Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Toronto Restaurants - Ali Baba's and Simon's Wok



One recently discovered ethnic food that I have discovered since I left the environs of White Bred Bread World is falafels.  I love falafels!

Here in Toronto there is a chain of restaurants, hole in the walls actually, with the exotic name of Ali Baba's.  Doesn't that name conjure up images of early 1950's MGM movies of harem girls on polished marble floors with colorful see through diaphanous harem pants?

For some reason every time I hear Ali Baba I think of magic carpets and that beautiful English actress Patricia Medina from that long ago forgotten Fifties movie that starred Abbot and Costello.  You know how some people get an earwig from a tune they've heard and can't get out of their minds?  For me certain names evoke images in my mind of Fifties movie stars.  The Fifties was a special time for me, Ron the Movie Fan.  But I digress.

Sunday night I was just dying for an falafel.  Ron, the kid who used to devour the giant hoagie has moved on to Ron, the old guy who now devours giant falafels.  As Pat sat across from me at Ali Babi's with his modest sized falafels, he cast an incredulous look to me and asked "Are you really going to eat that whole thing?"  I responded "Just watch."  It was gone folks, all gone in about fifteen minutes.  Delicious!

Me in front of one of my favorite eateries in Toronto


I'm still on my vegan diet since I arrived in Canada on the 15th.  As expected I've lost weight.  My weight has dropped below 160 lbs to 159 lbs.  That means I've lost six pounds since I crossed the Canadian border from Buffalo New York last week.  

I don't miss the meat folks!  Last night I took Pat's advice and we walked down to a Vietnamese veggie restaurant.  The place was just a hole in the wall (a lot of these local ethnic restaurants seem to be a hole in the wall.  

Right away, upon entering the restaurant I felt out of place.  It was very small but very crowded . . . . . . . with Vietnamese.  There was one other Caucasian couple in the restaurant, seated back in the corner.  We were seated next to a round table of about eight family members who were all eating from a big plate in the middle of their table.  Eating with chopsticks.  Uh oh.  I've never eaten with chopsticks.  So, in addition to feeling like a big white giraffe who has entered a Vietnamese family dinner, I looked in askance at the chopsticks our waitress placed in front of me.

My host in front of Simon's Wok restaurant on Gerrard Avenue in Toronto, Canada

So where are my pictures?  Folks, the place was so small I was embarrassed to take photos and show myself for the ignorant, rude tourist that I really am.  Although I don't think it would made much of a difference if I had taken photos.  Below is a photo I took of the entree that I ordered . . . . . and didn't like.  Eggplant or something or other. Yes, I'm still trying to find a good eggplant dish.  So far the Rehoboth Diner still wins out with their Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant Something or Other - I gave it to Pat and ordered Pineapple Something or Other

We have a few more things on our agenda folks during my Canadian Adventure.  My host asked me if I wanted to to the Edge Walk atop the CN tower.  Hmmmmmm . . . . . . . . maybe but not on a stomach full of an Ali Baba falafel

13 comments:

  1. Ron,

    Really enjoying reading of your jaunt. You are getting some good food. I like Indian food especially. I've eaten with chopstick many times. Natives would place the dish near their mouth and kind of just push the grub in, but I prefer to actually scoop or pick up the food with the chopsticks. I always asked for chopsticks where you had a choice just for the fun and challenge of it. I don't think I've actually had a falafel, even though we had Moroccan friends back in the seventies who served a lot of West African food at their dinners. When the Black Angus was in existence you could get really good eggplant there. I always got it with my meal when we ate there. Lois cooks up a great batter died eggplant slices, one of my favorite dishes. I am really waiting for the pictures of you tiptoeing around that tower though.

    Lar

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    1. Lar,
      I'll do the Edge Walk when you do.
      Ron

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  2. This just all looks like so much fun!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    Replies
    1. Jay,
      We are having a grand time.
      Ron

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  3. Oh, and I'd do the edge walk in an instant!!! SOOOO COOL!!!!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    Replies
    1. Jay,
      Would you? That would be sooo cool!.
      Ron

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  4. how exciting to find all the veggie- places!

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      Yes, I wish you and Someone were with us. We did so enjoy your delightful company. Both of you are such a treat.
      Ron

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  5. Highs and lows - and this Vietnamese falls into the latter, maybe.
    I've not only never had a falafel, I don't know what it is (though have seen the word here and there).

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    1. Ray,
      Pat has corrected me, the restaurant we were at was a Chinese restaurant. The Vietnamese restaurants are a bit further down the streets. I love falafels! I wish they had them in abundance in Rehoboth like they do here in Toronto. I'm surprised you don't have access to Middle Eastern cuisine where you live. Don't you have a large Middle Eastern immigrant culture? That's what I've seen on the U.S. news but then the U.S. news is frequently skewered. I think you would like a falafel. They're made with chick peas (a type of bean), smashed and deep fat fried. Sort of like fish 'n chips. Well, maybe not exactly. Yesterday we saw "The Hundred Foot Journey." That was a movie about Indian cooking. I haven't read your review of "Into the Storm" yet. I hope to today.
      Ron

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    2. Haven't been to any restaurant for over 20 years, Ron - and not used any fast-food takeaways for even longer. But I'll remember what you say about falafels. Sounds like something that could be a welcome addition to my meagre-range nutrition intake.

      Delete
  6. I have eaten vietnamese and chinese (with chopsticks), but no falafel. and no, I WOULD NOT do the edge walk (fear of heights, vertigo).

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    1. Anne Marie,
      I think you would like the the falafel. It's sort of like chicken croquettes without the chicken. I'm with you on the edge walk, I wouldn't do it for anything. Well, maybe a million dollars. Pat said he would do it for less.
      Ron

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