Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Toronto - a city fit for a Queen

Much like what I did with Chicago last week, I'll periodically post my thoughts about cities that I have visited. Most of these cities will be over a series of posts, as there are many different stories/places/anecdotes that I would like to share.

Toronto is one of those cities. It's clean. It's cosmopolitan. It has an endless amount of restaurants and things to do.

Setting aside the citizenship/visa issues, if I could move to Toronto tomorrow to live and work, I would. Yes, the winters are mind-numbingly cold. But they've thought of that too in Toronto, by building a huge series of underground malls and pathways to essentially create an Underground Toronto.

I always like to gauge a city by its mass transit options and systems. Toronto's subway (metro) is at the top of that list. Again, it is very clean to ride and wait for underground. It is safe and relatively inexpensive, especially if you get a 1-day pass. And most importantly for visitors, it's easy to grasp and use right away.

The main backbone of downtown Toronto is Yonge Street (pronounced "young") and this spine contains the north-south main leg of the Metro. One of the hubs of the Metro is at Bloor Street, which contains a main east-west line. If you take that Bloor St metro to the east, towards Danforth, you will wind up in one of Toronto's many ethnic neighborhoods...this one is Greektown.

If you get off at the Pape station on this line, you will go top-side into the heart of Greektown. It was here that I had one of the 5 best meals of my life. Don't ask me right now what the other 4 were, but I know this one is in the Top 5, OK?!

It was a restaurant called Mezes and it is on the main drag of Danforth. I just checked and it is still in business, which is good when you're singing the praises of one of your favorite meals.

That night I had Ortikia (quail) with potatoes. The preparation and the seasonings of the quail made me feel as if I was leaning up against the Parthenon itself. Mezes itself, which I believe means "appetizers", is a fairly standard restaurant...not too fancy, not too casual.

But if you love Greek food like I do, and happen to be in Toronto, I highly recommend Mezes. Here's their website for you to peruse....

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