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Lunch around Eaton Ctr, Elm Str perhaps?

HaveSpoonWillCook Jan 15, 2009 07:13 AM

Looking for a sit-down lunch option for today, with light lunch menu.
Liked Marcetta on Bay, but have heard vague things about Elm Street being full of good lunch places. Any recommendations? I have 60 mins, including the walk from Eaton Centre.

  1. c
    Cat123 Jan 15, 2009 02:27 PM

    Just realized this was for today but for future - if Great Cooks on 8 is still open for lunch in the Bay at Yonge and Dundas it would be an excellent choice, particularly if you reserve. The website says they are still there but I would call first.

    Great Cooks on Eight
    401 Bay Street
    Simpson Tower, 8th Floor
    Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4

    T: 416-861-4333
    F: 416-861-6608
    E: cook@greatcooks.ca
    W: www.greatcooks.ca

    Monday to Friday: 11:30 - 3:00 p.m.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cat123
      TorontoJo Jan 15, 2009 02:50 PM

      Definitely still there -- I had a lovely lunch there a couple of weeks before Christmas. Fantastic salads and teas. Other stuff looks good, just haven't tried it all!

      1. re: TorontoJo
        HaveSpoonWillCook Jan 17, 2009 05:34 AM

        Great Cooks on 8 it was, and it was a great lunch option.
        Its bright and spacious, lots of people without being noisy, good buzz.
        The space is sectioned into two - one is for a la carte with regular cafe style tables, the other is for deli diners who pick up their food from the deli and eat it there rather than take it away, sitting at pub tables or at the demo kitchen counter.
        The servers are attentive and quick and friendly.

        I decided on the deli dine-in option as I was not sure if the a la carte option would take too long for my schedule. The deli has several menu options - one soup, several entrees, several salads (and combos thereaf), desserts ranging in price from 5$ to about 12$ if memory serves me right. The menu for a la carte ranges upto about 23$ or so.

        I tried the pancetta soup - totally unremarkable, lukewarm, clear soup with lots of vegetables and not much wow factor. It came with 4 slices of artisanal bread. Taking into consideration the windchill factor, I had hoped for a piping hot chowder type of soup ... mea culpa, I should have asked but was in too great of a hurry.

        I also tried the pasta (penne with shrimp and sausage) that came with a green leafy salad. This was excellent - a light summery very fresh tomato sauce, perfectly cooked penne, lots of chunks of tasty garlicky sausage and shrimp. The green salad was fine too.

        To drink, I grabbed a glass of Chelsea Chai icetea, made in-house, which was pretty outstanding as iced teas go. Alternatives include bottled waters and fruit juices.
        Not quite sure what the counter across from the deli was for... a bar perhaps?

        All in all, I was in and out in half an hour, and this is definitely a place I would return to. Good ambience, good service, great healthy food options and yummy ice tea! And I love the fact that you get the food on real china and have real forks and knives to eat with (as opposed to styrofoam and plastic).

        Open only on weekdays for lunch, as Cat123 above points out.
        On the eigth floor, make a sharp right as you exit the elevator lobby into the central atrium.

    2. a
      Arcadiaseeker Jan 15, 2009 10:10 AM

      Oro on Elm is wonderful.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Arcadiaseeker
        Edith S Jan 15, 2009 01:38 PM

        Oro, while lovely, is a quite expensive formal Italian restaurant. Lunch without alcohol is at least $50 a head. If you have only an hour, IMHO it's a waste of money. Three hour $200 lunch with wine, no prob!

        The restaurants on Elm are aimed primarily at the tourists who stay in the nearby hotels and not CH-worthy.

        I'd walk west on Dundas. Just past Bay — the first intersection west of Yonge — there are several inexpensive mostly Asian eateries. And while it's not the best dim sum in town, lunch at New Treasure (150 Dundas West) is under $15. But be warned, it looks terrible from the street. It's down a very sketchy looking stairwell, but inside it's quite nice in a 50s Chinese restaurant fashion. Cart service. Usually quite busy but quick turnover as it caters to the office lunch crowd.

        I've heard it was the first dim sum place in the city.

        1. re: Edith S
          donlee1 Mar 25, 2009 05:27 AM

          Will agree with you - New Treasure is a delight - agreed that it's kind of a spooky staircase and can use a restaurant makeover, but the food is great and made to order.....we frequent the joint weekly for dinner or dim sun..it's cheap and quick service.

      2. c
        CoffeeAddict416 Jan 15, 2009 07:16 AM

        Hat eto give a rec that i haven't personally been but this place always interested me

        Has anyone been?
        Has anyone tried their gluten-free menu too while we're at it?

        3 Replies
        1. re: CoffeeAddict416
          gregclow Jan 15, 2009 08:16 AM

          Thirty-Five Elm closed for a "holiday break", and never reopened. I've gotten confirmation from the chef and a friend of the owner that they're done.

          Too bad, as the meal I had there a couple of weeks before the closure was fantastic, and I was looking forward going back.

          1. re: gregclow
            basileater Jan 15, 2009 08:38 AM

            That's too bad. I'd never heard of it before today, but the lunch menu looked enticing and the picture of the space on the website looks cozy. Wish I'd heard of it sooner.

            1. re: basileater
              Wahooty Jan 15, 2009 09:30 AM

              Bummer! I had a nice meal there a couple of months ago, and it was about the only thing in that area I'd tried and liked... :(

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