My debit card was not working and my total was $7.90. I only had $5 cash and rather than cancel my takeout order, they kept saying, "don't worry! It's ok." And let me pay $5. They could have pointed me to the nearest bank machine, but were happy to let me have my meal for $5. Excellent service! And my breakfast was delicious.
I love Mexican food, and I am still trying to find a restaurant in Toronto that meets my expectations. After reading several positive reviews on Yelp, I decided to give Chacho's Mexican Restaurant in mid-town a shot. When we go to the restaurant on a Sunday afternoon for lunch, the restaurant was deserted. My friend ordered the Tortilla Soup ($6), and Fajitas ($15). I ordered enchiladas ($14) and a Margarita ($10). Note that these are lunch prices.
Food was simple but tasty
The Tortilla soup was delicious, and the flavors and textures were well-balanced
They agreed to put no onions in my food, and they did this successfully
The service was okay
No value for money--my friend and I were still very hungry after our lunch and had to go somewhere else to eat. This is unusual because I don't have a huge appetite.
Food was too expensive relative to the portions. Keep in mind that the prices for lunch are lower (after 3:30pm the enchilada would have cost me $16 for example). This amount of food for several dollars more at dinner would have been a complete rip off.
Margarita was too small and did not have enough tequila
Location of restaurant is smack in the middle of a residential area which is odd--that said, it sticks out among the condos and apartment buildings
We were never offered water. I asked for water and our waitress never brought it to us. Water should always be offered
We were given a dessert menu, but out of 4+ desserts, they only had 1 available
Sad that you did not get nachos or something to munch on, on the house. I am used to Mexican restaurants that offer you something to snack on while you wait for your food
Although dead, my friend and I had to get up and ask our waitress for several things, such as plates, hot sauce, sour cream, etc.
**If I had to rate the food and experience out of 5, I would give it a 2.5/5. I do not intend to return.
Over the summer my brother and I bought a bunch of donuts at Von Donuts because a) we love donuts, and b) Von Doughnuts was getting a lot of hype. When we got home we learned that we were short one donut (the creme brule one), so I contacted Von Doughnuts on Facebook (stupid I know---I should have e-mailed), but they said to come by when I was in the area next and pick it up.
Well, on Friday I was in the area because I was meeting a friend for lunch at Pizzeria Libretto. I was there early so I decided to pick-up my missing donut. Unfortunately I was not prepared and had to find the message on Facebook, but the battery on my phone was dying and it was taking forever to load my messages. I told the lady at Von Doughnuts the situation and she stood there behind the counter waiting for me to find the message. And by standing, I mean, giving me a hell out of a lot of attitude!
The thing is that I completely get the possibility that people do this ALL THE TIME. That they lie and say that they purchased donuts from them before and that one was missing. And that people messaging them on Facebook about missing donuts happen on such rare occasions, that one would easily forget such a message.
COME ON! BS!
I got so much attitude from this staff member, that I really wonder why she is allowed at the front of the house and not kept hidden in the back. Every city in every country I visit has me searching for great donuts, and I really wanted to give Von Doughnuts that benefit of the doubt because there are not a lot of good donut establishments in Toronto. But let's be real, they were sub-par donuts (hence why I was in no rush to return), and combine that with rude and pretentious service.... HELL NO! I could have bought the stupid donut and moved on with my life---though they did after all forget to give me a donut I PAID for! But getting the hell out of that toxic environment became my goal.
Wow, I give very few "one stars," but this is one review I do not feel guilty giving.
Little Sister is located on Yonge, south of Eglinton and is the only restaurant in Toronto that offers authentic Indonesian cuisine, and they have opted to serving the food tapas-style (i.e., small plates). Little Sister is the sibling (no pun intended) of Quince Bistro (located steps away). Both restaurants are owned by Jennifer Gittins and Michael van den Winkel, and also share the same culinary team.
Although Little Sister is small, it is not small enough to feel like you are getting to know your neighbor a little too well: "Yeah sure! Sit on my lap!" "Of course I want to hear your whole conversation! Who does not love hearing about global warming and kittens?" Though small, you had enough privacy to engage with your guest(s), and tune out those around you.
I knew coming in that the food would be served on small plates, so my friend and I decided to each order at least one skewer, 2 snacks, two mains (they call them "traditionals") and 2 sides. But first we started with a drink. I am usually not a cocktail drinker because I detest sugary drinks that remind me of boxed fruit punch, but when I see tequila as an ingredient, I can't help but become curious. So I ordered the Little Brother ($12) and my friend ordered the Bali Red Eye ($10).
Dishes we chose:
Satay Ayam: Chicken skewer with peanut sauce $6
I liked this dish but did not love it. I wanted the sauce to be spicier, and with more fresh herbs. But I am also one of those people who loves fresh herbs on all of my curries and sauces-bring on the cilantro! My friend on the other hand loved how it was not TOO spicy, and did not feel it lacked herbs. So there you have it. You can't please everyone!
Pangsit (Jakarta wontons, beef, green onion, chili lime sauce) $6.25
This was our favorite dish. We received it steaming hot, and it had a super crispy exterior with well-seasoned meat in the center. I also loved the spicy sauce that came with it. In fact, I loved the sauce so much, that I dipped all the other food in it.
Balinese Breaded Chicken Taco: Lettuce, pickled cucumbers, crispy shallots, and sour cream $4.75
Although I ordered this taco, my friend ate it! Grrr. But she swore that it was delicious, though it would benefit from more hot/chili sauce. In fact, a gentleman sitting near us commented that this taco is his favorite dish on the menu.
**Note, you are given many hot sauce options to choose from, so if you do not see it on your table, request it or grab it from the bar.
Rendang Taco: Beef, coconut crema, lettuce, pickled red onion $4.75
The meat was very tender and the sweetness of the coconut cream was nice. However, because I am used to eating tacos on corn tortillas, and I like more cilantro on my tacos with a fair amount of hot sauce, I felt torn. One can argue that I was making an unfair comparison to what some may deem to be between apples and oranges. Fact is, if I wanted Mexican tacos, I should be going to a Mexican restaurant for them. I think it's important to remember that just because it says "taco," that it does not mean that it will be your standard Mexican-style taco-which can be a very good thing. Live a little!
Ayam Panggang: Sweet chili grilled chicken, bean sprouts, green onion, cilantro $12.50
This was my friend's dish and she loved how tender the chicken was and how it was perfectly charred (fine line between charred and burnt). She also enjoyed the balance of flavors-had enough of a chili kick without having to reach for a glass of water. I also did not mind the chicken, but I found it a bit dry and I wanted it spicier. I think with rice I would have loved it.
Babi Panggang: Roasted pork belly, pickled bean sprouts, fresh chili sauce $15.75
This was the last dish we received, and by this point, we were stuffed. Although I was full, I was blown away by how tender the meat was, and the different flavors that seem to have been infused into the meat. This was literally, melt-in-your mouth tender. Again, I would have liked it with rice. But on its own it was still fabulous. Only major complaint is the price.
Fried Cauliflower Salad: Rujak, green onion, puffed rice $7.50
The salad was delicious, but the reason I did not love it is because when I read "fried" I was expecting more contrast in textures; I was expecting the cauliflower to be crispy. I guess because there was sauce on the plate, it was absorbed by the cauliflower which affected the texture. The crispy puffed rice certainly helped negate some of my disappointment.
Watermelon Salad: Chili, mint, basil, sambal vinaigrette $7.50
My friend and I loved this salad. We called it our "palette cleanser". I almost feel like this salad should be mandatory (minus the onions-oh how I hate onions). This is a perfect dish to eat in-between plates due to its fresh and clean taste.
Full review here: playingchef.com/2014/11/…
I was invited to a kamayan dinner at Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, and having heard great things about Lamesa over the years, I RSVPd as soon as I got the invitation. I was so eager to finally try the food at Lamesa, that I did not read the WHOLE invitation. In fact, I had no clue what "kamayan" even meant!
Kamayan style: meaning "with hands," from the Filipino "kamay" = "hand"
In other words, no utensils! Ick! Okaaaayyyyy, let's admit it--not using utensils and eating with our hands is not unusual, we just avoid doing so in public! And well, culturally, being Hispanic, I don't always use utensils when I eat, but I do use tortillas or bread to act as a vessel for the food I am consuming. That said, this dinner experience was going to be an opportunity where eating with your hands was not only going to be acceptable, but also mandatory.
Every table had banana leaves covering it. Imagine a tablecloth made out of banana leaves.
Bagoong caramel - fermented shrimp paste
Soy garlic puree
Housemade hot sauce - roasted red pepper, chilies, vinegar, sugar
Sawsawan gel - soy, vinegar, garlic
Green mango salad - sour mango, heirloom carrots, arugula, radish, sweet mango chutney, garlic corn nuts
Meat & Seafood:
Sisig lettuce cup - chicken, pork, beef with chilli, garlic and onions
Kare Kare oxtail - braised oxtail in a peanut garlic sauce
Smoked boneless bangus - marinated milkfish
Crispy chicken adobo wings - soy and vinegar reduction
Clams and mussels ginataan - coconut milk, ginger and garlic
Garlic fried rice with crispy garlic bits
Grilled baby bok choy
Ube cornbread - sweet purple yam
Chicken tinola broth - chicken, chayote, ginger
Sweet pea shoots
There was an air of excitement when the food was being placed on the table. The staff seemed to have a system to their "madness." You really got the sense that they had practiced this process and there was a reason why each item was placed where and when. It started with the sauces, followed by the construction of the mango salad, then it was proceeded by the rice, meat, fish, vegetables, garnishes and it ended with the most delicious corn bread I have had in a very long time.
Watching the food be placed throughout the table. It really felt like food was being used as art and the banana leaves was the canvass.
The cornbread made with purple yam was delicious. I told the chef how much I liked it, and minutes later I was handed a small to-go container filled with the corn bread! Made me so happy!
Eating with my hands with a bunch of fellow bloggers trying not to overthink the experience. I did cheat by using the shells of the clams as a utensil. Sue me!
Would I do it again?
Maybe. I loved the whole theatrical aspect of the experience, and several of the dishes were delicious. However, I am a picky eater in that I do not eat onions. Several of the dishes had onions and as a result I was only able to eat some of the food that we were served and was still hungry after I left the restaurant. So much so, that before I even got on the streetcar, I had already inhaled the corn bread I was gifted.
The staff at Lamesa did say that if you can't eat certain things and/or have an allergy, that you can let them know in advance and they will try to accommodate you.
The kamayan dinners are available every Sunday from 5 PM and the cost is $40 per person. Call to make a reservation. I think that with friends and/or family, a kamayan-style dinner would be a fun culinary adventure.
Adding a brunch review:
I visited Under the Table Restaurant for dinner and loved the food and experience (Link to review: playingchef.com/2014/09/…)
There was something so special about my dining experience that I immediately made a reservation for a Saturday morning so that my guests and I could try their brunch offerings. I was feeling brave when I contacted Kim (one of the owners) that I felt okay to ask if they could make chicken and waffles for us (chicken & waffles is not on their menu). I am a huge fan of chicken and waffles, but I have had a hard time finding a worthy one in the city (I generally get my fill when I visit NYC as I normally stay in the Harlem area and they know how to make chicken and waffles--though someone from South Carolina once told me that they don't even know what the hell a waffle maker is!) Nevertheless....
We arrived at Under the Table for our 11am reservation and Kim had already sectioned off an area for us. There were 17 of us and we took up 85% of the restaurant (yes, we did have a reservation for this amount of people). The fact that they were willing to accommodate us was amazing.
I had a moment of panic when I sat down and realized that I did not check-in with the restaurant about whether everything was still a go (i.e., the chicken & waffles). I had been selling this whole, "you are going to get the best chicken and waffles EVER" idea to my guests that it suddenly dawned on me... "shit! What if they forgot about my request? What if they have no chicken? Or fyer? Or oil? Or flour? Or....." But my fears were quickly abated when Kim told me that they had chicken and waffles for us. Whew!
Honestly, I was only expecting fried chicken on a waffle. Simple fried chicken, on a waffle. Nothing more. But HOLY SHIT! My mind was BLOWN! The chef did not come up with just 1 type of chicken and waffles, or 2, but 3! She wanted us to have OPTIONS! Huh? Unfuckingbelieaveable! When you hear something like this you want to give them a pass. Like, "as long-as-my chicken-is-not-raw-in-the-middle-I will-love-it-because-you-are-too damn-nice-to-not-love-what-you-made-me" kinda scenario. But NO! The 3 options were DELICIOUS! ALL 3! Ok, I apologize for the caps, but I feel like I need to make a point here. ALL THREE WERE FANTASTIC!
The 3 options were (I apologize, but I cannot remember the exact sauces/syrup--there were different sauces/syrups for each one):
1. Fried chicken and waffles with bacon
2. Fried chicken and waffles with berries
3. Jerk chicken and waffles
And the waffles? Imagine a waffle and a funnel cake having a baby. Their child is what you got. Oh so good.....
I know some of you are probably thinking that I am just a nice reviewer and would say nice things about any meal I had. HELL NO! I am a spoiled blogger that gets free meals several times a week because of my blog, Facebook food page, Yelp connections, Meetup group, etc. I am not easy to impress (read my reviews if you don't believe me). But when I find an establishment worthy of praise, I give it. Under the Table is not only special for the way they try to make every patron feel at home and cared for. But also because their food is delicious, and unpretentious.
Thank you to the Under the Table team for giving me what I have been looking for; the chicken and waffles of my dreams.
P.S. I have an idea of the name you should give the waffle baby.... "Itanni's Chicken & Waffles" ;)
As much as I want to be critical of Smoque N' Bones and as much as I want to believe that their food would never be THAT good any other day of the week, or that the staff cannot really be THAT nice; I had to admit defeat. The service was great and the food was Fu@#%# AWESOME!
This is what I ate:
Pulled Pork Sandwich (reg price $9.90): Perfectly toasted bread, juicy pork, well-balanced BBQ sauce, crisp and fresh-tasting coleslaw. I died and went to heaven.
Pulled Chicken Sandwich (reg price $9.90): Same as the pulled pork sandwich, though I found the pulled pork to be juicier than the chicken. I would choose the pulled pork over the chicken, but only if I had a choice. They were both awesome.
Pork Side Ribs (1/4 rack reg price $11.90/1/2 rack reg price $17.90): You receive the ribs dry and on the side you get the BBQ sauce with a brush. Several friends had the ribs dry and loved them. I on the other hand slathered mine with sauce. To the point that you could not tell that I was holding a rib since I "painted" the hell out of it. Mmm such a good sauce. I could have eaten the sauce with a spoon!
Chicken Wings (reg price $10.90): This is the first dish I tried and honestly thought that the food simply could not get any better. And it did! Again, moist meat and excellent sauce!
Sweet Potato Waffle Fries (reg price $5.90): Maybe it was the "waffle" aspect that made these fries better than most? I am a huge fan of sweet potato fries, but being a fan means that I am also very picky. These fries met my standards: crispy in the outside, soft in the middle with just the right amount of seasoning.
House Made Chips (reg price $3.90): Completely shocked by how perfectly fried and seasoned these chips were. Too often they are either too salty, over-fried or both (**cough cough Rock Lobster...)
Buttermilk Onion Rings (reg price $5.90): I don't eat onions, but many remarked how these were the best onion rings they have ever tasted.
As I sit here writing this review, I am shocked by how positive I am being. Well, it's not like I enjoy highlighting faults in restaurants or that I go out of my way to find an element of their food and/or service to slaughter. But to be completely happy with a meal, and service? That's rare in my books.
I would like to thank Alex and his staff for hosting such a wonderful event, and for treating us to delicious food and offering us exemplary service. I really hope that every patron is given the same experience that we Yelpers were given, and that this review is accurate of what the general public will experience when they visit Smoque's.
I am always on the lookout for the next "it" restaurant in the city. Though generally, the work is done for me; good restaurants tend to have a following and a slew of great reviews. Ronnie's however, is a new kid on the block. In fact, one can call it a toddler. Yet, there was something about this "toddler" that had me wanting to test its potential. Is it wrong that I wanted to throw it in the deep end to see if it could swim? As screwed up as that sounds, I wanted to see if Ronnie's could handle what I was thinking of throwing at them. So I contacted the restaurant and asked if I could use their restaurant....the WHOLE restaurant...for a THEMED event....for UNDER $35 per person. Yes, they had no idea who the heck I was and what I was all about. But guess what? They were game!
*Sigh, they had no idea what they had committed to. In fact, I would not be surprised if at some point they wanted to throw MY ASS in the deep end, and then hold me down!
Now let's talk about the menu:
I hate onions, and several of my group members are also not fans. So what did they do? They made two types! One with onions and one without. Yes! And I am so glad they did because it tasted amazing! Large pieces of chicken and sausage with fresh vegetables and perfectly cooked rice. It was one of my meal highlights.
People devoured these. And they were not skimpy on the crab! I also liked that you got a fresh salad with the crab cake.
Mac 'n cheese spring rolls
I really liked this idea. Bizarre yet so tasty! My only issue with this dish was that I felt that the rolls could have benefited from an extra minute or two in the fryer. I really wanted to taste the contrast in textures. Jane agreed that they need a bit more time in the fryer.
Pimento grilled cheese
OMG! Best grilled cheese EVER! I asked Jane if they could make it on raisin bread (she agreed), and it was phenomenal. I am a huge grilled cheese fan and I had never tasted a grilled cheese with pimento cheese before. The raisin bread brought it to another level of deliciousness. I heard several guests remark that they will never use plain ol' white bread again!
Corn bread with maple syrup butter
I did not eat much of the corn bread (had onions-yes I am a princess), but the butter.... damn, I could have eaten it with a spoon! Jane had said that I could take some to go, but I forgot about grabbing it before I left, and remembered when I got home. I almost cried. Really, I almost did.
Not very Southern, but finger-licking-good! As in, I was licking my fingers after eating them (yeah I got looks, but whatever!). The wings were tender and the sauce... I could have probably eaten this sauce with a spoon too!
Only item I did not like. I found them to be average and on the soggy side. But then I am a frittes person (thin and crispy).
Perfect ending to a great meal. Oh! This was not your standard bread pudding either. No sir! This was "deep-fried" bread pudding! Delicious!
****Keep in mind that my photos are not of the regular sized dishes. The restaurant and I arranged to have a tasting menu for my event.
WOW! Probably my favorite event this year! I know, that's a tall order, but Evelyn and the staff at Smoque N'Bones outdid themselves! I can't remember the last time I had NO issue with a meal. There is always something I can bitch about, but not this time. Amazing food, incredible service, and extremely well organized event. Thank you Evelyn for all the hard work you put into planning these events. I can't wait to return to Smoque N' Bones for more BBQ. Eagerly waiting for the 2nd floor to be finished!!
I contacted Lisa Clarke by e-mail about my interest in booking a reservation and she quickly got back to me. This was an awesome first start because I am really not a fan of the telephone (once upon a time I used to work as a clinical counselor and I had to speak to clients on the phone--had enough phone interaction to last me a life time!) Lisa stated that for groups of 8 or more we had to go with their Brunch Feasting Menu. Further, all the menu items were going to be served on boards and platters, shared by the whole table. The menu would cost $25/ adult plus $3 if we wanted to add the Ploughman's Buffet.
So how was it?
Phenomenal! I was worried that there would not be enough food. Yes, I know that the Ploughman's Buffet was all-you-can-eat, but from the pictures I had seen online, it did not seem like there were a lot of options. Wrong!
Here is the breakdown of the awesomeness (ok, cheesy--but it was awesome!):
The service was impeccable. They never let our coffee or water reach the 25% mark. They were always on point refilling our drinks. I forgot how nice it feels to not have to chase staff down for more coffee or water.
Our table did not lack food. They did not want any of us to get up and walk over to the buffet table (which at first annoyed me to be honest), but they made sure they brought it all to us in platters to pass around among us. The staff would come around and ask, "is there anything else you would like me to get for you? Would you like more cold cuts? I see you are low on cheddar, would you like some more?"
We were not rushed. I thought we would have a limited time with the buffet before we got our hot dishes, but no, they let us lead and choose the pace. So we did what most people want to do when they are having brunch on a Sunday afternoon--have a chill leisurely experience with friends while enjoying good food. In this case, an array of delicious food options.
The food options seemed endless. Specially when you discovered that certain cheeses went great with certain jams. I am certain I annoyed my guests with all my experimentation, but seriously, after I shoved some of my experiments in their mouths, they agreed! It was good!
Before the mains came out, the staff asked what they could take away. This was huge for me because I hate when we are still eating, and plates are removed without permission or inquiry. This happens a lot when it is all-you-can-eat. Not here. I got to hold on to some cheese and the bread pudding--aww that sinfully good bread pudding (I took a piece home with me. Shhh don't tell anyone).
Holy mother of God! The mains! They weren't kidding when they called it a FEAST! We did not know where to put the platters! We had to make "Tetris-like" moves to make it all fit.
Fried chicken: moist, tender, well-balanced spices, crispy exterior, a little too fatty in some parts, but then that is what some of my guests loved about it. Overall, it was pretty damn good.
Potato salad: not many people had it because it was under the chicken, which was great for me because I took it home as left-overs and I just ate it for dinner. It was delicious. I specially liked the dill.
Pancakes: Lisa was not kidding when she said that they make some of the best pancakes in Toronto. The pancakes were served with Chantilly cream, strawberries and butter. Heavenly.
Pulled Porchetta eggs Benny: someone remarked on how perfect the Hollandaise sauce was. The only flaw was that I thought the pork needed a little bit more seasoning.
Bacon: someone stated that it was the best bacon they have ever had. Hard to disagree.
Crispy potatoes: I ate a whole bowl (there were several thank God!). No joke. Crispy exterior with a fluffy interior and homemade ketchup. Oh yeah, I devoured them.
Dropping one star because....
ADDENDUM: Returned to Skin+Bones for brunch, but this time we did not do the feast, but instead we ordered from the menu. This is how the experience differed...
1. Your meal does not come with a side.
2. The Ploughman's buffet will change for every brunch. I was really looking forward to the bread pudding which they had the last time I was there, and this time it was not available.
3. In less than two weeks they changed the price from $3 to $5. However, if you do not add the Ploughman's buffet, I really doubt that you will get full on just the main.
$12 FOR PANCAKES (ONE OF 2 CHEAPEST ITEMS ON THEIR MENU)
$6 FOR POTATOES
$3 FOR COFFEE
$5 FOR THE PLOUGHMAN'S BUFFET
$26 BEFORE TAXES AND TIP (SUBTOTAL)
$33.28 WITH TAX AND TIP (IF YOU WERE TIPPING 15%)
Toronto, ON, KanadaYelper seit
August 2011Dinge, die ich mag
Donuts, pancakes, breakfast for dinner, steaks cooked medium, burgers, sunny-side-up eggs, avocados, rice and curries, peanut butter milkshakes, dancing all night, brunch, lounging on the beach, swimming in the ocean, patios with a pint, NYC, Chicago deep dish pizza, McSorley's in NYC, Uno's in Chicago, pupusas, nacatamales...Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
Downtown Toronto, Manhattan or Brooklyn NYC, Baking in the middle of the nightHeimatort
TorontoMein Blog oder meine Website Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
I rockMeine zweitliebste Website Meine Henkersmahlzeit
A steak cooked medium with fries and garlic butter.Erzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
I hate onions!Meine neueste Entdeckung
Crème brûlée French toastIch schwärme gerade für
Harvey from Suits