- Martin Johnston
I'm a relatively new arrival to T.O., but Bayview from Davisville to a couple of blocks north is a superb foodie place:
Whitehouse Meats (top-notch butcher - almost always have buffalo meat, pheasant, venison and ostrich in stock, plus a vast array of the usual chopped up cows pigs & sheep)
Alex Farms (tremendous cheesemonger, also a small selection of deli stuff - this staff has the friendliest and most engaging staff. Try to escape without being forced to sample 'just a few cheeses', I've never managed!)
Fat Man Pizzeria & Buffet (does damn fine pizzas as well as an all-you-can-eat middle eastern buffet; not as good as the pizzas though)
Diner 55 (nice, friendly small diner, serves the usual standard fare at the counter or at tables - I personally found the food good but not exceptional, but it did very well in the Toronto.com '10 best' voting)
Duff's (again a '10 best' fave for their chicken wings, go all the way up to Armageddon strength)
Satay on the Road (Thai/Malay, one of the few places I've found in town doing Malay food so far. If anyone knows a really good authentic Malaysian or Indonesian restaurant please let me know!)
Also many other food places I've yet to visit, so won't comment on;-)
There are also a few interesting wee shops on the street. You can easily spend a couple of hours puttering about this area, and Mount Pleasant is an easy saunter away - which has a huge number of second-hand book shops, many with large and ecelctic cookbook selections.
Hope some of you find this useful. I stumbled on the area because our bank happens to be there, and no-one I've met in T.O. yet seems to have heard about it.
A place you may want to try re: Malaysian food is Coconut Village Restaurant at 389 Roncesvalles Avenue, just east of High Park (Dundas West Subway). Particularly good is their beef rendang. Only open a year now it is casual, family run and another great addition to the many chow places on "Ronces".
I like Small Talk. Great for dinner or weekend brunch. They have a two or three course dinner as well as a la carte items. The staff if quite friendly and the owner is on site and makes sure you are enjoying the evening. It's a bit of an eccletic menu with an Asian influence. They also sell a few bakery items to go - bread, cookies, muffins, etc.
As I've mentioned before, Rahier's Patisserie is also on Bayview - very addictive place! Also, take a walk up to Mt. Pleasant between Eglinton and Moore, another Chowhoud paradise - lots of good restaurants.
I'm not surprised Small Talk went under. The food was inconsistent as was the service. Once we went there for dinner and had to wait over an hour for the main course (And that's AFTER being told two of the menu course items weren't available that night. The waiter seemed embarrassed to have to tell us that). Friends of mine had similar experiences at the restaurant where it took forever for their meal to arrive. And trust me the food wasn't even that good when it finally came to the table. So unmemorable I can't remember what I ate. Dessert was equally unmemorable--soggy crust on the lemon tart and the molten chocolate dessert wasn't even molten. It wasn't a bad place at lunch for $10 but I wouldn't spend $50+ there at dinner. I'd rather spend my dinner dollars at JOV or Quartier or Cafe Pleaides.