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Chabichou

Posted by Emily Thomas / Posted on February 13, 2009

ChabichouI happened by Chabichou on a wet and blustery day. It was perfect - full of cheese and comfort foods, with a cooking show quietly playing on the big screen TV behind the counter. Handwritten labels with neat calligraphy describe escargot in garlic butter ($12/dozen) and homemade pate ($6-$9.95).

Right in there beside the snails are cupcakes, chocolates and apple tarts baked at Tati Bistro, the restaurant down the street of the same owner/chef. And I have my eye on some interesting (and delicious) looking sausages. "They come from a special supplier in Quebec," I'm told, "andouilette, merguez and chorizo."

ChabichouAlong the walls are shelves stocked with vinegar, oil, salt, spices, crackers and cookbooks. Baskets of baguette, brioche and croissants cover the counter. They're baked fresh daily - from Ace bakery and Jules Patisserie - a compliment to the Caffe Brasiliano coffee I've missed since moving off Dundas West.

ChabichouBut mostly there is cheese - at least 61 varieties from France, Italy, Holland, Quebec and Niagara. Chabichou was originally conceived (and named) for a love of cheese. And the selection is exciting, but the prepared foods are as much of a draw.

ChabichouWhitney Brown, one half of Chabichou (the other half is chef Laurent Brion), is busy packing Macaroni and Cheese ($4.50) into small foil take-out trays, piling cheddar and Swiss cheese on top. Alyssa is hungry, suddenly. She wants this. We sit at one of the few tables, right by the window. It looks out at Central Tech, which I like. I like being reminded of not being in high school anymore. I snag some bites of the mac and cheese. It's bliss, delicate and rich and crispy on top. "Let me know if you need ketchup," offers Brown, tongue-in-cheek-like.

ChabichouThe Shepard's Pie ($6.00) looks great, a compact carbo-meaty treat (in one of those foil trays), but I want a Croque Monsieurs. Of late, they seem more... present in this city and I think about them all the time. Chabichou's CM is entirely satisfying. The bottom bread is so greasy and toasted. I'm still thinking about it.

I can only eat half. But as soon as I get home (like, an hour later) I stuff myself with the rest of it and I think it tastes even better at this point. I promptly fall sleep.

Chabichou

Chabichou

Chabichou

Chabichou

Chabichou

Photos By Alyssa Bistonath

Discussion

16 Comments

Gloria / February 13, 2009 at 01:11 pm
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Mmm. I've walked by a lot going home, and this review has convinced me to walk right in next time. Thanks!
replying to a comment from Gloria / February 14, 2009 at 06:47 am
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We have watched Chabichou since the day it opened and purchased a few baguettes and have been pleasantly surprised by them. It is always nice to have a local bread and cheese place so close to home, but when we asked where the bread came from we were told they were made in situ. I love Ace bakery's bread but wonder why we were told they were not made by Ace bakery.
replying to a comment from / February 14, 2009 at 11:25 pm
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Love this place! I think they may also offer another variety of baguette which is not Ace. Also, it seems the actual baking of the bread is done in house.
April / March 22, 2009 at 10:38 am
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Does anyone know what the hours of this place is? I have tried calling a couple times and haven't been able to get ahold of anyone and there is no info on the website....thanks!!
replying to a comment from April / March 23, 2009 at 10:40 am
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Store hours are Tuesday - Thursday 10-6pm, Friday and Saturday 10-7pm, Closed Mondays
Laura / April 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm
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My partner and I stumbled into this place in search of good choclate croissants on Saturday, and we were happy to discover that they make the BEST in the city. They even rival the many I've had in Paris.

My mouth waters just thinking about them...
Anon. / October 20, 2009 at 08:31 pm
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I love the food at Chabichou, the staff are friendly there but the service is consistency so slow. They hardly ever take the next person in line, instead waiting for people to come to them, so people who waited the longest don't get served first. In a server-customer interaction the staff should take a bit of a leadership role, ie. asking if you need help/would like anything else. Also, they should prioritize customer needs, like ringing up an order, before doing a task that could be done when you don't have people waiting. I go often and it just seems like some variation of these events always happens. This is just a matter of inexperience in terms of service, but overall the staff is really nice.
Bad_Self / November 17, 2009 at 11:47 am
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I love it - a review of a cheese shop that barely mentions the cheese. Not even the eponymous one. Do they even sell it? Are they big on the goat cheese? Just a few questions that come to mind when I hear of a cheese shop called "Chabichou". Amateur review.
Bad_Self replying to a comment from Anon. / November 17, 2009 at 11:48 am
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that is a french culture thing. They don't really do line-ups well.
moe / November 17, 2009 at 12:08 pm
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I hope they keep everything as it is. Perfect little joint.
natsouko / March 18, 2010 at 11:16 pm
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i give them my french seal of approval!
stuey / March 20, 2010 at 10:11 am
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quiche was good, soup was good, but the biggest disappointment was the cappuccino! Watery, instant coffee flavour with just foam.

Thumbs up for food and cheese, way down for coffee.
KittyK / April 11, 2011 at 11:56 am
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Meandered in here yesterday on an impromptu stroll down Harbord Street with my husband. I had a good feeling about it; so we popped in for a late lunch. Boy, was that ever the right thing to do!

The cheese selection looked fantastic, but we were here for the food. I had the best jambon buerre I've had this side of the Atlantic (paired with an Orangina, for an authentic, cheap-lunch-in-France experience). My husband had the boeuf bourguignon, and his outlook on what a simple stew can be is forever changed. He`d never had the real deal before and was blown away by Chabichou`s wonderful version. We shared the last apple tart available of the day. Perfect marriage of butter, apple, pastry -- delicious!

We`ll unreservedly recommend this place and return again ourselves.

Did not know the connection between this place and Tati Bistro -- we will go there now, as well!

[I get the point Anon. made re: line-ups, but it is also very much the French way, indeed. I personally found that refreshingly different.]
Stephanie / July 15, 2012 at 10:43 am
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MarieAnnick, il s'agit d'un site web 3e partie. vous devriez communiquer avec Chabichou directement! Info is at the top on the right hand side.
Stephanie / July 15, 2012 at 10:43 am
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oh, and I meant to say, I just love Chabichou! Fabulous croissants and tartines.
z / October 26, 2012 at 04:47 am
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I don't understand how Chabichou and Tati are owned by the same lady, considering that Chabichou is a brilliant spot and Tati is awful.

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