Where are you still eating that you were 20 years ago and is still good?
- Flexitarian Jan 11, 2012 06:12 PM
Love the thread about where you were eating 20 years ago, but a lot of those are memories that will remain as the places are no longer open. So, to make this more useful to enjoy those memories and inspire others to try them, where are you still eating that you were eating 20 years ago and has the food change at all or is it still good?
I'll start with Jerusalem, which is still one of my all time favourites and still has the same menu and same great food that I first ate there in 1985.
Le Paradis still delivers more than 20 years later. The most consistent bistro in town. And prices don't seem to have changed all that much either.
Paese on Bathurst Street opened just more than 20 years ago. It's not the mad buy it was then - prices have escalated over the years, sometimes alarmingly - but it's still solid if you know what to order. No corkage on bring-your-own-wine six nights a week seems to ameliorate the food price rises somewhat.
The Pasta Bar at Scaramouche remains my all-time celebratory joint more than 20 years later. Consistently imaginative takes on traditional dishes.
And I'm with you on Jerusalem on Eglinton Ave. I was there the first month it opened, and it has been astoundingly consistent in quality over the years - though I don't get there all that much anymore. Because parking around there has become hell.
Scaramouche was not on my original list as there were many I didn't remember as I quickly thought of a few to mention. But it's still open and doing well.
Were you really at Jerusalem when it first opened? I recall going there with my parents sometime in the 70's.
Armenian Kitchen, though I have to admit the chicken shwarma is not what it used to be or my tastes have changed. But I still love the Baba Ganoujh.
Sam Woo BBQ in North Scarborough. One of the first really decent Cantonese style Chinese food places in the area and virtually unchanged from at least 20 years ago. So much competition has come (and gone) but this place still attracts a loyal following including myself. (Younger sister restaurant....Sam Woo Seafood is in the same mall).
A Mod removed it. It turns out that nostalgic threads are against the guidelines.
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Top of the list for me is still Splendido - from Arpi Magyar, through David Lee and now Victor Barry and is still wowing.
Looking back at where I ate last year, I can add a few more:
Scaramouche - now seems less 'special' but more consistent
Barberian's - probably better now
Cafe Pleiade (same owner/chef but moved a little down the same street) - comfort food that never disappoints - neither does the menu change!
People's Diner - still my 'go-to' breakfast spot
Swiss Chalet - the servers seem MUCH younger today - I can't believe I'm 20 years older
McDonald's - too sanitized now. Used to be greasy. But the Egg McMuffin still rules.
Tim Hortons - MUCH better food today (did they really serve food back then?) although the doughnuts have deteriorated. (And at least I've given an honest reply!). OK maybe a couple of these are 'Not Bad' rather than 'Good'.
Sadly ALL of my favourite Asian and SE Asian places have passed on - actually just remembered the Thai Shan Inn, which survives in name although diferent location and a couple of ownwership changes over 30 years - although the current manager has ben there for more than 10 years.
Several others mentioned above (e.g. Jerusalem, Le Paradis) - but didn't actually go in 2011.
Ok I have to ask: Chalet for the sauce and fries (like me) or the ribs? It can't be the chicken itself???
Re: Barberians by coincidence I'm going there this week. Being a "wino" is it better value to bring a bottle and pay the $40 corkage? My group will probably not pay more than $120/bottle.
Chalet for the fries (still the best around for me).
Sauce has been variable - which suggests it's still made in small batches. For me better when it has more Worcestershire Sauce (at least I speculate that's the ingredient).
Barberians updates their winelist prices frequently. Almost always bring my own, but if in a group (larger than 2) usually buy one bottle from the list. One can usually find some good values if work hard at it (avoid the big names ALWAYS). Typically look at Spanish, Rhone and lesser appellation California (plus some regional Sonoma).
Just took a look at the wine list and slim pickings (By price - clearly a magnificent wine list).
Australia shows some promise - Two Hands are pretty good.
I usually prefer Western Australia - and the Lenton Brae stands out (by price) although I know NOTHING about it.
Maybe some research ahead of time?!
The Spanish and miscellaneous California don't look promising either.
Alain Graillot (Rhone) is VERY reliable and the various Saint Joseph's are also worth investigating .
Still love Swiss Chalet - has a special place in my heart!
Used to love the treasure toy chest + shirley temples growing up.
Still enjoy their fries A LOT (I think they have gotten better) and hate to admit this but I could probably drink their sauce (don't worry, I actually don't but everything gets dunked in there). I always order extra.
Scaramouche Pasta Bar
…and my guilty pleasures:
Costo Hotdogs (I know they arer not the same brand as 20 years ago, but still tastes the same when eating one covered in saukraut while cruising the aisles
Swiss Chalet (for sure their chickens are getting smaller and the sauce…not so much. But DAMN! are those chickens tasty)
Cineplex movie theatre popcorn. After being in the States a lot over the past year, let me tell you that I appreciate the fresh popcorn and real butter (at least it tastes that way) that we've got here in T.dot.
The Kom Jug Yuen on Spadina, IMO, has some of the best and cheapest BBQ pork and duck in the city. Same owner and a very few of the same staff are still there from back when I was in high school.
Sababa's has been consistently magnificent with their takeout, particularly their vine leaves which are exquisite (I can snarf down a dozen without even thinking) and their falafel, which (and I'll hear no argument on this point) is the best in the city. When I was a kid, they cost two bucks. Now, 20 years later, it's three and a quarter.
Great thread. Steak Pit, House of Chan, United Bakers, Scaramouche Pasta Bar, Swiss Chalet (yes, me too), Terroni (Queen Street - though I may have started going there a year or two later), Allen's and Lee Garden. I'ma lso still a fan of the ping gai at Queen Mother, though I hardly go there these days.
Agree about Jerusalem - especially the sauteed tomatoes
Agree about United Bakers - the soups
Agree about Lee Garden - been going for >30 years and still love their fried squid among others
Agree about Scarmouche - been going since the 80s and although lots has changed, it is still very good
Agree about California Sandwiches
Agree about Le Paradis
Swatow - for the shrimp dumpling noodle soup and special fried noodle
Astoria - for the souvlaki and also the chicken breast (been going since the mid 70s)
Sher-e-Punjab - a nice, reliable place in my neighbourhood
Country Style - the last Hungarian bastion in the Annex
Jumbo Empanadas - since the days of the cart in front of the egg place
Pearl Court - cuz the dim sum is pretty decent and also just around the corner
Lalibela - one of the better Ethiopian places
Greg's Ice Cream - coffee toffee! and also roasted marshamallow!!
The Real Jerk. I'm going this weekend, to catch one last meal in case they close at the end of the month. Thanks to foodyDudey for the heads up. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto...
If you want to help save The Real Jerk:
I still love the fried tomatoes at Jerusalem, too. Also love their fried eggplant.
709 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1H1, CA
955 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C2C4, CA
So, Senior's and People's Diner have closed since this thread was started, and The Coffee Mill will close Sept 7, 2014.
Better support the surviving restaurants that are still good after 22 years, if you want them to stick around!
I still haven't gotten around to trying Burger Shack or Bitondo's. Other restaurants mentioned in this thread that I've been meaning to try for years include Steak Pit, Armenian Kitchen and Lee Garden.
It's time for me to revisit Jerusalem, Jacques Bistro du Parc and Queen Mother.
Still remember my first visit to Jerusalem in 1989, and my first visit to Queen Mother in 1995.
Just to keep the info in this thread current, The Real Jerk is open for business at 842 Gerrard St E. http://www.therealjerk.com/