Restaurants, Bakeries, Food shops and Coffee shops in [Southwestern Ontario] [London, Ontario] [Windsor, Ontario] [Stratford, Ontario]

In London, Ontario, I’ve been enjoying takeout from these places over the past year.

Los Comales ( Salvadoran and Mexican)

I have ordered takeout online from Los Comales twice in the past 6 months. It’s an affordable small restaurant in a strip plaza on Southdale Road.

Frozen Pies from Fancy Tart (open Fri and Sat only)
Beef pie

Arva flour! Available at the Arva Flour Mill shop and at Remark Fresh Market.

Yasmine’s, an upscale Lebanese restaurant in Masonville. Everything I have ordered has been delicious. They package their takeout beautifully. They have a wood fired oven for pita and lahmajun. The fish dishes are good, as are the lamb and eggplant dishes. There’s a lamb shank with freekeh and yogurt main which I enjoyed.

https://yasminesrestaurant.com/

Craft Farmacy. This has become my go-to for special occasion takeout. I like everything. Especially good posh burger, good duck, nice lobster appetizer.

My first takeout meal in 2022 was a salmon dinner from Craft Farmacy in London. Good salad, sun choke gratin, creamed spinach , salmon with gnocchi.
The tuna poke wasn’t very good- there was something in the marinade that wasn’t quite right.

Tried the vegan Milanese which was good for something vegan. Probably won’t get it again, but I’m glad I ordered it.

The menu changes every few months.

Craft Farmacy has a great upscale burger. I pick it up the takeout myself. They also have an upscale brunch that I would like to try one of these days.

Grace Restaurant runs Grace Bodega, which is a lunch shop, coffee shop , gourmet shop and wine bar on Dundas St near Clarence.

At Grace Bodega,
I bought a very good flat white, some Squish gummies, local mustard, soba noodles, furikake, local chocolate and furikake at Bodega yesterday. Will definitely return next time I need some hostess gifts or a good coffee in downtown London.

The takeout pickerel cakes and salad are very good. They sell some super breads. A nice Pain de Mie was last loaf I bought. Excellent cookies, too.

I have been slowly trying London’s independent pizzerias.

I order Deluxe or the mushroom green pepper pepperoni equivalent to keep it somewhat consistent. So far, I’ve tried Through Thick and Thin’s NY Style, Bondi’s , Byron Pizza, Sissio’s and Pizza Projekt’s Deep Dish.

Byron is a classic London/ SW Ontario type pizza, which is not quite a regional thing like Windsor pizza. The Byron Pizza reminds me of pizza in the 1980s in London, something like my memory of Frank Vetere’s pizza or Mother’s Pizza. Byron Pizza and the NY Crust Pizza at Through Thick and Thin have been my favourite pizzas so far.

I order Fish & Chips from Kipps Lane almost once a month. I like their Captains’ Platters, haddock and halibut. They give a lot of fries with their dinners, so I get one dinner that includes fries, then order extra seafood à la carte. Lobster roll isn’t that great. I really like their mixed seafood platters, and usually upgrade to halibut for my fish. Halibut has gone up in price lately.

Congee Chan for Chinese
I’ve been twice now.

Enjoyed takeout from Congee Chan last night. Fried chicken dumplings, tai dop voy, char siu, salt and spice squid, and fried vermicelli in the Taiwanese style. They offer 4 free spring rolls if you pay cash and order more than $35 worth of food.
Also enjoyed the Lobster with Maggi sauce and the Buddha’s Feast chow mein.

London has quite a few mainland and Northern Chinese restaurants and dessert shops I haven’t tried yet. Amylie’s has good XLB and I like their MaPo Tofu.

For groceries, Remark Fresh Market. Excellent Faroe Island Salmon. Good Italian sausage. Better produce than national chains. Good refrigerated soups, esp the clam chowder.

Mark’s Fine Meats in the Covent Garden Market. Mark Kitching, who owns Waldo’s runs this. Fish you can’t buy elsewhere, such as Mahi Mahi. Top quality cuts, less common meats. Organic egg nog, eggs. This would be the equivalent of Cumrbae’s for London.

Mark’s Fine Meats

For coffee, Locomotive, which serves Pilot coffee, Sidetrack and Asmara.

Through Thick and Thin Pizza in Old South https://www.throughthickandthinpizza.com/

Steelhead Fish Co fishmonger in St Thomas is very good. https://steelheadfoodco.ca/

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Nice take-out meal from Blackfriars Bistro in London, Ontario.

Seafood cocktail

Seafood brodetto (broth was separate). I didn’t expect the same shrimp, calamari and salmon mixture that was featured in the seafood cocktail. I think the fish mixture in the brodetto varies from week to week.

Roasted Vegetable Wellington with pumpkin and zucchini ratatouille

Little Gem salad with Devil’s Rock Blue Cheese

Carrot cake

And a nice tiramisu.

The dining room was full. One of the nicer independent restaurants in London.

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Interesting fact about Cambridge, ON. It has more bakeries than pubs.

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Takeout from Massey’s tonight.

I’ve been a customer for close to 30 years.
Continues to be the most upscale Indian restaurant in town, I think. There are lot of cheape and cheerful Indian and Pakistani restaurants that have opened in the suburbs, and one outpost of a Toronto chain, which I haven’t tried yet.

I have tried 2 newer Indian restaurants, one of which has Malabari dishes on the menu, both were okay but the flavours seemed less complex than Massey’s.

I like the dal makhani a lot.

Find the bhindi (okra) and palak paneer (spinach with paneer cheese) pretty good, but I like other versions I’ve had in Toronto better.

Tandoori fish

Okra
image

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Excellent quiche-to-go and perfect focaccia from Grace Restaurant’s Bodega on Dundas St in downtown London. Nice flat white.

They also sell some fancy coffee beans.

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My order from Kipps Lane Fish & Chips

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Takeout from Los Lobos:
Taco salad

Albondigas/ meatballs

Tacos: fish, tongue, carnitas and beef cheek

Chorizo enfrijoladas

Chicken and bean enchiladas- Eastern Canadians just can’t get enchiladas right. These were not baked in sauce. More like a skinny taco with toppings.

Corn fritters

A gift sent by my cousins in Calgary, baked by a bakery here in London. Carrot Cupcakes from La Noisette

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I had takeout from Royal Paan, a South Indian chain in London (across from Fanshawe College on Oxford E), Windsor and the GTA.

We ordered masala dosa, bhel puri, samosa chaat, and mango lassis. It was great. I don’t have too much to compare it to, but seemed close to what I’ve had at Udupi Palace.

I didn’t take photos of the meals, but here is a photo of my lassi and some sweets.



Also tried the makhani dal and a spicer version of chicken tikka masala (they had 3 different tikka masalas on the menu) at Punjaabi, a chain with a location in London, as well as locations in Woodbridge, Mississauga and Windsor. The spicy tikka kabob, in the appetizer section, is called Punjaabi Special Murgh Tikka. It was a little too spicy /salty/ seasoned for how I like my Tikka, maybe roughly 5 chiles if one used the Salad King Chili scale for hotness. Not hot enough to make my gums hurt, but a little hotter than I prefer.

Which bakeries are the best in Cambridge?

We will be in Stratford for a weekend in mid-June. Any intel on which restaurants remain good AND also have outdoor eating?

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I’ll ask my friend who is a chef, who works at the Chef’s School.

I’ve been shopping at their Sunday Market occasionally the past 2 summers. I’ve bought bread from Downie St Bakery, and coffee from Balzac’s and Revel over the past 2 years.

I haven’t dined in Stratford since Feb 2020.

The patio I’ve dined at the most is at the Bruce Hotel. I was dining there a lot after Sunday matinées from 2016-2019. I’m sure it would still be pretty good. Limited bistro menu.

Red Rabbit probably has some patio tables, and it has always had good pub food.

Braai House has a patio. I haven’t been yet, and I want to check it out. https://www.braaihouse.restaurant/

I haven’t been to The Common since before March 2020, but it was in my rotation. They have a patio. https://instagram.com/commonstratford?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

I like AO Pasta, no idea re: patio.

The Prune was pretty good last time I went. York St Sandwiches was operating out of the front room at The Prune last year. I’m not sure if that is still happening.

I remember seeing some patio tables near Pazzo, which is okay.

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According to their website, AO Pasta has transitioned to a retail shop, sans restaurant. I really liked a meal I had there last summer, but I understand and appreciate the owners’ desire for a healthy work-life balance.
Prune was very enjoyable last summer, and their backyard patio is lovely.

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Thanks for the heads up! https://www.aopasta.com/long-story

What is on all the Mexican food?
Sesame seeds?
Don’t enchiladas by definition have sauce?

Thanks all. The Bruce Hotel doesn’t seem to be showing availability on Tock for the Saturday we want (or any Saturday). Red Rabbit does not appear to have a patio and also seem to have switched into a steak house format. Braai House looks promising and has availability. Might go with that for dinner on the Saturday.

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Yes, but for whatever reason, the people direct from Mexico or El Salvador serving enchiladas in Ontario have no idea how saucy an enchilada should be. This particular restaurant is run by non-Mexican white guys who don’t know better, but the enchiladas I’ve ordered at several other places in London, Ontario and Toronto don’t add enough sauce.

I have to make them myself, or wait until my next visit to California/ NYC , which I’m more likely to visit before other parts of the USA. I think my last half decent enchilada in a restaurant was in Montana in 2018.

I make enchiladas with canned or pouch enchilada sauce every few months.

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