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Danforth & Coxwell

I have to take a client out for lunch in the Danforth and Coxwell area. I have no idea what is around there and would appreciate suggestions.

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  1. El Sol is one of the best Mexican places in the city, IMHO. It's just west of Coxwell, on the north side of Danforth.

    A little further west, by Linnsmore, is Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen. Also extremely highly recommended.

    Not sure whether either is open for lunch, though. You might want to call and check.

    1. Another thumbs up for El Sol here. Also, you may want to give Ten Feet Tall a try. Just west of Coxwell on the south side around Monarch Park Ave. Not sure if they're open for lunch though. Unless it's a lunch of the liquid variety, avoid Sarah's. I also had a nice meal once at Gerrard Spaghetti House - it's on the north side of Danforth, just west of Coxwell. A little pricey for what you get.

      1. The food is great at El Sol, the service is horrible. It was the worst restaurant service I have gotten in Toronto. The staff completely ignored us and several other tables. They would not make eye contact with us. When they brought the food they put the plates down and left without giving us a chance to say anything. I had wanted to order another margarita, but not able to, nor were we able to get refills on our water or anything else to drink.

        The staff or owners or whoever were socializing with their friends at another table. After we finished our food, we sat for a long time and I finally went up to the table where they were and asked for the check. I enjoyed the actual food but not nearly enough to put up with that. I don't think it would be a great place to take a client.

        2 Replies
        1. re: melsky

          Yes we had some pretty bad service there. And what is with the rolling cart that they bring the food to the tables on. I mean really, there was only two plates to carry. And yes, no eye contact. Good nachos but the atmosphere was so unfriendly that we left.

          1. re: Mila

            I have to agree, the food is fine, fun ambiance, but I have been there 3 times and each time been really irritated by the non-existent service. I can't bring myself to return, and that is saying a lot considering I live in the area and there are so few decent restaurants to choose from.

        2. 3s Company is casual but the food is good.

          1. Djerba Ladouce does lunch I think (website is contradictory, but I've had lunch there in the past. They were dead so service was reasonably fast).

            I wouldn't take a client to 3s company, I like it there but it looks pretty grubby, can get quite crowded, kids etc. Ten Feet Tall would probably be my choice for lunch in the area, but it is casual/funky too - just a little nicer & more professional than 3s company with better-spaced tables. Make sure they are serving lunch in March as they weren't in January/February. And check the menu because I did find it limited at lunch and with a client you want some options, right?



            If a nice coffee shop would do, niche is very nice.


            3 Replies
            1. re: julesrules

              agree with ten feet tall. The staff there are very friendly, and on wed and sun I believe it is, they have live jazz which is always fun. And weekly specials which are pretty good too!

              1. re: julesrules

                Grubby? Just wondering if you noticed something that I haven't in the times that I have been there.

                Coxwell and Danforth is pretty casual. It's not a high end area but a neighbourhood with real spots for real people.

                I agree with you re Djerba Ladouce though it has been dissed on the board for amateur service. Again, it's a neighbourhood meal and the food is delicious.

                1. re: Zengarden

                  Djerba LaDouce is a one and a half man show. And yes the service is by amateurs. You go there for a good interesting meal, not to get your ass kissed. But you can engage the "service" in an interesting converstaion. I remember a couple evenings the person ws an Iraqui nuclear physicist ( so claimed).

              2. I'm new to Chowhound, and find this thread really helpful. I live in the east end and am always looking for new places to try... especially since so many of the places look scary. There is a lot of flannel and few teeth out on the Danforth at night.

                1. Went to Relish again last night. This place is one street east of Woodbine on the north side of Danforth. Good, reasonably priced tapas, and the service was great.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Phoenix

                    Was at Relish last week with my family. I found the prices to be high for what we received. The service was great, the food was slightly above average, atmosphere nonexistent, and the bill was outrageous. I wouldn't return.

                    I've had hit and miss experiences with Ten Feet Tall. Been there twice - the first time I enjoyed the food immensely, and when I returned with my SO it was at about the level of a Boston Pizza et al. I like the ambiance of TFT, though, and I've considered going back.. maybe since they've introduced some live music on Saturdays.

                    I don't get the Sarah's bashing around here? I've eaten there three times and don't have a single complaint.

                    1. re: NovoCuisine

                      Relish isn't open for lunch weekdays. They do serve weekend brunch.

                      1. re: NovoCuisine

                        I can't remember why I didn't like the food the first time, but it was enough to make me play it safe and order the fish and chips the next time. Big mistake: the fish was cooked so much it was like chewing on an old rope.

                        This was almost a year ago, so maybe things have changed. But I am unlikely to give a place more than two chances. And it is unfortunate, because the atmosphere is nice there. I would definitely go back for drinks only...

                    2. El Sol is great. Deserving of all kudos.
                      Go to Sarah's for the drinks and patio, not for the food.
                      Ten Feet Tall deserves more customers.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: yaddayadda

                        El Sol's meats can be tough and many of their dishes taste the same. The unbelievably slow service is the stuff of legend. Although I enjoy some of their food (especially the guac and the sangria), I've given up on them. Too many endless waits for food that was often good, but not THAT good.

                        I'm surprised about Ten Feet Tall. I've been there when they were quite busy. I suspect their odd pricing policy may drive people away. Last time I was there, hearty, complex (and tasty) mains cost less than light salads. I do love their sweet potato fries.

                        1. re: embee

                          Sold! I think I'll head back there soon, especially now that the weather's getting better.

                          1. re: yaddayadda

                            I love ten feet tall, and on wed and sundays you can catch some good live jazz

                          2. re: embee

                            Finally got back to El Sol after awhile. Sorely disappointed this time. It looks like it was sold off to another group.

                            Everything is just spicy hot now, no other discernible flavours. Food arrived in next to no time, suggesting micorwaving / reheating. A lot pricier than I remember it. Dirty, dinghy.

                            No longer worth it. I take back any previous reviews. (Sigh.)

                            1. re: yaddayadda

                              The reason it used to take so long is that they used to make everything from scratch...so I agree something must have changed there

                          3. re: yaddayadda

                            Ditto on Sarah's. Good patio with paulaner weissbier on tap.

                          4. Always wondered why Lee's Thai Spring Roll (now west of their previous location, closer to Greenwood) was empty whenever I passed by. Went inside a few weeks ago with significant other.

                            Mystery solved:
                            Portions were *extremely* small, given the exorbitant prices. Food was merely competent.

                            This one unlikely to last very long - very much out of step with the market, esp. given that particular locale.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: angela8

                              I like Thai on Danforth a lot, good standard Toronto Thai and friendly service. Have had Lee's (at Greenwood) a couple of times and it was OK, but I go to Thai on Danforth much more often.

                              1. re: Pincus

                                I was looking forward to going to Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen after work today, but unfortunately, when I got there it was closed - closed on Mondays ;( I was hungry and walking east from there, and decided to give Lee's Spring Roll a try. What a mistake! I had the veg appetizer sampler, which was fine. The rolls (both spring and salad) were fine and the fried tofu was good. The mango salad was flavourless. The worst part though was the phad thai. I think it is probably some of the worst pad thai I've ever had. The menu specifically says that the dish contains tamarind. Well whatever tamarind was in there was drowned out by ketchup. The dish of noodles arrived with a pile of rice noodle thickly glazed over with the gloopy ketchup sauce. There was a pathetic teaspoon-ful of crushed peanuts hiding in one corner. The noodles were that consistency when they become gluey and you can't bite through the rice noodle. The sauce was a sickly sweet disaster. I had two bites, hoping it would get better and gave up. Lesson learned!

                            2. Just a heads up. Colombo's Pizza is up for sale. Saw an ad in the paper on Friday.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: dragonflygrl

                                Around this area, the best has to be Relish. Casual setting and great tapas-style food. The only thing is you can drop quite a bit before you know it because it adds up.

                                1. re: Popdoggy

                                  I've had some really delicious food there, but also some extremely bad service.

                                  Timing is always an issue with this style of eating. However, they have proven unwilling to listen to clear instructions about what was wanted when. Food is delivered irrationally. The "served when ready" ethos doesn't make this forgivable. You either tell the people ordering that their order poses logistical problems or you start different dishes at appropriate times for the ordering tables. Actually, you do both. We've told them that some dishes were not being shared, but they just did their thing anyway. Some of us have been on dessert before others got any food.

                                  I really want to love this place, but something significant always spoils the meal. Reiterating, though, there is some really tasty food there.

                                  1. re: embee

                                    You see... I deal with the Relish delivery issues by doing this: If they serve when ready, I order when ready. I pre-match selections and order as such (say 2 dishes at a time) so it arrives in a sensible manner. Makes wine pairing easier too. I'm in no hurry when I dine. Love her food too much to let myself have issues.

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      Actually, we have tried this. It fixed some issues, but not the major ones. It's been mainly good to excellent food (with the occasional dud) served bizarrely.

                                      We've asked for specific items to be served together, which gives them total control over what to start when. If they can't get two meat "mains", not to be shared, with a couple of veggie sides (to be shared), to the table at more-or-less the same time (as opposed to thirty minutes apart)...

                                      I think they have the best food in the area by far, but they choose not to listen.

                              2. other than Sarah's, any great bars/pubs/lounges for some post-birthday-bowling bash drinks?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: LemonLauren

                                  Hollingers (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/487202) might be a possibility. A bit up Coxwell, to be sure. Ten Feet Tall looks like a nice cozy place, but maybe not what you're looking for.