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Nov 6, 2013 10:32 PM

NOW Mazagines Best of Toronto Reader Poll

The NOW magazines Best of Toronto Reader Poll was just released. I am still going through the Food is huge!.. lots of places I have never heard of.. Any surprises to you?

Food section:

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  1. yes. surprised that people still read this poll.

    doesn't Pizza Pizza usually rank in the top 3 pizzas every year and Tim Hortons as the best coffee?

    4 Replies
    1. re: atomeyes

      This year Best Pizza went to Franks Pizza on St Clair, Best Coffeehouse - Fahrenheit... I think they have cleaned up their act a bit...

      Some places I have never heard of include:

      Best Caribbean Restaurant - Le Ti Colibri on Agusta
      Best Burger Under $10 - Burger Stomper Gourmet Burger & Milkshake Bar on the Danforth

      Only Real standout crazy one to me Was Whole Foods winning Best Prepared foods...

      1. re: pourboi

        Le Ti Colibri was actually good when I went..

        Burger Stomper, not so much..

        Funny, I was glancing at this week's issue tonight and I was thinking some of the same thoughts as those in this thread... Wonder if it is the power of social media or what that some of these places got top spot.

        1. re: ylsf

          Yes like best jerk for the Real Jerk (much as I like them) when they've only been open again for just a month or so.

        2. re: pourboi

          pourboi, you are wrong.
          Frank's Pizza.
          Simple pizza, "signature" salad.
          Both were insultingly bad and offensively stingy.

          There is no rational reason - including having a coupon - why anyone would go back.

      2. Looks like it's gone back to being a total joke again.

        9 Replies
        1. re: terrycar

          Totally agree with you!! Controversial choices galore!!

          I have issues with so many winners/runner-up, here are just a few laughable ones:

          Best Chinese - Mother's Dumpling?!!! OMG!!
          Best Wine list - Both Splendido and Opus ignored!!
          Best splurge - Woodlot???!!! Where's Shoto, Auberge, Canoe, George.............etc
          Best Sushi - No Zen??!!


          1. re: Charles Yu

            For everyone who complains... did you vote? if not don't complain...

            they had the nominations open for over a month then the voting on the finalist for two months.. plenty of time to get your voice heard...

            1. re: pourboi

              Are you telling us that we have no right to voice our opinion on some voting results that looks obviously 'out-of-whack'?? This is afterall an open forum!!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                No, I am saying that people should not complain that the "list is a joke" when they could have left their input to make it better.. Just like if someone on the Chow board just complains that your recommendation are bad without giving their own recommendations then they would have no credibility.

                Charles you gave examples of categories that you disagreed with and options that you thought would have been better that is what this board is about.. I guess I placed my comment under the wrong post as it was the ones above yours that I had an issue with.. just saying its a total joke helps no one...

                1. re: pourboi

                  Understood!!! Thanks for clarification pourboi!

                  FYI, I did vote. However, I doubt my 'single vote' was enough to sway results in areas where my solitary stand can be easily overwhelmed!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    I believe you can vote as many times as you like. Explains the whack-job winners? Ha!!

                    1. re: MissBingBing

                      Part of the discussions on another board also reveal another side of the ' food Critique/review ' story!!

                      klyeoh 1 day ago

                      I'm sure Charles didn't mean you, Lau :-D

                      But truth of the matter is, I noticed in HK, Singapore & Malaysia these days that there are too many young foodbloggers who're more interested in taking photos of the dishes than actually tasting the food. One too many times, I went to this-and-this KL restaurant because the local food blogosphere raved about it, only to find some expensive, tarted-up eatery with underwhelming food. I'm sure the situation's the same in many other countries.

                      As for golf ball-sized dim sum - well, there are two sides to the coin: the old dim sum joints in Singapore's Chinatown (e.g. Nam Tong) *used* to serve siu-mai and har-gau of this size. It's to provide sustenance to the blue-collar, working class labourers who craved a substantial meal to start their day with. Dim sum joints like Nam Tong started their breakfast service at 4.30am-5am, as these labourers start their day *very* early. As Chinatown gentrified through the years, the size of dim sum dumplings at Nam Tong (which reincarnated as Sin Nam Tong in the early 90s) began shrinking to what locals called "Hong Kong"-sized dim sum eventually :-D

                      But in rustic areas of Guangdong, you still do find Godzilla-sized dumplings in some eateries :-D
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                      re: klyeoh
                      Charles Yu 1 day ago

                      Klyeoh: Totally agree with you about 'young' foodbloggers! Posting photos is one thing - almost anyone with a smart phone can do it. However, making educated and correct critique of a dish's composition and taste requires a seasoned and well-tuned palette.
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                      re: Charles Yu
                      klyeoh 1 day ago

                      Which is precisely why I sometimes felt that young Singapore food bloggers don't really know what they are talking about - they *never* had the opportunity to taste "real" Singapore hawker food, before the advent of high-rents, centralised food processing plants, use of bottled/canned ingredients and condiments, etc. Singapore hawkers these days eschewed traditional cooking methods using wood-fired or charcoal-fired stoves and braziers, they opt for powdered/canned coconut milk instead of fresh ones, they use vegetable oil instead of lard for "health reasons" as promoted by the S'pore government so tastewise, the hawker foods would have changed, and they use shortcuts and shorter cooking times. In the 70s, rojak or mee rebus sellers boil sweet potatoes to thicken and flavour their sauces. These days, they used bottled ketchup, cornstarch and red colouring.

                      Modern-day hawkers economize their operations to make up for the high costs they are faced with nowadays, to eke out a decent living.

                      In short, young Singaporeans don't have the slightest clue what "real" Singapore hawker food used to taste like - they simply did not have the opportunity! What I taste today in Singapore's food centres bore little resemblance to how I remember what those dishes used to taste like.

                      This is totally unlike in, say, Ipoh in Malaysia, where the famous Ipoh hor fun which I first tasted in 1972 actually still tasted *exactly* the same in 2012 (40 years later) although the current chef is the grandson of the first chef who's cooking I'd first tasted. It was *amazing* - after 40 years, the dish even *looked* exactly as I remembered it to be.

                      1. re: MissBingBing

                        Nope the actually used not only cookies but also IP tracking .. so only one person could only vote from a wifi ... but yes between cell phones, home, work starbucks etc I am sure there were some people milking it..

                      2. re: Charles Yu

                        I wonder what is the "NOW" demographic theses days.. is it still 20ish hip queen west types.. who have now moved on to ossington.. or is it an older group..

            2. Seems like the list is repeated twice and very heavy on booze. Also quite west-end-centric and focused on the trends of the day. The categories themselves tell you what the results will be.

              1. don't get all hot & bothered, it's a popularity contest from its niche reader market more than any sort of quality assessment.