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Sep 23, 2009 07:38 PM

Weekday lunch recs in Yonge/Lawrence area

I am meeting up with someone for lunch in the area - and we are trying to avoid there anything else in the area?

I was thinking Cravings - but my companion knows food - and this might be too "unauthentic" as far as asian goes.

Is there anything worth going to open for lunch during the week?

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  1. There is very good Indian at Amaya/Bread Bar, Joy Thai at Ranleigh/Yonge, Sushi Bar. I wasn't impressed with Cravings when I went the few times - I had some sweet-sour-Gen-Tso type dish which was rubbery and greasy.

    1. Yeah, I'd skip Cravings. Milagro may be open for lunch (the downtown location is, so I'm guessing this location is), if you want some good Mexican food. If you get the guac, it will probably need some salt. :)

      6 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Breadbar seems to have a very limited lunch menu - but might be a good option. I dont think Joy Thai will work as it must have veg options and last time I called they had nothing that was completely veg. Milagro uptown no longer does lunch. We really need some options in the area that are not italian or lame!

        1. re: avec9

          Bummer about Milagro. How upscale do you need? You could hit The Abbott Pub or Hazel's Diner, which are both very casual. Both have lots of entree salads. Love the buffalo shrimp at The Abbott. Grilled cheese and fish and chips are both good at Hazel's. Just do NOT get the burger at Hazel's.

          Oh, just thought -- I'm pretty sure that Wildfire is open for lunch. It is neither Italian or lame. :)

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Actually, i found the BreadBar menu to be more than adequate and their portions (not that you asked but) while initially looked small was very very filling. Their naan bread is the best i've had in T.O. As for Joy Thai, yes, they do have vegetarian dishes.

          2. re: avec9

            Le Gourmet Shawarma has a vegetarian plate, in addition to their falafel and shawarma.

            1. re: phoenikia

              I tried Gourmet Shawarma and overall I liked their offerings but found their food to be on the salty side; their service was also a bit lacking (counter staff were gruff and forgetful with the details of our orders - maybe caught them on a bad day)

              1. re: berbere

                That's too bad. The service has always been friendly when I've been to Le Gourmet.

                I agree that the food is on the salty side, but I've found that to be the case with most Middle Eastern food in Toronto.

        2. How about Mezza Misto? I've been there several times and always been pleased with the food and service. I couldn't pull up the website for some unknown reason, but this link gives you a lot of detail.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Helen

            Isn't Mezza Misto an Italian restaurant?

            Nevermind -- I see that it's actually pan-Mediterranean. :)

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Can't say I blame the OP for wanting to avoid an Italian resto. It sometimes seems as if half the restos in this town are Italian, so a refreshing change is often called for. And that stretch of Yonge St. north of Lawrence has at least a dozen Italian-themed sandwich shops, pizza joints, fast-food spots and full-scale restos, last I counted. Still, you can still go to an Italian resto and not eat anything Italian. For those diners exhausted by things Italian, most of the good restos always have some starters, soups, salads and main dishes not remotely dedicated to Italiana.

              But, if you insist on absolutely not stepping into an Italian joint, Wildfire Steakhouse, mentioned above, is your best bet, though it's hardly budget-friendly for lunch. But there's a coupon on its website that'll help drop the price 20%, making it a manageable choice. Of the others mentioned, Gourmet Shawarma is, in my view, a washout, little more than fast food, in a dreary, utilitarian room. Or maybe I'm just annoyed at any spot that uses the manipulatively cornball buzzword "Gourmet" in its name. Shows a lack of imagination by management. Amaya's Bread Bar is pretty good, much better now than when it opened, though I've never had lunch there - only dinner. Nor have I tried Cravings at lunch. But I have at dinner and it does some things well (hot and sour soup) and some things not so well (gyoza), and I haven't the patience to go through the entire menu trying to discover what its strengths are. Nice room, though.

              It has been a while since I've supped at Soho Bistro, on Yonge St.'s west side several blocks north of Lawrence. But I recall it as being pretty good. Every time I walk by it around lunch time, the diners I spot through the front window, as well as those on the side street patio, seem to be diving into the menu with zest. It may be worth a shot. Its lunch menu is available online, so you can decide for yourself.

              1. re: juno

                Soho Bistro does many things brunch-y, and a fairly decent burger, if that works for you. Quite reasonable. In the other direction, Cam's Place, close to Snorting Life, south of Lawrence, is a pub with decent fare.

                1. re: Snarf

                  thanks for all the recs - its a toss up - Wildfire or Breadbar - shall see how we feel that day.

                  As for Joy Thai - my mother who is is very strict veg went there - they said that was difficult as it would alter from the recipes - as many dishes have sauces, broths etc that were animal/seafood based. She was there so she tried it anyways and was not pleased....we've had the same issue at Cravings.