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Update on Broadview and Gerrard

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I will be working in the 'hood for the next couple of weeks. I am not familiar with this area and have been having trouble finding lunch! I have been searching other Chowhound postings and as one writer said, the area is a ghost town. So far I have tried Hanoi 3 Seasons and Dumpling House. Hanoi had passable pho, not much depth to the soup (I understand it's chicken and not beef based). I had a pretty tasty Xinjiang chicken dish at Dumpling House - the serving was astronomical (i.e. I only made a small dent in the plate) and the handmade noodles had a lovely texture. My only complaint was the peculiar piece of ice-cold chicken. All the other chicken pieces were hot. Everything was fully cooked, but I guess when they reheated, one piece didn't heat up?

Anyhow, I would like to try a few more places, but more than half the shop fronts are closed/for rent. It's a pretty sad state of affairs there. Any recommendations? Thanks!

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  1. You should give Ka Ka Lucky Seafood BBQ on Broadview, south of Gerrard a try.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodyDudey

      I don't think pho is the dish to order at Hanoi 3 Seasons. I haven't been there in quite a while, but I always ordered the cha ca la vong (turmeric and dill fish) on rice vermicelli. Garlic chicken or ginger chicken are also good, or at least they were a couple of years ago.

      I've only had takeout from Ka Ka Lucky, but the BBQ duck is pretty tasty.

      1. re: 1sweetpea

        Hanoi 3 Seasons has a soup with deep-fried calamari in it and I order it almost every time I go.

        1. re: 1sweetpea

          Ka Ka Lucky has a lot more than BBQ. You should try that some time, you may like it. We used to order only the BBQ for many years, and now we mainly order the other items.

      2. You've already hit my two favourites. At Hanoi 3 Seasons, did you try the spicy baby clams? I agree with 1sweetpea think their best/most interesting dish is the grouper with dill and shrimp paste. I love it as a soup.

        You could go to Rose's for banh mi and various fascinating prepackaged Vietnamese specialties. I think there are some that don't require reheating. (601 Gerrard St E


        Andrea's (635 Gerrard) has a few lunch take-out items though I think is better known for sweets. http://andreasbakery635.com

        Mi Mi (688 Gerrard) remains a neighbourhood favourite despite what seem to be mixed reviews on CH.

        If you have time to go three blocks north, there's the Rooster Coffee House (479 Broadview) between Riverdale and Withrow - good coffee and now they have lunch-style savouries too, tho I don't know if the food is actually good. (Please report if you go.)

        Also, a 10-minute walk east (949 Gerrard, at Pape) is Pizza Pide. Mmmm.

        Not really chow-worthy probably, but a place I find fun and interesting is Green Earth vegetarian (385 Broadview). It had more character when they had the giant screen of the "Supreme Master", with her rescued pets, showing silently at all times…

        Also I don't know if it's OK to admit it here, but I still go to Pearl Court for dim sum (have only been on weekends) and always enjoy it. (633 Gerrard)

        Hope that at least gives you some ideas and variety. Of course, you could always set yourself the task of taste-testing ALL the pho places and letting us know if you like any of them! :)

        1. I like Que Ling for pho, just south off of Gerrard, east of the Green P Parking lot on Gerrard east of Broadview. My other spot I go to for pho in that strip is Pho House, right on Gerrard.

          For banh mi, I once compared the shredded chicken and assorted sandwiches from Rose's to the same ones from the Tung Hing bakery on Broadview, south of Gerrard, and all three tasters preferred the banh mi sandwiches from Tung Hing.

          4 Replies
            1. re: helenhelen

              Thanks for the tip, just tried them for lunch as well as the bun bo hue.
              I really enjoyed both, especially the dumplings, but am no expert on Vietnamese cuisine - can you (or anyone) explain what distinguishes these? i.e., how do you recognize good quality banh cuon? (and spicy beef soup too, for that matter)

            2. re: janel

              yeah... I've never quite understood the Rose's love. It's fine but not better than other standard banh mi places in my experience. I've also had some issues where they didn't ask me how spicy etc so definitely specify if you want hot peppers.

              1. re: julesrules

                Ditto. The Rose is okay but if I'm in the area I go for the ones from the bakery on the east side of Broadview just south of Gerrard. Sorry I forget the name.

                Not to completely hijack the post, but is the Pearl Court the only place here that serves dim sum?

            3. In the old Mi Gia-Phung location on Gerrard East of Broadview there is currently renovations going on to turn it into a new independent Neapolitan pizza place. Last I heard they were looking at a mid March opening. Too late for the OP's current needs but a needed option in the area.

              11 Replies
              1. re: pourboi

                Any update on this place? The Neopolitan pizza place???

                1. re: roostermom

                  I walked by two weekends ago, there is activity inside, paint & wallpaper, no furniture yet and it seems they were working on building the bar.

                  I would guess 3-4 weeks... as usually you do not wallpaper untill the major construction is all done.. Looks to be finishing touches now.

                  Still no name... as old signs are still hanging on the fronmt of the building.

                  1. re: pourboi

                    Walked by Yesterday on my way home from work and some guys were carrying in what looked like a Copper bar top.. very cool... Also seeing increased activity in the kitchen. Opening should be soon..

                  2. re: roostermom

                    This has been papered over the windows at 598 Gerrard St E at Braodview this weekend... Looks like it will be called: "Mr Ciao" describing themselves as "Ristorante E Bar - Pizza E Pasta"

                        1. re: foodyDudey

                          it is not "deep fried" as in fair food where they take a slice of pizza and coat it in batter and fry it..

                          it is "Pizza Fritta" where the dough is flash fried for 30 seconds and the topping added and finished in the oven. With this method you get a crispy thin pizza that is still airy and fluffy inside. It is a traditional Neopolitan street food that has been taking New York by storm (see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09...)

                          1. re: pourboi

                            i had the buffalo mozza version of the montanara at don antonio in nyc back in march of 2012--it is definitely not disgusting--it was absolutely delicious and i would try it again if it finally came to toronto. . .

                            1. re: pourboi

                              After reading the article, I may even go on Wednesday!

                              1. re: foodyDudey

                                OK this is sounding much better than my first mental image. Think I'll still wait for some approvals from the foodie crowd before trying it though... If you go, please report back!

                    1. I am actually a big fan of Pho House. Really cheap but filling pho.

                      Also Andrea's Gerrard Street Bakery is incredible. Go there and try one of their street car sandwiches or an empanada. The chocolate cake is also not to be missed.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Otonabee

                        +1 for Mi Mi on the north side, red and white sign, a bit more east of the intersection. Cheap cheerful honest family pho and more Vietnamese.

                        and if you have a sweet tooth, the bakery a few doors west of Dumpling House is excellent (but don't eat the hot foods!) GUilty pleasure is their creamy filled sponge cakes with oodles of tea. Yes, as lunch. I'm a very bad person.

                        At dumpling house, please order the fried potsticker meat dumplings that are rolled and filled to order, and come in a starburst turned out of the pan. THe torn noodle chicken is good, but the dumplings are awesome. And if you like spicy and beansprouts, their spicy Szechuan beef soup , which is oodles of beef and about a pound of beansprouts in a satisfying hot peppers, Szechuan peppercorn, star anise broth,(but no noodles or carbs in it) is a lunch big enough for two if you add a savory sticky rice roll...

                        Weirdest discovery to date at Dumpling House? Their Mu SHu Pork comes with lovely house-made pancakes, but no, they do NOT have hoisin sauce. Odd.

                      2. Bach Yen, at Gerrard West of Howland. Excellent vietnamese pancake, mango salad and Bun Bo Hue (spicy viet stew) . Decent green curry chicken - cheap, and packed with vegetables. Mr. Rooster and I stuffed ourselves and had leftovers for only $37 the other night ... enough food for 5 (based on the amount of chopsticks they gave us....)!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: roostermom

                          Thanks for mentioning Bach Yen. Looks like it has lots of fans on another website. Looking fwd to trying out their Vietnamese pancake and bun.

                        2. Which Vietnamese restaurant serves the best bun on Gerrard?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: prima

                            Mimi's is always popular, however personally I find the tastes there catered more towards western palates and I don't like it as much.

                            1. re: szw

                              Thanks. Do you have a place you like more on Gerrard E?

                          2. Good turkish pizza at Gerrard and Carlaw. Sushi on Gerrard east of Carlaw not bad. Udipi for terrific dosas Gerrard west of Coxwell. Batifole for amazing dinners. Gerrard east of Broadview.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: g.m.

                              So Batifole is amazing now? I am just wondering if you have found it better after the original owner sold it. It was not amazing in the past.

                            2. Chino Locos burritos has opened up shop on the south west corner of Broadview and Gerrard! We dropped by their Greenwood and Queen East location on Sunday and had the grilled basa burrito and are looking forward to checking out their new spot, hopefully this will cut down on the order wait times :)

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: mosport

                                Is it open now was papered up when I last walked by?

                                1. re: pourboi

                                  Yessir, they opened on Tuesday.

                                  1. re: foodyDudey

                                    Unhappily, your link points out that basa is "not recommended" by Ocean Wise. :(

                                    1. re: Klafouti

                                      That is why I posted it. Plus I don't have much interest in farmed fish from most places, but definitely not from the orient. You can't know how much antibiotics and other undesirable items are added to the water. Many restaurants serve basa as it is now the cheapest fish. I always ask, and when I hear 'basa' I tell them that I don't eat basa.

                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                        Ah! I missed the sarcasm in your original comment - thanks for clarifying.
                                        Also thanks for pointing out that they use basa. I had previously been looking forward to trying their fish burrito. Darn.

                                          1. re: roostermom

                                            It won't kill you. IMHO It's more a matter of avoiding / minimizing where possible. I'll confess I do buy farmed Asian shrimp, farmed salmon etc on occasion just very minimally. And I basically do not eat fish in restaurants other than seafood places because I always assume the worst for both quality and sustainability. Except for burrito boys once a year or so...

                                            1. re: julesrules

                                              Burrito Boyz uses halibut don't they? I thought/hoped halibut is usually OK.

                                              1. re: Klafouti

                                                I haven't done the research and I get mine with half halibut/half shrimp!

                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                          Fish tacos/fish burritos are almost always made with the cheapest fish. I avoid basa and tilapia (another cheap fish), but once in a blue moon I'll bend my rule for a fish taco.

                                    2. re: mosport

                                      So I tried to go by Friday night it was around 9:30 and they were closed... Went back today and had the steak burrito... It was ok but nothing special... needed salt and the hot sauce was very inconsistent, I had asked for medium spicy the first two bites my mouth was burning, the middle was bland and the end was spicy again..

                                      I asked them about their hours and they said that even they do not stay open past 9. I said that is unusual given that they had a liquor licence and he said that they were going by "Mall Hours"????

                                    3. Mr Ciao will be open to the public starting Wednesday!