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Ancient but good - what's your long standing favourite?

KitchenVoodoo Sep 8, 2010 08:31 PM

I'll start the bidding with Jacques Omlettes on Cumberland Street!

  1. o
    OntarioPie Dec 17, 2010 04:31 PM

    Duckworths, still the best fish & chips in Toronto for my money, it's almost as old as me :)

    2638 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: OntarioPie
      ShermanTenor Dec 17, 2010 06:25 PM

      My favorite oldie is Barberian's, which first opened in 1959. For my money it's the best steakhouse in Toronto - spanks Black Angus silly!

      -- ST

      Black Angus
      3277 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M8X1E2, CA

      7 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G1H1, CA

      1. re: ShermanTenor
        Kagemusha Dec 18, 2010 08:48 AM

        Maybe, provided you like racket and the usual crew of over-refreshed patrons. Black Angus is quiet and civil--major considerations when forking over that kind of dough for an unhurried steak-a-thon.

        1. re: Kagemusha
          ShermanTenor Dec 19, 2010 10:07 AM

          BA was certainly quiet when I was there, but my steak wasn't nearly as flavorful as my numerous trips to Elm street. I'm going back there tonight as a matter of fact - something of a holiday tradition for a small group of friends.

          I have had both quiet and not-so-quiet experiences at Barberians, but the food is on the mark, everytime.

          That ultimately is what brings me back.

          -- ST

    2. Googs Sep 11, 2010 10:46 AM

      Nearly 25 years of Fusilli and I still love it as much as the day we met.

      531 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A1V1, CA

      1. h
        Helen Sep 10, 2010 09:15 PM

        Bibiche Bistro

        1 Reply
        1. re: Helen
          KitchenVoodoo Sep 10, 2010 09:57 PM

          Bebiche Bistro definitely qualifies as "ancient", and the owners cook with love, but the food always seemed heavy to me. Any updates would be apreciated.

        2. Charles Yu Sep 10, 2010 07:17 PM

          'Transfat' version of KFC!

          1. f
            FrankD Sep 10, 2010 07:01 PM


            1. j
              Jane.T Sep 10, 2010 03:40 PM

              The patio at Grano always makes me happy. Also, I've been following Gio Rana and his Big Nose around town for the last fifteen years. He makes me happy too.

              Gio Rana's
              1220 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1L7, CA

              2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

              1. s
                Snarf Sep 10, 2010 02:34 PM

                What is ancient these days? As someone born in the 1960's, I would think that 20 years isn't much. It wasn't until the 1970's that Toronto food really left the dark ages. There are many relics of that primordial period, mostly steakhouses and old-school ethnic places like Elizabeth or Champion House. I'm not sure that young whipper snappers like the Rosedale Diner should be eligible.

                My entry, Senior's steakhouse for the ribeye with the iceberg lettuce salad. They sell the dressing if you ask nicely.

                Rosedale Diner
                1164 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W2L9, CA

                3 Replies
                1. re: Snarf
                  phoenikia Sep 10, 2010 02:57 PM

                  Ancient is relative to the age of the Chowhound ;-)

                  Many of the restaurants that have been listed in this thread are older than some of the more frequent posters on this Board.

                  Since something like 80% of restaurants go under in their first 5 years (not sure what the current stats are, whether that statistic was accurate, and whether that statistic was for Canada, the US, or a specific city), I would think any restaurant that is actively in business after 25 years should be considered close to ancient in the restaurant business.

                  Seniors has been in business since 1961. Does that make Senior's a Boomer, a Zoomer, or Ancient?

                  1. re: phoenikia
                    Kagemusha Sep 10, 2010 04:27 PM

                    Without the services of the Time Team crew, I'd put Senior's somewhere in the late Bronze Age, judging from the mummies I've seen dining there.

                    1. re: phoenikia
                      KitchenVoodoo Sep 10, 2010 05:43 PM

                      Good points! Perhaps we should use something like a "cat years" conversion metric, e.g. a 3 year old cat is supposed to be as physiologically old as a 28 year old human. I came to Toronto in 1978, so that's my tide mark for "ancient".

                  2. Dr. John Sep 10, 2010 02:13 PM

                    My favourites have a bit more to do with dependability over the decades and getting what I expect. In many of the cases below, there are better restaurants for that type of food.

                    Definitely agree about Jacques - great chicken liver omelette in particular.

                    Also agree about Jerusalem.

                    Also agree about Swatow, though primarily for the shrimp dumpling noodle soup.

                    Agree about United Bakers - love the soups.

                    Agree about Scaramouche for a fine dinner with a view - first went when Kennedy, Stadtlander, and Yolles were there and still enjoy it now.

                    I've been going to Lee Garden for over 30 years and still feel their deep fried squid is my favourite.

                    Love Yung Sing for the buns since somewhere in the mid-80s.

                    Astoria for the souvlaki - first ate it as a kid in the mid 70s and still like how they grill their meat.

                    Greg's - been going since it opened and there is still no finer coffee toffee or roasted marshmallow in my opinion.


                    United Bakers
                    506 Lawrence Ave W, Toronto, ON M6A, CA

                    309 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E6, CA

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Dr. John
                      Splendid Wine Snob Sep 10, 2010 02:53 PM

                      I've loved Swatow's shrimp dumpling soup since 1995! And United Bakers is awesome too.

                    2. Underdog Rally Sep 10, 2010 07:52 AM

                      BBQ pork on Rice at Kom Jug Yuen.

                      I think the first few trips were novelty, and the next 15 years were nostalgia. Perhaps it's also the fact that their prices have remained pretty consistent over those 15 years... I won't speculate on how that's possible.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Underdog Rally
                        pastina Dec 19, 2010 04:49 AM

                        Soy Sauce Chicken on Rice with a side of Snow Pea Leaf when available (extra garlic). Me and KJY since 1989.

                        1. re: Underdog Rally
                          fatman0000 Dec 19, 2010 06:01 AM

                          I'll second the "Jug". Been going there for 30 years and the food is still great.
                          Also most of the original people are still there. Some of the best BBQ & crispy pig.

                        2. c
                          ComeUndone Sep 9, 2010 06:41 PM

                          +1 on Jacques Omlettes. Also a vote on Romagna Mia.

                          Romagna Mia
                          106 Front Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 1E1, CA

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ComeUndone
                            millygirl Sep 10, 2010 02:32 AM

                            +1 for Jacques
                            Olde York, Cafe Doria and United Bakery for cheap and cheerful
                            Pastis and Scaramouche for the other times.

                          2. CocoaChanel Sep 9, 2010 06:15 PM

                            Queen Mother
                            Le Paradis

                            Queen Mother
                            206 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z2, CA

                            Le Paradis
                            166 Bedford Road, Toronto, ON M5R 2K9, CA

                            1. sloweater Sep 9, 2010 10:00 AM

                              Penrose Fish and Chips on Mount Pleasant Road.
                              Carousel Bakery for peameal sandwiches or breakfast on a bun.

                              600 Mt Pleasant, Toronto, ON M4S2M8, CA

                              1. curnonsky Sep 9, 2010 09:04 AM

                                Swatow Special Noodles.

                                309 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E6, CA

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: curnonsky
                                  jamesm Sep 9, 2010 09:47 AM

                                  Utopia hasn't faltered once in the many years I've been eating there. Always solid.

                                2. f
                                  fickle Sep 9, 2010 07:44 AM

                                  22 years of Ping Gai from the Queen Mother and still counting...

                                  Queen Mother
                                  206 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z2, CA

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: fickle
                                    somewhere4 Sep 9, 2010 09:01 AM

                                    Double pork chops at the Tulip.

                                    Been going there 21 years (probably as many years as I've taken off my lifespan from eating there).

                                    1. re: fickle
                                      Atahualpa Sep 10, 2010 08:59 PM

                                      Yes! I agree love their Ping Gai. The Bah Me Hung is very nice too. I know a lot of people hate/dislike this place, but the few items I consistently order are consistently good.

                                      1. re: fickle
                                        slpowers Sep 19, 2010 01:37 PM

                                        I had this dish for the first tme 2 weeks ago and 'fell in love'! It is fabulous! I am now on a quest to find someone who makes it closer to home - in Mississauga.

                                        1. re: fickle
                                          Sarah Cat Sep 19, 2010 02:37 PM

                                          I've been going to the Queen Mum for fifteen years and I don't think I've been disappointed once!

                                        2. PoppiYYZ Sep 9, 2010 06:58 AM

                                          Black Angus steak house on Bloor. It is a 70s time capsule and the Rib Eye is a delicious expensive charred juicy belt buster... Mmmmmm, charred meat.

                                          Really good and a long standing establishment.

                                          1. p
                                            phoenikia Sep 8, 2010 09:36 PM

                                            Jerusalem on Eglinton Ave West. Have loved their fried eggplant & fried tomatoes since 1989.

                                            955 Eglinton Ave, Toronto, ON M6C2C4, CA

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: phoenikia
                                              phoenikia Sep 10, 2010 03:05 PM

                                              but it looks like Jerusalem has been frying their eggplant and tomatoes since 1971!

                                              1. re: phoenikia
                                                pearlD Sep 10, 2010 05:57 PM

                                                I am so with you on this phoenikia! The Tomatoes are superb...particularly in the summer when they use 'local' tomatoes.
                                                My other 'long time' favourite (neighbourhood) ROMA on Bloor at Gladstone..The 'roma salad' at this time of year with blanched green beans, avocado and sun dried tomatoes..only disappointment is the 'canned' black olives they use....a simple oil & vinegar dressing is sublime.

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