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St. Clair West

Writing Roundup I

Dry aging beef in the cooler at Roast butcher shop.The greatest of all cliches in Foodbloglandia is the entry that opens with an apology for not publishing a blog post in a long time. I won’t do that. I will say that one reason I don’t post as often on Food With Legs as I once did is that I’ve been lucky enough to find several other publications to publish my stuff (and pay me for it). Oh, and I wrote a cookbook and have been busy promoting it over the last few months.

There is a certain appeal to having one place where anyone who wants to find it can get to my writing. That’s why I started this blog in the first place. With that in mind, here is the first weekly (maybe) collection of summaries and links to what I’ve written this week. (more…)

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…)

Review: The Stockyards Burger

Reviewers can’t seem to say enough good things about The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder; The Star puts it at 3.5 out of 4 stars; NOW Magazine goes all the way to a perfect five “n”s; and Eye Weekly agreed (a couple weeks later) with a five-star review.  So much attention has been paid (deservedly, I’m sure) to the porchetta sandwich, the pulled pork, the pastrami, and the ribs that I thought I would focus on a less noticed corner of the menu: the burger.  I have eaten a lot of burgers in Toronto (some quite bad) and I think I know a thing or two about them.  With this plan in mind I took myself last week to the Stockyards for a lone burger.

Burger and fries; next time Ill move the bun for a better view

Burger and fries; next time I'll move the bun for a better view

Foodies (and food snobs) should prepare themselves for a swift turning up of the nose but please bear with me.  The closest comparison–especially in terms of general characteristics–to this burger and fries duo is the McDonalds Big Mac.  Shocking, I know.  What I mean is that the bun is sesame seed, the patty is relatively thin and (I’m pretty sure) cooked on a flat-top griddle, and the fries are one step on the thinness scale from shoe string. (more…)