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Jul 4, 2012 07:55 AM

Wanted: a lunch spot for a picky "princess"

We are heading to the Four Seasons Centre for Beauty and the Beast, and need a lunch spot that will get us out before our 2pm show next Wednesday.

The star guest is a very picky five year old. Normally, I'd just take her to a tea and be done with it, but a) most teas aren't served until later, and b) even the Windsor Arms tea was too "weird" for her, with salmon roe in the sandwiches and a bizarre, poisonous tart called a "quiche".

I don't want to do the Old Spaghetti House, YOU CAN'T MAKE ME, but is there a bland, pretty lunch spot that would come across as a "tea party" type of place?

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  1. Biff's keeps standards like steak frites and Caesar salad on the menu, and takes reservations through Opentable. The atmosphere is upscale Faux-Parisian Bistro, with plenty of mirrors, so it might work for a princess. The sliders at O+B Grill next door might also work for a plain-eating 5 year old, although the atmopshere might not impress a 5 year-old princess as much as Biff's.

    Closer to the Four Seasons, consider The Gabardine for upscale comfort food (suggesting this for the menu more than the atmosphere, although the space is cute for Bay St) and Mercatto on Bay (not a "tea party" atmosphere, but decent plain options). Nota Bene is also convenient, although Nota Bene's food might be too "weird" for your princess, although sitting in the front space, and watching the people walk by on Queen might be fun for a 5 year-old. NB also keeps burgers and a few other plainer standards on the menu.

    Is the revamped Arcadian Court open now? Bannock (which was serving the Arcadian Court's chicken pot pie in the spring)and Great Cooks on 8 also serve lunch, close to the 4 Seasons Centre. The Keg on York might have a kids' menu- might be worth checking.

    2 Replies
    1. re: prima

      I second Bannock. We just had extended family come to Toronto for a visit with 2 kids and they LOVED Bannock. It's great comfortable service for young kids with family friendly choices (sweets and savoury) and it's good value. It is also very close to the 4 seasons... walking distance (provided it's not grossly humid).

      The favourites of the boys were the margherita pizza, turkey burger, chicken pot pie, the tourtiere, and pretty much all the sugary baked goods. The s'mores pie was eaten (more like devoured) in 1 minute or possibly less.

      1. re: prima

        Friends of mine had lunch at Biff's with a young child a couple years ago. The kitchen made a KILLER grilled cheese sandwhich for him. It was not listed on the menu. The little guy loved it and the adults were fighting for a taste too.

      2. What about Shopsy's? They have really good homemade macaroni and cheese! I was such a picky kid growing up but I always loved it there. And their hot dogs are so good too!

        4 Replies
        1. re: LindsA

          the new shopsy's at the sheraton is a pale cousin of what it once was. service is awful and the menu cut way back.

          1. re: ingloriouseater

            Really?? That's so sad! I used to go to the one on Front St and always loved it :(

            1. re: LindsA

              Isn't the Shopsy's on Front now an O&B resto?

        2. Be aware it will be Summerlicious so downtown spots can get busy.

          Other ideas would be the Library Bar at the Royal York - nice old world atmosphere and they are very accommodating, or perhaps Peter Pan, which has very plain food options such as spaghetti and meatballs, thus saving you from the Spaghetti Factory. Both take reservations.

          If by some chance she is both picky and likes sushi you could take her to Fune where they have the sushi boats that float around - I've seen lots of kids love it there (provided they eat sushi) and the quality is very decent.