Tag Archives: pizza

Pizza Pide

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Pizza Pide

A Turkish pizza restaurant. Hmm, that’s interesting. That idea to me conjured up an image of a slice of pizza with Turkish food toppings… whatever those may be. The actual Pizza Pide has a better concept than that: a restaurant that serves both pizza and traditional flatbread topped by mediterranean meats, cheeses and herbs. 

Pizza Pide

It suddenly comes to mind that there must be a burden on all people from Turkey. Imagine being proud of your country, and having the only thing people say about it is some lame crack about poultry. Seriously, name a fact about Turkey that wasn’t pulled off of Wikipedia. Im not saying Turkey is a dull country—rather the opposite—us big dumb Westerners don’t know diddly squat about what is probably a very interesting place.

Turkey on a map

Turkey is obviously more complex a nation than a lot of North Americans are aware of, and I think that’s at least evidenced by their foods. It’s got a large mix of ingredients from Iran, Italy, and many other countries in that general area of the world. It would seem Pizza Pide is mediterranean fare—so far so good—but with a Turkish Twist on it. Did I just write an alliterative pun? Oh god, this is the end.

Toronto map

Pizza Pide is located across the street from Gerrard Square, only really standing out as it is not a Pizza Pizza, I’ve encountered two on the way there. Pide looks very basic on the inside, not appearing much different from its other fast food competitors, but there’s one key difference. I’d a thousand times rather eat here than anywhere that had Pizza x 2 in the title. That’d be the name for the new and improved Pizza Pizza if they cared enough to new and improve.

 

turkish pizza

All our orders and some condiments; presented family style

Anyways… as a family, we skipped the slices and turned straight to the wall-bound menu of flatbreads, which are admittedly not that dissimilar in concept from a regular pizza. Our orders were a 9 Tavukla Kasarli (chicken strips and mozzerella), 19 (pepperoni and mozzerella) and mine was a number 4 Mevlana (feta and mozzerella cheese with parsley over ground beef. Mixed with tomato, parsley, peppers onion and spices). That last one’s a mouthful. Orders 1 though 6 and a couple of the higher numbers are different than the rest of the menu.

pepperoni piza

My mom’s order: the Pepperoni

My order was a flatbread, while the others seemed to be inside a pastry, almost like a cross between a Calzone and a Croissant. Either one is just as amazing, it’s just a matter of nicer pastry or more surface area for toppings.

chicken pizza

Nana’s chicken pizza

The first thing to notice is how generous the cooks are, both in terms of portion size and their liberal usage of cheese. Numbers 9 and 19 had a buttery, soft crust encasing warm gooey cheese, the former with large hunks of tender chicken, and the latter with butcher shop quality pepperoni.

Turkish Pizza

My order – the more traditional Turkish style pizza

Mine had a thin, slightly crunchier crust absolutely covered with good stuff. While the mozzerella was just as gooey, it was a vehicle for all the other toppings. The feta cheese added a mildly beautiful amount of tang, accentuated by fresh herbs such as parsley, and completed by light crumbles of beef with just a little bit of that classic grease.

Pros: The food is certifiably delicious, and tactically located outside of Gerrard Square for hungry mall shoppers.

Cons: The interior is basic and fast foodish. While that isn’t a problem for me, it might be for others. If the main focus of you and your companions’ dinner is food, the decor won’t matter.

All in all, the only people I don’t recommend Pizza Pide is someone who either wouldn’t like the interior, or doesn’t like pizza.  While the lack of decor is really the only legitimate complaint I can make, it doesn’t detract from the experience of eating here in any way.  Yeah, it’s pretty damn good.   

Pizza Pide 949 Gerrard St E

Pizza Pide Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Richtree Eaton Centre / Pizzeria Bosco

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New food court at the Queen end of the Eaton Centre

New food court at the Queen end of the Eaton Centre

First off I’ll just say I was taken completely by surprise.  Literally, I walked into the mall and the first thing I saw was a new food court that I thought was still behind the construction walls.  It was impressive, seemingly the Eaton Centre had done it again.  This one is different, as it’s a lot more technologically advanced with its own website [or app, or something like that], WiFi that actually works, computerized ordering [you can order at the counter if you want, so don’t worry] and interactive holographic mini-games on the tables, wall and floor.

There are burritos, market places, bars, deli sandwiches, asian hot bowls, sweets, burgers and pizza.  Wait a minute, aren’t most of those things in the other food court as well?  Well, I’m afraid they are, and this is where things get sticky.
happy bowl eaton centre
To be clear, I will be going back to try the Happy Bowl, as I can’t really find a counterpart of it downstairs.  The cafe was a regular cafe, just like the Second Cup and Starbucks, but in a better location.
The coffee shop - Starbucks lite

The coffee shop – Starbucks lite

 The sandwiches were big, but I didn’t consider them because I wanted something a little more filling, and burgers were very common–there’s even a burger place in the Eaton Centre, and it’s one of the best too!
I'm doubtful this will be as good Big Smoke Burger at the Dundas end of the Eaton Centre

I’m doubtful this will be as good Big Smoke Burger at the Dundas end of the Eaton Centre

 I would’ve tried the bowl or the burritos, but then I smelled the pizza.
pizza bosco
I had the one with chicken, pears, caramelized onions and pesto, while my mom had the gluten-free margarita.
my pizza

my pizza

mom's pizza

mom’s pizza

 Sounds good right?  Well, let’s do this in a way I haven’t done in a while: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  Yep, it’s one of those, and I’ll try to review both the new court and the pizzeria while keeping them separate.
the good
The Good: I like the technology: I’ve always been a bit of a techie, and have always had a soft spot for advanced countries like Japan [sadly I’m probably too claustrophobic to fit in the small, crowded environment though], but the abundance of screens and such wasn’t over whelming or confusing.
new food court eaton centre
 As I’ve said, I will be trying the bowl restaurant, and I think that’ll be the make or break for the food court.  This food court is just as green and clean as the other one, which is extremely important, and it also doesn’t waste anything dealing with any scum like McDonald’s or KFC [admittedly unlike the other food court].
mcdondals vs kfc
I was a bit disappointed about how there is the market and the sweet shop that don’t serve food you can eat in the mall, but it’s really a plus since it adds variety for grocery shoppers.  As for the pizzeria, its ingredients were fresh and it was a very good thing about how they separated the tools to avoid cross contamination.  Gluten is like an allergy to people: one little bit is enough to ruin you day [except it has to be ingested, but touching it is okay].
the bad
The Bad: Not nearly as many choices.  This food court is smaller and doesn’t have as much room to fit restaurants.  I’m mostly bringing this up because it relates to a more serious complaint.  One thing that could make this a problem if it gets too crowded but that didn’t happen at all when I was there.  No notes for the Pizzeria Bosco  just yet.
the ugly
The Ugly: The only thing that really bugs me about the food court is how a lot of the restaurants serve food that is downstairs in the old court.  Burgers, burritos, sandwiches [albeit the ones downstairs aren’t deli ones] and pizzas.  Not to mention the Big Smoke’s is so good, opening up another burger joint in the same building is like corporate suicide.  The pizza, while it was good at first, quickly became disappointing.  That might sound like it’s a little harsh calling that ugly, but it isn’t: I go to the Eaton Centre with high expectations.  I expect stuff like Villa Madina, Big Smoke’s, Amaya Express and anything else that is delicious that fills me up.  Anything average or mediocre simply won’t hold up to that, maybe by itself but not in the same mall.  And I’m frankly getting sick of things that are okay but disappointing, let me explain.
the avengers
Every summer Hollywood cranks out blockbusters, most of them are pretty bland, but suck up millions [if not billions, in the case of The Avengers, and yes, I know I’m going to Marvel Hell for saying that] of dollars that could’ve been spent so much better it makes me depressed.
world war z
 World War Z [yeah, just take down all the movies, to hell with copyrights!] came out, and fans of the book were really happy that a movie was based their favourite title–literally, the title was great but even I know it was nothing like the novel and I didn’t even read it.  It had Brad Pitt, zombies and apocalypse.  What we got was tame [not because it was PG-13, but because it tried so hard to stay that way], poorly acted–even with the brilliant actor from 12 Monkeys–CGI mess that makes re-watching Night of the Living Dead ten times more intense.

The point is, that people let it off easy because it wasn’t horrible, it was just okay: like the hundreds of ‘okay’ drivel Hollywood has released, like the thousands of ‘okay’ restaurants that detract from the real good places [and that goes from mom-and-pop places to corporate giants like McDonald’s].  Frankly I’m sick of films, eateries, novels, singers and companies that are excused for not being good or worthy of a certain standard, but are ‘okay’.  Maybe I’m just disappointed because I’m thinking of the real great food I could’ve eaten, but that’s the point.  I trashed Five Guys for the same reason, and I’ll do it to this place.  If you find Pizzeria Bosco out in the street, maybe because it’s a chain, I don’t know, than sure, go eat there if there’s nothing better.  But in the Eaton Centre?  Noooooooooooo.  Don’t even think about it.  If it’s the holidays, like it is now, than go put your ten bucks in the Salvation Army bucket, or use it for a nicer gift for a friend, or use it to buy a crap bag of chips.  Pizzeria Bosco  is by far better than a crap bag of chips, with fresh ingredients, healthy numbers and cooked on the spot, but the crap bag of chips doesn’t have higher standards to compete with, and this restaurant, unfortunately for its sorry ‘okay’ self, does.
Richtree Eaton Centre / Pizzeria Bosco 14 Queen Street West

Richtree Eaton Centre on Urbanspoon

Magic Oven

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Magic Oven Danforth
I said I would do another pizza review, and here it is.  My mom had started a gluten-free diet [apparently your body can develop an intolerance well after growth and puberty].  It is also a good time to see how diet-related foods can taste.
The Magic Oven is, based on information on their menu, part of the Slow Food movement.  The whole idea is an abolition [ha ha I made it sound like something historical] of processed Fast Food chains, much like Locovore or Paleo-diet subcultures.  I believe it is a very good idea, although frankly I can’t see how organic, real food could replace fast food in our ultra-modern world [some people just don’t have time, I’m not saying it’s good or that I support it, but it is a fact].  But then again there are some healthy fast food/quick service chains, but they aren’t nearly as popular as th junk ones.
paleo diet cartoon
Anyway, about the Paleolithic-diet.  It is its own movement where people eat much like our ancestors did [no, I’m not saying cavemen, that’s inaccurate.  I might as well call them Flintstone if I did that] and it took some digging to find out about.  Since I researched paleoanthropology, not any of the other branches of anthropology, I had questions about which species: early Homo Sapiens, our cousins, not ancestors, the Neanderthals or farther back to the likes of Homo Habilus or Homo Erectus [stop laughing].
image courtesy of priestwithaneypatch.tumblr.com

image courtesy of priestwithaneypatch.tumblr.com

 It seems to be more about just before the agricultural revolution, when man was both smart enough to grow crops and weird enough to drink out of that dangley thing on the cows [I wonder if it took a while for people to figure out that didn’t work on the bulls].  I’ll have to cover it in a separate blog, but suffice to say there isn’t anything processed and there are a lot of meats and fresh fruits and veggies.
Magic Oven interior
But The Magic Oven doesn’t cater to Paleolithic diets, so let’s move on to them.  Oddly, there were some Indian options on the menu, such as tandoori toppings or a samosa appetizer, which I had.  It was actually really good, the samosa’s were warm with delicious veggie filling, and the tomato  sauce it came with, which tasted a lot like pizza sauce, went surprisingly well, and added colour to the brown dish.
my samosa appetizer with a homemade tomato sauce (tasted like pizza sauce)

my samosa appetizer with a homemade tomato sauce (tasted like pizza sauce)

And the service was impeccable, the waitress was very nice and smart too, constantly checking to see which foods were safe and separating our gluten-free take-out with the none-gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination  [it’s like gluten is a nut].  They obviously cared about customer satisfaction.
my pizza with some interesting ingredients including Tandoori sweet potato

my pizza with some interesting ingredients including Tandoori sweet potato

But the main attraction is pizza.  The menu was large with many options for toppings, cheese, and crust [organic, gluten-free and yeast-free].  I had mozzarella, tomato-pesto sauce, organic crust tandoori sweet potato, beef salami and garlic-rubbed spinach.  My mom had mozzarella, {tomato} sauce, the gluten-free crust, mushrooms and chicken.
my mother's pizza, clearly going for an all-white theme here

my mother’s pizza, clearly going for an all-white theme here

The gluten-free crust was alright, I can cut them a little slack considering Italian food isn’t meant to be made with cornmeal, but the crust was a little funny.  There are better ways to do it, supposedly, but it is a weird twist on cooking to work with.  But the toppings were good, tender chicken and quality cheese, but they are a bit washed away by the crust.
close up of the various toppings on my pizza

close up of the various toppings on my pizza

As for mine, the crust was quite good, and the toppings [frankly I think I picked better] worked really well.  I recommend the tomato pesto sauce over some of the other ones, as it worked well with my salty salami, the contrasting sweet potato [not really tandoori but that didn’t matter] and occasional spinach.  It was a treat.
my decadent chocolate cake

my decadent chocolate cake

But it isn’t dinner without dessert.  Well it is, but… dessert goes better with it.
We compared the two chocolate cakes, the vegan and the decadent, and it was pretty close.
Mom's vegan chocolate cake

Mom’s vegan chocolate cake

The decadent was bigger, but other than that the two tied each other really well [I hurt your eyes with all those ts didn’t I? Well here’s another!].
Mr T had a cereal?!?!!

Mr T had a cereal?!?!!

If I could say one other thing, the vegan was a touch dryer, not dry just drier, and not by much either, you probably won’t even notice.
Finding gluten-free is like typing in V for Vsauce [check him out, and I will remind you I’m not copyright infringing, I’m basically advertising someone for free] and getting VMS Miley Cyrus as the top search [i.e. utter crap].  Nay, it’s more like trying to find something nice Google has to say about Americans–just type in ‘why are Americans’ to see what I mean–, and about as frustrating as how people think Canadians are afraid of the dark because they said so on How I met your Mother.  That’s like saying that rednecks are historians because you watched the History Channel, or that the Burger King, “King” isn’t terrifying because he’s smiling [come on, when you were a kid you just knew that’s the kind of creepy stranger the friendly officer warned you about].
image courtesy of giantbomb.com

image courtesy of giantbomb.com

So, back to the point [at least I didn’t mention the Are you Afraid of the Dark movie, oh wait], The Magic Oven is a good place for pizza, and definitely gluten-free friendly.
I don’t know how to rate it as a gluten-free cooking place compared to others, since this is my first one, so I’ll just leave it at that.
Magic Oven 798 Danforth Avenue

Magic Oven on Urbanspoon

Morgans on the Danforth

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Morgans on the Danforth
Summerlicious is here! So was the annual street festival in Little India, but by the time I went to it with food in mind, there was torrential rain, a fire truck and, from what I hear, a ruptured/blown up propane tank. Nice. I was at Morgans on the Danforth on Saturday when it was nicer [and by that I mean 39 Celsius with the humidity, ironically very close to New Delhi weather]. So I can’t review the festival this year, sadly, but then there’s the Taste on the Danforth, God there’s a lot of stuff going on the minute school stops.
Morgans interior
Anyways, Morgans on the Danforth is a pub that could easily pass as a restaurant or family place, but also one that has a very large menu of alcohol, maybe even enough to tide over a citizen of The Czech Republic [they drink the most beer in the world, and some people literally bathe in Guinness], but it looked good. So did the classy, air-conditioned seating and the talented singer/guitarist who was also a friend of someone in our group named Dan.

The waitress was lovely, and one of the owners, I always love it when the owners/managers start serving because it shows they really care, was also quite polite [rhyme time!]. Morgans was apparently having some trouble with all the orders, since this was their first Summerlicious, but they took it with grace, I didn’t even notice til they told us.
Two versions of their Caesar salad.  The top accommodating Dan's no dairy and the bottom one accommodating Callum's no bacon

Two versions of their Caesar salad. The top accommodating Dan’s no dairy and the bottom one accommodating Callum’s no bacon

Dan and I had the Caesar salads, and mom had the tomato soup. Both were delicious, and appetized without filling up. I noticed that while the salads were on small plates, they filled them and were bigger portions than some other places’ salads. The dressing was perfect, the veggies ultra-fresh, and the cheese the perfect touch.
great flavour and the crostini was like a biscotti to coffee

great flavour and the crostini was like a biscotti to coffee

The soup was smoked, which was far superior than the bland taste associated with tomato soup usually.
Next up were the main courses, by the way mom was the only person who ordered something different, so you’ll only see two menu items from each course [men like the same things I guess, which probably explains the success of The Fast and Furious saga, using the mid-life crisis theorem].
image courtesy of dbcovers.com

image courtesy of dbcovers.com

The men had the Angus burgers with fries, and mom had the pizza. The burgers could rank in some of the best I’ve had, along with Big Smokes, Burger Stomper’s and The Works.
Morgans' Pizza Frita Margherita   the lightly fried dough was a fantastic twist

Morgans’ Pizza Frita Margherita the lightly fried dough was a fantastic twist

What makes them different from a lot of Toronto’s super-modern burgers is that instead of bizarro combinations and recipes, some of which are simply gross, Morgans uses top-quality ingredients to make good food. That includes everything from the juicy, flavourful beef to the home-made fries and smoked ketchup.
Editor’s note: Callum is still not eating pork, he took the bacon off before diving in.
I will never be fully happy with bottled ketchup again

I will never be fully happy with bottled ketchup again

I’m telling ya Morgans, you’re wise to avoid that store-bought stuff, burn Heinz at the stake if you have to, the do-it-yourself brand is way better.
Last but not least are the just desserts. I had the apple-cake [not pie, cake] and mom the {creme-boo-le type stuff she had}, we think she likes lighter courses that you can eat with a spoon.
like the crumbly part of an apple pie on top of a moist sponge cake

like the crumbly part of an apple pie on top of a moist sponge cake

The apple cake had a wonderful crunchy apple pie layer on top, and a delectable cake underneath: perfect with the ice-cream. Mom’s pudding was nice too, but I’m not the kind of person to comment on that sort of dessert, I like really filling stuff.
Burnt Sugar Bundino - basically a really nice caramel pudding

Burnt Sugar Bundino – basically a really nice caramel pudding

This is the part of the review where I conclude and try to lend advice to anyone who works at the restaurant who is reading this. I hear that Morgans is struggling with Summerlicious (just a bit overwhelmed with the demand, but very gracious about it), and I do worry about how the full portion sizes are worth quite a lot more than the 15 dollar bill, but I also say that it might pay off with positive reviews like this one, and word-of-mouth. All I can say is that you might feel a little panicky with huge amounts of customers, but you really just look extremely professional. Keep it up, in other words. I whole-heartily recommend Morgans on the Danforth with an extra helping of acclaim.
Morgans on the Danforth 1282 Danforth Avenue

Morgans on the Danforth on Urbanspoon

Big House Pizza

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Big House Pizza exterior

The big house. Only one phone call, bad food, everyone hates you, bars all around you, oh wait, that’s what happens when you commit a felony, not when you go out for pizza!

As a newly opened and popular pizza joint, the only arresting Big House Pizza will be doing is cardiac arrest, what with their giant pizzas filled with gourmet toppings.

Interior of Big House Pizza including their wall of celebrity mug shots

Interior of Big House Pizza including their wall of celebrity mug shots

The seating was clean, and there was a really large wall of stars from The Good [Morgan Freeman, who was charged with drunk driving, but later discredited.   And Kiefer Sutherland actually had a drinking problem which lead to an assault charge, but he sobered up] The Bad [Michael Jackson, no comment on whether or not he really did do anything bad, I’ll get controversial in a moment] and The Ugly [O.J. Simpson, who ironically was turned down for the role of The Terminator for being too nice].

Lots of imaginative choices

Lots of imaginative choices

The menu had classier-than-usual puns such as Rob ‘The Jerk’ Ford [for non-Torontonians who don’t know who he is, he’s a lazy, cheap to the point of causing car accidents, dirty, homophobic, loves McDonald’s-so-much-he-literally-gave-the-key-to-the-city-to-the-owner-of-Mickey D’s disgusting slob of a mayor, I don’t care if his supporters hate me for saying that, people also supported George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler, so there.

image courtesy of cupwire.ca

image courtesy of cupwire.ca

Wow that was a long bracket. If you forgot I was naming some of the clever names on the menu] the Rocky Balboa [filled with meat and hot peppers] and the John A McDonald [basically a Big Mac on a pizza but with higher class meat and veggies].

Nana's "Get Him to the Greek" without the peppers and onions

Nana’s “Get Him to the Greek” without the peppers and onions

I had the Rocky Balboa [Sylvester Stallone wasn’t on the wall of celebs because he was never arrested] Pizza, and my family picked the [forgot what you picked, sorry] and The Greek, which I didn’t try since there was no way I’d like it.

The Rocky Balboa Chili Philly Cheese Steak

The Rocky Balboa Chili Philly Cheese Steak

The Balboa was amazing, the cream cheese sauce worked very well as a tomato sauce substitute, somehow, and the meat pieces were huge and very generous, not to mention just plain quality.

Quality ingredients, generous quantities

Quality ingredients, generous quantities

The basics, such as the cheese and taste of the crust, were equally as great, and not flavourless like that crap Pizza Pizza regurgitates. I tasted the [mom’s – Editor’s note: I had the Jimmy “Margheritaville” Buffet) and it worked as well, but it wasn’t my favourite, I’d recommend it for people with smaller appetites, although it wouldn’t really matter since you’ll probably take something home anyway if everyone has their own pizza.

Jimmy "Margheritaville" Buffet - Editor's note: Delish!!

Jimmy “Margheritaville” Buffet – Editor’s note: Delish!!

I also tried their Brio soda, which is made supposed to be made from some kind of Italian fruit [learned it on Wikipedia], but is actually made just from water, and different types of sugars and chemicals, as well as carbon [but fortunately not Mentos]. They had a strong, sort of sweet/peppery taste, sort of like homemade root beer, that was overpowering by itself but worked brilliantly as a sweet counter to a salty/savoury meal.

Next time we'll stick with Coke

Next time we’ll stick with Coke

Like other places I have been to, the staff knows about my blog, and I gave an honest critique. Like before, regardless if I liked them or not, I made sure there was some helpful criticism. My advice to Big House Pizza would be to keep the same spirit you had when you first opened, it got you into excellent shape for newcomers [some places I’ve been to that just opened looked a little shoddy or had terrible food, your place looks like it’s been open way longer than just a few weeks], since it got you this far. Good luck and best of wishes.

Big House Pizza 962 Danforth Avenue
Big House Pizza on Urbanspoon

Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs

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Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs Exterior

Despite the awful title [how many clichés can one fit into five words?] my family decided to try this place, which had just newly opened, because all the best places we went to; we ate at before they got critical reception.  Well, actually some of the worst places I’ve ever been were new at the time, but that didn’t quite apply in this case.

Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs Interior

Frank’s has a comfortable amount of space, unlike paulette’s chicken and donuts and the burger’s priest [all lower case to accentuate mediocrity] which are in the same genre, except I don’t know why they decided to keep the stools with the extra room.  Is it some kind of fad, or are back rests just too mainstream?  The rest of the décor was good, the wooden tables were better than most hyper-modern I-can-see-myself steel counters, and the collage of hot dog eaters [including JFK] was another way Frank’s actually cared about good seating, instead of forcing people to find a bench outside or fight over wobbly booster seats.

Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs mural

I guess it goes to show that you should ask not what you can do for your restaurant, but ask what your restaurant can do for you.

I’m not sure if that has the aforementioned president rolling in his grave with joy or anguish, but hopefully I’ll stay away from Apollo 11 or Cuban Missile Crisis references at least.

Now that I’ve talked about good first impressions, I should also mention no music was blaring now that I think of it, it’s time to go on to the food.

Hot Dog choices

Hot Dog choices

Sides and beverage choices

Sides and beverage choices

Hot dogs are kind of a different food to get right.  The thing is that not a great many of people really tried, hamburgers [another European recipe that Americans added bread to] are more popular to tweak, and most people remember their burning canines from the street vendor’s downtown.

image courtesy of travelnewsstories.com

image courtesy of travelnewsstories.com

The basics were right, the meat wasn’t buried in the bun, nor was the bread collapsing and spilling food everywhere, but toppings were something altogether different.

"Frankie Goes to Buffalo"

“Frankie Goes to Buffalo”

My Buffalo dog had a lot of good flavours, such as the sour-savoury sauces, including wing sauce, that were put in just the right amount, the vegetables were super fresh and crunchy, not just a poor excuse to call it healthy, and the fried panko coating  added real substance instead of just being disgustingly bad for you.  On that topic, the whole menu’s ideology is creativity and ingredients from all over the globe being put into one, instead of huge amounts of food [double down anyone?] that no one needs as the only way to get any taste at all, Frank’s shows that quality makes better food than quantity.  That’s why I love Big Chubby Burger, which has a very clever menu, and hate the burger’s [false] priest, whose greatest innovation is to pile cheese and grease onto a tiny, crumbling patty.

Fancy-zza

Fancy-zza

Mom’s Italian dog was pretty alright too, but not quite as good as mine.  Nothing was wrong, the mozzarella and pepperoni in no way messed up the dish, which you might think it would, it just simply wasn’t the best.

Frankathenapolis

Frankathenapolis

My Grandmother’s Greek dog [is Frank’s going Around the World in Eighty Days, and no, I wasn’t thinking of the Jackie Chan film] was actually kind of a bust, it’s salad like toppings were way too big for the bun, and they all fell off.

all the toppings fell off

all the toppings fell off

What she was left with ( since only a small amount of olive oil and vinegar dressing was put on) was an unseasoned beef wiener on a bun.

Traditional Poutine

Traditional Poutine

We also had some poutine with our hot dogs.  For a place based off of a weird dude on the street with grill on wheels, it sized up well.  The gravy was delicious, the fries were homemade, and the cheese curds were generous and in every sense of the word, just right.

Behold - the melted cheese!!!

Behold – the melted cheese!!!

The cheese was also melted, showing how hot it was really cooked. Their poutine was the perfect side.

We also had the cinnamon sugar mini donuts, excluding my Gran who was too full and utterly refused to eat anymore.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

They were made quickly right there, like Tiny Tom’s (from the EX) as my mom pointed out, so they were warm and fresh.

Donuts being made fresh to order

Donuts being made fresh to order

The donuts were fantastic, the complete opposite of paulette’s overly sweetened, chemical laced, dry pieces of hell, and also worked well as a desert.

While I wouldn’t go to the moon or to a war between Russia and America for it [oops], Frank’s food is recommendable, along with several places in the area of Kensington.  Like I said before, for a restaurant based off a vending cart, and given an ugly title, Fancy Frank’s Gourmet Hot Dog is better than most would think.

Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs 326 College Street
Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs on Urbanspoon

Gerrard Spaghetti & Pizza

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Despite how the name sounds, this is actually a pretty good Italian restaurant.  I would think that a name in Italian would be more becoming.  We have been in this area tons of times, but have never noticed this place.  We only found it by searching on Urbanspoon for pizzeria’s.
Perhaps, the reason we have not noticed Gerrard Spaghetti & Pizza before is because its a dark grey colour, so the outside doesn’t really catch your eye.


Gerrard Spaghetti & Pizza decor was different from a lot of the other restaurants we’ve been to.  For one; the tv at the bar at the back was playing some sort of soap opera (my mom has informed me it was the Young and the Restless).  Secondly; the napkins they gave us were cloth instead of paper.  Clearly we are easily impressed.

A restaurant that tells you - the wait is worth it

One thing that was really good about this place was the service.  It was genuinely kind, quick and respectful.

the Friulana pizza

Although I wanted something with more toppings than tomato, cheese, Italian sausage and basil; my mom made me get this so that I could actually judge the taste of the pizza and not be overwhelmed with a baker’s dozen of ingredients.  One thing that was cool about the Italian sausage – it was in thick slices (as if it was pepperoni but thicker) instead of being crumbled on top.  Both the sauce and the sausage were spicy so the pizza had a little zest to it.

Penne alla Vodka

The sauce you see here is a Rose Vodka sauce with pancetta added.  I actually thought this dish was quite nice but my mother prefers her Rose sauce a little more tomato-y.  Not to say that there was anything wrong with theirs, just a matter of different styles.

Lastly, we enjoyed how the portions were generous.  Both in quantity of food and quantity of sauce.  We hate it when restaurants give you a drop of sauce over pasta with the moisture content of dehydrated astronaut food.  And once again I have tied in a Sci-Fi theme into my food blog.

Gerrard Spaghetti & Pizza 1528 Danforth Avenue

Gerrard Spaghetti & Pizza on Urbanspoon