HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Too many needs, Marche?

We have a small group with one very picky eater. Thinking of going to Marche to try and please everyone. Will be on spadina at St Vladimir. Should we go to the one at the BCE? Where is there parking around there?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What won't the picky eater eat?

    You're already so close to so many decent restaurants. It seems a shame that you would have to go all the way to Marche AND deal with parking.

    You're a good friend to accommodate.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Zengarden

      Had a good recommendation for Boul Cafe, but now looked at the menu and she probably won't eat anything. She is older, traditional. Kind of likes bland food like plain roasted chicken and fries. The rest of us like a variety - raw oysters and fish, ethnic cuisine, etc. That's why we thought Marche might be good, she can have her bland chicken and fries; we can have whatever we want. BUT, where is there to park?

      1. re: itryalot

        You can park in the Commerce Court parking lot off of Wellington. I think it's about $7.50 on the weekend. Marche is in BCE, so you can park there too. Not sure what the $ is on the weekend there.
        There's also an outdoor lot on Yonge, south of Front on the east side. The price there varies depending on what events are going on at the Air Canada Centre.
        Another option is, if you can get it, there is street parking on Front just west of Yonge, near the entrance to BCE/Marche.

        p.s. it's not really Marche anymore, but Richtree - and I agree with others that it's rather blah, but it doesn't sound like you are going there because you think it will be great.

        1. re: itryalot

          At least in the evenings, Richtree (Marche) will validate BCE place parking - not sure if they'll do it during the day, though. Worth asking. Back to Boulevard Cafe, I really would say the chicken kebab with potatoes is quite an easy set of flavours - my niece, who went through a teen-age picky phase that eliminated most foods from her repertoire for a while, was always happy to eat these. On the other end of the spectrum, there's always Swiss Chalet...:)

          1. re: peppermint pate

            no, they don't during the day and it's really really expensive to park there (I used to work in the building). They only validate it 1/2 even at night.

          2. re: itryalot

            That's a real bummer that you don't think she'd deal with the chicken brochettes at Boulevard Cafe. Does she do sandwiches? They have a chicken sandwich with sliced, grilled chicken. And while the regular menu does not show french fries, they do have them on the kids menu, so they are definitely available. Would she eat a burger and fries there? The lunch menu also has a monte cristo, which is a ham and cheese sandwich, dipped in egg and grilled like french toast.

        2. Jules is a pretty little French place at Spadina and Richmond. The bland eater could probably get a very nice roast chicken with frites, while the rest of you would at least have some decent dining options. Marche is, IMHO, pretty bad, and it seems a shame that all of you should have to eat not-so-great food to please just one of your party. I agree that you're a good friend.


          PS - I have no idea where you'd park to go to Jules, perhaps the lot at Queen and Peter?

          1. Another plea not to go to Marche - don't do it!!

            Perhaps Serra on Bloor just west of Spadina would work - pretty decent pizzas and paninis and way better than Marche any day. In my experience Italian is something most picky eaters can deal with.

            Another options would be Midi Bistro at McCaul and College (http://www.midibistro.com/) - they would have lots of choices for a picky eater and I think you can reserve at lunch.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cat123

              Id second serra, its nothing spectacular, but for the price, Ive always been satisfied with my meals there

            2. If you're willing to travel uptown (Yonge, north of Davisville), Quince does a really lovely roast chicken. It comes with a delicious quinoa salad, but that could be substituted with frites for your picky friend. There's parking on side streets and on Yonge.

              Also, can't find the menu online, but if I remember correctly, Delux on Ossington (b/w Dundas and Queen) also does roast chicken (and their frites are vrey yummy).

              1. By The Way Cafe at Bloor & Brunswick in the Annex is nearby and there's Green P parking just south of Bloor. Mediterranean menu with roast chicken and fries on offer as well as seafood, etc. Of course the roast chicken is either tamarind-marinated or or a chicken breast done Mexican Mole style so may not suit your picky eater entirely but there are other options, ie grilled chicken on salad. Not formal, with patio.

                I believe they do reservations for lunch (just brunch they don't do reservations).

                Definitely better than Marche/Richtree or a chain.

                By The Way
                400 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X5, CA

                1. Here's the scoop -
                  I really do not want to go to Marche. I would rather a sit down restaurant with Mediterranean flavours, grilled food and some vegetables, or some Thai. This one person is a family member. Very close minded for food, so leaving her is not an option. She does not like garlic or other spices; basically, salt and pepper. The rest of us suck it up a couple times a year when we invite her to get her out (older). So, everytime we go out,we have to go to a chain restaurant because it is "safe" - they all have chicken and fries. I figure at least there we don't have to sit through a chain restaurant and there are some salad choices and she has no excuse. Even though it will not be the most flavourful, everyone else can hopefully find something to eat. We do not want to do roadhouse chain restaurant food.
                  Any other suggestions?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: itryalot

                    http://www.harbordhouse.ca/menu.html which is where the old Rowers pub used to be. The menu is simple enough. I wouldn't try going to Harbord Room which has a more refined menu for chow palates.

                    You're a good relative. It's hard to please everyone so I admire your willingness to accommodate and be inclusive.

                    1. re: itryalot

                      Midi has quiche and salad as well as some open-faced sandwiches. It would be easy for them to accommodate.

                      1. re: itryalot

                        How about Portuguese food? I can say this because I'm portuguese, I find the food completely bland, but a lot of people like the chicken. It's at least a bit better than marche and should please your relative who is adverse to spices.

                        http://www.bairrada.ca/info.html Is one option that I've been to before. There is a location on College St.

                      2. Last time (within the past month) I was at Marche I was disappointed with the line ups, the food wasn't all that and not worth the cost. Have you thought of the Banknote at Bathurst and King perhaps?

                        1. Does your picky eater enjoy omelettes? Jacques Bistro du Parc on Cumberland in Yorkville is lovely and has a variety of omelette options to please all palettes (plus non-omelette options as well). However, given that your relative is elderly, bear in mind that you have to climb a flight of stairs to get to it.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                            She takes picky to a new extreme - chicken and some type of potato. That's it.

                            1. re: itryalot

                              That is extreme. Lucky you only have to do this a couple of times a year...

                              1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                                I know....mantra - take the higher ground.

                          2. The Studio Cafe has roast chicken on its dinner menu (are you planning this for dinner or lunch?) and perhaps they might substitute boulangere potatotes for the parmesan gnocchi that come with the chicken. Plenty of parking nearby at Green Ps and under the hotel.
                            scroll down to find links to menus -

                            Not exactly chowish but might do, the Bloor Street Diner has rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes on the menu. Parking below and at Green Ps nearby -

                            Bloor Street Diner
                            55 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M4W1A5, CA

                            Studio Cafe
                            21 Avenue Road, Toronto, ON M5R 2G1, CA

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JamieK

                              Good call JamieK. IMHO, Bloor Street Diner is a way better choice than the Marche.

                            2. Hey itryalot! Has this dinner happened yet? If so, where'd you end up?

                              If not, I just came across another thread that mentioned roast chicken and mashed potatoes at Sidecar, which has been pretty well received by all accounts. Not too far from Spadina although parking could be an issue.

                              577 College St., Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: JamieK

                                Did Marche. Picky friend had bland chicken and potato pancake and desset. Didn't look like anything great, but fit the requirements. The rest of us had a smattering of items. I had some raw oysters (good, fresh and salty) and a mixed salad plate (grains, beets, etc.); all were good "cafeteria" fare and beats fast food or other. Others had mexican, some had Cal rolls, pasta, etc. We all liked it, not loved it, but didn't hate it. Parking was a royal pain.
                                Thanks to everyone for your help. I would like to try the Barraida with her next time; sounds good.