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butcher shop

The Underappreciated Macelleria Atlas

One of St. Clair West's three traditional butcher shops.

This winter I have been walking more along the stretches of St. Clair West that I’m pretty sure want to be called Wychwood Heights and Hillcrest Village. Or at least that’s what the street signs claim. It’s getting to a be a cliche to describe a section of Toronto as diverse, but you really can walk past quite the variety of restaurants and other food businesses from Bathurst to Oakwood.

Fillipino from Manila Food is the eastern anchor for a list that runs through two of the city’s most popular Jamaican spots (Albert’s and Gerry’s), that are across the tracks from El Fogon, one of Toronto’s only Peruvian restaurants. And that’s just the first two blocks. Further west there are stops for churrasco (the now slightly less dingy Churrasco of St. Clair) and tapas at the fun and affordable Mezzetta. The Stockyards and Catch Restaurant both made that list of Canada’s 50 Best Restaurants that Macleans published and the Wychwood outpost of Pizza e Pazzi has been warmly reviewed and covers the all-important “casual Italian fare” base. In between there is the usual mix of brunch-esque bakeries and Asian spots that each cover the cuisine from at least two countries. (more…)

The Butchers Deal

Buytopia.ca is offering a group-buying deal, $99 for $400 worth of meat from The Butchers in Toronto, that has attracted a lot of attention on Twitter. Here’s a rough timeline of my involvement with this story:

  • Around 10 AM @coreymintz tweeted about a deal, $99 for $400 of meat from The Butchers, by buytopia.ca.
  • I took a look and just before noon tweeted that I thought that this looked like a deal worth considering. I wrote an email to The Butchers asking for more information but haven’t heard back as of this posting.
  • By 3 PM word was spreading from some of the people I follow and trust on Twitter that there might be something amiss.
  • By 4:30 I had read this Trueler story that takes aim at the deal, and previous ones offered by The Butchers on other sites, and I had tweeted that “Looks like that buytopia deal at The Butchers is too good to be true. http://bit.ly/fYMWjG
  • That tweet has been retweeted several times and I’ve received some feedback. From those I’ve heard from the strong trend has been that those who bought previous deals were generally (very) satisfied but if they tried the sausages they didn’t like them.

The feedback in The Butchers’ favour and my lingering doubts have inspired me to take a closer look at the Trueler condemnation.

I’m going to try and put aside the subjective or soft conclusions. On one hand there are some seemingly strong points against The Butchers (like the number of deals they have participated in and the comments on the Trueler post which are generally (though not entirely) negative) but also the vigorous use of bolding and an inflammatory post title make me wonder about the poster’s objectivity. If you’re interested in including these in your evaluation follow the link and do so for yourself. (more…)