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Jan 30, 2012 09:30 PM

100 Foods to Eat Before You Die - Toronto/GTA Edition

There is a meme going around about the 100 foods to eat before you die. After tallying my score, I got a pretty respectable 62. I showed my sister and she got a jaw-dropping 78. Needless to say, this cannot stand. I'm planning on winning the race to 100.

Below is the list of 100 foods - you can debate the list, but it is what it is (wot, no poutine?). I think Toronto is one of the few cities on the planet where you can get so many diverse items in one place.

Can we make a culinary guide to Toronto using the list as a map? Can we, Chowhound?

Post your best picks for items in the list in this thread. I'll try to keep this initial post updated as we go.

1. Abalone
2. Absinthe - LCBO
3. Alligator
4. Baba Ghanoush - Mezes
5. Bagel & Lox - Grocery store
6. Baklava - Arz Bakery
7. BBQ Ribs - Swiss Chalet (damn good for the money)
8. Bellini - Milestones
9. Birds Nest Soup
10. Biscuits & Gravy
11. Black Pudding
12. Black Truffle - St. Lawrence Market
13. Borscht
14. Calamari
15. Carp
16. Caviar
17. Cheese Fondue
18. Chicken & Waffles - Harlem Restaurant
19. Chicken Tikka Masala
20. Chile Relleno - El Sol
21. Chitlins
22. Churros
23. Clam Chowder
24. Cognac - LCBO
25. Crab Cakes
26. Crickets - Atlantic Restaurant
27. Currywurst - Wvrst
28. Dandelion Wine
29. Dulce De Leche
30. Durian
31. Eel
32. Eggs Benedict -
33. Fish Tacos
34. Foie Gras
35. Fresh Spring Rolls - Lemongrass
36. Fried Catfish
37. Fried Green Tomatoes
38. Fried Plantain
39. Frito Pie - pretty sure you'd have to assemble this yourself.
40. Frogs' Legs
41. Fugu - Japan or Manhattan, I fear
42. Funnel Cake - Canada's Wonderland, The Ex
43. Gazpacho
44. Goat - Ali's West Indian Roti Shop
45. Goat's Milk - grocery
46. Goulash
47. Gumbo
48. Haggis
49. Head Cheese
50. Heirloom Tomatoes
51. Honeycomb
52. Hostess Fruit Pie - Amazon and ebay
53. Huevos Rancheros
54. Jerk Chicken - The Real Jerk, RIP
55. Kangaroo - St. Lawrence Market has kangaroo burgers
56. Key Lime Pie
57. Kobe Beef
58. Lassi
59. Lobster
60. Mimosa
61. Moon Pie
62. Morel Mushrooms - St. Lawrence Market (dried)
63. Nettle Tea - David's Tea
64. Octopus
65. Oxtail Soup
66. Paella
67. Paneer
68. Pastrami on Rye
69. Pavlova
70. Phaal
71. Philly Cheese Steak
72. Pho - hundreds of places
73. Pineapple & Cottage Cheese - Grocery store
74. Pistachio Ice Cream - I count gelato, so Il Gelatiere
75. Po' Boy - The Gabardine has a shrimp po'boy
76. Pocky - grocery
77. Polenta
78. Prickly Pear
79. Rabbit Stew
80. Raw Oysters - Biff's Bistro
81. Root Beer Float
82. S'mores
83. Sauerkraut
84. Sea Urchin
85. Shark
86. Snail
87. Snake
88. Soft Shell Crab
89. Som Tam
90. Spaetzle - Bannock has it as a side to its pork dish, but not on its own
91. Spam - grocery
92. Squirrel
93. Steak Tartare
94. Sweet Potato Fries
95. Sweetbreads
96. Tom Yum - Not Thai Express (awful Tom Yum)
97. Umeboshi
98. Venison
99. Wasabi Peas - Grocery
100. Zucchini Flowers

Il Gelatiere
647 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

St. Lawrence Market
92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

El Sol
1448 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1N4, CA

1909 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

67 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5C1N9, CA

456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

1630 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

Biff's Bistro
4 Front St. E, Toronto, ON M5E 1B2, CA

Atlantic Restaurant
1597 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

The Real Jerk
, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

Ali's West Indian Roti Shop
1446 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K1M2, CA

Swiss Chalet
362 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B1S5, CA

Thai Express
40 King St W, Toronto, ON M5H3Y2, CA

The Gabardine
372 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H 3W1, CA

609 King St W, Toronto, ON , CA

401 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4, CA

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  1. Hmmm, haven't had it all in Toronto, but I still managed to score an 87. Guess I am close to being able to kick the bucket! >.>

    There are really only 2-3 things on that list that I think you would have any trouble finding in Toronto. Gotta love this city.

    1. Just a quick request, folks -- please focus on suggestions on where to get these items in the GTA, rather than just reporting in with your score. A general discussion of the meme would be better suited to our General Chowhounding Topics board. Thanks!

      1. 72 for me. Not too shabby I suppose.

        I'm sure you can get gator at SLM. I know you can get soft shell crabs there. I've bought them.

        They sometimes have Portuguese Rabbit Stew at Cantinado O Barradino on Lansdowne. I've had it there and it's excellent.

        Moon Pies you'll probably have to order. I think Restoration Hardware carried them by the cash at one time but don't know if they still do.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Davwud

          Delica has moon pies.

          Delica Kitchen
          1440 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T, CA

        2. Mezes serves melitzanosalata. While melitzanosalata is eggplant spread, it is not the same as baba ghanoush. Try Tabule or Jerusalem for baba ghanoush. ;-)

          Starfish serves the best softshell crab I've found in TO, but they won't be in season until late May. Starfish also serves great clam chowder as a daily special from time to time. The lobster is also very good at Starfish. Best place for a plain lobster

          Scaramouche for Lobsterlicious, on now. Best place, in my experience, for butter poached lobster.

          Europe on Bathurst serves the best goulash I've found in TO.

          Milestone's Bellini is pretty good if you like alchoholic slushes with plastic monkeys hanging off your glass and a drizzle of raspberry syrup. Has anyone had a the other type of Bellini (prosecco with peach syrup or peach puree) at any of the upscale Italian restaurants in TO?

          I don't bother with fish tacos in Toronto anymore.

          Does anyone know of a source for vinegary headcheese? I only seem to be able to find the garlic type, the cucumber type, and the "regular" type lately. Thanks for any suggestions.

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

          100 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K9, CA

          1 Benvenuto Place, Toronto, ON M4V 2L1, CA

          955 Eglinton Ave, Toronto, ON M6C2C4, CA

          3030 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M6B3B6, CA

          10 Replies
          1. re: prima

            Fish tacos at Grand Electric are pretty darn tasty!

            1. re: prima

              Fish tacos at Grand Electric rival anything I had in L.A or Miami.

              1. re: themiguel

                What kind of fish is used at Grand Electric?

                Is the fish lightly battered & fried, or grilled? I might grab a pair of earplugs and go give the fish tacos at Grand Electric a try.

                1. re: prima

                  Forgot to mention, fish tacos at GE are lightly battered and fried. Super crisp exterior and moist, fresh white fish within, topped with lime crema if I recall correctly. Delish.

                  1. re: acd123

                    thanks ;-) Will give one more order of TO fish tacos a try.

                    Noticed the County General has whole roasted red snapper fish tacos for 2 for $40 on their menu.

                    1. re: prima

                      the fish they use at GE is tilapia.

                      the whole roast red snapper at CG was not good. it was overcooked and dried out, not very flavourful. while i'm not squeamish or against the work required for whole fish, i did find it annoying to try to pick off the meat. probably because the lack of flavour and texture didn't make it worth it.

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess

                        Thanks, pinstripeprincess.
                        Sorry to hear the snapper at CG was not good.

                2. re: themiguel

                  A more compelling statement is that the fish tacos at Grand Electric rival anything I've had in San Diego, the centre of the fish taco universe.

                3. re: prima

                  You got me, Prima. I just assumed Mezes would have it. Should have thought of Jerusalem, I've been there dozens of times. Great pick.

                  1. re: prima

                    vinegary headcheese: bought @ Starsky's late winter, pretty sure it was from Sikorski.

                  2. Durian is available in a lot of grocery stores - the one that comes to mind first is the RCSuperstore in Scarborough.

                    For raw oysters, Rodney's Oyster House gets my vote.

                    I had a great float at Gale's diner - a unique atmosphere, but that's where I'd get my root beer float (and they're <$2)

                    You can't get good lox or bagels in the grocery store - I vote for bagels from Hamishe Bakery on Bathurst if you like the NY style (and I do - hate Montreal style bagels), and lox from United Bakers at Bathurst and Lawrence (but don't get the bagels there). Actually, I make my own lox, but before I knew how, that's where I got it.

                    The best gumbo I've had in Toronto has been at Harlem.

                    Great baba ghanoush at Jerusalem, but it's pretty easy to find at most delis.