The Dish



Eastern Promises: hearty, meaty, carb-heavy Eastern European food is Toronto’s next big comfort cuisine

The Way We Eat Now: Eastern Promises

Wvrst Sausage Hall on King West

In the ’60s, Toronto had a bustling Eastern European food scene. Polish, Hungarian and German immigrants opened up humble cafés and grocery stores along Schnitzel Row (the stretch of Bloor between Spadina and Bathurst), in Kensington Market and on Roncesvalles Avenue, servicing mostly the expat community, and a few WASPs who fancied themselves adventurous for ordering fried chicken livers or cabbage rolls. By the ’80s, much of that first wave of Eastern Europeans had retired to the suburbs, taking their goulash and spaetzle with them (RIP Hungarian Goulash Party Tavern). The remaining downtown restaurants, like The Prague on Queen West, have turned into haunts for hungover students scarfing cheap smoked salmon palacinky or doughy pierogies.

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The Informer



Doug Ford calls Rob Ford’s wife a “Polack”

(Images: Rob Ford and Doug Ford, Christopher Drost)

On Sunday’s episode of Rob and Doug Ford’s radio show, the mayor came off as restrained and temperate—compared with his brother. Barely five minutes had passed before Doug dropped an ethnic slur, referring to Rob’s wife, Renata, as “the Polack” while discussing which Euro Cup teams they were rooting for. Later, after a number of callers accused Rob of failing to work with council, Doug proposed a mayoral veto to circumvent pesky council decisions, an idea that Rob immediately quashed. The mayor also let out a murmured “Oh boy” in response to Doug’s jokes about the possibility of homeless plastic bag hawkers, and an exasperated sigh at his announcement that anybody who likes streetcars shouldn’t bother calling in. At the end of the show, Doug, who is notoriously gaffe-prone, did apologize for the “Polack” comment—and then said Rob was going home to his “Polish princess,” which is nearly as stomach-churning. [Toronto Star]

The Dish

Food TV


Q&A with Lisa Ray, the new host of Top Chef Canada, on the joys and perils of eating for a living

(Image: Top Chef Canada/Insight Productions)

Yesterday we told you that actress and former model Lisa Ray had been pegged to replace Thea Andrews as host of Top Chef Canada. We caught up today with the 39-year-old Torontonian to try to pry some secrets about the second season, which airs March 12 on Food Network Canada. For the most part, we failed. Still, Ray did tell us a bit about working with Mark McEwan, turning into a professional eater and learning about food on the job. Read our Q&A with her after the jump.

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