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Mar 27, 2008 01:19 PM

I'm addicted to Pizza Banfi

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?

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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.

    2. 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

        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.