Riz (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on UberEats (the only delivery service they use) and may be less when ordering directly from the restaurant

I’m skeptical about restaurants with an extensive menu of varied cuisine. With no focus, how well can chefs actually prepare dishes? Riz is one of these places. The menu encompasses cuisine from so many east Asian countries, that dishes are either decent or a complete flop. Other restauranteurs would likely trim the subpar items from their menu. At Riz they have a permanent home, so ordering is like playing a mild game of Russian roulette.

Having dined-in at the restaurant and ordered take-out a couple of times pre-COVID, something seemed off about the October delivery we had. Maybe we lost at the game of roulette, but the ratio of dishes that disappoint to appease was at an all time high. Could it be that one of the chefs, pivotal to making the dishes decent, was let go?

The Szechuan crispy beef ($19) was the sole dish that continues to impress and truly one of the better renditions I’ve tasted. Thin sticks of beef are just barely coated and deep fried to give the protein a delicate shell and cooked to the point the beef is chewy and not hard. Their sweet and salty sauce is much thinner than ones found elsewhere, still full of flavour but doesn’t saturate the beef to the point it’s too sticky and candy like. Indeed, it tastes even better at the restaurant, but for delivery was delicious.

If you’re in the mood for a “healthier” complete meal, the drunken garlic shrimp ($29) is not overly oily and arrives with a cup of nutty wild rice. Yet, it lacked that fragrant aroma and taste of Chinese rice wine you’d expect, and despite it looking like there was plenty of garlic and shallots sprinkled throughout the shrimp, these aromatic flavours weren’t prevalent either. If simple stir-fried shrimp is what you’re looking for, this isn’t bad. But, for being labelled a “signature dish” and called “drunken garlic” it really needs more oomph.

Like others, the crispy noodles are separated from the sauce for the vegetable and tofu chow mein ($18). While the sauce is a nice consistency and flavourful, there’s so much of it and not much else: several scant broccoli florets, sliced carrots, squares of cabbage leaves, and small tofu pieces - that’s about it. Missing were traditional Chinese ingredients like bok choy, bamboo shoots, baby corn ... things that would make this much heartier.

But truly anything is better than the chicken young chow fried rice ($19). Seriously, was this actually made by someone who had any cooking experience? If you took steamed rice and mixed in boiled chicken and vegetables, then sprinkled finely chopped scrambled egg over everything you’d get Riz’s fried rice. There was absolutely no flavour and no wok hay. I had to scoop crispy beef over it to add any flavour and ended up stir frying the ample leftovers with more eggs and other ingredients the following day to make it edible.

The wrapper on the shrimp dumpling or har gow ($9) was sticky and something leads me to believe these were frozen, but I understand… Riz isn’t known for dim sum and therefore likely not making these fresh daily. For a dinner delivery, they weren’t terrible.

Yet, what threw me off was the black square of who-knows-what stuck onto a dumpling as soon as I opened the package. How much time could it possibly take someone packing the dish to remove the debris? Is a dirty dumpling really the thing you want customers to see?

For everyone’s sake, I surely hope the delivery was just an off night. Because one thing that’s great about Riz’s expansive menu is their commitment to serving those with ingredient intolerances: not many Chinese restaurants offer a gluten-free menu safe for a celiac person and also have a number of vegetarian options that can be made vegan. Unfortunately, these customers will also never get to taste their crispy beef, the one thing we would ever re-order for. 

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3321 Yonge Street
 Delivery: Uber
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 


Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Toronto Pho for Delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

For some people, the fall is signified by breaking out the boots and scarves; or for the youth, going back to school. In my books, it’s the return of bowls of steaming noodles and broth. My internal clock, which happens to be my stomach, yearns for it as soon as September hits. So, it wasn’t surprising to my husband when I announced that pizza was out, and pho was in.

Having followed Toronto Pho on Instagram for the better part of the year, they were the first company I called. Turns out they retired their own delivery service and now goes through Uber and Door Dash, so a quick zap of the app and my bowl of noods was on the way.

A deep-fried spring roll ($5.75 for two) goes with pho like cookies with milk. Sadly, Toronto Pho’s roll incorporates way too much taro, turning the filling into a crumbly bland mush. It didn’t help that the salt was non-existent, so all the flavours came from the sweet thin dipping sauce. Seriously, the frozen ones from the supermarket are better.

I’d go with the grilled rolls instead, our chicken version ($6.95 for two) was absolutely delicious, a bundle of vermicelli with bean sprouts and mint leaves, wrapped in lettuce, and then layered with grilled chicken and wrapped in a chewy rice sheet. The double roll helped keep the noodles soft while adding an extra crunch after getting through the soft rice wrapper. Meanwhile, the marinated grilled chicken had enough flavour but was further augmented by the savoury peanut sauce on the side.

The starters helped keep me satisfied while I heated up the broth in a pot and zapped the noodles in the microwave. Taking the five minutes to do this really helps enhance the experience. After all, I’m craving a steaming hot bowl of noodles… not lukewarm broth with clumped pho.

Toronto Pho’s broth packs a strong punch of spices (star anise and cinnamon?) and is seasoned well without becoming overwhelming. While Pho is never overly heavy, Toronto Pho’s soup feels extra “clear”, almost like a consommé than bone broth. It’s delicious, just not necessarily hearty.

The noodles remained chewy having been separated from the soup and there were plenty of toppings included with the bowl – the typical bean sprouts, Thai basil, and lime, but also a long leafy lettuce type vegetable and onions as well. Yum! I love the mix of herbs with pho.

They also didn’t skimp on the beef, there was plenty of it and soft tendon ($12.50) in my bowl. My only complaint was there was a thick end slice of the meat left with everything. Have you ever tried chewing through a cheap cut of lean beef that’s been sitting in transit for a while? Thank god I have the jaws of life.

I do have to give credit to Toronto Pho for using paper containers for their noodles and broth (sadly not the rolls, which is strange as there are plenty of small paper box options) and helping the environment.  While the experience wasn’t stellar, it nonetheless satisfied my “it’s-becoming-fall” stomach, and there will be plenty of grilled rolls and noodles in my future.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: Various locations
 Delivery: Uber and Doordash
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Shinobu (Toronto) for takeout


After having mediocre sushi in the spring and not seeing many better options on Uber, I bit the bullet and went to Shinobu for takeout. A delicious gem in the Yonge Lawrence neighbourhood, it’s a restaurant my husband and I frequented bi-monthly, pre-COVID. We agreed to suppress our expectations - takeout wouldn’t be the same as dining in the small intimate establishment – but we were craving fresh fish and expertly prepared sushi, only Shinobu would satisfy.   

To get the stuffed lotus root ($9.50) or not? These deep-fried pieces of earthy lotus root sandwiching a savoury pork paste are heavenly straight from the fryer. But would they be nearly as good after sitting in a box for 15 minutes? While the crunchiness was stunted, the texture was still there, and the starter was just as juicy as having at the restaurant. So much so, that I forgot to take a picture before we dove in… you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Similarly, the tempura in the double shrimp cannon roll ($13.50) held up very well and the lettuce didn’t wilt terribly while sitting covered. The maki still delivered that lovely bomb of flavours and textures (is that why it’s called a cannon roll?), no regular dynamite roll can compare.

A safe choice is the spicy tuna roll ($8.50), which resembles what we’d have at the restaurant. And unlike our previous delivery experience from Kibo Sushi House, there wasn’t a crumb of tempura batter. At Shinobu, their spicy tuna roll actually incorporates fish… what a novel thought.

The one dish that wasn’t as impressive was the pressed salmon sushi ($17.50). The kewpie and jalapeno paste (?) topping the fish was just too much; perhaps it really sinks into the salmon on the ride home. Luckily, it’s an easy problem to solve – we remove half of it – and we continued our merry way.

Having a hankering for fresh fish but not wanting sashimi, we ordered the seafood donburi ($24). It was exactly what we needed incorporating so many different slices of fish, octopus, eel, two thick pieces of tamago (egg omelette) and even a spoon of spicy salmon.  If you need a variety, donburi bowls are the way to go! Why did it take me so long to try one of these?

If anyone ever finds a good sushi place that delivers to the North York/Midtown area let me know. Until then, I’ll have to be my own driver and will continue to head back to Shinobu for our sushi fix. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3403 Yonge Street
 

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Tori-San Ramen (Toronto) for delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on F.O.D prices and may differ when using other delivery services


Patience will help make dining on delivery a tastier experience. If I was patient, I would have looked through the package accompanying my Tori San Ramen delivery and would have discovered the nori sheets in an envelope, rather than thinking it was simply the cutlery I didn’t need.

Luckily, despite missing the instruction card on how to assemble the noodles, I still knew to reheat the broth before combining the bowl together. Bringing the soup to a boil really helps add to the experience and infused my kitchen with a comforting aroma.

Tori’s paitan broth feels thick on the tongue and has a creaminess like tonkotsu but is made with chicken bones and cartilage instead of pork. Their original Tori paitan ramen ($15) takes the signature broth and pairs it with traditional roasted cha-shu pork slices, ample amounts of bamboo shoots (likely a substitution for the missing red onion and minuscule portion of green onion), and two quail eggs.

For delivery, it was surprisingly good: the thick noodles still chewy and melded into the soup beautifully. Having not had ramen since 2019, the flavour was so vivid and satisfying. Real ramen will always put the dried packaged ones found in supermarkets to shame.

If the bowl arrived with diced red onion or just more of the spring onion, that fresh element would have been a lovely contrast against the rich soup. The only disappointing topping was the quail eggs, which had a funky taste that was a bit off putting - give me a regular onsen egg any day.

The chicken wings ($9) were delicious with a hot crispy batter that’s like karage yet with the bone in the chicken for maximum flavour. There’s something about hot fried meat with a bowl of rich noodles that makes for a complete satisfying meal.

So, maybe I wasn’t the most patient person – the anticipation of a meal and seeing the car progressing towards my home on the app gets me hungry! But, even with the missing nori sheets, the meal was a much-needed reminder of the flavourful explosion of ramen. 

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Delivery: Uber, Doordash, FoD
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Cafe Landwer (Toronto)

To classify Café Landwer into a type of eatery is difficult. Their menu is as eclectic as Pickle Barrel’s, a mix of Arabic, German, and American dishes that don’t seem to go together, but somehow is listed on the same page. Moreover, the food options are so extensive that it hardly seems like a café. It’s not until you learn about their history, it starts to make sense.

The company first started as Landwer Coffee (named after owner Moshe Landwer) as a roasting facility and coffee bar in Berlin. As the Nazi began rising in power, Moshe decided to move his family to Tel Aviv, well before WW2 would stop them and here  the roasting facility was re-opened and grew in prominence until it was finally sold to a larger conglomerate in the 1980s. Seeing the potential of the brand, Federman & Son’s expanded it into a chain of casual restaurants in Israel, which eventually went global with locations in Canada and the USA. Hence, their menu has Middle Eastern and German elements, with Western dishes like burgers and pizza added to please all.

While you’re waiting for the mains, a hummus bowl is a great starter. The shawarma version ($14) starts with a base of thick silky hummus, drizzles on olive oil, and fills it with juicy chunks of chicken shawarma that’s incredibly flavourful.

The one topped with four small crisp falafels ($13) is just as good. Café Landwer’s creations are fluffy and moist and have a lovely green hue from the pulverized herbs mixed into it.

At first, we nursed the piece of fresh from the oven stone-baked bread since the hummus to bread ratio seemed off. Boy was it good, the hot steaming bread with the cool shawarma hummus, and a slice of pickle. We were essentially creating our own sandwiches. Once the bread was done, our server offered to bring another piece ($1). This could have easily been a meal for one.

Landwer’s famous schnitzel ($19) is good with the pork pounded thinnly, the bread crumb coating applied lightly, and cooked just long enough so that everything is still moist. It’d be even better with more salt as it was under seasoned and really needed a condiment. The ketchup accompanying the fries seemed off, my husband ended up using the tzatziki from my main, better than nothing.

Generally, it seems like Landwer under seasons their dishes. While the grilled salmon ($23) had a lovely citrusy za’atar crust, it didn’t have a speck of salt. Even the Landwer’s rice, despite incorporating caramelized onions, lentils, almonds, and being so richly hued was rather bland. In hindsight, I wish I would have just tried to flag down a server to bring us salt… it’s such a common spice that would have really made everything much tastier.

With that in mind, on a return visit I rolled the dice on having Mediterranean shakshuka ($15.95) instead. There was no way a cast iron pan of stewed tomatoes with chunks of feta would be bland. Thankfully, the bet paid off and it was indeed as full flavoured as I hoped, the tomatoes nice and thick with some onion and big chunks of eggplant. My only mistake was asking for the eggs done medium, they arrived rock hard so there was no runny yolk to dip the hot pita into. Note to self: always get the underdone since the hot pan will continue to cook them.

A bit of pita was the tomato sauce topped with nutty tahini or the cool creamy lebnah was even better. I can see why Landwer’s brunch menu is so popular as this is where the mains shine. It only puzzles me why people bother to wait for a table when there’s an all-day breakfast section on their dinner menu - I’d happily have brunch for dinner any day. When the sun starts to go down, why not tuck into a hot pan of tomatoes and eggs with a fluffy yeasty warm pita? Sweet dreams, indeed.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1912 Avenue Road
 

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Angus Pho House (Toronto) for delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

Trust me, your pho will taste a whole lot better if you take the time to re-heat the broth in a pot and add the noodles to the boiling broth to loosen everything before eating.

I learned this the hard way when getting Angus Pho House delivered to my place. Finding everything felt hot, I merely took the broth and added it to the Angus rare beef rice noodle soup ($9.95 for small) and tucked in. The noodles stuck together in a clump and the broth went from hot to lukewarm in no time. This is not how pho should be enjoyed.

A nuke in the microwave improved things a bit, yet it still wasn’t the same. Since we received such a large portion of noodles (with the small being so big, how can anyone get through a large?), I had enough for another meal the next day. After reheating the soup in a pot and adding the noodles (microwaved first) for a quick swirl, everything was so much more enjoyable.

Strangely, Angus Pho puts the rare beef into the hot broth instead of laying it onto the noodles when delivering. What arrives are very well-done pieces of lean meat. In the future, an order of plain pho noodles with a grilled protein seems like a better choice. If you really want shaved beef, I suggest opting for a brisket instead, which has a bit of fat to keep it moist.

The soup to noodle ratio is also off, there seems to be more noodles than when you dine in but only 70% of the broth so you can’t really drink big spoonful’s of the hearty savoury bone broth. Indeed, by the next day, there was only about a cup of soup left, I had to dilute it and add salt to stretch enough for another meal. Not a drop was wasted.

Surprisingly, the Vietnamese style spring rolls ($6.95) didn’t suffer through the delivery process. They were crispy and delicious, just a tad cooler than the scalding hot rolls you’d find at the restaurant. Angus’ moist fluffy filling of yellow beans and pork is so delicious. Unless you’re vegetarian or going gluten-free, these are a must add-on.

While Angus Pho provides a sizeable bag of bean sprouts and Thai basil, my body was craving vegetables so an order of Chinese greens with oyster sauce ($6.95) was necessary. The menu describes these as being stir-fried but it’s actually plain boiled gai lan. Luckily, we also ordered stir-fried Chinese greens with garlic sauce ($11.95) and since these were fairly salty and saucy, we could add the plain gai lan into the dish to calm everything down.  

Let’s be honest, pho just isn’t the same when delivered. But with a bit of effort, it’s still something that can be enjoyed at home, even with the diluted broth.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 5443 Yonge Street
 Delivery: Uber and Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



The Copper Chimney (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

On walks around the neighbourhood, we’ve seen The Copper Chimney on many occasions. It’s an Indian restaurant I vaguely recall reading about in the Toronto Star, when Amy Pataki noted it’s an above average choice in Toronto.

“One day we’ll try it.” I’ve always thought, and that one day finally came following a dinner elsewhere in the neighbourhood. As we were walking towards the patio of that restaurant, the air was filled with the most heavenly aroma of spices. We remembered that intoxicating smell and ordered delivery the very next day.

Fried appetizers like the mixed vegetable pakora ($5.50) are terrible for delivery. Pakoras I’ve had in the past have been fluffy fritters studded with shredded vegetables, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Copper Chimney’s are dry like food court falafel that have been left on the warmer all day. It’s such a shame, as I can see the large pieces of onions and carrots in the batter. It’s just so overdone (or perhaps fried during lunch and merely re-heated for dinner) that I had to wash it down with a drink.

To lower food waste, I salvaged the pakoras for brunch. Similar to making pot stickers, I put a cold pakora into a heated frying pan with some oil and water. Place a lid on it to allow the water to steam into the pakora and when the patty gets hot, remove the lid allowing the remaining water to evaporate and a crust to develop on the pakora again.

While it’s still a little dry, the finished patty is a lot better than before. In fact, I could decipher other vegetables used in the recipe: cauliflower, eggplant, and bits of a root vegetable. The individual spices also shine through more. If only the pakoras were fluffier and less cooked, I could see these being amazing.

Another overcooked dish was the lucknowi reshmi kebab ($14). Maybe tandoori is something that must be eaten at the restaurant, as Pataki’s review mentioned it being moist and delicious. What arrived at our house was covered in a tasty spice mixture (like a slightly spicy saffron), but so dry that it’s like eating cubes of chicken breast that has been reheated in a microwave and then cooled down again. Another gulp of drink to get this down.

The best part of the dish was the creamed coriander and mint chutney dipping sauce. It’s such a great refreshing bright yoghurt sauce that I tried it with everything in the meal. If you don’t get the kebab, it’s even worth ordering the condiment solely to put on other items.

Finally, the meal improved when I turned my attention to the saag paneer ($12), the spinach and onion puree so fresh and vibrant tasting, unlike so many other places where it’s rendered to a dark mush. Large cubes of soft Indian cheese are mixed throughout, these were thankfully left neutral and remained moist.

The saag goes wonderfully with basmati rice ($4) or garlic naan ($3.50), both sides arrive in huge portions (the naan two times larger than ones found in other restaurants). I just wished we ordered more curries to go with the grains.

Instead, I had to try their shrimp biryani ($17) and wasn’t disappointed. Despite it looking like another order of basmati when we opened the lid, get through the first layer and you’re greeted with a lovely fragrant rice that’s filled with flavours and a kick of heat that had me reaching for the raita. Here the shrimp were cooked nicely, still plump and tender despite trying this dish last.

In the end, I debated what mark to give The Copper Chimney as how well the dishes were prepared is so drastically different. If I had skipped the pakora and kebab and stuck with saucy curries, the experience would have been much better.

During this time where some restaurants are solely relying on takeout and delivery, I suggest trimming down menus to only include dishes that travel well. Not only will it simplify operations, but also ensures what makes it into a customer’s home are quality items you want associated with your restaurant. Stale pakoras and chicken jerky? Probably not something The Copper Chimney wants on their menu.

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2050 Avenue Road
 Delivery: Uber and Doordash
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:





Cucina Di Paisano (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

Since restaurants have been gradually opening for stage two and three in Toronto, I’ve gotten into conversations with friends and loved ones about why even dine in a restaurant, they all offer take out and some deliver. Isn’t it just convenient, not to mention safer, to just continue eating their food at home?

At first, I gave the easy answers: the food tastes so much better fresh (boy does it) and I’m already wracked with guilt about all the takeout containers I’ve used, anything to go back to less plastic waste (although, I know, even dining in means more waste lately from the one-use menus and the number of wipes discarded). But then I realized, it’s also about the connection you feel with the food.

It really came out when I settled in to try to write this post about my delivery experience with Cucina Di Paisano… yes, I can talk about the food and how it tastes, but other than that I felt very little connection to the restaurant itself. There were no past dining experiences I could re-collect and no feeling of nostalgia towards the dishes themselves.

So, to me, all I can describe is how their Caesar salad ($12 for large size) used way too much dressing, so much so that if I actually had romaine lettuce on hand I could have augment the salad by another 50% without skimping on flavour. And that despite the relatively higher price point for the salad, it was a bare bones interpretation of the dish: lettuce, sauce, a few croutons, and powdered parmesan instead of shavings.

On other dishes, they don’t skimp on the cheese, such as the garlic bread ($8), a hefty portion with six thick baguettes covered with ample amount of the dairy. Although, I would have traded some of the mozzarella for garlic as it just tasted like bread with butter and cheese.

While I didn’t taste their eggplant parmigano ($18), it’s another dish encapsulated with mozzarella and is made to feed two given you’re provided with so many pieces of eggplant, a side of penne big enough to feed a child, and an equal amount of vegetables. Paisano knew that cheese is the way to my husband’s heart (emotionally and literally) as he loved the dish.

Since the meal was being delivered, I moderated my expectations for the grilled salmon ($23) and knew it wouldn’t be a lovely pink doneness in the centre. Indeed, it was cooked through-and-through but still fairly moist, especially on the thinner end where there’s more fat in the meat. The simple lemon, basil, and olive oil was just enough to flavour the fish and compared to everything else the dish was a more manageable serving with crunchy vegetables (broccoli, peppers, and carrots) and the roasted potatoes that arrived overdone but nonetheless flavourful and creamy.

I guess it would be remiss of me not to mention that if you’re doing takeout, they have four great 2-for-1 options that are an economical choice. If it’s anything like their eggplant parmiagno, you may have enough food for a family of four. I wish I could do Cucina Di Paisano greater justice with this post, but try as I might, it’s difficult when there’s no connection to draw upon.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 865 York Mills Road
 Website: https://paisano.ca/
 Delivery: Uber and Doordash
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this: