HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >

Discussion

My Big Fat American Visitors

Alright, they're not exactly overweight but love their chains, large portions, and free refills. They also will not do spice or anything that sounds or looks exotic.

I'm looking for a good midtown lunch spot today, and would prefer not to go the chain route. Big comfy seating is also a necessity. Unfortunately, quality is not of my utmost concern at this point.

Ideas so far:
Futures Bakery
Caplansky
Free Times Cafe

HELP! :)

-----
Free Times Cafe
320 College St, Toronto, ON M5T1S3, CA

Caplansky's
356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. As much as it pains me to say this Caplansky's is probably your best bet

    Stockyards would be a better choice but fails in the comfy seating department

    They would probably like The Counter but that's not exactly midtown

    -----
    Caplansky's
    356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: bytepusher

      What is wrong with Caplansky's??? Was in there the other day and it was awsome. Bit busy but the food was good.

      -----
      Caplansky's
      356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

      1. re: BritInTO

        Oft discussed here in other threads, although some of this may have finally improved. In short, what's wrong with Caplansky's is inconsistent product and service. Frankly it's fine as a local joint but normally has no place on lists of good places to send out of town visitors which frequently does get recommeded here.

        -----
        Caplansky's
        356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

    2. What about Mercatto on College? Can't really go wrong with pizza and pasta... Maybe Utopia? Burger and nachos?

      -----
      Mercatto
      15 Toronto Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2E3, CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: JennaBean

        The chairs at Mercatto may be too small for them....

        -----
        Mercatto
        15 Toronto Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2E3, CA

        1. re: foodyDudey

          Really? Are you joking? :-)

          I don't find them small and while my bottom isn't giant is also isn't tiny - I like to eat after all! :-)

      2. Can't help you in Toronto,because I'm skinny, live in the Boston area, and hate chains, but I had to laugh when I saw the title of your post!

        Good luck!

        1. Messini (www.messini.ca) It's a good cross between large portions and good food.

          -----
          Messini
          445 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

          1. LOL I know the feeling. Most of my American relatives are slim, and they are willing to try more "exotic" stuff, but the portions/perceived value for money here just don't cut it. Good luck.

            1 Reply
            1. re: julesrules

              That's the problem (and part of why tourism from the USA has plummeted). Our dollar is higher yet prices on hotels, food, etc have not dropped to match. Americans demand value and service. We fail miserably on both.

              But to the OP's question, stay away from pizza, BBQ, steakhouses, Mexican, burger joints, or seafood since they'll get better quality, larger portions, and at a better price at home. And you'll have no problem avoiding chains because no Canadian chain is up to the quality of the American equivalents. For example take them to Baton Rouge/Kelsey's/Jack Astor's and they'll say "what a lame clone of Applebee's/Ruby Tuesday/Chili's and at twice the price".

              That being said, maybe Greek or Hungarian as others have recommended, would be the way to go. Assuming your friends aren't from places with a large Greek population (like Chicago), any place on the Danforth would be different from what they get at home, with the large portions. free refills, and low prices they demand. Hell, if they liked "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" take them to Pappa's Grill and show them where it was filmed! :-)

            2. Future Bakery on Bloor was sold several years ago. It's now Future Bistro Cafe I think. The food wasn't that great before, but it's terrible now. Real cheap if that's your thing.

              What about Country Style Hungarian on Bloor? Their special platter could feed three people.

              -----
              Country Style
              450 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X8, CA

              1. I'd suggest:

                Caplansky's (it doesn't pain me at all to suggest it - I actively encourage going there)
                California Sandwiches
                Big Fat Burrito
                Phil's BBQ

                Not much else comes to mind that is good eating and meets the other criteria...

                -----
                Big Fat Burrito
                285 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2M1, CA

                Caplansky's
                356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                1. HAHA! I got a good laugh out of this :-)
                  Greektown - Mezes might be fine for the non-exotic part. Chicken, potatoes, and some interesting items for you to enjoy. I like Messini's too, but I think it'd fail in the comfy seating department, to use bytepusher's words :-)
                  Caplansky's - yes. If you happen to venture dt though, then you can also hit Corn Beef House.
                  Auntie & Uncles for waffles? On a similar note...(ugh) Frans. All day breakfast with booths - certainly NOT tasty in my opinion.
                  I vote against the counter - if they don't care about quality that's one thing, but it's overpriced, poor quality food so it'd be a double whammy for lunch.
                  There's also buffets? Yonge and Dundas - Woo for buffet until 3PM.

                  Lastly...Dangerous Dan's...haha...although that might be overkill :P

                  Good luck! I'd say hit Woo (downtown though, only suggesting because Caplanskys was on your list, and there's parking around there)

                  Erin
                  http://www.cookiesandtomatoes.com

                  -----
                  Messini
                  445 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

                  Mezes
                  456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

                  Caplansky's
                  356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ekim256

                    Thanks everyone!

                    We ended up at Caplansky's and my visitors were happy enough with large tuna and chicken salad sandwiches, potato salad, and cole slaw. We did sample the juicy and tasty smoked meat, which they proclaimed to be too spicy. Some other concerns of theirs were how ranch dressing was completely absent in the kitchen, along with Dr. Browns. Gotta love 'em!

                    I had a small greek and a side of chopped liver with rye ends...it is what it is.

                    -----
                    Caplansky's
                    356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                    1. re: dlw88

                      Intrigued by your title :-)

                      I think Big Fat American visitors might enjoy Frankie tomatos if they like chains and value for money.

                      I always laugh when my American co-workers come here and rave about Movenpick Marche, the Keg and Frankie's.

                      So far, no luck, trying to get them to do all the fine dining Cantonese we have here in Markham.

                      1. re: dlw88

                        Dr. Browns is way better than Cotts.

                        1. re: dlw88

                          I thought this was pretty funny - but it is actually sort of a problem I've had before. And it's not just American visitor. I've had friends come and visit from small town Canada and everything here is too spicy, or too ethnic for them.

                          1. re: cubmike74

                            I hear you. I grew up in small town Ontario and couldn't wait to leave. Been in Toronto 15 years and still can't get enough. It's probably more a small town / city thing more than anything.

                          2. re: dlw88

                            i am curious about something....mayo at Caplansky's....i've asked for it because i find the turkey sandwich dry and that it would benefit from some mayo moisture, only to be told they don't have any.....what do they use on their tuna, chicken and egg salad to bind it?

                        2. Just take 'em to The Brunswick for a few beers then let them waddle along to Country Style.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Akakage

                            We moved some discussion of Americans and their perception of the Canadian food scene over to the General Topics board since it seemed pretty general: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/791966

                          2. would Pickle Barrel have met the requirements?

                            1. If Americans only loved chains and would not do spice or anything that sounds or looks exotic, then there would not be any such thing as Chowhound - or, at a minimum, there wouldn't be 39 different forums covering cities and regions in the United States. And the only discussions going on among Americans would be in the Chains forum.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: nsxtasy

                                and i guess somebody doesnt like sarcasm.........