Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gold Stone Noodle Restaurant

Sunday November 21st 2010

Gold Stone Noodle Restaurant, 226 Spadina Ave, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

After successfully escaping the stiff interrogations and vehicle searching of Canada’s grumpy border patrol, just barely managing not to laugh at the torrent of “Eh’s” that, yes, actually spilled from their mouths like a country wide case of tourettes, we rolled into the Toronto night for a glimpse at the other side of the border. I’ve always been a firm believer that southern Ontario, the part that juts rudely between New York and Michigan, should really be a part of the U.S., I mean, they’re coming down awfully far there, if you look at a map, that should be ours. We should trade them Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a part of northern Maine and call it a day. Sadly however, the Canadian’s have it and they put up Tim Horton’s and Future Shop’s wherever they could. My first purchase across enemy lines was what sunk it into my head that we really were in a different country, two tall cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon at the bar. It was loud, I couldn’t hear the guy too well, so I just handed him a 10. He gave me the cans, poked around at the cash register for a while and that was it, no change. Five Canadian dollars for a tall can of Pabst! And I hadn’t been ripped off, well clearly I had, but that was the real price. I’m sure some goofballs in NYC pay that and like it, but I guess that’s why I try not to go there.

Price wise, I was pretty soured on Canada, until when our show had ended and we were hitting the road around 1:30 AM, I turned left on Spadina Ave and noticed the plethora of Asian restaurants, most of which still seemed to be open. I hadn’t really eaten anything since John’s pancake spread that morning, and simply not being allowed to fill up on beer, I needed sustenance. The Gold Stone Noodle Restaurant, as you can see, is a pretty eye catching place, brightly lit, large glass windows, it was clearly open and very inviting.

Their menu was lengthy, containing more dishes than I cared to browse through, it was the mention of noodles in the restaurants name that had really caught my attention. All their soups and noodle dishes, contradicting my expectations, were priced appropriately, actually maybe even lower than they needed to be. What I settled on, deciding that option offered the most variety in a single bowl, was the wonton noodle soup with pork and duck.

This bowl, this one here, this bountiful gift of noodles, duck, pork, and shrimp filled wonton’s (which weren’t even mentioned in the description) was $6.95 Canadian, which is about the same as the U.S.. I started comparing my, albeit limited, knowledge of Canadian item prices, and realized what an amazing deal I had gotten. If you think of Pabst as a currency, which I suggest you don’t do for long, I was only paying 1 and 1/3rd Pabsts for this amazing and completely filling bowl of food!

The broth, which I had several spoonfuls of first (the customary way to begin a bowl of soup, I think) had the flavor of rice and dark chicken meat, but was rather light and refreshing. The mass of noodles lurking at the bottom were not as I expected, thin, almost tough noodles of a dull orange color, which even with further submergence time in the warm broth refused to soften. Their flavor was strong, not able to be pinpointed, Val referred to them as “Gamey” which isn’t a word you hear thrown around in noodle speak too often.

Duck isn’t a meat I have a lot of experience with, which is part of the reason why I was excited about getting it, I wanted to give it another shot. I don’t want to say I don’t like it, but it definitely isn’t for me. Thick, oily, dense, slimy meat, cooked with the skin on, providing an extra wiggle on the way down. It tasted alright, but my attention was really consumed by the pork. The pork, which luckily resembled the bulk of the meat, was hard, compacted into flaking chunks, which peeled away in delicious layers. Sweet pig crystals, tangled up in the bowl.

Shrimp, yeah…I dunno, I never saw the big deal, sure I’ll have one, I guess. Honestly, if I knew there was gonna be shrimp in this, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it, but it actually took me a minute to notice they were in there. I popped a couple of the wrapped wonton’s, hoping they’d be filled with a slurry of sickly gray Asian mystery meat, felt satisfied enough, but after two when I went to look at how discolored the interior meat mixture was, there was just a baby shrimp all tucked away inside. I was indifferent.

I tried as best as I could, but I don’t think I made it even half way through the bowl, and overall I did like it, it was just way too much to handle. Shrimp, pork, duck, noodles, broth, woah, Canada, chill out! Toronto, based on this one experience, seems like a great city to eat in, but next time I’m gonna have to hit up the duty free shop on the way in, rock that BYOB style wherever I go.


  1. I can smell those delicious peaches from here. Sound totally fabulous.
    Restaurants in Toronto

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