Get to know a street: Rogers Road
Rogers Road between Dufferin and Weston is unlike many of the other streets featured in this series. To really appreciate the value of the street, you're going to have to do some walking. Or riding. That's because the shops and cafes that give the street its character--the sweet store, the old school barbershop, the Mexican joint--are separated by long strips of residential garages, auto body shops, and about a block or two of Prospect Cemetery. But many of the business are united still in their Latin American or Portuguese roots and unfussy nature. Think paper napkins and spicy food. Here are some places to check out on Rogers Road.
Rebozos' reputation precedes it as "The only way to eat Mexican food". Rebozos has two separate doors--one for the dining room with its red and white checked tablecloths, the other for takeout, which pretty much looks like a kitchen with menu boards. Both offer Teresa and Indalecio's famed burritos, tacos, and enchiladas.
Angel's Bakery & Deli
Angel's Bakery & Deli is a no-fuss shop with plenty of freshly baked goods, cheeses, breads, and deli items. There are many imported goods to explore, including Balacco wafers, pasta, and olive oils, but I seem to stride right past all of that and find myself in prepared food section (imagine that!). Angel's offers daily lunch specials including Meatball Mondays ($5.00) and Toonie Tuesdays where a pizza slice or panzerotti is two dollars.
With not enough room to lie down, a small woman emerges from a back room to show me around the shop. That pretty much means pivoting on the spot. Sweet Chocolate has lots of chocolates, candies, and baskets in store, and will also customize chocolate gifts for various occasions. My personal favourite? The chocolate telegram. Informative and delicious.
Rogers Music Centre
Rogers Music Centre may sound a little stuffy, but it's really just a cool little music store packed with guitars and shelves of drumsticks. The shop offers rentals, instrument sales, repairs, and restorations. Though Rogers sells drums, keyboards, and orchestral instruments, most of what's on the floor is guitars--Ibanez, Takamine, and Hamer, to name a few.
St Matthew's BBQ Chicken
Churrasquiera at its finest with a 1/4 chicken dinner at just $7.00. St Matthew's menu comes in both English and Portuguese for a little added authenticity, listing specialties including rotisserie chicken, spare ribs, chicken and shrimp patties and filet of fish. A real causal feel with lots of odds and ends on display.
Egas Barber Shop (469 Rogers Road)
Egas Barber Shop would be the total barbershop clichĂŠ if only it had a barber's pole hanging by the window. Instead, it has two signs: "Falamos Portugues" and "Se Habla Espanol." Three chairs, copies of the Toronto Sun and the Portuguese Sun, and one option on the service menu. Men's haircut $14.
The blue exterior and frosted waves in the window made me think "seafood," but Banaboia restaurant is all about authentic Portuguese cuisine. The white tablecloth restaurant offers mains such as grilled sea bass and steak risotto, as well as drunken pear and spiced baked apple for dessert. Stop by in the afternoon for an earful of the best of televised Portuguese game shows.
This one is in a strip mall just off of Rogers road, but it keeps with the unspoken Rogers road mantra of casual and cultural. Seara offers lots of Portuguese eats including its signature natas (custard tarts) and Francesinha sandwiches, as well as breads, buns, pastries, and cakes. And for something else authentically Portuguese, Seara keeps lots of boxes of Chocapic cereal on hand for sale.
Download the blogTO iphone app to discover more places on and around Rogers Road. Here are some screenshots:
Previously in this series:
Do you have any suggestions for overlooked streets you think we should feature on this site? Please send suggestions to streets [at] blogto [dotcom].
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