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South African visiting Toronto on Friday - need authentic Canadian food experience

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Hi

We are visiting Toronto this Friday, and need an authentically Canada-only food experience. One gets pretty much anything in South Africa in terms of styles of food (french, italian, portuguese, greek, japanese etc) - so we are looking for a lunch and a dinner that you would only be able to obtain in Toronto / Canada.

Which restaurants serve something a little out of the ordinary? (for instance, indigenous-style food or moose or bear etc. etc.)

Any suggestions?

Cheers from sunny South Africa!

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  1. Keriwa Cafe on Roncesvalles is exactly what your looking for. It's quite new and I haven't been yet but the reviews have been extremely positive.

    Be aware that it is generally illegal to sell meat from hunted wild animals so the meat you will get in such a circumstance is from species that can be farmed, elk, caribou, deer, bison etc. Moose cannot be farmed.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bytepusher

      You do have amazing Crawfish, but have you ever eaten an 8 Lb. Lobster?
      Many Chinese Restaurants in T.O. serve them 3-4 ways in one Meal.
      Quite an experience.

      1. re: bytepusher

        Thanks! I've just had a look at their website - it certainly looks like what we were looking for.
        I'll let you know about their braised bison tail dish.

        1. re: gourmet_ZA

          The braised bison tail is pretty good - filling and substantial - but really doesn't taste much different than oxtail! But the accompaniments are good too - and it's on Queen (near, rather than on Roncesvalles) as you probably know if you found the website.

          They are only open for dinner - so you've still not found anything for lunch (yet).

          If your heart is set on a 'grander' experience (again for dinner), then consider a trip to Burlington to Blacktree (although traffic can be bad on a Friday evening). They have probably (?) the widest selection of game - their website (which I hate) is deliberately 'mysterious' about their menu. Nevertheless they almost always have about 3 venison-type dishes, depending on availability, and their dishes have MANY more components than is apparent from the menu. And a very creative chef - if you can get a reservation this late, may be worth consideration.

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          Blacktree
          3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

      2. Realize you found the link for Keriwa, but here it is for others: http://keriwacafe.ca/about/

        This thread also might be helpful: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/731162

        You're visiting at the height of our harvest. I'd also recommend restaurants focused on local ingredients and produce (Beast- which is focused on ON raised meats, Enoteca Sociale-which is a Torontonian approach to modern Italian, Globe Bistro, Nota Bene, Marben, Union, Woodlot, Black Hoof). Ontario pickerel, whitefish and Lake Erie yellow perch can be found on some menus. Our sweet corn, tomatoes, blueberries and peaches are usually very good this time of year.

        Moose tends to be lean and dry, and usually needs to be cut with pork to turn it into anything tasty, in my experience. If you only have a couple meals in Canada, I wouldn't bother with eating our moose. There are much tastier Canadian foods to eat than moose.

        If you're interested in other food made/sold by some local First Nations people, you could try to find Andrew Akiwenzie's smoked whitefish at a farmer's market when you visit. It is sold at Brickworks Farmer's Market on Saturdays- not sure if you're staying that long.

        http://www.akiwenziesfish.blogspot.com/

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        Globe
        124 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K1N1, CA

        Marben
        488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

        Soma
        55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

        Nota Bene
        180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

        Beast
        96 Tecumseth St, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

        Enoteca Sociale
        1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

        1. I take visitors to:
          Poutinis...queen st. west

          1 Reply
          1. re: domesticgodess

            Good for on the way home after a long night. Smoke Poutinerie or Poutini's are your best choices for a late night snack. There are few iconically Canadian foods but Poutine is one of them.

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            Poutini
            1112 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA