Foodie411 Explores the City’s Most Palatable Cultural Offerings
Worth Driving For. That’s right, I said it, this is better than your mom’s or grandma’s meat loaf. I have converted many people to this can’t miss-and-worth-travelling-for dish. Serving Southern-influenced breakfast and dinner, this is one of my favourite spots in the city, and well worth the wait because they are always busy.
WHITE LILY DINER
Meatloaf Dinner served with grits, gravy, griddled mushrooms, meat loaf sauce and bread ’n’ butter pickles. Also available as a sandwich – $17 at White Lily Diner, 678 Queen St E.
The best that the lakes and oceans can offer, Ocean Wise-certified, battered and deep fried. The best, right? Right. But the veteran fry cooks at Sea Witch (did you know that owner, Kevin, worked at the legendary Penrose for 11 years?) also make one hell of a fish chowder. Hearty is an understatement; it is filling and delicious, with a couple twists of a pepper mill, tableside. Simple and oh-so fulfilling and heart-warming. The Witch’s Brew (House Chowder) – $7 at Sea Witch, 636 St. Clair Ave. W.
COUNTRY STYLE HUNGARIAN
When you talk about my favourite restaurant, I’ll roll my eyes, explaining to you that I eat my moods. If you push, I will answer emphatically: “Country Style Hungarian.” This is a mood-changing spot, which turns my frown upside down for their Eastern European soul food. If you don’t know, this is a Toronto institution, where the second generation is serving up some of the best schnitzel, which is easily the size of your head. If fried isn’t your jam, order some goulash, or chicken liver dumpling soup, it’ll warm you up real good.
Wiener Schnitzel (I suggest getting the dumplings and extra gravy on the side) – $20.95 at Country Style Hungarian, 450 Bloor St. W.
RESTAURANT CANADIAN CARIBBEAN
Oxtail is not as scary as it sounds, and it sure is delicious when prepared correctly. A prominent ingredient in the food of many cultures, I would argue that the West Indies does it best. Head up to Five Points to try some of the best you will taste in the GTA, at the lovingly dubbed ‘Always Fresh,’ where the aunties will take good care of you. No frills, and delicious.
Oxtail, served with rice and pigeon peas, and coleslaw. Ask for gravy, or you are missing out – $9, $12, or $16 at Restaurant Canadian Caribbean, ‘Always Fresh,’ 620 Vaughan Rd.
Chefs get their pasta from Leo, why wouldn’t you? The once-underground lunch counter is now well-known. Show up early for eat-in, or grab some pasta to take home – Famiglia Baldassarre, 122 Geary Ave.
There is always a lineup, no matter what time of day, which upsets me because I hate waiting in line. It is worth it, but I’m just preparing you. The Mind-Blowing Chicken Sandwich, get it, love it. $15.00. And, if you are interested in sharing with someone, get the Pharaoh’s Po Boy – Maha’s (Egyptian Street Food), $13.00, 226 Greenwood Ave.