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Affordable West End Resto, Easy Access to Subway

Juniper Jan 21, 2008 11:29 AM

I'm not very familiar with anything west of Ossington, so I'm hoping my fellow hounds can help me out here. I'm meeting with some folks for dinner tomorrow and we have some criteria we need to be cognizant of when choosing a spot:

- any cuisine type is fine, but the place must have vegetarian options
- must be accessible by Bloor subway line, preferably between Kipling and Dufferin
- must be affordable ($11-25 for mains)
- nothing fancy, but not a hole-in-the-wall kind of place either (this is sort of work-related so we want something with at least minimal formality to it - i.e., table service, nothing overly loud)

I've looked through the boards and places like ViBo, Cru, and Momo's regularly get mentioned, but those are a bit pricier than I was hoping for. Any help in identifying something else in the area would be greatly appreciated!

  1. l
    LovesToEat Jan 21, 2008 12:27 PM

    How about:

    Queen's Pasta Cafe (Runnymede Station) - http://www.queenspastacafe.com/home.html

    Green Mango (two locations one at Runnymede station and one at Royal York station
    )http://www.greenmango.ca

    Amber European Restaurant (Jane station
    )No website but address is: 2372 Bloor Street West

    Bryden's (Jane station)
    http://brydens.ca/

    2 Replies
    1. re: LovesToEat
      p
      piccola Jan 21, 2008 05:44 PM

      I heart Green Mango. And now I want to try your other recs.

      1. re: LovesToEat
        b
        BloorWestie... Jan 21, 2008 08:21 PM

        Bryden's is a favorite haunt of mine...its a great little pub with good food...easily the best in the area...but judging by your criteria I would say Merlot is a good choice...less than a block from Royal York station on Bloor

      2. s
        StudentDiner Jan 21, 2008 05:22 PM

        I like BoHo, http://www.torontolife.com/guide/restaurants/bistro/boho/
        Silver Spoon http://www.silverspoon.ca/ , and
        Fat Cat Wine Bar http://www.torontolife.com/guide/rest...

        All three are on Roncesvalles (a few blocks south of Dundas West station - you can take streetcar down).

        1. m
          marcharry Jan 22, 2008 01:12 PM

          My Thai Kitchen - is 3 blocks west of green mango - better food, better atmosphere (not Thai Queen its in the middle :))

          i agree with Roncesvalles - i know fat cat to be relatively honest - its not very far west. Not that accessible

          I have not eaten at merlot in years, but nor have they updated a thing. I have had some pretty average faux french meals there.

          I live near Royal York and since Lemon Meringue left not a decent resto along the bloor strip. Friendly greek is okay for what it is - sounds too downscale too.

          I have not eaten at Bryden's - but i would eat $9 honest pub food before $22 faux french

          Can only reco My Thai Kitchen.

          1 Reply
          1. re: marcharry
            pancake Jan 22, 2008 02:42 PM

            Just greek outside royal york station. Definately affordable and decent food with good veggie options.

            Green Mango outside Royal York station is by far the best for what you are looking for. Veggie options, affordable, consistent thai food.

          2. r
            re256 Jan 23, 2008 06:05 AM

            You might try Revo Bistro, second block east of Islington, south side. I have only eaten there once, but enjoyed it. The osso bucco style turkey shank was very good.
            Renata

            1. Juniper Jan 23, 2008 02:49 PM

              Thanks, everyone, for the recommendations. It turns out that the furthest west of the group couldn't make it in the end, so we opted for a place that was more central: Tabule. We ordered labneh, hummus, babaghanouj, tabouleh, cauliflower w/ tahini, warak enab (grape leaf dolmades), and shish tawouk skewers. Overall, I like that this restaurant fills the void for a sit-down place for middle eastern food, but I thought the food was decent from the price, but nothing I'd rave about necessarily. It might be that I'm accustomed to the Lebanese style of these items (Iraqi, Syrian, and other regions have slightly different variations on the flavour balances and such, and I'm unsure of where the owners/chefs of Tabule hail from so I can't say this is a sure reason for my line of reasoning here) but I found that in general, the food was more reliant on salt for flavour rather than the more generous use of garlic, lemon, olive oil, mint, and sumac. I know this place is quite popular with hounds here so my assessment will be seen as heresy, but I really really love Lebanese food (and I have a LOT of exposure and access to made-with-love, authentic stuff) and this didn't totally satisfy me like I was hoping it might. Anyway, I'll return because I'm curious to try their other items, but I'm not ready to proclaim my love of the place just yet, although I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the place as a sit-down alternative to the takeout falafel and shawarma joints around town.

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