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More of this 2014 thread!

Reading the enjoyable, Less of this in 2014 thread,got me thinking of what kind of food,food products,restaurants,eating establishments,and produce in groceries and supermarkets I would like to see more of in Toronto.

These are my choices.More:

Bakeries, like the ones you find in Europe,selling hearth breads,and laminated real butter pastries.

Northern Chinese food.

Singaporean food

I would not mind more bbq joints,and sandwich shops.

More independent cafes,that know what they are doing.

Cara,Cara oranges,and red pomelos.

More varieties of mushrooms.

I would like to know what others would like to see more of.

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      1. - More quick Take-out options in the downtown core - Hot table entrees / cafeteria style etc.
        - Fun places - great food but a place that you would stay for two more hours drinking after your meal
        - Collaborations- A Chinese chef & an Italian Chef sharing a restaurant and having fun with food - or Rotating chefs Totally different menu every month in one location from different chefs.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pourboi

          I totally agree that there should be a place where great chefs come together and collaborate and make something
          brilliant,and who knows what kind of amazing techniques
          or new flavor combinations would be created.

        2. More SE Asian food:
          -Burmese
          -Lao
          -Cambodian

          4 Replies
            1. re: Monica

              There's a new Indonesian place opening on Yonge soon.
              Little Sister, opening soon
              https://www.facebook.com/littlesister...

            2. re: hal2010

              Agreed. Love Montreal but don't want to have to go all that way just for Burmese at Ruby Burma.

              1. Yes to all of the above!
                http://www.makansutra.com/stories/1/9...

                Somewhere I can eat this ^^^^^^

                8 Replies
                1. re: petek

                  Bok choi,Lomein noddles and bbq pork.

                  I believe you can get that at most chinatown restos.

                  1. re: Spanglo

                    I can have such a thing?
                    What would you call it?

                    1. re: petek

                      It's called Lo mein with bbq pork and bokchoi :P

                      Usually the places that have bbq pork hanging on the front
                      of their windows have it.

                      looking at that pic is making me hungry.

                      1. re: Spanglo

                        It's called Lo mein with bbq pork and bokchoi :P

                        Of course it is.. :) I've had it in soup form at Swatow I'll have to try this version next time.

                        1. re: Spanglo

                          Small point. Pretty certain that the vegetable in the pic is not bokchoi. My guess would be choy shum.

                    2. re: petek

                      More heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits.

                      Charcuterie shops.

                        1. re: mrsleny

                          <Malaysian wonton noodles?>
                          Sounds good to me! Now I'm starving... :)

                        1. re: foodyDudey

                          The great white Oro Blanco grapefruit a cross between a pomelo and a white grapefruit.

                           
                            1. re: foodyDudey

                              I just saw them this week in the Fortinos flyer.

                              They call them Sweeties.

                              http://www.fortinos.ca/LCLOnline/flye...

                        2. A cafe serving good desserts south of the 401 that's open until midnight.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: prima

                            What was that place called on Davenport near Ave Rd back in the 90's?

                            1. re: petek

                              Just Desserts?
                              I also remember there being several Future's Bakery locations that were popular for late-night desserts, including one location closer to Yonge & Lawrence, iirc.

                              1. re: prima

                                I am pretty sure that Just Desserts was around in the late 70's or at least there by 1981 as that is when I think I used to go to the original location.

                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                  There were still a few Just Desserts around in the late 80s/early 90s. I remember the Yonge & Sheppard location was still operating in 2002, but I never tried it.

                                  1. re: prima

                                    The original owner has long since departed, and the current incarnation is very different than the hip, late-night hangout Just Desserts was in my youth.

                          2. Cara Cara season picks up again soon

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: frogsteak

                              I have seen them at Fortinos,along with other unusual varieties of citrus.

                              Know where else I can buy them?

                              1. re: Spanglo

                                they're now everywhere at all times. i've seen them at metro, loblaws and whole foods. but the peak season will come in feb-march

                                1. re: frogsteak

                                  Cara Cara at Costco Scarborough today.

                            2. Pina Coladas

                              Lime Daiquris

                              Brandy Alexanders

                              Grasshoppers

                              Grasshopper Pie

                              Cherries Jubilee

                              Baked Alaska

                              chocolate mousse

                              banana splits

                              borscht

                              pelmeni

                              blintzes

                              goulash

                              paprikash

                              palascinta

                              veal scallopine al limone

                              schnitzel

                              kakavia

                              fritto misto

                              French Onion Soup

                              duckling a l'orange

                              duck served well done, falling off the bone

                              cassata

                              spumoni

                              cannoli

                              crepes ( I wish the Eaton Centre still had a Magic Pan)

                              sticky buns

                              chelsea buns

                              buttertarts

                              veal sandwiches on the Yonge subway line, so I don't have to trek east or west, or take a bus

                              Dobos Torte

                              Blackforest Cake

                              old school egg rolls

                              old school sweet & sour chicken balls

                              restaurants with table service serving good old school Chinese Canadian food

                              Wor Won Ton Soup

                              Trinidadian doubles

                              pholourie

                              Cevapi closer to Yonge & Bloor

                              Souvlaki closer to Yonge & Bloor

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: prima

                                Since you are near Yonge & Bloor are some choices for some of the dishes you listed:

                                "veal sandwiches on the Yonge subway line, so I don't have to trek east or west, or take a bus" - Scaccia in Manulife Centre (attached to Bloor subway through the underground)

                                "crepes" - Crêpes à GoGo Yorkville Ave & Yonge

                                "schnitzel" - Coffee Mill 99 Yorkville Ave

                                "French Onion Soup" - Le Trou Normand Restaurant & Jacques' Bistro Du Parc both in Yorkville

                                Further out but still accessible:

                                "old school egg rolls", "old school sweet & sour chicken balls" - Oriental Taste 329 Queen St E

                                "Banana Split" - Dutch Dream Ice Cream , 78 Vaughan Road

                                1. re: pourboi

                                  The schnitzel isn't very good at the Coffee Mill, and sadly, their goulash soup has been watered down and mediocre at best lately. I don't know how good their paprikash has been lately.

                                  I've ordered many scaccias at Scaccia over the years. I guess I'll try their veal sandwich next time I'm nearby.

                                  Does Oriental Taste have table service or is it a take-out place?

                                  Re: French Onion Soup- I just would like to see it on more menus, all over town. I like Jacques' Bistro du Parc. I haven't been to Le Trou Normand. Have you? I don't think any Chowhounds have admitted that they've visited Le Trou Normand since Chowhound's inception.

                                  Thanks for your recs. :)

                                  1. re: prima

                                    Oriental Taste has table service and it even has a stage where they have bands on Tuesday nights!

                                    1. re: pourboi

                                      you say this like it's a good thing

                                    2. re: prima

                                      I visited Trou Normand before Chowhound was born.
                                      Vowed never to return - and haven't!
                                      And I order French Onion Soup at Barberian's.

                                      1. re: estufarian

                                        I had a pretty good onion soup at harbord house the other day

                                      2. re: prima

                                        Re Oriental Taste: Check out the yelp reviews if seriously considering. And please report back if you do go.

                                        1. re: T Long

                                          Ha, thanks T Long. I'm a little more likely to look for chicken balls at a resto closer to Dundas and Spadina, most likely one that's been vetted by you and/or Teep.

                                          Does anyone on Spadina still make a good egg roll? I'd think Lee Garden should still be a good place to start.

                                          1. re: prima

                                            what's the best chinese delivery to ossington area

                                            1. re: prima

                                              Not sure if Lee Garden even has egg rolls. Unlike some CH'ers, I never considered Lee Garden to be typical Canadian Chinese. If anything, that's where I went for "authentic" Chinese food for years. I still consider it a place to go for safe authentic Chinese food. (It's been over a year since I've been though). Regarding old school egg rolls, I have still to find such an item in the GTA. My old school egg roll is circ. 60/70's Western Canada/Ontario when places still made their plum sauces in house. This has been the subject of past threads, so I don't think the prospects are very good.

                                      3. re: prima

                                        Wow Prima you really like your old school desserts.I had been looking for a place that sells a good Black Forest cake for my Fathers B day,but could not find any.

                                        You can never go wrong with wanting more Trinidad doubles.

                                        I would like to see more Authentic charcoal cooked Jerk chicken.

                                        Mexican Torta Sandwiches.

                                        Rice pudding.

                                          1. re: disgusti

                                            I'm actually serious. There's no frozen yogurt near me at all. I demand it.

                                        1. More craft beer making it's way into bars and restaurants.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: lister

                                            On that note, less steam whistle in bars but cheaper steam whistles in stores.

                                            1. re: lister

                                              Yes to craft beers,

                                              More artisanale and local cheeses,chocolate,charcuterie,
                                              wines,coffee roasters.

                                            2. A really good Moroccan inspired restaurant like Aziza in San Francisco (Moroccan- French fusion). Also, Burmese like you find in SF.

                                              A really good Mediterranean restaurant like Oleana in Boston and Damas in Montreal.

                                              A good Southern (New Orleans style) restaurant with good gumbo and po' boys.

                                              Trendy restaurants that take reservations (I'm thinking along the lines of Khao San Road, Grand Electric, etc).

                                              More people joining Chowhound and sharing their faves.

                                              And finally, some better options "North of the border" (North of the 401)!!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                Interesting thing is, my Bay Area friends like the TO restaurants we have here, because they can't find those types of restos in SF. I brought them to Mezes, Trio, Chopin, Cava, a TO hot dog vendor, Yang's, Zee Grill. All completely distinct from what they'd find back home.

                                                I think Oleana and Aziza are one of a kind restaurants that can't be replicated. Have you tried Mideastro? That might be as close as it gets in TO.

                                                Would be nice to have a good Syrian resto similar to Damas, but I think it would be tough for a Syrian restaurant to do well in Toronto.TO doesn't tend to support its upscale Mediterranean restaurants very well.

                                                1. re: prima

                                                  I'm a bit confused by your comment. I'm not sure how Chopin, Cava, Zee Grill, Mezes or Trio are distinct from what one can find in the Bay area. I've certainly eaten at/known of similar restaurants when I lived there.

                                                  Not saying that they aren't good restaurants (I enjoy Chopin and Cava) but I don't find them unique to Toronto in comparison to SFO.

                                                  I would love to see better Middle Eastern food of any kind in Toronto in the upcoming year. Don't think it will happen though.

                                                  1. re: radiopolitic

                                                    I haven't sought out Polish food in , but my friends weren't aware of anything like Chopin in the Bay Area. Maybe they just haven't been seeking it out. If you know of some places like Chopin, let me know so I can pass them on to my friends).

                                                    The Greek food I've had has been either more upscale (like Dio Deka in Los Gatos) or more downscale ( several places in the East Bay) than Mezes, and none of the menus have had the selection Mezes offers .

                                                    Zee's menu is different from any seafood menus I've seen in the Bay Area. While I love seafood in California , most menus I've seen in the Bay Area seem to be somewhat Cal Ital, Italian American, contemporary/continental or traditional Californian/American (like Tadich), and Zee . Zee's menu seems unique to me, with the combination of Dutch, Maritime and/or Asian influences on the continental menu.
                                                    I find Cava to be a Toronto take on tapas and other Spanish dishes, with Latin American influences.

                                                    When I mention Trio, I just mention it as one of the neighbourhood places I took my visitors (listing it because that's where we went). While there is plenty of thincrust pizza in northern CA, what they were used to were hip spots serving Cal Ital or Neapolitan pizza, or chains like CPK. Trio is low-key, non- hip neighbourhood trattoria, North Toronto-style. Different vibe than what you'd find on Queen W, and different vibe than what you'd find in SF. We also had C'est Bon take-out, which is more Chinese Cdn than Chinese American (even though sweet and sour is common, sweet and sour chicken balls aren't commom in Northern California, according to my friends).

                                                    What I'm trying to say is that sometimes the grass is greener, and sometimes visitors from fabulous food regions like the Bay Area appreciate the ordinary places like Mezes, Trio or Chopin we take for granted, because those places aren't typical/ordinary to them, while we're pining for restaurants they've got, which they might think are fairly ordinary.

                                                    YMMV.

                                              2. I am probably in the minority but I would love to see more ethnic vegan/vegetarian restaurants especially southeast Asian, Korean (eg Hangawi in NYC), Japanese shojin (eg Kajitsu in NYC) and vegan burgers, eg Boon Burger in Winnipeg.

                                                Also would love to see Ethiopian restaurants expand outside of Bloor West and Danforth into the GTA 'burbs.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: mrsleny

                                                  "Also would love to see Ethiopian restaurants expand outside of Bloor West and Danforth into the GTA 'burbs."

                                                  That would be wonderful.

                                                  1. re: vil

                                                    and I would love to see these new ethiopian restaurant serve better food than the crap in bloor west

                                                2. If you could get döner here like you can in Berlin, I'd probably get some every week. Also, more/better/fresher Middle Eastern breads and pastries would be nice.

                                                  24 Replies
                                                  1. re: trombasteve

                                                    Dude doner is the #1 thing I crave here, for sure. Just good Turkish/German Turk food in general as I have definitely mentioned before. Whenever I'm in Berlin I can eat like a king for like 8 euro at any number of badass spots in kreuzberg/neukolln and I would literally kill for something like imren grill to open up here. Or one of those cafeteria style Turkish joints with a big hot table would also be a welcome addition. Turkish food is awesome

                                                    The number two thing I want is just more. Of everything. The crap will disappear quickly enough and the stuff that is really quality will stick around but I want more street food, more high end choices, more young chefs, more random bistrot 92 guys doing their thing, more ethnic, etc. We have a good and vastly improved over 10 or even 5 years ago selection of things around but we just don't compare to the best of the best in terms of what's available to us (though we also have it considerably better than the rest of Canada/the world)

                                                    1. re: disgusti

                                                      While the selection of foods has changed over the last 5 or 10 years, I'm not convinced it has improved.

                                                      Around 5 years ago, we had a good upscale Indian restaurant, and now we don't.

                                                      15 years ago:
                                                      We had a lot more choice when it came to Hungarian restaurants and food shops. We had better options for German, Belgian, Ukrainian and Macedonian food. We had a Cambodian restaurant on Yonge just north of Davenport, and now we have to trek to St Clair W for Cambodian food. We had better deli options than we have now. We had an Indonesian restaurant, and we're finally getting another one soon, after a long absence. We had better options for places focused on desserts than we have now. We had a good Moroccan restaurant, and now we don't.

                                                      20 years ago, we had Scandinavian food options in Toronto, with Smorgasbrod. I haven't been to Karelia Kitchen, so I can't comment on their food yet.

                                                      25 years ago, we had more Southern food options, more places serving crepes and more places serving classic French food.

                                                      It's become more difficult to find some ethnic foods now than it was 5, 10 or 15 years ago, and a lot easier to find others.

                                                          1. re: prima

                                                            st clair west is definitely less of a trek for me than yonge and davenport

                                                              1. re: disgusti

                                                                No, I don't see what you're getting at.

                                                                1. re: prima

                                                                  He's too young to remember any of those places and too lazy to have treked to any of them...amiright? :D

                                                                  1. re: petek

                                                                    ha. I figure he wants me to figure out he's 26. Way back in the 20th Century, Chowhounds were TTCing to the goulash belt on Bloor for take-out paprikash, up to Eglinton for Moroccan, east to the Danforth for modern Greek food at Pan or Belgian food at Cafe Brussels. TTCing all over TO for the foods that are friggin' difficult to find these days.

                                                                    Wonder if Chowhounds will have trouble finding cupcakes, ramen and Southern BBQ in Toronto 15 years from now. ;)

                                                                    For a walk down memory lane, here are the places Toronto Chowhounds were recommending 15 years ago:
                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/106328

                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/106337

                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/106333

                                                                    1. re: prima

                                                                      wow good on chow for keeping such a lengthy records

                                                                      1. re: prima

                                                                        Funny to see those old posts with the new features tied to them. Stark contrast to when they were actually posted. : )

                                                                        1. re: prima

                                                                          Thanks for the flashback links Prima. I think it demonstrates how things stay the same despite change. Regarding the links themselves, it's interesting to read comments by Jim Leff. (also a contribution by a young Alan Gardner!)

                                                                      2. re: prima

                                                                        i was getting at that in my opinion, over the past 5-10 years in which i gained the ability to choose what and where i eat, i think there have been marked improvements in what is around. also i can drive and frequently travel all over the place both here and abroad to eat well

                                                                        1. re: disgusti

                                                                          But are the 'marked improvements in what is around' due to the change in your palate between 16 and 26? Or due to the change in Toronto restaurants? Or both?

                                                                    2. re: prima

                                                                      I think Torontonians have evolved and are much more knowledgeable about food and the world around us than they where 10-15 years ago,maybe due to the internet,food tv shows,increase in the variety of authentic ethnic food products available,and immigrants.

                                                                      1. re: Spanglo

                                                                        The only food tv show I've ever watched was Wok with Yan. But that was on tv 30+ years ago.

                                                                        1. re: Spanglo

                                                                          Sorry Spanglo but I don't think Toronto's pallet has evolved that much in the last 10 -20 years thanks to TV/internets. I think that we just latch on to trends more readily(taco/burger/cupcake joints by the dozen). The 80's and 90's saw some of Canada's best and most creative Chefs behind the stoves at some of the most innovative restaurants in the country.
                                                                          Without these "culinary pioneers", the young chefs of today would be working at Google...

                                                                          1. re: petek

                                                                            Our pallets have not evolved because or tv or internet,you can't taste what you see on a screen,but it has made us want it and try it out.Now suppose they where showing something on tv about Polish food.what they showed looked tasty,but don't know what is in the dish.I go on the internet and research Polish food and about Poland and find about their entire cuisine,traditional dished,culture,and their influences from neighbouring countries.I google polish restaurants in Toronto,and hey! there is one around my neighbourhood, I never knew that.
                                                                            So I hope you get my point.

                                                                            The 80's and 90's had Canada's best and creative chef?
                                                                            I do not know, I was born in the 80's,and people old enough to remember would argue with that comment.

                                                                            But I ask you this,where are those Chefs now?and if they are so great,and where are their Sous Chefs?

                                                                              1. re: Spanglo

                                                                                take a look at ChefDB and start clicking...

                                                                                http://chefdb.com/pl/47/Centro-Toronto for instance look who was working at Centro in the 80's as chef down to low level kitchen workers and see where they are now by clicking thier names. The Sous Chefs are every where.. you may have heard of a guy named David Lee, There are many other that are now spread across Canada and the World..

                                                                                1. re: pourboi

                                                                                  <take a look at ChefDB and start clicking...>

                                                                                  And while you're on there Spanglo, look up Franco Prevedello and start clicking on the restaurants he's been involved in from the 70's on up....

                                                                                2. re: Spanglo

                                                                                  <But I ask you this,where are those Chefs now?and if they are so great,and where are their Sous Chefs?>

                                                                                  Maybe you should "Google" it to see what you can find... :)

                                                                                  1. re: petek

                                                                                    Franco is and Owner and partner always has been,hes no Chef.

                                                                                    Let's go back to the main topic.

                                                                                    Let me start again.

                                                                                    More creative and great chefs!

                                                                        2. Street food in more varieties and in more affordable prices.

                                                                          Unadulterated hard apple cider, directly from the orchard to the bottle.

                                                                          1. less ramen and more pho

                                                                            1. I would like to see more restaurants open in the suburbs that focus on really great food at reasonable prices. Often we only get chain restaurants or food that rivals downtown prices (to adjust to the large renovations and smaller volumes compared to downtown).

                                                                              I know this is a dream and often there isn't the profit to sustain this but one can hope.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Nevy

                                                                                Case study?: Bistrot 92 Eglinton Ave West

                                                                                1. re: T Long

                                                                                  I was thinking more like Mississauga or Brampton suburbs.

                                                                                  1. re: Nevy

                                                                                    Also Richmond Hill, Markham, Vaughan.