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Casual Lunch Date - University & Dundas

a
akaman Aug 7, 2007 12:29 PM

As the thread title states, I'm taking out a coworker on a casual - get to know you date. Looking for something in and around the University / Dundas area, but a bit of a walk is no big deal.

Not looking for anything fancy, just something cheap and easy. Exotic foods are a plus. Thanks.

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  1. Recyclor RE: akaman Aug 7, 2007 12:45 PM

    Japango for Sushi is right there, Baldwin isn't far and has a variety...Queen & Mcaul has Indian, Korean BBQ, Sushi, people seem to like the Queen Mother (I've never been)...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Recyclor
      j
      jinxed RE: Recyclor Aug 7, 2007 12:57 PM

      oops, I was too slow! I should just say "ditto above", and learn to be more concise.

      I saw David Miller at Queen Mother once when I was there. Not sure if that would attract or turn ppl off, with the recent events! He is very tall. Food is quite decent.

      I thought of Japango, but it's not that cheap, and I don't think much of their lunch sets. (need to try omakase still, though)

    2. j
      jinxed RE: akaman Aug 7, 2007 12:51 PM

      Baldwin/McCaul, which is just NW of you, has a large selection of inexpensive eats. Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Korean, Japanese, etc etc. You can see what you feel like on the day of.

      on the north side of Dundas, across from the AGO, there is a row of houses that contain artsy cafes, and some serve sandwiches, crepes, etc.

      On Wednesdays there's the Farmer's Market at Nathan Phillips Square, or you can do something fun like rating the different food trucks for their fries or poutines -- I'd think that's fun, although very unhealthy!

      On the 8th floor of Simpson Tower (connected to the Bay at Eaton Centre, where you can also find the Arcadian Court), you can dine at Great Cooks on Eight. Nice view, not expensive but not especially cheap.

      If you don't mind walking, Queen Street, just west of University has basically everything...indian, japanese, fusion, cafes (Queen Mother).
      Not sure if you are picky -- are you looking for inexpensive and decent food, or inexpensive and very tasty?

      1 Reply
      1. re: jinxed
        Recyclor RE: jinxed Aug 7, 2007 01:22 PM

        rating poutines = good times...I second that!

      2. a
        akaman RE: akaman Aug 7, 2007 01:23 PM

        Thanks for all the prompt replies, I'll definately have to go walking along McCaul and see what they have to offer.

        The quality of the food really isn't that big of an issue, but the tastier the better. I think whats more important is the atmosphere, nothing overly fancy and serious. Rather, something simple where we can strike up a good conversation.

        2 Replies
        1. re: akaman
          e
          estragon RE: akaman Aug 7, 2007 01:42 PM

          In that case, how about Midi Bistro, at McCaul and Elm. Good lunch specials, lovely smallish room, definitely a good place to talk.

          1. re: estragon
            z
            Zengarden RE: estragon Aug 7, 2007 06:08 PM

            Ditto on Midi. Not that expensive and you will get a place where you can talk and focus on each other without undue distraction.

        2. j
          Julie McCoy RE: akaman Aug 7, 2007 01:34 PM

          I always love the chance to get to Spadina Garden, north side of Dundas just west of Bay (now that's got to be close to you!). I would say it's good for conversation at lunch as it is usually busy enough for there to be the right amount of ambient noise (so you don't feel as though you can be heard by everyone) but that isn't actually loud. Atmosphere is nothing special and very typically 'chinese restaurant'. I love the food there (a personal addiction to the spicy peanut chicken) and the staff are very attentive and helpful. I've even described the kind of dish I was looking for and they promptly made it for me, even though it wasn't on the menu. Very reasonable prices.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Julie McCoy
            c
            cowhound RE: Julie McCoy Aug 7, 2007 01:54 PM

            Isn't Spadina Garden closed for renovations?

            1. re: cowhound
              Teep RE: cowhound Aug 7, 2007 02:12 PM

              I was there a couple of weeks ago, unless they are closed again?

              http://www.chow.com/topics/424312

              1. re: Teep
                m
                Medira RE: Teep Aug 8, 2007 12:32 PM

                Nope! They're open again. I ate there two days ago.

          2. Recyclor RE: akaman Aug 8, 2007 12:28 PM

            Oh, and hey good luck!

            1. t
              To Market To Market RE: akaman Aug 8, 2007 01:18 PM

              I used to work in this neighbourhood and found it hard to find good food...the Avenue Cafe (480 University Ave) was a casual sandwich/salad type place with fresh and reliable food. It's pretty busy though, so if you want to sit and talk, I'd say go after 1:00 pm to avoid the lunch rush. Other than that, I'd suggest going to Baldwin St.

              -----
              Avenue Cafe
              480 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G1V2, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: To Market To Market
                m
                Medira RE: To Market To Market Aug 8, 2007 01:20 PM

                I'd suggest going to Avenue only if it's a nice enough day for a patio and, I'll second To Merket's comment about going during an off-time.

              2. g
                gillyb RE: akaman Aug 8, 2007 01:26 PM

                If you work at Dundas and University you probably already know about Avenue Cafe...but I thought I would suggest it anyway. If you get there early enough (see before 12:30) they have a large selection of sandwich-type eats for all different taste (I love the seafood quesadilla...so tasty) plus you get your choice of salad all for under $10.

                For seating there is a choice of a smartly-decorated indoors or a nice terrace with lots of umbrellas.

                A quick side note: This place works cafeteria style. Go to the counter and pick what you want, dont just sit down and wait for someone to take your order...you'll be waiting for a long time..and that wont look so suave on a first date ( I know bc I've done it!)

                Good luck!

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