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Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (Canadian Version)

My boyfriend and I have spent the entire summer working so we can travel around Canada from mid Sept - December. We're huge fans of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so we really want to do our own version. We're from Toronto so we want to get out of the city and venture around northern Ontario. We're also going to PEI, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia. In case you haven't seen DDD, we are looking for places with huge portions of homecooked/fresh food. We want to chow down with the locals so no chains and no shmancy gourmet food!

Thanks for your help!

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    1. vesta lunch -- original diner with formica counter and stools, where you can find char brolied burgers--according to their sign. Love it...
      Mars Diner -- 50's style stainless steel diner and lunch counter, not what it was 15 years ago, but still a great place to get a greasy breakfast (at 4am on a weekend). I worry this place will eventually be overtaken by gentrification, and the fear of cholesterol. come for the grease, stay for the sardine sandwich on rye.

      3 Replies
      1. re: NoraBlenderbee

        Vesta and Mars are possibly the 2 worst restaurants in the city, in no way would either of these places make it on the show

        1. re: Bobby Wham

          I stopped going to Mars a couple of years ago when we sat in the back and saw a large area of mold on the wall...the place is filthy.

        2. re: NoraBlenderbee

          Mars : Yes, with the exception of the corned beef hash. And hope for a friendly waitress.

        3. Sorry, but you shouldn't bother. There aren't any good diner's drive-ins or dives in Canada. all you're going to find is disappointment and Tim Horton's. See there's a reason behind this. If you watch the show, all the places have a theme right, home made, local, and big portions right? 1st thing. Canadians' don't do barbecue, second, anything "fresh and home made" in Canada countryside is usually Pies, baked goods and preserves. and the huge portions is just an American thing. If you get a small portion in the states you think you are being ripped off. Any diner or dive you're going to find on the road through out Canada will be 100% frozen, processed food.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Bobby Wham

            I call BS

            On two counts, count 1 is that in point of fact a few (and maybe more than a few) of the places GF goes on his show are actually pretty awful, and a lot of the ones that aren't aren't really diners or drive ins, a prime example of this would be the fish restaurant he went to in the Hawaii episode.

            The other one is that there are in fact places in Canada that qualify, you just have to look around and maybe dig a bit because yes, the good local joints are sometimes well hidden. Some examples I can think of off the top of my head, John's Lunch or Jim's Pizza in Dartmouth, NS for fried clams, pig tails at the Heidelberg House in "suburban" KW.

            Yes it's sad that many of the places in small towns where they actually roast their own turkeys for the hot turkey sandwiches etc. are pretty thin on the ground (I pine for a place in Smithville now long gone), but they are out there.

            1. re: bytepusher

              I'm with bytePusher I call BS too, that's a pretty broad statement to back up, In 5.7 million square miles there isn't one worthy diner

            2. re: Bobby Wham

              I beg to differ. First and foremorst, PEI. It has a ton of old-school Dairy Bars near almost every small town and a lot of them have homemade food using fresh, local ingredients. But since I don't want this posting to get booted from the thread, I will stick to Ontario.

              I think that when we speak about DDD in Canada, we have to consider that it is going to be a lot more ethnic than the DDDs in the States. With that in mind:
              1. United Dairy Bakers at Bath and Lawrence. A kosher-style diner/dive that has been around forever. They have the most delicious homemade soups, especially the famous pea soup, among many other fresh items.
              2. Albert's Real Jamaican on St. Clair. Once again a dive that has been around forever with some great, fresh food.
              3. Many of the middle-eastern restaurants in the Bathurst/Steeles area, especially Sababa, a dive with the best falafels, salads, homemade pitas, and of course, the lentil soup.

              To sum it up, think outside the "American" food box, and you will find many worth DDDs in Canada.

              -----
              Albert's Real Jamaican
              542 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C, CA

              Sababa
              390 Steeles W, Thornhill, ON L4J6X6, CA

              1. re: Bobby Wham

                I've got to disagree with you, Bobby! There are some great places that I've already had the pleasure of eating at in Ontario that definitely do fit the bill! I know they're out there, but they are usually hidden in small towns.

                1. re: Bobby Wham

                  DDD often hits breakfast joints, and I think one that GF would love in Toronto is Mitzi's (on Souraren over by Roncesvalles Village). Chalkboard menu of 6-8 dishes, fantastic oatmeal pancakes and some really unique egg dishes (who knew kimchi would work on eggs?). Mismatched coffee mugs and furniture give it a certain kitschy feel and its stuck right in the middle of residential streets, which adds to its charm. Portions aren't the usual DDD, but to me that is the lowest priority in finding something "DDD-worthy" in Toronto.

                  1. re: torontojoe

                    Good call on Mitzi's. Only thing is there's no way they're getting a camera crew into that kitchen.

                    1. re: torontojoe

                      I think Aunties and Uncles would qualify, too.

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                      Aunties and Uncles
                      74 Lippincott St, Toronto, ON M5S2P1, CA

                  2. Mad Michael's, just outside Midland. I had lunch there this weekend, first time. It was utterly delightful. Real bbq, everything from scratch. Warm friendly service in a whimsical setting.

                    -----
                    Mad Michael's
                    8215 93 Hwy, Wyebridge, ON L0K1E0, CA

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: haggisdragon

                      So please add your comments to the Mad Michaels thread.

                      -----
                      Mad Michael's
                      8215 93 Hwy, Wyebridge, ON L0K1E0, CA

                      1. re: estufarian

                        Will do. Actually it was your posts there that lead me to Mad Michael's.

                        -----
                        Mad Michael's
                        8215 93 Hwy, Wyebridge, ON L0K1E0, CA

                        1. re: haggisdragon

                          Love that place - but the more independent reviews the merrier.

                        1. re: haggisdragon

                          Strongly agree with Mad Michael's. Thanks to your suggestion, my wife and I went to MM's last Friday for lunch on our way up north. We travel a lot in the States and have hit 15-20 triple D spots with great results. MM's is a quintessential D,DIs, Ds type of restaurant.

                          EVERYTHING is from scratch. Smoked meats (Pulled Pork, Brisket, Montreal Style), pickles, amazing sauer kraut (different but good), killer potato salad, ALL baked goods (corn bread to die for, excellent buns and breads, butter tarts that will blow your mind, and a selection of pies that would make a desert lover faint - really).

                          In addition to the food, MM is a character, the staff were friendly and helpful, the restaurant is also a wacky boutique, and go out back and check MM's smoking rig and grill. This place is a find. Only open until Thanksgiving though.

                          Thanks again for the tip.

                          -----
                          Mad Michael's
                          8215 93 Hwy, Wyebridge, ON L0K1E0, CA

                          1. re: haggisdragon

                            It is way over priced and obviously has never rated real southern BBQ as well as you never know when it is open. Very strange hours

                            1. re: Robmckend

                              Its hours are aimed at the cottage country people - so are perfectly logical.
                              Open Thu-Sun at Noon for lunch and 5:00pm for Dinner - what's strange about that?
                              It's called Mad Michaels Restaurant & Bakery - not sure where you get the Southern BBQ clainm from that.
                              Indeed they do smoke their own meat (including Elk, Bison etc) - not exactly Southern staples and instead of using Wonderbread they actually use something edible.
                              Pricing has never caused me a problem - I find them reasonable for what you get - the best brisket I've found in Canada (better in Texas tho') but the best sauce I've found ANYWHERE.
                              Their pork is 'texas-style' - NOT ribs. Their cornbread is, again, the best I've had anywhere.

                              If you don't like their style (or prices) - that's fair comment, although you haven't given any examples. But to criticize them for not doing 'real southern BBQ' is totally unfair, when they don't even attempt to mimic that style (at least the ones I'm familiar with).

                              1. re: Robmckend

                                Sentence structure and grammar, man!! I don't know what you're saying here.

                                I assume your overall gist is that you don't care for MM. You'd be in the minority I must say. A lot of die-hard BBQ lovers really like MM. Myself included. But to each their own.

                            2. Sounds like a fun trip.

                              I'm a big fan of the show too. It's just bad to watch at night because it gets me hungry lol.

                              Here are my recommendations to you for Ontario.

                              Hamilton: Harbour Diner. You can search it on CH for further reviews. It's a dive diner. Good menu, good portions, good prices.
                              http://www.harbourdiner.com/

                              Southampton - Sauble Beach area: Armen's Cafe. This place has never been reviewed on CH, but if you go up this area towards Owen Sound - Wiarton etc..then drive over to Southampton. It's a quaint lakeside town and there's this eclectic diner called Armens Cafe that is pretty cool. The chef, Armen, does pretty much everything from scratch and has a very cool menu. Desserts are very good - had the lemon meringue pie and some of the strawberry sour cream cheesecake and both were excellent. He's only open from late spring to early fall and uses alot of local ingredients as well.
                              This place is definitely Triple-D worthy.

                              Sarnia: Purdy's Fish and Chips. It's only open till mid October. This place would qualify, as Guy Fieri has done a few dockside grills in Florida, Mass and California.
                              http://www.purdyfisheries.com/docksid...
                              The menu is simple but good: Fresh caught fish, fried.

                              -----
                              Harbour Diner
                              488 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8L1J1, CA

                              1. Mackies in Port Stanley- for their fries and orangeade:
                                http://www.portstanleynews.com/detail...

                                1. If you're going to be around Windsor-ish, I'd suggest checking out Bubi's - on the west side of downtown. They're obsessed with garlic, and I've always gotten good food there. There's also a place in Leamington called Taco Tony's - definitely a DIVE, but really good tacos...

                                  -----
                                  Taco Tony
                                  52 Erie St S, Leamington, ON N8H3A9, CA

                                  1. I would agree Toronto is nearly completely lacking in such places. "Nearly", because there might be one I haven't found yet.

                                    13 Replies
                                    1. re: Pincus

                                      La Hacienda, The Senator, The Prague, Sukhothai, Johnny's Burgers, Burger shoppe/Craft Burger, Big Fat Burrito, Country Style Restaurant, Chippy's, Swatow, the list goes on.

                                      What are you talking about Toronto is lacking?

                                      -----
                                      Big Fat Burrito
                                      285 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2M1, CA

                                      Swatow
                                      309 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E6, CA

                                      La Hacienda
                                      640 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1E4, CA

                                      Sukhothai
                                      274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                      1. re: currycue

                                        Sneaky Dee's is pretty dive-y.

                                        -----
                                        Sneaky Dee's
                                        431 College St, Toronto, ON M5T1T1, CA

                                        1. re: currycue

                                          None of these places would make it on the show, Johnny's burger's uses frozen patties

                                          1. re: Bobby Wham

                                            Anyone who suggests Johnny's Burgers doesn't watch the show.

                                            I'm not gonna say it doesn't have a spot but you have to be (mostly) scratch cooking to qualify.

                                            Burger's Priest would qualify nicely.

                                            DT

                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                It's funny to me that some people think Johnny's is a legit burger spot. Johnny's is horrible. FROZEN PATTIES, tastes like a worse version of Harvey's. for some reason people vouch for this place, the only selling point is that it has is that it has been around for a really long time, this is a perfect example of what I've been talking about. If this is what we think of a good burger spot then where do we go from here. Guy Fieri would laugh at this place, I can just imagine it on the show "So we start with a frozen patty out of the freezer that's been made by some off-site company, slap it on the grill, take some frozen fries out of a bag and huck them in the deep frier" Seriously what's the difference between Johnny's and Mcdonald's? P.S rather eat Mcdonald's any day over Johnny's

                                            1. re: currycue

                                              La Hacienda are you kidding? have you seen the Mexican places Guy has visited in Arizona, New mexico, that actually grow their own peppers in their own garden, smoke their own chipolte's etc.

                                              1. re: currycue

                                                Of that list, *maybe* Sukhothai. The rest rely too much on processed food to be DDD-worthy.

                                                I had a thought, maybe Gale's Lunch Spot, but they probably suffer from the processed food issue as well.

                                                1. re: Pincus

                                                  Gale's is a possibility. She roasts her own bird for the club sarnies. I think the fries are frozen (?). Its been a while since I was there though.

                                                  1. re: Atahualpa

                                                    No their fries were always fresh.

                                                    1. re: terrycar

                                                      OK, I believe that. They look fresh to me in jlunar's photo too.

                                                    2. re: Atahualpa

                                                      I thought of Gayle's too, but thought it was also too "processed" to qualify. The club sammy is about all that would qualify. I think the fries are frozen too, but not too sure. Here's the post on when I went, so if you can identify from photos, give it it a go..

                                                      http://www.foodpr0n.com/2010/02/09/ga...

                                                      It most certainly is a dive - albeit a really clean one - and the prices are from a by-gone age.

                                                      I should go back for shiggles some time.

                                                2. re: Pincus

                                                  Try Wolfies Deli on Sheppard west of Bathurst. Ridicluous corned beef and pastrami sandwiches. AWESOME

                                                3. I'm pretty sure Ted's Range Road Diner in Meaford would qualify for DD&D. I tried to go there last Monday on my way home from Owen Sound, but he wasn't open for lunch, even though his website said he was. Search this board and you will definitely find more info. It's house in a quanza hut.

                                                  -----
                                                  Ted's Range Road Diner
                                                  , Meaford, ON N4L, CA

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: bigos70

                                                    I agree bigos70. My SO and I went there last fall for dinner. It was down a dark road in the middle of nowhere but the place was packed. We went withour reservations so we ended up eating at the bar. Behind the bar they had assorted local memorabilia and nik naks stuck on the wall. They had no menu. Just chalk boards listing things like emu, musk ox and even kangaroo. I ended up ordering the Lemon Pepper Splake fresh from Georgian Bay and my SO had a local farm raised Caribou Medallions with peppercorn sauce. It was excellent and we were filled to the gills. They also had simple things on the menu like schnitzel.

                                                    1. re: bigos70

                                                      This is a good call! I went eons ago and had a good time. Linked to a shot of the exterior, but the rest of the flickr set should have menu-on-the-wall shots:

                                                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/1...

                                                      Caveat: These were taken in 2006...

                                                      1. re: jlunar

                                                        I've been itching to go here! My boyfriend used to live in Meaford. It's definitely on my list.

                                                    2. Head up to Maple and visit Chicago Pizza Kitchen.

                                                      As much as possible is made in house. Fantastic pizza and sandwiches.

                                                      The Olde Heidelberg House in Heidelberg just outside St. Jacob's. Great German food and amazing house brewed lager.

                                                      DT

                                                      -----
                                                      Chicago Pizza Kitchen
                                                      2338 Major MacKenzie Dr, Maple, ON L6A3Y7, CA

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                        Hmmm, I was at the Heidelberg House last week and they no lomger have their own brew...the house brew is now Rickard's...as an aside, I found the sauce on the pigtails too sweet for my taste, not like the ones that Schauss used to sell at the Kitchener market(nice and gummy) but the big attraction from what I could see now at the Heidedlberg is the pork hock dinner-this thing is the size of a small roast! Was really bringing the cameras out!

                                                        1. re: Wiley

                                                          Agree that the pork hock is the main attraction at the Heidelberg House.

                                                          The hock was fine, but the trout and the schnitzel were mediocre on my last visit.

                                                          1. re: phoenikia

                                                            Olde Heidelberg House and Anna Mae's in Millbank, Ontario are a far cry from what you see on Drive ins, diners and dives. These are simply good places to eat but not spectacular. That would be like saying Webers hamburger joint off Hwy 11 was amazing which it's not. I'm hard pressed to offer any eatery in the Kitchener/Waterloo area as one of those DDD places although many are extremely great places to eat. Fireside and Oscar's come to mind as fulfilling feeds.

                                                      2. I vote for Anna Mae's in Millbank, Ontario (in the countryside about 20 minutes north-ish of St. Jacobs). Classic Mennonite cooking - huge portions, all fresh and home-cooked and sourced from local farms, for extremely reasonable prices. Soup or salad, bread, huge entree, and homemade pie all for $10 a person. True, they've added a disturbingly large gift shop to the lobby, and you'll have to wait an hour for a table if you go on a weekend for lunch, but it is SO worth it. Broasted chicken, roast beef, roast pork with applesauce... Mmmmm. AND they have a bakery attached where you can buy breads and pies to take home.

                                                        http://www.annamaes.ca/

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: StriderGirl

                                                          That's a great place too. I love their broasted chicken.

                                                          DT

                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                            Lots of good diners, dives and such have been nominated on this thread, though many haven't the flair that Americans seem to instinctively bring to the category. Still, the grub is invariably solid at those Canadian joints mentioned here that I've tried, if a little less razzle-dazzle than their U.S. counterparts. Let me add a couple that I've already listed on an earlier thread about the same subject: in Oshawa, Ont., there's the locally popular Teddy's, a five-minute drive off the 401. Always crowded, but the line moves quickly, helped by a veteran staff. I'm partial to the turkey dinner; And in Toronto, whenever I'm looking for an inexpensive diner that seems to do everything well at reasonable prices, I head uptown to Steeles Deli, in a plaza on Steeles Ave. W., just west of Yonge St. Packed with a local, older clientele that knows good eatin'. You won't do better at the price for a liver dinner, soup included. Also, excellent value on the Cobb salad. But then, everything's tasty there, though I don't think the ribs are as marvelous as everyone else says they are. Good, but not marvelous.

                                                            1. re: juno

                                                              Understand that in 8 seasons of the show there have been just over 300 places profiled on DDD. On a per capita basis that would suggest that there should be only 30 odd DDD worthy places in all of Canada. I'm sure there are.

                                                        2. A few of the places featured on the show are only loosely considered a diner, drive-in or dive, but do serve up something unexpected. I think if I was nominating something I'd put up Ghandi roti as a contender.

                                                          (Sorry for another Toronto-centric post, I know you're looking for out-of-town ideas!)

                                                          1. If you're in the London area, there's a restaurant called Joe Kool's that has something called the Kitchen Sink Pizza. It has yet to be replicated anywhere and is so decadent and delicious. I have a hard time thinking of anywhere in Toronto or surrounding burbs that could fit the bill of something unique, gluttonous and out of this world tasty. Not terribly unique, but also gluttonous is the Cordon Bleu Schnitzel at Country Style on Bloor. Heaven.

                                                            -----
                                                            Joe Kool's
                                                            595 Richmond St, London, ON N6A3G2, CA

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: MeMeMe

                                                              Schnitzel Queen on Queen East has a Cordon Bleu schnitzel as well. Not sure how it stacks up to Country Style, but when I had it, I didn't feel like moving for a while. It's pretty dive-y too.

                                                            2. Easy Restaurant in Parkdale is another great place. I love their huevos divorciados, served with both green and red salsa. Most of the ingredients are made in-house.

                                                              Only thing is, Easy serves plenty of other things on their menu. Whenever I've caught a few minutes of the DDD show, it always seems the places on DDD are known for 1 specific dish.

                                                              -----
                                                              Easy Restaurant
                                                              1645 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R1A9, CA

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: phoenikia

                                                                It's actually our family tradition to visit DDD places when we travel to the US.

                                                                So far, we have visited most of the DDD's recommended in LA, Austin, San Francisco and Boston. Lots of breakfast places, ethnic places and diners. One thing in common is large portions and fresh made food.

                                                                We've have great pancakes and burgers in Austin, chicken and waffles in LA, the Portugese diner in SanFrancisco and some great chowder and meatloaf in Boston.

                                                                Unfortunately, we've been searching for something similarly fun to visit in Ontario and so far have not found many options.

                                                                One thing about the DDD places though, although the food is tasty. The portions are so big and the food so RICH and 'greasy', we always have trouble finishing everything.

                                                              2. Another restaurant ala DDD is the Granary Swiss Restuarant in Van Kleek Hill. It's been years since I went there, and I don't know if it's still in business, but it was my favorite place to go when I was in town. If it's still open, I would definitly recomend it.

                                                                The Granary Swiss Restaurant

                                                                3270 County Rd.10, Vankleek Hill, ON K0B 1R0
                                                                Phone: (613) 678-5161

                                                                1. I myself love DDD and I believe there are 2 restaurants in Oshawa that could possibly qualify here the first is Rainbow Restaurant on Simcoe St. it is definately a dive but they sell one of the best breakfasts I have ever had the price is good and so much food that 1 platter could feed 2 or more people, the other restaurant is Teddys on the corner of King St. and Park Rd they have many different meals and deals but anything made with real turkey gets an A plus from me and they make just about everything with it and their deli meats are well known by just about everyone. Hope this helps Another dive I can tell you about is in a little town called Springbrook about 30-40 mins north of Belleville, just about everything there is homemade and delicious, price are good as well with friendly staff and owners if you can get a chance to try it believe me its worth it.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: lecanadianfoodie

                                                                      The place in Springbrook was referred by the locals as the Bowling Alley as it did have a working 5 pin alley. It was shut down about 1 1/2 years ago. Unfortunatly the restaurant has closed down. Definately a DDD spot.

                                                                  1. You mentioned Northern Ontario, and since you're going across Canada I'm assuming you're referring to ACTUAL northern Ontario (i.e., not Barrie/Muskoka), you'll have to go to the Hoito in Thunder Bay for breakfast. Gigantic portions of homemade Finnish pancakes. It's always packed with locals. There's also a fairly large Italian population in Sault Ste. Marie, so I'd guess there are some good authentic Italian restaurants there, although I've never looked (usually trying to make it to Wawa before stopping!).

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Hoito Restaurant
                                                                    314 Bay St, Thunder Bay, ON P7B1S1, CA

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: sgogo

                                                                      We are on the road right now and heading North. Funny that you mention Hoito -- it's definitely on our list. We are going to Thunder Bay and then heading back. I'd like to visit a few more restaurants in Thunder Bay. Our plan is to do breakfast at Hoito (Finnish pancakes are a must), but we have no idea what to do for lunch or dinner. Any suggestions, sgogo?

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Hoito Restaurant
                                                                      314 Bay St, Thunder Bay, ON P7B1S1, CA

                                                                      1. re: lecanadianfoodie

                                                                        Unfortunately no, I haven't been there in so long, and my parents always want Swiss Chalet so that's where we would have ended up anyway. The only thing that comes to mind is Santorelli's - it's the Husky truck stop on the west side of town, and it's really popular, and has a little bit of everything. Not sure if truck stop is a real destination you're looking for, although we are talking about triple d here. It's on the way to Kekabeka, so if you're going there anyway it may warrant a stop.
                                                                        If I were you I'd ask around at the Hoito for some suggestions from the locals also.

                                                                        1. re: sgogo

                                                                          How about Famous Sam's in Gormley? Busy breakfast place.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Famous Sams Restaurant
                                                                          12275 Woodbine Ave S, Gormley, ON L0H1G0, CA

                                                                    2. OK this may not be a perfect fit, but it's worth a mention because it's such an unusual "dive".

                                                                      Called The Musket at 40 Advance Rd in Etobicoke (S of Dundas off Kipling), this dive is a transplanted German Guest House with good food (especially the schnitzels) and a great selection of imported beers on tap (including Warsteiner ! - arguably the best beer in the world). Located near the Dimpflmeier bakery, you'll hear mostly German being spoken. If you squint your eyes, you'll swear you are in German at a local Gasthaus...

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                        Saw it on Street Eats and it looks interesting.

                                                                        DT

                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                          Okay, I have to be honest and say I have no real experience with the food, but the atmosphere at the Musket is AMAZING. I was there for one of Germany's World Cup games last summer and barely got a seat on the patio. I had a lovely (and lively) conversation with the Frenchman who sells them their wine (the only person in the place drinking wine that afternoon), a German, and his Cuban girlfriend. Quite honestly one of my fondest memories of 3 years in Toronto - it was a truly Torontonian moment.

                                                                          And the plates of brats and sauerkraut floating past looked and smelled good, too. The only reason I didn't order one was the poor waitress was so swamped she was hard to flag down.

                                                                      2. If you are ever in the Winona area, a little town between Stoney Creek and Grimsby, check out Memphis Fire BBQ. This place is what DDD is all about. Slow cooking, fresh, top notch ingredients, with a trained chef who loves food. They smoke their pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken wings and ribs right out back. Ask the owner and he will show you the smoker. Everything is smoked for hours and hours. The place is becoming more and more popular and busy everyday of the week. It has only been open for about 10 months, but it is incredible and keeps getting better. The coleslaw and fires are incredible and Steam Whistle on tap to go with all this southern goodness. They even do Montreal smoked meat in the smoker.

                                                                        Another suggestion is The Dancing Goat in Margaree, NS on Cape Breton Island. The owner bought a little shack and started making homemade bread and desserts with great cups of coffee. Now those breads have turned into awesome sandwiches with first rate ingredients, daily soups and still all the baked goods. If you want a good cup of coffee anywhere on the island, this is the place. The owner has since built a new building with a few more seats inside. Breakfast is served there as well and is incredible. It's right on the Cabot Trail and shouldn't be skipped.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: porkchopharper

                                                                          Thanks PCH,

                                                                          Heard lots about Memphis (brother in law lives a few clicks away), and it is very well accepted on Urbanspoon (98% with 252 votes !). 98% of 252 people willing to vote on this place can't be wrong. Can't wait to give it a try.

                                                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                            You're welcome! I will look for your brother in law......haha!

                                                                          2. re: porkchopharper

                                                                            Thought I'd add that it looks like "You Gotta Eat Here" is filming at Memphis Fire tomorrow. We had also thought they'd be good for DDD. :-)

                                                                          3. My family loves this classic dive. 50's style bar (complete with martini glass sign) with ugly but fun decor, lots of neon and old concert posters from the area.

                                                                            We almost always get the tapas platter appetizer as the meal. Great grilled shrimp on it, love the pulled pork quesadeas, spicy cream cheese rolls and two fantastic dipping sauces. I ordered their big burger a few weeks ago and was duly impressed with the moistness and flavour. I've had a couple of their spicy Mexican dishes as well. It isn't always perfect but we've had very few bad times here. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.

                                                                            I was also impressed by the staff a few weeks back. they chased a drunk customer out to the parking lot and stopped him from driving away. the guys girlfriend had lied and said she'd drive. They followed her out and when he tried to get behind the wheel they physiclly stood in front of the vehicle until he got out and gave them the keys.

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                                                                            Ethel's Lounge
                                                                            114 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2J2X6, CA

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. This is the gospel for places like this: http://www.roadfood.com/

                                                                              Canada simply does not compare to the States on this front. It's not a matter of major cities - certainly, the food in Toronto or Vancouver is every bit as good as San Francisco or Boston - but the areas in between. The regional cuisine and ethnic variations in the U.S. are far more extensive and interesting. Every place you go has delicious food unique to that region. Fresh chiles in New mexico, lo-country cuisine in South Carolina, beef on weck or wings in Buffalo, meat and three in Tenessee, chicken paprikash in the midwest, pork tenderloin sandwiches in the heartland, lobster rolls in Maine - and that barely scratches the surface. You could organize a food tour around just the variations of bbq in N Carolina.

                                                                              There ARE places like this Canada - but there just aren't enough people to have the variety of fresh local cuisine that the U.S. does. Don't get me wrong - there's plenty of processed generic crap in the States, but roadfood gems are much easier to come by. You can venture out of the major cities and find really great food. This is VERY difficult to do when driving across Canada : )

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: penoose

                                                                                Been a follower of roadfood for quite some time. Use them on frequent US road trips (ohhhhh the BBQ). Unfortunately many of their "recommendations" are out of date, or even out of business, so check the dates and the number of reviews carefully. Don't want to dismiss them entirely, but Urbanspoon is much more reliable and up to date resource (other than Chowhound - of course).

                                                                              2. Not a place I visit but I believe The Tulip would qualify.
                                                                                Anyway, it might be easier to break it down to categories....
                                                                                Diner - The Senator? Tulip?
                                                                                Breakfast - Mitzi's Sister? Aunties and Uncles? KOS?
                                                                                Dumplings - Mothers?
                                                                                Noodles/Wonton/Soup - Swatow?
                                                                                BBQ - Stockyard? Memphis BBQ?
                                                                                Burgers - Priest? no big deal really. Maybe Universal? Used have great burgs n rings. Stockyards?
                                                                                Fish n Chips - Penrose? Reliable?
                                                                                Italian - California on Claremont? Mustachio's?
                                                                                European - Bella and Boris at St Lawrence?
                                                                                Jamaican - Alberts? Rap's?
                                                                                Caribbean - Island Foods?
                                                                                Indian Roti- Gandhi?
                                                                                Deli - Pancers? Caplanskys? Katzs?
                                                                                Jewish - Kivas? Bagel World?

                                                                                many more I am missing....

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                                                                                Aunties and Uncles
                                                                                74 Lippincott St, Toronto, ON M5S2P1, CA

                                                                                Swatow
                                                                                309 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E6, CA

                                                                                Caplansky's
                                                                                356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                                                                Mitzi's Sister
                                                                                1554 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R1A6, CA

                                                                                Memphis BBQ
                                                                                8074 Islington Ave, Woodbridge, ON L4L1W5, CA

                                                                                Bagel World
                                                                                10 Disera Dr #150, Vaughan, ON L4J0A7, CA

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: justsayn

                                                                                  I need a recommenation for a diner or burger joint for the part of the 400 between rosseau and port severn. Not highway 11 so dont say webers. not huntsville bracebridge gravenhurst collingwood wasaga etc.

                                                                                  1. re: Andremarty

                                                                                    You're fishin' in a pretty small pond...

                                                                                2. If people are still curious about this I found this map. It shows where all the restos they've filmed at are located!
                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.ca/ontv/shows/...

                                                                                  1 Reply