Get to know a street: Orfus Road
Orfus Road, believe it or not, has more than just outlet stores offering neon tights and studded blazers. Don't get me wrong--stretchy, brightly coloured clothes are quite plentiful on this strip. But if you look past the tacky clubwear--and yes, I know it's hard--you'll find some non-outlet stores actually worth a second glance.
There are a number of restaurants offering authentic ethnic fare (if hot dogs and ice cream trucks aren't your thing), and shops to get fresh foods, wholesale beauty supplies, and even somewhere to pick up a long-coveted ShamWow. I wish I were joking. Here are some places to check out on and around Orfus Road.
Grande Cheese Factory Outlet
If you're in the market for a massive round of Parmesan that's almost as big as a tire, Grande Cheese Factory Outlet is your store. The shop has been at Orfus and Dufferin for close to 20 years, offering over 40 variety of its own cheeses, as well as countless other brands in store. Grande Cheese also has a wall of Italian olive oils and vinegars, bulk bin biscotti, and a relatively new line of gluten-free products.
Seoul House is a popular Korean restaurant that's technically on Dufferin. It has plenty of space with booth seating and dark furniture. The menu includes lots of lunch special bento boxes, as well as sushi, maki, teriyaki and Korean barbeque.
Many of my favourite childhood birthday party memories were had at Rinx, where roller-skating, laser tag, bowling, and bumper cars were all in one place. Joy? I think so. All these years later, Rinx seems exactly the same (though perhaps in need of a fresh coat of paint), with new additions including Human Foosball. Rinx also has billiards, ice-skating, and glow-in-the-dark mini golf.
Orfus Wrap & Grill
Orfus Wrap & Grill offers Middle Eastern fare in a little space with remarkably high ceilings. The menu includes everything you'd expect including falafel, shawarma, kebobs, and tabbouleh salad, but also beef burgers, chicken burgers and baklava for dessert. Everything at Orfus Wrap & Grill is also Halal.
I Saw That on TV
While this one may border on that Orfus-tackiness line, a shop that offers the Slap Chop, Bumpit, and Jack LaLanne Power Juicer all in one space, and all at a discount, is just too good to pass over. I Saw That on TV also sells the Easy Feet foot exfoliater ("No more bending to clean your feet!") the Aqua Globe, the EZ Magic Clipper, and lots of Dr-Ho's products. No more shipping and handling for you.
Noodle King is a Chinese restaurant that, despite its name, offers much more than just noodles. Past the orange brick tile wall and flowers and potted plans by the front entrance is a modest dining room where customers can enjoy their Cantonese Chow Mein, Moo Goo Gai Pan, and Hot and Sour Soup. Noodle King also offers some Thai dishes including Pad Thai and Beef Satay.
Marche Istanbul is a Turkish grocery store offering jams, candies, cheese, bulk spices--a little taste of everything imported straight from Turkey. The original Marche Istanbul first opened in Montreal, and both offer a good selection of olives, cookies and more, with some simple dishes also prepared in its on-site kitchen.
Jessica Cosmetic Nail and Beauty Supplies
While it's not much from the outside, this beauty supply shop is like a nail care haven, with everything you could ever possibly need to give yourself a perfect manicure. Along with professional pieces including massage chairs, foot tubs, and manicure tables, this store has endless shelves of nail tools, sponges, emery boards, polishes and glosses, as well as a wall of false nails in ever colour and size imaginable.
Katz's Deli and Corned Beef Emporium
Katz's is technically on Dufferin Street, but its proximity to Orfus Road and its tenacity for over-the-top compel me to consider it an honouree of the street. Katz's does its deli cafeteria-style, piling corned beef sandwiches tall and high with the obligatory coleslaw and pickle. Not exactly a beautiful space, but it's what's inside (the sandwich) that counts, right?
Download the blogTO iphone app to discover more places on and around Orfus Road. Here are some screenshots:
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