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Restaurant close to the AGO for lunch on Sunday?

TOFoodie1 Dec 9, 2011 03:20 PM

A friend and I are going to the Chagall exhibition at the AGO on Sunday morning and would like to go for lunch somewhere in the area afterwards (we will be walking). Nothing too expensive, but moderately priced and good. Any kind of food except Chinese and Mexican.

I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. Chocaholic RE: TOFoodie1 Dec 9, 2011 09:54 PM

    There is a pub across the street on the corner! Can't rmmbr the name. I recommended it to a friend she said it was fantastic.

    You can go in The Grange food court, there is a vegetarian place. Very popular. Can't rmmbr the name but you will notice it. Long line, decorated bring pinkish purplish. Across the Greek fast food. This would be a good cheap food.

    For chinese, I would just head over to dundas / spadina its not that far of a walk. You can go to Swatow on Spadina, or House of Gourmet, or kings noodles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chocaholic
      ingloriouseater RE: Chocaholic Dec 13, 2011 04:07 AM

      the pub on the corner is called the village idiot and is mostly a u of t kind of hang out. good selection of beers, okay food (think grilled cheese and burgers or a not quite firken kind of menu), but can be very busy...

    2. iMarilyn RE: TOFoodie1 Dec 10, 2011 05:16 AM

      Have brunch at Frank in the AGO. Mains around $15/$18.

      2 Replies
      1. re: iMarilyn
        prima RE: iMarilyn Dec 10, 2011 07:11 AM

        Frank is also offering a Russian-themed prix fixe right now (featuring borscht, some sort of salmon, can't remember what else), to go with the Chagall show. Items from the prix fixe are available a la carte, if you ask. The borscht was pretty good, but I think it would benefit from a little vinegar and a spoonful of sugar.

        There's also a more casual cafe for lunch in the lower level of the AGO, below Frank. Nice selection of pastries, some soups, salads and sandwiches. I would think you could have a decent lunch for $15 per person.

        I don't want to bash The Grange food court, but the last few lunches I've ordered over the past 2 years have been generous portion-wise, but sub-par taste-wise, even when I've taken the low prices into consideration. I've ended up wishing I had used that $8 towards a better lunch at the AGO, at Japango or somewhere in Chinatown or Baldwin Street. If any Chowhounds are currently fans of The Grange food court, which dishes are you ordering? Are there any gems left in The Grange, besides Manpuku?

        What is your price range for "moderately-priced"? You might want to consider Elle M'a Dit, which I consider to be moderately-priced.

        Elle M'a Dit's lunch menu: http://ellemadit.com/lunch.html

        Thread about Elle M'a Dit: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/797257

        The pub Chocaholic mentioned is the Village Idiot. I haven't eaten there in over a decade, but it was ok for pub food in the late 90s.

        Art Square is also nearby. A Turkish-owned crepe place, with some innovative fillings, some Turkish-inspired fillings and some fairly standard fillings.

        Village Idiot
        126 McCaul St, Toronto, ON M5T1W2, CA

        Art Square
        334 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

        105 McCaul St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

        FRANK @ The Art Gallery of Ontario
        317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5T I4G, CA

        1. re: prima
          TOFoodie1 RE: prima Dec 11, 2011 05:19 AM

          Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in such detail and so thoroughly.

      2. t
        TOFoodie1 RE: TOFoodie1 Dec 10, 2011 05:26 AM

        Thanks for the suggestions!

        1. jennjen18 RE: TOFoodie1 Dec 11, 2011 07:04 AM

          Besides Chinese ...! When Chinatown's quite near and restaurants are prevalent there too!

          My SO and I like going to Caffe La Gaffe in the Baldwin Village. In fact, Prima mentioned a bit of restaurants there, and all the restaurants there are not bad at all.

          As for Grange gems, .. do you know about Karine's? Prima didnt list it the post above, so I'm assuming not. Karine's serves cheap breakfasts (a complete meal at an incredible $5, with eggs, sausage/bacon, fries and salad, and with coffee/tea, even!). But that's as much we would go there for, and they quite often make the food court seem less ghetto... They just decked out their Christmas decorations and its beating out all the other food stalls.

          Other okays from the Grange food court are: Satay Korean guy across from McDonalds. My SO loves getting the vegge stew and the bulgogi dinner (although I think its a bit greasy). Not so much the food court, but Gallery Sushi that's also attached to the mall is best sushi in downtown (IMHO). I live around there, it's actually quite cheap and yet quality is up there. $5.50 for 2 rolls, take out, .. and their dinners are quite yummy. You can take out and eat in food court as well! :)

          4 Replies
          1. re: jennjen18
            prima RE: jennjen18 Dec 11, 2011 08:07 AM

            jennjen18, thanks so much for mentioning Karine's and Satay Korean. I haven't tried either place. Good to know of a cheap breakfast near the gallery, when most restaurants near the AGO don't open until 11 or 11:30 am.

            Also, thanks for mentioning that you like Gallery Sushi. I've walked by dozens of times, and have often wondered how it is, but I've never tried it out.

            Gallery Sushi
            275 Dundas W, Toronto, ON M5T3K1, CA

            1. re: prima
              jennjen18 RE: prima Dec 13, 2011 03:54 AM

              Gallery Sushi has the best all-you-can-eat around the city .. at $18.99 for dinners (including wknds!), and the only thing is -- its mainly raw fish, i.e. sushi, sashimi (salmon, snapper, white tuna, crab), hand roll, rolls -- there isnt much cooked items, such as teriyaki. They DO have fried things like tempura and tofu and udon soups.. The raw fish is always uber fresh, so for that price, I'm quite happy with just stuffing myself with sushi/sashimi/rolls..

              1. re: jennjen18
                prima RE: jennjen18 May 10, 2012 02:10 PM

                I wish I'd remembered to try Gallery Sushi today when I was nearby, and needed a very quick take-out meal. Didn't feel like going into the Grange foodcourt, and completely forgot about the nearby Pizzaiolo.

                Will also add Yummy Yummy Dumplings on Huron to this runnin list, as a good place within a 10 minute walk of the AGO.

            2. re: jennjen18
              TOFoodie1 RE: jennjen18 Dec 11, 2011 04:22 PM

              The only reason that I excluded Chinese is because my friend had been eating a lot of Chinese food lately. We both love Chinese food and I would appreciate any recommendations close to the AGO. Personally, I like Wah Sing on Baldwin Street, but I haven't been there in quite a while, and I've heard that it changed owners and has really gone downhill. King Noodle on Spadina is good too and reasonable.

            3. n
              neighborguy RE: TOFoodie1 Dec 11, 2011 09:38 AM

              Would you consider Korean? There's a Ka-Chi on Dundas almost kitty-corner to the AGO. I believe there's also an Owl of MInerva in the mall at Dundas and Spadina.

              7 Replies
              1. re: neighborguy
                TOFoodie1 RE: neighborguy Dec 11, 2011 04:08 PM

                Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I'll be going to the AGO again after the holidays, and you've given me a lot of places to try. We went to the early showing today at 10 and my friend wanted to go down to Queen Street to visit a few shops there, so we thought that we'd have lunch somewhere along the way. We ended up at the Epicure (on Queen between Spadina and Bathurst), a nice cafe. Had their tuscan chicken sandwich with roasted eggplant, tomato, garlic aoli, lettuce on foccacio with sides of french fries and salad for $10! Nice cozy atmosphere, very comfortable place to have a leisurely lunch and chat. I would highly recommend it.

                1. re: neighborguy
                  TOFoodie1 RE: neighborguy Dec 11, 2011 04:22 PM

                  Thanks! I've never eaten at a Korean restaurant, but I'll make a point of trying it sometime.

                  1. re: TOFoodie1
                    ingloriouseater RE: TOFoodie1 Dec 13, 2011 04:08 AM

                    korean is becoming the new thai. it is almost as ubiquitous these days...

                  2. re: neighborguy
                    TOFoodie1 RE: neighborguy Dec 13, 2011 04:51 AM

                    For those who frequent Korean restaurants, do you have any suggestions/recommendations as to what to order?

                    1. re: TOFoodie1
                      prima RE: TOFoodie1 Dec 13, 2011 08:03 AM

                      I like bi bim bap ( a rice bowl with various vegetables, some grilled meat, an egg, some sauce), mandoo (similar to gyoza), chap chae (a type of glass noodle made from sweet potato) & galbi (bbq beef short ribs).

                      1. re: prima
                        TOFoodie1 RE: prima Dec 13, 2011 09:58 AM

                        Thanks for those suggestions. It gives me an idea about what to try.

                        1. re: TOFoodie1
                          Chocaholic RE: TOFoodie1 Dec 13, 2011 07:33 PM

                          Oh yes, it is Karine's in the food court that is quite popular. Vegetarian mostly. But I think I had bacon in my dish.

                          And my co worker went to Sin & Redemption, sister restaurant of Village Idiot (becuz it was full), she said it was very good.

                          Wikki Hut is good, asian tho. Only open on weekdays.

                  3. d
                    devilfoodlover RE: TOFoodie1 May 11, 2012 07:14 PM

                    How about Jap food? Konichiwa's noodles are not bad. A cozy restaurant.

                    Good luck for your pick.

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