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Feb 13, 2005 08:28 PM

Beach Eats: Let's Be Honest

  • m

Most Beachers I know (and respect) will admit that while the nabe is awesome when it comes to walks, coffee options, views and kid-friendly everything, the local restaurants aren't all that good. I would be curious to know what east-enders consider a GOOD restaurant in the hood. I wonder if this is an area packed with people who really don't care about quality chow or if we're missing decent eats by driving out of the area.
Your thoughts on this random mix of positions:
Why do the servers at Mersini try to behave as if they're serving a 5-star meal downtown? The food is over-priced and the coffee is HIDEOUS, yet Beachers continue to flock: same goes for the Beacher Cafe, where undercooked food is an ongoing (scary) problem...I will NEVER eat there again, especially since complaining about said scary meal was met with a shrug and zero attempt to make us return...They must just know they can count on the locals for brunch biz...We always head for Leslieville for brunch now.
Your vote for the best sushi place out this way: we now have LOTS but Akane-Ya was always my fave.
I have heard mixed reviews of Eric's Kitchen (jerk strudel appeals to my sensibilities), yet see it packed every week-end for breakfast. I've been told the front of house is problematic while the chef has his heart in the right place--his stomach! I have to admit that my dislike for too-crowded rooms with no apparent atmosphere prevents me from jumping in. I tend to hit The Goof because the staff there give me suggestions about what to have and I have never had a bad meal there: Jackie is bossy as hell but he's the menu-man for sure. OK: I lie: the non home-made burger there is truly awful...I hate to say so, as I eat there weekly...but I did say so to the owner so...
The West-Beach offerings, especially the over-rated, nasty-smelling Whitlocks amaze me when they remain in business. For some reason the mixed aromas of wet carpet and spilled VQA wine don't make me hungry...
Also: please direct me to a decent old-fashioned burger in the Beach if you can. I have never once eaten at Lick's without feeling ill (not sure why), so other options are what I'm after.
Anyone been brave enough to hit Happy Sailor for a burrito and if so, what's your opinion?

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  1. I watch this thread with interest because I feel the exact same way. Akane-Ya is the only restaurant my husband and I would risk getting a parking ticket for (and you always get one at the Beach -- it's a fact of life). To be fair, we have not tried Peppino's or that Ci V... whatever the name is where the old Wickerhead Cafe used to be (remember the Wickerhead? That was a nice place for lunch). I also miss Tejas -- the original before they turned tapas bar -- at the end of Queen St. near Neville Park.

    My husband and I now head over to Leslieville for food -- brunch, lunch or dinner. Way more variety, imaginative menus and better quality.

    1. I totally hear you. The only place I have found to be truly parking-ticket worthy is the small Italian place on the north side beside Il Fornello which is usually packed with a line out the door. I love their pasta.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Shiro Miso

        I think it's closed. I walk past it on my way to work. Very sad.

        1. re: lissar
          Guy Middleton

          Not closed, but moved a couple of blocks west. It's called "Ci Vediamo", now at 1910 Queen St E.

      2. g
        Guy Middleton

        The best burger close to the Beach (or anywhere else in Toronto) is at the Tulip.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Guy Middleton

          I second that motion but wish they'd offer sour pickles for the burg...Proof that I do not have an overly sensitive stomach:)

          1. re: Guy Middleton

            I second that motion but wish they'd offer sour pickles for the burg...Proof that I do not have an overly sensitive stomach:)

            1. re: Marmalady

              Let us not forget Whyte Brothers Fish and Chips. The room isn't ideal but the fish is darned good and you can have it grilled or deep-fried, you health-conscious chow-folk.

          2. I’ve lived in the Beach for almost a year now. I have yet to have a good meal. I have given-up on the idea of getting great food in the Beach. I search the streets for something, anything that resembles the quality of food available all over our great city. Yet each trip along the Queen strip leaves me wishing I had made the trek down town – even for pizza.

            If you find something, please be sure to let us all know.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jenna

              Like most others, I have to agree that most of the restaurants in the Beach are just awful. I have lived in the beach for three years now, and am always amazed by how all these truly mediocre resataurants stay in business. This being said, I have identified a handful of restaurants that offer consistent value with their offer.
              This list includes Spiaggia, Queen & Kingswood: decent seafodd/pasta, Corvina: Stick to your ribs Hungarian cooking on Kingston Rd in a truly charming room, Sauvignon: Good French bistro food, even though the owner is a snotty so and so, and finally the Goof: great greasy breakfast.

            2. Lick's serves a pretty decent burger. If you become ill after eating one, I'd say you have an overly sensitive stomach. Aside from that, your remarks about the sad state of food in tbe beach is right on.