Cafe Polonez – picture taken from their website.
The other week I was watching an episode of You Gotta Eat Here on the food network, which featured Café Polonez. You’d think, that I should know this place, since it’s an authentic Polish restaurant but I didn’t….shame on me!
This place is always busy and most of their clientele are Polish. But let’s talk about their food, which is the most authentic food I’ve had – just like at my mom’s place.
If you decide to give it a try, you have to get one of their soups – it’s a must! Polish soups are the best soups you will ever have in your life (and trust me I’m not being biased here because I’m Polish). At Café Polonez, they are made daily from fresh ingredients.
Brown Bag Sandwiches has been around for a while now. There was a bit of hype over the place when it first opened and now that they are much more seasoned it was time to go check them out and see if they were worth the rep.
The place itself is quite simple in terms of decor. There is a cool old juke box in the corner but in terms of seating it is pretty non-existent. Just like their name entails it’s about brown bagging it, thus it’s for takeout.
Oh where to start with I Went to Philly. Let’s start with the food. There was already a fair amount of buzz around the city about the opening of Toronto’s first “authentic” Philly cheese steak joint. The only thing close that I have had that would be a measuring stick would be the philly cheese steaks from the “Great Canadian Steak and Potato Company” and an episode of the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. From the references, the first one was way off and the second pretty much spot on if I could taste through a TV screen.
We got our sandwiches and fries to go. They held up very well on the short trip back home. Our order was one very simple cheese steak with nothing but provolone cheese, and peppers on top of the requisite steak. The other sandwich was “The Works” which had the sauteed onions, mushrooms, cheese, steak. One order of fries was plain and the other covered in cheez whiz (just the right amount of cheez whiz). The promo special of the night was order any sandwich and get a free large fries. Well with two sandwiches 1 large fry to share would have been plenty for both of us. It was a decent promo though. Dinner came to just under $20 but expect to be a bit more when for two if you throw in drinks. All sandwiches also come with a pickled cherry bomb pepper. Now these are hot, but compliment the sandwich and just a cool add-on.
Now. Let’s get to the actual food. The first was one of the revolutionary food moments. That moment when you have just had something so unique, so in harmony with all the flavours and textures, like it was just meant to be. The closest thing I can describe it to was the first time I tried “Banh Mi Boyz”. It is just so unique it’s hard to capture it in words. You just have to find out for yourself. Needless to say we polished these off super fast. With the fries it is a full heavy meal. Comfort food even. Not something you have a few times a week but something you treat yourself to as warranted.
Now the precursor to actual getting the food was the restaurant and staff. Da Vinci and Frankie were running the place and the quiet guy sat in the corner like the old guy from “The Professional”. Da Vinci and Frankie, whether it was unabashed Q&A with customers are a well polished schtick it didn’t matter. These two were energetic, charasmatic and just made a couple minute wait for our sandwiches seem like a conversation with an old high school friend. I hope they can keep this up when there are bigger line-ups. The store itself is a cute retro throwback to Americana. Not fancy with a couple tables and that’s the point. They also have a range of old school drinks like “Stewart’s Fountain Soda” and the requisite “Cott’s Black Cherry Cola”.
I Went to Philly
462 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1S9
(Yonge + College)
Closed on Sundays
Buster Rhino’s Southern BBQ makes Ontario’s best BBQ list for a good reason. It is the best! From the ribs which are simply addictive, to the pulled pork, smoked wings and even every side dish they create is pretty much perfect.
The entrance for vegetarians doesn’t open. I thought it was a funny tactic.
Their new restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Oshawa. It is an open, warm spot with rustic touches and the ever present aroma of fresh BBQ. This may be the best thing to happen in downtown Oshawa for some time.
Here is the man himself responsible for all this amazing food – Darryl Koster, owner of Buster Rhino’s.
Take a look at these awesome ribs we brought home and heated up.
So whenever passing through, make sure to stop by any of their locations. Sit down and enjoy, or grab a cooler like we do and stock up!
Buster Rhino’s Locations:
|7-2001 Thickson Road S.
P (905) 436-6986
|30 Taunton Rd. E. Unit 6
P (289) 240-3111
|28 King St. E
P (905) 432-8350