From roti and ramen to fried schnitzel and tacos, here are the dishes from Toronto restaurants that don't quite taste the same at home
A few weeks ago, I casually asked on Twitter about specific Toronto comfort food dishes that couldn’t be made at home. (We did the same from NOW’s Instagram account.)
And we got hundreds of enthusiastic, mouth-watering suggestions. This isn’t a definitive list – after all, comfort food means something different to everyone. But these are hot, savoury and often require an expertise it’s not easy to pick up from a YouTube video.
Am working on a story. Toronto people: do you have any favourite “comfort food” favourites from specific restaurants that you can’t (or don’t want to) make at home?— Glenn Sumi (@glennsumi) January 25, 2021
“Have picked up during pandemic but it’s not the same as in-person dining along with my role as key ‘spotter’ for our table. Memories.”
“I’ve tried my best to recreate the tacos from Hot Mess Tex Mex (a fave pre- or post-screening at the Royal) at home and I just can’t quite get there.”
“Hot Mess Tex Mex is the best pick-me-up of the pandemic.”
“We’ve tried replicating Ethiopian food – specifically the vegetarian platter – at home but it doesn’t compare to Nazareth (which stopped serving food before the pandemic) or Lalibela.
“The hot stone bowl aspect makes it somewhat difficult to reproduce at home.”
“I used to live in Seoul and loved bibimbap. Such a simple meal on paper but difficult to make if you’re not experienced.”
“We regularly fantasize about being at Country Style on Bloor with their Wooden Platter in front of us. Comfort food at its finest, and largest.”
“Chicken ramen with miso stock with fried gyoza and a big mug of Sapporo. It was my favourite thing to order on a bad day.”
“Mother India roti, saag paneer in particular. I went through a phase trying to make Indian food myself, and I realized I would never get it right.”
“A roti filled with TVP and callaloo, plus some of their legendary corn soup. Make it at home? Can’t be done! My good friend Ikeila Wright makes it with magic.”
“I love the spice and flavours. (It’s very spicy.) I probably ordered from there 20 times while I was in Toronto last fall shooting Workin’ Moms.”
“It’s a very fancy grilled cheese with lashings of roast beef, served with a huge slug of au jus. It is the absolute best comfort food.”