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NY Subway Will Be Closing After This Weekend - Building to Be Torn Down

Floydo Feb 23, 2011 05:20 AM

Long before Burrito Boys, Chino Loco, and the like there was New York Subway. Fusion burritos some very simple liek the chicken satay, other with Indian influences. My favorite over the years has been the Eggplant (it is a taste experience like no other). Whether you like eggplant or not you will have trouble not loving this burrito. The place doesn't look like much but the food is incredible. Throughout the last 15 years of my life I have had the joy of bringing friend's there for the first first time and watch them fall in love with the food. Next too enjoying good food the best thing is sharing it with others as we do here on Chowhound. So that is why I share this with you today. Sadly the building is in quite disrepair and the owner of the building will tear start tearing it down next week. At this time it is unclear if they will reopen. I can only hope.

New York Subway
520 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

  1. g
    ginnée Jul 23, 2011 12:23 PM

    Was by NYS on July 15. Looked like no work had been done yet. Any word on it opening in a new location? I soooo miss those burritos. Getting a burrito while heading to a play during the Fringe and Summerworks was a tradition of mine. :-(

    1. a
      abigllama Mar 1, 2011 12:43 AM

      Ugh I saw this too late. I'm really shocked they're not relocating as I've never seen the place not fairly busy. I will miss the potato burrito and that my coat would smell like the place for two days unless it had been fabreezed.

      3 Replies
      1. re: abigllama
        pinstripeprincess Mar 1, 2011 05:17 AM

        i pass by all the time and it has been emptier as of late, sometimes completely void in the evenings.

        1. re: abigllama
          SweetSweetPotato Mar 1, 2011 05:18 AM

          Have no fear. They say they're just renovating. Check back in six months.

          1. re: SweetSweetPotato
            helenhelen Mar 1, 2011 11:24 PM

            i love this place and really hope so! wish i saw this thread sooner. :/

        2. Davwud Feb 28, 2011 04:56 PM

          Hey Hounds.

          I had been working on a post for my blog about NYS but wanted to spread it out over a few visits to show a good cross section of their menu. Sadly, I had only one visit to do this late last fall. I decided to go ahead and write it anyway, not as a recommendation but as tribute to a place that should have been around for decades.

          Here is an excerpt.

          Neither a sub joint nor in New York, NYS closed it’s doors for the final time on Saturday, February 26, 2011. A victim of the progress machine the 15 year old snack shop in Queen Street West’s Alexandra Park neighbourhood provided a good, inexpensive food option in a less fortunate neighbourhood. Let’s face it, every city has the high rent district and everything on down to the seedy underbelly. While Alex. Pk. isn’t the bottom of the barrel its best days are both behind and (for some anyway) ahead of it.

          The disheveled storefront with the unkempt interior is just one of a number of stores in a block that’s to be leveled to make room for condos. At the time of this post there seems to be no plan for relocation. So without further adieu I will share with you some of the thoughts and pictures I have as I was working on a review when the news of this story crossed my path.

          New York Subway

          The sign out front is fading and the façade does nothing to invite one in. Inside the lighting is dim and the walls are painted horribly. The floors are greasy and the tables are sticky. Much like some of the dives seen on Triple D, it too wears those unfortunate traits with pride. They’re a badge of honour. For some they’re a discouragement. To me they scream credibility.

          The food is of course first rate. They do sell subs but this is a burrito place to be sure. It’s not your every day burrito place either. It’s fusion at it’s best. Too often, again in the name of progress, “Fusion” becomes “Confusion.” Keeping it fairly simple allows the different flavours and textures to shine and yet mingle.

          I will admit to not being particularly impressed on my first visit. Subsequent visits have been better and better. It has become a (sentimental) favourite and a place I feel every city needs.

          It may be nice if others shared their stories.


          New York Subway
          520 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: Davwud
            Yongeman Feb 28, 2011 07:00 PM

            Hey that's awesome, Davwud. Too bad it's having to turn into an obituary.

          2. Davwud Feb 28, 2011 05:12 AM

            So I guess the question is, is they is or is they isn't starting to demolish this week?? I'd like one more visit but won't be able to this week. It'll have to be next week.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Davwud
              Herb Feb 28, 2011 07:45 AM

              Saturday was the last day.

            2. r
              rustysheba Feb 25, 2011 06:20 AM

              ok someone needs to create a facebook page and hopefully if they open again we can find out where they are.. just a suggestion.

              1. duckdown Feb 24, 2011 03:09 PM

                Never been here but it sounds very tasty. What is the cauliflower? I looooove the roasted cauliflower you can get at Ottawa/Montreal shawarma places

                4 Replies
                1. re: duckdown
                  bakersdelight Feb 24, 2011 05:57 PM

                  no, this is different, duckdown. it's in a burrito, which you really can't find here in mtl. it's made by the nicest greek man in the world to your specifications. you can get a spinach/potato, mixed veg, or cauliflower on the vegetarian side. aagghh, they're so good and the guy's so nice! as is the delivery guy! why???
                  save new york subway!

                  1. re: duckdown
                    peppermint pate Feb 25, 2011 10:42 AM

                    Hey duckdown - at Tabule, they serve a delicious roast (fried?) cauliflower drizzled with tahini. It's the crack cocaine of cauliflower dishes. Really good. They also have good cauliflower at Ghazale, the tiny falafel/shwarma joint next to the Bloor Cinema.

                    2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA

                    504 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1Y3, CA

                    1. re: peppermint pate
                      TorontoJo Feb 25, 2011 10:47 AM

                      OMG, yes to the fried cauliflower at Tabule. Insanely addictive. And sadly it is fried, rather than roasted.

                      2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA

                      1. re: TorontoJo
                        peppermint pate Feb 25, 2011 10:50 AM

                        Ha - I'm pretty sure you're the one that pointed that out to me before but I keep trying to deny it.

                  2. Jed Clampet Feb 24, 2011 02:24 PM

                    Horrible news. Dino is one of the hardest working cooks in TO. I'm moving to BC and one of the things I've been regretting leaving TO is to never again wedge a dripping small chicken burrito, extra hot please, into my greedy gob.

                    They need to re-open.


                    1. f
                      Floydo Feb 24, 2011 10:44 AM

                      Apologies. According to Eye Magazine the owner of this building has not applied for a building permit yet so building won't being going down, atlease right away. Avtar, the original owner of New York Subway and now owner of Ghandi Cuisine had told me that the building was being torn down and rebuilt. I've been in the back and upstairs in the building and it's in really bad shape, I couldn't imagine anything but tear down and start over. The actual owner of New York Subway now also own's Mother India in Parkdale. I haven't talked to her yet about her future plans. Dino the guy who is there 5 days a week 12 hours a day is not the owner. Dino said this Saturday is the last day.

                      New York Subway
                      705 Victoria Ave E, Thunder Bay, ON P7C5X9, CA

                      Mother India
                      1456 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K1M2, CA

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Floydo
                        Herb Feb 24, 2011 01:33 PM

                        Eye link? I don't see anything (pardon the pun).

                        1. re: Herb
                          Floydo Feb 24, 2011 02:29 PM


                      2. s
                        SweetSweetPotato Feb 23, 2011 06:02 PM

                        Hello, my friend. I went by tonight to get the low down...and an eggplant sub...and a potato burrito. Sounds like the current plan is to renovate, not tear down the building. Dino figures they're going to renovate to get ready for the swanky condo going up across the street and that they'll re-open in four months. I'm going again this weekend, just in case they decide to close down forever. I might even put some in the freezer for future cravings...that's not insane, right?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: SweetSweetPotato
                          magic Feb 23, 2011 06:20 PM

                          Thanks for the update! That is seemingly great news. I truly hope they reopen. They better.

                          Will go this weekend just in case.

                          1. re: SweetSweetPotato
                            acd123 Feb 23, 2011 11:30 PM

                            I really hope you're right. Love the jumbo chicken satay burrito with extra hot sauce. I'll miss it a lot if it doesn't re-open. If they do a reno, I hope they keep it simple. There's a charm to the dingyness of the place.

                            1. re: acd123
                              peppermint pate Feb 24, 2011 02:49 AM

                              Totally agree about the decor. I also can't imagine them absorbing the kinds of rent hikes that inevitably follow these building makeovers, especially with a new condo going up across the street. But fingers crossed - this was one of the first hidden gems I found on this board. Man, between here and Hoof Cafe, I've got some farewell eating on tap for this weekend - better plan some exercise somewhere in there as well!

                              1. re: peppermint pate
                                jlunar Feb 24, 2011 07:19 AM

                                Walking between the two a few times will help! :D Right?

                            2. re: SweetSweetPotato
                              SweetSweetPotato Feb 27, 2011 01:38 PM

                              I went last night again to get an update. They're closed now and are planning on renovating the convenience store space next door first, then NY Subway. They're saying it'll be six months. I just hope it doesn't end up being an Akram's situation!

                            3. m
                              magic Feb 23, 2011 04:16 PM

                              Umm, CRIPES.

                              This is horrible news. I just PRAY that they reopen somwhere.


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: magic
                                domesticgodess Feb 23, 2011 05:42 PM

                                Im not happy...not happy at all.
                                I love this place.
                                Thanks for the warning though...will go on Friday.

                              2. Shorttyred Feb 23, 2011 11:01 AM

                                My favorite was/is the cauliflower - i am totally making a run to get one last taste!

                                1. p
                                  Pincus Feb 23, 2011 08:51 AM

                                  Oh man. They had the best calorie-filled burrito-like meals in town. I hope they reopen somewhere!

                                  1. l
                                    loubie Feb 23, 2011 08:44 AM

                                    I am heartbroken at the demise of Queen St W. Big Bop, the original Amato's, it's just horrible that hipsters have invaded Bovine and now this. Dino thanks for your awesome food and years of service!!! Goodbye Chicken Satay Burritos!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: loubie
                                      Yongeman Feb 23, 2011 09:30 AM

                                      Yeah, Dino...I used to think he was unfriendly until I got to know him. He's really a nice guy who always took great care to produce consistently delicious subs/burritos.

                                      1. re: loubie
                                        Whats_For_Dinner Feb 23, 2011 07:31 PM

                                        AGREED on all points. I miss Q&B the way it was ten years ago.

                                        Really sad about this. I'm coming back to Toronto on Monday... I wonder if it'll still be open in time for one last cauliflower burrito.

                                      2. t
                                        themiguel Feb 23, 2011 08:12 AM

                                        That is very very sad. NYS is a T.O institution and one of the very first places that kind of opened my eyes to the possibilities of great food that could be found in non-chain establishments. It, alongise some other establishments awakened my love of food so many years ago.

                                        1. s
                                          Steady Feb 23, 2011 06:07 AM

                                          I'm so sad... :(
                                          But thanks for the heads-up; must go for one last lamb satay sub and a grilled cheese before they close.
                                          I also hope they will reopen.

                                          1. pinstripeprincess Feb 23, 2011 06:03 AM

                                            what a shame! the convenience store on the corner was all boarded up and i wasn't sure what was going on there. i will have to get my last fixes of lamb, cauliflower and/or eggplant. well, darn.

                                            1. y
                                              Yongeman Feb 23, 2011 05:24 AM

                                              I love New York Subway. I know many people that will be devastated by this news. I really hope they are able to reopen somewhere.

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