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South Floridian visiting Toronto, Gilead Cafe

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I was seeing a matinee at the Young Center in the Dilstillery District and went to lunch at the Gilead Cafe. My wife ordered the grilled vegetable sandwich and I had the grilled chicken sandwich and we shared the fries. What a disappointment after I had read so much about Jamie Kennedy. The sandwiches were tasteless and cold. The bread was poor on both and of course good bread is the foundation of a good sandwich. The fries were very good as was the coffee. We would never go back or recommend this overhyped "cafe" to anyone.

We had lunch the previous day at By The Way Cafe on Bloor St. W at Brunswick. It is a delightful unpretentious neighborhood cafe that is far superior to the wretched Gilead. Much better menu, executed well, good service and a nice patio.

How long would the Gilead Cafe last without the Jamie Kennedy name attached to it? I hesitate to try his wine bar now.

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  1. There are a ton of great places in Toronto. If you say what you're looking for and where we can help out.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Googs

      I have had lots of wonderful meals in Toronto. Just got back from an excellent dim sum lunch at Rol San on Spadina, my second time there.

      The bread may come from the St. John's Bakery but what we had was tasteless. Too many other good places than to go back to the "alley". BTW, we had tasty and chewy French bread at Tati on Harbord St.

      1. re: rebus1805

        I'd hardly call Gilead Place an "alley" - it is a small side street common to Corktown.

        I live and work near Gilead Cafe and have never had a bad meal there.

        1. re: rebus1805

          They used to bake their own bread, until JK's financial problems forced staff cutbacks, thus no more in house bread. Their red fife sourdough was incredible.

          I agree with you on the sandwiches though, the couple I've had have been average, not worth the $9 price tag. I go only for the frites and charcuterie.....

      2. This is completely opposite from my experiences at Gilead.

        The bread is from St. John's Bakery, run by the St. John's Compassionate Mission, organic and made using traditional French methods. I think it's excellent.

        1. It's a shame you didn't like Gilead. I've been there a number of times, and I've always enjoyed my meals. I'd probably go more often if their servings hours weren't so limited ( they stop serving hot food at 3pm).

          1. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience there! Hopefully your other forays into Toronto food are more successful. I guess they were having an off day. I really like the wine bar and it's worth a shot, especially if you like wine and want to taste a few different kinds.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Arcadiaseeker

              Toronto has been a wonderful and diverse food and restaurant city for me. I am from South Florida and envy your range of restaurants and the St. Lawrence market. My wife commented today that Toronto seems to have French bistros in most neighborhoods. We will miss that and your ethnic areas. Summer weather is conducive to walking and dropping in. We were in Cafe Diplomatico in Little Italy for lunch today and had a huge and good antipasto, tartufo and coffee. Nothing mind blowing, just good and reasonably priced food with friendly service. We shared the antipasto and could not order anything else as the portion was so large. We are going to try either Grace or Olivia 53 tonight.

            2. While I liked the food at Gilead, I found the staff ALWAYS harried at lunch (although they were pleasant) and customers regularly jumped the queue (and some even tried to convert takeout food to cafe food, since that line was shorter).

              Plus, there was a lot of noise from the chattering masses of loud talkers.