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back for another visit/help me narrow my list Toronto

  • pete k Jun 29, 2010 01:08 PM

Good day TO Chowhounders…

We’re coming back for another visit and this time with a larger group. Below you’ll find a list of places that I visited on my last trip and a list of places that we plan on visiting this time around. I’m also looking for cheap, ethnic, something uniquely Toronto, and restaurants that can easily accommodate a group of 5 without reservations.

People’ Eatery, we really enjoyed the Peking duck and the service
Asian Legend, went for soup dumplings, decent, but I’m sure we could do better
Athens Pastries, excellent Greek pastries, we’re definitely going back
Dumpling House, decent dumplings, great chili sauce
European Delight @ St. Lawrence Market, perfect perogies
Pizzeria Libretto, really enjoyed the pizza, on our list of possible options
Beer Bistro, great beer selection, food was a miss for us
Mother’s Dumplings, hole in the wall dumpling shop, great value, we’ll be back

On the list of places to go to:

Sichuan Garden
Lee Garden
Duggan’s Brewery
Bonjour Brioche
Rol San for possible dim sum
Black Hoof

Thanks for any help..

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Beer Bistro
18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA

St. Lawrence Market
92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

Bonjour Brioche
812 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

Rol San
323 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

Athens Pastries
509 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

Pizzeria Libretto
221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Dumpling House Restaurant
328 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E7, CA

Lee Garden Restaurant
331 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

Sichuan Garden Restaurant
359 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2G3, CA

European Delights
735 Wonderland Rd N, London, ON N6H4L1, CA

The Black Hoof
928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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  1. Mother's Dumplings has moved, another dumpling shop had opened in their former space.

    I'm not sure Duggan's is a destination resto, the wings were, in a word, horrible but I gather that was a bad ordering choice rather than a representative dish. Personally I think there are better choices if a pub is what you are after.

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    Mother's Dumplings
    421 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON , CA

    4 Replies
    1. re: bytepusher

      We're definitely in search of any gastro/brew pubs.

      1. re: pete k

        I keep hearing good things about the Queen and Beaver

        1. re: bytepusher

          I really enjoy the Queen and Beaver as a gastropub but is you are a large group, some may find the menu limited.

          1. re: JennaBean

            I tried the Queen and Beaver yesterday for the first time. Lovely atmosphere. I enjoyed my smoked gouda, artichoke and olive toast with salad with a glass of chilean carmenere. The mussels and frites, smoked duck and cherries, and fish and chips consumed by my lunch companions were very much enjoyed. I tried a chip with the curried ketchup. Good chip. Great curried ketchup. I think the menu is limiting if you are trying to eat healthfully, but it's a good menu with good food (albeit small).

    2. just a couple notes on past visits that you seem to want to go back to:
      libretto - why not try queen margherita pizza instead? it's been getting great reviews and might offer a fun contrast and compare to your prior experience.
      mother's dumplings - i suspect you went prior to their move? mentioning this in case you go and find the "family dumpling" place that has taken its spot. reports after the move were pretty poor with regards to waits and availability, but perhaps it's back up to where it used to be.

      if you're interested in another place with a great beer selection but not as much atmosphere as beer bistro, i cannot recommend rhino out in parkdale enough. their prices are astoundingly low compared to all the other beer bars in toronto and their list is a mile long. you do run into the chance of getting an old bottle or of them being out of some of them (there's at least one beer that i don't think they've bothered to replenish). the food is really not worth even a first look, but you'll be amidst a strip of caribbean roti shops and i would highly recommend at least trying one of them. my favourite is roti lady for the goat roti... an excellent, excellent curry.

      black hoof doesn't take any reservations, be prepared to wait! one of my current favourite brunches is black hoof cafe (they're running a touch on the sweet side with the current menu but i like it much better than previous stuff) and going up north towards st clair for stockyards... their eggs benny with andouille sausage, fried poached egg, cajun hollandaise and biscuit (all house made) is a steal at $13.

      did you get any bahn mi while on spadina last time? fab snack to start you off and then go wander kensington and snack more!

      11 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        Pinstripeprincess,

        Thank you…this is exactly the info we’re looking for.

        I’ll add Queen Marg to the list. We went to Mother’s before the move last September. How far is Rhino from the core? We never got a chance to try a Roti, I’ll add them to the list. Are there any places worth checking for Jamaican patties in that area?

        Bahn mi is on the list as well, any good Pho recs?

        1. re: pete k

          other than the queen and beaver mentioned above... i wouldn't say there's any great selection of gastropubs in toronto. even then the q&b has a pretty meager, though well chosen, beer list and i find the food can be hit or miss and so i'd rather eat at one place then get beer at another. you can't beat their atmopshere though.

          rhino is rather far, probably a 20 min streetcar westward if there isn't awful traffic. keeping in mind the streetcar does make a lot of stops. but i would make the trek, i think it's well worth it if you want a great beer selection... the amount of money you'd probably save vs getting the similar beers at beer bistro or biermarkt would probably make up for the cab fare back. http://www.therhino.ca/

          i'm not keen on any of their patties, but its because my near and dear favourite is up at lansdowne and bloor (great area also if you want ethiopian, the super cheap and cheerful favourite is nazareth closer to ossington.... might be full of hipsters but don't let that deter you). do try a double if you've never had one... otherwise i'm not keen on any of them in particular.

          my preferred bahn mi place is nguyen huong but there are easily half a dozen places to go to. when they're on it's the most spectacular $1.75 you've ever spent, some days it's just ok. no pho recs.... unless you're willing to go more westward or north. there are some great restaurants for bun and cooked items though like anh dao.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            We can do 20 minutes on a street car, sound promising, thanks again for the rec. I’ve added Nguyen Huong to the list since we’ll be in that area quite a bit. Looks like there’s a place called Patty King @ Kensington Market, I wonder if that’s worth a shot?

            1. re: pete k

              i don't go there any more after finding the various versions i like around town, but some do like it.

              1. re: pete k

                Patty King is fine. There's better, but not shabby at all. It's been there since the 60s they say.

                1. re: Herb

                  I like their goat patties and I love their doubles. But in the market, I'd also recommend going to Salsas, it's close to Patty King (north on Augusta) and so delicious! Lots of fillings to choose from and the taquitos are only $1.25 (?) so it's a fun snack.

                  Oh, and if you're able to arrive at Black Hoof when they open (6pm), you shouldn't have to wait for a table.

            2. re: pete k

              I think Queen Margherita is amazing (for the pizza, not the other parts of the prix fixe), but I'm not sure if they will be able to accomodate a group of 5 without a reservation. I would at least recommend calling when you're on your way there to give them the head's up and to make sure they will be able to accomodate you.

              I would go to Lady Marmalade for brunch/lunch over Bonjour Brioche any time.

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              Bonjour Brioche
              812 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

              1. re: pescatarian

                Adding Lady to the list of possibles...thanks again.

                @ Herb, any other recs for JP's?

                I recall having a pretty decent one next to a head shop on Queen W...can't remember the name of the place.

              2. re: pete k

                If you want to stick to Chinatown for pho, I'd say the best bowl I've had recently was at Saigon Palace.

                I like Rhino a lot, but if you don't want to go that far west for beer, I'll throw out another option of Smokeless Joe's. The beer prices are higher, but they have some good, simple things on the menu and the service is a wee bit more efficient than at Rhino (which can be downright glacial when they get busy). And their mussels are better than Duggan's.

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                Saigon Palace
                454 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2G8, CA

                Smokeless Joe
                Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

                1. re: Wahooty

                  Thank you for all the recs! You guys have been a lot more helpful than the folks over on another site I won't mention here.

                  1. re: pete k

                    in terms of pubs - i agree there aren't a ton of great gastropubs in toronto. but i love a good pub and can't stand any of the fox or firkin type of places. i actually like beer bistro food, so, i caution you on my recs!

                    the auld spot on the danforth - small, but i liked the food and the atmosphere.
                    http://www.auldspot.ca/auldspot/

                    the rebel house - good food, some of it high priced (one thing that comes to mind is a house specilaty - spinach and cheese pennies, which are delish, but like, in the $8-10 range, which is laughable when you see the portion size).
                    http://www.rebelhouse.ca/

                    harbord house - haven't been here before, but it's on my list to try. i like the location, good street for roaming.
                    http://www.harbordhouse.ca/hh/

                    i also really like the abbott, which is really north on yonge between york mills and lawrence. probably not in a location that's desireable if you are downtown, but i need to give it a mention. they have really good food, excellent sticky toffee pudding. but the service is cranky.
                    no website.

                    enjoy!