They call us Hogtown for good reason - Toronto is simply gaga for bacon. For proof, look no further than the week-old Rashers (948 Queen East, at Morse, 416-388-0190, rashers.ca) in Leslieville, where UK-style bacon butties made with everything from old-school peameal ($6.64) to cider-glazed wild boar ($8.85) is selling out daily. There's even a vegetarian version ($6.42) with fried mushrooms. Business is so good, first-time restaurateurs John Clark and Richard Mulley are already planning locations near Trinity Bellwoods Park and Yonge and Eglinton.
Hot on the heels of Hokkaido import Santouka at Church and Dundas comes Ramen Raijin (3 Gerrard East, at Yonge, 647-748-1500), a surprisingly spacious spinoff of Vancouver's celebrated Kintaro Ramen. Unlike at Kinton or Momufuku, diners slurp their bowls of creamy Tokyo-style tonkotsu or clear assari toridashi ramen (all $9.50) in relative peace. Five grilled gyoza go for $2.50, seasoned soft-boiled eggs are $1.50 a pop, and a buck gets you extra frozen corn.
The crew behind Three Speed - named best bar in NOW's recent Readers Poll - have just launched Wallflower (1665 Dundas West, at Margueretta, 647-352-5605). Formerly home to the offbeat Naco Gallery, the room now sports a short card of snackables from co-owner and ex-Swan chef Jane Ferriss. And, yes, brunch is a definite maybe.
Over in Blandsdowne, the Bloordale Pantry in the old Dale Diner has morphed into the Whippoorwill Tavern (1285 Bloor West, at Lansdowne, 416-530-2999). The all-day breakfast menu remains the same - as does most of the staff - with dinner and late-night options in the works.
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