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Early Lunch near Mount Sinai/TGH???

I'm looking for a restaurant a very short walk (I'll be with my elderly father) away from Toronto General Hospital. The challenge is that it has to open early, as we have to have him back to TGH by 1pm. And he thinks that Baldwin is a bit of a hike. Are there restaurants closer? And preferably not too exotic. We'll take a cab if need be...

Thanks so much in advance. We have to be at the hospital by 8:30am for a day of tests with a short break. A decent meal would make it *much* more tolerable...

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  1. here's a recent thread:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/435827

    good luck with your dad - i was in the same situation not long ago!

    1. A Swiss Chalet has just opened in the Hydro building across the street. It fits the close and not too exotic requirements. TGH does have an enormous food court 1 floor below the University Ave entrance, same floor if you come in through Elizabeth St but ultimately it's a food court and doesn't offer much respite from the hospital.
      There is a nice cafeteria in the National Life building on the south west corner of University and Elm (2nd floor). It's clean and bright and they usually have a couple of very decent specials.
      The only other thing I can think of is the Fran's at Yonge and College.
      Good luck to you and your dad.

      1. There's a fantastic family run Italian place in the basement of the Hydro building (700 University Avenue, the big curved glass building with Swiss Chalet in the basement). It's very close to Mt. Sinai. If you enter the Hydro building from street level, walk down a few steps (outside) to their lower 'mezzanine.' If you walk in any of the doors, you'll be in a big food court. Take the elevators down one floor (you can't go any lower), walk out and look for the sign for Onorio's Deli. They do some great pizzas and pastas, but their best items are the Italian sandwiches. There are a few seats in the place, or you can go up one floor to the aforementioned food court and grab a seat by the window. They're open for breakfast, and stay open through the day, so early won't be a problem.

        1. Certainly serviceable if not exotic...there's a Druxy's Deli at 123 Edward, just east of University. I've eaten there a few times, doing the hospital gig. Good luck with the testing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Goddess

            Thanks to all of you for your best wishes! We certainly won't starve with all the options in the area...:).

            Oh - a question though - I can't find a Canada411.com listing for Onorio's Deli (I just wanted to check their opening time). Is it still there? "Great pasta" sounds better than food court fare, *and* that looks almost as close as the TGH food court!

            1. re: morrigan

              It's definitely still there. I was there very recently. They're open at 7 or 8 every morning and serve food until 4 I think. They usually start their lunch prep pretty early, so you'll have plenty of time to get back to the hospital before 1. I know I've had early lunches there in the past.

              A note, if they ask if you want hot sauce, take it a bit easier than you might usually, it's fairly potent. I speak from the experience of the hottest veal sandwich I've ever had. It was still good enough to finish every bite, albeit painfully. :)

          2. Try the Avenue Cafe, south of the hospital(s) near Dundas, on the W side of University.

            3 Replies
            1. re: thenurse

              Is Earl's at College/University still around? I'm not sure if they open early, but they're worth a shot.

              1. re: looniePincher

                It's now a Swiss Chalet. Just opened a couple of weeks ago I think.

                1. re: xtal

                  OMG! My wife's not going to like this news. We used to love going to that place for lunch back when we were in university.