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Help! Relatively Inexp. Pre- Roy Thomson Dinner

Hi there. I need help.

I am trying to organise supper for 4 before seeing a performance at Roy Thomson next Friday. Although the other 3 people actually live in TO, I (the New Brunswicker) have to pick the restaurant...

Please help. It has to be relatively inexpensive because the theatre tickets were a little pricey, but it has to be a good meal because I'm trying to leave a good impression on the night here.

I read in some posts that Canyon Creek was good, but then in many other posts that it was awful. Joe Badali's had the same problem...

It doesn't have to be within walking difference because we'll have a car, but it should be close.


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  1. Oh and I'm open to any type of food, but we've got one finicky eater so we're happy to eat a place that at least has some non-exotic menu items.

    1. Maybe Baldwin Street? It's about a 10 minute walk from RTH, but there's a bunch of restaurants concentrated in one area and I don't think any of them are too expensive. I haven't been there, but Cafe La Gaffe always looked nice.

      On Queen West, I like the Queen Mother; menu leans towards Asian-flavours, but nothing too unusual.

      1. Oh, and you could also try Marinela's (http://www.marinelas.com/#dinner). I've heard good things about it - tried to go once, but I forgot where it was and turned on the wrong street =P Price-wise, Marinela's is more expensive than the other places I mentioned; Baldwin would be the least expensive option.

        1. Lee Garden or King's Noodles on Spadina

          1. I agree with Queen West as a moderately priced, pleasant vibe, close to RTH with a range of food. It's one of the few places that does some yum thai AND some yum western food on the same menu.

            btw, it'd be 2/3 the price of Canyon Creek, which I find pricy for the quality personally.

            btw, if you enter from the south the parking under RTH is pretty decently priced. You'd probably be better off parking once then walking.

            1 Reply
            1. re: orangewasabi

              errr, that was Queen Mother, not Queen West.

            2. In the immediate vicinity of Roy Thomson Hall (at King and University, at least a 15-minute walk from Baldwin), there are a bunch of decent options. Two off the top of my head:

              - Il Fornello, which serves very decent gourmet pizzas, a few pastas, and has lots of options for finicky eaters. Menu here: http://www.ilfornello.com/if/locking....

              - The Queen Mother, one of the best-loved restaurants in the neighbourhood, with an eclectic menu that has some excellent Asian items and some "non-exotic" ones. http://www.queenmothercafe.ca/

              1. There's also HAL Burger at Adelaide and Duncan, which does decent burgers. I also don't mind Kama, the Indian buffet right across the street from Roy Thomson, although that depends on how finicky your finicky friend is...

                4 Replies
                1. re: mister1970

                  do you know what the name of the chinese place is -- above and just to the east of Kama?

                  I've had good lunch time dim sum there.

                  1. re: orangewasabi

                    I think it's called King's Garden, right across the street from RTH. A little pricier than what is out in Markham (one of the Chinatowns in the burbs,) but I found the quality top shelf and service attentive. This might be perfect for the original poster. I was with a group and we ordered the set dinner for four (they had two options) and eveything was excellent. I'd consider it an ideal intro to "Chinese-flavoured" exotic -- let's remember we are in Toronto and we are lucky to have the variety.

                  2. re: mister1970

                    Please if you have one meal in TO, or 12 meals for that matter, avoid HAL Burger!! VERY over-priced bland meat on lousy buns.

                    1. re: deelicious

                      HAL is trying for the hip crowd. I was there once and not impressed with the unhip food and the unhip waiter.

                  3. In the immediate vicinity are several places that can deliver a decent meal and are not limited to "exotica". I emphasize decent; not great. All are within a few minutes walk. All can deliver a reasonably priced meal. In no particular order:

                    - Il Fornello
                    - Kings Garden
                    - Penelope
                    - Kit Kat
                    - Milestones
                    - Joe Badali
                    - Dhaba
                    - Barootes

                    Milestones and Barootes would probably best suit your "finicky" eater. Dhaba is probably the most overtly exotic.

                    I've had several good experiences at Joe Badalis and no truly bad ones. I would avoid Elephant & Castle and Kama.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: embee

                      I disagree...for one of a chain, that Elephant & Castle is surprisingly good. They've redone the back part of it and the food isn't bad at all. I'd say if you want inexpensive and close it's your best option.

                      1. re: taylor_to

                        My dads loves the Lamb Curry at Elephant & Castle.

                        1. re: taylor_to

                          I agree that the Food at E&C is okay, but getting in before of after a show can be a tad dicey. Can't beat the location though. Don't know if they do reservations, but if you're going there it would be worth checking....

                          For the original poster,
                          Le Select Bistro is a bit more expensive, but you can have a great dinner fairly well priced if you stick to the prix-fixe and house wines. It's a bit further away, on Wellington, but if you like French bistro food, go for it. Reservations there are important, especially on a Friday.