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

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lecanadianfoodie Aug 29, 2010 04:33 PM

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. t
    TexSquared RE: lecanadianfoodie Aug 29, 2010 05:50 PM

    Try this thread for a start:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/619901

    1. NoraBlenderbee RE: lecanadianfoodie Aug 29, 2010 07:35 PM

      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
        Bobby Wham RE: NoraBlenderbee Aug 30, 2010 08:15 AM

        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
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          stephen RE: Bobby Wham Aug 30, 2010 11:19 AM

          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
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          lamaranthe RE: NoraBlenderbee Aug 31, 2010 12:33 PM

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

        3. Bobby Wham RE: lecanadianfoodie Aug 30, 2010 08:08 AM

          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
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            bytepusher RE: Bobby Wham Aug 30, 2010 09:06 AM

            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
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              Dave5440 RE: bytepusher Jun 14, 2011 05:25 PM

              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
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              Toronto Fastfoodie RE: Bobby Wham Aug 31, 2010 05:02 AM

              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
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                lecanadianfoodie RE: Bobby Wham Aug 31, 2010 10:39 AM

                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
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                  torontojoe RE: Bobby Wham Sep 1, 2010 10:09 AM

                  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
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                    jamesm RE: torontojoe Sep 2, 2010 07:46 AM

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

                    1. re: torontojoe
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                      piccola RE: torontojoe Sep 5, 2010 06:12 PM

                      I think Aunties and Uncles would qualify, too.

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

                  2. haggisdragon RE: lecanadianfoodie Aug 30, 2010 09:17 AM

                    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
                      estufarian RE: haggisdragon Aug 30, 2010 11:24 AM

                      So please add your comments to the Mad Michaels thread.

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

                      1. re: estufarian
                        haggisdragon RE: estufarian Aug 31, 2010 06:15 AM

                        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
                          estufarian RE: haggisdragon Aug 31, 2010 07:25 AM

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

                      2. re: haggisdragon
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                        lecanadianfoodie RE: haggisdragon Aug 31, 2010 10:42 AM

                        Awesome!

                        1. re: haggisdragon
                          PoppiYYZ RE: haggisdragon Sep 19, 2010 06:08 AM

                          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: PoppiYYZ
                            haggisdragon RE: PoppiYYZ Sep 19, 2010 08:43 AM

                            Your welcome.

                          2. re: haggisdragon
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                            Robmckend RE: haggisdragon May 24, 2012 05:53 PM

                            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
                              estufarian RE: Robmckend May 25, 2012 07:33 AM

                              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
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                                magic RE: Robmckend May 25, 2012 09:43 AM

                                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. p
                              pakmode RE: lecanadianfoodie Aug 30, 2010 11:28 AM

                              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

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                                phoenikia RE: lecanadianfoodie Aug 30, 2010 03:14 PM

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

                                1. l
                                  ladyilsebet RE: lecanadianfoodie Aug 30, 2010 06:11 PM

                                  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. p
                                    Pincus RE: lecanadianfoodie Aug 31, 2010 08:12 AM

                                    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
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                                      currycue RE: Pincus Aug 31, 2010 02:11 PM

                                      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
                                        GoodGravy RE: currycue Aug 31, 2010 03:07 PM

                                        Sneaky Dee's is pretty dive-y.

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

                                        1. re: currycue
                                          Bobby Wham RE: currycue Sep 1, 2010 08:46 AM

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

                                          1. re: Bobby Wham
                                            Davwud RE: Bobby Wham Sep 1, 2010 09:11 AM

                                            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
                                              Bobby Wham RE: Davwud Sep 1, 2010 10:03 AM

                                              There we go, someone who knows!

                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                Bobby Wham RE: Davwud Sep 1, 2010 10:11 AM

                                                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

                                            2. re: currycue
                                              Bobby Wham RE: currycue Sep 1, 2010 08:52 AM

                                              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
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                                                Pincus RE: currycue Sep 1, 2010 08:54 AM

                                                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
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                                                  Atahualpa RE: Pincus Sep 1, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                  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
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                                                    terrycar RE: Atahualpa Sep 1, 2010 02:15 PM

                                                    No their fries were always fresh.

                                                    1. re: terrycar
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                                                      Atahualpa RE: terrycar Sep 1, 2010 02:36 PM

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

                                                    2. re: Atahualpa
                                                      jlunar RE: Atahualpa Sep 1, 2010 02:16 PM

                                                      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
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                                                  buzzcity01 RE: Pincus Aug 5, 2011 09:42 PM

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

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                                                  bigos70 RE: lecanadianfoodie Aug 31, 2010 06:11 PM

                                                  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
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                                                    mammoth RE: bigos70 Sep 1, 2010 09:39 AM

                                                    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
                                                      jlunar RE: bigos70 Sep 1, 2010 02:19 PM

                                                      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
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                                                        lecanadianfoodie RE: jlunar Sep 2, 2010 12:49 PM

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

                                                    2. Davwud RE: lecanadianfoodie Sep 1, 2010 04:35 AM

                                                      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
                                                        Wiley RE: Davwud Sep 2, 2010 08:16 AM

                                                        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
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                                                          phoenikia RE: Wiley Sep 2, 2010 08:18 AM

                                                          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
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                                                            Dimocules RE: phoenikia Jan 1, 2011 06:06 PM

                                                            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. s
                                                        StriderGirl RE: lecanadianfoodie Sep 1, 2010 05:47 AM

                                                        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
                                                          Davwud RE: StriderGirl Sep 1, 2010 06:12 AM

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

                                                          DT

                                                          1. re: Davwud
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                                                            juno RE: Davwud Sep 1, 2010 08:04 AM

                                                            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
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                                                              bytepusher RE: juno Sep 1, 2010 08:40 AM

                                                              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. Manybears RE: lecanadianfoodie Sep 1, 2010 12:50 PM

                                                          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. m
                                                            MeMeMe RE: lecanadianfoodie Sep 1, 2010 01:15 PM

                                                            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
                                                              GoodGravy RE: MeMeMe Sep 1, 2010 01:26 PM

                                                              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. p
                                                              phoenikia RE: lecanadianfoodie Sep 1, 2010 01:52 PM

                                                              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
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                                                                caitlink RE: phoenikia Sep 1, 2010 04:45 PM

                                                                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. q
                                                                qajohn RE: lecanadianfoodie Sep 4, 2010 06:51 PM

                                                                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

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                                                                  newfiegurl2010 RE: lecanadianfoodie Sep 5, 2010 03:01 AM

                                                                  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: newfiegurl2010
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                                                                    lecanadianfoodie RE: newfiegurl2010 Sep 8, 2010 08:29 AM

                                                                    What's the place in Springbrook called?

                                                                    1. re: lecanadianfoodie
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                                                                      fatman0000 RE: lecanadianfoodie Feb 8, 2011 08:32 PM

                                                                      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.

                                                                  2. sgogo RE: lecanadianfoodie Sep 19, 2010 09:51 AM

                                                                    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
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                                                                      lecanadianfoodie RE: sgogo Sep 27, 2010 12:44 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        sgogo RE: lecanadianfoodie Sep 27, 2010 08:39 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          Wiley RE: sgogo Sep 28, 2010 09:37 AM

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

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

                                                                    2. PoppiYYZ RE: lecanadianfoodie Jan 2, 2011 07:08 AM

                                                                      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
                                                                        Davwud RE: PoppiYYZ Jan 2, 2011 06:09 PM

                                                                        Saw it on Street Eats and it looks interesting.

                                                                        DT

                                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                                          Wahooty RE: Davwud Feb 8, 2011 03:34 PM

                                                                          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.

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                                                                        porkchopharper RE: lecanadianfoodie Feb 8, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          PoppiYYZ RE: porkchopharper Feb 8, 2011 04:54 PM

                                                                          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
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                                                                            porkchopharper RE: PoppiYYZ Mar 22, 2011 04:23 PM

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

                                                                          2. re: porkchopharper
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                                                                            andreaplants RE: porkchopharper Apr 17, 2012 07:13 PM

                                                                            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. :-)

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                                                                            LooterU2 RE: lecanadianfoodie Mar 22, 2011 08:44 AM

                                                                            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.

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

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: LooterU2
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                                                                              johnnytwoshirts RE: LooterU2 Jun 15, 2011 03:43 PM

                                                                              I second Ethel's.

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                                                                              penoose RE: lecanadianfoodie Jun 13, 2011 08:47 AM

                                                                              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
                                                                                PoppiYYZ RE: penoose Jun 13, 2011 05:36 PM

                                                                                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. justsayn RE: lecanadianfoodie Jun 13, 2011 07:01 PM

                                                                                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....

                                                                                -----
                                                                                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
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                                                                                  Andremarty RE: justsayn Jul 31, 2011 11:32 AM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                    PoppiYYZ RE: Andremarty Jul 31, 2011 04:02 PM

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

                                                                                    1. re: PoppiYYZ
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                                                                                      Whats_For_Dinner RE: PoppiYYZ Jul 31, 2011 07:35 PM

                                                                                      A puddle.

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                                                                                  LexiFirefly RE: lecanadianfoodie Apr 18, 2012 05:28 AM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                  1. re: LexiFirefly
                                                                                    Davwud RE: LexiFirefly Apr 18, 2012 05:42 AM

                                                                                    Cool

                                                                                    DT

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