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Aug 31, 2010 11:51 AM

Back to Toronto After 10 Years

I'll be in Toronto in a few days and want to revisit some old places I used to enjoy 10 years ago (unreal how time flies) when I lived there for a year. As we all know 10 years in the restaurant business in an eternity so I'm sure a lot has changed, places have closed, changed ownership, and of course our tastes mature, what we thought was great food 10 years ago might not be tasty anymore.

Please let me know if these places are still worth the visit, if they are still opened, if they've moved, etc.. other suggestions for similar places are welcomed.

I don't remember the names of most of these places, I'm just going off location. Some restos I have tracked down using the CH boards or Google Streetview, for others I have no clue.

The Portuguese chicken grill place on St. Clair east of Keele (maybe 1 km) with a red sign and the open grill right on the storefront, it was mostly take out and had some counter space in the back IIFC and they had those great round roasted whole potatoes.

Pho place on Jane right around the 401. I think this is the place I used to go to, I just used streetview and actually tracked down what I believe is the place I'm looking for, the strip mall rings a bell. Seems to be called 'Mi Pho - Song Vu', according to Google street it's at 2092 Jane.

A Thai restaurant in the High Park/Junction area which was on Dundas west of Keele on the north side, I can't seem to find this one. There seems to be two other Thai restaurants currently there but on the south side.

Is Meze's on the Danforth still around?
How about Grano on Yonge/Eglington area?
San Francesco's (sp) in Little Italy for veal sandwiches?
The gelato place on St Clair's Little Italy? It was near a park, also east of Keele but before the Portuguese place IIRC.

Albert's still seems to be opened on St Clair but I've caught a few posts in here that say the roti is not good, (I remember it being alright but like I said our tastes change), Roti was pretty new to me 10 years ago. I prefer the Guyanese styled rotis anyway, is Bachus (sp) still around? According to this board it was on "Restaurant Makeover", I remember only having their roti once but it had come recommended and I remember enjoying it.

I've also read on this board that Cuisine of India had only recently closed down, it was really good 10 years ago. Anything similar, I recall it being very fresh.

Sorry for the long post, any feedback is appreciated.

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  1. I got another one, a Hungarian hole in the wall mom and pop operation on Bathurst, I believe just south of the 401. IIRC it was in the highly populated Jewish area if that helps.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ios94

      Are you thinking of Europe? It's on Bathurst just south of Lawrence on the west side. It's still there and still very yummy.

      The gelato place on St Clair and Lansdowne is La Paloma, it's still there also and they're very busy, lineups out the door.

      1. re: fickle

        I can't remember the name but yes around Lawrence (I will find the address of "Europe" and streetview to see if it rings a bell. La Paloma sounds familiar. I feel like I'm coming out of a coma. :)

        I'm trying to search for "best 'fill in ethnicity' " but there are too many threads and people for the most part seem to differ quite a bit on their opinion of each cuisine. i.e. looking for good Mexican, Roti and Indian and what one sees as really good someone else thinks it's junk.

        Any good general threads you recommend for good ethnic eats.

        Edit - I tracked it down on streetview, I think that may be the place Fickle. It looks like it is newly renovated on the outside. I recall it being a bit more run down but that is probably it. I won't have time to revisit all of these but hopefully a few at least. Thanks.

        1. re: ios94

          Europe Bar & Restaurant is definitely very yummy (and great value) -- there are a number of postings on this board about it.

          Mezes on the Danforth is still there, though I haven't been for a while so can't comment on the food.

          Grano's still around. I've had some really good meals there, but sometimes it really falls short. In particular, my last visit (a couple of months ago) I had a pretty awful meal. Not sure what others' experiences have been. I'll still go back, as I live in the neighbourhood, but I wouldn't make a special visit if you're only in town for a short while.

          2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

          456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

          1. re: torontofoodiegirl

            Grano > had a lunch there on earthquake day. It was really not very good. I have had good meals previously (in years past).

            2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

            1. re: torontofoodiegirl

              Was at Mezes for lunch/dinner (not sure what 3pm really counts as) on Monday, both the food and the service was solid. I had the zinnis rice plate which was beautifully done, the calamari was tender and the pork & chicken wasn't overcooked.

              456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

      2. Just walked by Churrasco of St. Clair and it's still going strong. They also still have a branch at St. Lawrence Market as well.

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: currycue

          Was very disappointed with Churrasco of St Clair, see below.

        2. Re the Thai Restaurant in High Park/Junction, that place has been gone for at least 4 years now. It's now the Purple Onion (diner). The three Thai places in the Junction are ok. Not that spectacular.

          Purple Onion
          2998 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P1Z3, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: cecilia

            Of the three, I find Friendly Thai to be the best (doesn't say much). If you want inexpensive, authentic Thai, head to Sukhothai downtown.

            274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

          2. If you are havent been here for 10 years, the Hungarian Place is Paprika and sadly the previous chef died and it hasnt been the same. Europe is another Hungarian restaurant on Bathurst that as only been there for a year or two or three and heard it is good.

            Yes Grano is still there. Its good but Toronto's Italian restaurant choices since you have been here are incredible.

            Mezes on Danforth is also still there.

            As far as Indian, where are you located which may help in recommending an alternative to the Cuisine of India.

            There is wonderful Churrasco on Eglinton Avenue just west of Mt Pleasant.

            Go to place for veal sandwiches also tends to be California Sandwiches has various locations.

            Happy eating....

            2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

            456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

            4 Replies
            1. re: breezey

              Thank you to those that replied, unfortunately I didn't have web access when I was there so I missed a couple of your recommendations. Obviously 3 days is not enough time to get to old faves and try new recommendations. Too bad cause my friend was really adamant of a few.

              It was nice hanging out in some of the old areas again although I don't miss the hectic amount of traffic, it seems as if it has gotten worse over the years mind you I don't think the roadwork on the 401, Gardiner, QEW and all over the city helps.

              Anyhow, here's a quick run down of what we tried (sorry for the long post);

              CNE - Corndogs from scratch were great, pierogies nothing special, roti from Al's lacked flavor, wings from St Louis which I never tried before were a massive disappointment, it seems that they were sauced then fried and very dry on the outside.

              Athens Pastries on the Danforth for spanakopita and tiropita were excellent, Louis Gyro (first time ever trying this place and it was excellent, the pork was tasty and tender although it could have used a lot more tzatziki). It beats Alexandros Gyro but that isn't very difficult, (I tried Alexandros twice 10 years ago, the second time giving it the benefit of the doubt and I threw most of it in the garbage as that is where it belonged, I can't believe this place is still in business serving such horrible food).

              The wife and I shared a veal sandwich from San Francesco which was good although we showed up at about 5pm and I think they just nuked the veal from earlier in the day but it was still ok, the sauce with the hot peppers is still great.

              Met with a friend who lives in Toronto for dinner on our second night. We wanted Indian and since it was getting late we asked for his recommendation near his area (High Park), he had heard good things about Curry Twist on Dundas just west of Keele so we decided on that. It did the job but I'm sure we could have had better. That night he mentioned that the Thai place next to Twist was ok as was the one up the street, "Silk". Palmoa for dessert was great, just as I remembered it.

              Next day, we got to St Lawrence Mrkt, had fish and chips (Haddock or Halibut) on the 2nd floor, very very fresh. A touch on the steep side @ $13.50 but the portion was large, the freshness was there and it was not at all greasy so no complaints. The wife had a veal sandwich at Mustachio, she
              preferred the SF one. There too we showed up at about 2:30pm and they had pre-fried a bunch of veal. I remember the fryers going on at all times at that place and getting nice hot out of the fryer veal.

              Friday night dinner was a bit of a disappointment but it's my fault for not going through the boards more thoroughly. Although my friend suggested we try Golden Thai in the Village we opted to go back to High Park and try Friendly Thai. The pad thai was horrible, it tasted like ketchup and it had
              no spice whatsoever a couple of the chicken plates were alright but lacked kick. The chicken seemed pretty fresh at least and nothing seemed to be loaded with MSG. At the end of the meal I politely mentioned to the waiter that the Pad Thai was way too sweet, he said they have "Canadianized" it and purposely make it sweet.

              Saturday before we drove back we had a late lunch at Churrasco of St. Clair, once again we were treated to leftovers from lunch time, I had a bad vibe from the moment that I saw that the grill was completely shut off and knew we were getting 1hr+ leftovers. It was very disappointing, the chicken was dry and the roasted potatoes were completely mushy. I remember this place serving great tasting chicken and perfectly cooked potatoes. Just because someone decides to have a late lunch at 3pm doesn't mean you can't serve them fresh food. IIRC they used so slather sauce all over the grill chicken now they give you a 1oz cup of it and it tasted like Diana's BBQ sauce. I was so looking forward to that meal. I guess some places live off reputation and start cutting corners.

              Yes, Paprika. That was the Hungarian place.

              1. re: ios94

                Sad to hear about your disappointments. I will watch out for Churrasco when up on St. Clair. I usually eat at the market location, so there's usually more turnover, I guess.

                Too bad about Friendly Thai as well. That place is definitely awful. They opened up one on the east side near my house, ate their once and will never go back. You should NEVER have to ask for the hot sauce at a Thai restaurant. Next time in town, definitely check out Sukhothai ( No amount of hype on this place will take away from how amazing the food is.

                Come back soon!

                Sukhothai Restaurant
                11 4th St E, Cornwall, ON K6H2H7, CA

                1. re: ios94

                  << (sorry for the long post) >>

                  There are no needs for apologies - your post was entertaining, well-written and critical (in the original meaning of the word).

                  Next time you are in the Danforth area you should try one of the string of African restaurants that seemed to have mushroomed recently.

                  1. re: Paulustrious

                    Glad you guys enjoyed the trip report! I think the fact that we went for chicken at an off-peak hour was what made it dissapointing though concerning Churasc St Clair.