Willow, The

 

The Willow is a Tex Mex Bar & Grill on the South side of Danforth near Broadview, & has become the spot of choice for post-show gatherings at the Bad Dog Theatre www.baddogtheatre.com. The place to sit is the back rooms, or failing that, wherever Jose is serving � he is an awesome waiter that knows his audience. I no longer have to order, he knows what beer I want & brings it. The menu is a mix of Tex Mex & pub regulars like burgers & chicken fingers. Do yourself a favour & stick with the Tex Mex, as it is what they are known for. The menu features items such as nachos, quesadillas, tostada & other Mexican delights. The last few times I�ve been here I had the Supremo Nachos � corn chips, melted Jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, chicken with salsa, sour cream & guacamole. It was really filling � I had to get help to finish, which is great considering the price of $9.95. Another time I had the vegetarian Tostada, which is an open faced crispy corn tortilla topped with vegetables, refried beans & melted cheese, also served with a side of refried beans & rice. This was a steal at $9.95 � I had to take some home to eat later! I�ve also had their salads & Mexican mice & things like that, all very tasty. Skip the fries.

The beer selection has changed recently & so they no longer have Guiness or Smithwicks or the other standard British/Irish brews on tap, but they have recently acquired Dos Equis on tap. I switch between that one & Carlsberg.

Now I know some people who have had negative drink experiences there, (obviously Jose was not working that day, he�d never let anything bad happen) & I do know some who are not fond of the food, but you can�t please everyone all the time.

The bar features a big screen projector system for sports & special event viewing if you are into that kind of thing. They are also very amenable to seating large crowds & let you move the tables around as you need. The patio is bright, colourful & heated! Perfect for the crisp autumn weather! Check out their website at www.thewillow.ca It�s cute & colourful & features pretty pictures of the food & tells you more about the history of the establishment.

 

 

Advertisements

Danforth Dragon [Mark]

861 Danforth Av
Phone: (416) 461-9238

 

Danforth Dragon is located right on the Danforth at Danforth at Jones. This place is one of the only restaurants in urban Toronto that serves Hakka style food, Chinese food spiced Indian-style. Ambiance is casual, cosy, with one dining hall, a diverse menu of wines, beers, and cocktails. The decor is slightly kitschy as there is a flashing sign outside (similar to Las Vegas flashy signs). For my appetizer, I ordered the Hot and Sour soup, made vegetarian upon request. Staff are friendly and VERY accomodating…anything can be made vegetarian and spiced accordingly. Pleasant, relaxed, cosy, casual, unpretentious ambiance

Unfortunately the soup was boring and bland. I would have preferred Wendy’s Hot and Sour Soup spiced with Mancurian sauce (her soup had chicken but it could have been made vegetarian). For my entree, I ordered the stir fried veggies and tofu in a Manchurian sauce (ginger, coriander, chili, paprika, garlic) very zesty with a kick, and similar to a vegetable curry.

Wendy ordered the Hakka style noodles with chicken and shrimp. The portion size is huge and prices are all under $10.00 for the most part.

The menu includes a variety of fish, seafood, chicken, and beef curries, chow meins, stir fries, as well as North American favourites such as chicken wings and French fries. Some dishes include the Fish ball soup, Hakka Chow mein, Stir fried veggies, spicy egg roll, seafood is top notch.anything shrimp is great.shrimp balls, snow peas with house spicy sauce, green beans with garlic sauce, ghobi (cauliflower curry), Kung Hei Chow Mein, pan fried dumplings, veggie and chicken pakoras, shrimp with lobster sauce, chinese mushroom with tofu, fish dumplings in a delicious broth, chicken tikka, crispy ginger beef, singapore or manchurian chow mein, sweet corn soup, manchurian veggie balls are one of the most popular vegetarian dishes as well as shrimp balls, Indian style chop suey, and manchurian fried rice is a favourite among frequent diners.

Danforth Dragon accepts all cards and the service is very friendly and accomodating.

Cafe Diplomatico

 594 College Street,
416-534-4637

Located right in the heart of Little Italy at College , this place is a large coffee house, casual and unpretentious. Throughout the day tables fill with locals hanging out while having a coffee or traditional Italian dessert or meal. The walls are covered with kitschy art and in the summer, expect lineups as the outdoor terrace is quite popular

With traditional Italian pastry, ice cream, and ,meals, this place is a haven for University students and people who appreciate more affordable cuisine. I went with my parents (who appreciate fine cuisine at a decent price) for lunch on the weekend and they really enjoyed the fact that it was one of the only places in Little Italy that was affordable and unpretentious.

As it was quite chilly that fall afternoon, we opted to sit down in the large open-concept dining area by the window.

Serving traditional Italian dishes like pasta, thin crust pizza, Italian soups, Italian salads, traditional Italian desserts like canoli (which my mum ordered) , and appetizers (antipasto), the menu also includes Greek salads, as well as burgers, Mexican quesadilas, onion rings, and French fries.

My dad ordered the hamburger and French fries and he said it was great (he said it was juicy and delicious). My mum ordered the traditional Italian minestrone soup with noodles, beans, and vegetables in a tomato broth. I ordered the HUGE vegetarian antipasto dish (a HUGE platter of artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, spicy olives, three slices of a mild Italian cheese, and spicy eggplant, for $7.95). The dish was very filling and excellent. They have a medley of other vegetarian dishes like gnocchi, penne, rigatoni, pizza, and a variety of salads. Each pasta dish is served and you can choose from a variety of 20 different types of sauces.

Accepts all cards, open very late, can be very crowded on Thurs/Fri/Sat and even Sunday nights. Expect lineups on the weekend. Can be loud and noisy so students should not come to study there (even though the food is affordable). Excellent, attentive service, good prices, open 7 days per week 8:00am-2:00am.

Satay on the Road

1572 Bayview Ave
(416) 440-0679

2003 Avenue Rd, 
(416) 488-5153

2306 Queen St. East (416) 698-8618.*

* Malaysian food not available at our Queen Street location.

 

*March 2005*

Satay on the Road on Bayview was renovated. It no longer looks kitschy and cheesy. It no longer has palm trees hanging from ceiling. It looks very industrial, modern, with clean lines, marbled tiles, and looks very trendy, a la “Salad King”.

Satay on the Road is located in the heart of Leaside Village on Bayview between Eglinton and St. Clair Another location is located in North York and in the Beaches

SOTR is a very casual place, with cosy diner chairs and tables, and kitschy decor (Thai-style hut roofs that surround tables, giving it that “Tropical Island” feel)

The menu is typical “Toronto Thai” so it is not worth mentioning. They have all the typical beef, chicken, and shrimp dishes. They also have the typical vegetarian fare so I was not surprised. Without fail, I ordered the veggie hot and sour soup, one of the best i’ve ever had in Toronto, next to The Friendly Thai, with chunks of tofu, bamboo shoots, three types of mushrooms, served in a HUGE pot

For my entree dish I ordered the Tofu Satay Dish with four skewers of tofu, stir fried veggies and a curried peanut sauce [VERY similar to The Friendly Thai]. The peanut sauce, however, was different. It did not resemble the typical brown I expected. It was very chunky but it was yellow, like it had been “curried”. It was still excellent and the waitress told me it was vegetarian so I believed her. [i.e. no chicken or fish stock added]

Paulo also ordered the deep fried veggie spring rolls for his appetizer and he ordered the Pad Thai that came with a side of marinated boneless chicken breast. He loved it.

The restaurant is spread across two dining halls, both cosy and casual. There is a bar at the back at the restaurant and table mats advertise a medley of cocktails which was kind of cheesy.
SOTR accepts all cards and there are three locations in the city.

Ten Feet Tall

1381 Danforth Ave
(416) 778-7333
See also Brunch, Danforth, Bar/Cafe

www.tenfeettall.ca

Paulo and I decided to go for brunch one Saturday morning and we wanted to try something different. We saw the sign “We serve brunch” at Ten Feet Tall so we decided to check this place out. The sign outside the restaurant does not give justice. From the outside it looks like a typical bar east of Pape on the Danforth near the corner of Greenwood. With a plain black and white sign and with a minimalist exterior design, we did not know what to expect. When you step inside, you will see a funky, eclectic, open concept bistro cafe/bar.

Once inside, we were introduced to funky, ecclectic interioirs, with a large mural on the wall depicting a stormy scene at a Mediterranean beach. It was said to belong to the old restaurant and that the current owner did not want to take it down. Ten Feet Tall has only been opened one year [as of Oct 2004]

With mosaic-tiled walls and linen-draped patio doors, hand-sculpted light sconces, eclectic artwork and a collection of ceramic insects on the wall, this cafe stands apart from the rest. The strong colour scheme of blood-red ceilings and dark walls really makes this bistro stand out.

Ten Feet Tall serves a diverse menu with a separate brunch and dinner menu. Dinner includes a variety of pastas (gnocchi, ravioli, chicken in a tomato sauce, pad thai, pasta with grilled chicken, portobello mushrooms in a Jack Daniels cream sauce), 4 types of pizza (Pepperoni, Danforth, Kristen, and Kiss Me), sandwiches (grilled veggie, grilled cheese, club sandwich, hamburger), chicken curry, cajun catfish, New York steak, and chicken breast stuffed with chevre and fresh herbs.

On my first visit, I ordered the Ten Feet Tall salad, a large creative plate of greens, spinach, strawberries, shaved parmesan cheese, and candied almonds in a thick balsalmic dressing. I could taste the bits of almonds but not the “candied” part.Paulo ordered the Ten Foot Breakfast, bacon, scrambled eggs, toast, home fries (he said they lacked flavour) and coffee and he enjoyed his dish but he thought his meal was warm but not hot.

On my second visit, I went with my friend Justine (May 2005) and she ordered 10 silver dollar pancakes with fruit and it was great. I had an egg white omelete (they do not charge extra for egg white omeletes) with mozzarella, eggplant, mushroom, and spinach. The omelete comes with 2 toppings and it is only one dollar to add additional toppings to the omelete. My omelete came with toast and home fries and i substituted them for salad at no extra cost. Again, I found a no bullshit kind of place, unlike By The Way Cafe.

I loved my meal. It was fresh, delicious, and healthy. Other items include a variety of dishes with funky names (like beautiful veggies), stir fries, pizza, meat and chicken dishes, burgers, wraps, and some vegetarian dishes.

Some brunch items to note are the Eggs Danforth, poached eggs with pancetta on an English muffin, with hollandaise sauce and feta. All dishes come with a side order of home fries and toast. The Kitchen Sink, an interesting dish of
poached eggs on a toasted english muffin with smoked salmon, spinach, and roma tomatoes in a blanket of hollandaise sauce and crumbled feta. Other dishes include eggs benedict, eggs florentine, eggs mormor.

They also serve extra thick French toast, with powdered sugar and fresh fruit, berries, and maple syrup as well Waffles. Try the Elvis Waffle, a thick waffle with peanut butter, banana, bacon. Try their Danforth pizza with olives, grilled peppers, red onion, and feta, the “Kiss Me Pizza” with feta cxheese, pepperoni, jalapenos, red onion, and roasted garlics, or the Kristen Pizza with caramelized onions, mushrooms, grilled peppers, and sun dried tomatoes.

Service was excellent and staff were really friendly

I will definitely go back for brunch and dinner and explore the entire menu. Accepts all cards. Bathrooms downstairs are nice, clean, and there is a lot of artwork done by neighbourhood children (I think). Sits about 50 people. Open Mon-Fri 5pm-11pm. Serves weekend brunch 10am-4pm. They are VERY veggie friendly. They can make most dishes vegetarian and they can prepare dishes spicier, milder, bigger, and smaller, just inquire wait staff.

Reviewed by Mark