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Good, cheap lunch in Bloor West Village?

I've done the bad Thai, Sushi and Italian on the strip. Is there anything good out here for lunch? (I don't drive, so on/near Bloor is a must given 1 hour lunch limit).

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  1. i would recommend bread and roses. more cafeteria style than a restaurant, but the food is quite good. the special soups are always good, especially the sourkraut soup, or white borscht. the turkey pot pie is meaty and flaky, and try zapiekanka. it's a baguette with sauteed mushrooms and melted cheese, and it's a basic street food in Poland. bread and roses seem to be the only place in toronto to offier it - i wish we could get it on the street.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kasia

      Yeah, I go there about once a week. I love the sourkraut soup. Wish I had the recipe!

      I've also done Sweet Gallery (can't understand the lineups there), Classico Pizza, Queen's Pasta, Simply Thai and the Yellow Griffen. Hence the reason I'm desperate for suggestions!

      1. re: Kasia

        Sounds really good, what intersection is it closest to?

        1. re: bbbradk

          runnymede and bloor. it's on the north side of bloor, west of runnymede.

      2. I love the coffee and salads at the Sweet Gallery (hence the line ups- their coffees are lovely- like a Viennese coffee house served up with a little cookie on the side). Their cakes and pastries are super too. The owners are Serb I think- the recipes are classically European. Their chicken salad is perfect for summer. For the winter- I like their cheese or meat burkek (phylo like pastry wrapped around white cheese or meat) with a side salad. I also like the take out options at Max's Market. GREAT guacamole to go- yum!

        1. Not cheap but good. Yellow Griffin for a burger. On Bloor, just east of Runnymede on the north side. Love the creme caramel with the beef patty. Yum!

          http://www.yellowgriffinpub.com/menus...

          6 Replies
          1. re: fickle

            I will say , in regards to the yellow griffin, DAMN GOOD BURGER. BUT!! let me warn you.. absolutely terrible service. I was there and there were two ladies serving, it took about 20 min to get our drinks... an hour to get our appetiser (chicken wings-like how long does it take to fry them up??), and our burgers came out after a good 1 45 min of waiting. NO JOKES!! and then our order came out wrong.. so she fixed it. But by the end of our meal , I stood up and chased the waitress for our bill, which she ran ( i mean RAN) past our table and threw it on the table . I was happy we got there at a pretty early hour (5:30!!), by the time we were finishing up, the place was packed and guys were asking me to serve their beer.

            1. re: hungryabbey

              I had a similar experience. I went in for a burger during world cup. Thank god my boss was out of the office! It wasn't particularly busy (maybe 1/3 of the tables were full), and there were two women working the floor. I had to come up to the bar to get a menu, then it took 45 minutes for my burger to arrive. I only had time to eat half of it before I had to high-tail it back to work. Even still, my 1 hour lunch turned into 1 hour 45 mins by the time I got out of there and walked back to the office. And to top it all off, the burger wasn't all that great.

              1. re: hungryabbey

                I agree the service is appalling. When we go, we're always prepared for bad service and long waits but the burger is worth it. And what's with not serving burgers until 1:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday?!!! There's no mention of a brunch only menu till 1:30 on weekends. We were craving a burger and made the long trip out there for 12 noon thinking burger for lunch, only to have them say they couldn't accommodate us till after 1:30. They should have put it on their website so we would've known in advance to go for dinner instead.

                1. re: fickle

                  I agree about the service, but don't necessarily agree that they make a "damn good burger". They made a decent, sometimes good burger, but I don't think it surpasses that level. The great thing is the choices, but even that can get tedious after a few visits. I prefer the burgers at the Grillway, on the corner of Runnymede and Bloor. Total diner, not really the place you love sitting and eating at, but it is a damn good burger.

                  As for the timing of the menu on weekends, it's a huge pain. I had the same experience, wanting a burger around 12:30 or 1. And the worst thing was, they said they couldn't accomodate us for EITHER menu....apparently they had already started putting away the brunch ingredients??? We hightailed it out of there and haven't been back since.

                  1. re: FEDup

                    what?!?!? so there is just some kind of wierd dead period, where neither brunch nor lunch is served?

                    1. re: FEDup

                      Weird, I can't reply to your post hungryabbey. But in response to your question, yes they did seem to have a weird lag time when neither menu was served. We were told that there would be at least a 45 minute wait before we were served any food.

              2. sweet pea,

                as a long time resident of Bloor West Village I have to agree with you about the poor quality of the restaurants available. Apart from the odd high-priced spot like Lemon Meringue (now defunct) and Bloom, the area seems puzzlingly incapable of providing decent food. That said, I would suggest a place I long ingnored only because the name struck me as offensive. Dr. Generosity. But having tried it now twice for dinner, I'm pleasantly surprised. Haven't tried lunches there but if they keep their dinner standards up at noon, should be good. Huge helpings, reasonably priced, decently cooked. This in addition to Bread and Roses, as others have suggested. As for max's, I'd be very careful about se;ection. Some things, like the guacamole, are good. Other things, like many of the prepared meats (chicken, chops,etc.) are just terrible. If you're willing to get what you pay for, the falafell place closer to Jane gives fair value for 3 dollars and change.

                2 Replies
                1. re: johnnyd

                  Thanks all for the recs. It looks like I've already tried all the decent spots, other than Dr. Generosity (thought they closed down, for some reason).

                  And johnyd, yeah, I've had a few stinkers from Max's. I've found it safer to stick to the vegetarian options there. And why do they insist on putting cilantro in every salad? If I wanted cilantro in my caprese, I'd ask. And no, it's not just flat leaf parsley. I dislike cilantro enough to know the difference!

                  1. re: johnnyd

                    The name really is odd! But generosity is right, and the quality is good and dependable even if the food is not spectacular. I think they've gotten rid of this....but for a while they had specials on each of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (half price calamari, nachos and.....can't remember the third item, respectively). They also subscribe to the byow. Their corkage fees were $1 in mondays, $2 on tuesdays and $10 on wednesdays, and then regular $15 the rest of the week. I haven't seen those signs up lately so wonder if these still stand?

                  2. Sharkey's has some interesting food, world cuisine. Been there for dinner before, not sure if they offer lunch.
                    There is a pub, brydens, right at jane and bloor that offers cheap pub fare at lunch . . . .
                    If you make it down to royal york and bloor, Magic Spot is the place to go.....Yummy greek food for cheap....healthy and fresh, always great quality . . . .your best bet for sure

                    1. I often eat lunch at Falafel World (2396 Bloor Street West). The falafel and chicken shwarma are both good. The beef shish kabob is also very tasty, but takes about 10 minutes to cook. They let you customize the sandwiches for a small fee. I usually add some eggplant to my chicken shwarma. The folks who run it are very nice.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: vinojoe

                        I second Falafel World...so cheap, so tasty.

                        Also check out Bryden's at Jane and Bloor. Friendly service and good food.

                        1. re: LovesToEat

                          I think the burgers @ The Griffen are very good & I love the variety...but the service is so bad I cant go there anymore...also the dog that goes in and out of the kitchen really bothers me...

                          I will second Dr. G...a nice family style restaurant that is very kid friendly...I will also second Bryden's...decent food...sometimes almost great & really good service...if your in a rush I sometimes call ahead at lunch & the food is ready when I get there or a minutes or two after...

                          1. re: BloorWestie...

                            Bryden's? Really? I've been there a few times because it's really close to work (on Jane), but everything I've ever ordered there has been awful. Maybe I've just chosen the wrong things. Or my standards for pub food are too high, since I worked at one with good food for many years. Maybe I'll give them another shot. Any recs for "almost great" items from the menu?

                      2. I really like salmon there is a smoked salmon appetizer that sells for only $5 bucks on Mondays & a salmon entree that has some maple & brown sugar which I really like...but they have a decent curry & a few other items are pretty good...but I really can't remember them all...I know alot of stuff they make in house not just the usual frozen/deep-fried stuff mass produced items...but your post make me think...maybe my standards for pubs are too low...I do know this though...every other pub/bar in the area is worse...Griffen, Dark Horse, shakey's, Billy Bobs, & the Firken are far inferior...but the Griff does have a decent burger(Bryden's is as good but not the varieties) but for previously mentioned reasons I never enjoy the overall experience.

                        What pub would you rec??

                        1. Unfortunately, nothing in this neighbourhood. But if you're ever around mid-town, I highly recommend the Abbot on the Hill and the Rebel House. Both are the kind of "pub" I'm happy to eat in, where comfort food is taken seriously.

                          1. I would just do the 5-10 minute west treck past the humber over to Kingsway village where there are a lot more options.

                            1. You know, I never thought of heading west. I used to live in the Kingsway area (about 6 years ago) and other than Demetre (an old high school hangout), nothing on that stretch stayed in my memory. But I suppose times have changed? Any recs for specific spots to try?