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Jan 10, 2007 07:41 PM

College St. Eats

I haven't been to College St. in ages and would like some up-to-date recs for decent priced, yummy food on that strip. Entrees in the $15-$20 range, and a fun atmosphere for people in their mid-30's. It may be a Sunday or Monday night when we go.
Definitely looking for Italian or Portuguese food, or even fusion. Tapas or share plates are fine as well. I was thinking Senhor Antonio, but it was dead the last time I was there.

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  1. I hate to say it, but College Street is pretty dead these days. I don't think it ever actually recovered from the construction of the new streetcar tracks a couple of summers ago. The beautiful people have generally moved south to King Street, and nothing really good has opened up in quite a while. I do think Sushi Island is very good. I miss the old Tempo terribly. Cafe Margaux is long gone. 65 degrees steakhouse, one of the "newest" places is deplorable, and Vivoli isn't much better. The old standards still serve up the same sometimes good (College Street Bar, Coco Lezzone) and sometimes awful (Cafe Diplomatico) food. I don't know if Olivia's survived (just north of The Dip on Clinton).

    For inexpensive Porguguese on College, I would go to Sintra, but I don't think they are open Sundays in the winter.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Cereal Killer

      Cafe Margaux was great and I miss it. In my opinion Utopia serves great food (non italian) consistently. As well I happen to like Coco Lezzone.

    2. While not Portuguese or Italian, I recommend El Bodegon, which is Peruvian. It's a great, family run restaurant with simple, but delicious food. The prices are reasonable and the portions are generous. It's a good place to try anticuchos (skewered, grilled beef hearts) if you've never had them before. My personal favourite there is the beef lomo saltado -- it's probably my favourite comfort food in the city. It's char-grilled strips of beef which are then sauteed with onions, tomatoes and fried potatoes. The whole thing is served on a large plate with plain rice. Mix it all together and you have happiness on a plate. I'm not actually sure why I love the stuff so much -- it's just tasty.

      Plenty of fish on the menu, and as I've mentioned before -- one of the best won ton soups I've found in the city.

      I think they are closed on Mondays.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Definately El Bodegon!

        I love this place...not pretentious, nice atmosphere and the food is great!

        I also love the anticuchos! The mixed ceviche is great and more than enough for three to share as an appetizer.


      2. I still like Bar Italia.

        My favourite restaurant on College is Gamelle (French), but it's slightly above your price point on average (most plats principaux are in above $20, but if you select carefully you can order things under $20, not including appetizer/entrees, wine or dessert).

        6 Replies
        1. re: balthazar

          I have found that Bar Italia's attention to detail has fallen off dramatically. Very inconsistent service and food quality.

          1. re: deelicious

            Could be true. I only go there once every few months and may have been lucky - I thought I noticed some decline last fall but thought it was an off night. Perhaps not.

            1. re: deelicious

              what have you noticed change foodwise with Bar Italia?

              Their breakfast foods always seem to be consistent - including their brunch salads. I've had some terrific pasta dishes there, though the last time I had a soup is was very bland and I too attributed it to an off night. Would like to know what to avoid in the future

              btw, have they ever had great service? I do like their lattes though A LOT!

              1. re: orangewasabi

                It's been my experience lately that perhaps Bar Italia has their eye off the ball. Cold food, poor service and wrong ingredients the last 2 visits.

                Believe it or not the waffles I returned to the kitchen at brunch were hard and room temperature because they say they like to pre-make all the waffles first thing in the morning. They were so gross! Bar Italia isn't cheap. Serve fresh-made waffles.

                The omelette that I switched to came with feta cheese when it was supposed to be asiago. And these problems came with so much bad attitude. The server's attitude was like why the hell don't you want cold waffles for brunch, it's how we do it? I didn't dare mention the cheese, and she never asked me how the omelette was.

                The next visit brought cold coffee and a chicken sandwich that barely had any chicken in it. My friend ordered roast beef and after 20 minutes they told her there was no roast beef left. She opted for pizza which was as great as ever...

                There are just too many choices in the city. I can't imagine accepting pre-made waffles. I still enjoy their Bar One location.

                1. re: deelicious

                  wow, that's really really not good!

                  I'm used to the service level there so I don't expect much.

                  So far, I have had consistent quality with the following:
                  - the Steak & Eggs
                  - the lemon riccotta fruit salad (which changes seasonally anyway)
                  - the bresola salad (one of my favourites)
                  - the gorgonzola toast
                  - the mild sausage side (which I often order with the lemon riccotta) so I have room for extra LATTES (which are always good there)

                  1. re: orangewasabi

                    I too LOVE that lemon riccotta!

                    And I always found that you had to order an espresso style coffee to get a good hot one. The brewed, although good quality is not always as fresh as it should be.

                    Its a shame to not know exactly what the deal is. Just because the waitress told me its "how they do the waffles" on the weekend, you dont know if it is really true. She may have just been making it up to give me an answer and show that she did nothing wrong. Who knows but I am not an investor in their place, so I move along.

            1. the good: Pony, Gamelle, Langolino, College St. Bar, Sushi Island

              the bad: The Dip, Bar Italia

              the ugly: Bar Burrito