Skip to content

Please sir, I want some more

February 19, 2012

In my last post, I blogged about what I wanted to do this weekend. Here is the summary of what I actually did this weekend. Let’s see it lives up to what I intended it to be.

Saturday morning I went to the St. Lawrence Market. It’s a farmers market way down town. Not in the part of town called “Downtown” but it’s further down from there. It’s in what looks like the oldest part of Toronto that is still standing. Although there are new buildings around there that look like new buildings, the old buildings look like something from a Charles Dickens novel. There are these old factory and warehouse buildings that I swear I could hear the pleas of the 19th century child labourers when I look at the buildings.

As for the market, it was a farmer’s market. Lots of vegetables and fruits and fresh baked goodies. There was this one vendor there that had a glass unit containing a hanging whole pig. From where I was standing, it looked like the pig was moving, just a little bit. That creeped me out just a little bit. So I moved in for a closer look. At that point, I saw the case was open from the back and the vendor was slightly adjusted the pig’s position.

Phew. Demonic pig averted.

All I bought was a loaf of potato rosemary bread and some soft pretzels. Bread was good but nothing special. The pretzels were a bit over done.

As the weather was not too nice outside. Rain turning to wet snow and snow melting into slush and stuff like that, being outside walking around a part of town that shows little sign of upgrade since the late 19th century was not fun. Once I made it out of the St. Lawrence Market area (that’s what it’s called, not Dickensian sweatshop ville), I crossed to the westside of Toronto’s great east/west division line, Yonge Street into the financial district.

The great thing about the financial district in Toronto is that no matter the situation whether it be time of day, or day of week, you can travel from building to building completely underground. Underneath Toronto’s skyscrapers in the financial district is a shopping mall called the Path. It is a labyrinth of tiny shops and food courts existing solely underneath skyscrapers. It sustains itself by being a convenient shopping centre to the employees of the huge towers that rise up above it. The stores themselves, many of them are fast foods restaurants and almost every store is closed on the weekends. But, even though all the stores are closed, the Path itself never closes. Twenty four hours a day, three hundred sixty five days a year, the Path is a clean, temperature controlled maze underneath Toronto. If you know the way, it’s the best way to move around the neighbourhood. And because it was Saturday and everything in (and above) there was closed, it was a big ghost town. A great way to move around and stay warm and dry.

So, I used the path to cover more than half of the distance between the St. Lawrence Market and the odd place I had parked my car earlier.

And now to answer your question as to why I parked so far away from the market. I didn’t want to drive around the city all day long. I found one parking spot basically in a central location to all sorts of different things I wanted to do in the city that day. If I’m going to drive into the city, I’m only going to drive once. If I’m going to pay for parking, I’m only going to pay once.

The next thing I did on Saturday was go to the Royal Ontario Museum and see the exhibit on the Mayan civilization. That’s the current temporary exhibit.

It was dull. So I went upstairs and looked at the dinosaurs. I like the dinosaurs. Of course, this being a Canadian museum, there’s some skeletal figure of a moose in there. Sorry, mooseasaurus.

After the museum, I found a hotel bar and casually relaxed with my new friend Jim. I think some of you know him, Jim Beam. Good guy that Jim Beam.

At the bar, I planned my dinner. I’ve been wanting some southern food right. I heard about this place called Harlem Underground. Even Christielli mentioned it. That was my first idea for dinner. Just to make sure, I called ahead for reservations. All booked up. Maybe I should have called earlier than four in the afternoon the day of.

Using my handy smartphone and an app called Urbanspoon, I scanned downtown Toronto looking for a place were I could get some meat. I called a bunch of places. Everything was booked up. Everything in the area where my car was parked was booked up.

As I widened my search area, I eventually found a southern restaurant with an interesting menu. It wasn’t that Harlem Underground place, but it was probably the next best thing. The restaurant I found is called Southern Accent in Mirvish Village.

I had been there once before years ago thinking it was only a bar. I went in there with a friend for drinks. I didn’t know it was a restaurant until Miss Ash blogged about dining there a little while back.

Southern Accent is a house that’s been barely converted into a restaurant. It’s one of those houses that much of older Toronto is filled with. Houses built probably between the first and second world wars. Possibly before that. Instead of one big room with lots of tables, it’s lots of small rooms on two floors with a few tables in each room. That’s why I didn’t realize it was a restaurant the first time I went there. The bar is the first room and the doorways to the other rooms are very narrow.

Regardless, I dined there and had a wonderful meal. I had the brisket. Never had brisket before. I figured it’s beef. It’s all good. To imagine what this brisket was like, to describe it, I would call it beef-flavoured Jell-O. My knife cut up this meat with no force. Just gravity guided the blade down through the meat with no resistance. The taste itself was aided by this bourbon barbecue sauce. Oh it was good. Just thinking about it now is bringing the flavours back.

Not only was the food good at Southern Accent, they have a wonderful selection of bourbon including my fave Booker.

Well, that was my weekend. Awesome food and way too much time spent in Toronto.

Oh shit. I forgot. Sunday, for lunch I went to another barbecue place. Highway 61, the restaurant, not the actual highway is located further north in Toronto in a neighbourhood called South Bayview Village if the street signs around there can be trusted. Side note: what’s the deal with every major intersection in Toronto wanting to be it’s own neighbourhood with a name and an identity. It’s Bayview and Eglinton. Everybody in Toronto knows where that is (except that one someone who will remain unnamed). Why give it a fancy name that doesn’t really tell me anything about the neighbourhood. South Bayview Village, is there a North Bayview Village? Is it at the southernmost point of Bayview? Based on the fact that I started driving north on Bayview at Dundas which basically is the southern most point on the street then drove north for quite a while before I got to Eglinton and South Bayview Village then I drove further north into the town of Richmond Hill. Not once did I see a North Bayview Village and South Bayview Village sure wasn’t at the south end of Bayview. I’m starting to think it’s just a dumb name. And nowhere along the street did I see any view of any bay. Closest thing I saw to anything aquatic was a condo shaped like a boat.

Don’t ask me why there’s a condo shaped like a boat. It’s been confusing me for a few hours now. No good has come from thinking about it.

Okay, more about this restaurant Highway 61. It’s a southern barbecue place. I had the pulled pork. Oh, it was good. The sauce was a bit sweeter and had less tang than that Big Bone BBQ place I’ve been “living” at for the past week or so. But it was good. Just a different kind of good. The pulled pork was covered in crispy onions. The onions had a nice flavour, not an over-powering and pungent flavour. Only way to eat onion is like that. And the mashed potatoes. Just like the mashed potatoes at Baton Rouge (the restaurant, not the city) except without the bacon bits. And the cornbread had a bit of jalapeno in it, just for fun.

Now here’s my dilemma. I want to go back to Southern Accent. That food was good. I also want to go back to Highway 61. That food was good too. But I still haven’t been to Harlem Underground. Where should I go next? I can’t decide. Somebody please help me.

And if anybody is interested in hearing more about these two wonderful dining establishments I gave my patronage to this weekend, please ask. I can go on for quite some time about the food, the ambiance, the service, the general drool-inducing moments I experienced in those two restaurants. And if anybody would like to join me for dinner at either place, just tell me when, I’ll be there. Or just pop in on a whim, I’ll probably be there anyway. I’ll be the fat guy in the corner drooling and smiling.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2012 7:48 pm

    Feel free to give detailed reports about food and ambiance. I love your restaurant reviews; they always make me feel like I’ve experienced it myself, and when I ever go to Toronto, I’ll know all the kick-ass places to eat.

  2. February 20, 2012 2:17 am

    Your restaurant reviews are always fun. Have you thought about taking pictures of your meals with that awesome smartphone you have and posting them to your blog? WP has an app for that, just in case you were wondering. :) You do a great job of describing things too, so I think you could make it a feature. :)

    Oh yeah, go to the Harlem Underground 1st, then start the rounds again. That way you’ll have something to compare. :)

  3. Bob permalink
    February 20, 2012 10:00 am

    Remember burger day, where we went out and searched for the best burger in Toronto? Let’s plan a day where we go to all three BBQ places! Or at least two of the three! I am in! Let’s plan the day!

    multiple barbecue joints in one day??? you’re mad.

  4. Riot Kitty permalink
    February 20, 2012 2:38 pm

    Eew. I have never understood why demonic dead animals were an attraction at shops or stands, you know?

    I called it demonic because I thought it was moving on it’s own. As for an attraction, it’s not that. Some people want to buy the whole animal, not just some specific parts.

  5. February 20, 2012 2:42 pm

    You never had brisket before? I’m stunned. It’s been a staple of my diet since I can remember. Maybe it’s a Jewish thing. My mom makes a killer brisket.

    Ken and I laugh at the stupid boat condo every time we go past it. It’s just ridiculous.

    My mother never made a brisket. Then again, she rarely cooks anything that requires a lot of time and effort. Meat in the family house is usually something that’s cooked quickly.

  6. February 22, 2012 7:56 pm

    I think the decor in Southern Accent is fun but I didn’t love the food at all when i was there….well real food anyway, I did enjoy the dessert!

    the highlight of southern food is meat and you being anti-meat would find it hard to enjoy the wonders of southern food

  7. February 24, 2012 5:53 pm

    For years I’ve wanted to open a restaurant in an old house. I love the feel of a few tables in different rooms…much more cozy and home feeling than a standard restaurant. Unfortunately money talks and bullshit walks.

    I don’t like it. If I want to eat at home, I’ll stay at home.

    And what the heck kind of hormones are they putting in the cattle these days if their shit is walking?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: