May I get a little help building a shopping route around THE BUTCHER'S SON?
While in the area for an appointment, I wandered into The Butcher's Son. I was in need of dinner materials so this was quite the happy accident. I'm impressed with the meats, naked and dressed, on offer. In a bit of a hurry, I opted for marinated flattened chicken. The marinade showed off the cook's skills of balance and restraint while still delivering big flavours.
I'm in search of the world's most perfect shopping route. That's the highest quality for the most reasonable price with a minimum of running around. The Butcher's Son inspired me to snoop around it's immediate area. What do you think of this? Opinions definitely welcome.
Baker: ??? What-A-Bagel if I must. Good bread is the main requirement.
Basics: Sobeys Balliol or Metro Y-E Centre?
Butcher: The Butcher's Son
Coffee Beans: ???
Deli: La Salumeria
Dessert: Gelato Simply Italian
Fishmonger: Yonge Seafood Gourmet
Greengrocer: Fanfare Flowers
LCBO: Yonge & Manor (If only to avoid the rude cashier at LCBO Yonge Eglinton Centre who became the first cashier, hell, first PERson ever to refuse a transaction based on a single penny difference. One.)
Olive Oil: ???
Organic/Health Food: Anything that has cereals, yogurt, herbs, spices, baking supplies and the like?
Pasta: Pasta Pantry Fine Foods
Rice: Is there anything like the terrific Rubes Rice around here or anywhere for that matter?
La Salumeria has a great selection of olive oils, and some good breads/rolls. They'd also have some Italian rices in stock.
Pascale Gourmet also carries a small selection of Italian groceries, and carries fresh breads and rolls.
Could also pick up some brioche/croissants at La Bamboche's Manor Rd location.
Also, if you don't mind a 20 minute walk/10 minute drive to Mt Pleasant, Thobors has some good breads.
I don't know if Rachel's sells coffee beans, but it's become my favourite coffee place near Yonge & Eg.
I'd add The Adventure in Cheese (formerly Alex on Yonge) for cheese (they still have some 7 year cheddar that's no longer being produced).
Pastissima is another option for pastas and Italian groceries.
I'm not a fan of the Y & E Metro. I only stop there when I'm on the subway line and don't feel like venturing further afield. If I need to buy basics in midtown, I prefer the Metro at Bayview and Eglinton.
I thought La Salumeria looked like a proper Italian provisioner, but hard to know not having set foot in it yet. I'll probably try the bread there since Mt Pleasant would start a runaround I'm afraid wouldn't stop.
It appears Rachel's sells boxes of tea and not coffee beans, but that would be crazy. Of course I'll have to investigate. Looks like a great tip.
Have you ever been in Noah's Natural Foods? It'd be particularly great to find Best Baa Yogourt, but having Ewenity products doesn't necessarily mean the store has the yogourt.
I would think that La Salumeria has the best selection, since it's more packed than Pascale Gourmet, but Pascale Gourmet also has some nice meats and cheeses. I like both shops. I haven't been to La Salumeria lately, mostly because it's a little further out of the way for me.
I've been inside Noah's, but I've only bought non-food items. I'm sure they sell some yogurt, but it's a very small store, so I wouldn't think there's a large yogurt selection. I'm sure someone else can let you know if they sell Best Baa. I tend to get most of my healthier foods at the Big Carrot or Whole Foods when I happen to be near either one.
The Adventure in Cheese also keeps fresh baguettes and demi-baguettes in stock. https://www.facebook.com/alexonyonge
I wandered into The Butcher's Son about a year ago and it has since changed my weekly shopping routine. One of my happiest chowfinds of last year, I can't say enough great things about them. The overall quality to price point value proposition, combined with lovely service and some great prepared foods in an easily accessible location makes it a big win for me. Do try their roasted cauliflower soup - dairy-free creamy deliciousness. I almost never buy pre-marinated meats but their various chickens are great - you can actually taste the seasonings and not too oily. Their Five Doors North focaccia is lovely. Also good prices on Mad Mexican salsa and guac, if you're so inclined, and tasty biscotti from Leah's.
As to additional shopping stops, definite yes to Fanfare Flowers - great selection and excellent prices. Great flowers in the back room. It took me a few visits for the staff to warm up but they're now super friendly and give me good guidance.
La Salumeria - I go there for some cheeses, deli meats and frozen pasta. Also good for random grocery items if the list isn't big enough to justify a separate trip to a big store - eggs, milk, yoghurt, dried nuts, etc. I would assume they have a good olive oil selection there but I've never really studied it. Lovely owner and staff. Walk around the crowded store to familiarize yourself with what they have.
I've been to Yonge Seafood Gourmet a few times - super lovely couple who own it (he used to be at Pisces before the ownership change). Big store, big selection, decent prices. That said, for my weekly or bi-weekly trip to the fish store, I more regularly tend to zip down the Bayview extension to Leslieville for a visit to Hooked and then Te Aro for coffee beans. But Yonge Seafood is a solid option.
If you feel like lunch or a coffee while you're in the 'hood, do stop in to see Jack and Maria at Rachel's Coffee House - this is the kind of coffee shop I think you'd like. Warm, caring owners, totally unpretentious, passionate about quality. I've posted a lot about them. Their tuna sandwich with rainbow salad is one of my favourites. Good coffee. In my many visits there, I've never noticed if they sell coffee beans - if they do, they're not their own, they don't roast, etc. Boar - the new sandwich shop from Black Camel - has also opened around the corner and their sammies are fantastic. Also their little walnut cookie with dulce de leche treats for dessert. Crazy good. And if all of this eatings causes you to want to burn off a few calories, my non-chow rec for the 'hood is Ferris 360 - a solid little gym across the street with great drop-in classes led by energetic trainers.
For the drinks and bread, I'd head south a few blocks to Summerhill - Petite Thuet and the Summerhill LCBO. You could also visit the Rosedale health food shop - not the best value but good for stocking up on a few health food items, rices, etc.
Up at St. Clair, you have the larger Sobeys (bigger than Balliol) - it's not spectacular but definitely decent. Bagel House blows away What A Bagel if it's bagels you're after. And Holy Chuck for a great burger to satiate your shopping-induced appetite...
Just a quick follow-up. So far, mostly so good. Special mention should be made of one of the vendors.
Gelato Simply Italian is, bar none, the worst gelato I've ever been unfortunate enough to eat. Cheap ingredients and completely lacking in flavour. The lack of flavour may stem from the copious use of chemicals. You see the display and think, "oh wow they keep it at just the right temperature for serving gelato so you can get the full flavour right away." Nope. That "gelato" stays soft under all circumstances. That smacks of chemical use. Oh and it was $14.00 for the smallest container possible of a substance no better than any Chapman Ice Cream.
Back to Gelato Fresco for me.
Anyone know if La Bamboche on Manor Rd is still in business?
Googs, I live in the area and the last time I drove past La Bamboche it was open (maybe a week ago). They have a decent baguette. An excellent baguette can be had at a little spot on Erskine, just east of Yonge called Ruelo. It specializes in macarons, but I go for the baguette.
For coffee beans, the new place just north of Erskine, De Mello Palheta Coffee Roasters definitely roasts onsite and sells their beans. You can check out their CH thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/900437
Thanks! I need to find a decent dessert in the area now that I know Simply Italian Gelato is a complete write-off. I'll definitely make my way around the corner. La Bamboche looks like a great tip.
De Mello Palheta is on my radar. Once I figure out who's hot and who's not, I'll post the map I made of the Yonge-Eglinton Food Route.
rachel's coffee does sell beans (fair trade + organic)
not roasted in house as someone else noted, but good quality- i think 14$ for a lb. i've purchased the ygarcheffe from ethiopia before. however if you are around during the afternoon on thursdays, you can hit up the farmer's market on yonge and grab 2 -1lbs bags for 20 bucks of fair trade, organic, i believe locally roasted, mexican coffee from the Chocosol stand, otherwise 12 for a single bag. ideal cofee at yonge/lawrence is another good bet- 1 lb bag for 16 but you also get a free drink of your choice. and you can hit up noah's for coconut sugar and hewitts cream for the perfect cuppa @ home.
definitely la salumeria for olive oil, although both noah's natural foods and marchellos on eg have good selections.
noah's is my go to in the neighborhood for organic groceries, bulk herbs, GF baking. they sell bulk lundgren farm's rice, 5 or 6 kinds and a few more kinds prepackaged.
they also recently started carrying organic collard greens.
there is also a small pinoy grocery right beside the 2nd hand store on yonge south of the art shoppe- they sell 10-25 lbs bags of jasmine rice if you don't feel like going to chinatown.
if you walk down manor road to mt pleasant, you are literally near a bunch of great stores: pimenton, culinarium, thobors.