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I'm addicted to Pizza Banfi

meld_la Mar 27, 2008 01:19 PM

My current favourite restaurant has to be Pizza Banfi in Forest Hill village. genuinely excellent service, encouraged sharing where they divide and plate the food for you, 100% democratic line-up, excellent prices, delicious food, decently priced wine poured generously.
I could go on....

I need an alternative in a similar price range (10-15 dollars for a main course). Any suggestions?

  1. k
    kasey j miller Mar 28, 2008 09:46 AM

    I agree with all of your comments, save and except for one - democratic line-up? Are you kidding me? They seriously favour the regulars, to the point that it is sometimes offensive to us other folk who frequent the place on a less regular basis (3-4 times per year).

    1 Reply
    1. re: kasey j miller
      meld_la Mar 28, 2008 10:30 AM

      The fair line-up system is one thing that keeps me going back. They're nice to the regulars and reassure them, but if you're first in line for a 2 person table, you'll get it. If you're waiting for a 4 person table (or more) it takes longer and parties of 2 will probably be seated first. But, no, I find them to be 100% democratic and never bump you out of your spot for whatever table size you're waiting for.

    2. j
      juno Mar 27, 2008 02:26 PM

      I'll assume you're looking for another resto in the same general area - and roughly the same price range - as the smallish, long-standing pizza and pasta joint Banfi, but something that's not Italian.

      In which case, let me recommend a place just around the corner from Banfi, on the east side of Spadina Road. If you like Russian-Israeli middle Eastern-style cuisine, Mashu Mashu does it as well - and often better - than most similar restos in Toronto. Good lentil soup, and most main dishes, which include a salad and either rice or fries, clock in at less than $15 (plus tax and tip). The baked rainbow trout is especially tasty, but just about anything on the menu is flavorful, substantial and of good quality. Clean, well-run, efficient service by an alert young staff. The place has been popular with the locals since it first opened a few years ago, with good reason. The wine list isn't up to much, though. But that doesn't seem to bother diners at Mashu Mashu. I rarely see a glass of wine, let alone a bottle, on the tables. Not a drinking crowd, I suppose.

      I agree with you about Banfi. Nice atmosphere, good pizza, attentive service. It has been a winner for years with the Forest Hill crowd, who know a good bargain when they see it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: juno
        JamieK Mar 27, 2008 02:55 PM

        Re the wine list, I had assumed Mashu Mashu wasn't even licensed (I haven't been there) what with the smoothies and kids menu and no mention of wine/beer or sign of LLBO on their site. The pics of dishes look quite tasty though.

        Mashu Mashu
        387 Spadina Rd, Toronto, ON M5P, CA

        1. re: JamieK
          meld_la Mar 27, 2008 07:51 PM

          Mashu Mashu does look great. I'll go there for lunch some time- and yeah, it looks as though they don't have a liquor license.
          I don't actually live in Forest Hill- so I'm open to suggestions where I might find the quality for price anywhere in the city.

          p.s. I just got home from Banfi....

          1. re: meld_la
            juno Mar 28, 2008 08:49 AM

            Mashu Mashu definitely has a liquor licence. It has a half dozen or so wines, by the glass or bottle, and three beers available. It just doesn't make a big deal about its licence, with neither a sign out front nor a glittery bar, because it caters mainly to a non-drinking crowd, most there mainly for the tasty food.

            As for other good-value joints around town like Banfi, which the original poster would like to know about, may I suggest he/she just review old postings on this thread. One of the main reasons for this board to exist is to uncover good-value places to spend our discretionary resto dollars. Agreed, there are many postings about high-end spots, but most postings are for places featuring main dishes under $15 - just what the poster is looking for. A little research will get you all the info you need. My current favorites, besides Mashu Mashu, are Kenzo, Halleluia, Maple Yip, Thai Plate, Ferro and Le Paradis, most of which I get to at least once a month. Mind, even at some of these joints, the $15 main dish is rapidly becoming a rare species.

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