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

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

 

Lutong Pinoy: A New Filipino Restaurant on Weston!

 

There’s a new Filipino restaurant in town and correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s the first in Weston!

Front store of Lutong Pinoy
Nora preparing our food.

Lutong Pinoy is a Filipino restaurant that opened its doors on May 22 at 1754 Weston Rd.  (south of Weston and Lawrence), just beside the 89 bus stop at Wilby Cres., heading south.

Just a quick Tagalog lesson (Philippines’ official language): “Lutong Pinoy” roughly means “Filipino cooking.” Lutong= “cooking from”. Pinoy=informal way of saying “Filipino” (like describing Canadians as Canucks).

I’ll be straight to the point: they’ve got some good dishes, fair prices and of course…karaoke! I’ll highlight dishes I recommend in just a bit. But let me just say, we’ve definitely got a restaurant here that’s stayed true to its roots. No bells and whistles, just straight up good cooking. The main cook, Chef Lito Garma has years of experience cooking at Filipino restaurants in the Sherbourne area (one of the first areas Filipinos settled in Canada). So this is definitely not a rookie restaurant.

I had a chat with Nora Transfiguracion, the restaurant’s main front server when I went in for lunch with my cousin last week. Her brother Zobel Garma, and his wife Joy Garma are the restaurant owners, so it truly is a family-run business. They had always wanted to open a restaurant and it was only recently that they’ve been able to give this venture a shot. I found out they’re actually from Scarborough and are getting to know the Weston area slowly. They scoped neighbourhoods in Toronto and found out Weston didn’t have any Filipino restaurants. There are a few on Eglinton West, plenty on Bathurst St. (dubbed little Manila), a good number to choose from in Scarborough, the modernized (and a bit expensive) restaurants slowly popping up downtown and there’s also one popular restaurant in Rexdale. But none in Weston.

Never tried Filipino food before? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

I recommend trying their BBQ pork skewers ($2.50/skewer but oh so so good), bistek (marinated, tenderized and sliced sirloin) or the very famous adobo chicken dish. If you’re more adventurous, they have a good number of dishes for you to try from oxtail with peanut-based sauce, to the popular pancit canton/bihon noodles. Since the food is laid out buffet style, you can pick and choose whichever dish catches your eyes.

BBQ Pork Skewer
BBQ Pork Skewer

 

Bistek on styrofoam
Bistek

For dessert, I would absolutely recommend turon, or simply, fried banana. For $1.25 a piece, you get a good size and they do not skimp on the sweet bananas!

2 pieces of turon (fried bananas)
Turon (fried banana)

Dishes and Special Combos

They currently have two regular combos: For $6, you can have any main dish like the ones above, with rice or noodles. For $8, you can get two main dishes with rice or noodles. But they also have a special deal on Tuesdays: fried chicken with rice or noodles for only $4. And finally on Wednesdays, you can have a rice and main dish for only $5. The portions are fair; one main dish was enough for me, and I almost couldn’t finish it—so you’ll be well fed if you have a couple of toonies to spare.

Combo #1 at Lutong Pinoy
Regular Combo #1- 1 dish + rice or noodles
Combo #2 at Lutong Pinoy
Regular Combo #2-2 dishes + 1 rice or noodle

In addition, Lutong Pinoy also does catering! They have a catering menu with detailed pricing and a long list of dishes to choose from. I know for my family, we won’t need to trek to Bathurst or even St. Clair when we make large orders of pancit or dinuguan.

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from on Weston Road, and this only adds to the many choices. The karaoke machine is running if you’re in the mood also, and maybe, just maybe, the chef will sing along with you ;).

Kareoke at Lutong Pinoy
Karaoke time!

Hours of operation:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-8pm
Sunday: 10am-6pm
(416) 264-6975
(647) 988-5494

5 Fantastic places to eat for under $10

Who doesn’t love trying foods from all over the world? While trying amazing dishes from all over the world is great, we can’t exactly hop on a plane whenever we want some piping hot juicy jerk chicken.

But, you can take a spin through Weston, and Mount Dennis, to find an array of amazing, and authentic restaurants, without breaking the bank!

Here’s a list of my personal favorite places to eat, in no particular order, in the Weston and Mount Dennis area!

Sun Crisp Fish and Chips: 2047 Weston Road

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I have never been the biggest fan of seafood until I tried the fish and chips here. Sun Crisp serves up an array of fish and seafood, served with the fluffiest French fries I’ve ever tried. With options of halibut, cod, haddock and more, cooked up in a soft batter, it’s hard to not like fish after trying a plate from this amazing joint! Throw on some vinegar, and you have the perfect meal! Not a fan of fish? No worries! Sun crisp also serves up shrimp, scallop, and chicken! Plus, everything tastes good with a side of fries, so you can’t go wrong with whatever you order from this friendly little restaurant

Brioni’s: 169: Gary Drive

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I’ve mentioned before how much I adore this place. But I cannot stress how amazing everything here is! If you’ve got a taste for veal, veggies, pasta, or anything in-between, you will fall in love with Brioni’s! With friendly owners and a life changing tomato sauce, Brioni’s will be loved by your entire family. On top of all that, the portion sizes are huge! If you head to Brioni’s for lunch and get a serving of $5.50 lasagna, it’ll be enough for lunch and dinner! You can taste the love in this food, and will fall in love with it as well.

Golden Star: 1690 Jane Street

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Need a great lunch? Only have $5? Golden Star will be your savior! This Asian noodle house has some amazing food, for dirt cheap! A small, which is more so large, lunch special will get you an order of either spicy chicken or chicken wings and fried rice or noodles (and it’ll only cost you $3.80)! Golden Star is run by some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and their food is mind boggling! They also serve up delectable entrees such as beef and broccoli, hot and sour soup, sesame chicken and countless others

Kings Delight: 1658 Jane Street

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Close your eyes after having one bite from King’s and you’ll question if you’re in Toronto or somewhere under the palm trees in the luscious Caribbean. Spicy pull apart chicken, mouth watering rice, beef patties and any other Caribbean dishes you can think of are severed here. After one bite, you wouldn’t be able to stop eating! Kings serves up some amazing food and drinks from all over the Caribbean for prices that will blow your mind! It’s no wonder this adorable restaurant is called Kings, it’s built for one!

Papino’s Pizza: 1788 Jane Street

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This place is more than just the name. Not only do they serve some amazing pizza, but they also specialize in amazing fries, wings, and wedges! Amazing pizza with a huge variety of toppings, and wing flavors, Papino’s will make you forget about your one true love, pizza. This joint serves up some great fast food, for great prices. If the cheesy pizza doesn’t win you over, the crispy wings and fries will. Dipped in cool garlic sauce, Papino’s Pizza will transport you to an Italian villa. (or maybe just be the best fast food fix you


This post was brought to you by: Patricia, who thinks that you should get out and enjoy the Humber River.

50 years of fantastic food

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Who doesn’t love warm home-cooked food? Throw in great prices, friendly owners and you’ve got the perfect place to eat. That’s just a fraction of what Brioni Supermarket has to offer.

The quaint family run business has been a favourite spot of families who live in the area to get some delicious food, and even pick up a few groceries!

The store offers a wide variety of Italian food including, pizza, lasagna, pastas, roasted vegetables, chicken and countless other amazing dishes. Everything sold is homemade and absolutely amazing! Portion sizes are huge and most meals are $10 or less!

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The Brioni family has been running the establishment for 50 years, and never fails to put a smile on the face of whomever walks in the door.

Mr. and Mrs. Brioni always welcome everyone in the shop with open arms and serve huge servings of whatever food you are purchasing. They always have something witty to say to each other and love the store dearly.

Brioni’s also sells groceries and have a small butcher’s counter that has amazing cuts of meat and sausages. The only thing you can’t get at this adorable Italian market is an appearance from the Pope! (But they’re working on it).

I have been going to Brioni’s for over 8 years and it is just as amazing as the day I first had it. I remember being in 3rd grade and enjoying a slice of their pizza for the first time. Despite being eight years old at the time, I knew that it was the best pizza I would ever eat, and I was right!

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If you’re looking for amazing home cooked food, made by the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, visit Brioni’s. In June they will be celebrating their 50th anniversary and will be cooking up free burgers, hotdogs and more for anyone who wants to stop by. You will also be able to pick up some of their signature dishes and shop around the day of as well.

Mr. Brioni told me he wasn’t sure of the exact day the barbeque would take place, but he assured me that it would be lots of fun and the food would be amazing!

Brioni’s is without a doubt one of the best places to eat in Weston, and is run by some of the best people in the community as well. Situated at 169 Gary Drive, its surely a hidden gem in the area.

Here’s to 50 years of amazing Italian food, and many more to come!


This post was sponsored by: Diane. Her heart is still in Weston.