What are we doing for lunch today?

"Come on guys, it's Friday. Let's go to Upstairs" - T. Koop

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Has anyone heard of this? Worth going? It kind of looks like a kid/family event but there may be some good meat.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend eats

On Saturday, I went downtown to see the Four Seasons centre open house. Since there was a wait between getting tickets and going inside, we decided to get some brunch so we rode the Queen streetcar west to Markham St. and went to Vienna Home Bakery (#14 on the NOW cheap eats page). It's a tiny little place that serves up brunches, light lunches, and goodies like ginger muffins with lemon curd. I had a quiche with ricotta, tomatoes, feta, and maybe something else, on a really rich and buttery crust. It came with a pretty decent salad dressed with some mustardy sauce. Karen had the omelette of the day - wild mushrooms, and more feta - with home fries and two slices of good toast. Both of our dishes were really tasty and had us mmm-ing and savouring the flavour. The downside was the price: both entrees were $9, and we each had a $1.50 cup of coffee as well. I guess it's not too expensive given that the food has quality ingredients, but it's beyond the usual Crispy Beef meal.

At night, we went up to Newmarket to eat at this Japanese restaurant called Solo sushi-ya, where we had the omakase meal (chef's choice - $35 each - for Karen's birthday). Overall quite tasty and a good experience - it's a small place and we had a chance to chat with the chef quite a bit. There were 6 courses overall, all small, but at the end of it I was pretty stuffed. I'll go into this in detail in another post when I finally get the pictures from my camera.

Sunday for lunch we went to a wonton noodle place near my house called Hello! Wonton Noodle - basically on Yonge at Church (Ave, not St, between Sheppard and Finch). There are three toppings (shrimp wontons, beef slices, and fish balls) which you can get on three types of noodles in soup (thin egg noodles, flat rice noodles, and thin rice vermicelli). You can also get lo mein (egg noodles without soup) or just toppings in soup with no noodles. A normal sized bowl costs between $4 and (I think) $6, depending on how many toppings you get and whether you get the dry noodles or no noodles, both of which cost more. You can also get a plate of chinese veggies for $2. The food's pretty good, but the star of the show is the chili oil, which is not only pretty damned hot (I was sweating and crying) but also really tasty and fragrant, unlike a lot of chili oils which just taste spicy. Part of my problem was that the chili oil tasted so good that I couldn't lay off it. Definitely worth the subsequent ass trouble.

Sunday night I just made a secret-style sandwich: hot capicollo, provolone, roasted peppers, la bomba, and some tomato on a baguette.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Roti Shops

Check out this listing of roti shops...in case you need some goat in Calgary:


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day Churrasco

Today I went with my dad to Bairrada in Mississauga for some Portuguese BBQ. We Had :

Breaded Shrimp ($5 5 or 6 pieces -- hose)
Chourico sausage ($10 kinda pricy)
BBQ Chicken plate ($8 HUGE)
Beers ($3.50 ea)

The Chourico came on a weird pig dish and was flaming. It was pretty tasty and filled with CHUNKS of meat. But at $10 it's a bit steep unless you're really looking for some sausage.

As a rule here, the appetizers are small and pricey, but the size of the BBQ chicken main, which comes with rice and potatoes, made up for it. Plus you get a load of fresh Portuguese bread. What we ordered could've fed three. Total bill with tax (before tip) was less than $25.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

R Shop Cafe

I went down to King+Spadina today to have lunch with Karen (hooray for the metropass - assbike for the unfit). We went to this furniture store/cafe called the R-Shop, which I'd heard about on metro morning. I had the chicken katsu don ($6.75):
and Karen had some noodles in soup with wontons ($7.55). The soup noodles were a hose considering the price - you could make the same thing at home for under 2 bucks. The chicken katsu was actually pretty filling, even though the (pretty huge) plate looks empty in the picture. They use brown rice, which has a nice taste and texture. $6.75+tax is still not cheap, but considering the area, I guess it's okay.

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Big Daddy's Crabshack

Tonight I hit up Big Daddy's Crab Shack at King + University. The bonus is that from 3-6pm and 10pm-close everyday they have a Happy Hour menu at the bar. The prices are ass cheap, so naturally I went nuts.

Raw oyster half shells (5) 5.99
Mussels 3.49
Big Daddy Platter (catfish,calamari,gator,coconut shrimp) 10.99
Blackened Catfish 3.49
Jumbalaya 1.99
Bread .75

It was like an undersea exhibition, with lemon and cocktail sauce on the side. Beware though -- beers are expensive -- Keith's $6, Stella $7.

PS. My buddy had the fettucine (2.99) and chicken satay (5.99 -- hose).

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Ghandi Roti

Last Sunday I was strolling around Queen W before noon when I saw Ghandi, which NOW claims has the best roti in town. Unfortunately, they weren't open yet so I had to carry around a roti craving for the rest of the week. Finally, today I managed to go there again, this time during their working hours. I ordered a lamb roti (no goat), medium spicy, for $8 including tax. In addition to lamb, they also have vegetarian (potato, spinach, cauliflower, chickpeas, etc..., as well as some with paneer), shrimp, and 5 types of chicken roti: chicken, chicken jalfrizi, chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, and chicken korma. But I had to have the lamb in order to compare with the roti at Roti Palace (lamb and goat are the same word in chinese).

The roti itself was HUGE - they serve it in metallic takeout containers which are about the size that you get for takeout lasagna at pizza places, and the roti filled the container. Definitely enough for lunch, and maybe too much if you're not starving. There's clearly a difference between the Indian roti here and at Roti Palace, which is Caribbean-style. The roti bread is not like the chewy, moist bread at RP - it's more like a really thin naan in texture and taste. The lamb curry had definite Indian spice to it with cardamom and cinnamon notes, and it was kind of acidic from what tasted like some tomato (I could be completely wrong here - it's just a best guess). There were some large hunks of lamb fat along with the meat and potatoes, but no bones. The medium hot version was probably spicy enough for me. I could probably take the hot but I don't think I'd enjoy it.

So would I go again? Definitely, if I'm in the area. I'd like to try one of the vegetarian rotis, particularly one with cheese (paneer), and it's a nice, non-pretentious place on the Queen W strip. But it took something like 10 minutes for them to cook up my roti, which was made more painful than it should have been because they had a dude drilling holes into their display case the whole time. And I think I like the style of the roti at RP better, but Ghandi is pretty good for a change of pace.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dupont BBQ Chicken

I pass by this place (1519 Dupont) all the time. It looks like just a dirty little storefront, but I always had the sneaking suspicion it was serving up some good food.

When Plan A (some German place in Etobicoke that serves up pork hocks) and Plan B (Piri Piri at Lansdowne and Dupont) were closed by 9:30-10 Wed. night we called an audible headed across the street (and a bit west) to Dupont BBQ Chicken (Churrasqueira).

Churrasqueira is Portuguese for damn tasty food.

Out front they have a bunch of steam tables, where shit is piled up willy-nilly behind totally dingy looking plexi-glass. They got chicken, veal (?), lasagna, rice, potatoes, you name it.

After a day of drinking like a mad fiend I was starving. So I pointed at pretty much everything and they piled it up high. Lasagna, chicken, potatoes, sausage, everything. My friend had a chicken plate, with again, pretty much all the sides he wanted.

But the big surprise is the pretty large rear dining area, which I had not even imagined in my wildest fantasies. And I swear it was full of Portuguese dudes in a heated argument about a card game or something. Apparently.

One dude was wearing a shiny shiny yellow bowling shirt, unbuttoned all the way, airing his hairy (and most likely sweaty) Portuguese torso in the very same atmosphere we ate our barbecue meats in.

All the food was incredibly good, and I doused it all in the organgey Portuguese hot sauce.

No one in the place spoke any English whatsoever, so when the old lady said something about drinks, I was totally unsuccsessful in getting a Diet Coke, the old lady just looked at me like I was from Outer-Space and brought over cans of Sumol.

I checked out the drink fridge. No Diet Coke, no Diet Pepsi, it's just Sumol .... or water. So I just had water.

The best surprise was the bill. Which looked like this:

Lasagna $7
1/4 Chicken $6

Apparently you only get charged for the biggest thing you eat.
I will def. be going back.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

King Palace / 101gas.com

I got another chance to hit up King Palace aka. 101gas.com, at the corner of Richmond and Sherbourne. They list a million "combos" which are not organized in any way to be useful.

But the way to order is from the steam table -- which is like a 31 flavours for Indian food.

So I just ordered what I did the last time. I had an order of meat (boneless beef something this time) and a vegetable (spinach and chickpeas) on their usual multicoloured rice.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Things I have Georged: NY Striploin

Georging a steak can be tricky, my george gets very hot and it's very easy to overcook shit. In general cooking time is half of what it is on a grill or bbq. A thin burger ... 3 mins. 6 or 7 minutes on the George is an eternity.

Euro-trash had a sale on the NY striploins, so I picked up about a 14 oz. for $4, marinated in salt, olive oil + pepper for a few hours, for steaks the taste is all from the marinade, and then ... 5 mins on El Jorge, and perfect med. rare.

Oh yeah... the steak was super tender and pretty tasty.

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Kings Crown and Beer at Sneaks

After the ballgame on Wednesday I still had some room for some beer and eats. So we assbiked over to Sneak's for the Wednesday Nite Special.

King's Crown is a torilla bowl filled with beans and ground beef topped with nachos, melted cheese and a big helping of guac and sour cream. $19.50 w/ pitcher of cheap-ass Sneaks beer.

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