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cheap and cheerful around Main and Danforth

Zengarden Mar 3, 2010 01:40 PM

Just wanted to ask if anyone could recommend a cheap and cheerful spot at Main and Danforth? Seeking a lunch spot. I have no particular cravings. Just need to be in the area and then attend to a personal matter after lunch on Saturday.

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  1. Marimba RE: Zengarden Mar 3, 2010 02:56 PM

    Bistro Camino does lunch that day and usually has lunch specials around $10. Not much to look at, but good value.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Marimba
      Vinnie Vidimangi RE: Marimba Mar 4, 2010 02:20 AM

      No kidding good value. The chef/owner trained as a French chef in Japan and worked and worked in Osgoode Hall , the York Club etc. and cooks without a reduction in the standard. He is at Danforth and Main because he owns the building. See previous posts.
      The decor has no glitz but is quite OK., even for a celebration.
      The salmon, liver, yakitori are particularly recommended.That's three different dishes. Comes with soup or salad.
      See previous threads.

      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
        JennaBean RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Aug 4, 2010 06:42 AM

        It is a great everyday place but it is not a celebration type location IMO.

        1. re: JennaBean
          T Long RE: JennaBean Aug 4, 2010 07:00 AM

          I guess it depends on the celebration. If the requirement is very good food in a comfortable setting (excellent pricing being the bonus), then its a celebration location for me. The location is not that central, but its an easy walk from the Main subway station. We had a classmate reunion at Bistro Camino to unanimous raves recently.

          Bistro Camino
          2750 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

          1. re: JennaBean
            Funazushi RE: JennaBean Nov 23, 2011 08:26 AM

            Actually I've found Bistro Camino and excellent place for a celebration. We had our staff Christmas party there last year and plan to do so again this year. The staff were very accomodating, the price was shockingly good value and the food was fabulous.

            Bistro Camino
            2750 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

        2. re: Marimba
          itsvince RE: Marimba Jan 17, 2012 02:47 PM

          Bistro Camino is excellent. Just a heads up - they are closed for the month of January 2012, opening again on February 1 (looking forward to it!)

        3. JamieK RE: Zengarden Mar 3, 2010 03:58 PM

          There's a great little European deli called Grumbels on Main just south of Danforth on the west side (290 Main St) where you can get tasty sandwiches and I believe hot meals as well. They have a sit-down area in the back.

          (on the board, this place is referred to sometimes as Grumbles so I'm just adding that to aid searches)

          9 Replies
          1. re: JamieK
            somewhere4 RE: JamieK Jul 23, 2010 05:46 PM

            Grumbels or Len Duckworth's fish and chips if you're willing to shell out a bit more.

            Errr..... that's about it for Main and Danforth. Everything else in the area is either chain (KFC, Pizza Pizza, Popeyes) or sub par on the quality scale.

            2638 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

            290 Main St, Toronto, ON M4C, CA

            1. re: somewhere4
              kmacd RE: somewhere4 Jul 24, 2010 05:17 PM

              You're joking right?

              There are a whole host of places that, while nothing to look at, largely because the operators are feeding a new immigrant clientele, dish up some good food. The New Kabab house is great, particularly the Chili Chicken Kabab. Excellent and inexpensive. Anondo dishes out good, basic Bangledeshi. The paratha's alone are worth going for. And Agni does reasonably good Hakka. Again, a good inexpensive meal.

              A bunch of small Bangladeshi places have sprung up recently but I haven't tried them.

              1. re: kmacd
                somewhere4 RE: kmacd Jul 31, 2010 06:10 AM

                Fair enough. I was being more literal in my geographic interpretation of "Main and Danforth". The New Kebab House and the other Bangledeshi places are well to the east of Dawes Road, which I consider to be "Vic Park and Danforth".

                1. re: somewhere4
                  Otonabee RE: somewhere4 Aug 1, 2010 06:04 PM

                  Isn't there a shwarma place right on the corner at Vic Park & Danforth? Has anyone tried it?

                  1. re: Otonabee
                    mariecollins RE: Otonabee Aug 3, 2010 07:12 AM

                    There is one at Main and Danforth. I go all the time - falafels are good if you customize your toppings. They also have foul.

                2. re: kmacd
                  hal2010 RE: kmacd Jan 21, 2011 08:02 PM

                  I tried Anondo today. A funny little place which reminded me of traveling in India. That's a compliment in my books.

                  When we arrived there was only one other customer. We could hear some voices in the back but no servers seemed to be in the front of house. Soon a young man appeared with a huge steaming plate of rice and other goodies for the only other customer. He promptly disappeared back into the kitchen. Ten minutes later a few yells got him to come back out. He seemed a bit confused by our presence.

                  "Can I help you?"
                  "Yes, we want lunch, do you have a menu?"
                  " I'll bring you Kacchi Biryani"

                  It was excellent. A whole egg, bright orange as if it had been pickled in saffron, about 1/2 lb of the tenderest beef (like a pot roast) on a huge mound of delicately spiced saffroned rice and a whole potato served with lemon wedges, raw onions and cucumber.

                  Lunch for two, $20.

                  1. re: hal2010
                    Zengarden RE: hal2010 Jan 22, 2011 11:27 AM

                    Just for clarification, does this mean that there is only one set dish on order for every customer? Sounds great except for the egg.

                    1. re: Zengarden
                      hal2010 RE: Zengarden Jan 22, 2011 11:42 AM

                      I dunno, they didn't give us menus. There was a specials board but maybe that was for dinner time. I liked the egg.

                      1. re: hal2010
                        kmacd RE: hal2010 Jan 22, 2011 11:55 AM

                        The place is like that. Run a bit like a roadside India restaurant. Whatever they're cookin' that day, they're cookin' that day. They do have a menu but the specials board rules the roost. Not for everyone but if you trust the cook, you trust the cook. ONe of hte best meals I've had in my life was at a little grotto like place in Cadaques (Costa Brava). Walked in,m sat down and the owner/chef said "Welcome, you'll have this , this and this; the lady will have this, this and this." I was amazing.
                        Sometimes you've just gotta go with it.

            2. k
              kmacd RE: Zengarden Jan 22, 2011 11:56 AM

              Another good place - Hakka Chopsticks, between Dawes and Vic Park on Danforth. Loving the Bombay Chicken and Hakka House Fish.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kmacd
                boywonda RE: kmacd Jan 1, 2012 04:43 PM

                agreed on Hakka Chopsticks. House fish, Manchurian paneer, crispy beef. Nice range of tastes. Didn't blow my mind but was really good and a nice alternative to the Gerrard Chinatown cantonese.

                1. re: boywonda
                  helenhelen RE: boywonda Nov 12, 2012 10:07 PM

                  recently started trying this place. not worth a trek to come here but if nearby, definitely worth checking out. i enjoyed their food.

              2. hal2010 RE: Zengarden Feb 4, 2011 05:50 PM

                I went to Agni today. $4.99 for a can of pop, egg drop soup, a small spring roll and a huge plate of Chicken Manchurian and rice!

                The inside is pleasant. The t-bar ceiling sags a bit and has a few stains but they've done up the seating area fairly well. Mostly Chinese decorations, but one wall has large white wheels in relief, which reminded me of the Indian flag. Jesus and Mary watch over the debit machine.

                The food was fresh, hot and tasty. The spring roll could have been forgotten and that may have improved my impression. It was about 2" long and 1/2" in diameter and looked rather lonely on the plate. Tasted like it was mass-produced and frozen. The Chicken Manchurian was crisp with a nice dark sauce laced with crunchy coriander stalk. Service was prompt and friendly. I'll be back to try their Chili Chicken.

                1. Googs RE: Zengarden Jan 2, 2012 10:25 AM

                  Has anyone tried Mélange at 172 Main St just north of Gerrard? They have their work cut out for them if they're going to compete with Grumbels AND Camino.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Googs
                    JamieK RE: Googs Jan 2, 2012 02:58 PM

                    Not to mention being disadvantaged by being next door to the shudder-inducing filthy eyesore that is Bill's Fish & Chips, even if it is no longer in operation.... or is it, I can't tell - it looks the same except more decrepit than it did 20 years ago.

                    1. re: Googs
                      ultimobailey RE: Googs Jan 3, 2012 11:31 AM

                      I can't be certain but I think they might be run by the Cool Runnings people as I saw a mention of Melange in Cool Runnings awhile back.

                      1. re: ultimobailey
                        hal2010 RE: ultimobailey Jan 11, 2012 08:05 PM

                        Melange has the same owner as Cool Runnings. Better days may be ahead for Bill's. It's undergone extensive renovations on the inside and is waiting for the right tenant.

                        1. re: hal2010
                          Googs RE: hal2010 Jan 22, 2012 04:26 PM

                          If I can force myself to walk past Grumbels, I'll check Melange out next time I'm at that intersection.

                    2. h
                      helenhelen RE: Zengarden Jan 25, 2012 05:07 PM

                      i had a pretty decent roti from this trinidadian place on the north side of the street, somewhere between vic park and main.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: helenhelen
                        mariecollins RE: helenhelen Jan 26, 2012 07:31 AM

                        Probably Danforth Roti, at Dawes.

                        1. re: mariecollins
                          helenhelen RE: mariecollins Nov 12, 2012 10:06 PM

                          tried their doubles the other day.. so good, among the best i have ever had (though i think i have only ever had doubles from 5 places ever).

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