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GTA south-west location for a book club discussion?

Food Tourist Jan 11, 2014 10:39 AM

Saturdays after lunch/brunch service rush is over (e.g. 1:00 pm or later), somewhere relatively west or south (Roncesvalles, Parkdale, High Park are all ideal, or Etobicoke) and with enough space for 5-7 people to sit together, drink really good coffee OR good beer, some tasty food (even if not a full menu, would be great to have a few savoury and sweet options), linger for 1.5-2 hours without annoying servers, and not bother other patrons with our conversation (and hopefully, laughter). Tall order, but whenever I think of good coffee, I always picture too-small west-end places like Cherry Bomb or Birds 'n' Beans and was hoping for inspiration (not just from google map find function). Many thanks!

P.S. The book club will focus on memoirs. So maybe I will just select locations that kind of match the book's setting. E.g. My Life in France by Julia Child matched with a french bakery that has eat-in tables.

I haven't yet been inside El Almacen on West Queen West nor The Mascot.

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  1. happycamper RE: Food Tourist Jan 11, 2014 11:00 AM

    For licensed food places, I have enjoyed Domani - pretty solid Italian. Not loud, cozy and friendly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: happycamper
      Food Tourist RE: happycamper Jan 11, 2014 11:07 AM

      Thanks but they don't seem to be open for lunch or afternoon service.

    2. Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist Jan 12, 2014 08:02 PM

      I can't think of a location to discuss Tina Fey other than Second City.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Food Tourist
        Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist Jan 24, 2014 05:54 PM

        Actually, our Bossypants discussion will be on a SUNDAY afternoon one time only. Any Sunday recs? I guess with the popularity of brunch, a place that takes resos (group of 7+) and is okay with us lingering for up to 2 hours would be best.

      2. a
        All clad and nowhere to go RE: Food Tourist Jan 13, 2014 03:48 AM

        Hi - If this helps....a brand new test kitchen/event kitchen just opened up in Etobicoke that is available to rent if you add a few people to your group. They have an entire professional kitchen available if you want to cook or they can even provide a Chef. If you have enough in your group and all kick in, you could host an awesome event...

        Let me know if you are interested and I'll dig out the address/info you (off to work)

        1 Reply
        1. re: All clad and nowhere to go
          Food Tourist RE: All clad and nowhere to go Jan 14, 2014 09:39 AM

          Thanks but for this group we just want to keep it cheap and casual even though they are mostly food-lovers, too. I have other groups that would pony up for nicer food or a birthday party, so please do dig up the contact info.

        2. f
          filtered RE: Food Tourist Jan 13, 2014 07:17 AM

          grenadier cafe in high park.

          not sure about the coffee or beer though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: filtered
            Food Tourist RE: filtered Jan 14, 2014 09:38 AM

            Thanks. The one time I had brunch there I didn't like it, but it's definitely got a lot of space and great location!

          2. Jacquilynne RE: Food Tourist Jan 13, 2014 09:57 AM

            I've been to events like this at The Longest Yard on Bloor in Etobicoke. Not so much with the coffee, but it's a pub, so they do have beer.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Jacquilynne
              Food Tourist RE: Jacquilynne Jan 14, 2014 09:24 AM

              Thanks J. Do you like their food? I looked at their beer list but it doesn't seem promising; however here is their brunch menu on Saturdays: http://thelongestyardrestaurant.com/i...

              1. re: Food Tourist
                Jacquilynne RE: Food Tourist Jan 14, 2014 11:39 AM

                My recollection of their food was basically that it was fine. Nothing you'd write home about, but nothing you'd complain about either. I couldn't tell you what I've even eaten the couple of times I've been there, so it certainly wasn't memorable, but looking at the menu, I suspect the answer is probably 'a hamburger'.

                1. re: Jacquilynne
                  Food Tourist RE: Jacquilynne Jan 14, 2014 11:54 AM

                  When i go to a nondescript place, I always order "whatever you do best" or "homemade?" :) Servers often respond with, "The most popular items are…" or "I like…" which isn't what I'm asking, but still...

            2. p
              piccola RE: Food Tourist Jan 14, 2014 05:27 AM

              Holy Oak on Bloor near Lansdowne - it doesn't fit the theme, but it's a combination café/bar and stays open all afternoon. Plus they run their own book club so they're used to that kind of stuff.

              2 Replies
              1. re: piccola
                Food Tourist RE: piccola Jan 14, 2014 09:25 AM

                Thanks p. Do you like their food? Is the coffee or beer selection chowish? Their website has no food or drink information.

                1. re: Food Tourist
                  piccola RE: Food Tourist Jan 25, 2014 07:08 AM

                  I haven't had their food in a couple years, sorry. But the coffee and drinks are definitely worthwhile. They make some great versions of hot toddies that would be perfect on a day like today.

              2. Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist Jan 26, 2014 10:18 AM

                A food friend just recommended the Dog and Bear pub. I am now thinking of places that serve brunch but have been around for so long that they are no longer trendy but still deserve attention. A place that takes reservations for parties of 7+. I will also contact Farmhouse Tavern and Le Select Bistro and see if their back rooms would be okay to use.

                1. Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist Jan 26, 2014 10:21 AM

                  Any thoughts on Bryden's or The Monk's Kettle pubs?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Food Tourist
                    Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist May 15, 2014 01:35 PM

                    We had our first meeting back in February at Monk's Kettle and found it quiet and good for our needs. Great beers on tap, too.

                  2. Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist Jan 26, 2014 10:37 AM

                    Are any of these locations baby-friendly? e.g. active 8-month-old baby will be joining his mom at book club.

                    1. Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist Jun 2, 2014 04:12 PM

                      The Mascot is closed down, by the way.

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