Quick bite, driving through TO
My partner and I find ourselves driving through Toronto, on our way from Waterloo to Muskoka, nearly every weekend. It seems like such a waste to grab fast food when we could duck off the 401 and be somewhere amazing (our spontaneous highway exit this Sunday took us to Kumai Sushi, about which we had mixed opinions). We do get out to Summerlicious and such, but I'm wondering more about great cheap eats and tiny take out places that lend themselves to a quick detour off the 401. Please save me from the unending drive-throughs!
Interesting question. So, you need accessibility from the 401 before you reach the 400. One option might be to ask for Brampton recommendations, especially if you like East Asian, or think about the 407 options, which opens you to the Italian places in Woodbridge, but not quite the amazing Asian options closer to Markham.
You could get a nice bowl of pho at Pho Mi Asia if you go one exit east of the 400 (Keele St.). Then it's in the mall on the NE corner of Keele and Wilson, a block north of the 401. They have a wide range of Vietnamese dishes if you'd prefer something other than pho. It's easy to hop back on the 401 from there.
Assuming that your route is 400/400, several places come to mind not terribly far off that route in the Woodbridge/Concord area. For either community, you'd get off the 400 at Highway 7, and go east for Concord and west for Woodbridge.
In Woodbridge: (1) Panini, in the plaza on the SW corner of Weston & 7. Highly recommended: Veal on a bun or Fish on a bun, but all the sandwiches are good. (2) Southern RUB Smokehouse, in the plaza on the SW corner of Pine Valley & 7. (Pine Valley is about 3-4 minutes west of Weston). Active Thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/591043 Website: http://southernrubsmokehouse.com/
Concord/Thornhill: (1) Centre Street Deli, Centre Street between Dufferin & Bathurst - The Old Fashioned Montreal Smoked Meat is the among the best in Toronto. They hand-slice the meat the traditional way. Website: http://www.centrestreetdeli.com/home.... (2) Closer to the 400 is Switzer's on the north side of Highway 7, just east of Keele. They also have Montreal Smoked Meat, but they machine-slice.
Better machine-sliced Montreal Smoked Meat can be found at Wolfie's, which isn't as far off your route as you might think. Get off the 401 ate the Allen Road north and turn rights at Sheppard. Wolfie's is in a run down strip plaza on the north side, almost at Bathurst. Wolfie's Emporium is about as run-down as the plaza, but it has character - Coke Kitsch, one might say, and the couple that run the place have a gruff charm about them. It doesn't stay open late so you might want to call to be sure that they are open. Website: http://mywolfies.com/index.html Check out the video on their "Media" link.
If you do try Wolfie's, to get back to the 400, just continue up the Allen Road, which becomes Dufferin. At Centre Street, turn left and then left again when it meets Highway 7. This stop will add about 20 minutes to your travel time. Alternatively, you could simply retrace your route back to the 401 to 400 in about the same time.
If you take the 407, you can exit at Pine Valley for Southern RUB and Panini, Keele for Switzer's and either Keele or Dufferin for Centre Street Deli.