The 38 Essential Toronto Restaurants, October '13
- justxpete Oct 3, 2013 12:17 AM
So, in light of Eater's "list" (http://toronto.eater.com/archives/201...), I thought I'd create one of my (our?) own. Now, these might not be my favourite, per se, but I can't deny a given restaurants relevance for personal dislike. But as a general consensus, I think this list is pretty good, with perhaps a few omissions or additions needed. I did it relatively quickly, but - I'm not sure how the writers of Eater could be so off. This took me all of 15 minutes. I listed them in alphabetical order just for good measure.
Auberge Du Pommier
Jacobs & Co
Khao San Road
Porchetta & Co
Patria, Carmen, THR&Co, 7L and Origin North I think are a bit too new to be included (if they would be). I included Bero because the reviews are overwhelmingly positive among CHers.
I would have to add seven lives just for the sheer amount of times I've eaten there, I think they do something original ( for Toronto) and delicious
I think an essential list is going to be highly personal, and depend on what you like to eat. My essential 38 would include a lot more Mediterranean food (Dr. Laffa, Tabule, possibly Mezes or Pantheon), some seafood (Starfish and Joso's), some West Indian food (jerk , roti or doubles) and a lot less continental food. I'm always game to try the new contemporary/continental places that get raves (places I have tried once, but haven't revisited: Beast, Woodlot, Grove, Chantecler), but I rarely return after the first visit, so I wouldn't consider them to be essential (to me or Toronto).
When I have out-of-town visitors, my essential TO includes a Greek lunch (usually a whole bunch of mezes at Mezes or Pantheon) followed by loukamades at Athens Pastries, a combo plate at Cafe Polonez or Chopin, dim sum at Yang's, Dynasty or Crown Princess, pasteis de nata from Doce Minho, maybe Pizzeria Libretto.
My cocktail and bar food at Origin North was meh. I'm being nice by calling it meh. I would take Joey or Earl's over Origin North, if I was given a choice!
The only ones that immediately comes to mind that CHers like that are not on the list are Buca and Ici.
I'm curious. Of the restaurants mentioned in JustPete's list,how many have you visited 3 or more times? The only ones I've visited 3+ times are Stockyards, Scaramouche, Burgers Priest (I've visited 3 times, but still wouldn't consider it essential- it just happens to be a convenient location for me), George (visited 3 times, but underwhelmed on last visit, so not essential to me), Cava (visited 3 times), and Starfish. Starfish is the only one listed on JustPete's 38 that I've visited more than 5 times.
I think I'd also include a churrasco chicken place, and Italian sandwich place in my list of 38 essential restos, and add The Saint for its lovely brunch (which I prefer to Beast's brunch).
I've visited 12 of them 3 or more times. And another 7 twice - so I guess I'm in general agreement (and do occasionally bump into justxpete as well).
But it does seem to be middle-high end biased, so it depends whether you are recommending for a local (with resources) or a visitor. I find it a good 'visitor' list.
But clearly better than the 'published' list that inspired this.
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I love the idea of adding a churrasco chicken place in a Toronto list...however none of them really cook chicken that well IMO. Even the ones that are the least dry and overcooked...are pretty dry and overcooked compared to someone who knows what they are doing and cooking chicken to the right temp with the right method.