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Oct 5, 2010 06:21 PM

Does this sound OK? (Toronto weekend)

Hi. I’m from NYC and will be visiting Toronto from Thursday –Sunday. This is list I have so far. I will also be having beer in the 4 places you have suggested. Can you tell me if this accounts for a good food experience in Toronto? Thanks!

Lunch (threeish): St. Lawrence Mkt
Dinner: black hoof

Lunch: Lee
Dinner: Buk Chang Dong Soon To Fu (or Lahore Tikka House or Madras Dosa Hut?)

Lunch: Mezes or burger and a beer at Allen’s

Dinner: O’Mei (better than going to Lai Wah Heen, right?)

Brunch: ? (Lady Marmalade, Littlefish, Mitzi’s on College, Lola's Commissary, Aunties and Uncles, Le Petit Dejeuner, Bonjour Brioche)

Im not sure about either going to Chiado or just to a less expensive place. I do like Aldea back home, but I only go often because of ther arroz de pato, the other dishes I have tried there are good bit but not great.

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  1. For your Friday dinner: might I suggest Madras Dosa Hut over the others? It’s kitchy, and burbsy, but fantastic.

    Madras Dosa Hut
    1123 Albion Rd, Toronto, ON M9V1A9, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: shudder

      oh, ok, thanks. Do you happen to know if -in terms of the dosas- Madras DH is similar to NYC's Saravanaas?

      1. re: LRS

        Saravaanas is much better than MDH.

    2. I'd suggest a couple of tweaks but I think you've definitely pulled together a nice little itinerary.

      Lee feels like a bit of a dated choice for me - Origin seems like the better, more contemporary flavour hit with a similar vibe.

      For Saturday, do I assume you're planning to visit the Danforth? For a more interesting option, take the bus from Broadview station (just off the Danforth) to the Brickworks - contemporary, urban farmer's market with great takeaway snacks. Lots of gorgeous little walking trails and beautiful fall foliage if your visit is soon. Very local, very fun.

      A couple fo your brunch choices are new to me - I need to look up Littlefish and Lola's Commisary. Love it when the out of towners point out spots to the locals!

      And is Chiado meant to take the place of one of your other choices or is this for another evening? Anyway, you might consider Torito, a fun little tapas restaurant in Kensington Market that you could combine with a walking chowtour of that neighbourhood and Chinatown.

      Happy eating - and please post a report!

      276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: peppermint pate

        I love this food itinerary-peppermint pate has hit on a great Toronto food scene vibe.

      2. I really love Le Petit Dejeuner's breakfast. Their waffles and eggs benny are great! I just took an NYC friend there, and she enjoyed it =)
        I would say Mezes over Allen's
        And I know that you're already hoofing, but I really think that Hoof Cafe's brunch is fantastic.

        Enjoy TO!

        Le Petit Dejeuner
        191 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1J5, CA

        456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

        1. Some of your locations are a long way from downtown (e.g. Madras Dosa Hut, O Mei).
          Are you prepared to drive major distances (transit may be difficult/impossible) or do you want to stick to subway-accessible places?

          O Mei
          248 Steeles Ave W, Thornhill, ON L4J1A1, CA

          Madras Dosa Hut
          1123 Albion Rd, Toronto, ON M9V1A9, CA

          6 Replies
          1. re: estufarian

            Thanks to all! Origin sound like a great idea...and everything else. Yes, if I go to Chiado I will have to eliminate one of the place I already have there. I will have a car on Saturday and I thought of driving to Omei but I really would like to know if it'll be a superior experience than going to Lai Wah Heen. Peppermint pate: you would take out a place and slip Torito in? If so, which place? And again, that chinatown walk wold mean to go to to LWH instead of Omai?

            Lai Wah Heen
            108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

            864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

            276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

            1. re: LRS

              LWH and Omei are both good Cantonese restaurant in toronto area, but they are good at different kinds of Chinese food. LWH serves the best high end dim sum in Toronto, dinner is good but really nothing special. Omei serves the most impressive Cantonese dinner in Toronto, which is their lobster 4-ways, however their dim sum is average at best. So it really depends on what you are looking for.

              1. re: skylineR33

                Agree that LWH is better for lunch/dim sum.

                And if you switch to Origin make a reservation immediately.

              2. re: LRS

                Hi LRS - I don't suppose you could add on an extra night???

                Well, if you only have a car on Saturday, you might consider just one suburban adventure - either O Mei (which I've yet to try but which is well endorsed on this board) or Madras Dosa Hut. I really liked my one dinner at the tofu restaurant (whose name is too long to write out again) but for a long week-end from NYC, not sure I'd put it on my short-list. I don't know if Madras Dosa Hut is similar to the Saravana Bhajan in NYC - we also have a Saravana Bhajan outpost here. Of all those options, I think O Mei is likely the top one for a great meal you can't find at home.

                Either way, by shuffling things around, we've freed up an evening - personally, I'd take Torito over Chiado for the Kensington Market add-on and the more laid back vibe. It's just a cozy, fun spot with great food and warm hospitality. Just to confuse you more, the owner of Chiado has opened Salt on the "way cool" Ossington strip so that would be an alternative, but I haven't been yet. And I don't think it's licensed yet.

                You could squeeze in an extra meal by visiting Lady Marmalade or one of your other brunch spots for Friday breakfast and then maybe go to Lai Wah Heen dim sum on Sunday or one of the Western brunch spots, depending on what you feel like eating that day. Personally, I'd nix Aunties and Uncles from the list. Enjoy!

                And thanks for the compliment, Splendid Wine Snob!

                1. re: peppermint pate

                  Agreed about Auntie's and Uncles, not bad for locals but don't go out of your way. All in all though a great list and good suggestions all round. For a grazing tour I'd take Kenisngton over St.Lawrence, more handheld portable options plus an intersting neighbourhood. St.Lawrence is great for ingredients or browsing. Also it looks like we might get some nice walking weather so I'd enjoy outside while we can.

                  1. re: peppermint pate

                    Salt has been closed for operating illegally.

              3. Why not try the Hart House Gallery Grill for your Sunday brunch? Short menu that constantly changes, leans a bit more towards lunch items than strictly brunch, but the setting is fantastic and the food has always been good when I've gone. With only one brunch in Toronto, I'd go either there or Hoof Cafe (which really is quite different than going to Black Hoof for dinner) as they both offer a unique brunch experience. Gallery Grill also takes reservations, which is a major bonus for brunch. You might run into quite a wait for most of the places you've listed.

                Also, I'd be inclined to say that Kensington has more variety for snacking than St Lawrence Mkt (taquitos from Salsas, Jumbo Empanada, Jamaican patties, pupusas, etc) - so do try to fit in a visit, you can easily walk from Kensington to Black Hoof, or combine Kensington with a walk around Chinatown.

                Jumbo Empanadas
                245 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L8, CA

                Gallery Grill
                7 Hart House Cir, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

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

                2 Replies
                1. re: ggom1

                  ok. Just made a reservation for Origin, although very early because they're all booked.
                  A question for skyline or any other hound regarding Omei: If one of the persons I'm planning to go with is allergic to lobster, will it still be a great experience for her to ho to Omei?

                  1. re: LRS

                    I think you will have a group of people (like at least 4) and one is allergic to lobster ?

                    The lobster is impressive at Omei but other cantonese food offerings at Omei are also good. There are different shark fin/abalone/double boiled soup set menu (which include shark fin, abalone, or double boiled soup and a main dish selection, rice) running around $45/per person at Omei which are pretty good too. Maybe your friend can consider that ? It is a good experience too if your friend like Chinese food. Ask for the dinner set menu which is only available in Chinese. By the way, is there anyone in your party who can speak/read Chinese ?

                    One more thing, Omei is a typical chinese restaurant that one can find in North America, service is reasonably efficient but not the fancy michelin or hotel type.