Green Eggplant in the Beach
- thought_for_food May 31, 2007 05:44 AM
I'm going for dinner at Green Eggplant (Queen E., near Woodbine) on Monday. One of the diners is vegetarian, and the others are omnivorous. Any suggestions on what to order? Thanks.
I had a chicken pesto sandwich that was so-so. The salads were very large and looked really good. The paella (I think that is what it was - rice, chicken, sausage) was also enjoyed by my friend. the 3 different eggplant dips that they bring to the table were probably everyone's favourite part of the meal.
I've had two of their pastas (with seafood) and they were quite good. The Portabello veggie burger was nice (vegetarian) though not exceptional. My aunt really loves their planked salmon and my husband had a good steak one night.
The restraunt itself has a nice atmosphere: crisp, white table cloths, interesting photographs on the wall, a large window overlooking Queen Street. As soon as we were seated, a waiter brought breads (ok quality) and a trio of dips (hummus, babaganouj, a marinated eggplant concoction) that were enjoyable. I ordered a vegetarian penne pasta. It was a little bland in taste, but the goat cheese on it was nice. I would have appreciated it if the waiter had offered some freshly grated parmesan cheese to go with it. I made do with salt and pepper. My dining companions ordered a teriaki salmon dish and a chicken and hummus wrap. They enjoyed these. All our mains came with a substantial house salad. None of us could finish our meals, and we each took about half of our mains away with us.
The price of mains ranged from about $8 (for sandwiches and wraps) to about $14 (for pasta) to about $17 (for various fish and meat dishes). These prices included the salad. Wines were $7 per glass.
Overall, this was a pleasant experience, though certainly more memorable for the company than for the food. It does seem a popular destination for families, and small children were welcome.
I went last night (Saturday) and was very disappointed. Once we looked at the menu, we wanted to leave because it was very 'East Side Mario's-ish'. However, the waiter was kind and brought us some nice looking bread and sauces so we stayed.
The eggplant sauce tasted like ketchup, the second sauce tasted like mayo, the third was hummus and was ok. All of the bread had been pre-buttered so no-one had a choice (my husband is from Italy and does not butter his bread). The meals looked great and they had very nice veggie garnishes but, taste-wise, the meals themselves were aweful. For the first time in years, I pushed my plate aside and didn't finish it (Greek salad with filet--pretty hard to goof up--the dressing was sickningly sweet-the filet was cooked just right but had no seasoning whatsoever). My friend did the same (she had the planked salmon--could tell it was frozen fish and had probably been seasoned in 'butter substitute'), my husband ate his fried chicken, said it was mediocre, but was unable to down the 'instant' mashed potatoes (mashed potatoes are so easy to make-really, shame on you guys!). When the waiter saw that we had barely eaten anything he asked if it was too much or if it wasn't to our liking. I responded that it wasn't to our liking. He said 'oh', scurried away and disappeared until we had to call him over for our bill. We tipped him way too well.. .sigh. . .needless to say. . .we will never return. I would only suggest this place to someone who really likes mayo and ketchup on everything. Nice presentation (my friend's spicy Caesar was beatifully decorated and she said it was good-but that ended up being her meal) and decor (neat paintings) but the food was a big ZERO.
It's a nice and friendly neighbourhood place. We have been there twice, one for an early dinner, another for weekend brunch: the brunch was definitely a better experience. For the dinner we just had appetizers and salads: both salads were underdressed and oversalted...not very pleasant. But the garlic shrimp appetizer was fantastic: very garlicky, saucy, fragrant and piping hot. The veggie quesadilla was also nice, but alittle undersalted and came out just alittle over lukewarm.
The brunch was a different experience. I loved my benny: perfectly done eggs. we all love the potato pancakes; a nice change from the ubiquitous hashbrowns.