Ginger Pho—you should go

The family and I finally had a chance to get to Ginger Pho, on Weston Road across from the Super Store, which opened about three weeks ago. (We’ve been travelling a lot, and boy are we glad to be back!)

In short—it’s great! You should go. We stuffed ourselves for $42, before the tip, including pop and appetizers. And it was good. We had leftovers and left-behinds, too.

The highlight, for me, was my wife’s vegetarian vermicelli with fried tofu and a spring roll on top. I loved it. The tofu was perfect (neither wet nor greasy, and marinated in something good), and the spring roll was great. The veggies were fresh and crispy, and the whole thing was a balance of healthy and sinful—and a steal at about $8. There are other vegetarian options, too, including a veggie pho, made without a meat broth.

We started with cold rolls ($5) which in the future, I’d skip in favour of the superb fried rolls. The kids’ chicken phos ($6 or so) came with some, for which they handily defeated me in chop-stick battle. What little I could prise from them was really great—not at all like your typical mass-produced rolls cooked from frozen; these had shredded chicken and a crunchy, blistered skin. Superb.

I had beef pho ($9), the server’s recommendation. The slightly-sweet, cardamom and cinnamonny broth was the same as the kids’, but I got bean sprouts, which would have been wasted on the little ones. The beef slices were nice, and the basil was pretty: flowering and purple. A little lime and a single chili added some colour. I got the large, which was a mistake. Even I couldn’t finish it.

The restaurant is lovely, and modestly busy. The service is great (though they did bring my wife’s meal a minutes before the rest of ours), and the menu is extensive and interesting, with lots of room for regulars to explore. There is draft lager and a few more adventurous options, including a cider and a Belgian.

 

Readers, who do you patronize?

Weston / Mount Dennis are communities that are on the upswing after going through some rough times in the past couple of decades. New businesses like Supercoffee and Perfect Blend have opened up while a few of the old ones like Wards and P&Ms have survived and are thriving. We’re wondering if you, dear readers, know of a local business that is worthy of a mention. It could be a store, restaurant or a service but one that makes you glad you live here.

Please mention that local business you patronize in the comments section. If we haven’t already, we’ll try and write a feature story on them.

 

Today in Weston – March 23, 2017

The menu at Zeal Burger offers a wide selection for burger lovers. Click for larger image.

Today I tried Zeal Burgers on a whim as I was passing. I won’t attempt to duplicate the excellent review our Lieselotte Noort wrote on this local restaurant last fall but I have to say owner Mark Ghopros makes one of the best cheeseburger and fries I have tasted in a long time. His walk-in special of cheeseburger fries and a drink is $10.00 all in.

Mark tells me that he’s planning an update of the menu soon to include some exciting new items.

Zeal Burgers: 1926 Weston Road. Phone: (647) 352-3933

Eggsmart

We’re spoiled for choice in Weston when it comes to restaurants.

Well, breakfast restaurants at least.

We now have at least three places that serve a cracking breakfast: P&M’s, the Sunset Grill (which, as my daughter pointed out, should be called the Sunrise Grill) and, now, Eggsmart.

The family and I had a good breakfast there in December. I think it’s pretty hard to knock one out of the park when it comes to eggs and bacon, but we had a good, solid, affordable hangover cure. treatment. distraction.

The eggs were perfectly cooked, as was the bacon. The coffee was hot and served frequently—just about the only thing I actually care about, and so often the death of an otherwise good restaurant. (I’ve oft been tempted to order two cups of coffee so that I could always have one on the go). The service was good, too, and put up admirably with four kids. That’s more than I could say for me.

My friend ordered a “Scramble”. In my weakened condition, I found myself drawing away from that reminder of the night before, but perhaps with a stronger constitution, I would have relished it. My companion said it was quite good.

The bill was reasonable. To be honest, I don’t recall it—perhaps due to the spikes stuck behind my eyes.

Eggsmart,2097 Weston Road, is open from 7 until the mid afternoon.

Zeal burgers; real burgers

When people think of Weston Road, they usually think of the UP Express, traffic and a plethora of different places to shop and eat. But now people of Weston will have to think of mouth-watering juicy burgers with a side of crisp fries; thanks to Zeal Burger, located at 1926 Weston Road.

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The month-old restaurant is cooking up some of the best burgers I have ever had, using triple A steak and other fresh ingredients to whip up some seriously mind blowing creations. The family-run business is dedicated to making fresh food inspired by places all over the world.

With burgers topped with everything from guacamole to a fried egg to tzatziki sauce, there’s something on Zeal Burger’s menu for everyone! They’ve even got their own take on poutine that’s topped with a cheeseburger, and their signature Z Sauce! In the words of Mark Ghopros, the owner, “My favourite thing on the menu is the Chef’s Poutine. It’s like a meal on its own, the flavours on it are insane.” Even if you do not eat meat, Zeal serves up fries in many different ways, including Greek style. So no matter what you like, you’ll be able to find a meal at Zeal.

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Ghopros has dreamed of owning his own restaurant since he was a teenager. After having worked at places like the Keg and the Granite Club, Ghopros was waiting for the right moment to open a place of his own. When he saw the location he thought it was the perfect spot to open shop. “When I first came to the area I thought it was perfect. Everyone was so nice and I loved the community” he stated. Mark went on to tell me all about how he wanted to create an experience for his customers. Using an open-concept kitchen to create handmade burgers, he wanted to ‘throw it back’ to the 50s and 60s, when burger shops like his, where you can get killer food and milkshakes, were everywhere. From one conversation with Mr.Ghopros, I could tell he was extremely passionate about food and his business.

 

“I’m not trying to re-invent the burger; I’m trying to perfect the burger”

On my visit, I feasted on “The Heat”, a burger with pico de gallo, guacamole, lettuce, cheddar and jalapeno mayo, and their classic fries. It was honestly one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Every bite had more flavour than the last, and the hand cut fries were perfectly hot and crisp. I dipped mine in the restaurants homemade Z sauce, which just added to the great taste of the fried potatoes. Usually I’m not the biggest fan of burgers, however, Zeal has won me over. I know for a fact that I will be back on multiple occasions, to try everything on the menu.

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On top of all of this, Zeal offers a 15% off student special, with a valid student ID, and is planning on creating a senior discount as well! But even if you are not a senior or student, Zeal Burgers prices are already incredible!

Zeal Burger is a new gem to the Weston Community that I highly recommend everyone to visit. Everything on the menu is made with love and great ingredients. Zeal is the real deal when it comes to burgers, and I know that soon it will become a landmark of the area.


This article was sponsored by:Luisa Bada: Living in Weston and Loving it

 

Final stop for Weston Station?

Frances Nunziata wants to pull Weston Station’s ticket. She is asking city staff to ask the AGCO to not transfer the alcohol license for the troublesome neighbourhood bar.

The current owner is asking to transfer the license to another person with “business ties with the current licensee”. Nunziata would like to block that because the bar “has been a constant source of complaints from the community and a ‘hot spot’ for crime”

Weston Station was dinged by the AGCO for not posting their license, for allowing drunkenness, and for allowing patrons to take alcohol out of the bar.

Nunziata says “It is time that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario put an end to this.”

 

DineSafe Toronto: Weston / Mount Dennis restaurants are in good shape.

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How great to report that all Weston / Mount Dennis food preparation establishments are currently operating under a ‘Pass’ designation?

Check the state of Toronto’s restaurants at the city’s DineSafe site.