Where former Globe Bistro owner Ed Ho gets to-go kebabs, dim sum and porchetta in Etobicoke
It wasn’t that long ago that Ed Ho, an early adopter of the farm-to-table philosophy, was running three Toronto kitchens simultaneously: Earth Rosedale, Earth Bloor West and, his O.G. spot, Globe Bistro on the Danforth. Last year, right before Covid hit, Ho decide to step away from the industry, closing Globe after 14 years of business.
“I still have mixed emotions about that,” says Ho. “I miss my team and the guests. At the same time, I feel very lucky that I am not in the restaurant business right now. Anyone with a dining room is suffering. I marvel at the innovation and pivots I am seeing across the board. But I know restaurateurs would like to offer normal service again with full staff and lots of guests instead of packing bags and takeout containers.”
Now that he’s no longer running restaurants, Ho is trying to make it in the entertainment industry, picking up gigs for TV shows and commercials. “This pandemic has also been a disaster for the entertainment industry, especially theatre,” says Ho. “TV and film production has come back a bit, but with limitations. It’s really fun, but it’s hard to pay the bills. Maybe I’ll be discovered one day! I built a sound studio in my house where I can play music and do voiceover work without disturbing my wife.”
While he’s not navigating the pandemic like many of his peers, he’s been supporting the industry as best he can. A resident of Etobicoke for nearly 25 years, Ho admits to having made great efforts to try every restaurant in the area. “I think that we’ve done a pretty good job so far,” he says. “Etobicoke is vast and there’s no real centre, so it’s all pretty spread out. Selfishly, everything that I am recommending here is in pretty close proximity to my new house in Long Branch.” Here are some of his favourite nearby spots for meals to go.
5308 Dundas St. W., 647-348-4525, kebab49.com
“While the name may seem generic, this is Turkish through and through. I would say that they make some of the best Turkish food I’ve ever had and I’ve eaten my way through Turkey at least half a dozen times. Kebab 49 continues to be very busy—they do takeout very well. They have quite a large menu with a lot of different meats cooked over coals on the mangal.”
Go-to item 1: Pide ekmek
Tasting notes: People in the know get the doner sandwich instead of the wrap because the bread they use for it is so very good. It’s pide ekmek which is not pita, but a leavened inch-thick disc. It’s the perfect vessel for doner or a kebab. I always try to buy more to go with my meal but my requests are refused—I guess it’s popular and they make just enough to go around.”
Go-to item 2: Ali-nazik kebabs platter
Tasting notes: “I drool just thinking about this. It’s traditionally made with lamb, but here it’s a veal and lamb skewer on top of yogurt garlic eggplant. Then they drizzle tomato and a little butter on top with a couple hot peppers. It travels well and can be warmed up in an oven.”
Go-to item 3: Appetizer platter
Tasting notes: “This is basically a compilation of all the dips and salads that they make: eggplant, hummus, cucumber yogurt, Russian salad. I particularly love the white bean and the ezme, a tomato-chili dip. It’s one of my favourite condiments.”