Enjoy one of a kind burgers at Holy Chuck!

 

Have you noticed the gourmet burger trend in Toronto? It could almost be called a movement. Basically it’s a trend of making outstanding burgers readily available and has been pioneered by burger joints that promise unprocessed, real burgers that taste the way a burger should taste. One of the original establishments to lead the charge of burger brigade was Holy Chuck. They opened their first restaurant back in September of 2011 and have since opened two more locations. We spoke with the no-bull founder of Holy Chuck, Johnny Prassoulis, to find out what separates them from the herd.

 

Photo credit: Holy Chuck

Photo credit: Holy Chuck

 

So Johnny, what do you enjoy most about being a chef?

 

Watching other people eat my food and enjoy it. There’s no bigger pleasure than that.

 

What made you choose to specialize in gourmet burgers after coming up in high end restaurants?

 

I’ve always loved burgers. They’ve always been one of my favourite foods. And nobody — I shouldn’t say nobody — but almost nobody was doing them properly. Most commercially available burgers have been overcooked, processed and it’s been pretty much cr** for many, many years. And I think a burger is one of the most enjoyable things to eat. It’s also one of the most difficult things to make properly. And that’s why I did it.

 

So when you started, did you want to ensure your burgers were prepared following certain methods using certain ingredients?

 

I mean, for personal taste, yeah. I think burgers should be cooked no more than medium – at the most. But I think a good burger should have great flavour, nothing added to it, and be juicy. Definitely juicy. Because I think that’s one thing that lacks in most burgers, because burgers are over processed and there are so many additives, fillers… they’re frozen, not fresh. That whole juicy element and the flavour element has just gone out the window.

 

There is a lot of competition in the gourmet burger joint field these days. How do you separate yourself from the new brands that keep coming up?

 

Yeah, I’d definitely say that we were one of the pioneers in this whole burger trend, that’s for sure. I think one thing that we still do, that nobody else does, is we actually have our grinder right at the front and we grind our beef right in front of the customers pretty much hourly. So, it’s one thing to say that you have fresh beef, and it’s another thing for it to be seen.

 

Everything is homemade in our restaurant, pretty much — except for our onion rings. We do everything from scratch. And we still maintain the same quality and the same values as when we first started. I know a lot of places — they start of doing something, and then they get recognized and they kind of start changing things. Maybe doing things that are little bit more cost effective, which is not a bad thing but I think it’s a bad thing when it starts interfering with quality. So we’re pretty strict with how we serve our burgers and what goes on them, stuff like that. It’s what we’re proud of and we just don’t want to be like everyone else.

 

I know a lot of people get upset when they come in and they want to add certain things to certain burgers. Our Holy Duck Burger ($31.99), we don’t even allow it out of the restaurant. Because it will lose its… it will lose its taste. It’s foie gras. There are certain elements to that burger that have to be eaten right there, on the spot. I’ve gotten orders for like 30 foie gras burgers at one time, which is like a $900 order, but I turned it down because they wanted it to go.

 

Wow, that’s dedication! Is that the only burger on the menu that you can’t get ‘to go’?

 

Yes. The foie gras burger and the foie gras poutine and the foie gras pancakes are the only items that are not allowed ‘to go’.

 

Noted! Do you have a favourite burger on your menu?

 

My foie gras burger. Yeah.

 

What’s the most popular menu item or combo at Holy Chuck?

 

My Holy Chuck Burger ($10.49 with caramelized onions and bacon, please don’t ask for toppings) is right now my number one seller, at all three of my restaurants.

 

Photo Credit: Holy Chuck

Photo Credit: Holy Chuck

 

If you’re looking for a real burger, ground fresh right before your eyes, you owe it to yourself to give Holy Chuck a try. Taste the difference the uncompromising commitment to quality makes — just don’t ask for the foie gras burger ‘to go’!

 

Greenrock Property Management loves to help you connect with your community and all that it has to offer. There are Holy Chuck locations near two Greenrock Communities. Their original location is at 1451 Yonge Street, by Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue). The newest location is at 586 Yonge Street, right near Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street). There is also a third Holy Chuck location at 4421 Hwy 7 in Woodbridge. For more information on Greenrock Communities across Toronto, please visit our website.

 

 

Discover Revitalized Grange Park in Toronto

 

After 15 months of construction, the newly renovated and revitalized Grange Park is now open to the public. This two-hectare green space in the city’s downtown core was originally part of the Grange estate, built in 1820 by the Boulton family. In 1910, the estate was bequeathed to the newly founded Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). The museum and the City of Toronto agreed to use the land south of Grange House as a public park. The park was expanded in the mid 1970’s to its present size.

 

Photo credit: @GrangeTO

Photo credit: @GrangeTO

 

On July 10th, 2017, Grange Park officially reopened after a stunning transformation, to offer a sustainable, inner city green space for everyone to enjoy.

 

“The revitalized Grange Park is simply spectacular. Full stop. Grange Park is more than a neighbourhood park. It will be a destination for residents from across our city and beyond ” City Councillor Joe Cressy, Trinity-Spadina.

 

Photo credit: @GrangeTO

Photo credit: @GrangeTO

 

Responding to the vision created by the local community, the award-winning Canadian planning, urban design and landscape architecture firm PFS Studio was brought in to design the project. The ensure lasting beauty for future generations, 80 new trees were planted including horse chestnut, beech and oak. There is also an expanded great lawn and pastoral grove area, an off-leash dog park, perennial beds and a sustainable auto-irrigation system.

 

Photo credit: @GrangeTO

Photo credit: @GrangeTO

 

Visitors will also appreciate the new park furniture, and LED lighting, new public washrooms and the decorative and interactive water features.

 

Photo credit: @GrangeTO

Photo credit: @GrangeTO

 

To help celebrate the history of Grange Park and its location at the AGO, the expanded children’s play area is customized with unique equipment and shapes, including paint palettes, paint cans and crumpled paper, designed to inspire and celebrate creativity.

 

The project was made possible due to the shared vision and partnership of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the local community and the support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.

“The Grange community will benefit enormously from the revitalization of Grange Park,” said President of the Grange Community Association, Ralph Daley. “This wonderful outcome is due in large part to the dedication and sense of community shown by the residents and institutional representatives on GPAC. Our community thanks you.”

Greenrock Property Management wants to help you discover Toronto. For information on our Greenrock Communities throughout Toronto, including Village Green 50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street, please visit our website.

The best pubs near Church and Wellesley

 

It’s summer in Toronto and that means it’s a great time to grab a pint at your favourite local pub. Whether you are looking to make the most of patio season, play some pool, or just hang out with friends and enjoy some good food, Greenrock wants to help make things easier. Here are some of the best pubs near Church and Wellesley (in no particular order).

 

Photo credit: The Artful Dodger Pub

Photo credit: The Artful Dodger Pub

 

Artful Dodger Pub

 

If you’re looking for a comfy tavern with a small town feel in the heart of the big city, you have to visit the Artful Dodger Pub (10 Isabella Street). They have a great selection of beer and pub fare. Enjoy your pint with some fried pickles ($5.50), potato skins ($6.00) or a Scotch Egg – a deep fried, hard-boiled egg wrapped in hot Italian sausage($6.50). The Artful Dodger is like two pubs in one. You can raise a glass to summer on the quiet back patio, or people watch on the busy front patio. When winter comes, cozy up inside by either of their 2 fireplaces. The downstairs bar is quiet and relaxing, while the bar upstairs in a little more lively. There are also 2 jukeboxes, 2 pool tables and 2 dartboards. It’s almost too much fun!

Photo credit: TorontoPubs

Photo credit: TorontoPubs

 

Duke Of Gloucester

 

Sometimes nothing but a delightful dive-bar will do. The Duke Of Gloucester (649A Yonge Street, between Church and Isabella) has a solid beer selection at reasonable prices — which can be as refreshing as the suds themselves when you’re surrounded by more expensive options. Maybe it’s not the spot to bring your mom for a Sunday brunch, but you can catch a soccer game on TV — from MLS to Premiership. Kick back on the hidden-gem that is The Duke of Gloucester’s rooftop patio. There’s a pool table and dart boards to make it even more fun, plus Pubstumpers trivia on Thursdays, and karaoke nights too!

Photo Credit: The Churchmouse

Photo Credit: The Churchmouse

 

The Churchmouse: A Firkin Pub

 

The Churchmouse: A Firkin Pub (475 Church St) is a part of the Firkin chain, but this 2 storey pub feels like a local spot. They’re known for their friendly staff and great service. They have a good selection of local and international beers including their own Butler’s Pale Ale and they always impress in the pub fare department. Try one of their daily specials or go for one of their classic meals like the Chicken Curry (Small $11 / Large $17), Steak and Chips ($22) or their Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Baked Penne ($16). There’s also a great people-watching patio.

 

We hope you make the most of patio season at one of these amazing pubs near Church and Wellesley. Cheers!

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to help you connect with your community. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities, including the quiet oasis in the heart of the city at Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

Save big at Hone Fitness!

 

Fitness is a booming business. There seems to be no limit to what you can spend on workout wear, supplements and expensive gym memberships. Getting fit and staying in shape doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you prefer to keep it simple and affordable, you have to check out Hone Fitness (7 Isabella Street) near our Village Green rental community. The gym chain is a pioneer in the low-cost gym movement that is now gaining momentum in Toronto. We spoke with Jim, the manager of Hone Fitness, to find out how they do it.

 

Our gym offers memberships for just $10 and $20 per month. We’re able to offer memberships for such a low price point because we keep it simple — our gym has no towels and no classes.

 

Photo credit: Hone Fitness

Photo credit: Hone Fitness

 

Hone Fitness already has a few gym locations located across Toronto, with plans to open even more locations as soon as possible.

 

Hone Fitness already has a few gym locations located across Toronto, with plans to open even more locations as soon as possible.

 

Photo credit: Hone Fitness

Photo credit: Hone Fitness

 

Housed in the former home of The Yonge Street Fitness Club, the Isabella location of Hone Fitness is impressive. When you step inside, the first level features a welcoming reception area, massage chairs, tanning beds and a juice bar. On the second level you’ll find clean change rooms with lots of lockers and the gym’s cardio equipment. There are about 170 machines, all in good condition. The space itself is open and welcoming. There’s lots of natural light from the large windows overlooking Yonge Street, and charming exposed brick walls.

 

All of our equipment is brand new, and our space is gorgeous and remodeled. It’s a $100/month style gym that you can get for just $10 a month. Its not a low end gym, its beautiful.

 

Photo credit: Hone Fitness

Photo credit: Hone Fitness

 

The third floor is filled with strength training equipment. There are weight machines, benches, squat racks and plenty of free weights to use. The gym attracts trained athletes and younger people who know what they’re doing, as well as those who are still learning.

 

We get a very diverse crowd here, but the area is young, our gym reflects the neighbourhood. We offer personal training for an additional cost, but you get a one hour free chat with a trainer when you join.

 

Photo credit: Hone Fitness

Photo credit: Hone Fitness

 

That free training session is included in the basic $10/month membership plan (plus an enrollment fee and a yearly maintenance fee). The basic membership gives you access to strength and cardio equipment, and the locker rooms. The $20 premium membership gets you all that plus use of all locations, access to the Functional Training Room, tanning beds and massage chairs. There are also more flexible plans to accommodate those with commitment issues.

 

If you’re looking for short term membership options we are very flexible. You can buy a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 month package, or a one year membership. We offer very reasonable prices for the shorter stays to accommodate students and travelers.

 

So if you want to get fit without breaking the bank in downtown Toronto, Hone Fitness is worth every penny.

 

Greenrock Property Management wants to help connect you with your community. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities, including Village Green (located at 50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street),  please visit our website.

 

 

Make your brunch dreams come true at Brownstone Bistro

 

Brownstone Bistro (603 Yonge Street), on the corner of Yonge and Gloucester, has been a fixture of the Yonge and Wellesley neighbourhood for over 20 years. The brownstone building the restaurant is housed in is a designated heritage building that dates back to 1888. The architecture gives Brownstone Bistro a ton of character and a major advantage over the other establishments in the area in terms of ambiance. If you haven’t been, you should go.

 

photo courtesy of Brownstone Bistro

photo courtesy of Brownstone Bistro

 

We asked owner and manager Kai Yu about the secret to the restaurant’s longevity and success.

 

The secret to Brownstone Bistro’s success is our continuous focus and improvement on food quality, customers satisfaction and dining environment. We love the neighborhood. It is our customers that keep on inspiring us in this industry. We love being a part of their lives and memories.

 

photo courtesy of Brownstone Bistro

photo courtesy of Brownstone Bistro

 

As soon as you step into the bistro’s elegant interior — with its exposed brick walls, black tabletops and soft lighting — you know that you are somewhere special. The restaurant is known for its Italian-inspired casual fine dining and their popular weekend brunch.

 

If you like to drink while you dine, you’ll love that Brownstone Bistro’s drink menu features a nice selection of domestic and imported beers on tap, plus cool cocktails, and wines by the glass or bottle. Make the most of the warm weather on their sunny corner patio overlooking Yonge Street. It’s a fantastic spot for people watching.

 

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict - Photo courtesy of Brownstone Bistro

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict – Photo courtesy of Brownstone Bistro

 

You can’t go wrong with any items on Brownstone Bistro’s brunch menu. If you want decadence, try their Eggs Benedict with Norwegian Smoked Salmon, goat cheese & capers ($14) or for something really over the top, try their Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon with peppercorn hollandaise ($17). If you’re more of a traditional breakfast lover you’ll be happy to know that the menu features many staples like their New York Steak & Eggs which comes with sautéed mushrooms, 2 large eggs any style and toast ($16.95) or The Big Brownstone Breakfast with 3 large eggs any style with toast, ham, bacon and Italian sausage ($13.95). If you’re after a brunch item you can’t easily make for yourself, there are amazing omelettes, frittatas, and crêpes to choose from — including their delicious Shrimp and Béchamel Crepe ($15.95) and much more.

 

Pay a visit to the Brownstone Bistro this summer — it’s about time you let them make your brunch dreams come true!

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to help connect you to the unique flavour of your community. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street, 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

 

 

The Comfort Hotel Downtown: A suite spot for visiting family and friends

 

Having friends or family visit from out of town can be a great experience, especially when everyone has their own space. Hosting a friend or family member at your apartment for a day or two is easy enough, but for longer stays and larger groups, a nearby hotel may be a better choice.

 

The Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown (15 Charles Street East) is less than a 10 minute walk from Village Green. That means it’s “located centrally in Toronto and steps away from the Bloor-Yonge subway station”, as Andrea Petrak, Hotel & Sales Executive for Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown, tells us.

Photo credit: The Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown

Photo credit: The Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown

 

The subway provides easy access to everything the city has to offer. Catch a game or concert at the Air Canada Centre, or see a show at Ed Mirvish Theatre, The Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre or the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. The Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown is  also “located close to Yorkville, the best area for shopping, restaurants and entertainment.”

 

Photo credit: The Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown

Photo credit: The Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown

 

Above all, you want your loved ones to be comfortable and well taken care of.

 

At the Comfort Hotel Toronto the staff is key. Our entire team goes above and beyond during every interaction with our guests to ensure that their stay is a relaxing and refreshing stay. – Andrea Petrak, Hotel & Sales Executive for Comfort Hotel

 

The hotel’s newly renovated rooms and suites will ensure a pleasant stay for your visitors. All rooms include cable TV, a coffee maker, an iron and ironing board. Wireless high-speed internet and guest laundry facility are also available. Guests can even request valet cleaning service. The Comfort Hotel has the quality, convenience and amenities to make every stay a memorable one. As Ms. Petrak tells us:

 

Our location is one of our best amenities. We are in the heart of Toronto, surrounded by restaurants, shopping, parks and transit to take our guests anywhere they wish to go. Once our renovations are complete we will also have a fantastic restaurant and lounge to offer our guests a place to congregate and relax.

 

Photo credit: The Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown

Photo credit: The Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown

 

When friends and family come to visit, you can rest easy knowing that they are resting comfortably. Treat your loved ones to the convenience of The Comfort Hotel Toronto Downtown, in the heart of the downtown Toronto community.

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to connect you with your community. For information on our Greenrock Rental Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street, 55 Maitland Street), pleasevisit our website.

 

 

Share an exotic meal at Ethiopian House

 

The Yonge and Wellesley neighbourhood in downtown Toronto is a vibrant and diverse area where there is always something new to discover. It’s a truly walkable neighbourhood full of bars, interesting shops and exotic restaurants.Ethiopian House is shining example of the diverse food available in the area. It’s a family business that has been a fixture in the neighbourhood for over 20 years! Ethiopian cuisine traditionally consists of a lot of vegetable curries, from mild to spicy, and very spicy meat dishes, served in dollops on top of a spongy sourdough flatbread called injera which is made from fermented teff flour. The flatbread is torn by hand and used to scoop up the curries. It’s incredibly delicious and very healthy! If you’re tempted to try Ethiopian fare but don’t know where to start, we are here to help! Trying a new-to-you cuisine can feel intimidating, so we spoke with Mohammed Haddis owner of Ethiopian House, for his best advice to help you add a little spice and variety to your life.

 

So Mohammed, how long have you been in business in the Yonge and Wellesley neighbourhood?

 

Since 1996. It was my brother in law’s idea. We wanted to be in the center of town to introduce Ethiopian cooking to more people, to be more inclusive.

 

It certainly worked! What keeps your customers coming back for more after all these years?

 

The ambiance, the food definitely. We take care of our customers. We’re on the reasonable side for pricing, but we are also consistent and the food is good here. The ambiance has to be great for people to keep coming back.

 

Some of our readers may be new to Ethiopian food. What dishes do you recommend for first-timers?

 

It all depends, really. There are vegetarian options and meat options. If you are vegetarian, we suggest the Vegetarian Combo. My favourite curry is Shiro Wat, a chickpea curry.

If you are a meat eater we hope you’ll try the Meat Combo. We serve 8 curries in the Vegetarian Combo, and the Meat Combo features both vegetarian and meat dishes.

photo credit: Ethiopian House

photo credit: Ethiopian House

 

Ethiopian food is great to share, what shareable menu options do you recommend for couples and groups?

 

The Sharing Platter on our menu can be shared easily. We also have a delicious chicken stew which is great for sharing, it’s great paired with a veggie combo to share.

 

photo credit: Ethiopian House

photo credit: Ethiopian House

 

That all sounds delicious! Please tell us about the Ethiopian coffee ceremony that you offer.

 

We offer a great coffee ceremony, if you have the time and the company to enjoy it it is a very nice ceremony.

 

Is there a proper technique for eating Ethiopian food?

 

Yes and no, if you are looking at traditional culture we use the right hand to eat for religious and hygienic reasons but if you’re a lefty, you’re a lefty. The most important thing is that you enjoy the food. It’s fun to eat with your hands, but we do have cutlery if you need it. Injera is traditionally eaten for every meal. We offer takeout for large and small groups. We do catering as well for parties and events. We’re here to offer a bit of our culture in Toronto.


The Yonge and Wellesley community is fueled by its diverse and inclusive culture. The variety of flavours available here is hard to match. If you’re looking to spice up your life and engage in all that this neighbourhood has to offer, pay a visit a to the Ethiopian House at 4 Irwin Avenue. Their comfortable, welcoming  and unassuming atmosphere will make you feel right at home and offer you an exotic experience at the same time.


Greenrock Property Management is proud to help connect you with your community. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street) pleasevisit our website today.

NXNE Port Lands is back!

There’s never been a better time to be a music lover in Toronto! NXNE Port Lands music festival is back for its second great year. They’ve added an extra day to pack in as much music as possible. Featuring 30 acts representing the best in indie rock, hip hop and soul, this year’s festival will take place from Friday, June 23rd to Sunday, June 25th at the Port Lands (Pier 35 off of Cherry Street). Get your tickets while you can!


“Since our inception, NXNE has proudly built up the reputation of curating a festival that always includes a strong element of discovery.” says Michael Hollett, President and Managing Director of NXNE. “With this year’s Port Lands lineup, we have brought together some of the biggest performers in the world, as well as a fantastic group of artists who are about to be launched into the musical stratosphere.”

Photo credit: @NXNE


NXNE Portlands features three days of non-stop music on two stages. Headliners include Passion Pit, KAYTRANADA and Post Malone. Some multi-day summer music festivals mean standing out in the blazing sun, paying a steep price for something as basic as water, and having little else to do if you’re not into the band that’s performing. NXNE Port Lands solves all of these problems. The festival goes out of its way to ensure lots of shade and seating, limitless free water, tons of food trucks, stand up comedy, plus a carnival midway with rides and games, art installations and much more!

Photo credit: @NXNE


If you’re looking for a fun way to get out of the sun, visit the Stand Up Comedy Tent. It’s programmed by the pros at Comedy Bar and features some of the best up and coming comedians. When hunger strikes, take a tour of the many food trucks featuring everything from ice cream from Heavenly Dreams, to local and sustainable braised lamb sandwiches at the Heirloom, and everything in between. You may want to check out the midway rides before you eat. Climb atop the twirling Paratrooper ride, check out the music, and snap some great pictures from the top of the ferris wheel or challenge yourself with some carnival games like Long Range Basketball, Tubs of Fun, Dragon Darts, Cover the Spot or Mini B-ball. Whatever you choose to do, boredom is definitely not an option.

Photo credit: @NXNE


Summer always seems to fly by before you know it. Make the most of the sunny weather this year and have as much fun as you can! The NXNE Port Lands music festival is the perfect way to kick off the season. Single day tickets are available, but for the best value opt for weekend-long general admission or VIP passes. This year you also have the option of leaving your wallet at home thanks to their new comfortable-to-wear cloth chipped wristband. The band allows you to get through lines faster while not having to carry any cash. You can enable a credit card when you sign up with your wristband. Up to two wristbands can be added to the same card.


Getting to the Port Lands site is easy. It’s located off Cherry Street at Pier 35,  just south of the Gardiner and the Distillery District. There is regular TTC service and free valet bike parking on site! Two major bike trails meet at the Port Lands — the Lower Don Recreation Trail (North-South) and the Martin Goodman Trail (East-West). If want to drive, there is also plenty of parking.


If you make it out to NXNE Port Lands this year, we hope you have a great festival experience!


Greenrock Property Management wants to connect you with your city and your community. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, please visit our website

Cafe California: A Neighbourhood Gem

 

A fixture in the heart of the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, Cafe California (538 Church Street) has been serving the community with a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes for over 20 years. Only an exceptional and special kind of place could last this long in an industry that seems to constantly crave the next new thing. Is it the food? The martini bar? The friendly staff? Maybe it’s the eclectic Mediterranean decor, or the sunny solarium that keeps people coming back for more. It’s hard to tell, but the restaurant is doing something right.

 

Photo courtesy of Cafe California

Photo courtesy of Cafe California

 

We spoke with General Manager, Bob Parsons, to see if he could put his finger on what sets Cafe California apart. We asked him about the vibe of the place.

 

It really depends on which seating we’re doing. We welcome all walks of life, it’s warm and inviting, kind of like a Cheers. We attract everyone from young people to seniors at different times of day.

 

The vibe fluctuates depending on the time of day and is influenced by the presence of the patrons. It’s truly a place for everyone because the customers create the atmosphere. The restaurant manages to stay ahead of new trends while remaining true to its Mediterranean roots. As Bob tells us:

 

Our food is definitely what brings people back year after year. Our menu has a very wide range and our customer service is excellent.

 

So, it is the food! Could it be that simple? Maybe. We asked Bob if there was a certain dish that a first time guest should try. Something that defines what Cafe California is.

 

It really depends on your food preferences, we have something for everyone though. Like for example, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll love our salads. Our menu changes a lot and there’s really nothing on our menu that I could remove. People love the quality and the quantity of our menu items. People come for our salads in the summer season — the Capri is my favourite. Our California salad is massive — most people share the small size — and it’s a great salad to try because it’s got a bit of everything. Every seating draws a different crowd to the restaurant. We really serve the entire neighbourhood — they love the food and the service they get here.

 

It seems that the secret to Cafe California’s success is both simple and indefinable. The accessibility of the food seems to have a lot to do with it, as does the inviting atmosphere and the vibe of the place. We think it might be the restaurant’s authenticity that brings people back year after year. The feeling of people dedicated to doing what they do best, with as much enthusiasm as possible. Day in, day out. That authenticity has made Cafe California a neighbourhood gem, and a fixture of the Church and Wellesley community for over twenty years. If you haven’t had the pleasure, come in to see and taste it for yourself.


Greenrock Property Management is dedicated to connecting you with your community. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

 

 

Order like a pro at Kintaro Izakaya

 

One of the greatest things about living in Toronto is diversity. A great way to familiarize yourself with a different culture is through food. Trying new cuisines is always an exciting experience, but it can also be an intimidating one. If your knowledge of Japanese cuisine is limited to sushi, you need to pay a visit to Kintaro Izakaya in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood.

 

photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

“Kintaro Izakaya brings the authentic Japanese tapas experience to the door steps of downtown Toronto” says William Shin, Manager. We asked him to give us a crash course in Izakaya cuisine to help you order like a pro the next time you visit Kintaro Izakaya.

 

So William, what is izakaya cuisine?

 

“I” (to stay) + “sakaya” (sake house) = Izakaya

Our specialties include a wide range of yakitori dishes (charcoal grilled skewers), sushi, ramen and traditional Japanese appetizers that perfectly accompany our extensive drink selection. Stay at our sake house to be immersed in the atmosphere with great conversations, food and drinks!


For newbies, what menu items are most popular at your restaurant and what drinks go well with them?


Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Our “must try” dish is Ebi Mayo. A delicious dish of deep fried prawns layered with spicy mayo, house-made tartar sauce, and crispy shallots. It is best paired with: Sapporo/Asahi beers, Kikusui Sake (Junmao Ginjo), Ozeki Karatamba Sake (Honjozo), and Kubota Senju Sake (Honjozo).

 

Sounds delicious! What other menu items do you recommend?


Some of our other delicious menu items are:


photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Maguro tataki. This is a beautiful serving of seared Pacific Bluefin Tuna with a ponzu drizzle, garnished with scallions, served with a side house salad. It is best paired with: Tamano Hikari Sake (Junmai Daiginjo); Gekkeikan Black & Gold Sake (Blended); and Miyanoyuki Sake (Junmai Ginjo).


Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Set A & Set B (Grilled Skewers). This menu item is a combination of 5 different skewer selections. It is perfect for first timers who would like to try a variety of grilled items. Sets include a combination of Chicken, Beef, Pork, Seafood, Bacon and Vegetable. It is best paired with: Sapporo/Asahi Beers; Kubota Senju Sake (Honjozo); and Hakkaisan Tokubetsu Sake (Honjozo)

 

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Premium Sashimi Set. This dish is 15 pieces of assorted sashimi, including selections from our premium menu. It is best paired with: Nanbu Bijin Sake(Junmai Ginjo); Miyanoyuki Sake (Junami Ginjo); and Gekkeikan Black & Gold Sake (Blended).

 

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Yuke. This dish features lightly seasoned raw beef tenderloin garnished with scallions and quail egg, served with a side house salad. It is best paired with: Sapporo/Asahi Beers and Otokoyama Tokubetsu Sake (Junmai).


That’s a lot of great menu options and drink pairings! Thank you, William. How would you describe the atmosphere at Kintaro?


Kintaro Izakaya is a cozy family owned japanese restaurant with an authentic japanese feel. A “sake house” to be immersed in the atmosphere with great conversations, food, music and drinks!


Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

We hope this interview takes the guesswork out of your Kintaro Izakaya experience! Now that you know what to order and what each specialty item pairs well with, the work is done! Pay a visit to Kintaro Izakaya (459 Church Street) to experience the bold flavours of your culturally rich community.

 

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