Good Eats at Bay/Bloor
I just started working at bay/bloor and was wondering if anyone knows of any good but cheap eats at bay/bloor.
I'm in the same neck of the woods... it's hard to find affordable AND good, but a few spots deliver.
Le Gourmand (in the food court below The Bay): great quiche and salad combo for under $10, but show up before 12:30 or else it'll be gone. Their meatloaf is also quite good, though the sauce is a bit sweet - combo with a salad is a wee bit more than $10 after tax.
Okonomi House (Charles St, between Bay and Yonge): several different types of Japanese pancakes aka okonomi yaki for under $6 - add a miso soup for $2 and you've got yourself a meal. You can also opt for the yummy chicken teriyaki served with a heap of bean sprouts for about $8.
Ritz (Roy Square) - you can get a small jerk chicken dinner for under $5 at lunchtime or spring for the large for a couple bucks more. Their rotis are usually enough to stretch over 2 meals. Worth waiting in the inevitable lineup.
Banana Leafs (Roy Square) - Thai food that's made when you order it, rather than sitting on a steam table a-la-Spring-Rolls-Go. It's not all that authentic, but it's well priced and very tasty. Most combos are under $6 if I remember right and include soup, salad and rice to go with your stir-fry.
As for the remainder of Roy Square, skip the Biryani House as it's had a steep decline in quality over the last year or so, and make sure you've packed some Pepto if you visit the falafel place on the corner.
Lastly, there's a pretty decent salad bar in the grocery store on the lower level of the Manulife centre. You can also get a few hot dishes to go, like roasted chicken and lasagna and such.
23 Charles St W, Toronto, ON M4Y2R4, CA
2 Bloor St E, Toronto, ON M4W, CA
Ritz' jerk chicken lunch special is $3.99, but it is quite small
Banana Leaf which is in the vicinity also has lunch special for $3.99 which is pretty good quite filling. Noodles + shrimps and lots of chicken and veg. They stir fry it for you when you order. So it is not food court kind of food. I recommend this
Ginger, next to the Strip club is a good Vietnames joint with lots of tasty and flavourful food for a reasonable price
I like the Ginger on Yonge just south of Boor -- the dishes are overall a little less sweet than the Ginger at Wellsley and Church. Frugal fav there is the $5 large hot & sour tofu soup which is huge and lemongrass broth really (not typical chinese hot & sour)
Occasionally the take out at Dinah's Cupboard on Cumberland is great -- they do okra there that's awesome.
Another recent thread is at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/440861
I second (third? fourth?) the multiple recs for Saigon Sister in there. They've really let the decor slide over the last few years, but wow, the lunch I had there a few months back was still extremely fresh and tasty, and cheap to boot.
Camros at Yonge & Hayden gets rave reviews for its veggie organic food. http://www.camroseatery.com
Avoid the Mexican joint on Yonge north of Bloor.
Sorry, I have to disagree about Saigon Sister. Service is beyond awful - I've often been left waiting for upwards of twenty minutes just to place an order with a server nowhere to be found, and have often had to ask repeatedly for the bill.
Bad enough when it's after work for drinks or a nibble, but it's a definite deal-breaker when I'm on the clock and need to be back at my desk within an hour.
Food is passable, but it's pretty much style over substance - I guess they hope a pretty plating and trendy molded plywood seating will distract you from the fact that you can get a better rendition at half the price down the street at Ginger.
I really only go because it's a friend's favourite and she insists on choosing it when we meet up. Even then, I downright refuse when lunch is involved.
It's hard to get a better deal than what you get at Ginger. Prices are low, portions are big, food is tasty.
On the north side of Cumberland, just west of Yonge, is a small, hole-in-the-wall, pita place, that does prtty good felafel (freshly deep fried) and chicken shawarma (less freshly cut). They are pretty good, won't blow your socks off, but good. And affordable.
For those special lunches, when you're stealing some time, on Cumberland is Dimmi, an Italian resto that is surprisingly good value for money, as is Toni Bulloni (believe me, the food is better than the name). Again, they're not outstanding places, but you won't leave feeling cheated, or having broken the bank, so remarkable for the area.
Let me tell you where NOT to go. I was around the area yesterday and tried the OJA Noodle House for lunch (East side of Yonge, just south of Spring Rolls). It advertises itself as a Korean restaurant.
At the table, we ordered two lunch specials: 1) Bi Bim Beef Rice special, 2) Shanghai Noodle special.
The Bi Bim dish was bad. First of all, it didn't come in a cast iron dish (it came in a plastic one) so the rice didn't get crunchy on the bottom. The beef portion was really small - almost non-existent. Worst of all, the meal was cold.
The Shanghai Noodle special was worse. The noodles were drowned -- and I mean drowned -- in a sea of soya sauce. The chicken portion was probably the size of a twooney or two schredded up in pieces -- they looked like tiny pieces of mushroom.
I will never eat there again. Two thumbs down.
689 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA
That is correct. :) Sorry, yes, we Koreans can be quite confusing with the Bibimbab. I think most people like the hot pot version, but yes there is also the ones that don;t come with it. :) Most of the ones in Korean town would have both - they'll go out of business if they don't. :)