Lunch at Yonge and St. Clair
I've been working at Yonge and St. Clair for a couple of months now, and am stuck for decent, inexpensive lunch spots. Of course there's Terroni (not an everyday place), the chicken sandwich at Senior's is surprisingly good, and Simply Thai is tasty. But what else? I'm sick of the bland pho at Sprout.
The pannini at Boccone are outstanding - as are many of their main course dishes (lasagne, roast veal et al.) on the steam trays behind the counter. If you ask they will throw in gratis some of their excellent foccacia.
Fionn MacCool's' chikken tikka masala in a boxtie (Irish potato crepe) is very tasty too, as is their meatloaf. In fact I find their food in general, and their cheerful service, several cuts above the general abysmal standard of Toronto pubs.
Senior's steak lunch special downstairs is always good - steak n' eggs, too. Eddie prides himself on delivering affordable quality.
There is a shwarma place a litle N of Boccone - can't remember the name - nice spicing on the chicken but they leave the (flabby) skin on which results in some disagreeable moments. Pity.
I don't know why anyone would order a burger at Hero's - imho expensive and taste-free. Also the food at Scalliwag's bites. The Court Jester used to be great but they changed chefs and went upscale, so haven't eaten there in a while.
Astonishing to me that Peter Oliver couldn't make a go of it at this busy intersection full of affluent condo-dwellers and the office crowd - some semi-sophisticated food in pleasant upscale settings such as the old Bofinger's, Rhodes and Paramount are sorely lacking here. Didier is just absurd, attitude and price wise; there is a plethora of junk food from Chinese to Subway - but nothing really quality mid-range in terms of both food and atmosphere.
Totally agree with the Boccone reccomendation. For Italian lunch go here and not across the street to Passione. Their quality food and inexpensive prices makes for a nice combo. The cafeteria line can be a little long at lunch, but it does move pretty quickly.
Not a big fan of Seniors steak and eggs, though. The two times I've had it I found the steak to be thin and grey. I prefer my steak in steak and eggs to have some coulour and a bit of crust.
Thanks for the memories on Bofinger et al. Remember the short lived Joe Dimaggio's Wet Paint Cafe--watch an artist work while you eat. I think that those places were just a little early. There's more to hope for now there's a much better critical mass of condos and people.
I second Boccone (one of my favourite lunch spots in Toronto). In particular the Foccaccia sandwiches are superb. I'm not as impressed with the steam table entrees.
And next spring/summer check out their back patio.
I don't like Passione - the guys try hard and the food is cheap - but cheap bad food doesn't turn me on!
And I also like the Pho at Sprout (you can order it spicy) although their noodle dishes are usually better.
Of course, Seniors is solid and reliable albeit greasy at times.
And the Tim Hortons (occasionally) isn't bad - the soup and bagel combo is cheap and satisfying.
Someone please tell me more about Senior's. I have been meaning to go there for ages and haven't gotten around to it. Anyone have the chopped steak? What's is it about the chicken sandwich that's surprisingly good?
Boccone (attached to Spiga)has great pasta deals -- I find it much, much better than Passione, which I tried once and wouldn't repeat. As a bonus, you can do takeout and they will also cater office functions.
For burgers I usually enjoy Fionn MacCool's, especially with a side of Guinness!! I wouldn't vouch for much else there, though.
I have had good shawarmas at two places on the east side of Yonge, south of St. Clair: Mediterranean Garden (which is organic) and Emmanuel.
Seniors is as old-school ugly as they come. 70s-era cheap furniture, a carpet that's seen too many winters, and not enough light. My first experience there - a late breakfast - was unmemorable. But their chicken sandwich, on a kaiser, with minimal fixings (lettuce, tomato, mayo), rocks. The chicken is properly marinated, grilled, and moist - it actually tastes good, as opposed to the usual dry piece of white meat that needs dressing up to have any taste at all. I've been meaning to go back for the burgers and the chopped steak. Perhaps next week...
Thanks to all for the pasta and shawarma recs. Will check them out.
I am thinking that both Didier and Cava are NOt gonna be inexpensive options.
Spiga (S of St Clair on the west side) doea a nice veal sammie along with lots of pastas and salads but it gets pretty busy.
You have already discovered Seniors.
Hero does a nice burger if you can get them to cook it medium. Plus there is always Wendy's
The food at Scallywags aint bad either
When I worked on Merton, I would frequently walk down to Delisle Court to have lunch at one of the restaurants there. There's a Japanese restaurant that I frequented (tho' the name of it escapes me) and upstairs is a chinese restaurant I'd go to if I was craving won ton soup or somesuch. I've not been around there for a couple of years so I don't know what's left and what's still there.