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Inexpensive, yet impressive eating spot at Spadina & Bloor

OLD GOAT MEETS YOUNG LAMB
Met a Chinese nationalist, U of T exchange student here for 3 months enrolled in a law program. She was filming the anti war march for peace rally on Bloor St.E and was enthralled by the whole process of dissent. She took my flyer. We spent the afternoon at the Future's Bakery over drinks discussing politics etc. We have a dinner date next week and I want to take her somewhere unusual in the annex (she is renting a flat there) I don't want to spend a lot. She is smart, full of questions but not a really big eater. Somewhere unusual, "inexpensive" and quiet enough for conversation.
What can you recommend?
Thanks

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  1. You're right near Korea Town so there are a ton of inexpensive Korean options that are authentic and cheap. Korean cooking tables are always fun.

    1. What about Mount Everest on Bloor just west of Spadina? You can get some very good Nepalese food there and even some Tibetan if I'm not mistaken... given what's going on right now in that region, the food would definitely be fodder for conversation...?

      There's also Thai Basil, which is a dimly lit and nicely decorated restaurant, but has surprisingly low prices and fresh, delicious food.

      There are a number of cheap sushi places on the block as well (my favourite is Sushi on Bloor) - not too sure how quiet they are but they're definitely inexpensive.

      -----
      Sushi On Bloor
      515 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1Y4, CA

      Thai Basil
      467 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X9, CA

      Mt Everest Restaurant
      469 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X9, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Yum2MyTum

        Mount Everest might just work for both of you- inexpensive, all you can/can't eat, great service, wonderful, wonderful food( as yum2 says it's more on the Nepalese/tibetan side rather than Indian).

        What about by the way cafe, too?

      2. Mr Rabbit here. If the girl is as charming as you describe, I wouldn't make inexpensive my primary goal. Women have a way of sniffing that out.

        Don't go to an Asian resto. Imagine if you went to China and someone took you to Denny's. Not good.

        If you want to impress, go south to Harbord. Tati (despite service issues reported here) or Boulevard Cafe or 93 Harbord would be nice places with interesting food for her.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Rabbit

          Dessert Trends on Harbord has a bistro as well as some of the loveliest desserts (their specialty). I had heard they had stopped serving dinner last year, so you may want to check with them directly.

          1. re: Rabbit

            You seem to know a lot about the female mind, Mr Rabbit!

            1. re: fruglescot

              I would query the lady as to how she feels about such places. Being, as you describe, a young bohemian peace activist from China she may find expensive restos occupied by the privileged a turn-off. Then again, maybe not. With that in mind, I'm diggin' the Torito suggestion from dragonflygirl. Kensington Market may be just the ticket.

              1. re: Googs

                I'm afraid you've got the wrong picture, Googs. She is certainly not Bohemian nor necessarily a peace activist. Coming from Nationalist China where demonstrations are forbidden she was just overwhelmed with the idea that people in such numbers would be allowed to march in the street without being arrested.

            1. What day next week is your date? I'd say since she isn't that big of an eater, you could take her to Torito on Augusta. She could order a few tapas, and save you the price of a large meal she might not be able to finish. Unfortunately, Torito can get extremely loud, and the tables are very close together. If your date is early in the week, you might be able to have a semi quiet meal there.

              4 Replies
              1. re: dragonflygrl

                Augusta is a 20 min walk from Spadina & Bloor.

                1. re: dragonflygrl

                  Perhaps WEDNESDAY my night off, or this week I have an unusual Thursday night off as well.

                  1. re: dragonflygrl

                    Torito is nowhere near "inexpensive". $8 for 2 loonie sized crab cakes is not cheap, albeit delicious.

                    1. re: Teep

                      Funny you mention the crab cakes. They were the only dish I didn't enjoy on my last visit. The cakes were soggy, and tasted like they came straight out of a can.