An East York staple for as long as I can remember, the Ritz Restaurant promises that “You’ll Love Our Steaks.” Having lived just around in the corner in my younger days, I’ve had my fair share of the Steak Dinners ($16.95), complete with all the trimmings. It’s my recent move back to East York, combined with the recent buzz about their Filipino menu, that has brought me back (and back, and back…).
Wanting to try something new, I asked the owner for something traditionally Filipino. She recommended the Kare Kare ($9.00), and since it was being eaten by most of the other patrons, I figured I’d give it a try. A healthy serving of Beef Brisket, Bok Choy and Eggplant is served in a tourine of satay-like Peanut Stew, accompanied by Rice and a potent Red Shrimp Paste added sparingly for taste. The tender Brisket is in nice contrast to the crunchy Bok Choy and mushy Eggplant. A different combination of flavour & texture with every bite. Good stuff.
The other Filipino special of the day is a Chicken & Rib Adobo Combo ($8.95). Tender Chicken Thighs and Pork Ribs are stewed in a Soy, Garlic & Chili Gravy and are served along side Rice and Veggies (my only serving of Veggies for the day). Some other Filipino dishes on the menu (all $9.00 but not available everyday) are Kaldereta (a Tomato-based Pork & Veggie Stew), Binagoongan (Pork prepared with Shrimp Paste) , and Laing (Pork wrapped in Taro Leaves resembling a Tamale). I can’t wait to try these.
Perhaps the biggest seller at The Ritz is their Filipino Breakfast ($6.00). Here we have 2 Fried Eggs, Toast, Salad and Coffee/Tea, served with your choice of Tapsilog (Sliced Beef), Dasilog (Marinated Fish) or the ever-popular Langsilong (Sweet Pork Sausage). Seeing as I was extra hungry last visit, I order my Filipino Breakfast with a side of Rosti ($2.50). The Missus ordered the straight-up Diner Breakfast, complete with Eggs, Sausage, Toast and Rosti for $5.00
Located in the heart of Downtown East York, The Ritz is a unique hybrid of diner, steak house and Filipino restaurant. Always busy, it’s quickly becoming a well-priced go-to for a casual brunch. Canadian/Filipino home-cooking at its best.