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O & B Cafe on Front Street - if I choose to eat here, will it be as disappointing as Canteen in Bell Lightbox?

Looking for a good spot for an early dinner on a Tuesday evening and am considering O & B. Have also looked into menus for Mercatto, Gabardine and C'est What and they also seem to be in the right area and price range. Another possibility is Beer Bistro which I have tried before and found to be good for the prices.

Moderate pricing - no more than $20 per entree.

Appreciate your opinions and/or recommendations!

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  1. I'm a huge fan of Gabardine and would choose that over an O&B restaurant, which are generally reliable and good. But I think The Gabardine is doing some fantastic comfort food (awesome chicken pot pie and lobster rolls!) and I love the atmosphere.

    1 Reply
    1. O& B Cafe isn't all that great, my experience is generally mediocre oversalted production line versions fo what could be good dishes. However the wine prices are reasonable and the decor and vibe are good so I tend to use it as a default for business meetings where drinking might be more important than eating.

      1. I really like the O&B Cafe at Front - the selection is much better (nothing extraordinary though) and I have found that the place runs a bit smoother than the Canteen. I've been to Luma at the Lightbox, which was also quite good but will agree that Canteen is a bit disappointing in terms of portion size and price.

        Gabardine's quite tasty too so I don't think you'd go wrong with either. Mercatto and Beer Bistro (high ceilings) tend to be a bit on the noisier side. You could also check out Bannock, another O&B close by, which fits your price range and they also do comfort food although I'd say the food there is not as typical as what you'd get at the O&B Cafe (but still very good!)

        2 Replies
        1. re: bluefirefly

          At Canteen I was unimpressed with price, portion size and quality. My panini there was terrible. I have made better at home.

          1. re: TeacherFoodie

            Yah. I loved the caprese Caesar I tried (with basil and bocconcini cheese garnish) but the soup I had was underseasoned, and the cannelloni was swimming in oil.


        2. Yes. It will be, nad maybe more so thanks to the crowd it seems to draw.
          I generally go to one of the places on Wellington (swish, lucien etc)

          1. There is also Teronni and Biff's in the area which are in your range and good places. I would take Biff's over O&B Cafe, both are O&B, but Biff's more interesting if you like French.

            1. I ended up going to the Gabardine. Myself and three others. I found the service to be good, but the waitress was not very friendly. She came across slightly snobby. I had the deep fried beer cheese croquettes, the burger and fries, and the donuts for dessert. I wouldn't order the croquettes again - the flavour was a little strange - I think it could use something else in the batter to give it a bit more excitement (a spice or herb). The burger and fries were very good, although one of my other friends found the burger to be salty (I did not, maybe because the fries were salty I did not notice). The burger was moist and juicy. A bit of a disappointment was that they did not have the homemade ketchup that my brother-in-law suggested I ask for. The donuts were good, but had a bit too much cardamom IMHO. I would return but I would try something else next time. I do recommend the burger though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: TeacherFoodie

                the terrine, pate, rillette, ploughman's lunch and trout are all hits in our books. We also enjoy the fish pie, chicken pot pie, black cod and liver and onions....

                i never have a restaurant burger as I just never enjoy them out for some reason....

              2. I've been to the O&B Cafe on Front twice (both times at lunch). The chicken burger was quite good, but the margarita pizza was not good at all.