Unless you were smart enough to make reservations weeks ago at Epic in the Royal York, Mark McEwan's One in the Hazelton or chichi Café Bouloud in the swanky new Four Seasons, don't waltz in unannounced on Christmas Day and expect to score a table. They're likely booked solid.
But, if you don't mind standing in line, head over to the Lakeview (1132 Dundas W, at Ossington, 416-850-8886, thelakeviewrestaurant.ca) where 18 bucks will get you a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. A deep-fried turkey, no less. Isn't that dangerous?
"You have to be very careful," says the art deco diner's Fadi Hakim. "We have these big pots powered by propane you can get at Canadian Tire. You have to immerse the turkeys slowly and always watch them. Last year we went through 86 birds."
They also offer tofurkey for the inevitable vegetarian.
"We just started that this year," says Hakim. "It's actually quite delicious."
Better yet, one dollar from every dinner goes to FoodShare. The meal-deal started last Monday December 17 and continues 24 hours a day through Tuesday the 25th or "until we run out." Just remember, they don't take reservations.
But you'll be in good company. Just last month, contentious Food Network personality Guy Fieri shot part of an upcoming episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in the 80 year-old resto. When can we expect to see it?
"They said it should be on in about three to six months. They're already in post-production so it should be soon."
What did Fieri eat?
"He had the Freedom Toast which is savoury French toast with peameal bacon, Brie, Havarti and maple syrup. And he had the cornflake chicken club sandwich and the apple pie milkshake."
Were you previously a fan?
"I think it's a great show. It's fast-paced. It might be cookie-cutter but it works. It sucks me in. I wasn't there for the shoot but my partner Alex Sengupta was so he got to interact with Guy. He gave us hats."
Were there flames on them?