The best of 2010 according to …

If you could re-live any meal you had this year, which one would it be? Where did you go? What did you order?

If I could afford 10 bucks for lunch everyday, I’d re-live the New Bilan Restaurant like Groundhog day. Here’s my review. It says it all…

I’m sure everyone’s tried Ethiopian food. The one plate serving that you all share and eat with your hands. But what about Somalian? The country to the east has culinary delights as well. Check out the New Bilan Restaurant on Dundas Street, a couple of steps east of Jarvis. I always order the Goat plate because I love me some goat. $8.00 (tax included) gets you soup, goat, rice, potatoes, jug of juice (mango or watermelon), a banana, ginger tea and of course a small bowl of awesome tasting hot sauce. Other choices are fish and chicken steak. You can also substitute rice with chipati or pasta. It has a backpack style internet cafe to boot. Oh by the way, I always leave $10 bucks. They deserve it.

If $5,000 magically appeared in your bank account and you only had 24 hours to blow it all, how would you spend it? Where would you go? What would you eat/buy?

I’d feast at Nataraj for Indian buffet and then I’d walk a few steps west to Curbside Bikes and pick up an Abici Amante Uomo for $1700 from Curbside Bikes. I spend the rest on Bixi memberships for all City Councillors without bicycles. Maybe this way, we can improve cycling infrastructure and get more cars off the road. Less cars means more room for cyclists and for our friends outside the core, who have no choice but to drive into the city. Let’s bridge the divide, please.

What’s the one thing you bought this year that you’ve gotten the most mileage from? Where did you buy it?

Has to be my iPad. Hated reading on my mobile and now I never do, thanks to the large screen of Apple’s latest tablet. I actually bought it at the downtown Future Shop. The Apple rep knew his stuff and was a pleasure to deal with. He was actually a lot more knowledgeable than the folks at the Apple flagship store in the Eaton Centre.

If neither calories nor dollar bills mattered, where would you go for your last meal of 2010 and what would you order?

I’ve never understood why anyone would pay an exorbitant amount of money for a meal.  It shouldn’t have to break the bank. Why should someone not be able to taste a great meal because they can’t afford it? However since as you say, “dollar bills don’t matter”, I’d invite a full streetcar of commuters heading East on Gerrard to Bach Yen Vietnamese Restaurant at Gerrard and Howland Rd. It’s a small family run establishment just a little past Chinatown East. Ka the owner is fantastic and hospitable. His wife prepares the magic in the kitchen. You can come for the pho. It’s great, but I prefer and recommend the Vietnamese pancakes, spring rolls and the marinated beef wrapped in either spinach or bacon. Your choice of vermicelli or rice.

Out of all the places you’ve reviewed this year, which one do you wish could set up shop next door to your place?

That’s easy. Since I live East of the Don, I wish Vena’s Roti (Restaurant) on Bloor was next door. I think I’d return my stove because I’d go here everyday for lunch and dinner. They have the best goat roti in the business by far. No one comes close. No one.

Top 5 places to eat in 2010:

1. Vena’s Roti
2. Moti Mahal
3. Churrasco of St. Clair
4. Little House Kebobs
5. Sukho Thai

Top 5 places to shop in 2010:

1. Apple Store
2. Bumbleberry Kids
3. Upside Dive
4. AGO Shop
5. Play De Record


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