ISO decent, non-chain restaurant in Scarborough
I'm helping a group of undergraduates at the University of Toronto at Scarborough plan a conference, and we're all going out for dinner afterwards. There will be between 20 or 30 people. I'm wondering if anyone can suggest a restaurant that is appropriate for a group of that size, is not a chain restaurant, and 'very affordable' (we probably have to keep it to $20 a person including tax or tip, although I should note that there will be no alcohol). It definitely doesn't need to be fancy, of course! (And couldn't be at that price.) Just something reasonably respectable inside, decent atmosphere, etc. Oh, and in Scarborough if possible.
Sincere thanks for any suggestions!
If Chinese food works for your group, it can be a very affordable option since people share platters and don't order full plates for themselves. When I go out with my family to a Chinese restaurant, we can order a set meal for 4 for around $45-60 depending on whether or not we include seafood into the mix, or if we order a la carte it comes out to being marginally more expensive at $55-80. The other thing I like about Chinese restaurants is that people are seated at circular tables which is more conducive to socializing than the super long row of tables you typically get when you have a large group at a Western style restaurant.
There are a number of Chinese restaurants in the Scarborough area that can accommodate a group your size without any difficulty: Ruby (Finch and McCowan), Very Fair (Kennedy and Sheppard), Dragon Dynasty (Huntingwood and Brimley - in the Chartwell Centre), and numerous others that I can't think of off the top of my head just now. Of the three I named, probably Very Fair is the most reasonably priced, Ruby is in the middle, and Dragon Dynasty is the priciest. The quality of the food goes in roughly that same order comparatively, with Very Fair being decent to good, Ruby being marginally better than Very Fair, and Dragon Dynasty being very good.
I'd recommend Red House Thai at Whites Rd/Kingston Rd in Pickering, not too far from the U of T. It might be a little small for your group size though. Thirty people might even be over the maximum capacity. I am addicted to their Thai chicken wings, Mee Hoon Goreng, and their Spicy beef, their cashew chicken and pad thai are good as well.
House of Wong at Kingston Rd just east of Morningside is alright for Chinese food, my family has been going there for takeout the last 10 years. They just did a bit of remodeling so it's not too shabby inside. It's across the street from Sisters.
For fish and chips I can recommend Highland fish and chips at Ellesmere and Conlins. It's getting a little dingy as it ages but the fish and chips are pretty good, I'd order the cod or haddock, the halibut is overpriced.
If you're curious about German food, Little Bavaria At Markham Rd and Eglinton is pretty darn good. There is also the Blue Danube at Ellesmere and McCowan, I've always had the schnitzel and found it to be alright. I prefer Little Bavaria though, it is small though so you might want to check their capacity as well.
If you're up for Italian, Fratelli Village Pizzeria at Old Kingston Rd and the Highland Creek Overpass is very good. Their thin crust pizzas are great and from what I understan their pastas are good too. I like their calamari as an appetizer and their Tiramisu is good (I'd like to know where they get it). It is another small place so check their capacity as well. It's usually packed between 6-8.
Alas, most of my Scarborough haunts offer mainly takeaway service, I hope what I mentioned might help.