Fat Bastard Burrito

As always, I’m a little late to the game, but the family and I finally had the chance to go to Fat Bastard Burrito on Weston Road.

Himanschu (back) and Simon (front)

If you haven’t been, it’s a great place for a fast, good, takeout.

We got two medium chickens and two veggies. They’re loaded—closer in size to a football than a seven-layer, that’s for sure. We did finish them, but barely.

Fat Bastard has a neat take on burritos. They jam as much of everything in as the shell can hold: grilled veggies, beans, rice, guac, salsa, more salsa, hot sauce, Asian noodles, nacho chips, sour cream, corn, peppers, and some things I forget—and that’s not including your filling: beef, chicken, shrimp, and the like.

It’s not Mexican food like I’ve ever had, but it’s still a damned fine burrito. I have some pictures of the inside, but nobody wants to see that. Burritos are a three-sense food.

I’m happy to see the Fat Bastard come to Weston, because I like cheap, good food. Dinner for four was $43, and worth every penny.

But I’m also happy to see them, because they’re a sign of good things. Fat Bastard joins Ginger Pho and Zeal Burger as a new entrant in the mid-market–until very recently, hold-your-belly filled by only P&M’s.

It’s easy to forget how much things have changed. When I moved here 12 years ago, Weston was stuck in the 1970s: you could choose between fish and chips and diner food for your typical $12 Tuesday-night dinner, and there was nothing more expensive.

Now, what a difference! Restaurateurs, like all right-minded people, see that things are getting good in Weston.

New coffee shop

When I first moved here, Weston was a sleepy little town. I mean that literally—we were terribly under caffeinated.

No longer! Black Cat Espresso Bar is the newest and hippest of the speed merchants to move to Weston. They’re moving into one of the new spaces at the south end of Rosemount, and they seem a little fancier than most of the other places in town, with oat milk, pour-over coffee, and stuff like that. Sounds great!

Photo from BCEB rather than embedded because stupid Instagram breaks my site. Apologies.

Royal bakery

It took me six months too long, but I finally made it to the new Royal Bakery, at Ray and Weston Road.

The owners took over a space that had been empty for a some time. Around five years ago, the rather run-down Coffee Time (where I sat with my agent and bought my house, for what it’s worth) shut down, and the building became rather unattractive.

No more! Now the space is bright, warm, and welcoming.

Royal Bakery and BBQ Chicken serves pastries and deli sandwiches, and sells the largest loaves of bread you’ve ever seen. The donuts are enormous, fresh and cakey, and the coffee and hot chocolate we had were both great.

Despite the name, they don’t yet sell barbecue chicken; that’s coming in the summer. I’m looking forward to it.

A walker’s guide to Weston

An artist’s concept of the Weston Hub showing the outdoor program space.
Beginning early next year, hundreds of people will be moving to Weston as part of the new Weston Hub. A few dozen will move into the 26 artist live / work residences while the vast majority, will rent in the 30 storey, 370 unit tower and podium currently being built by Rockport Group. At the moment, rental prices are unknown but they should be a lot cheaper than renting a condo. Here is a guide for those considering a move to our community and a possible reminder to those already here. Your new address at 22 John Street has a walk score of 90 which, according to the experts qualifies as “a walker’s paradise; daily errands do not require a car”. Walking is a great exercise and has dramatic effects on longevity. Here are a few of the places that are within a short stroll of your new address.

Cultural Hangouts:

The Artscape Weston Hub: as mentioned, 26 artists will be living and working in your immediate neighbourhood along with 8200 square feet of indoor program space, 12,400 feet of outdoor program space; UrbanArts and Shakespeare in Action will provide programs for young and old.  Read all about it here.
Weston’s beautiful Art Nouveau library built in 1913.
Housed in a beautiful century building, Weston’s public library was built in 1913 and is one of the libraries originally funded by the Carnegie foundation. This branch has a good variety of activities and opportunities to become involved with the community.
Weston’s outdoor theatre.
A few steps from Weston Road towards the river, there is an outdoor theatre in a beautiful setting on Little Avenue that may see more use now that Shakespeare In Action are relocating here. Weston Historical Society is active, holds regular historical walks and talks and has a base of operations at 1901 Weston Road. Weston has its own Santa Claus Parade. and Buskerfest organized by the BIA.

Restaurants:

Restaurants abound in Weston: a highly recommended burger joint, fish and chips, pizza, Chinese, Jamaican, Phillipine and Somali food, a chicken chain, family and a breakfast specialty chain. There are several independent coffee shops and even a Timmies. A superb Mexican restaurant is within a fifteen-minute walk but don’t tell anyone; it’s a secret. Weston Farmers Market, will be outside your front door every Saturday from May to October.

Retail:

We have few major chains in the heart of Weston; Shoppers Drug Mart being a notable exception, but there are lots of small family owned stores selling a variety of items. Squibbs Stationers has been in Weston since 1927 and is a great place to get school supplies and textbooks. Incidentally, Weston Village has one the the oldest of Toronto’s business improvement areas. There is a large Asian supermarket nearby but it may be closing soon as the site has been purchased by a developer. Shoppers Drug Mart has quite a large grocery section but you’ll need to go elsewhere for produce when the farmers market is not operating.
Greenland Farms produce section.
If you’d like a haircut / style / manicure, there is plenty of choice, including the ‘world famous’ Peter’s Barber Shop on your doorstep. In spite of recent trends to close branches, we still have banks, BMO and RBC with branches close by and Luminus Financial credit union is a 10 minutes walk.

Medical:

There are several family doctors, walk in clinics, testing facilities, opticians and pharmacies, all within easy reach.

Sports and Nature:

Family and friends watch as children from across the GTA take part in a soccer tournament on Weston’s artificial turf soccer pitch.
Dog owners, fisher folk and photographers will be in their element in Weston as the Humber runs to the west.
The Humber river is a few minutes’ walk away.
A cycle / walking trail along the Humber leads through Cruickshank and Lions parks, the latter having lots of sporting facilities – an open air pool in summer, baseball diamonds, a FIFA standard artificial turf soccer pitch, tennis courts, a skateboard park and one of Toronto’s oldest hockey arenas with outstanding french fries.
Weston’s outdoor pool.

Commuting:

The UP Express and GO stations are 5 minutes away and will whisk you downtown in 14 minutes while airport workers will get to Terminal 1 even quicker. Weston is the city’s second biggest bus hub so there are many routes to pick from. So there it is; you truly will be living in a walkers’ paradise. Readers, did I miss anything? Please comment in the section below.