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Musings on lunch in Leslieville

l
lightbulb Jul 17, 2010 05:54 AM

Just a quick post as in the title. I've worked in the area for well over 10 years and have been very happy with the changes to the Queen St E. food scene in recent years.

A friend and I were having lunch at Prohibition yesterday and we agreed it was definitely one of the best kitchens on the DVP-Coxwell strip. It was my 3rd time there in the last 2 months and the meals have always exceeded my expectations. Being a hot day, I opted for the Cobb Salad which may have been the best version I've ever had.

Perennial favourites and repeat sources of take away lunch (which I regularly provide for clients and co-workers) are Loic Gourmet, Lady Marmalade & Sushi Marche. While perhaps not top of list, I'm happy Queen Margherita is an option to Lil Baci. And Sophie's tortiere holds its own compared to Bonjour Brioche. It's been a long time since I've been to Ed Leveques and not in years to Hello Toast. And I shouldn't forget Hanoi 3 Seasons, yum! Too bad Table 17 is only open for dinner.

The biggest treat is Ed's; he can do no wrong.

And there's a coffee shop opening on the east side of Carlaw just north of Queen promising Viennese food.

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Table 17
782 Queen St. East, Toronto, ON M4M 1H4, CA

Bonjour Brioche
812 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

Sushi Marche
1105 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1K7, CA

Hanoi 3 Seasons
588 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Y3, CA

Loic Gourmet
722 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

  1. Full tummy Jul 17, 2010 09:25 AM

    Viennese food? Let's hope it's good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Full tummy
      p
      phoenikia Dec 28, 2010 07:51 AM

      Did the coffee shop promising Viennese food open?

      1. re: phoenikia
        Full tummy Dec 28, 2010 08:27 AM

        Yes, I would like to know, too!!! lightbulb?

        1. re: Full tummy
          c
          currycue Dec 29, 2010 09:25 AM

          Agreed. Been craving a Sachertorte since Konditor closed.

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          Konditor
          1856 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

    2. s
      SusanB Jul 17, 2010 12:55 PM

      I agree that the neighbourhood has really changed. We bought our house 19 years ago and I love the changes over the years - so much better. I love the fact that we can walk to a restaurant now.

      1. BeeRich Dec 30, 2010 01:19 PM

        Some places have huge attitude in the hood now.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BeeRich
          j
          JennaBean Aug 4, 2011 08:00 AM

          I've lived here for five years and I don't find that I get any attitude anywhere. Which specific places do you mean?

        2. c
          currycue Feb 8, 2011 08:38 AM

          Any updates?

          3 Replies
          1. re: currycue
            ruminant Aug 3, 2011 07:40 PM

            I do love the vegeterian sandwich at Loic.

            Frankly Eatery hasn't been mentioned - no attitude at all, and great food all 4 times I've been there (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and great music to boot. I have to admit the first time I was there was because the lineup was too long at Marmalade.

            I like the black bean soup at Coyote Willie's. Salty, but I can't help myself, what with the freshly chopped green onion garnish and all...

            Hands down the most decadent sandwich would be Bonjour Brioche's roast beef and brie on a fresh Brioche baguette. Just superb.

            A quick note about the cobb salad at Prohibition: it used to come "deconstructed", which is the way I liked it best. I miss it. Although I was impressed with the nachos with smoked chicken I tried there recently.

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            Coyote Willie
            689 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1G6, CA

            Bonjour Brioche
            812 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

            Frankly Eatery
            1118 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

            1. re: ruminant
              grandgourmand Aug 4, 2011 08:11 AM

              Love Frankly Eatery. I'm not a huge breakfast person, so I like the indian options.
              They're serving tapas now, which makes me curious.

              I had dinner at Le Canard Mort last week. Friendly service, good beers on tap, and the food is quite reasonable. I had the duck dish with fingerling potatoes and seasonal vegetables. I was impressed that the veggies were baby carrots, fennels and "haricots vert" (cringe). Very well cooked vegetables, but the duck was a little overdone. Had the potted shrimp, which was nice, but needed some more acitidy. it was basically chunked shrimp in garlic butter sauce.

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              Frankly Eatery
              1118 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

              1. re: ruminant
                k
                KitchenVoodoo Aug 9, 2011 06:31 PM

                Love the meatloaf sandwich at BB. Liked my eggy brunch at Frankly. Hated the chicken curry at The Roy. Joy Bistro aways a letdown.

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                Joy Bistro
                884 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1J3, CA

            2. l
              lightbulb Aug 6, 2011 08:17 AM

              Well a little over a year later....still loving Prohibition. And they offer a clear winning challenge to Bonjour Brioche's roast beef sandwich mentioned above, in the form of their Buckingham Blanket. It's a sloppy juicy house made wrap (a la Yorkshire pudding batter) stuffed full of rare flank steak and caramelized onions, served with red wine jus for dipping.

              I was surprised how excellent the corned beef beef sandwich at The Roy was a few weeks ago; chef's creation, with Jameson whisky. In high contrast to the Reuban offered at Le Canard Mort last week, which was dry and severely underweight of beef and overweight in
              sauerkraut and bread.

              I've yet to try the Viennese place although neighbors are not impressed and Harlaam was certainly brief.

              There's a new raw juice bar set to open opposite Te Aro and Rubywatchco's new enterprise is now open.

              Yup, sure is an active 'hood.

              But can someone fill me in on Lola Bar?

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              Jameson's Restaurant
              27 Wilson St W, Perth, ON K7H2M8, CA

              Te Aro
              983 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1K2, CA

              14 Replies
              1. re: lightbulb
                k
                KitchenVoodoo Aug 9, 2011 06:28 PM

                have no idea abot Lola Bar - no idea it existed. But I can tell you to skip Hanoi 3 Seasons - it seems rather dirty and dingy in the front room, although the back patio is o.k. but I didn't enoy the food at all - and I love Vietnamese food. and the "cash only" policy is a pain.

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                Hanoi 3 Seasons
                588 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Y3, CA

                1. re: KitchenVoodoo
                  m
                  millygirl Aug 9, 2011 07:17 PM

                  we really enjoyed our brunch at Hammersmith's a few weekends ago. Lovely staff and had a very nice mushroom omelet.

                  1. re: millygirl
                    jlunar Aug 9, 2011 09:10 PM

                    Trying to get there! Plotting for Thursday. Tried today, but stupidly didn't check hours before heading out to lunch. Ate at Mad Dog Cafe instead. Had the bulgogi sandwich, which was about what you'd expect, but not what you'd expect to see on the menu (thus, why I was compelled to order it). Had the optional kimchi side with it. Hur hur. Otherwise, it's Montreal-style bagels and sandwiches. Comfortable space.

                    1. re: millygirl
                      p
                      plainjane_to Sep 13, 2011 08:01 AM

                      Likewise, we made it to Hammersmith's on Saturday and had a very nice meal. It was full, so we needed to wait a few minutes, and they could use a stronger vent hood when they're going full blast, but the food was very enjoyable.

                      Had the duck hash, duck egg with toast. They brought salt to the table in a small bowl, which was a nice touch. The duck hash was really lovely. Also at the table was steak & eggs, really nice with an interesting seasoning on the steak. The juice & iced tea was perhaps a trifle overpriced (I would have been fine with it watered down more and a better pricepoint) and I would have liked some butter on the toast, but all in all, an enjoyable addition to north Leslieville.

                  2. re: lightbulb
                    ruminant Aug 10, 2011 06:16 AM

                    Lola Bar has a nice patio (especially now that the trees have grown) and the couple of times I've been there the service has been friendly. Didn't sample any of their snacks though.

                    1. re: lightbulb
                      m
                      michfich Aug 30, 2011 06:11 PM

                      I have to disagree about Prohibition. The food used to be good but the last two times I've been there it has slid seriously downhill. The same fries you get at Wendy's, greasy, gross versions of tasty things they used to have. I'm sure the liquor is still good.

                      1. re: michfich
                        j
                        JennaBean Aug 31, 2011 07:14 AM

                        I drink there often (I live around the corner) but have only eaten there a handful of times since it opened. I've never enjoyed the food there overall but the nachos are always a safe bet.

                        1. re: michfich
                          n
                          neighborguy Nov 6, 2011 05:48 PM

                          Is it just me or is Prohibition expensive? I wasn't particularly hungry when I went in for brunch but I found the serving on the small side. For what they charged, being a neighborhood-ish pub they were not generous portions.

                          1. re: neighborguy
                            j
                            JennaBean Nov 7, 2011 08:11 AM

                            I think so as well which is part of the reason why we don't eat there often. I'm fine paying top dollar if I'm getting food that I consider worth the spend. When I do eat there I stick to the same items - nachos, cobb salad or a quesadilla which I think is the best value item on the menu.

                            I've only been for brunch once as I think we have much better options within a short walk.

                            1. re: JennaBean
                              n
                              neighborguy Nov 9, 2011 06:26 AM

                              The potatoes that came with the eggs were more like garnish than filler, which is pretty lame.

                              Sadly this is another place on the do-not-enter list. Good thing there are better options closer to where I live.

                              1. re: neighborguy
                                j
                                JennaBean Nov 9, 2011 06:41 AM

                                They do happy hour daily from 4-7 and again from 10-12. Draft $5 and premium rail $5. That makes it worth entering imo :-)

                                1. re: JennaBean
                                  n
                                  neighborguy Nov 9, 2011 07:09 PM

                                  Well! When you put it that way...;)

                                2. re: neighborguy
                                  l
                                  lightbulb Nov 10, 2011 09:13 AM

                                  Perhaps it's case of kitchen inconsistency at Prohibition. On recent visits, while still good, the portions have been downsized.

                                  We regularly order lunches from Lady Marmalade and they now routinely decline our orders (4-5 people), citing "too busy". And they seem unique in adding a 15% gratuity to the take away orders. I guess when you're popular, you make the rules.

                          2. re: lightbulb
                            j
                            JennaBean Aug 31, 2011 07:15 AM

                            The Roy to me is TERRIBLE. The last time (and it will be the last time) the server was out of change so she actually rounded up and short changed us instead of rounding down. This was after terrible food and waiting 10 mins after the food arrived to get a knife and a fork. Let's just say her tip was nada and we will never be back.

                          3. ruminant Nov 19, 2011 04:10 PM

                            I'm curious about Sushi Marche's lunch specials - have you tried any?

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                            Sushi Marche
                            1105 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1K7, CA

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