Get to know a street: West Eglinton West
West Eglinton West may not actually exist (yet) as a Toronto regional phrase, but its lack of incredibly marked-up garage sale furniture and hopelessly redundant stark white galleries (no hate, West Queen West, I swear) deem it deserving of at least some recognition. The area I'm talking about specifically is combination of two; Fairbank Village at Eglinton between Dufferin and Chamberlain, and Eglinton Hill a bit further west between Kane and Bicknell.
Combined they offer literally everything; from leggings hanging off suspended mannequins to all sorts of groceries and regional cuisines. There are appliance stores, travel agencies, pubs, antiques, and even a full car dealership; but despite their differences, they all share one, refreshing thing in common. That is, a total lack of pretension. Yeah the paint's peeing, yeah that purple sofa is pretty ugly, and yes, we eat white rice 'cause it tastes good. And those plastic forks? From Costco. Never change, West Eglinton West.
Some spots to check out on a totally pretension-free trip to WEW:
Filipino in Toronto
Filipino in Toronto is a Filipino grocery store and restaurant-ish-thing if you count the table at the back positioned toward an old TV. The table is ostensibly for customers to sit and enjoy the eats from the shop's hot table, which includes items such as Menudo, Pinakbet, and Tilapia. There's also lots of snacks and pantry items, as well as a small bakery section.
Rica Arepa is a no-fuss Latin American restaurant sporting red and silver dinette sets like they aren't out of style. The signature dish is obviously the Arepa, filled with beef, chicken, or vegetables. Rica Arepa also offers Empanadas, Mandocas, Chicharron, and more.
Koko's Thai Cuisine
Koko's Thai Cuisine offers Halal Thai food in a moderately posh environment...cloth napkins in glasses, and all that jazz. The restaurant offers mostly four-seater tables and a traditional Thai menu that includes dishes such as pad thai, curries, soups, and satays.
Tinnel's is known to have some of the best Jamaican patties in Toronto. This spot on Eglinton, which is actually one of four in the GTA, is appropriately decked out in yellow and green, always swarming with people hungry for one of Tinnel's veggie, chicken, or beef patties. Uh, and the other dishes, of course.
Costa Verde BBQ Chicken
Costa Verde BBQ Chicken is a favourite churrasqueira for the area, not only because its prices are more than reasonable. A typical takeout place with overhead menus and trays of steaming foods, Costa Verde offers a bit of the unexpected along with its BBQ chicken, not the least of which includes spinach lasagna and veal sandwiches. Perhaps Uncle Vinny has taken a part-time job behind the counter.
Just off of Eglinton, this pizza place reminds of that ubiquitous chain with its old-school checkered orange and white exterior, unabashedly advertising its product to those all around. The menu is split pretty evenly between chicken and pizza, with a run-of-the-mill slice or panzo combo ringing in at $4.99. Ignore grandma's basement furniture in the dining area.
Irie Veggie has ample square-footage, but I suppose more than one or two tables might get in the way, right? The food is veggie-Caribbean, available in two sizes with options of callaloo, okra, porridge, rice, peas, and more. Fresh sugar cane juice is on the menu as well, as long as you don't mind a bit of a glacial-pace reception.
Image Beauty Supply Warehouse
I'm sure Image Beauty Supply Warehouse must be terrifying at night, especially when a full moon hits those endless rows of wig-clad heads. During the daytime it's a little less ominous, stocked with everything from hair irons to shampoos, relaxers, styling products, and the odd makeup kit. Among the seemingly-out-of-place offerings: frying pans, DVD movies, and spices.
Triple Triple Pizza and Chicken
Perhaps just to stick it to those punks at Double Double, Triple Triple offers a "famous deal" of three pizzas, which also includes wings, pieces of chicken, fries, veggie sticks, garlic bread, salad, and a 2L pop. For $24.99. Needless to say, this tiny takeout spot offers some pretty fantastic prices for its meal deals, along with its sopping orders of poutine listed at just $2.50.
Previously in this series:
The Village of Islington
Lake Shore Boulevard
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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