Everybody Eats [dinner- closed June 2005]

557 Parliament
*closed June 2005*
416-923-0100

Aaron and I went to see a play last night at the Berkely Theatre so we needed to grab dinner in a closeby neighbourhood restaurant so we decided to go to Everybody Eats. Everybody Eats is a cosy café with a local neighbourhood feel. It is decorated in white exposed brick with abstract art on the walls. Divided into 2 dinings rooms and a back terrace, the front room is small and resembles a greasy spoon with its open concept kitchen while the back dining area resembles a chi chi poo poo bistro with linen clothed tables with a real fire place.

Their business card describes the place as ecclectic, innovative, and casual. The brunch menu on the weekend (10am-4pm) has typical brunch fare (eggs any style, toast, non-dairy vegan French toast , salad, baked beans, and burgers). There is also an eggless omelette (made with tofu) so this place is perfect for me.

The dinner menu is diverse, funky, and ecclectic. With each entree, the chef recommends a wine or beer (from their extensive list of wines and beers) that goes well with the dish. Talk about drinking advisory services! For our appetizer, Aaron and I shared the pan fried veggie dumplings (4 for $5.95) with spicy peanut sauce. Although greasy, the dumplings were really good and hit the spot. For my main entree, I was disappointed to only find two vegetarian items: the fusili pasta with vegetables and feta cheese and the pan fried tofu with watercress and some rice in a nice teriyaki sauce. I opted for the Pan Fried Tofu with sauteed watercress which came with white rice.

WOW, it was REALLY good, salty, greasy, but GOOD. The only thing was the portion size. It was a small square of tofu with watercress (think spinach!) with a small side or white rice in a teriyaki sauce. Aaron opted for the curried lamb-burger with roasted rosemary potatoes. His lamb-burger came with a yummy portobello mushroom. He thought his food was good but too greasy. Other items on the dinner menu include burgers (ground strip loin with garlic mayo or curried lamb with sweet apricot chutney on kaisers buns with roasted bell pepper, jalapeno and onion.) Other menu items include a risotto of toasted nutty barley with chopped asparagus. Some starters include artichoke caviar, a Mediterranean relish served with warm herbed pita, and sweet potato fritters with pineapple salsa and cumin-scented yogurt. Desserts include a variety of cakes and pies from Altitude Bakery on Queen East. The night we went, there were two desserts: chocolate banana cake and apple sour cream cake. Not many healthy desserts but oh well. They accept all cards. Licensed with an extensive list of wine, beer, etc. Closed Mondays. Open until 10pm Tues-Fri. Weekend brunch is served 10-4pm.

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Gateways of India, The

19 Baldwin Street
416-340-0404

 

Daniel and I met up for lunch one day and decided to try The Gateways of India, another Indian restaurant, hoping for something different and unique. We head towards Baldwin Village as he knew that Gateways offered a lunch buffet (all you can eat for $7.95). I must say it was different. With non-typical Indian dishes, I was pleased for the new and exciting dishes but I was disappointed that there were very few vegetarian dishes.

Located on Baldwin street, this quiet tree lined street full of small restaurants and cafes was crowded with people that Thursday afternoon at 1:15pm. Located south of the U of T. campus and right next to Chinatown downtown, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Ontario College of Art and Design, I was surprised that the street was so crowded.

The decor of Gateways to India was nice and non kitschy. Restaurant is small and seats about ten normal size tables. The interiors are a bit dark and overall the place looks clean and not super fancy. There is a gorgeous front terrace opened all summer and in early fall. Sits about six tables.

Food was fresh, piping hot, and always refreshed. Surprisingly , the buffet was not super large like most Indian buffets. They had a small selection of salads (spinach salad, chick pea salad, and some raw vegetables). Dishes included tandoori chicken, butter chicken, and lamb curry. Vegetarian dishes included green daal (excellent!), vegetable pekora in a yellow yogourt curry. I never tasted somethng so wondeful. Superb, spicy, creamy and wonderfully fresh. As well , there was a dish called Aloo Mushroom, which was Aloo (potatoes) in a curry with mushrooms and paneer (cheese). This dish was amazing. I also enjoyed one slice of Subzi Naan (Naan stuffed with curried potatoes and peas). I was disappointed that there was no channa (chick pea curry), bhartha (eggplant curry) or aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower curry) or my recent obsession: saag paneer (spinach and cheese curry). Saag Paneer is a wonderful dish that most Indian restaurants carry.

Daniel had some of the daal, the bhaji, butter chicken which he found rich and flavourful, the curried mutton which he thought was a little short on meat, but with a tasty sauce, and tandoori chicken which was alittle dry, but had a good spicy kick. He thought it was an amazing deal for $7.95 with fresh ingredients and well prepared dishes. To quote him “I thought it was not like the usual sodden muck that one gets at a South Asian lunch buffet.”

For dessert, we had the typical rice pudding, watery, but extremely flavourful with the wonderful aroma and flavours of cardomom, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. As well they had fresh fruit, and custard.

There is an extensive regular menu which serves a variety of vegetarian dishes like the typical channa, daal, aloo gobi, bharta, saag and matter paneer. They also serve a variety of breads and rice dishes. The remainder of the menu serves mostly Chicken (boneless white meat) and lamb dishes as well as a variety of shrimp dishes ($8.95-$9.95). I did not see any beef or goat curries at all on this menu. Some chicken dishes come with naan bread or rice while others explicitly are ordered as entrees only. All shrimp dishes comes with rice or naan. All entrees are under $10.00. Accepts all cards and Interac.
Free delivery from 5:00pm-10:00pm for orders over $20.00.

Milestones

Unit A13-095 Yonge Street
(Empress Walk Mall at Yonge/Sheppard)
(416)-225-2552
For a complete list of locations

Milestones is a classy chain of restaurants, similar to Kelsey’s or East Side Marios, but slightly more upscale and less of “horse stables” ambiance. In other words, Milestones seems less noisy crowed with huge tables, spread far apart, with dim lighting, and an overall ambiance that is more calm and inviting. Located in most suburbs malls or in the middle of big box stores, I went to this particular Milestones at Yonge and Sheppard with Steve and Debbie in the fall.

The first floor was a bar/pub and the second floor was an intimate dining hall, with a cosy ambiance

Due to the limited vegetarian items on the menu, I ordered the Vegetarian Thai Noodle Salad- large and colourful with avocado, tomato, letture, cucumber, Thai rice noodles, mushrooms, artichokes, in a spicy Thai dressing ($9.99). Debbie had steak with garlic potatoes. Steve had grilled salmon with rice

All dishes came in large plates and super large portions. Decor is trendy with large spacious tables and booths. Rich in wood and comfort, yet provides an atmosphere of energy and fun. Very crowded with people but not congested

Friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable staff. Decor is super modern and classy, in an elegant design
Milestones is a chain across Canada, all over Greater Toronto, Greater Vancouver, all of Ontario, B.C., and Alberta. Milestones claims to be the proud creator of Bellini, a frozen cocktail, a blend of Lamb’s white rum, peach liqueur and champagne, topped with sangria.
This restaurant also serves an extensive list of wines, house wines, beers, cockails, margarita’s, dacquiris, and other drinks

The men is very diverse, as it includes steak, chicken and ribs, soups and salads, stir fry’s (not vegetarian) , seafood, pasta, but unfortunately very few vegetarian options. The only vegetarian options I found were the veggie burger platter, tomato basil capellini (tomatoes, basil, sundried tomatoes, calamata olives, and feta), Miso Dragon Bowl (Asian vegetables, brown rice, and Thai peanut sauce), the California spring greens salad (spring greens, glazed pecans, red onions, goat cheese, and strawberries), the typical garden salad, a roasted garlic caesar salad, and the Vegetarian Thai Noodle Salad.

In addition, they also serve an extensive brunch and low carb menu. They also serve low calorie meals, as well as items with little or no trans-fats.Brunch is served 7 days a week until 4:00pm. Typical brunch items includes a variety of omeletes, egg benedicts, French toast, poached eggs, and mimosas. The lunch menu is very similar to the dinner menu but there are more sandwiches burgers and wraps (known as rollups)–mostly in chicken and beef varieties

Some vegetarian appetizers include hot tortilla chips with fresh salsa, baked goat cheese and roasted garlic dip on flat bread, and the toasted onion and herb focaccia triangles. Liquor license. Accepts Interac, and VISA. I was quite pleased that they had a low carb menu and there were some vegetarian appetizers but not enough vegetarian entrees.

Swan [dinner]

892 Queen West
416-532-0452

 

With a small and vegetarian-free menu, I was still intrigued to go to Swan for dinner. With some friends we all opted for Swan because it was unique and unlike the typical Fresh by Juice for Life, (which I’ve been a million times) I did not want to torture my friends and force them to eat vegetarian. Having gone for brunch several months ago to Swan, I had enjoyed the qiet ambiance, the cool dim lighting, the minimalist decor, and the laid-back environment of this chi chi poo poo diner in the Queen West West neighbourhood.

We sat in the booth at the back of the restaurant, a familiar place where we sat for brunch months before in the winter. We sat down and got comfortable. For a starter most of them had House Wine and some kind of fancy-pants Beer. Aaron, Gavin, and Joey ordered appetizers of Oysters and Grilled Bread with diced tomatoes. They enjoyed both appetizers very much.

For our main meals, Daniel and Jonathan both ordered the beef short ribs. Daniel found his dish to be beefy and quite tender. He thought that the sauce offered a hearty balance of flavours with a judicious hint of sweetness that complimented the fine quality meat. He also enjoyed the pan- fried vegetables but they were unfortunately not well-seasoned, but, fortunately, not over-cooked.

Gavin had the Capon (rooster) which was coated in a delicious vanilla-oatmeal breading and pan-fried. The coating was great, but the actual meat was a bit tasteless. He found the buttermilk mashed potatoes to be exquisite, and he loved his roasted vegetables.

Aaron had the halibut on a bed of mashed yams, new potatos and cheese with some steamed veggies. He thinks his meal was covered in a pesto sauce but he could be wrong. Overall, it was quite tasty though he probably would have prefered some meat.

Joey had the vegetarian risotto with stewed tomatoes and other veggies cooked in a creamy vegetarian risotto broth.
I had the curried lentil soup, with pureed lentils, not too pungent in flavour, but with the right amount of zing. The puree made the soup taste creamy and hearty. Mark also had the spinach salad with toasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries in a light viniagrette.

The prices were pretty pricy. My soup was $5.00 and my salad was $7.00 and my salad portion was laughable. It was so small, I laughed while eating it and trying to enjoy every morsel. My soup was very hearty, healthy, and flavourful. I do think it was worth $5.00 even though $5.00 is slightly pricy for a soup. The bill came out to $186.00 for 6 people and most entrees were $15.00-$18.00 which, in my opinion is too pricy for me. Accepts all cards. Open late. Can be crowded most evenings and weekends. Reservations are recommended, especially for the popular weekend brunch. Service was OK but our waitress was cold and unfriendly to most of us. Maybe she had a bad day

Spice Thai

246 Queens Quay West
(416) 598-0600

Last week three friends and I met up to see an free Opera performance at the Harbourfront Centre, part of their summer concert series. Right after the performance we were hungry so we decided to grab a late night bite. We stopped by Spice Thai, a small and cosy, dimly lit cafe located in the Harbourfront neighboruhood across from Harbourfront Centre, tucked away under an 80’s style Toronto condo on Queens Quay Boulevard.

With a familiar menu with all the traditional and typical Thai dishes, I asked which dishes were really vegetarian and the helpful and patient waiter helped me decide what to order. I opted for something light since it was very late [10:30-11:00pm]. I ordered the cold fresh veggie rolls (3) with a chunky peanut sauce [awesome! and completely vegetarian- no chicken stock!] ($4.95)

Alan ordered the Spicy Thai Eggplant ($7.95) which came with fresh basil leaves and a generous serving of stir fried purple eggplant. Daniel ordered the Pad Wood Sen (Stir fried glass noodles with chicken breast, shrimp, and vegetables) ($8.95). The other “Daniel” ordered calamari (breaded, deep-fried squid, served with sweet chili sauce) ($7.95)

Menu is divided as follows: Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Noodle Dishes, Rice Dishes, Beef/Chicken, Seafood, and Vegetarian dishes. All main dishes are between $7.95-$9.95. All salads are from $6.95-$9.95. Noodle dishes are from $8.95-$9.95. Appetizers are from $4.95-$8.95. All vegetarian dishes are $7.95. [Vegetarian stir fried veggies, Thai Eggplant, Veggies with oyster sauce [WARNING: not vegetarian], and Spicy Ginger Tofu. Accepts all cards. Large, very clean and gorgeous washrooms, worth checking out. Open VERY late.