I love Weston; I really do. But in some ways, it’s the worst of two worlds: it has all the traffic of Toronto and all the soulkill of the suburbs. This, though, is starting to change. Since moving here, I have had four dreams: an Indian, Thai, and Japanese restaurant–and a decent coffee shop. And, while a good cuppa remains a hope deferred, Wakame Sushi at the Crossroads Plaza has brought Weston into the 21st century.
I get my Indian from Rajdhani, which is just up the street in Rexdale. They know me by name, and it’s all vegetarian and cheap as chips; $7 will give you a stomach ache and a heart attack. Triple Thai, on Jane, has been getting great reviews. I haven’t been, to my shame, because my wife is anti-Thai.
This weekend, flush with cash from Craigslist, we went to Wakame Sushi. The place is attractive, the equal of any cheap sushi joint in the 416, and far prettier than most of the other utilitarian places around our hood. The room is long and divided down the middle; the wait staff thoughtfully seated my rather loud and messy family away from the people on dates.
The food was good. The fish sushi was fine; the vegetable sushi better. The tempura was great–though why every single sushi place has to use the same lousy shrimp, I’ll never know. (I think they must get tempura kits premade that they fry up.) Speaking of which, anyone over 6 years old should skip the yakatori skewers, which were clearly prepackaged and nuked. Gross.
Still, all in all, totally good–and better when you get the bill. We fed two and two halves for $42, decent tip included.
Toronto Public Health seems to have gone for a stroll up Weston Road. Most of the food-serving businesses passed comfortably, but two establishments took yellow cards for being, well, barf-inducingly disgusting.
Seif Halal food market at 2371 Weston was carded for not ensuring food safety, not providing hot and cold running water, not having towels in the food area, not having a thermometer in the food area, allowing employees to wear filthy clothing while preparing food and for, finally, not producing the food safety report—which was, ironically, a green-card pass. (No longer!)
China China restaurant was practically Michelinian in comparison. They only had trouble… let’s see… using soap, cleaning the toilet, keeping hair out of the food, and keeping the food off the ground. No big deal, really.
The owner of De Blue Note Lounge at 1709 Jane Street has been charged with three counts of bribery and one count of attempting to obstruct justice. The charges came after police investigated complaints of booze can activities on the premises. Richard Nkabu is alleged to have paid $500 to a police officer in the hopes that the police would ignore the complaints.
The Central Bar and Grill on Weston Rd was given a warning by Toronto Public Health. They were faulted for not maintaining their dishwasher and for not washing non-food-contact surfaces carefully enough.
This is the second time that Central Bar and Grill has been carded. The last time was in June of 2010. Then they were not taking care of garbage.
Marisel’s Deli on Jane Street got a yellow card, again, from Toronto Public Health. In the unlikely event that you were considering having your lunch at the deli that allows garbage to sit spilled on the street (see the picture below, immortalized on Google forever, yum!), you might wish to know that Marisel’s does not properly sanitize its equipment or clean its washrooms.
This is the second time Marisel’s has been yellow-carded. In June, it was also dinged for not controlling pests.
Your humble correspondent loves many things about Weston—its people, its trees, its run-down, hardscrabble charm—but he cannot love the Saharan paucity of restaurants. It’s as if we don’t live in a multicultural metropolis at all.
Things are improving, however. A Thai restaurant has opened on Jane just south of Lawrence. Triple Thai opened last week, and it looks cheap and cheerful. They have dishes from $5 to $9 or so, and they deliver. Fans of Peter Anan’s, the much-loved but little-eaten Thai joint on Weston Rd, can at last wipe away the tracks of their tears.
Triple Thai is at 1630 Jane St, across from the No Frills: (416) 792-6667.
The following post is parental guidance: Parents, don’t look.
I used to work at a Dairy Queen. It was my first job, when I was 13, and I have no idea how many people I killed by food poisoning. I used to spoon lukewarm grease on top of burned hamburgers to make them ‘juicy’. Nobody, of course, had given me any idea about food preparation or handling, and I can’t, even now, barbecue safely—I certainly couldn’t then.
Apparently, mine was not the only Dairy Queen with human resource problems. The DQ on Weston Rd near the Superstore received a yellow card from health inspectors on April 14 in part because nobody working there had been trained how to cook safely. The place also had no hot running water, no thermometer to measure food temperature, unclean equipment, and unclean restrooms and food preparation areas.
In all previous inspections, that Dairy Queen had been given a thumbs-up from inspectors.