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May 4, 2012 09:31 PM

Friend coming for a few days from London, England. What can't she get across the pond that we do well here?

Later this month, a friend from England will be visiting for a few days. Aside from her personal preferences, what do we have here that's not available/common/as good over there? Where would you go and what would you eat?

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  1. "What can't she get across the pond that we do well here..."


    10 Replies
      1. re: ferret

        Money is not an issue for her...

        1. re: ferret

          Really? It seems to me that high-end and low-end places are comparable in terms of cost, but mid-level, weeknight type places are more expensive here. And groceries, wow.

          1. re: gembellina

            i fully agree. dining out here is noticeably more expensive here, at least compared to the US. groceries, too, dairy in particular.

          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

            Well I been across the pond & can tell what they don,t have,, Canadian bacon,, hardy flap jacks,, and our maple syrup,,nothin like it,,, or traditional,, chicken and sliders( pheasant or partridge better ),, french canadian ragou,, take them in the woods,,nows the time,,pick morels,, grill a rib-eye,, or grilled arctic char

            1. re: shiloh170

              Thanks! Will definitely get some bacon, too...

              1. re: Full tummy

                English bacon is really good. My parents enjoy: Dim Sum, Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches, gourmet thin crust pizza, maple syrup, poutine, and ooh - nearly forgot - goat rotis!

                1. re: mariecollins

                  Thank you! Rotis were on my mind, for sure. I don't know if they have them in England, but if they do, I don't think she's tried one. And I love them so. Where do you take your parents for the Montreal smoked meat sandwiches? She will be here for such a short time, and locations are not convenient, but I am considering buying Dunn's smoked meat from Costco and making them at home.

          2. Maple syrup.

            6 Replies
              1. re: Full tummy

                Brick Lane bagels might be better than Toronto bagels. Not sure. ;-)

                If your friend likes Chinese food, I'd suggest king of bbq pork John's BBQ, buns at Lucullus, dumplings at Northern Dumpling Kitchen and/or dim sum at Yang's.

                Might also treat her to a Flaky Tart buttertart, something made with ramps, Huevos Rancheros, Huevos Divorciados, a nanaimo bar, or strawberry rhubarb pie.

                1. re: prima

                  I was thinking dim sum. What about Montreal style bagels from Bagel House? Thanks for the butter tart suggestion! Great stuff... And an excuse for me to have one, too!

                  1. re: Full tummy

                    I like Bagel House bagels. But I understand some people like Brick Lane bagels. Haven't tried any ;-)

                    Also, softshell crabs are available in TO right now- not sure if our supply is better than the London supply. Might check to see if Starfish is tweeting about ssc.

                    1. re: Full tummy

                      I much prefer the Montreal bagels from Carousel in SLM. They get them in only on Friday and Saturday mornings, baked by an ex-Montrealer who used to work at St. Viateur. I've done a head-to-head taste test with Bagel House bagels, and the ones from Carousel won hands down. Better taste, better chew, better crust.

                      (Note: these are NOT the regular everyday Carousel bagels, which I believe are from What-A-Bagel.)

              2. I've just moved here from London and the things that I think are better or more easily accessible here are dim sum, as you already mentioned, and the japanese izakaya places which seem to be much more widespread here. also burgers maybe - we were starting to get some better burger places but here there seem to be more places which focus exclusively on hand-made burgers with good quality ingredients etc.

                Though i haven't had much time to eat everything yet so others will have to suggest the best places to get these things!

                1 Reply
                1. re: gembellina

                  Burgers, yes, we can do that. Thanks!

                2. Sunday brunch. I haven't seen those in London. The Sunday roast is traditional in England, but it's not a "brunchy" thing. Also, order a Bloody Casear for your friend at brunch ... they haven't even heard of those over there.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MattB

                    Do they not do brunch, or just on Sundays? Alas, she won't be here on a Sunday, and we plan to go for dim sum on the Saturday, but please let me know if you think there's something they are missing, aside from it being on a Sunday, as I may be able to make it at home!

                    1. re: MattB

                      We definitely have brunch in London but it's usually just called breakfast. Good call on the Caesar though, I still can't quite get my head around drinking clam juice...

                    2. The ability to get food between 2pm and 5pm?

                      Ha, sorry couldn't resist.

                      When my English friend came to visit we went to Woodlot on the recommendation of the board here. It's a Toronto restaurant style rather than a food style that was so appealing.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Suburban Gourmand

                        Thanks for the suggestion. Will see if it works schedule-wise.