Archive for the 'good eats / restaurants / cafes' Category

Warm and Fuzzy Stories: Toronto Butcher Wins $14M Lotto

contact July 3rd, 2014

From the star:

“Every time he bought a 6/49 lottery ticket, Jose Lima prayed he’d win the big prize and promised God to share his boa sorte, good fortune.

He’s doing just that.

Canada’s newest millionaire – the 52-year-old father of two who won $14.5 million in the 6/49 draw – is giving each of his 50 employees at O Nosso Talho butcher shop $5,000.

On April 3, the fifth anniversary of his father Joao’s death, his generosity will spread even further when he gives away 22,680 kilograms of chicken legs to thank his customers and help Toronto’s needy.

Gilberto Andre, a 10-year veteran behind the meat counter, was with Lima, who manages the busy shop, when he checked his numbers.

“When I told him he’d won, he hugged me,” said Andre who described Lima as a very caring, kind man.

“For me, he’s a great person who never says no. We’re all very happy for him. And it’s such a good thing that he’s doing, sharing his good luck with us. I don’t know if anyone else would do that.”

Lima admitted he’s still in a state of shock and it’s too early to decide what to do with the money.

“The first thing I will do is to keep my promise to my employees and the people. I’ll decide what to do with the rest of the money later.”

Also at the top of his list is his…”

Read the article

Pho Hung – Great Vietnamese Food in Toronto

contact July 1st, 2014

pho hung vietnamese restaurant toronto
Despite the Laughing Cow logo on the restaurant, this gem in Toronto will make you say “Cheese.” Ok, that didn’t work. I meant that Pho Hung will make you smile. You’ll find simply delicious Vietnamese food.
pho vietnamese soup
This is my personal favorite for their “pho,” which will quite possibly be your next preferred comfort food. But it’ll be GOOD for you kind of comfort food. Pho is heavenly bowls filled with fragrant soup broth (anis seed or fresh cilantro or lemongrass) and packed with yummy meats, veggies, bean sprouts and noodles. Garnish with herbs and hot sauce (if desired). Gobble down a bowl and you’re good for the whole day; not only that, you’ll feel good in general, PLUS, you’ll be happy you’ve eaten a healthy meal.

Pho Hung
200 Bloor Street West
Another location: 350 Spadina Avenue in Chinatown
Toronto Canada
(416) 963-5080

Featured City: Toronto

contact June 28th, 2014

Make sure to head over to concierge where they’ve featured our favorite Canadian city of Toronto. Here’s what they say about Toronto in a nutshell:

“* It’s a chowhound’s paradise, with everything from Nigerian to Laotian, Moroccan to Azerbaijani food

* An architectural renaissance is transforming the skyline with additions by Daniel Libeskind and native son Frank Gehry

* Toronto has become one of the most ethnically diverse cities on the continent, with lively neighborhoods, festivals, and restaurants to match

* The Eaton Centre. It’s a big suburban-style mall with all the wrong kinds of shopping

* When to go to Toronto: May, June, September, October”

More here

Upcoming Beer Events in Toronto

contact June 26th, 2014

From beerbeatsbites:
beer events in toronto
Time to quench your insatiable thirst at the following upcoming beer dinner events in our great city of Toronto. Enjoy.

Monday, March 24th
Easter Beer Dinner
Abbot On The Hill, 1276 Yonge Street
$65 – call 416.920.9074 for reservations
A special Easter Monday dinner pairing five Belgian beers from import agents Roland & Russell – Margriet, St Martin Blonde, St Martin Brune, Gouden Carolus Easter Beer & Boscoulis – paired with a five-course meal, including a main course of Rabbit Fricassee with Apricot Preserves & Spiced Pecans.

Tuesday, April 8th
Fuller’s Dinner with John Keeling
Duke of Westminster, First Canadian Place, 77 Adelaide Street West
$45 – call 416.368.2761 for reservations
Premier Brands presents a dinner with John Keeling, Brewing Director of Fuller’s Brewery, Chiswick, London, UK. Beers to be served include Fuller’s London Pride, Fuller’s ESB, Fuller’s London Porter & Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew.

Friday, April 11th
The Brewer’s Table
The Church at Berkeley, 315 Queen Street East
$150 – call 416.644-1012 to reserve
A benefit for Green Enterprise Toronto, co-presented by Local Food Plus and Slow Food Toronto. This first annual event celebrates slow food, local-sustainable food and farming, and import substitution in the winter/spring season in the Toronto region. Featuring finely crafted beers from Mill Street, Cameron’s, Wellington, Church Key, Steam Whistle and Black Oak to compliment dishes from Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, La Palette, Veritas, Cowbell, Gladstone Hotel and Rebel House, as well as variety of individual food artisans, oysters from Oyster Boy, and live jazz bands.

Friday, April 25th
Southern Tier Beer Dinner
The Academy of Spherical Arts, One Snooker Street
ticket info t.b.a.
Roland & Russell presents a dinner with Southern Tier’s Phin DeMink to celebrate the arrival of Southern Tier IPA at the LCBO. There will also be a more casual “meet & greet” with Phin on Saturday, April 26th at Volo. Further details t.b.a.

April (date t.b.a.)
Bavaria/La Trappe Beer Dinner
Abbot On The Hill, 1276 Yonge Street
ticket info t.b.a.
Premier Brands presents a three-course dinner to mark the arrival of Bavaria on draught for the first time in Canada, and La Trappe (Koningshoeven) Bock for the first time in the Western Hemisphere. Further details t.b.a.

Wednesday, May 28th
Dogfish Head Beer Dinner
beerbistro, 18 King Street East
$100 – tickets on sale May 1st
A dinner with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, featuring the beer cuisine of beerbistro chef Brian Morin paired with a number of DFH beers, some available for the first time in Ontario. Further details t.b.a.”

The Metropolitan Hotel, Great for Business Travelers

contact June 25th, 2014

metropolitan hotel toronto
When you stay at The Metropolitan Hotel you’ll find yourself just a few convenient minutes from the Financial District.

The hotel boasts a 24-hour business center and in-room amenities such as large work space on desks, fax/modem hookups, and cordless two-line phones.

There are favorite restaurants among the business crowd here: Hemispheres and Lai Wah Heen will be ideal for your power lunches.

The Metropolitan Hotel
108 Chestnut Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, Canada
(416) 977-5000

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich That Tastes Like Pizza

contact June 8th, 2014

The Grilled Cheese Restaurant
66 1/2 Nassau Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Find them on Facebook
Hours: Sun-Wed 11 am-10 pm, Thu-Sat 11 am-1 am

Head over to Serious Eats where Erin Jackson covers the drool-worthy “Pizza Grill” Sandwich for the “A Sandwich a Day” Series. For nine bucks, grab the grilled cheese sandwich at The Grill Cheese at Kensington Market that’s like biting into a slice of pizza. Oh my gah, yum. I want to try one right now.

The famous Pizza Grill sandwich includes provolone cheese, basil pesto, spinach, cremini mushrooms and bacon bits – all bathed in gorgeous pizza sauce. Hey, I wonder if they replaced bacon with pepperoni, it might taste even more like pizza! Just a thought.

Read the article at Serious Eats.

Toronto Researchers Discover the Power of Tumeric

contact June 5th, 2014

From the nationalpost:
“The spice that gives the kick to many Indian curry dishes might also help prevent the ravages of heart failure, a surprising new Canadian animal study has concluded.

Researchers at Toronto’s University Health Network found that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, both prevents and dramatically reverses enlargement of the heart in mice.

Enlarged hearts can lead to cardiac failure, a common and often fatal condition where the organ is unable to pump enough blood to keep the body functioning properly.

If similar results were one day duplicated in humans, the widely available spice could …”


Dim Sum in Toronto

contact May 30th, 2014

dim sum
For an out-of-this-world Cantonese inspired dim sum in Toronto, make a bee-line over to Lai Wah Heen Restaurant, which is housed inside the Metropolitan Hotel. Dim sum is served during lunch, seven days a week.

Dim sum chef Terence Chan is the mastermind behind the offerings at Lai Wah Heen. With his finger on the pulse of the most recent trends in Chinese cuisine, Chef Chan offers the most delectable shrimp, pork and vegetable dishes perfectly seasoned with exotic herbs and spices from the Pacific Rim.

NEVER leave this place, either, without trying the desserts! Here’s what’s available:

-Mini cream custard freshly baked in a puff pastry shell
-Sweetened cream roulade filled with hawthorn fruit paste
-Deep-fried dumpling of banana & sweet potato
-Deep-fried cream custard in a puffy cocoon
-Steamed mini soft cake flavored with honey-glazed walnut
-Tower of coffee & espresso pudding
-Deep-fried bun filled with mango & cream
-Baked puff pastry of sweet squash paste & almond
-Chilled duo tea pudding of lychee & jasmine flavor

To see the Dim Sum menu click here

Lai Wah Heen Restaurant
Metropolitan Hotel Toronto
108 Chestnut Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1R3 Canada
Telephone: 416.977.9899

Can’t Sleep? Head Over to the Insomnia Cafe

contact May 29th, 2014

insomnia cafe toronto
I’ll join you because I can’t sleep either. This is a perfect place to hang out in the middle of the night, when most Torontonians are getting their much needed zzzzz’s. The decor won’t make you go too insane as it’s rather sparse decorated in a mix of funky styles. Grab a late night snack or light meal. What are some things on the menu? Fried calamari with tzatziki dipping sauce. Don’t like it fried? Have it grilled with a side of salad. Or have a crostini with hummus or roasted garlic and brie. Looking for something more substantial? Have Fries! :D or steamed mussels, quesadillas, soup & salad and more. I’m hungry now.

By the way, the folks at Insomnia run a bar, so if you’d rather fill up on “liquids” try their yummy mcyumyum martinis.

Insomnia Internet Cafe
563 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M5S 1Y6, Canada
Tel: 416.588.3907
Sun-Wed 11:00am-2:00am, Fri & Sat 11:00am-4:00am

February Beer Events in Toronto

contact May 26th, 2014

Hart House Beer Academy with Mirella Amato – Hart House presents an evening of Craft Beer Tasting with Mirella Amato, tour guide for the Beer Lover’s Tour Company and host of the beer segments on – on Thursday, February 21, 2008 from 7pm to 10pm in the Music Room. Featuring yummilicious pub food and samplings of 9 specialty craft beers – Hart House, Music Room, 7 Hart House Circle, $45 – call 416.978.8849 to reserve

Gouden Carolus Dinner – Friday and Saturday, February 22 and 23, 2008 – This event is a 3-course Belgian menu fixe ($40) menu with your choice of Gouden Carolus, Gouden Carolus Tripel or Gouden Carolus Ambrio. The Abbot On The Hill, Abbot on the Hill, 1276 Yonge Street, call 416.920.9074 to reserve

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas – Yes, it’s just around the corner!

contact May 24th, 2014

valentine's day godiva chocolate hearts
If you haven’t thought about what you’re getting your sweetie for Valentine’s Day, here are some ideas for ya:

Godiva Chocolate Valentine Hearts – Designed by renowned pastry chef Norman Love, each handcrafted piece surprises the palate with a clarity and brilliance of flavor that makes every bite a memory to be savored. Offered for Valentine’s Day in gorgeous handcrafted boxes.

Valentine’s Day Fabric Heart Gift Box – Milk, dark, and white chocolates, including delicate ganaches, luscious pralines, rich caramels, sumptuous truffles, and more. In a heart-shaped fabric box with sheer ribbon roses. Make your sweetheart’s day.

See all of the gift ideas at Amazon

More Cupcakes!

contact May 19th, 2014

cupcakes in toronto at flour girls
Yes more yummy, yummy cupcakes!

About Flour Girls (cute fun play on words all over the place!) – from their site:
flourgirls is an old-fashioned bakeshop with a stylish twist. It all began with the caring, giving spirit of owner Susy and her team of helpers. Their fun-loving nature, zest for life, and passion for all things sweet (not to mention talent!) are the main ingredients behind flourgirls. Using only the finest and freshest products, all of flourgirls’ melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes, beautifully decorated cookies, ultra-decadent brownies, delectable cakes, lovely loaves and more are made from scratch with a huge helping of love.
Everything is tailored to your occasion, whether simple and elegant or wild and whimsical, and made to order just for you—a personal touch that’s hard to come by these days.

At flourgirls, we offer plenty of delectable ways to mark special occasions, reward jobs well done and end meals memorably. So for your next dinner party, birthday celebration, shower or sugar craving, remember flourgirls can provide that finishing touch.
Life is sweet…especially with extra smiles on top!

Cupcake Flavors
Lemon Zinger: Vanilla cupcake base topped with lemony buttercream
Curious George: Chocolate buttermilk cupcake base topped with banana buttercream
A touch of Pink: Vanilla cupcake base topped with raspberry buttercream
Nutella Dreams: Vanilla cupcake base topped with hazelnut buttercream
Mocha Madness: Chocolate or vanilla cupcake base (your choice) topped with mocha buttercream
Canadiana: Vanilla cupcake base topped with maple buttercream
Orange You Glad: Chocolate buttermilk cupcake base topped with orange-chocolate buttercream
Chocolate Goodness: Vanilla cupcake base topped with chocolate buttercream
Chocolate Overload: Chocolate buttermilk base topped with chocolate buttercream
Ms.Plain Jane: Vanilla cupcake base topped with vanilla buttercream
Going Coconuts *: Moist coconut cake topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with coconut
The Boston Cream Cupcake *: Vanilla cupcake base with custard filling and topped with chocolate buttercream
Pass the Carrots Please *: Carrot cake base topped with whipped cream-cheese frosting

14 Mill Street Unit 103
Milton, ON Canada
6 cupcakes sell for $13.65 (tax included)

Related: Cupcakes in Toronto


Gluten Free Restaurants in Toronto

contact May 13th, 2014


Annapurna, 1085 Bathurst Street (south of Dupont), Toronto, Ontario, M5R 3G8, 416.537.8513

Annapurna is a South Indian/Sri Lankan vegetarian restaurant inspired by Sri Chinmoy. Its specializes in Southern Indian poori-based vegetarian dishes, an amazing number of which are gluten-free. Annapurna is an economical and very casual restaurant that also offers take-out and catering. Masala Dosai, made of rice and lentil flours, is only $5.99. All milk ingredients are clearly indicated, and many of the dishes are dairy-free. The staff is able to provide accurate information about ingredients, and could even answer my question about cross-contamination of fried foods.

Biryani House
, 25 Wellesley Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 2S9 & 6 Roy’s Square, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 2Y2, 416.927.9340

Now Magazine says: “this hole in the wall has morphed into an almost classy boite dishing up some of the best Indian food south of the 401…and it’s still dirt cheap.” Biryani House has opened a new location just just off Yonge Street, at Wellesley, and has kept it Roy’s Square location. The food is really excellent, and I have been able to confirm ingredients with no trouble. In my experience, none of the curries contain any wheat. As usual, please ask.

Café Next Door, 790 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 416.469.1971

Café Next Door is operated by Magic Over (see listing below). The owner informed me that the menu features vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and wheat-free options for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Le Commensal, 655 Bay Street (at Elm Street), Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2K4, 416.595.9364; fax 416.596.9365

Le Commensal is a pay-by-the-weight vegetarian restaurant in downtown Toronto. The menu promises no preservatives or additives, and dishes are labeled V (vegan), O (egg), and L (dairy). The wait staff has a list of gluten-free items, and happily walked me through the buffet to show me which dishes were gluten-free. Ingredients like wheat and dairy are also indicated on the back of the dish label. For eat-in buffet menu, take-out menu, editorial, and review click here.

Il Fornello (several Toronto and area locations)

Il Fornello offers selections from an Alternative Menu: gluten-free pasta, gluten-free pizza crust, and gluten-free bruschetta are available, but call ahead because selections differ at each location.

Fox and Fiddle, 535 Danforth Ave, Toronto, Ontario, M4K 1P7, 416.462.9830; fax 416.462.3132

The Fox and Fiddle Pub used to be owned and operated by Dennis Hansen, a Celiac. They used to prepare a range of gluten-free items, such as chicken wings and fish and chips in a dedicated deep fryer. I am unsure about the status of the menu now that he is no longer the owner.

Fressen, 478 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2B2, 416.504.5127

Fressen offers a completely vegetarian cuisine sensitive to many food allergies and intolerances. Several GF menu items were available during my visit (I really should go back, ’cause it’s been a while). Please note that Fressen also serves the usual fair of gluten-laden items. Editorial profile and review at

Indian Flavour, 595 Bay Street (at Dundas, in the Atrium on Bay), Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2C2, 416.408.2799; fax 416.408.3651; cell 416.885.5080

As with the majority of Indian restaurants, most of the food is wheat-free and gluten-free. I have confirmed this on my visits. Indian Flavour uses no commercially-prepared sauces, and avoids MSG and other additives. The menu includes a good selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The most popular option is probably the lunch buffet, which offers a minimum of seven dishes. Toronto Life calls Indian Flavour ” Toronto’s most successful Indian self-serve.” ZagatSurvey gives praise for this restaurant’s “great vegetarian menu.”

Indian Rice Factory, 414 Dupont Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 1V9, 416.961.3472

The menu asks customers to advise wait staff of any allergies. Pakoras are made with 100% chick pea flour; Papadums are made with 100% lentil flour; no wheat products are present in any curry or sauce (please verify this information when you call the restaurant: you may also want to inquire about cross-contamination). The Factory has a small, but nice, patio out back. See for description or for a brief review.

Island Grill, 3434 Weston Road (at Finch), Toronto, Ontario, M9M 2W1, 416.742.9200

Thank you to Randy for telling me about the Island Grill, a Jamaican restaurant with several gluten-free dishes. Although some dishes contain wheat four, most of the beef, pork, chicken, and fish dishes are GF, and apparently quite good too. The restaurant is owned by Patrick Lyn.

Juice for Life (now called Fresh by Juice for Life) 336 Queen Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2A2, 416.599.4442; 894 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, 416-913-2720; 521 Bloor Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1Y4, 416.531.2635

Good for juice and shakes, but not so good for food. Juice for Life is a completely vegetarian juice bar with food counter. Milk and cheese products are clearly labeled, and the menu promises no hidden milk ingredients in any dishes. Unfortunately, most dishes–even Rice Bowls–contain wheat products (usually tamari or soy sauce). You can find a few gluten-free items, especially salads, but the choices are slim. The vast array of juices and shakes, however, may make Juice for Life useful. You may be able to make a special request for a rice bowl without the offending ingredients.

Kensington Natural Bakery, 460 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1X8, 416.534.1294

Kensington Natural Bakery (in business since 1980) is a pay-by-weight vegetarian cafe offering dishes free of sugar and preservatives. You may choose from a variety of pre-made dishes in the display case, which are then heated in a microwave. Many dishes are gluten-free. Almost everything would be gluten-free but for the presence of barley syrup or malt syrup (used as sugar substitutes) in many dishes. Despite this, there are several GF dishes to choose from. The cafe also specializes in dairy-free, wheat-free, and yeast-free baking, but keep in mind that none of its baked products are gluten-free. Freshly squeezed juices and herbal teas are also available.

Magic Oven (2 locations): 788 Broadview Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M4K 2P7, 416.466.0111; and 127 Jefferson Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3E4 416.539.0555,

Described as the “best pizza this side of Italy” by the National Post, and among the city’s best by Toronto Life, Magic Oven offers a gluten-free rice flour pizza crust – now available by the slice. The restaurant also caters to other dietary requirements by offering a wheat-free (but not gluten-free) spelt crust, a yeast-free whole wheat crust, as well as dairy-free and organic cheeses. A large selection of vegetarian toppings are available. Magic Oven delivers to the Danforth, Riverdale, Cabbagetown, and Rosedale areas and to Liberty Village, Parkdale, Harbourfront, Downtown, Annex, and Roncesvalles from its Jefferson Ave location. See catering section, below, for Magical Catering.

Magic Oven has recently opened Café Next Door. See listing above for more details.

Megas Restaurant, 402 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4K 1P3, 416.466.7771

This is a recommendation from Rod. He syas: “The Greek food is excellent and there are many gf choices as well as lactose free meals possible.” I haven’t been there yet.

Messis, 97 Harbord Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1G4, 416.920.2186

Messis is located very close to the University of Toronto’s downtown campus. I have managed to get a gluten-free meal every time I have dined there. I doubt if there are ever any vegetarian gluten-free items, but you may want to check. See a brief description at

Mong-Kut Thai, 596 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4K 1R1, 416.463.2667; fax 416.463.2678

Mong-Kut, located in Greek Town, offers eat-in, take-out, and delivery. I have never visited this restaurant, but the owner has asked me to ad it to this page. If you dine there, please tell me about your experience. The website has a full menu.

New York Fries, various locations, including two in the Eaton Centre.

NYF is my emergency lunch (when I haven’t brought anything and I am rushed for time). According to Celiac Canada’s Fast Food Fries list, which includes some information on toppings, NYF are fine. I think the staff at the Eaton Centre’s north location is beginning to recognize me. A listing of Ontario locations is available here.

El Palenque, 653 St. Clair Avenue West (east of Christie), Toronto, Ontario M6C 1A7, 416.656.0725; fax 416.656.3757

El Palenque, a family-owned business, bills itself as an “Authentic Mexican Restaurant.” While the waitress was not familiar with Celiac Disease or gluten, she was able to confirm the ingredients of several dishes. Reservations are recommended, but just be sure not to accept a seat in the basement. Even if you are not afflicted from claustrophobia, you’ll run away screaming and agitated before you ever get to taste the food. (There is a second location, which I have never visited: 9 Milvan Avenue (Weston Road and Finch), Toronto, 416-740-9718). Now has a lengthy review. See my recent (short) post on my blog about this place.

Royal Thai Garden Restaurant, 524 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1Y3, 416.536.6868

I have ordered from this restaurant many times, usually when we are too tired to cook. Verifying ingredients may be a challenge, depending on when you call and if the person who answers speaks English well-enough. If you can get “no wheat” written on your order, you should be fine. You may get a better explanation while dining in, but I haven’t done that in a very long time. A brief review is available here.

Salad King, 335 Yonge Street (entrance off Gould), Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1R7, 416.971.7041,

This Thai restaurant is a frantically busy operation, because it sits on the fringe of the Ryerson University Campus, and is close to Yonge & Dundas, Toronto’s busiest intersection. Salad King recently renovated, so it is no longer quite so loud and uncomfortable. I include it because I can see it from my office window :-) Both the menu and a large red sign at the cash ask customers to alert staff to any food allergies. In my experience, the staff are aware of ingredients and can make recommendations. If you want to talk to the chef, you would be advised to go as early as possible, or wait for the small drop in traffic after lunch and before the evening students descend. You might want to read my recent entry on the blog about Thai food.

Swiss Chalet, (various locations: try SW’s Restaurant Locator), 1.800.860.4082

Swiss Chalet operates more than 180 restaurants in Canada and selected parts of the USA. The menu focuses on rotisserie chicken, but other dishes are available. Please read the Allergy Information fact sheet before dining. The allergy information seems comprehensive (it includes nuts, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat & glutens, sesame, and sulphites) but you may want to make further inquires when you arrive.

Tiger Lily’s Noodle House, 257 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 1Z4, 416.977.5499

Tiger Lily’s is located on the east end of the trendy Queen Street West area, a few steps from the City-tv headquarters. The restaurant is able to make most of its dishes GF by substituting rice noodles and GF Tamari. When I visited, the wait staff serving my table was friendly and knowledgeable about gluten. Eye has a short review. Here is another short review.

Town Grill, 243 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 2L2, 416.963.9433; fax 416.963.9303

As reported in the March 2002 issue of the Gluten-Free Press (newsletter of the Canadian Celiac Association’s Toronto Chapter), David McGann, chef of the Town Grill, spoke about the difficulties in preparing GF meals and some important issues in food preparation that we should be aware of. The good news is that he is eager to serve Celiacs and welcomes us at his restaurant–called one of the best in Toronto, by Cabbagetown Corners

El Trompo
, 277A Augusta Avenue (at Oxford), Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2L4, 416-260-0097

Hilary recommended this Mexican restaurant in Kensington Market. Now recently gave this restaurant three Ns (out of five), saying that it “pumps out first-rate southern Mexican street food without the Tex-Mex watering-down.”

Sushi Restaurants
Toronto has dozens of Japanese restaurants. I have only listed the two that I am most familiar with. Your best strategy is to follow the advice on Japanese restaurants in Jax Peters Lowell book, Against the Grain. For those requiring more information, I recommend that you read this extremely interesting posting on the Celiac Listserv regarding Sushi and gluten. There are probably better Japanese restaurants in Toronto, but I haven’t visited them yet.

Dr. Sushi, 26 Roy’s Square (Yonge & Bloor), M4Y 2W2, 416.929.3435; fax 416.929.9262

Dr Sushi is a tiny hole-in-the-wall near the busy corner of Yonge & Bloor. This place is small and unattractive, but the food is good, and it is close to where I work. In the summer, you can find a table in Roy’s Square. Dr. Sushi also delivers. As you know, bring your own wheat-free soy or tamari sauce.

Sushi on Bloor, 515 Bloor Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1Y4, 416.516.3456

An extremely popular and very busy sushi restaurant in the Annex. A reservation is recommended (update: they have just expanded and opened up the second floor). Delivery is available. Sushi on Bloor offers a casual dining experience. If you sit at the back, you can watch the chefs prepare the food, and maybe even have a conversation with them. Read’s editorial and review.

Ice Cream

Baskin-Robbins, (various locations around the city)

Publishes LifeStyles 2000 Consumer Information Guide, an eight panel pamphlet that addresses special diet needs and nutrition, food sensitivities and allergies. Baskin-Robbins claims to be the first Canadian retailer of ice cream, and other frozen desserts, to offer customers the Canadian Diabetes Association Food Choice Value symbols. Each product is labeled with an information strip containing important ingredient details. Wheat and gluten content is indicated along with egg, sulfites, nuts, lactose, etc. The symbol for wheat and gluten indicates the presence of “flour, wheat, oats, oatmeal, oat bran, graham, wheat germ, starch, malt and derived ingredients.” (Each BR location usually has one sorbet that is dairy-free & gluten free). An independent laboratory prepares all of the nutritional information. More information is available by calling 1.800.268.4923.

Dairy Queen, (various locations; try DQ’s store locator); contact address in Canada is: 905 Century Drive, Burlington, Ontario,
L7L 5J8, 905.639.1492

DQ has an allergy information page, including a short page about gluten in its products. It is probably wise to discuss ingredients in your local franchise.


The Big Carrot, Natural Food Market, 348 Danforth Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4K 1N8, 416.466.2129, fax 416.466.2366 (see retail store listings for description).

The Big Carrot can cater a gluten-free lunch or dinner buffet. A description is available on its catering page.

In Her Hands Vegetarian Cooking Service, 416.696.6566;

Prepares low fat, low salt foods free of peanuts, eggs, dairy, gluten and vinegar.

Just Eat It Vegetarian Cooking Service, 905.881.9463

Provides low fat meals that can be vegan and gluten-free.

Kilgour’s Party Platters, 220 Industrial Parkway South, Aurora, Ontario, L4G 3V6, 905.751.1455; fax 905.713.1715;

This company will cater all kinds of parties and social gatherings. It offers standard party platters and can provide gluten-free platters as well. Visit their website for lots more information.

Kosher, Naturally, 905.770.0646; fax 905.770.3623;

All dishes are dairy-free, nut-free, kosher, and mostly organic. They can accommodate special diets for those with allergies or food sensitivities. I am unsure if this includes gluten-free.

Magical Catering, 788 Broadview Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M4K 2P7, 416.466.0111,

From the Magic Oven people, this catering service can supply “organic foods, gluten or wheat free foods, vegan or religious requirements.”

Vegan Delights, 416.491.6781

Makes baked vegan food with no hydrogenated fats or refined sugars. Many items are wheat free, but I am not sure if this means gluten-free.

Wholly Macro Food, 416.463.1467

Prepares organic vegan meals. Wholly Macro is sensitive to allergies and food intolerances.


New Book: Toronto 2008: With Niagara Falls & the Niagara Wine Region

contact May 10th, 2014

book: toronto 2008 with niagara falls and wine region
You might be happy to know that the new book about Toronto and nearby attraction, Fodor’s Toronto 2008: With Niagara Falls & the Niagara Wine Region (Fodor’s Gold Guides) will be released on February 5, 2008. You can pre-order yours for only $11.53, a savings of 32%.

Pre-order your book now (before the sale disappears)
Here are more books about Toronto you might be interested in:

1. Lonely Planet Toronto – This comprehensive guide is your entree to its many facets: the culinary scene is as deliciously diverse as its population, the artistic community breaks conventions on a daily basis and its great outdoors are awash with options – from cycling and skiing to hiking and hockey. Socially enlightened, multicultural and uniquely Canadian.

2. Top 10 Toronto – Whether you’re looking for the finest cuisine or the least expensive places to eat, the most luxurious hotels or the best deals on places to stay, Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides provide useful information by local experts to find the best of everything at each destination.

3. Secret Toronto: The Unique Guidebook to Toronto’s Hidden Sites – For the traveler in search of something completely different when visiting Toronto. This detailed guide leads travelers far from the beaten path to uncover Toronto’s best-kept secrets. From obscure museums and overlooked neighborhood treasures to tucked-away green spaces and exotic ethnic cuisine, these little-known destinations yield big rewards for the more adventurous traveler. The soul of this cosmopolitan city is highlighted by hotspots where visitors can learn Latin dancing at night, disco after hours, and rent a private dungeon at an S&M bed-and breakfast.

4. Toronto for Dummies – This book is so great for people traveling to Toronto for the very first time AND for people who really are newbies to this great Canadian City. It’s a fun, very thorough guide about Toronto and the surrounding areas you might want to visit. From the view atop the CN Tower to its electric nightlife to it’s global cuisine, Toronto offers its visitors an unforgettable travel experience. And with Niagara Falls and Stratford just quick trips away, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. With this friendly guide, you’ll plan a vacation that’s perfect for you.

This is a down-to-earth trip planner comes with very handy Post-it flags for you to mark your favorite pages! Priced at a bargain basement price of $11 (plus some change), you’ll get your money’s worth and more with all of its 336 pages.

Green Earth Organics – Fresh Organic Food Delivered to Your Home or Office

contact May 7th, 2014

Green Earth Organics offers up an excellent and amazing service. Once or twice a week, they deliver to your home or office boxes of organic fruits and vegetables and other organic foods. There are three box sizes to choose from Harvest $36, Family Harvest $46, and Super Harvest $60. The contents of the boxes change on a weekly basis (due to seasonal changes). But you can also call the weekend hotline at 416-285-5300 or visit their website, to hear what is in your box ahead of time and make any substitutions you’d like when available. A great and obvious option: when you sign up for their service you can let them know which items you never want to receive, and order items you prefer.

All deliveries are done on the same day every week. Deliveries take place in the evening, 2pm. – 9pm.

Green Earth Organics buys locally grown produce whenever possible and 10% of their profits go to various non-profit groups around Toronto.

Give them a call or sign up online so you can order organic food and have it delivered to your door.

Green Earth Organics
3 – 70 Wade Ave
Canada. M6H 1P6
Tel: 416.285.5300
24 Hour Hotline: 416.532.2713

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