the Spicy Calamari appetizer was actually a spiced tomato "sauce" with a large pool of oil surrounding it - far too heavy and overpowering for the calamari. The tiger shrimp in the Tiger Shrimp and Boar pasta were over-cooked and, the whole dish was drowning in a thick and very oily tomato sauce. While the chicken in the chicken parmesan was ok, the sauce on the pasta was very bland and "gluey".

                                                                                    This experience was so disappointing, particularly in light of the absurdly high prices being charged for such poorly executed dishes, we won't be back and would not recommend.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Chatterpauls
                                                                                    3500 Brock N, Whitby, ON L1R0G2, CA

                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                    misslissa RE: RealAle Nov 17, 2010 01:54 PM

                                                                                    Sooooooooo many great choices here! I second Avanti in Oshawa for Italian, Stanley's in Brooklin for Fish & Chips and Odine in Ajax for good Japanese. The Brock House recently opened and has good atmosphere and appetisers and late night drinks.
                                                                                    I also have to say for burgers... I've been to Starr Burger and am just not loving it as much as I love Shake, Rabble and Roll on Dundas in Whitby. It is under new ownership in a location which I believe previously hosted an unsuccessful location. The combos are too big for one person. The burgers are great! I love this place! And, they have Kawartha Dairy products. Just keep in mind that everything is fresh to order so there is a little wait for your order. Poutine is also good there.
                                                                                    Corrado's in Brooklin is now open in place of Pepperberries Bistro but haven't tried it yet.
                                                                                    Check out my blog recently created just for this purpose... http://decadenceindurham.blogspot.com/

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Kawartha Dairy
                                                                                    304 Toronto St S, Uxbridge, ON L9P, CA

                                                                                    Pepperberries
                                                                                    38 Baldwin St, Whitby, ON L1M1A2, CA

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: misslissa
                                                                                      scarberian RE: misslissa Dec 5, 2010 06:34 PM

                                                                                      I've always passed by Shake, Rabble and Roll every time I'm out east in Whitby (on Hwy 2 aka Kingston Rd aka Dundas St. E.) and I've always wanted to see what it was like. Wife and I finally were able to try the place today and we enjoyed the food. First of all of their burgers with "Rabble" in the name are FRESH, they do serve a frozen patty burger which they refer to as a "regular" burger. The Rabble burgers are usually 6 oz, but there is an 8 oz as well. They are thin burgers but are wide in diameter and they are cooked over a grill (I'm assuming it's a gas grill). It's a good sized burger.

                                                                                      As for flavour, I liked the grilled taste and it was much more flavourful than South Street Burger. Now compared to Burger's Priest, the Rabble is drier, not totally dry, just drier (although it was slightly pink in the middle). I'm guessing due to it being thin and cooked over a grill whereas the BP burger is thin but cooked over a flat top so it cooks in it's own juices and stays juicy. Overall it was tasty and filling.

                                                                                      I ordered the combo so it came with fresh cut fries. I did find their fries a bit too thick for MY tastes, it may appeal to others. Being thick the texture didn't appeal to me as much, although they were lightly salted and they were okay in flavour. I prefer my fresh cut fries thinner. My wife ordered just a Rabble burger and shake and she enjoyed both especially the shake.

                                                                                      As for the resto itself, the cook (owner?) and cashier were very friendly. The place is clean and has the feel of a diner from the 50's with classic rock playing in the background and pictures of 50's icons on the walls. You order at the cashier and pick up your order when it's ready. They only have booths and it can be a squeeze for larger people. We paid ~$20 altogether for our meal and we'd go back again if in the area.

                                                                                      1. re: scarberian
                                                                                        BusterRhino RE: scarberian Dec 6, 2010 05:26 AM

                                                                                        Go back on Monday nights in the summer to Shake Rabble and Roll - it's car night and they are packed to the rafters with just beautiful older cars.

                                                                                        1. re: scarberian
                                                                                          Dr Butcher RE: scarberian May 7, 2011 08:44 PM

                                                                                          I recently tried this place after they posted a coupon on WagJag. A very solid burger and fries. They serve what I affectionately call a 'Greek' burger, similar to ones found at Shamrock, the Real McCoy, Big M Burgers etc. They are pre-seasoned with salt, pepper, onion and possibly oregano.

                                                                                          I've been twice, the first time the fries were a little undercooked, the second time a little overcooked. Overall though, a great little place. My SO had an order of poutine that was massive. I was jealous of my plain fries in comparison.

                                                                                          The burger was packed underneath the fries which squished the bun:

                                                                                          http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30...

                                                                                        2. re: misslissa
                                                                                          g
                                                                                          Gormlaith RE: misslissa Jun 29, 2012 12:03 PM

                                                                                          As I said above, Stanley's has changed ownership and is no longer the place it once was. Oh well. Back to Jasper's in Pickering for us!

                                                                                        3. hal2010 RE: RealAle Dec 6, 2010 08:32 AM

                                                                                          I'm working on a project in Oshawa and have recently discovered Viva Burrito - on Centre Street just North of King. A small place with about 16 seats, doing mostly takeout. Very good burritos and reasonably priced at $4.50 for a small, $6.00 for a large. They also serve Jarritos soft drinks.

                                                                                          1. scarberian RE: RealAle Dec 31, 2010 03:09 AM

                                                                                            Every time we go up to Fenelon Falls via hwy 7/12 we always pass by a resto called "Haugen's Chicken and Ribs". Been curious to try it, anyone ever tried this place? They seem to always have quite a few customers judging by the number of cars in their parking lot and once we saw this place packed with vintage cars during one summer night. I can't recall the exact location, but I think it's just north of Myrtle Station (is that still Durham?).

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: scarberian
                                                                                              j
                                                                                              jjmellon RE: scarberian Dec 31, 2010 04:17 AM

                                                                                              It's located just west of Port Perry. It closes every winter (December thru February/March). In summer it has a vintage car night once a week. You would go there because it is "an institution" or "a legend" on the way to the cottage, not because you want good food. If you like this type of food, Swiss Chalet is closer and arguably better.

                                                                                              1. re: jjmellon
                                                                                                ToxicJungle RE: jjmellon Dec 31, 2010 09:41 AM

                                                                                                My husband is one of those crazy motorcycle people, who will go any where just because, and we always go there for a short distance ride. Haugen's Chicken is more a gathering place for motorcycles and vintage cars. Food is very old school, more like "Country Kitchen" kind, green salad with kraft dressing, cold bun, watered down ketchup as BBQ sauce, but I do like the chicken when they are fresh(a couple times I got some which was a little dry), not over the top seasoning, just the basic salt and pepper, but the freshness makes up for it, and I usually get gravy(from the can) for my chicken instead of the "BBQ sauce". Or most the time we just order a whole chicken(around $14) to go and do my own sides at home.

                                                                                            2. j
                                                                                              jjmellon RE: RealAle Dec 31, 2010 04:45 AM

                                                                                              I've found a good Thai restaurant in downtown Whitby called I-Thai. Their web site is
                                                                                              www.ithairestaurant.com

                                                                                              It's been open for 18 months, the owner/chef is from Thailand, and the dishes we've tried so far seem to be unique and authentic. Standouts include the steamed Basa fish with ginger (we've had it twice); the mango salad that used sliced, not shredded, mangoes that were perfectly ripe; and the purple sticky rice.

                                                                                              I-Thai now replaces Odine as my favorite Thai restaurant in Durham. Odine's food is good, but it is more westernized than I-Thai.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: jjmellon
                                                                                                m
                                                                                                misslissa RE: jjmellon Jan 15, 2011 02:28 PM

                                                                                                This place has the most amazing peanut currie ever! (iThai) I favour it to any Thai place in TO.

                                                                                                1. re: jjmellon
                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                  munkdogg RE: jjmellon Jan 20, 2011 04:54 AM

                                                                                                  Tried the ginger garlic Basa based on this review, and holy was it ever good!! Definitely adding it to the list of favourites at i-Thai. Another is the peanut curry mentioned below....pretty much never miss a chance to order it.

                                                                                                  1. re: munkdogg
                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: munkdogg Feb 21, 2011 07:35 AM

                                                                                                    We decided to check this place out and were encouraged by the positive reviews here. We've had good and not-so-good dishes here and have concluded this is just ok Thai cuisine because the quality of the food isn't consistent.

                                                                                                    Our first experience was mostly positive. On all visits we've been pleased with the friendly accommodating service and the prices are fair. The Ginger Garlic Basa mentioned above was lovely. Cubes of tender fish encrusted in a light, tasty batter with a flavourful sauce. The Pad Thai was ok, a little dry with only 4 small pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of tofu! Stir-fried Peanut Chicken was a good, simple dish. The Shrimp in the Peanut curry were overcooked and the sauce was good but nothing special in our books.

                                                                                                    Next meal was mostly disappointing. Tempura (one order shrimp and one order veggie) was horrible. The vegetables were mushy, greasy and way over-done and the 4 pieces of shrimp were super-crunchy with way too much batter, they were super hard, as if they'd been double-fried. General Tao Chicken was horrible. The batter was mushy-mealy, the dish was over-sauced and cloyingly sweet. Although they smelled tasty, the stir-fried glass noodles were so greasy we ended up throwing them out after just a couple of bites. The purple sticky rice was the only hi-light.

                                                                                                    We've concluded this isn't the place for us and have now moved on to another new (to us) Thai spot in Whitby. So far, we've been happy w Go For Thai (Glen Hill & Dundas) but I won't review until we've had a few more meals there.

                                                                                                  2. re: jjmellon
                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                    sandymctyre RE: jjmellon Aug 23, 2011 02:12 AM

                                                                                                    Thanks for the rec jjmellon! My wife and I just tried this place out. Aside from a little too much salt on the mango salad (IMHO, and I have been on a low sodium diet for the past 4 weeks so...), the food was excellent. We had the ginger garlic shrimp instead of trying the basa (not deep fried...diet...) and it was amazing, great ginger zing, and just enough heat. The green curry was also excellent, very flavourful, aromatic, and spiced just right. Also had the Tom Yum soup, which was very good. We will definitely be back!
                                                                                                    We were comparing this to Go For Thai which just opened up on Dundas, just East of Thickson, and it was much better. At Go For Thai we had green curry chicken, which was good, but not great, and bami goreng, which was disappointing.

                                                                                                  3. h
                                                                                                    Hubby Santa RE: RealAle Dec 31, 2010 02:02 PM

                                                                                                    Zack's friendly energy fills this small sandwich shop. The garlic chicken is scrumptious!

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Zack's Sandwiches
                                                                                                    13 King St W, Oshawa, ON L1H1A1, CA

                                                                                                    1. jennjen18 RE: RealAle Jan 22, 2011 06:25 AM

                                                                                                      FYI: http://www.groupon.com/deals/the-jasm...

                                                                                                      1. t
                                                                                                        torontobound RE: RealAle Feb 3, 2011 05:54 PM

                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/763888

                                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                                          MDMD RE: RealAle Feb 4, 2011 12:36 PM

                                                                                                          Mexico Lindo and Cielito Lindo are disgusting. No one should ever eat "Mexican food" in Durham.
                                                                                                          Shrimp Cocktail and Chatterpauls are also truly awful and overpriced.
                                                                                                          That a Japanese restaurant is named "The Villa" should tell you everything you need to know.

                                                                                                          Nice Bistro is good in downtown Whitby.
                                                                                                          Sakura in Pickering has the best spicy tuna roll.

                                                                                                          1. g
                                                                                                            Gormlaith RE: RealAle Feb 19, 2011 06:11 PM

                                                                                                            Went to Arthur's on the 4th, Oshawa, this evening. Amazing meal. Best we have had in Durham in at least 4 years. It is on the 4th floor of the McLoughlin Gallery in downtown Oshawa. Parking is free and convenient...restaurant is top notch. Menu changes every couple of weeks, local and Canadian sourced-food, beautiful plates, friendly staff, friendly and knowledgeable chef. My husband and I had three courses, a bottle of wine, and two cups of tea for under $120. My meal included scallops and bacon jam, a prosciutto-wrapped chicken, and a sticky toffee pudding. My husband had a mushroom consomme (best mushroom soup he ever had), Lake Erie pickerel, and a lemon curd shortbread thingie. I cannot recommend this place enough. It is only open for dinner Thur-Sat nights. It also serves lunch. We checked out the lunch menu...it looks too amazing for the 'shwa.

                                                                                                            Get out there, take your sweetie, and have a bargain gourmet meal. Get there before word gets out and you can no longer get a table.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Gormlaith
                                                                                                              g
                                                                                                              Gormlaith RE: Gormlaith Jul 26, 2011 08:29 AM

                                                                                                              Arthur's is now closed for regular dining and will only be available for events. I now that some of you were not impressed, but my husband and I will miss the place. The food choices in Durham are very sad.

                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                              Shwagirl RE: RealAle Mar 16, 2011 07:11 AM

                                                                                                              As I have lived in Durham for a number of years I understand that finding good places to eat can be difficult. Here is a list of my favourtie places;
                                                                                                              Breakfast - Barnaby's in Courtice or Diamonds Grill in Oshawa
                                                                                                              Lunch- La Cucina in Bowmanville (awesome veal or chicken parm on a bun)
                                                                                                              Dinner - Corrado's in Brooklin, Brother's in Whitby for italian or Simcoe Jazz for Vindaloo chicken or Azian for sushi or yellow curry (both in Oshawa)

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              La Cucina
                                                                                                              130 Thomas St, Oakville, ON L6J3B1, CA

                                                                                                              Diamonds Grill Restaurant
                                                                                                              10 Bond St W, Oshawa, ON L1G1A2, CA

                                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                                mississaugachow RE: RealAle Mar 16, 2011 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                Try Maddy Pub in Bowmanvillle - a great place for lunch.

                                                                                                                The menu is traditional Pub items but the food is fresh and homemade .

                                                                                                                Sizeable plates at the good price.

                                                                                                                1. Dr Butcher RE: RealAle Apr 16, 2011 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                  Did a quick revier of Zeera By the Bay (Indian food) here:

                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/101489

                                                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                                                    sandymctyre RE: RealAle Apr 22, 2011 12:45 AM

                                                                                                                    I have lived in Whitby for just a few years now, and moving from the Danforth area in Toronto, it was tough to go from all of that variety to mostly "big box" Whitby. If you're ever in the Coxwell/Gerrard area, try Sidhartha for some excellent indian, or Babu at Shepherd and Markham.
                                                                                                                    I have tried Nice Bistro only once, but had a most excellent experience. The food was very good, but the ambiance, and the owners were fantastic! Had a real "bistro" feel.
                                                                                                                    Bella Notte, we hav been there a few times and have never had a bad experience, food is always excellent (love the grilled calamari and the veal carpacchio), and the service has been outstanding.
                                                                                                                    Starr burger, as others have said, very good burger, reminiscent of the old "Johnny's" inScarborough (which is nowhere near the same now! :>( Beside the burger, try the Philly!
                                                                                                                    Pita Deli, now also at 5 points in Oshawa, excellent sandwich, monsterous portions, and I like that they slice your (warm) smoked meat to order. Not a fan of their shwarma (no spit){the upright kind}, but their falafel was good.
                                                                                                                    Like Sushi Mountain, and will try Kobo based on these reviews...especially from Tex Squared who mentioned J-Town and Ten-Ichi which are frequent stops of mine.
                                                                                                                    Take-out Chinese, Maple Garden has great chicken balls, and Jet Garden is good also.
                                                                                                                    The Prince used to be good greek, sad they went out of business. Los Cabos was ehhh. I have yet to find really good Mexican in Whitby.
                                                                                                                    The Sikorski Hall in Oshawa has excellent homemade Polish food every Sunday.

                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                    Pita Deli
                                                                                                                    1600 Champlain Avenue, Whitby, ON L1N 9B2, CA

                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: sandymctyre
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                                                                                                                      TexSquared RE: sandymctyre Apr 22, 2011 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                      Great summary there! I can probably cut it down further:

                                                                                                                      Definites: Burbs Bistro, Buster Rhino, Pizza Pino, Kobo Gourmet, Sinatra's, Bellagio's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Five Guys (when they open in Scarborough it's worth the drive)

                                                                                                                      Avoids: Tim Horton's, anything named Lindo, 22 Church Steakhouse, Milos Greek, Mandarin, Thai One On, everything in the Whitby Entertainment Centrum complex, Wild Wing, South St.

                                                                                                                      Not bad but not great: Paul Wong's, Akashia, Great Wall, Makimono, Sushi Mountain, Waterfront Bistro, Red House (thai/malaysian), Lobster House

                                                                                                                      I'm sure others can add to these three simple categories for Durham Region chow, or disagree with some of my placements.

                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                      Burbs Bistro
                                                                                                                      1900 Dixie Rd, Pickering, ON L1V6M4, CA

                                                                                                                      Buster Rhino's
                                                                                                                      2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                                                                                                      Pizza Pino
                                                                                                                      855 Westney Rd S, Ajax, ON L1S3M4, CA

                                                                                                                      1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                        trulibra RE: TexSquared Apr 23, 2011 02:56 AM

                                                                                                                        No, no, no.....Red House is a fave. It has excellent food! Wild Wing however..not, won't go there ever again....

                                                                                                                        1. re: trulibra
                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                          TexSquared RE: trulibra Apr 23, 2011 05:40 AM

                                                                                                                          I like Red House too, it really was a coin toss whether it went to definite or not bad. Think of the three lists as Great (definites), Good ("not bad/not great"), and Never again ("avoids").

                                                                                                                        2. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                          ShellMich RE: TexSquared Jul 26, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                          We love Makimono and 22 Church...although 22 Church is only good for special occasions...Pino's for sure...but also add to that Ginos Pizzeria and Pub on Church (not part of the Gino's chain),

                                                                                                                          1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                                            g
                                                                                                                            GlennScarborough RE: TexSquared Aug 26, 2011 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                            In my quest for great veal sandwiches, I made a trip to Belaggios and had a very tasty sandwich. Nicely breaded and crisp with a tasty sauce I suspect they make in store. A delicious layer of mashed up jalapeno peppers on the bottom (unusual). Could have used more. I like extra hot. Dollar for dollar, I was impressed. Three layers of veal, BTW.

                                                                                                                            While it's not Whitby, I then went to Sinatra's in Oshawa. Fresh made with 4 layers of tender veal. Somehow the flavour wasn't as good as Belaggios or California's and seemed a bit dry. Maybe a bad day? But the sandwich was big! I didn't notice what peppers where in it but it may even have been crushed chili flakes. More sauce and jalapenos, please.

                                                                                                                            1. re: GlennScarborough
                                                                                                                              PoppiYYZ RE: GlennScarborough Aug 26, 2013 09:08 PM

                                                                                                                              + 1 for Belaggios.

                                                                                                                              Had one today !

                                                                                                                              Nice place, good people, generous portion, great sauce, soft hearty bun, tasty veal, and decent hot peppers (especially when supplemented with red pepper flakes).

                                                                                                                              Crispy fresh slightly sweet cannoli too. All good.

                                                                                                                          2. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                                            kayia1 RE: sandymctyre Jun 8, 2011 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                            For Mexican you might want to try El Dorado located on the south side of winchester just east of thcikson - part of a small 9 hole golf course. Chef is mexican tends to make everything fresh so can take a while. Not a big seating area and not open Mondays. Give it a try........

                                                                                                                            1. re: kayia1
                                                                                                                              Torontotonto RE: kayia1 Jun 8, 2011 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                              I would second Kayia1. Great spot but slow. Try the specials...and the Chile Relenos.

                                                                                                                          3. d
                                                                                                                            Dimwit RE: RealAle May 7, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                                                                            Try Daddy's Little Grill on Westney below Bayley in Ajax. It's in the Giant Tiger plaza at Westney and Lake Driveway. A limited menu but everything is made fresh and from scratch. Reasonable prices and great portions.
                                                                                                                            A great thing is that you can talk to George -- both the cook and the owner and he will modify (within reason) to your taste. Very cool guy.

                                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                                              munkdogg RE: RealAle Jun 7, 2011 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                              Driving through downtown Brooklin last night, I noticed the Fish & Chip place (one of them, anyway) has been updated as a Burger joint. Perfect!

                                                                                                                              http://www.baldwinstreetburger.com/

                                                                                                                              Haven't been yet, but they are indeed open. Might have to swing by this eve and report back :)

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: munkdogg
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                                                                                                                                Gormlaith RE: munkdogg Jun 7, 2011 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                                Yes, it is KRISPY'S FISH AND CHIPS that have changed their format. I am looking forward to your review, munk!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Gormlaith
                                                                                                                                  Torontotonto RE: Gormlaith Jun 8, 2011 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                  Visited the Baldwin Street Burger today. Menus is great....lots of interesting burger combinations, great toppings nice ambiance and friendly staff. Fries were exceptional with truffle aioli on the side. I had the Buffalo Wing burger with Hot Sauce, blue cheese and bacon, my wife had the nacho burger. We both agreed the toppings were great, the meat homemade BUT, the meat was burnt! There was another couple across from us that did not have the same issue so I rack it up to being open just a week now. We will go back and report back. This place has promise....

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Torontotonto
                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                    kayia1 RE: Torontotonto Jun 8, 2011 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                    not that it matters but was just wondering if it is the Krispey's owner that just changed formats? BTW a new "wine & beer" bar and resto will open just down the street across from the park on the east side, one of the partners of Corrados has some knowledge of the lady that is opening the resto and it does sound promising........could it be that the Brooklin/Whitby area is starting to UP te dining options???

                                                                                                                                    1. re: kayia1
                                                                                                                                      Torontotonto RE: kayia1 Jun 9, 2011 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                                      I really hope so. It is a different owner than Krispy's. Too bad that place didnt last but 3 F&C shops in Brooklin was 2 too many. They got rid of the wrong one.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Torontotonto
                                                                                                                                        Dr Butcher RE: Torontotonto Jun 13, 2011 05:07 AM

                                                                                                                                        That's a shame, I really enjoyed Krispy's. I thought you got great value for the money and it was top quality. One time I went in and a fish wasn't on their menu that day. The owner told me he didn't think the fish quality presented to him was up to par so he didn't buy it.

                                                                                                                                        I didn't enjoy Stanley's nearly as much, and they seem to be expanding.

                                                                                                                              2. e
                                                                                                                                eatdrinklovelife RE: RealAle Jul 25, 2011 08:45 PM

                                                                                                                                I can recommend the following:

                                                                                                                                Milos Greek (PIckering). Great Souvlaki.
                                                                                                                                Mexico Lindo (Ajax and Whitby). In Ajax, the waiter treated me for one of their special spicy sauces.
                                                                                                                                Makimono & T&T (Ajax). Both serve decent food even though if my memory serves me correct, T&T is cheaper.
                                                                                                                                Odine. Decent Thai food. Rarely tasted their Japanese dishes.
                                                                                                                                Island Soul (Ajax). Great Jerk Chicken, particularly during the warmer months when they do it the traditional barrel-bbq way.

                                                                                                                                eatdrinklovelife.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                Mexico Lindo
                                                                                                                                1821 Scugog St, Scugog, ON L9L, CA

                                                                                                                                Mexico Lindo
                                                                                                                                915 Taunton Rd E, Oshawa, ON L1H7K5, CA

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: eatdrinklovelife
                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                  TexSquared RE: eatdrinklovelife Jul 25, 2011 09:35 PM

                                                                                                                                  Sorry, have to disagree on your first two. Milos and all of the Lindo's are dreadful, and I'm not the only poster to have said it. Milos is a failed Friendly Greek, while the Lindo's are lame versions of what you could get in the U.S. for half the price and get twice the food.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: TexSquared Jul 26, 2011 04:23 AM

                                                                                                                                    I 2nd TexSquared's concerns w Lindo. Our experiences were nothing better than just ok. Further comments in my post up-thread:

                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7137...

                                                                                                                                    I haven't been to the other spots you've recommended.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                      TexSquared RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 26, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                                      When when the current Milos was still Friendly Greek, everything tasted "off" compared to every other FG (or Mr. Greek) I'd been to. Just tasted bad. We went once after the name change (since we always get their coupons in the junk mail) and it got WORSE. Never again.

                                                                                                                                      No way to know if FG pulled the franchise from them (since clearly they weren't up to the quality of the rest of the chain) or if the owner quit paying the license fees, but either way, it was horrible.

                                                                                                                                      Lindo's survive only for lack of competition. If La Galera (Niagara Falls, NY) or El Palenque (Buffalo, NY) opened in Durham the Lindo's would be out of business real fast. We have tried Los Cabos in Whitby, it's maybe slightly better than the Lindo's. At least it wasn't as depressing a place inside....

                                                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                                                  ShellMich RE: RealAle Jul 26, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                  Shake Rabble N'Roll on Hwy2 in Whitby has awesome burgers and fantasic hand-cut fries. Best burger I've had anywhere.

                                                                                                                                  Bayly Restaurant in Ajax (Chef Tommy's) has spectacular Greek food.

                                                                                                                                  And finally...Xenos has changed ownership and after boycotting for years we went last night - amazing pasta dishes at really reasonable prices!!!

                                                                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                                                                    sandymctyre RE: RealAle Jul 26, 2011 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                    Just discovered this little gem...had seen the signs for a couple of years. If you're looking for a good deli sandwich, at a very respectable price, this is the place. Some of the items are available hot. Have tried a couple of different soups, and very happy with them. I have been back twice already, and plan on becoming a regular!

                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                    Great Canadian Meat Company
                                                                                                                                    1390 Hopkins St, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                      n
                                                                                                                                      Nutsforfood RE: sandymctyre May 30, 2014 08:45 PM

                                                                                                                                      Good portions, however, my cheese slices had mold on them.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Nutsforfood
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                                                                                                                                        sandymctyre RE: Nutsforfood May 30, 2014 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                                        Wow! Never heard of that before. They go through so much at lunch time...it's hard to imagine it would have time to get mouldy. Did you take it back?

                                                                                                                                    2. Breadcrumbs RE: RealAle Jul 26, 2011 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                                      I thought it may be worth mentioning in this thread that a 5 Guys Burgers & Fries is "Coming Soon" to the Smart Centre Plaza on Stevenson Road (near the 401) in Oshawa.

                                                                                                                                      I've never eaten at this chain but I know it has its fans.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
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                                                                                                                                        sandymctyre RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 26, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                                        Thanks Breadcrumbs. I don't get the attraction to 5 Guys. It's a decent burger, but pretty pricey, and I would take a Shake/Rabble/Roll or Starr burger over it. Or "The Mojo" at the Real McCoy in Scarberia. Perhaps I need a second taste?

                                                                                                                                      2. scarberian RE: RealAle Sep 11, 2011 03:14 AM

                                                                                                                                        Went to Buster Rhinos in Oshawa and the BBQ was solid as usual. The owner was friendly and when not busy would chat awhile. I had the brisket and it wasn't overly sauced and the meat was tender, not dry. However I had the medium sauce and although quite tasty, for me, I had expected to feel some heat but didn't. I will definitely go for the habanero sauce next time. I had fries and these were hand cut fries that were cooked well. My only complaint was that they were on the salty side (although I did keep eating them!). The baked beans were okay, not horrible, but nothing to write about. Overall I'd definitely go back for that brisket and get me a full rack of ribs. I would ask the owner to ease off on the salt for my order of fries, because the way they were cooked they are oh so tasty. BTW the owner did mention they were exploring at opening a Buster Rhinos in Toronto, maybe in the entertainment district. I say take small steps and open it in Scarborough first! Cheaper rents and people here are dying for real bbq without having to trek over to Whitby or the 'shwa.

                                                                                                                                        Buster Rhinos
                                                                                                                                        30 Taunton Rd. E., Unit 6
                                                                                                                                        (Simcoe and Taunton Rd E.)

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: scarberian
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                                                                                                                                          gooditsall RE: scarberian Jan 12, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                          Just want to add a short note to thank all who recommended Buster Rhino's. Had to be in Whitby so had lunch at the Thickson Rd location--first taken back by the look of the place but quickly charmed by the server, delighted by the food and totally grateful to the hounds who lured me there. Wouldn't have wandered in there on my own but will be back--quite honestly, probably the Oshawa location which I'm told is a little nicer and has a bigger menu. Thanks everyone! Best barbecue ever!!

                                                                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                                                                          cwheeler RE: RealAle Jan 5, 2012 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                                          Many good picks here, but I'll add a few updates:

                                                                                                                                          1. Makimono was good a couple of years ago, but since the introduction of all-you-can-eat, they have gone downhill - poor service, fish quality is low

                                                                                                                                          2. For an alternative, Sushi T&T, on Harwood, south of Hwy 2, is a good all-you-can-eat sushi. Fresh, fast service, I recommend it

                                                                                                                                          3. Never had Mt. Everest for Indian, but right by Mt. Everest is Bombay Grill. Quite good.

                                                                                                                                          4. Wings - You can't got wrong with St. Louis Grill on Harwood, south of Hwy 2. I know they are a chain gig, but the wings are pretty good. I also find Kelsey's at Harwood & Hwy 2 serve wings that are quite good.

                                                                                                                                          5. My wife raves about Burb's Bistro. I've yet to go.

                                                                                                                                          6. The Keg sucks. Major loss in quality

                                                                                                                                          7. Costco hotdogs and fries - best quick lunch for value when shopping

                                                                                                                                          8. There is a European deli in the plaza across from Costco in Ajax (same plaza as the McDonalds). Absolutely delicious schnitzel style sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                          Off the top of my head, that's what I like in Ajax.

                                                                                                                                          1. Dr Butcher RE: RealAle Jan 20, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                                            Has anyone tried the Patty Shack in Oshawa? The pics from it's site intrigue me, they recently had a WagJag ($20 dollars of food for $10) so I bit the bullet on a couple.....

                                                                                                                                            http://thepattyshack.ca/

                                                                                                                                            15 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dr Butcher
                                                                                                                                              scarberian RE: Dr Butcher Jan 22, 2012 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                              Interesting pics on the site. The fries look home cut and even though the burger does look home made, it doesn't look like it's 100% beef but maybe with some filler like a meatloaf. I'm just saying just by the looks on the site. I could be wrong. However I prefer my burgers cooked on a griddle, smashed thin with cheese. Still I will give them a shot and report back.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: scarberian
                                                                                                                                                Torontotonto RE: scarberian Apr 2, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                I can say that the Patty Shack is excellent. I was a fan of Starr and Rabble but this is far better.
                                                                                                                                                Not great parking but great value. This is my new fave for burgers.

                                                                                                                                                Any updates from Chowhounders on Sushi from the this thread. We have gone to Sushi Mountain for the last time. Food has nosedived, quality is hurting, service is dreadful. Any new Sushi places to recommend?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Torontotonto
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                                                                                                                                                  sandymctyre RE: Torontotonto Apr 2, 2012 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I second (or third) on the Patty Shack. Burger artists! The topping selection is incredible, and follow them on Twitter for some excellent bargains!
                                                                                                                                                  Sushi Mountain in Whitby I find has declined since new management. I second the Sushi T&T in Ajax, but haven't been there in a while. Tokushima in The shwa is hit and miss, as is Go Believe.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Torontotonto
                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                    TexSquared RE: Torontotonto Apr 2, 2012 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                    If you want proper JAPANESE sushi (non-Chinese, non-Korean, non-AYCE) the only choice in Durham is Kobo:

                                                                                                                                                    http://kobogourmet.com/

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Torontotonto
                                                                                                                                                      scarberian RE: Torontotonto Apr 2, 2012 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Seriously, you folks were getting your sushi from T&T and Sushi Mountain?! As Tex says, Kobo is really your only choice AFAIK in Durham. I may be mistaken, but very good quality sushi is hard to find in Durham and Kobo just does it right all the time. However, for even better sushi head west to Zen on Eglinton and Danforth Rd. in Scarborough right beside the bowling alley.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: scarberian
                                                                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                                                                        cwheeler RE: scarberian Apr 2, 2012 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I don't want to start a bitter argument - hey, we are all food lovers, right? I agree with others here - Sushi Mountain is terrible. I happen to think they've always been terrible, but I know others used to enjoy them.

                                                                                                                                                        Sushi T&T is a recent discovery for me. I happen to like the service and the speed. For an AYCE, it's not terrible.

                                                                                                                                                        Now for the controversy. Perhaps I need to revisit, but the one time I went to Kobo, I didn't find it was much better than anything else I've had. A few friends said it was worlds better than anything else in Durham, but I disagree. It just didn't seem to be all that awesome. Maybe I need to give it a second chance.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cwheeler
                                                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                                                          TexSquared RE: cwheeler Apr 2, 2012 07:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                          If you didn't like Kobo go to Zen. If you don't like Zen you don't know sushi.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: scarberian
                                                                                                                                                          w
                                                                                                                                                          wiggy. RE: scarberian Apr 2, 2012 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I actually gave up on SM some time ago when the food started to slip big time. Was okay in its day, but lost its edge. Never done T&T, but will look up Kobo. And Zen. Thx.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wiggy.
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                                                                                                                                                            sandymctyre RE: wiggy. Apr 2, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                            The two Sushi Mountain restaurants used to be different. The one in Whitby was better than the one in Ajax IMHO. Also, is 2min from my house, so very convenient. Admittedly, it was never the best sushi, but was AYCE, and I have a big appetite Will definitely try Kobo and Zen. In Scarborough, I usually go to Ten-Ichi, Tora, or Niji. Thanks for the recs!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                              TexSquared RE: sandymctyre Apr 3, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Ten-Ichi? Yuck....

                                                                                                                                                              http://eatherenext.blogspot.com/2011/...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                sandymctyre RE: TexSquared Apr 3, 2012 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Really TEX? Used to be one of your faves! They have just expanded, took over what used to be Best Friends. Probably been a year or two since I've been there. Have you been lately?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                                  TexSquared RE: sandymctyre Apr 3, 2012 05:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I went there about a year ago (I'll have to find the post) and that was the final straw for me. Horrible food (with 3/4 of their dessert menu never in stock), and even worse service (they want to turn tables fast so when they want rid of you they ignore you for awhile, "forget" your orders... then 15 minutes later come and ask "what do you want for dessert"). But you know how it is - the restaurants with the long lineups can afford to slack off like that.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                                Dr Butcher RE: sandymctyre Apr 4, 2012 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I've always preferred the Ajax location of Sushi Mountain, the pieces are massive and admittedly a lot of rice... I've just preferred the flavour there a little more.

                                                                                                                                                                Recently I've tended to go to Makimono in Ajax, the Pickering one although remodelled, isn't quite the same.....

                                                                                                                                                                I would say to stay away from Tatemono, the new one in the AMC plaza on Consumers, as both times I went I ended up with gastrointestinal issues. This has never been a problem with any other sushi place....

                                                                                                                                                                I have yet to try Kobo, but will soon, I haven't had sushi since my last bout of the Tatemonos at Christmas time. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the input on the Pattly Shack folks! I have a couple of WagJags burning a hole in my pocket...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dr Butcher
                                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                                  TexSquared RE: Dr Butcher Apr 20, 2012 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  "pieces are massive and admittedly a lot of rice"

                                                                                                                                                                  In other words cut cost by using more rice (cheap ingredient) and less fish (expensive ingredient).

                                                                                                                                                                  You haven't had genuine Japanese if all you go to are those Chinese-owned places (AYCE or otherwise). Post your findings when you've gone to Kobo or Zen, and avoid the gaijin rolls for an authentic experience.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: scarberian
                                                                                                                                                              h
                                                                                                                                                              hidpage RE: scarberian Sep 14, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Sushi and Rolls in Ajax (no frills plaza) is always great if don't want to venture far.

                                                                                                                                                      2. r
                                                                                                                                                        RYP RE: RealAle Apr 20, 2012 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Moving to the area (courtice) and looking for a good Sushi restaurant. I don't want AYCE, but fresh, well prepared sushi. Sounds like Zen and Kobo are my picks. Can someone tell me where Zen is located?

                                                                                                                                                        Would either of these restaurants be appropriate to bring a toddler to?

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RYP
                                                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                                                          TexSquared RE: RYP Apr 20, 2012 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Zen is at 2803 Eglinton Avenue East (at Danforth), Scarborough: zenjapaneserestaurant.com

                                                                                                                                                          Kobo is at 512 Kingston Road (at Rosebank), Pickering: http://kobogourmet.com/

                                                                                                                                                          As long as your toddler is well behaved, can't see a problem at either.

                                                                                                                                                        2. t
                                                                                                                                                          TeacherFoodie RE: RealAle May 31, 2012 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I finally tried Pizza Pino in Ajax and it was very good. Everything was fresh and they were generous with the cheese. The crust was good but I thought the sauce could have been a bit more exciting. It was not the best pizza I ever ate, but it was certainly better than the other options in the area (mostly chains). I tried the "Pino" pizza - bacon, mushroom, onion, green pepper and pepperoni. Excited to try a different kind next time.

                                                                                                                                                          Any other good lunch places in that area (Westney/Harwood area)?

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TeacherFoodie
                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                            sandymctyre RE: TeacherFoodie Jun 2, 2012 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Hey Teach! It's been a while, but Angelique's used to have a good breakfast...never tried their lunch, and the Bayly (I think now called Chef Tommy's was pretty good also.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                              TeacherFoodie RE: sandymctyre Jun 3, 2012 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks Sandy. I have been to Angelique's and they are a good lunch option for that area. Unfortunately it looks like Chef Tommy's has closed for the time-being and will reopen in a new location at some point.

                                                                                                                                                              http://www.cheftommys.com/

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                TeacherFoodie RE: sandymctyre Jun 6, 2012 03:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Just had Angelique's the other day for lunch. Had a chicken parm sandwich and salad. The sandwich was terrible as the chicken was completely overcooked (so dry it was hard to chew). Hoping to find other good lunch options in the South Ajax area.

                                                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                                                              sandymctyre RE: RealAle Jun 2, 2012 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Just tried out Big Boy Burgers...relatively new (5 months) at the corner of Consumers and Thickson. A righteous burger...Had the Big Boy with all the trimmings. A tad expensive when you get it this way $9, but quite a good size(1/2 pound) and fresh ground, real cheese...etc. Looking forward to trying out the Philly, supposedly made from fresh prime rib. Anyone had it?

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                                TorontoTips RE: sandymctyre Jun 6, 2012 11:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Hey Sandy, I had a decent burger at Big Boy, too - they have 3 locations I think - Thickson, Kingston & Whites in the Lone Star Plaza and Kingston near St. Clair in Scarberia.

                                                                                                                                                                Even better burgers are to be found at Patty King in the 'Shwa. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                I'm personally a HUGE fan of Massey's on south Liverpool Rd in Pickering's Steak on a Kaiser - truly none better, in my opinion, with a pile of marinated and nicely grilled tender flank steak - and the fresh-cut fries w/ gravy can be quite good, if a little inconsistent.

                                                                                                                                                                Cheers,
                                                                                                                                                                .James.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                                  TorontoTips RE: sandymctyre Jun 6, 2012 11:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Massey's Steak-on-a-Kaiser, with fries & gravy pictured.
                                                                                                                                                                  Cahr-grilled goodness, with just pickles, onions and HP sauce for me :-)

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                                                                                  cwheeler RE: RealAle Jun 3, 2012 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Il Fornello opened up a new location in Ajax, on Kingston Rd., across the street from Chapters/The Keg, in the same plaza as McDonalds. Here's my advice - save your money and go to McDonalds.

                                                                                                                                                                  My wife and I have tried Il Fornello in downtown Toronto twice, and both times left disappointed. Overpriced, bad, almost rude, service, and the food is simply substandard. But, we are always excited to see a new restaurant open in Ajax, so we thought we'd give it another try, and off we went on Friday for supper.

                                                                                                                                                                  We arrived around 6:30pm, and had to wait about 30 minutes for a table. Not a long wait, so we went to the bar where I ordered a negroni and my wife had a bellini. I suspect my negroni had been made with a double shot, as it was overly gin-y and not bitter enough, and I began to feel it after I was around halfway through. But, hey, dinner was soon, so I'd endure a free double shot ;)

                                                                                                                                                                  We got our table within 30 minutes. Opened with an order of calamari and we split a large Caesar salad with anchovy. Bread arrived - it is just plain white baguette, nothing to write home about. Then came our calamari and salad. The calamari was very greasy and became soggy after a while. The garlic aioli was nothing special - mayo and garlic. The Caesar salad was very disappointing - romaine, oily croutons, bottled dressing. And the anchovies? 5 canned anchovy filets thrown on the top of the salad. At $13, I was expecting a lot more. I can get a better Caesar at East Side Marios (so you get the idea how crummy this salad was).

                                                                                                                                                                  The main entrees are weak - the menu isn't fully available yet. Basically, you can choose pizza or pasta. So I ordered a pizza with artichoke, prosciutto, red pepper, and mozzarella. My wife ordered chicken parmaggiano.

                                                                                                                                                                  The pizza was terrible. Thin crust, but soggy in the centre. I could not hold a piece to eat it - I had to use a knife and fork. The cheese was sparse, the prosciutto plain and tasteless, the sauce almost non-existent. The only flavour came from the black olives. At $17, this was a waste of money.

                                                                                                                                                                  The chicken parm was not any better. The pasta was overdone, the sauce had that over-salted from-a-can taste (almost like Ragu), and the chicken was a bit dry and overbreaded with little to no parm flavour. Again, $19 down the drain.

                                                                                                                                                                  For dessert we split a slice of chocolate mousse cake. Blech! This was highly recommended by the server. Well, the cake was dry, and if you can believe it, the mousse was even more dry! The icing was over-sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                  The service was alright. The wait staff are friendly, unlike the downtown location. But, aside from the Stella Artois I had with dinner, and the company I was with, this was a really bad way to spend my dining out dollars.

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cwheeler
                                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                                    TeacherFoodie RE: cwheeler Jun 3, 2012 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    For Italian, try Bella Notte on Brock Street in Whitby. I've only been once but it was delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TeacherFoodie
                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                      sandymctyre RE: TeacherFoodie Jun 3, 2012 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Second the Bella Notte recommendation. I have been a few times, and always had a great experience. I particularly like the veal carpaccio and the grilled calamari is awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                                                        TeacherFoodie RE: sandymctyre Oct 1, 2013 05:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I went to Bella Notte for lunch today and it is still great!!! I had the butternut squash ravioli and it was so delicious! Can't wait to go back again!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                                                                                    cwheeler RE: RealAle Jun 7, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Well, here's a little secret - I generally don't enjoy chip truck fries, but there is a place in Ajax called Friar Truck, and I've got to tell you, his fries are magical! First, you get a tonne of fries - my family of 3 teens and my wife and I can eat two large with much leftover. The fries are crispy, hot, and creamy inside, and just plain delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                    Friar Truck is located on Doric Street, two streets south of Hwy 2 and Harwood. You can't miss the yellow truck in the parking lot.

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, and not completely certain, but I think he's only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But I could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                                                                                                      momwhocooks RE: RealAle Jul 17, 2012 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Well hopefully you haven't starved by now! Mediocrity is right, there are some truly dismal places specifically in Oshawa however having said that there are those who rise above it all. Tokushima is a the top of my list for Sushi and a good assortment of asian dishes. The Tartan still cranks out some pretty good pub grub, as does the Waltzing Weasel. I haven't tried Jimmy Guaco's in the downtown area but have heard good things and just tried some pretty good disk for lunch from a little place on Hortop called C&V's Pizza and Pasta my eight year old gave it two thumbs up and this kid eats stuff most his age haven't heard of (dislikes fast food burgers) strange child of mine:) Had a burger from The Patty Shack, recommended from friends, right D.T. Oshawa good flavour, well cooked nice seasoning, and lotsa toppings to pick from but pricy for a burger joint. So hopefully you haven't moved away from the area again after being faced with a lack of good spots for good eats!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. r
                                                                                                                                                                        RYP RE: RealAle Jul 22, 2012 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        The owner of Buster Rhino's was telling me that they will be opening a new restaurant in downtown Oshawa - probably this week. It will be on King St./Celina (beside Patty Shack). Look forward to being able to eat in now.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RYP
                                                                                                                                                                          Dr Butcher RE: RYP Jul 23, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          They had their soft opening today according to Facebook. I had seen some You Tube updates via their Facebook Page as well. I had no I dea it was right next to the Patty Shack until I stopped in for a burger last Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                          If you like shawarma, the best place I've found in Durham is Cyrus on Ritson just north of the 401. I'd say it rivals Shawarma Empire in Scarborough, more expensive however. They have some dinner plates I have been dying to try. Parking is pretty bad, the lot is behind the restaurant (a converted house) and is tiny. If you have a larger vehicle, you'd be better off parking across the street.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Breadcrumbs RE: RealAle Aug 10, 2012 04:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Just bumping this thread w a question. Has anyone tried/heard anything about a place in Whitby called Marca Pizza Pasta? Is it worth checking out?

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                                                            r
                                                                                                                                                                            RYP RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 11, 2012 06:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I'd be interesting in knowing too. I think it's about six months old. Let's hope someone has a report.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. j
                                                                                                                                                                            jennysv RE: RealAle Sep 12, 2012 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            The Teriyaki House on lupin just off hwy 2 east of brock in Whitby is Fantastic! We went there on Saturday night. Everything was fresh made to order, delicious and affordable. Love their Japanese fare including the sushi. Sit down restaurant with classic decor. Quiet, classy and a great place to come as a couple or with friends. I highly recommend this hidden jewel of Whitby.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                                                                                                              baderin RE: RealAle Sep 13, 2012 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I've always said there really aren't any good restaurants in Whitby, but last night I went to the Brock House. I can't speak to their regular menu, as I've never been before, but we arrived for the first night of their "Savour the Season" and everything was pretty good. Amongst my group of friends we tried all 3 starters. I didn't taste the salad but my friend said it was good, although underdressed. My husband had the carrot and juniper soup and it was very nice and creamy, although I felt it was a little undersalted. I had the corn fritters and they were definitely the best of the group, although they would have been better hot (they were more lukewarm).

                                                                                                                                                                              For mains my husband and I both had the short ribs, which were very good - he finished mine and said his had been jucier, but I really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed the mashed potatoes that accompanied it. My friend had the chicken and said it was really good also.

                                                                                                                                                                              For dessert the rest of my group had the apple tart and seemed to enjoy it. I had the peach cobbler and practically licked the bowl - the peaches were fresh and delicious and the crumble was I think made with cornmeal - a nice crunchy texture. It could have used better ice cream (ever since I started making my own I've been kind of ruined for commercial stuff) but overall I really enjoyed it.

                                                                                                                                                                              Also the fries that came with my Goddaughter's chicken fingers meal were DELICIOUS.

                                                                                                                                                                              So I'd still go downtown if I wanted to be sure of a nice meal but the Brock House was probably the best meal I've eaten in Whitby since we moved.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Dr Butcher RE: RealAle Oct 24, 2012 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Mancini's Cafe and Eatery - 223 Brock St N. A little confused with their identity. Looks nice inside, some sad looking 1/2 full display cases featuring a mishmash of cakes by the slice, muffins and pastries.

                                                                                                                                                                                I have tried their veal sandwiches twice, the veal is dwarfed by the breading, however, it's a tasty sandwich, I really like their tomato sauce. I hate how Italian sandwich places nickle and dime you for every topping, $1 for cheese, $0.90 for peppers and mushrooms, and $0.50 for sauteed onions....

                                                                                                                                                                                The Zen Hakka and Thai Cuisine - It's in the old Thai Wok N' Roll location at Baldwin & Broadleaf. Had a coupl eof lunch specials, the Bombay chicken was tasty as well as their chicken pakoras. The Cashew chicken left something to be desired. I was told the chef specializes in Hakka (apparently he owns Brampton Dragon). I would go back to try some more of the Hakka offerings but would avoid the Thai. It's nice to see another option than the Tangerine in the area.

                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.thezen.ca/#!home/mainPage

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                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dr Butcher
                                                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                                                  Lunchking RE: Dr Butcher Apr 3, 2014 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think Mancini's offers a decent veal or chicken on a bun for the area. We will likely never get a California Sandwich or a San Francesco's so it is passable. Salads are good there too

                                                                                                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                  cwheeler RE: RealAle Dec 2, 2012 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Stay away from Pasta Tutti Giorni! Just opened at 259 Kingston Rd in Ajax (across from Wal-mart), I took my family there last night (Saturday, December 1) and it is one of the worst meals I've ever had in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                  First, I will give a pass to any service mistakes for a new restaurant. I know that going to a brand new place, the service staff is just getting their feet wet, so I will focus only on the meal quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here is what we ordered:
                                                                                                                                                                                  Calamari fritti
                                                                                                                                                                                  Me: Osso bucco with linguini in tomato sauce and a Caesar salad
                                                                                                                                                                                  Wife: Veal del bosco with rigatoni in tomato sauce and Caesar salad
                                                                                                                                                                                  Daughter & Son: Linguine alfredo with chicken added
                                                                                                                                                                                  Son: Carnivore pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                  The calamari was passable, but not great. Instead of the light tempura batter that most places serve, this has a dark brown, almost breadcrumb batter. It is served with a terribly bland marinara sauce. Unfortunately, this calamari was the best part of the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The alfredo dishes came and the 'added chicken' was 4 bite size pieces of white meat. Hardly a side of chicken. But, portion size aside, the alfredo had no flavour. If you have ever had those pastas that come in a pouch, the kind that come with a powdered sauce mix, you have had a better linguine alfredo than what is offered at Pasta Tutti Giorni. This tasted like...nothing! It was barely creamy and tasted like plain pasta. There was very little flavour to this dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The Caesar salads were no better. It has a couple of croutons, bacon bits, bagged romaine, and dressing. It tasted like wet lettuce. Even though it had a lot of dressing, the dressing had no garlic flavour, no creaminess. It tasted like thick water.

                                                                                                                                                                                  My wife's veal was a thin cutlet of veal dressed in a mushroom sauce. The mushroom sauce tastes *exactly* like watered down mushroom soup. The meat was salty. And the tomato pasta sauce on her pasta (and on mine) tasted like watered down tomato soup. There was no taste of herbs or spice. None at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The osso bucco was terrible. It was tender, I will give it that, but let me tell you, it must have been marinated in a salt bath, because it was overly salty and did not have a nice braised flavour. It came with inedible soggy carrots and large chunks of onion.

                                                                                                                                                                                  My other son's pizza was a thin crust meat pizza. He said he liked it (he's not a food sharer, so we didn't taste it) but it was crisp on the edges and soggy in the centre.

                                                                                                                                                                                  While waiting for our table, the bartender told us that PTG will be opening 10 restaurants and 10-20 mall food court locations. After having supper here, I can tell you that they are serving food that is low-end food court quality. I imagine they are sourcing all food from the same place and using the same recipes whether in a food court or a sit down.

                                                                                                                                                                                  And, the kicker - while eating, a waiter was walking to a table with a bread basket and one of the buns fell out of the basket. He reached down, picked it up, another waitress saw him, they both looked at the bun, and the waiter put it back in the basket and delivered it to a table!

                                                                                                                                                                                  The meal cost $110, we bought our drinks at the bar, so that doesn't include drink cost, just a really bad meal. We won't be going back.

                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cwheeler
                                                                                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: cwheeler Dec 2, 2012 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for taking one for the team cwheeler, your review is much appreciated. What a let down for your family.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cwheeler
                                                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                                                      momwhocooks RE: cwheeler Dec 2, 2012 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Well that's unfortunate cwheeler especially as a family outing to end up with sub standard food. The thing that used to baffle me was how all these restaurants seem to be busy until I spoke to a few friends and found out they would either go out, pick up or order in sometimes twice a week so the restaurants are getting away with serving average food for an above average price. So few people have time to cook anymore that it is guaranteed business and the restaurants don't even have to try. I love to cook and fortunately I have the time to do it therefore it is not common place for us to go out as a family when we do I am usually disappointed as is my husband obviously there are exceptions but for the most part the food is boring and the menus a predictable selection.The worst culprits seem to be the big chains because they can operate on a preceding good reputation, after being served undercooked chicken at a Montana's and being told it was normal for there to be pink at the bone I will never go back. East Side Mario's is the McDonalds of Italian food but at least you know what to expect and don't get me started on the Mandarine. The only recourse for the average income foodie is try those little places, you know, that tiny family run op using "momma's recipes" risky? sure but no more so than an untried chain, you don't have to pay through the nose and sometimes you find the odd treasure among the trash.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: momwhocooks
                                                                                                                                                                                        r
                                                                                                                                                                                        RYP RE: momwhocooks Dec 5, 2012 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not sure why all the crappy restaurants congregate in Durham region. Having just moved her from KW, where there was a decent selection of independent restaurants, we are so disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RYP
                                                                                                                                                                                          g
                                                                                                                                                                                          Gormlaith RE: RYP Dec 5, 2012 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I am convinced that most people in Durham accept and embrace mediocrity. There is no other reason why so many ho-hum places exist and thrive. This is why my husband and I would rather eat at Buster Rhino's--a casual place--than most any other restaurant, even when we are going for our fancy date night! I don't want pre-packaged garbage. I want to enjoy the work of a chef, not a teenager who is really good at boiling and microwaving! That being said, I do still like Nice Bistro. The family really cares about food. The new kb was OK, at least it was different.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Apparently we are left with only a very small selection of family or chef-run restaurants that care about quality and originality. Boo to that, I say. With so much great local produce around, Durham could far better. Keep your formulaic food. Give me something that challenges or inspires.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RYP
                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                            sandymctyre RE: RYP Dec 5, 2012 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            RYP, welcome to the home of the BigBox, cookie cutter restaurants. It's hard to even get a good slice from a mom & pop joint.
                                                                                                                                                                                            I concur with Gormlaith with Nice Bistro, you get a real 'Old World' feel from it, the owners are very nice, and the food is very good.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Bella Notte in Whitby is another favourite of mine, we have always had good food, and excellent service.
                                                                                                                                                                                            You'll find a lot of good rec's in this thread, everything from burgers at Starr Ave. to pizza at Pino's, to steak on a kaiser at Massey's.
                                                                                                                                                                                            While we do swim in a sea of mediocrity (i liked that reference Gormlaith), there is the occasional outcrop of good eats...you just have to look a little harder to find them.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                                                                                              RYP RE: sandymctyre Dec 5, 2012 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Great analogy Gormlaith! I have visited Buster Rhino's on many occasions since moving for similar reasons. I know I'm going to get a great meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I had a decent meal at Chatterpauls, but $13 for a starter salad was a little crazy! And we've eaten at Azian a few times with some success.

                                                                                                                                                                                              We live in Courtice, so I like to stay in the Oshawa/Bowmanville border for most meals. Can someone tell me a sushi place that's not AYCE?! Bonus points if it's good.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RYP
                                                                                                                                                                                                BusterRhino RE: RYP Dec 5, 2012 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Guys they will come, downtown is starting to build a reputation for small mom and pop run places, the bad ones will disappear and better ones will take their place. All I can say is keep visiting the small independants. I know my wife and I do all the time, try Jimmy Guacamole downtown Oshawa - amazing burrito's.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                                                cwheeler RE: sandymctyre Dec 6, 2012 05:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've had a great meal at The Brock House. I agree with Buster Rhino - the Whitby core is starting to populate with decent eateries.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: RYP
                                                                                                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                                                                                                jjmellon RE: RYP Dec 6, 2012 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                We need more good restaurants in Durham Region -- no debate there. But I think we are at least a match for KW except in one area -- expense account restaurants. KW has (or had) RIM, plus two big, established universities, and for that reason alone it has about ten expense account restaurants that Durham doesn't have. Six of those restaurants have the same ownership, so they don't really qualify as "independents". Leaving those restaurants aside, for variety, quality and price I would rather spend the next year eating in Durham Region restaurants than in KW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyone who has just moved here should try some of the top recommendations on this page before they start despairing -- or better yet, go find a new, interesting place and tell us about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jjmellon
                                                                                                                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                                                                                                                  RYP RE: jjmellon Dec 6, 2012 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  jjmellon, this board isn't about KW, but I will respectfully disagree with you. I can easily name six restaurants that would not be considered expense account or owned by the same company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm looking for the places locally that interest me and that's why I read this board. I will happily report back on any interesting places that I find - first I need to find them.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Torontotonto RE: RealAle Jan 18, 2013 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Visited KB today. This is the guy from Burb Bistro.
                                                                                                                                                                                            What a great new resto in Whitby.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Food was great service good and atmosphere fair.
                                                                                                                                                                                            We both ordered the specials......excellent Trout and Amazing Meatball pasta. We are going to come back for a second try..as a lifelong Toronto guy....I was pleased.....a kin to Batifole....great food simple.......

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Torontotonto
                                                                                                                                                                                              Dr Butcher RE: Torontotonto Jan 18, 2013 09:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              My wife and I went to KB a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed ourselves. The arancini appetizer was great, I had a steak that was unfortunately a little tough (the flavour was great) the side was some delicious scalloped potatoes. My wife had a braised chicken dish. I thought about a marrow app they had but couldn't bring myself to try it. I saw it at the table next to us and overheard the waiter say they are experimenting with it... Glad I wasn't a guinea pig (on my dime). The flourless chocolate cake I had for dessert was very nice. I will go back.

                                                                                                                                                                                              As an aside, Sushi Mountain in Ajax has updated their AYCE menu, added some dishes and have updated the sizing of their special rolls. Where you used to get 6 pieces filled with rice, they now serve 4 pieces with more fish. There are still many with tempura bits and spicy mayo, I kinda like 'em. I have only been for lunch so I can't say what has been updated for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                              TeacherFoodie RE: RealAle Jun 8, 2013 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I recently went to Sauter's Inn in Pickering Village and had the schnitzel. It was very good. If you go for dinner on Thursday or Friday night, they have a 9.99 special for the schnitzel. It is a generous portion and was very tender. I recommend getting the Jager sauce on the side. I tried their cheesecake for dessert but it was terrible. Their strudel was very doughy. I have heard people like it here on the weekend for brunch but I cannot comment on the food. It's Jazz fest there this weekend (in the village) so could be worth a visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TeacherFoodie
                                                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                                                TeacherFoodie RE: TeacherFoodie Jun 8, 2013 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I should add that service was a little slow, but friendly. If you have a group of 5 or more, the tip is automatically included, as it is at many restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                RealAle RE: RealAle Sep 21, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, this thread has taken on a life of its own! Thanks to everyone who has passed on tips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                What I'm looking for now is a decent Chinese delivery place. Rice To Go is sometimes good and sometimes not very nice; Tangerine is OK but every now and then you just want some pork (and anyway they don't deliver); the place in Whitby just below the Four Corners on the west side changed hands and went off; the less said about Shanghai Kitchen the better...

                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RealAle
                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                  sandymctyre RE: RealAle Sep 21, 2013 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tall order...I have tried several in the area. Maple Garden (Dundas and Garrard) has good chicken balls, and the rest of the food is decent. Jade Garden is okay. New Hong Kong is okay. Jet Garden is okay, with better canotnese chow mein then Maple Garden. Hunan is mediocre at best. I have tried Sam's kitchen only for dine in...but the food was quite good. I will try their take out also. Asia Express offers delivery, portion sizes vary. Garlic Steak is very good. Yellow curry chicken is quite tasty, but small portion. If you eat in, the staff is wonderful...uncommon for an AYCE. Great Moon also does take out...did some party trays from them one time, and it was good. Eat in there, the staff is also very nice. I still have yet to find a really good place, so I wait with baited breath for other responses...Hope I've missed something. Oh yeah...tried WinWin as well, but was not very impressed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Coming here from Scarborough, we were spoiled for choice!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandymctyre
                                                                                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lunchking RE: sandymctyre Feb 22, 2014 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    What about Silver Star? It's been in Whitby for years....pretty decent Chinese food

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: RealAle
                                                                                                                                                                                                    BusterRhino RE: RealAle Sep 22, 2013 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    May Flower on King St. in Oshawa is good, been ordering from there for almost 30 years (mom did, then me) tried other places couple times, they just didn't meet the expectations set... Not always perfect, but then who really is, you know if your food is perfect everytime it's probably pre made factory crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RealAle
                                                                                                                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                                                                                                                      hidpage RE: RealAle Sep 23, 2013 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Blossom Garden in Ajax is best for Chinese takeout/delivery. Always fresh and flavorful. The location is spotless and people friendly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                      TeacherFoodie RE: RealAle Sep 28, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Where does one go in the Ajax area for good Carribean food?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TeacherFoodie
                                                                                                                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                                                                                                                        hidpage RE: TeacherFoodie Sep 29, 2013 04:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rotilicious in Ajax or Island Mix in Pickering. Both are excellent but the variety at island mix is amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hidpage
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                                                                                                                                                                                                          TeacherFoodie RE: hidpage Oct 1, 2013 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks - will try one or the other next time I am feeling like Caribbean food!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            PoppiYYZ RE: TeacherFoodie Oct 1, 2013 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Umm hmm ....

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lunchking RE: TeacherFoodie Feb 21, 2014 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Taste of T and T on Dundas in the Mcdonalds plaza across from Costco. Excellent carribean and very reasonable prices. Owners are a bit surly, but I can see past that. One of the best jerk chickens that I have had, and curry chicken lunch special is a lot of food for like $6.00

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Lunchking
                                                                                                                                                                                                            jayt90 RE: Lunchking Feb 21, 2014 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have no idea where this is unless you mean Kingston Road!!??

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              afong56 RE: jayt90 Feb 21, 2014 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              it's kingston road from queen street in the beach, all the way into ajax, and turns into dundas as soon as you hit lakeridge road, heading east to whitby--then when you make it to oshawa the name changes to king street. durham is a weird and wonderful place. . .

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                jayt90 RE: afong56 Feb 21, 2014 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                not very helpful

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  scarberian RE: jayt90 Feb 21, 2014 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He means Hwy 2 aka Kingston Rd., aka Dundas E., aka King St. I guess he's saying take Kingston Rd E. into Whitby (Dundas St. E.) and look for the McD's plaza that's across from a Costco.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wiggy. RE: scarberian Feb 21, 2014 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    145 Kingston E. between Harwood and Salem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jayt90
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    afong56 RE: jayt90 Feb 23, 2014 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    there is only one costco in durham that has a mcdonald's across from it--it is in ajax, on kingston road. the op wrote dundas st, forgetting that same road becomes kingston road, once you cross the whitby town boundary, heading west.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i was explaining how all three names apply to the same road, depending on where in durham you are. sorry that it wasn't clear to you. . .

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            afong56 RE: RealAle Nov 5, 2013 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            just discovered pho vietnam 999 in oshawa, on king st., just east of the oshawa centre, south side, in the building that used to be the pizza hut (next to the red lobster). visited twice, and i definitely like what i've had so far. prices are higher than the city, but the food looks and tastes authentic, and decent menu. service was fast and efficient, although some of their servers are a bit rusty on their english. they've been open for seven months, and i hope they last. . .

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              sandymctyre RE: afong56 Nov 5, 2013 06:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed. I have been there several times. Not the best Pho, I've had, but quite good. Great to have this restaurant close by, and not have to travel to Scarborough!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dr Butcher RE: sandymctyre Nov 5, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There is a new Pho place that took over the Azian Cuisine place at Taunton and Salem. I believe it's called Pho Metro (although the Azian signs are still up). Has anyone given it a shot?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                in the same Plaza is a little place called Tikka Boulevard, I have eaten from there a few times. Not the biggest selection and I am pretty sure they use pre-made naan, but, the people that run it are super friendly and the food is a decent value and pretty darned good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              afong56 RE: RealAle Jan 23, 2014 09:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              just tried 'food village' in the kendalwood plaza at gerrard and kingston rd/hwy 2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              decent indo-pakistani food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              apparently they relocated here from pickering after 14 years . . .the service is a bit slow, but the food is decent, and imho, a lot better than 'signature' indian down the street at hopkins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              fwiw, a 'wok box' chain store opened up in north oshawa, and they already have a groupon--they are a jack of all trades indo-thai-chinese franchise. have not tried them yet.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandymctyre RE: afong56 Jan 23, 2014 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I tried this a couple of weeks ago too. The wait was very long, but they were doing some party trays.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I found the food okay at best. The saag paneer was very unusual, looked like it had mozzarella instead of paneer.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  afong56 RE: sandymctyre Jan 24, 2014 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i tend to avoid all paneer dishes outside of toronto, can't really explain why. was just happy with food village in that they offered lamb versions of dishes, and the spicing was decent. . .

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lunchking RE: afong56 Feb 21, 2014 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I just tried it too. $9.99 for the butter chicken "special" about 6 little pieces of dark chicken, thin bland butter chicken sauce in a tiny container and 2 large pieces of naan (the naan was not bad).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Terrible first impression - I won't go back

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TeacherFoodie RE: RealAle Jan 23, 2014 02:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Has anyone tried 22 Church Steakhouse in Ajax? Wondering how it compares to the Keg and to steakhouses in Toronto (ie. Barbarians, etc).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    afong56 RE: TeacherFoodie Jan 24, 2014 06:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    have not tried it, but if i'm going to try a steak, i'm going to give kb bistro a shot first. i realize he's not a steakhouse, but he offers a few steaks on his menu, and he does good things. . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that being said, i'm probably not a steakhouse kinda guy, as i prefer doing the big portion steaks at home on my grill, as i have locally sourced a small beef operation (no hormones, grass and feed-fed) for my beef.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Torontotonto RE: afong56 Jan 24, 2014 07:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Who is your supplier? I have been looking for a beef supplier since I moved to Brooklin 5 years ago.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gormlaith RE: Torontotonto Jan 29, 2014 04:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have you tried Buckingham's Meat (in Brooklin and Oshawa). If they don't carry organic meat, they might be able to get it. I know they carry heritage pork.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pauline51 RE: Gormlaith Feb 16, 2014 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An organic meat store in downtown Whitby. Healthy meats. Grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free products. Local products. Right beside nice bistro across from kbs. Very good products

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Torontotonto RE: Pauline51 Feb 17, 2014 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know the place. Is it still just frozen meats though?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pauline51 RE: Torontotonto Feb 21, 2014 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, but most of the product can b defrosted very quickly in a pot of cold water. I know the get product in every week, I've been to the farm, very nice farmer, young animals very well treated and grass feed. Love it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Torontotonto RE: Pauline51 Feb 22, 2014 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks. I will give it a try.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TeacherFoodie RE: RealAle Jan 28, 2014 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Trying to come up with a list for Durham Region (Pickering-Oshawa). Please let me know if I've missed anything good or if I have put something on here that is horrendous. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pickering

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Zeera by the Bay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Port
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Waterfront
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thai Orchid Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Massey’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Red House
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kobo Gourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hot Mama Noi’s Thai on the Fly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dragon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Works
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Al Dente Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Island Mix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ajax

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pizza Pino
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mazza Garden
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thai Garden
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Scrambles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Texas Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rotilicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Whitby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Buster Rhino’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bella Notte
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Teddy’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    iThai Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Baldwin Street Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nice Bistro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brother’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chatterpaul’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bamboo House
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Villa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Marca Trattoria Pizza Pasta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    *KB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brock House
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hot Rocks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Villa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oshawa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Buster Rhino’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pho Viet Nam 999
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Avanti Trattoria
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jimmy Guaco’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bamboo House
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shogun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Osaka Sushi

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sandymctyre RE: TeacherFoodie Jan 28, 2014 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Teach,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great list! I am going to use this as my 'try next' list, as there are a few on there, I have not had the pleasure of yet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Teddy's is actually in Oshawa, rather than Whitby. I have not had anything there I would shout out about, save the strawberry pie.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would include Beeno's in Oshawa, as comparable to Pino's.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Trin and Bago's, Whitby. I have only eaten there twice, but am definitely going back. The flavour in their gravy is great!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maimana in Ajax, again, have only been there twice, but the mantu is fabulous!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gormlaith RE: sandymctyre Jan 29, 2014 04:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Couldn't agree more about Teddy's. I don't see the attraction.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TeacherFoodie RE: sandymctyre Jan 30, 2014 02:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Please keep us updated as to what you did and didn't like as you try each place!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          afong56 RE: TeacherFoodie Jan 28, 2014 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          should point out that jimmy guaco's expanded into whitby, in the elbow of the strip mall at the northeast corner of baldwin/brock and taunton, right next to the popeye's chicken outlet.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wiggy. RE: afong56 Jan 29, 2014 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jimmy Guaco's also in downtown Peterborough. One of four or five burrito joints in the city now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: TeacherFoodie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Breadcrumbs RE: TeacherFoodie Jan 30, 2014 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for posting this Teacher. Just to be sure I understand, is this a list of places you've been and have concluded "they don't suck" ?(per the thread title) Are there any there that you'd highly recommend?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't been to any of your Pickering listings but I'll weigh in on the other one's I've tried and add a few of my own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AJAX:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pizza Pino - Just ok. Nothing remarkable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Il Fornello - Best option we've found for pizza in Durham. Good cocktails. Nice bar. Their pasta is not a strong point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There's a little Latin shop in the same plaza as Il Fornello that sells empanadas and other treats (heated or frozen for take-home in addition to fresh corn tortillas and latin ingredients/produce) - Not as good as Kensington Mkt but good for out here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            WHITBY:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Buster Rhino's - BBQ is good, especially the pulled pork. Service in downtown 'Shwa location leaves a lot to be desired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bella Note: Just ok. I'd rather drive to Woodbridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Teddy's: actually this is in Oshawa as noted below. To me, Teddy's is like Swiss Chalet, you always know what you're getting...and it's likely a sandwich with some form of potatoes and vegetables. The food is unremarkable but sometimes you just want something you can rely on. They should do Mac & Cheese. Pies are good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            iThai - I liked this place better when it first opened. They lost me w their inconsistency.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nice Bistro - meh. Lacklustre and I think they'd be better off skipping "Le Pasta" and sticking with a French Bistro theme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Brother's - The food is just ok. No consistency. It seems like they're advertising in the paper for a chef every other week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            CHatterpaul's - They over sauce everything and their menu seems very 80's to me. I preferred Chef C when he was at Shrimp Cocktail's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Marca - Nice owners. Food is probably the best Italian we can get in Durham. It fits this category but I wouldn't say it was great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            KB - I like the concept but they don't always execute well. Using flavourless, under-ripe tomatoes, not having what's on their menu. Making substitutions without mentioning it. I've had a couple of great dishes and some just weren't worth the $.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hot Rocks - I think this would be a great "local" - a place you could pop into if you lived near by and couldn't be bothered cooking but it's not a place I'd travel to dine in. The food is just ok. I don't feel like it's changed much with the times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            White Heather Bakery: I wouldn't join the oldsters and grab a table here but if you're looking for great Scottish baking including amazing meat pies and freshly made desserts to take home...look no further, this place is a gem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OSHAWA:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Avanti - Pasta portions are small and overpriced. Pizza is just ok. Not a fan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Buster Rhino's - see above (Whitby comments)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Teddy's - see above (Whitby comments)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Patty Shack - great burgers, love the toppings, fries are good. Consistent quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Down East Donair's - Read about this place on the Ontario board. I've never had an East Coast donair but folks tell me this is the real deal. The sauce is too sweet for my taste but the portions are great, the meat is tasty, the place is spotless and the owners are lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Baker's Table - Good Italian bakery for bread. Some of their baked desserts are good. Fresh pasta. They have a tiny hot table and good Italian sausages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There's a Persian grocer on the north east corner of Kendalwood and Hwy 2 that has amazing Labneh and authentic homemade pastries in addition to grocery items and a butcher counter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh, and I don't know if this counts but at White Feather en route to Port Perry, their freshly made and often warm apple fritters just can't be beat!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wiggy. RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 30, 2014 05:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              +1 for Down East Donairs. If you're into donairs, these are proper east coast style, fresh, generous portion. Basic comfort food. Took a bunch home for supper last weekend, and even the wife was impressed. Friendly staff as a bonus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also enjoy Pita Delites on Harwood in Ajax for a falafel plate, fresh hummus and babaganoush to go. However, do not visit the Chinese place next door (House of China). Not good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TeacherFoodie RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 31, 2014 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Breadcrumbs,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is a list of places I would like to try and I am hoping to narrow it down to places that are worth going to!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for your input!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TF

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Torontotonto RE: Breadcrumbs Feb 1, 2014 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just found the Latin grocery store...SCORE! It sure beats a trip to Kensington. Thank you. Also I found a great cheese store in Ajax...yes it does exist! It's called Country Cheese Company and is located in the McDonalds plaza at 289 Kingston Rd E #3, Ajax, ON L1Z 0K5. What a find! Artisinal cheeses from all over with super friendly staff. The only one in Durham.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cwheeler RE: Torontotonto Feb 3, 2014 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The cheese shop is good because it is the only one in the area. And the selection is OK. But, don't bother asking for wine and cheese pairing recommendations - they don't have a clue.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Torontotonto RE: cwheeler Feb 3, 2014 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's OK I do. I am just happy to have a cheese shop in the area and they want our business ie Great service!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: Breadcrumbs Feb 9, 2014 06:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Desperate times call for desperate measures so when our "dinner in Toronto" plans were cancelled late yesterday we we had no other choice but to dine in Durham. A member of our party suggested KB. Unfortunately we had yet another meh experience. The mac 'n cheese had a distinct "dill" flavour making it inedible for our tastes. No mention of dill on the menu so it wasn't at all what we were expecting. Burgers sounded promising but were tough and dry. I suspect the meat was over-handled. This latest experience sealed the deal, we won't be back to KB.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mamag99 RE: RealAle Feb 14, 2014 04:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Corrado's in Brooklin (brock/7) is excellent. Ive heard the Table on Simcoes st us good haven't tried it yet myself.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamag99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BusterRhino RE: mamag99 Feb 14, 2014 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, the table is really good actually. Especially if you like Vegan food.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cwheeler RE: RealAle Feb 22, 2014 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pho Metro, up at Taunton/Salem plaza in Ajax, is not bad Vietnamese. Not great, but given the lack of good Vietnamese, you take what you can get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been twice for supper. Warning - the service is absolutely terrible. Seat yourself, and like most Pho places, you pick what you want and write it on those little order sheets. Don't expect the following:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Every guests food to come out at the same time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Appetizers to come out before mains
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Drink orders to be correct
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Quick service

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've had the pho, and I've had the noodle bowl. The pho is the better choice, as it has more flavour. The noodle bowl, while it looks good, doesn't have the depth of flavour that hole-in-the-wall pho places in Toronto have. We've also ordered the spring rolls with pork; again, not bad, but not the best I've had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This place, like most pho places, is cheap. Dinner for 3 of us cost around 45 bucks, tax and tip included.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      afong56 RE: cwheeler Mar 14, 2014 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      just ate here recently--will stick with pho vietnam 999 in oshawa. . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      decent but not spectacular

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cwheeler RE: RealAle Feb 22, 2014 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BTW, I'm going to mention KB once again. I've been 6-8 times now, for dinner, and I have to say they are great. I have not had a bad meal here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The only time I was disappointed was when I went and wanted to try the roasted pig's head, and I found out I'd missed it. But, I had a great meal anyways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The menu changes frequently, but there are some staples that seem to stick around, like the duck liver pate, and the pickles. Order a plate of pickles, they are probably the best pickles I've ever eaten. And the whiskey sour from the bar is a nice drink to have with dinner, if you don't want beer or wine.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cwheeler RE: RealAle Feb 22, 2014 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maimana Naan & Kebab in Ajax, in the plaza across from Wal-mart on Hwy 2, serves Afghani food. Personally, I've never really found Afghani food to be all that good - seems pretty bland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maimani is alright. I've been three times, and in that time have tried the tandoori, the ground meat kebab, and the other chicken that they serve. Have also ordered the dumpling-like appetizers. Overall, not bad, but the menu doesn't hold up to multiple visits - after 3 visits I was already bored. Waaaay too much rice was served with every meal, and along with the naan, it was overly carb-y. The sauces served with the meal are pretty good, but I found myself mixing it in with my rice so that it would taste different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not too expensive. The service is OK. I will say, the staff are a lot more friendly with Afghani patrons and those who speak Farsi, and they seem to have access to a much broader menu. Oh, and not really fast service.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cwheeler
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sandymctyre RE: cwheeler Mar 18, 2014 08:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I highly recommend the mantoo. It is fresh made dumplings with a yogurt sauce, and is deliciously fresh tasting. I agree with the 'too many carbs' sentiment, I find the same most everywhere though. I do like the Tikka kabob, very tasty and tender.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have found when the older owners are there, they are very friendly, and chatty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed the menu is not very broad, but I stop in once a month at least for the mantoo...and usually get something to go with it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Breadcrumbs RE: RealAle Feb 23, 2014 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Finally tried Baldwin St Burger and I'm excited to report that this was hands down, the very best burger and dare I say food that we've eaten in Durham since moving here many years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The burgers were outstanding. One of my favourite burgers yet. mr bc wasn't quite as generous with the praise but agreed it was the best food he'd eaten in Durham and one of the best burgers he's had in a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The fries are also a very strong point. We opted for take-out and the fries did not suffer for the trip home. they were at once crisp and tender with just the right amount of seasoning sprinkled atop. We tried a few of their dips and the curry ketchup was a standout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The mac & cheese was ok. No real sauce or sign of cheese though you could taste it. We wouldn't order this dish again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Onion rings were crispy and not greasy but nothing special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm delighted to know of this place and give big thanks to those who recommended it here. We'll be back again soon!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BusterRhino RE: Breadcrumbs Feb 23, 2014 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            totally....amazing burger

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gormlaith RE: RealAle Mar 15, 2014 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tried PIE in Pickering...a wood-fired pizza place that just opened about 3 weeks ago. It is apparently part of a small chain that originated in Barrie. Well, I hope that it was just opening jitters because our entire experience was horrible. The waiter was earnest, but couldn't deal with more than one table at a time. The pizza was burned and took forever to arrive. The fries were a soggy mess. The calamari was good, but overpriced. And they couldn't manage a simple caesar salad (which was also ridiculously priced). I was so disappointed because I was looking for decent thin-crust pizza in the area. This is not it...at least based on one trip. We might give it another shot later, after the buzz has worn off and the staff have figured things out. Very sad. I guess I'll stick with Pizza Pino's for my pizza fix, and Buster Rhino's for my casual go-to restaurant.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hidpage RE: Gormlaith Mar 16, 2014 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maraschino cafe in Pickering Village makes a mean pizza. Very authentic. Best for lunch as no liquor license.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Torontotonto RE: hidpage Mar 17, 2014 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just had lunch at Maraschino yesterday. We tried 3 pies (Margarita, Spicy Sausage, and Grilled Veggie) All 3 were excellent. Great atmosphere and VERY friendly owners/servers. I would not have found this place without you hidpage...thank you. Finally a very good thin crust pie maker in Durham. I will be back to try the veal sandwiches. They looked really good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TeacherFoodie RE: Torontotonto Mar 19, 2014 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  +1 Maraschino for pizza. Great prices too!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gormlaith RE: Torontotonto Apr 3, 2014 09:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Took the family to Maraschino once we recovered from the horror that was Pie. Very nice pizza, gorgeous pastries. Looked like some beautiful specialty coffees. Hubs said the sauce was a little bland, but I think he isn't quite used to genuine Italian tomato sauce. Very lovely place. Support our local restaurants! This one is a keeper.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Torontotonto RE: Gormlaith Apr 4, 2014 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also tried the Veal Sandwiches at Marashino yesterday. The veal was so tender not like most others that are a bit like leather. I will ask for more sauce next time and some hot peppers. This place really is a GEM!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        afong56 RE: Gormlaith Apr 5, 2014 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ate here recently--their pizza is legit, arguably the most authentically italian style pizza in durham. the pastries were not great, to be honest. prices are very affordable, and would love to come back and try some more stuff--especially their other pies and their pastas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        without a liquor license, they could be in tough to survive for too long. i hope they make it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: hidpage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      scarberian RE: hidpage Apr 6, 2014 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Took the family for lunch there on Sunday. Thanks for the recommendation hidpage, this place is solid. My wife really liked it as their pizza crusts are softer and slightly thicker than Fratelli's. We ordered 4 pizzas (we didn't know that pizzas would come out as big as they are - 12" although the board does say 12"). My brother was with us so we had 2 margherita and 2 grilled vegetable pizzas. The place is small with about 5 tables and a counter for 5 people. The washrooms are downstairs in their basement so NOT wheelchair accessible. They have two entrances : 1) on Old Kingston Rd. which has free street parking and 2) through the entrance of the Pickering Village court yard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now for their food. Their pizzas are stone baked and they were delicious. The margherita pizzas had shredded basil on it and you can really taste that fresh basil. My grilled vegetable had that grilled taste on the vegetables and I liked their sauce (simple but flavourful). The staff were very friendly, the atmosphere was cozy and the prices cheap. We will definitely go back to try their sandwiches. We actually ended up taking a whole pizza back home as we shared the other 3 between all four of us. They have applied for their liquor license as we saw a notice on their window.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. th3hungrycat RE: RealAle Mar 18, 2014 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    KB on Brock Street North in Whitby... My favorite hands down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. th3hungrycat RE: RealAle Mar 18, 2014 08:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I find PORT has really gone downhill recently. NICE Bistro is another great option, it is a family-run joint and you go for the food not the pretentious crap that is ambiance etcetera. I dine in Durham at least once a month because I get together with a former teacher of mine. My top recos for sit-down restaurants:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      KB (Brock Street N in Whitby)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nice Bistro (Brock Street N in Whitby)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TheFoodTravelLover RE: RealAle Mar 21, 2014 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A couple other places that while they are not out of this world, they "don't suck":

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Edamame for AYCE japanese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roland's for caribbean chinese takeout
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lamanna's bakery for veal/chicken sandwich (technically in Scarborough though)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Big M for burgers (only a couple stools inside, picnic tables outside)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thelegaleater RE: RealAle Apr 2, 2014 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mexico Lindo is mediocore at best and Starr burger sucks..I'd rather have a boring Hero Burger with smoked gouda and some of their fancy toppings to compensate for their boring burger. There's some small place in Oshawa across from the white government building at 33 King St, it's way better and more authentic than Mexico lindo and cheaper too...Patty Shack for burgers and wings on King St east is pretty dynamite although it's kinda far from Brooklin it's worth the drive over Shamrocks and that other burger joint in brooklin, although Shamrocks in Scarborough that's been there for 30 years taste better for some reason....must be the thrity year old oil I guess.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cwheeler RE: thelegaleater Apr 2, 2014 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mexico Lindo is terrible. And so is that shitty place, El Dorado, which is also a golf course in Whitby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't like Starr Burger either. Damn thing falls apart all over the place. What I find most people say about places like Starr Burger is, "You get soooooo much food!!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shamrock, the burgers are not that great - about the same as Harvey's if you ask me. But their onion rings are the best I've had in a long while. I don't eat many burgers, so I expect quality over quantity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              afong56 RE: thelegaleater Apr 3, 2014 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hmm, will have to check out that mexican place you mention in oshawa at 33 king st. . .i agree with you on mexico lindo, and eldorado is just bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              starr burger and shamrock are both pretty average, although i disagree on baldwin street burger in brooklin. . .imho, it's the best burger going in durham right now. patty shack is creative, but their meat is overcooked. their gardillic sauce is addictive, tho. . .

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gormlaith RE: afong56 Apr 3, 2014 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Baldwin Street is fantastic. Absolutely worth it. The onion rings are great, too. However, be prepared for a wait because it's popular. And sometimes, just sometimes, they come close to selling out of their patties. That's a sign of fresh food, friends. My only complaint is that I wish they have a nicer selection of soft drinks. Gee, can you tell I'm reaching?!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Food Tourist RE: Gormlaith May 15, 2014 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Baldwin burgers are tasty and lean. Nice sides. They could use a sugar-free drink such as Perrier, though! :) We didn't have to wait at all during prime time (7 pm) on a Saturday evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Food Tourist RE: RealAle Apr 4, 2014 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Has anyone eaten at A Tavola, KB, The Villa, the full-service Buster Rhino's (downtown Oshawa), or Baldwin Street Burger in Brooklin recently? Anything must-eat above-average memorable compared to east end Toronto/Scarborough/Pickering? Trying to choose. Or if there's another stand-out amazing place, let me know. Thanks!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gormlaith RE: Food Tourist Apr 4, 2014 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Buster Rhino's has consistently great food. I am a huge fan of their brisket poutine and onion rings. But, really, I can't say that I have had a bad thing there. Baldwin Street Burger is also great (french onion burger is fantastic). Both are wonderful for casual meals, although BR's has some wicked amazing craft beers on tap. Can't comment on the rest...to busy spending cash at BR's!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandymctyre RE: EmileL May 12, 2014 06:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I tried Stuttering John's at the Food Truck Festival on Saturday. Very disappointed. Bland chicken and pork, over priced small portions, and corn bread was very dry...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Actually, quite disappointed at the FTF in general, the food was not worth the line ups.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cwheeler RE: sandymctyre May 24, 2014 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've tried some of the food trucks downtown (Toronto), and can't say I've been overly impressed. Similarly, bland food, high prices, and small portions. I wouldn't mind the small portions (I'm not a big eater) if the prices were right and the food was good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandymctyre RE: cwheeler May 24, 2014 01:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been spoiled by having the opportunity to spend a week in Portland OR, where the food truck scene is insane! So many delicious places to eat, that they have an app for it!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cwheeler RE: RealAle May 24, 2014 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OK, so I'm not sure who amongst you have recommended Baldwin St. Burger, but I just drove across hell's half acre to get there (maybe not that far, but in Saturday traffic from Ajax, it felt like it) to have lunch, and it was goddamned terrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  First, the burger. The patty was overdone, not juicy, and tasted bland - not beefy, not flavourful. The meat was dwarfed by the bun, and was just an afterthought to the slathering of ketchup and mustard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next, the fries were just so-so. They claim they are double cooked, but all I noticed was thin, brown fries that were not really hot or well-done. Just soggy and salty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Finally, my daughter ordered poutine. The gravy was clearly canned gravy, but the bacon and curd was pretty good. However, the whole mess was overly salty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I doubt I'll go back. At $7.50 for a burger, there are lot's of places that are much, much better.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandymctyre RE: cwheeler May 24, 2014 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi cwheeler, very inconsistent with my experiences there. I often get the burgers sans toppings because I do find too much 'sauce' sometimes, but I have always found the burgers to be juicy and well cooked. I have never had the pontine, but have always liked the fries. Perhaps I have been lucky with the right cook on...or perhaps you were unlucky? I have been there >5 times.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BusterRhino RE: cwheeler May 24, 2014 09:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've been to Baldwin St. Burger about a dozen times now, it's never been anything but excellent when I have gone. I was truly surprised to read such a bad review. I would personally suggest giving it another try. Damn I love their burgers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        afong56 RE: cwheeler May 25, 2014 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I always ask for them to cook it as rare as possible... The result is very juicy and flavorful... Admittedly, the one time I forgot to order it this way, the patty came overcooked ... Give it another chance

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