Thrill of the Grill 2015 Competitors

Allen'sAllen's - Chef Ponniah Vijeyaratnam

Allen's is a restaurant specializing in farm-to-table cusisine in an informal but thoroughly professional atmosphere. Over its 26 year history, Allen's has developed unique relationships with area farmers and selects its beef, lamb, veal and pork right at the farm. All butchering is done on the premises. To accompany locally-sourced food, Allen's presents local carft beer (over 140 offerings on its list) and has developed the most extensive exclusively VQA wine cellar in Canada. On summer nights, few dining experiences match relaxing in Allen's backyard under century-old willows while watching Executive Chef Ponniah Vijeyaratnam (who has been with Allen's since 1981) work his magic on the charcoal grill.

143 Danforth Ave.
416-463-3086 www.allens.to

The Combine EateryThe Combine Eatery - Chef Danilo Cea

Siblings Albert and Amy Chow, owners of elegant and charming Combine Eatery, serve southwestern comfrot food like lobster fritters, fish tacos, burgers, creative cocktails and craft beer. The Combine Eatery is one of hte newer additionsl to the Danforth's culinary brilliance. The exposed brick walls and bare metal light fixtgures, outfitter with tables and bar stools in the dining room encourages chit chat among its patrons. The fish tacos come either grilled or fried and are topped with pico de gallo and lime crema and served with a summery coleslaw that includes cilantro and shredded beets. Albert recommends the "highly addictive" lobster fritters and the Danforth Burger. Chef Danilo Cea has a "Great way with meat," Amy tells us. A former owner of Wild Indigo, Albert is particularly enthused by the cocktails, like the bourbon margarita with fresh lime juice and a double-smoked bacon-bit rim.

162 Danforth Ave.
416-792-8088 www.thecombineeatery.com

Das GasthausDas Gasthaus - Chef Michael Wallace

The ‘Das GastHaus’ is an authentic German casual fine dining and drinking experience. The Name being ‘The Guest House’ as a direct translation, commentates the atmosphere that I would like to convey within the restaurant. The purpose of the cuisine is to introduce to diners that German food is not just schnitzel, bratwurst and sauerkraut washed down by great steins of beer hoisted by hefty maidens while the band plays oom-pa-pa.

107 Danforth Ave.
647-352-5044 www.dasgasthaus.ca

Factory GirlFactory Girl - Chef Jerry Sathasivam

Gastropub and wine bar Factory Girl named after a Rolling stone song, has now grown with the reputation as one of the Danforth's favourite places to eat casual Italian food such as their freshly made Roma styled pizzas and pastas, sandwiches and pub staples like chicken wings and nachos. Owner George Markakos proudly informs us that "everything on our menu is prepared with the finest ingredients by our experienced kitchen." Executive Chef Jerry Sathasivam, when asked about grilling tips, timidly but confidently answers, "I have been working on this new recipe for the rib competition for a very long time, different from last year." With a business savvy owner like George, a chef with Jerry's skills, a welcoming staff, a backyard patio, two party rooms, Rock and Roll decor and music playing in the background, what's not to say that Factory Girl won't take the win this year?

193 Danforth Ave.
647-352-2799 www.factorygirlrestaurant.com

Globe BistroGlobe Bistro - Chef Dan Sanders

Owner of Globe Bistro Ed Ho tells us, "think global, eat local." It is not just a motto but their philosophy. Globe Bistro showcases the best that Canada has to offer by presenting great local ingredients done simply. Vibrant and fresh, they serve local seasonal food done from scratch. When you start to think about it, the buying decision is the most important one: where does my food come from? How is it grown or raised? Who is taking care of what we put in our bodies? "We partner with great producers to source great local ingredients, wine, beer and spirits to offer a unique terroir-driven experience for our guests which is a win-win outcome; one, local producers get the economic benefit and two, we are confident that our customers are being served the best naturally and sustainably raised ingredients possible," adds Ho.

124 Danforth Ave.
416-466-2000 www.globebistro.com

Jose Salgado

Tapas at Embrujo - Chef Jose Salgado

With this Popular Spanish eatery in Toronto's Greektown/Riverdale neibourhood, Toronto gets its first truly authentic tapas restaurant. A revised pricing structure returns the idea of fairness to the table full of small dishes that defines this special style of Spanish food presentation. Among the tasty offerings in the reinvented menu, guests will find such classics as duck confit, tortilla de patatas, Gambas al ajillo, a selection of Spanish cured meat and paella plus an extensive Spanish wine list. On Thursday through Sunday, diners’ restaurant experience is flavourfully enhanced with the accompaniment of traditional Spanish flamenco dancers. On weekends, Tapas at Embrujo hosts two dinner sittings nightly in the company of these passionate entertainers.

97 Danforth Ave.
416-463-8272 www.tapasatembrujo.com

The Meat DepartmentThe Meat Department - Zach Davidson and Aiden Galligan

Here, they pride themselves on what they know. Walking into the Meat Department, one would assume that when asked "what is your profession?" all the staff would yell in unison, " Meat!, Meat!, Meat!" The Danforth's neighborhood premier butcher has famous meat recipes that are tested and pass with flying colours. Owner Zach Davidson, along with his friendly and knowledgeable staff, exude character and charm in this shop, as well as a love for the profession. They offer deli meats, marinated meats, gourmet sauces and condiments and other grocery options. The Meat Department prides itsself in selling exceptional products. When asked for a grilling tip, Zach says "make sure the food is at room temperature prior to grilling it. Once it's done cooking, let it rest for at least five minutes prior to eating." A true competitor to be reckoned with.

207 Danforth Ave.
416-320-8790 themeatdept.wordpress.com

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