Kostas Meat Market

Apr 14th, 2009 | By | Category: Canadiana, Cheese, Coffee, Condiments, Dairy, Easter, Greek, Greek Pantry, Honey, MISC, Sausage, Spices, Talk Toronto

img_4037Seeing as how it is Holy Week for the Greek-Orthodox, most of us are fasting in some degree and we’re also juggling the duties of preparing for the big feast that awaits us this upcoming Sunday for Easter.img_4038

Toronto boasts of having about 120,000 Greeks in the Toronto area, over a dozen churches and our very own Greektown (Danforth). The eastern side of the city (east of Yonge st.) has a large population of Greeks, many who left the inner city to pursue a better life in the ‘burbs.

In Scarborough, you’ll find many Greeks, there are two churches and many cafes, shops and businesses that are run by Greeks and cater to Greeks. One such store is Kostas Meat Market, located in Scarborough.

My family (like many other Greek families) have patronized Kostas’ shop for years, be it to stock up on olive oil, Greek pasta, spices, phyllo or of course, meat. Yesterday, I popped into Kostas’ to beat the mad rush of last minute Greeks who will be picking up their Easter Sunday supplies…the showcase being lamb.

What would Kostas Meat Market be without it’s fine reputation for meats andhis butchering? I’m delighted to share with you a virtual shopping tour of Kostas’ place, patronized by Greek and non-Greeks alike. Grab a shopping cart and let’s spend some money!

The Proprietor himself, Kostas

The Proprietor himself, Kostas

The main reason I stopped by Kostas’ place is to pick up some lamb. Kostas’ lamb is all from Ontario, butchered on the premise and for Easter, a register of lamb orders are kept to keep things orderly during the last few shopping days of Easter.

Ontario Spring lamb hanging in the on-premise fridge, all we be sold by Easter.

Ontario Spring lamb hanging in the on-premise fridge, all we be sold by Easter.

During Easter Sunday, an array of appetizers/mezedes are offered for nibbling while sipping some libations until the lamb is ready. One such delicacy are sweetbreads. img_4048

Greeks love their sausages and we do have an array of sausages from Macedonian, wine sausages and here, Spartan sausages with orange peel.

Spartan Sausages with Orange Peel

Spartan Sausages with Orange Peel

Not every family does the whole lamb on the spit for Greek Easter. Some families roast their lamb or prefer grilling smaller cuts, like racks of lamb or lamb chops. img_4047

Some kebabs might also see the grill to feed the hungry family and guests on Easter Sunday. After 49 days of Lent, it’s all about the meat! img_4096-1

Kostas does a brisk business also selling souvlakia, all made on the premise. img_4097-1

What’s souvlaki without some Tzatziki? img_4099

Kostas also sells a wide array of herbs and spices. Here, we have some of the world’s best saffron, from Kozani, Greece. img_4106

Greeks will often stop by to replenish their cache of Greek coffee and Nescafe for a iced Frappe coffee. img_4083-1

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Greeks love their dry rusks, be it the Cretan Dakos or the other varieties, perfect for making canapes. img_4069

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What would Greek cooking be without olives…lots of olives! img_4070

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Other preserved items are also on offer. Here, roasted red peppers are a usual arrival on my table. img_4063

Tomatoes. Greeks love their tomatoes and back in the time before fridges existed, canning preserving foods was a neccesity. Kyknos brand tomato paste has been stocking Greek pantries since 1911.img_4086

Another must-have item in the Greek pantry is olive oil. Everyone needs some more olive oil in their cooking. Next time you need to buy some more olive oil – make it Greek olive oil. img_4066

Some of the best (if not the best) honey that’s produced in the world comes from Greece. Here, internationally recognized Attiki honey is made up of a blend of Greece’s finest. You get what you pay for. img_4080

Sea salt. I only cook and use Greek sea salt for all my cooking. img_4081

Kostas also has some frozen items, like phyllo and kataifi pastry. You want to buy your phyllo from a store like Kostas’, where the turnover is high, guaranteeing you a fresh, workable phyllo each & every time. img_4082

Also found in the frozen section was this huge octopus…I best Kostas sold a few of these during Lent! img_4078

Kostas also sells many dried items and foods. I’ve told you before…Greeks love their pasta. img_4073

Gigantes (lima beans) are a family favourite..be it on their own or as a side dish. img_4090-1

In the days right up to Easter, lambades are sold for adults and children alike. Just before midnight, when the clock has almost indicated it’s Easter, all lights in the church go out, our lambades are lit. As is customary, I bought three lambades for my godchildren. img_4068

A Greek food store would be nothing without the inclusion of cheese in their inventory. Here, large wheels of hard and semi-hard cheeses are on offer. img_4074-1

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I was delighted to see Kostas also sell some barrel-aged Feta. This is the Cadillac of Feta cheese. It takes at least two months to make from start to finish. img_4046

If it’s not for Kostas’ fine meats and sausages, then you MUST at least stop by and buy a wedge of the barrel-aged Feta. It’s not cheap but it’s worth the splurge.

Kostas and his staff are always pleasant to deal with, prices are fair, his staff are versed in both English and Greek and if there’s a Greek food item you’re looking for…chances are Kostas will have it!

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The If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at  http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

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© 2009 – 2010, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

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50 Comments to “Kostas Meat Market”

  1. This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this with us Peter. You are going to have a fabulous Easter feast, that’s for sure!

  2. Jeff says:

    So jealous and nice pics. The vat of sweetbreads put a huge smile on my face.

  3. Sandie says:

    What I wouldn’t do for a shop like that here in Kansas City! We have plenty of Indian markets, a few Italian shops, but not much in the way of Greek anything. It’s a shame. Perhaps a trip to Toronto is in order!

  4. Hélène says:

    Beautiful pictures Peter. It’s a place I would love to visit if I’m in Toronto.

  5. Thanks for taking us along on your shopping trip. (Too bad I couldn’t buy anything while sitting here at the computer!) I had to admit to being a little put off by those whole lambs, but I believe I need to get over things like that. I should be more aware of what my food comes from.

    Those candles were so cute!

    The cheeses! The sausages! The worlds’ greatest tzatziki! I’m blown away.

    (How do you find the time to shop while coming up with all of your clever status lines in Facebook?)

  6. Natashya says:

    I haven’t been to the Danforth in a couple of years, we get complacent here in the burbs!
    Thanks for the Greek market profile!

  7. maryann says:

    Peter,
    Have a blessed Easter! I know you will be eating well. Never a worry about that!
    I always forget that your Easter comes one week later than ours.
    (hits herself upside the head)
    xox Maryann

  8. Katherine says:

    I thoroughly enoyed our shopping trip. I’ll watch you cook the lamb on the spit while I munch on some olives! = ) Happy Easter Peter!

  9. Rigani says:

    Kalo Pasxa Peter,
    I’m so jealous, I wish we had stores like this here in Tampa bay Florida. We have Greek stores but not like the one you are showing us. Our shops are not complete and the disappointing part is that they are not willing to improve. :(
    Thank you very much for your site I enjoy reading and learning from it. Thank You:) KALO PASXA !

  10. Kanella says:

    There nothing like having a one stop shop for lambathes, arni and olives. Kali Anastasi!

  11. lo says:

    That’s alotta meats! :)
    I love it when there’s a local perveyor that can fill so many needs.

    Can’t wait for the feasting!

  12. Donna says:

    Love all these photos, so nice to show people who have never been there.. thank you.

  13. Marjie says:

    I love going shopping with you! And how sweet that you purchase lambathes for your godchildren. There is a lot to be said for tradition; it creates wonderful memories.

  14. Heather says:

    i would go to toronto just for this place! and i NEED some of that tzatziki sauce!

  15. Peter G says:

    Phew! What a shoppers paradise! Thanks for sharing a little of Toronto’s Greek goodies with us!

  16. What an array! I love the selection and we need a lot more places like Kostas. Family-owned, family-run stores are often the best places to shop.

  17. ELENA says:

    So, you can find a lot of greek products at Costas’, that’s really good!!!
    Kalo Pasxa Peter:))

  18. You’re bound to get nothing but fresh meat there. Wow, those pictures say it all.

  19. Dena says:

    Wow! I’m one of the lucky ones. I live in T.O. I think I’m going up to the Danforth for a little shopping… came to your website from David L’s link…

  20. maria says:

    the lambshops made me salivate – in crete, spring lamb looks half the size.
    it reminds me of the fantastic lamb we used to eat all year round in new zealand. the lamb chops were huge and always tender.
    once again, you’ve shown rusks from tsatsaronakis (here in hania). cretan dakos is widely known all over greece now – people are learning from us!

  21. Janet says:

    Why I torture myself and read your posts late at night, I don’t know. I’m so hungry now!

  22. I sure miss not being able to walk into a shop or deli like the ones you show. I guess I can savor these photos with the idea in mind that it’ll all be there when I’m back in Canada. Cheers!

  23. Mmmmmm, what a wonderful yet very dangerous shop. Thank you for taking the time to stop and take photos to share with us here in blogland

    The best lamb I ever tasted was from a spit roast in Corfu.

    You’ve reminded me – I must visit “The Mediterranean Food Warehouse” here in Wellington to stock up on spices. It is good shopping but nothing like Kostas.

    Enjoy the cooking, I will drool from afar,

    Kind wishes, Michelle in Wellington, NZ

  24. Dharm says:

    Great new site Peter! I just love the pictures of all the meats. Have a great Easter! we just finished ours…

  25. Oh my – this was quite a journey that we took with you. I loved it!

  26. grace says:

    COOL place, peter. imagine that–a meat market that’s actually a meat market. :)

  27. kat says:

    That’s the kind of store I could spend hours wandering through

  28. Marie says:

    Happy Easter Peter to you and your family! I know there will be some mighty good food on your table!

  29. This is eye opening. Thanks for sharing.

  30. pam says:

    4 lbs of olives! I am in olive envy!

  31. What an awesome store. You are so lucky…and I’m so jealous :0)

  32. Jan says:

    Wow, I loved reading this post – I feel like I’ve been to Kostas now myself! I’ve never seen sausages with orange peel before! Great post Peter.

  33. Free says:

    Oh my god! This looks like heaven! I want it all!!

  34. Free says:

    I want a Kostas too!!!

  35. helen says:

    What a fantastic place! Love photo journals!

  36. I absolutely loved this post, Peter – the only thing missing were the wonderful odors and of course the tastes later.

    Happy Easter!

  37. It is places like this that I miss not living in the Toronto area any longer. I trust uou and your family will have a wonderful Easter:D

  38. [...] the boys over at Kostas Meat Market were kind enough to crack back the shank portion of the leg, fold it over to abut the thigh portion [...]

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  41. Shaun says:

    My staff and I routinely go to Kostas to buy a loin of NY steak at unbeatable price and quality. Today we had a special order and fed the entire company at a great price. We ordered Kostas’ Souvlaki @ almost 400 sticks, plus the Tzatziki sauce…whew. Staff loved the food all around and I think I should ask for referral fees given the many who are on the way to Kostas as we speak! Truthfully, I use to go to the “high end” butchers at nutcase prices. Now I frequent a truly “high end” meat market who has great staff, good prices and the best quality meat in the City. Thanks Jimmy, thanks to all at Kostas!

  42. [...] not, why not place an order and try some (mail-order to US only). Those living in Toronto can visit Kostas Meat Market or Greek House on the Danforth to purchase some [...]

  43. Tom says:

    August 27, 2010. I’m disgusted that Kostas actually ripped off my wife on her purchase today. She called me and asked if I wanted lamb chops for tonights dinner and I said sure. Before she hung up the phone, I heard her ask for 6 lamb chops. When we got home and opened the bag, we found 4 lamb chops and 2 lamb shoulders. I will never recommend anybody to your store if this is the kind of business you are running!!

    • steve says:

      I was reading the reviews and have been a customer at Kostas for over 5 years now. I am a big fan of lamb. Now I have a question, how did you get 4 lamb chops and 2 shoulders? Whoever is buying lamb chops can tell what they are buying because a lamb shoulder costs approximately $ 30 each and 6 lamb chops cost approximately $ 10-15. So are you telling everyone that your wife or whoever you sent spent approximately $70.00 and 10 lbs of meat and didnt realize until you got home??? C’mon, let’s make sense and stop talking nonsense of a perfect establishment!!! GROW UP! HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL AND IF YOU WANT TO GET THE BEST AND A FRESH PRODUCT, KOSTAS IS THE ONLY PLACE!!!

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  47. Angus says:

    Have been a customer for 17 years – and have to say that the food quality, and the service are second to none! BBQ season has started, and I will be at Kosta’s at least once a week!

  48. agatha katsis says:

    was wondering if you would send your products outta state like the lambathes.

  49. PETER THEMELKOS says:

    BEST MEAT IN THE CITY! ENOUGH SAID!

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