Not Just Noodles

570 Yonge Street
416-960-8898

 

Conveniently located at Yonge and Wellesley, this casual sit down and take out place serves Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes. They also serve Bubble Tea, a delicious cold beverage with tea, ice, tapioca bubbles, and flavour. Bubble Tea originates from Taiwan and I love Bing Sa, a smooth, slushy like beverage made with frozen fruit puree, tapioca bubbles, and blended to a creamy smoothy icy drink.

The restaurant
sits about three tables on the main floor and about ten tables on the second floor. My friend ordered the sweet and sour chicken balls. She said they were tasty but doughy. I ordered the tofu stir fry with bok choy and shitaki mushrooms in a veggie sauce. Warning: all veggie dishes are not just noodles are made in an oyster sauce so if you are a true vegetarian, please specify.

Menu is divided into the following: Thai and Vietnamese sections, Stir Fried Noodle and Veggie and Beef or Chicken dishes, Fried Rice dishes, Dim Sum, Noodle Soups in Chicken or Beef broth, regular soups (beef or chicken broth), appetizers, pork, chicken, seafood, and beef main dishes, as well as a list of vegetarian dishes. Please specify that you are a “true” vegetarian if you do not mind oyster sauce or chicken/beef broth in your beloved vegetarian dishes. All dishes come with steamed white rice.

Mostly serving Chinese fare, there are 2 small sections devoted to Thai and Vietnamese cuisine like Pho (Vietnamese) and Pad Thai (Thai). Offers dinner specials (choice of one specially selected item for $9.50, up to 6 items from a special set of dishes for $48.95). Bubble tea is $2.95 (small) and $3.45 (large) and add 50 cents for Bing Sa (slush). Fresh fruit bubble tea is $3.75 (small) and $4.75 (large).

Prices are between $4.95-$9.95 and portions are decent. Dishes come with rice and Interac and cash are accepted.

Open Mon-Sat 11am-1am. Sunday 12 pm noon- 1am. Offers take out, delivery, and catering services. Free delivery for orders over $18 before taxes. Delivery service is from 5pm-11pm. Fast and friendly service but speak slowly as English is NOT their first language so if you are a hard core vegetarian, they will probably fuck up. MSG-free dishes available upon request.

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Swan

892 Queen West
416.532.0452

Walking inside the restaurant (if you call it that) I was greeted with
a quasi retro fifties diner vibe. The front half of the space is well
lit and narrowed by a bar with vinyl covered bar seats. Across from the
bar are tables with narrow booths seating 2-4 people. More tables are
available towards the back (and less lit) -end of the restaurant.

Good
luck finding a space for more than four people. The place doesn’t take
reservations and it becomes packed on brunch weekends. The atmosphere
was generally cool with white walls. The lukewarm heating system didn’t
make us feel any cozier eating in the middle of January.

I would
recommend visiting this place in the summer, when there is less winter
gear clutter, with the sun’s rays warming up the atmosphere. It’s a great
place to gab with a couple friends on a summery Sunday morning. After
eating you may better enjoy touring Queen West.

The brunch meals were adequate and generally well portioned. I had eggs,
but eggs are eggs. Nothing in the Omelette stood out. One of their
specialties are their clams and mussels which no one tried. Mark was the only one who ordered a non-egg meal- the warm half- grapefruit with a sprinkle of brown sugar with the vegetarian split pea soup. He seemed quite happy with his meal, but he was disappointed that there were not enough vegetarian and vegan items.

The menu has that funky bacon called Pancetta. It’s an oily meat to
consume for a first meal of the day, nontheless, bacon eaters dig in!
Service was friendly and very accomodating. Make sure you ask for no ice
in the juices, or you’ll be sitting with watered down orange juice.

-Jonathan Isenberg

Only Cafe, The

972 Danforth Ave.

phone number: 416-463-7843

The Only Cafe is a small, cosy, neighbourhood bar/cafe right on Danforth between Donlands and Jones. The place is the epitome of "non-trendy". The tables and plates are mismatched and the place is actually small but sits about fifteen small tables. The place is filled with quirky Van Gogh prints and 60’s and 70’s photos of musical icons like the Beattles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, and Joni Mitchell.

I have gone here many times and always enjoy the Sunday brunch. I order the Belgium Waffle with Fruit, whipped cream and salad. It usually comes with bacon or sausage but I skip it for extra salad and fruit. The portions are huge, staff are very accomodating and there is a huge variety of salad dressings like Mango Vinegar, Sundried Tomato Oil, Garlic Oil, and Balsamic Vinegar.

I also have ordered the Bay of Quinte, an open-faced sandwich with your choice of over ten different kinds of bread, melted cheddar cheese, pesto, two large tomatoes, with an organic green salad. Prices are affordable ($5.95-$7.95) and decor is funky, hip, and very non-pretentious. It reminds me of a neighbourhood bar, like the fictional "Cheers," where everyone knows your name…

Unlimited coffee is served and the brunch menu is limited but the dishes are creative (breakfast burrito, cowgirl breakfast, cowboy breakfast, stuffed French toast with cream cheese and fruit, and French toast dipped in banana nut oatmeal.

Overall, The Only Cafe serves fresh, filling food, large portions, and staff are friendly and accomodating. They know their food very well and are able to answer questions about ingrediants and preparation. For example, the owner informed me that the refried beans are made with lard. YUCK!

Decor is funky and unique and although there is a limited vegetarian menu, the staff are accomodating. I would recommend this place for everyone.

 

Skylark Restaurant- Indian and Mughlai cuisine

1433 Gerrard E
(416) 469-1500

My friend Paulo and I were roaming around Little India and we did not know where to eat. We came upon this restaurant and looked inside. We were cold (it’s winter now in Toronto) and we wanted somewhere to warm up and eat. The owner of the small restaurant saw us and came to greet us and told us that this place has the best Indian cuisine.

We went in to order. The menu was quite large and they had a buffet special. I am not too fond of buffets so I ordered from the menu. I ordered the okra, tomato, and onion curry, known as Bhindi Dopiazza, which was super yummy, but slightly oily. In addition, I ordered the chick pea curry, known as Channa. The channa was different than other channas since the chick peas were slightly mushy and mashed up but the curry sauce was thick and hearty.

Paulo ordered the butter chicken and he seemed to really like it. He also ordered an order of nan bread and cauliflower and potato curry, known as aloo gobi. All of our dishes were large and plentiful and they were hot and fresh. I was impressed by the price too. The Channa was $4.50 and the Bhindi Dopiazza was $5.49 but those were “takeout menu” prices. Paulo’s aloo gobi was $5.49 and the butter chicken was $7.99

The service was swift, friendly, and the ambiance was plain. Although the menu does not include drinks, I did see a patron order the famous Indian spiced tea, known as Chai. Think of it as a spicy milky beverage that’s actually a tea.