Month: December 2016

Schnitzel HUB serves perfected European tradition

For a city as diverse as Toronto, it is a surprise how few restaurants there are dedicated to serving the authentic dishes of Eastern and Central Europe. This especially rang true when The Coffee Mill closed their doors in Yorkville after over 50 years of service, leaving the city without a devoted source of borsht, cabbage rolls, and schnitzel.

That was until Schnitzel HUB opened their doors at Yonge + St. Clair.

Our neighbourhood is lucky to be the home to an authentic-yet-contemporary restaurant in Schnitzel HUB.  Drawing their culinary influences from Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Russia, the team has been serving an elevated European tradition to midtowners since 2015. We sat down with Schnitzel HUB owner, Rita Khalfoun, to talk homemade cuisine, vodka, and life at Yonge + St. Clair.

Being one of the lone restaurants focused on the dishes of Eastern and Central Europe, Schnitzel HUB prides themselves on serving the most authentic homemade dishes in Toronto. “All of our meals are made from scratch so you can feel the taste of good old Europe in every bite,” Rita gleamed.

For first timers at Schnitzel HUB, Rita obviously recommends that you start with the schnitzel and a pint of German beer.

All schnitzels come in four options – veal, chicken, pork, or eggplant, with seven separate topping options. This ranges from their Jaeger Schnitzel with mushrooms, bacon, and a red-wine sauce for $16.95, to the classic Wiener Schnitzel for $14.95 at lunch.

All lunches come with bread and garlic butter, coleslaw, and choice of spaezle, mashed potatoes, home fries, or sauerkraut.

The dinner menu expands on the lunch offerings with Veal Schnitzels stuffed with wild mushrooms or ham and emmental cheese for $25.95.

“Each schnitzel we make comes with different toppings and each topping has four options of schnitzel– so right off the bat we offer over 40 combinations of schnitzel,” explains Rita. “Our menu is built to suit any palate.”

“On top of that, we have an amazing selection of German beers on tap. We’re working with all the Hacker-Pschorr brews – their light, gold, Weisse, and pilsners all pair great with our dishes.”

With their wide selection of schnitzels, Schnitzel HUB also offers an authentic range of traditional dishes  – pierogies, beef stroganoff, cabbage rolls, and German sausage.

Schnitzel HUB’s appetizers include  soups, salads, and dishes like the Bistro Herring ($9.50), which is a cured herring fillet with white wine infused onions on  a bed of baby arugula, or the Hub Duck, a smoked duck breast on  a bed of sauerkraut, drunken apple and black currant red wine reduction ($12.95).

Much like the schnitzel, Perogies ($12.95) come in a wide variety of combinations, from potato cheddar, sauerkraut mushroom, to a dessert sweet cheese ($10.95).

 “Although we are a schnitzel place, perogies are our best seller – especially for delivery and take out through FoodoraJust Eat, and UberEats,” Rita confessed. Schnitzel HUB also offers brunches on the weekend and holidays with a selection traditional Eastern European breakfasts.

While Schnitzel HUB works well within the confines of traditional Eastern European cuisine, they let their creativity soar with their contemporary drink menu, and Hub infused vodka.

 All of their vodkas are made in house and infused with various natural ingredients like apple cinnamon, smoked bacon, or jolly ranchers. The process can take up to three months per flavour using triple distilled vodka and all-natural ingredients. “We pride ourselves in our wide selection and working with our guests to find the perfect ‘vodka match.’” Horseradish and Lemon & Ginger infused vodkas are Schnitzel HUBs top sellers.

In regards to the Yonge + St. Clair community, Rita has loved her time in the neighbourhood. “This is our third location we’ve moved to and it finally feels like home.”

“We’re now looking to expand, but Schnitzel HUB Yonge + St. Clair will always be the main restaurant for us. Yonge + St. Clair has been amazing and we owe it a lot. It is the hub!”

Schnitzel HUB is located at 1415 Yonge Street and is open from 11:30AM on weekdays and noon on weekends and will be participating in Winterlicious this year starting January 27th.

Images taken by Yonge + St. Clair and provided by Schnitzel HUB

Enjoy holiday music by the Toronto Children’s Chorus

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Sleigh bells ring, coloured lights twinkle along the streets and eggnog hits the shelves, but there is nothing that inspires holiday wonder as much as live choral music with a traditional story.

You and your family are invited to Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday, December 17 to hear the world-renowned Toronto Children’s Chorus perform their annual holiday production, this year titled “A Child’s Christmas”. The Toronto Children’s Chorus has been based in the Yonge + St. Clair neighbourhood since 2007.

Stratford Festival actor Geraint Wyn Davies, harpist Judy Loman, the Toronto Youth Choir, the Alumni Choir and friends from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra will join the Chorus in this awe-inspiring performance.

In anticipation for their holiday concert, special guest Mr. Wyn Davies kindly took the time to talk with the Chorus about his most beloved holiday memories and his best advice for passionate and artistic young people.

Geraint Wyn Davies as Polonius in “Hamlet”. The Stratford Festival of Canada, 2008. © Laird Mackintosh.

What would you most like people to know about you?

1. I have a great deal of love for family. I am a proud son, father, husband and grandfather!

2. I love to travel! I just came back from three and a half weeks playing tennis and learning to surf in Costa Rica.

3. I love to write and play music!

What sparked your love for acting?

It was watching my father preach and my mother teach back in Wales. They are both wonderful storytellers and dad is a natural performer! I knew early on I wanted to somehow follow in their footsteps, and being an actor came naturally!

What is your best piece of advice for children and young people who possess a love for the arts?

Try to do it all! Sing, dance, act, tell stories, listen and watch! Have fun, be daring, be yourself!

What is your fondest holiday memory?

So many! All of them when I was young and when my kids were young.

But…We spent a Christmas in Morocco years ago and I remember the great fun I had trying to explain to my young kids, Galen and Pyper, how Santa was going to get their presents to them! They loved all the ways Santa was so clever! They were both big fans of Santa!

What is your favourite holiday story?

Tough one. If I don’t say A Christmas Carol or It’s a Wonderful Life, I’d have to say A Child’s Christmas in Wales!

Usher in the holidays with the Toronto Children’s Chorus this Saturday at 2pm.

Tickets available through the Roy Thomson Hall box office: 416-872-4255 and through the Roy Thomson Hall website. Enjoy a 10% discount when you purchase four tickets.

Last Minute Holiday Party spaces at Yonge + St. Clair

The festive season is fast approaching, so the pressure is on to plan a great night that will fill your colleagues, coworkers or friends with holiday cheer. Need a last minute venue? Look no further than the quality establishments at Yonge + St. Clair; be it a high-end Italian restaurant, or a football pub, the venues at Yonge + St. Clair will serve as the perfect backdrop to any party. No matter your group’s size, interests or price point, Yonge + St. Clair can elevate any last minute holiday celebration.


Hidden in a little courtyard just north of Yonge + St. Clair is Cava, a restaurant that celebrated ten years in the community and was recently profiled by us. Cava is a small plates restaurant that focuses on the modern Iberian cuisines of Spain and Portugal. With their ever-evolving menu, and extensive wine list, Cava makes for an excellent backdrop to your Holiday party. The simple, charming room at Cava can seat 56 and is currently booking for the Holidays.

Capocaccia Trattoria

Another Yonge + St. Clair mainstay, Capocaccia has been offering midtowners their wide variety of desserts, coffee, hot table lunches, Italian Panino sandwiches, and thin crusted wood burning Italian pizzas since 2004. Capocaccia provides an array of options for Holiday parties, allowing you to reserve the entire restaurant for 90 people, or occupy their private dining room (45 people) or high top communal chef’s table for up to 12 people.


A longstanding Toronto staple, Terroni has grown to eight locations across Toronto and Los Angeles, with their Yonge & Price location open since 2011. Terroni has become well known for their traditional southern Italian food offered in a casual setting. Their menu is extensive, serving popular pizzas, pastas, and salads. Terroni’s have over two decades experience in elevating casual Italian dining. The Price location provides two floors of dining options with the Rifugio room (pictured above) capable of seating 65 people for private holiday functions.


Yonge + St. Clair was very fortunate to have Herbert and Michelle Barnsteiner bring their extensive culinary knowledge and history to the corner of Balmoral Ave and Yonge Street in 2015. Their refined home-style dishes pull inspiration from all over Europe, from their crackling cornish hen to veal schnitzel. For parties, Barnsteiner’s has recently renovated and upgraded their private room that can accommodate up to 30 sit-down and 40-50 stand up. Additionally, their main space can serve up to 100 people.

Schnitzel Hub

Schnitzel Hub is another excellent Euro-inspired restaurant in the heart of Yonge + St. Clair. Schnitzel Hub provides a casual environment, with a range of authentic Eastern and Central European foods, and the widest selection of infused vodka in the city. For holiday parties, Schnitzel Hub will work with you to offer personalized menus for up to 25 people in their private room. There really is no other place in the city that can offer this mix of traditional European cooking and crazy infused vodkas.


Right underneath the St. Clair Mural sits Scallywags, a pub dedicated to American eats, a wide selection of libations, and the extensive showing of international sports. Their two-level establishment offers holiday party spaces for up to 100 people. In addition to their collection of TVs, Scallywags can provide a slew of entertainment options with ping pong, darts, board games, and a Playstation 4. This Yonge + St. Clair staple takes the pub experience to another level and is an excellent holiday party option.

The Jester on Yonge

Last but not least, The Jester on Yonge is a local craft beer house right at the intersection that provides a space and atmosphere to get rather jovial with your coworkers. For holiday parties, Jester on Yonge has a private back room that seats 32 people with an 80-inch TV, and a dining room that can sit 92. In addition, Jester can arrange a set menu, tons of appetizers, or individual ordering with 32 craft beer taps and daily specials flights.