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Gales Snack Bar - a civic treasure

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Gales Snack Bar
539 Eastern Ave, on a south-west corner with Carlaw.
Mon-Fri: 10-6 (give or take); Saturday: Noon-5. Closed on Sundays.
No website nor phone.
Never have seen a 2 for 1 coupon.

Here's the menu. Yes the prices are right.
http://www.urbanspoon.com/rph/10/7767...

I had wanted to stop into Gales because, from what I had heard, it was Bacchus' revenge on me. I was near the Beaches and coming back along Eastern Ave to go to Bistrot92 for lunch. (Yeh, the buffet!). Then I saw Gales and a parking spot. I took advantage of the opportunity.

I sat at the counter next to another authority on the Toronto food scene and
Priscilla, his beautiful girlfriend.

The place looks like the renovations had been done in stages, the last time about 50 years ago and always by amateurs.

The prices are about a third or less of what one they would be elsewhere. I cannot guess at a good business reason why the owners are in business

The food is good, but not good enough that I would force the place down a woman's throat on a first date. Nor a second date, regardless of how successful the first one was. (It's not the late, lamented, Nick and Leslie's Hungarian Goulash Party Tavern.

)

How good? I opine as follows.
The food is simple "English" home cooking diner. The ingredients are good and the food is wholesome. It doesn't suffer from a "too" problem - too much salt, sugar or fat."
A good choice is the turkey plate, $3.75. A good portion of daily roast turkey on white bread (I think) gravy, and topped with peas and carrots. Sided with house made french fries. The plate is even pretty.
Obviously, at the price its not sumptuous dining. So the chicken club sandwich could do with a bit more stuff in it, Ace Bakery bread and Kozak's mustard, a special one. But it looked quite OK, the stuff in it was good and at the price no complaints.

How would I compare Gale's to other diners, Caplansky's and Goody's?
Every dish at Caplansky's every time left me outraged and feeling exploited.
Goody's used good ingredients and was at a reasonable price. However the good ingredients were ruined by industrial flavourings and sauces and the execution was often bad. The desserts were comically and shamefully industrial, as if they were made not to be eaten, just to be photographed. I summarized Goody's after the father who had been an executive chef at several fancy places, "too much executive, not enough chef".
Gales is a whole lot better. So when you suffer ennui from a surfeit of Toronto's tasting menus, go to Gales for a fried egg sandwich on toasted white. It looked good. And housemade chips tapas.

Oh yeah. I had a bit of food at Gales, and went on to Bistrot92. Fabulous. See prior posts in "Chowfind of the Century"

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  1. I get the impression they stay open to feed the rather marginalized population in that area

    They roast a turkey every day

    I like if a lot there

    1. Thanks for this review! We have driven past this place a few times and my husband wanted to go in but the dusty cacti in the window kind of turned me off. this is the encouragement i needed. :-)

      1. Hi Vinnie,

        did you see the other reviews and mentions here of Gales?

        Here are a two of a few:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3892...

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8230...

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodyDudey

          foodyDudey Thank you
          I had did a search on CH but didn't turn up anything much. I must have made a typo or did something wrong with the search box.

          With reference to a prior post, Gales stopped making its own pies about three year sago. I am no fan of apple pies but tried a piece as a test. I have had worse.

          The cooking is from the same culture as at the Tulip, which is a cult temple. Gale's is better. It doesn't ruin ingredients and there is no salt dump as the Tulip does to the steak
          Is this a Reconstructionist way of kashering meat?