Scandinavian travel site is hilariously fascinated with Toronto's food scene
A Scandinavian travel site wrote up Toronto's food scene last week, and while they definitely get a lot of things right there are also some notes that are sure to tickle the funny bones of locals.
Scandinavian Traveler is the online magazine for Scandinavian Airlines, so basically a Scandinavian version of En Route.
Their post about how to "tempt your taste buds" with food in Toronto writes up "a truly international assortment of fine restaurants" and "some 'typically Canadian' restaurants too" and the results might be a little bit hilarious to people who actually live here.
First off, they start by shouting out St. Lawrence Market, undoubtedly a food gem in the city...but mostly recommend a stop at St-Urbain to get Montreal-style bagels.
While they may be "the best in the world" as they say, you're in Toronto, not Montreal! Scandinavians should stop off for a peameal sandwich at Carousel or Paddington's.
There's a glowing write-up of dim sum restaurant Lai Wah Heen before the article goes on to praise age-old Italian go-to Terroni, but they do mention, "It can get quite noisy, especially as the after-work crowd gathers," continuing, "but your attention will probably be on the food, drinks and people watching."
While "Alo is on the list of 100 top eateries in the world," they caution "it just might break the bank (yours) – if you're fortunate enough to get a reservation." Spadina Avenue is "rather scruffy" but don't worry, an elevator quickly transports you to the "chic bar, lounge and elegant dining room."
Lakeview Restaurant serves "star-studded peameal and poutine" in a quirky twist of slightly broken English, but at least peameal gets its due. Somewhat sadly, it "won't end up on any Michelin lists," but "has attracted big Hollywood names."
Their description of Lakeview's quintessentially Canadian menu is charming: "poutine (fries in gravy and cheese curds), and pancakes with maple syrup" and "'the 10th most unhealthy food ever' – a deep-fried Mars Bar."
In a section titled "Canadian beer, eh?" Mill Street is forced to serve as the epitome of all things Toronto craft beer, but they do mention that "Toronto is a city of breweries with microbreweries tucked away in some of the most eclectic and unexpected locations, each with its own loyal followers."
The grand finale capping off the article is Scaramouche, which is gushed over for its "very local Canadian ingredients" like Québec chicken and sustainably harvested Canadian caviar.
In true Scandinavian fashion, of course, the article ends with a note reminding travellers "to calculate for 13 per cent tax on top of the prices listed on restaurant menus – in addition to a tip of about 15 per cent."
Tipping isn't really the cultural norm in Europe, but consider being a little more generous, Scandinavian tourists: these great restaurants in our delicious city have been through a lot.
Hector Vasquez at Lakeview
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