|Subject: Hometown restaurants (Toronto)|
As travellers, Ziners often ask for restaurant recommendations. As hosts, we offer up suggestions to travellers coming to visit our little corner of the world. Here's a challenge. Let Ziners know about a restaurant in your patch that you would recommend for breakfast, lunch, dinner or to satisfy that 3:00 a.m. craving; high end, family, diner or a local neighbourhood haunt. We'll compile the recommendations and start a new Ziners' restaurant recommendations folder for reference when you embark on your travels and want to eat in a spot that Ziners like.
Here's a suggestion for a weekend brunch (11:00 - 3:00) in Toronto. The Rebel House (1068 Yonge Street, 1/2 block north of the Rosedale subway station) bills itself as a pub and reviewers say it has "an unpretentious Canadian spirit!". In addition to the regular offerings of liquor, it serves only Ontario micro-brews (Neustadt, WD50, Kawartha Lakes, Niagara Falls, Muskoka Cream Ale, Wellington) and wines. The menu is Canadian (all brunch meals come with baked beans - with apologies to Boston Ziners) which includes mac'n cheese, grilled cheese with back (Canadian) bacon, bison or buffalo burgers when they're available and potatoes that they call "kettle fries". Desserts are all made from local berries. Rumour has it they sometimes offer poutine. They do a Canadian take on chicken wings that is amazing. There are also vegetarian dishes on offer. A meal and a pint/glass of wine, with tax and tip will cost less than $20.00.
The staff are great - they'll welcome you with a hearty "Hello, can I find you a table?". It's a small place, especially the kitchen, and is always bustling but tables turn over quickly. If they don't have a place for you, they'll recommend you quaff a pint or some wine at the bar where someone will always make room for you and you'll find yourself talking sports, the weather, politics or any other topic with local residents. There are also games available if you don't want to mix. It's worth the wait.
If your preference doesn't lean toward beer or wine, the bartender will make you a Caesar - only available in Canada - and I'm not sharing the recipe. You'll have to come to the Great White North to taste one.
Look for us any Sunday around 1:00 p.m. at Table 2. We'll be there.
Another note: Toronto restaurants don't permit smoking unless there is a separate smoking room or, in the warm months, on the patio.
Lucy, Toronto (our first snow has passed and the umbrellas are out)