July 2012

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This is what happens when Yelp reviews get some dramatic treatment

Toronto loves Yelp reviews. But sometimes they’re, well, lacking something. Is it coherence? Is it credibility? Is it proper grammar? No, the missing link we’re thinking of is emphatic passion, the kind that can only be imbued by a skilled orator. Like an actor, maybe.

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: peameal bacon on a bun from Carousel Bakery

After Anthony Bourdain’s whirlwind tour of our fair city last week, it only seemed logical to follow in his footsteps. His first stop was St. Lawrence Market’s Carousel Bakery, where chomping on an infamous peameal bacon sandwich is akin to biting off a piece of Hogtown history.

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First Draught: Red Racer IPA

New breweries seem to be opening every couple of months in Ontario, and things are looking up for craft beer drinkers. That is unless they want to buy beer to drink at home.

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The sun sets at a decades-old Greektown food market

A year that has been tough on local, family-owned restaurants and fresh food shops appears to have claimed its latest victim. Sun Valley Fine Foods (583 Danforth Ave.), a Greektown staple for nearly three decades, is shutting its doors for good this Sunday. We were not given a specific reason for the closure, but were told that brand’s other location, the Sun Valley Market (468 Danforth Ave.), will remain open.

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First Look: P.F. Chang’s, the first Canadian location of a popular Chinese-food chain

Making its first foray into Canadian waters, American chain P.F. Chang’s has set up camp amidst the shopping and dining options at Shops at Don Mills. Serving up its signature Chinese food in an upscale casual setting, this eatery is perhaps best known for its lettuce wraps, previously only available by venturing south. We got a sneak peak inside the restaurant, which officially opened today.

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Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: Arduini Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2009

“Ripasso” is a term Italians use for a wine that has been fermented on the skins of grapes from a previous fermentation. This technique originated in the Veneto region and gives extra flavour and heft. Recently, Vintages released this 2009 Valpolicella. It’s a medium-bodied wine that has sweet, spicy, raisiny-plum fruit flavours and finishes dry with a dark-chocolate note.

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First Look: Emma’s Country Kitchen, a new bakery and weekend brunch spot on St. Clair West

Fast friends since first working together some seven years ago, Rachel Pellett and Heather Mee had long dreamt of opening up their own eatery. The duo officially opened Emma’s Country Kitchen today as something of an ode to Pellett’s grandmother, who ran a restaurant of the same name near Caledon. Keeping things homey and simple, the kitchen serves up fresh baked goods in addition to frozen meals and a weekend brunch.

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At a Bathurst and Dundas street-food market, camel is the other red meat

This is what happens when you visit Market 707, the makeshift food court at Bathurst and Dundas where vendors hawk street food out of shipping containers: you realize that Toronto does, after all, have a remarkable street food scene. You scan the options: buffalo milk ice cream, dim sum, pork belly, camel hamburgers, bubble tea, pupusas, crêpes, ceviche, roti and wait hamburgers are not made out of camel.

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Hand-held heaven: we sample Toronto’s best street-food inspired creations

If there’s one thing Toronto is head over heels for these days, it’s street-style food. So we scoured the city’s restaurants, markets and food trucks for the best in hand-held cuisine. Having munched our way through countless burgers, sandwiches, wraps and tacos, we present our list of the city’s tastiest, most innovative and most unusual portable eats.

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First Look: The Arrow, an organic-friendly café and ice creamery at Dundas and Ossington

At the end of June, childhood friends Robin Eley, Owais Rafiq and Eli Bach opened The Arrow, a mostly organic ice creamery and coffee shop at the corner of Dundas and Ossington. It’s an ice cream shop that’s open early or a coffee shop that’s open late, depending on how you look at it: weekday hours are 7.30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and it’s open later on weekends. The team feels that ice cream and coffee are the perfect duo for the the Ossington strip.

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