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November 29, 2005

Dining (and yarn shopping) in Toronto Part II

A visit to Toronto means lots of meals with friends. Desirée and I went to Spring Rolls before the ballet. It was as reasonable and reliable as the previous visit. On a snowy day, a bowl of pho was the perfect dinner. Spring Roll's pho is made for Western palates; rare beef, brisket and meatballs - no tendon and no tripe. Dinner was under $20 CDN per person ordering liberally.

Steph, Danny and I met at Vienna Home Bakery with a bunch of Stephanie's pals for a yarn crawl to Romni Wool and lessons in All Things Canadian. This includes the fact that milk comes in bags and that Tim Horton's Maple Dip is the Donut of Our People. I nearly lost my Honorary Canadian badge by sassing that a Butter Tart with nuts was just a pecan pie.

Romni Wools is big, disorganized, full of interesting yarns and generally friendly, but something happened there that has happened before and turns me off the place. I took two skeins of Jawoll Cotton from a bin clearly marked "Jawoll Cotton - $6.99". When I got to the register, the woman looks it up in her book and says, "Oh no, it's $8.99." When I said that the yarn was marked at $6.99, she said that it must have gotten into the wrong bin. Obviously the wrong bin marked with the correct yarn name. This has happened before there, caveat emptor.

John and I had dinner on Friday at Natchos Thai Thai, which like Spring Rolls is close to his office and to the Hummingbird Centre. Thai food here is good if not stellar, but there's also plenty of it. A good deal is the dinner for two for $40 (which ends up being about $53 with tax and tip). It includes mixed appetizers and three entrees to share as well as one portion of dessert.

Sher-e-Punjab on the Danforth is an established Indian Restaurant that does standard Mughal fare quite well and quite hot. I had prawn saag and shared a more hot than buttery butter chicken with John. The naan were particularly good. Dinner in a large group on Saturday night came to around $17 per person.

John and Chris had just noticed Bamboo on the Danforth and we decided to try it out for dimsum at Sunday lunch. The restaurant was small, quiet and uncrowded, so dimsum was made to order rather than premade and served from carts. This makes a difference. The beef ribs in black bean sauce were particularly good and a surprise to me as I expected spare ribs and they were meaty short ribs with lots of meat and little gristle and bone. Taro cake was also very good but they don't serve it with Hoisin sauce; I'm used to that in NYC. Worth a visit and about $17 per person in a group ordering liberally. I can't find them on the web, but Bamboo is on the north side of the Danforth near Logan (between Chester and Pape stations).

Posted by Leigh Witchel at November 29, 2005 12:30 AM

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Just in case you're still there and feel the need...

First Markham Place: Sweet Home -- Japanese yarn store in Toronto 905-474-1788.

Posted by: eve at November 29, 2005 9:58 AM

The dim sum at the Bamboo Cafe was quite good, but rather overpriced by Toronto standards. Still, I like trying new places in my neighbourhood. If we'd gone to Chinatown (any of the three in Toronto) we could have found a place of similar quality for one-half to two-thirds the price. Of course, it's the company that really makes the lunch, and that was stellar.

Posted by: John at November 29, 2005 5:18 PM

How random that you are in Toronto again. I picked up the summer edition of Dance Review at the IU Music Library this weekend. I didnt realize you wrote for it. I enjoyed your review.

Posted by: Edward McPherson at November 30, 2005 3:17 PM

errr, the publication was Ballet Review, of course.

Posted by: Edward McPherson at December 1, 2005 11:53 PM

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