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Where can I dine near Dundas and Brock that isn't Lula Lounge?

Googs Jun 9, 2010 05:12 AM

It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Just above average will do. All types of cuisine can work for us.

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    Yum2MyTum RE: Googs Jun 9, 2010 06:11 AM

    Pho Phuong is right there, Googs - I'd call it above average if you go for the vermicelli or rice platters, definitely.

    Pho Phuong
    1603 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

    9 Replies
    1. re: Yum2MyTum
      phoenikia RE: Yum2MyTum Jun 9, 2010 08:02 AM

      Second Pho Phuong.

      Pho Phuong
      1603 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

      1. re: phoenikia
        igk RE: phoenikia Jun 9, 2010 10:16 AM

        We prefer the food at Phoenix (College/Sheridan, SE corner), though it isn't as fancy a place.

        Portugese at Bairrada (College, just east of Dufferin) is really good. The backyard patio there is really nice and cozy. Wednesdays they have a suckling pig, though it was sold out by 8:30 when I went a couple of weeks ago.

        I haven't tried Naco, but my neighbour tells me the bean soup is really good.

        Dufferin Cafe
        2917 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B3S7, CA

        1. re: igk
          Googs RE: igk Jun 10, 2010 05:33 AM

          Bairrada looks perfect. Thank you so much. Other than the suckling pig, is there anything in particular you like?

          1. re: Googs
            tochipotle RE: Googs Jun 10, 2010 06:38 AM

            I was at Bairrada not too long ago. Could have been a bad night, but honestly - the meal really wasn't good. Excessively oily, totally -uninspired-after-thought-over-cooked sides. We were disappointed we went and I'm not sure I would give it a second chance. (I wish somebody would have warned me before going).

            I would definitely go to Pho Phuong. I've been a number of times and IMHO their Bun is pretty good.

            Pho Phuong
            1603 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

            1. re: tochipotle
              Davedigger RE: tochipotle Jun 10, 2010 01:23 PM

              Bairrada has a great patio, and if you stay away from the chicken, you'll get a decent meal. I usually order suckling pig, which is only on the spit on the patio on Wednesdays, but is on the menu everyday, or grilled squid. The Portuguese sausage is also quite tasty. Yes, their sides are completely uninspired, but you can always sub them for fries (not bad) or a basic salad.

              1. re: Davedigger
                phoenikia RE: Davedigger Jun 10, 2010 05:24 PM

                The flaming sausage served in the ceramic pig was my favourite part of my only meal at Bairrada!

                1. re: phoenikia
                  pinstripeprincess RE: phoenikia Jun 10, 2010 08:14 PM

                  agreed! not much else i was happy with.

              2. re: tochipotle
                00CP RE: tochipotle Jun 15, 2010 08:05 AM

                That isn't a bad night, their chicken is always awful. I lived on Havelock for years and will never go back there again

              3. re: Googs
                igk RE: Googs Jun 10, 2010 07:48 AM

                i thought the rotisserie chicken was one of the better portugese chickens i've had around here. we also enjoyed a bean/pork stew dish. i wouldn't call Bairrada a destination place, but more of a good place for a homestyle meal in the neighbourhood. we live right at that corner and haven't really found many restaurants that are walking distance i'd call must-go places.

                down on queen, there are the roti shops (Mother India, among the caribbean places). Roncesvalles has some ok places. Local Kitchen isn't too far. but i can't think of much within 1 or 2 streets from that corner. I'm definitely interested in finding some more local places too.

                We enjoy grabbing drinks at The Black Dice. Atlantic makes a good Manhattan. Brunch at the Henhouse and Lula lounge are decent enough.

        2. dxs RE: Googs Jun 9, 2010 06:17 AM

          Nathan Isberg's new place, Atlantic, is right there too. Haven't been myself but it's been getting some good buzz.

          Atlantic Restaurant
          1597 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

          8 Replies
          1. re: dxs
            jayseeca RE: dxs Jun 9, 2010 06:29 AM

            Second this. Although when I went, food was coming out pretty slowly, and I thought needed some tweaking. The reviews I've read never mentioned this, so I think it might have been an off night.

            But the highlight was his olive oil poached halibut with braised cabbage/morels and beurre blanc! Very generous with the fish portions.

            Otherwise, Naco Gallery is an option as well.

            1. re: dxs
              Googs RE: dxs Jun 10, 2010 05:31 AM

              Isn't Atlantic the 'Chef on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' place? Nuh uh. The only 'anti' I wanna know about is the one who bakes cookies for me.

              Naco Gallery looks promising. What do you like there?

              1. re: Googs
                jayseeca RE: Googs Jun 10, 2010 06:54 AM

                Haha, well he is a little aloof and crazy, but he has moments of yummy brilliance, but yes, our meal definitely had its flaws.

                Never been to Naco, I heard good things from a few friends who don't know anything about Mexican cuisine - but according to them the black bean soup and the tostadas were tasty.

                Must agree with tochipotle above... went to Bairrada years ago and had an extremely underwhelming meal. The back patio is great, but food was mostly overcooked and dry - of all the Portuguese restaurants around I don't see why people keep going to this one.

                Haven't been to Pho Phuong recently buts its definitely gone down hill... the one thing I would go back for though, is their crispy shrimp crepe which you tear apart and wrap in lettuce, can be a hit and miss but still good!!

                Pho Phuong
                1603 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

                1. re: jayseeca
                  morefoodplz RE: jayseeca Jun 10, 2010 07:09 PM

                  I saw an outpost of Pho Phuong is about to be opened on West Queen West... could that have something to do with it?

                  I went there a couple of years ago, and I was pretty happy with the meal. It's a pretty nice space too compared to most Asian restaurants and the price point was not outrageous.

                  Pho Phuong
                  1603 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

                  1. re: morefoodplz
                    pinstripeprincess RE: morefoodplz Jun 10, 2010 08:14 PM

                    the decline started about a year ago.

                  2. re: jayseeca
                    phoenikia RE: jayseeca Jun 10, 2010 08:14 PM

                    Sad to hear that Pho Phuong had gone downhill. WIll have to stop by sometime soon to see where it's at right now- hopefully things have gotten better lately.

                    Pho Phuong
                    1603 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

                    1. re: phoenikia
                      Yum2MyTum RE: phoenikia Jun 11, 2010 06:47 AM

                      : ( I haven't been in ... well about a year. Sorry for the outdated recommendation as well. I did see that new outpost, which is much closer to my home. I can't say I'm not excited about it.

                  3. re: Googs
                    dlw88 RE: Googs Jun 17, 2010 04:31 AM

                    Please try this one out and report back, Googs. I'm interested to see what you think.

                    I've had two entirely different meals there, and, overall, enjoyed my experience each time.

                    Both times I've been, Nathan has been all alone in the kitchen, which accounts for the longer wait times between courses. His small plates menu of about a dozen options has attracted me enough to order the whole thing, twice, with my biggest complaint each time being a heavy hand of salt.

                    Because he's offering an experience unlike what you'll get anywhere else in the city and most of his creations work for me, I've joked and compared The Atlantic to JKWB when it first started out, but on LITHIUM.

                    I've been told now that the best time for service is nice and early, before it really starts to fill up...and it will!

                2. AzulH RE: Googs Jun 10, 2010 08:14 PM

                  I don't know if they are still in business and it would be good to get an up-date review...
                  Sage West


                  let us know

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AzulH
                    Marumari RE: AzulH Jun 11, 2010 08:20 AM

                    Sage West closed awhile back. The owners closed it because they wanted to buy the building their cafe is located in, on McCaul. Buisness was pretty slow, as I understand.
                    Kinda too bad, but it was sort of a weird place. Never seemed to get its footing

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