Kama

214 King Street West
416-599-KAMA (5262)

This restaurant is located directly across the street from the Roy Thomson Hall, making it a convenient option for those going to the theatre (there are many in the ‘hood). It’s a couple of steps down from the street, and is a huge place! It is very bright and airy, and very terracotta in colour. This place definitely looks different than any restaurant you might find in little India – very designer-y. Naturally, the prices are in line with the décor and location.

Though sit down meals are an option, we selected the all-you-can eat buffet option at $16.95 each. Had we had chosen this option to take out, the price is much cheaper. Lunchtime prices are also much lower.

The food we ate was generally quite good, there was a decent variety of dishes, vegetarian, chicken, beef and seafood. Among my favourite items were the different traditional breads, some with garlic, some with mint, etc. salads, tandoori chicken & vegetable curry. Least favourite: dessert. Apparently I made a funny face when I took a bite. Oh well, can’t be perfect.

The service was very speedy and attentive. The staff are very sensitive to those with time constraints and are ready with the bill when you are.

I enjoyed my meal there, but probably will not make a habit of going there based on the price. The price was a little higher than I think an Indian buffet should be. However, if I have an insatiable craving for the food & I happen to be in the area, I would not hesitate to drop in.

Easy [guest review]

1645 Queen Street West
phone number: 416-537-4893

 

Parkdale is the venue and the peanut butter shake* is the main attraction or
should I say only attraction. Upon entering this neat half dinner half
hipster joint, I quickly scanned the room and noticed about 10 wannabe
celebrities (including myself) – wearing super-sized glasses and lulu lemon
baseball caps. The place was packed except for one four-seater in the
window, which had not been cleared yet. Making small talk with my three
friends, we waited 12-15 minutes for someone to clear the table.

The much anticipated lineup of shakes was very impressive. Mango and the
peanut butter stood out for me. I ordered the mango and it was a poor
decision. Weak in thickness and way too cold… yes cold – I like my shakes
brisk but not cold, allowing for slurping large amounts quickly. I tasted my
girlfriend’s peanut-butter shake and it was a work of art, the best shake I
have ever tasted. In fact I found myself obsessing about how good the shake
was while carring on polite conversation with my fellow brunchers. For the
main course I ordered a wannabe burrito, which looked so tasty yet it failed
to excite any saliva action in my mouth. It was dry and flakie and resembled
a leather chamois.

My suggestion is to go for the best shake you will ever have, but make sure
to wear your lulu outfit if you want to get good service.

*In the early nineties marketers replaced the word “shake” with the word
“smoothie” because it sounded healthier.

– Frank

Dash Kitchen

236 Danforth Ave
416-463-DASH (3274)
Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-6pm
Debit, Visa, MC, AMEX

Though not a restaurant in the traditional sense, Dash Kitchen bills itself as “purveyors of yummy foods” and I would have to say that description is accurate.

Dash Kitchen opened up in the summer of 2003 (I believe) and has become a neighbourhood fave spot for fine gourmet foods, both prepared and heated if you like, or as individual ingredients like pestos, sauces, oils and nice breads. Easily comparable to Pusateri’s in quality if not quantity.

I frequently drop into Dash when I’m looking for a good pick-me-up, or am looking for a ready-made accompaniment for dinner. In particular I have enjoyed the many desserts they have displayed, whether it’s a lemon square, slice of cake or their pumpkin loaf that is way better than mine. I also thoroughly enjoy the salads. The salads change on a fairly regular basis; I have enjoyed a corn and red pepper salad, orzo salad, and garlicky broccoli to name a few. Definitely, I would say that the tourtiére (that’s meat pie to any non-Quebecois) is the best you’ll find in Ontario and the portion size is nice and big. There are usually prepared sandwiches i.e. grilled vegetables, meatloaf, etc. for those on the run, and if you can get there closer to lunchtime, there are a number of hot soups and various specials to choose from. There are always prepared meats ready to take out, i.e. chicken, salmon, pork tenderloin and more. Everything looks so delicious, it’s often difficult to choose.

Though this establishment primarily functions as a place to take food out of, I have seen the odd table outside on a Saturday morning. As I don’t work in the neighbourhood, they may very well be there during the weekday lunch times, but don’t quote me on that. They also do catering for private dinner parties and such.

Not only is the food yummy, so seems to be the entire staff! Every man I have seen there (they are all men) is absolutely handsome, very friendly and both knowledgeable and helpful which just enhances the total Dash Kitchen experience.

I sometimes just go to see what the latest thing they’ve prepared is. A visit to Dash Kitchen is a delightful adventure in yummy food.

Podium Restaurant & Bar (closed 2007)

5th floor- Olympic Spirit Toronto
35 Dundas St. East @ Victoria
416 775 3200

Being a new restaurant in town, Mark & I decided to give Podium a try. We were headed out to an event in the area, so we thought why not?

Located on the 5th floor of a building just off of Yonge & Dundas Square is in theory a good location, however a bit more signage would really help. You see the sign up above on the top of the building, & go inside & it isn’t super clear how to get there. Eventually we figured to take the elevator up. The elevator opened up right into the restaurant itself.

The entrance was stunning; it was a beautiful mosaic tiled area that covers the floors, walls and ceiling. The place was unfortunately very empty of that Saturday night in particular. If you look out the window, you look onto the square, but it was raining that night, so we decided to take a booth near the fireplace in the back. I’m not too sure what the point is to have an Olympic themed restaurant when the food does not coincide, but whatever. The entire restaurant has a very circular feel to it, I guess to emote speed. The colors used for the décor are red, black, and silver. It’s really quite a striking place, despite the Olympic athletes that decorate one wall. More round booths like the one we chose would really make an impact I think. They are very intimate spaces, but large enough for 5 people at least.

The host was very friendly, as was our server. As this was our waiter’s first day, he solicited some assistance from the host to address our questions. One thing I appreciated was that they recommended dishes in a variety of price ranges, not all top priced items. As nothing on the menu was exactly to Mark’s preferences, they were extremely flexible and accommodating to his needs, and developed a whole new pizza, special for him. They were really nice about it and did not even charge us extra. The staff here are fantastically skilled in customer satisfaction.

We started off by sharing an arugula salad, with walnuts and Oka cheese, which was delicious. Mark had his custom order vegetable-laden pizza and I had the Seafood Papardelle $18. Nice pieces of seafood were nestled in a nice tomato sauce. The shrimps and scallops were particularly good. The calamari was not bad, although slightly overdone. There were entirely too many mussels for my liking. I much preferred the scallops and shrimp. Unfortunately the spinach papardelle, completely clumped together. The portion sizes were perfect for people with big appetites – I could not finish the entirety of my meal.

Being right at Yonge & Dundas makes this a great place to start off the evening before a show. The staff were especially sensitive to people on a tight schedule, needing to get to shows on time, easily able to speed things up without showing any signs of stress. There were a number of other items on the menu I wanted to try so I’ll definitely be going back.

Windfields Dining Lounge

 801 York Mills Rd
North York/Don Mills
416-445-1630

This casual family dining lounge is a place I have gone to a couple of times on a work lunch. It is known for generally speedy service at lunch, and caters to the blue rinse crowd. The menu is comprised of salads, sandwiches, fajitas, souvlakis burgers, pastas, stir fries, etc. Though the majority of the menu is under $10, the top price is $17.95 for a 12 oz steak.

When we arrive the place is busy, though our hostess seems more interested in chatting with her boyfriend rather than seating us. Someone else seats us instead. Our waiter Jerry was very nice which made up for the trashy hostess.

I ordered the Philadelphia Hoagie � thinkly sliced sirloin steak, onions, peppers, mushrooms, swiss cheese, served on fresh garlic bread with fries – $9.75. This was a tasty meal at a fair price. I was not super keen on the fries; they were coated with something I didn�t like. The others in my group had fish & chips, a chicken club and steak on a French stick.

The portions were generous, the price was fair – $50 for 4 people, tax & tip included, and everyone enjoyed their meal while getting out on time. I won�t make a special trip to go there, but when opportunity presents itself, I have no objection.

By The Way Cafe – Wendy

400 Bloor Street West (at Brunswick)
416-967-4295

I’ve been to BTWC a number of times over the years, and have always had pleasant dining experiences there, this time being no exception.

I went to celebrate my birthday. I have made my way onto their email blast list, where they send out details of special offers. This particular offer was for a free entr饠anytime between a Sunday & Wednesday evening during the month of your birthday. This has become a bit of a birthday tradition of mine, and I enjoy it every year.

My friend Mark accompanied me for this dining experience. He started his meal with a vegetarian split pea soup that was to die for it was so good! They also brought out a plate of artisan breads and red pepper butter for us to munch on while waiting for the mains. Nice butter!

Our friendly server “Big Don” was very attentive and ready to answer any of our questions. (Mark generally has a question). I ordered the butternut squash lasagna, which was a great recommendation from Big Don. The thick layer of squash was sweet and subsequent layers were filled with spinach and mushrooms. I didn?t find any cheese, but that just helped to make it feel all the more healthy and provided an evening of guilt-free decadent dining. The accompanying salad provided just the right amount of twang! Everything was really tasty. Mark really liked his tofu salad as well.

I would loved to have had room left in my tummy for dessert, but my nutritious & delicious meal was so filling I had no more room left. Oh well, it provides a good excuse for a repeat visit.

Ten Feet Tall

1381 Danforth Avenue
416-778-7333

Web site: www.tenfeettall.ca

-Monday-Friday 5 pm to 11 pm

-Saturday & Sunday Brunch from 10 am

Ten Feet Tall is the epitome of what I look for in a great brunch spot. It’s eclectic; it’s casual, it’s cool, they play great music and most importantly, they have over 8 eggless options for brunch!

I first went to this place a few months ago and loved both the atmosphere and the food. It’s a bit of a cross between a bar and a restaurant and is kind of funky. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I haven’t been back more often. I resolve to become more of a regular now.

I walk in and The Byrds are playing. I love this place already! A bit of celebrity action happens as well – the guy from the Canadian Tire commercial ate brunch there at the same time as me. There are a number of vintage tables with a variety of chair styles. I love the bar with the giant ornately framed mirror. Vintage lamps are hung around the bar area. A relief mural of a landscape scene greets diners, and the red walls promote a warm atmosphere. The one beige wall is covered with plastic insects, flowers & butterflies – my sister would love this wall. I love the fact that there are real curtains and beaded curtains.

The brunch menu at Ten Feet is filled with a fair amount of traditional breakfast/brunch options, with many of them having interesting names like Eggs Mormor, The Kitchen Sink, Ten Foot Breakfast, etc. The first time I ate at Ten Feet Tall, I had “Welcome to the Club”. Essentially this is a chicken blt, with cheddar and pancetta instead of regular bacon. On the side, I had both a green salad and yam fries which are to die for, You can order just the yam fries if you want and they have a multitude of mayo options to choose from – yum!

This time, with Blue Suede Shoes playing in the background, I ordered The Elvis – a waffle covered in peanut butter, bacon & maple syrup. Normally a chopped up banana is part of this dish, but as a non-banana eater, I had that item omitted. This is such a decadent meal, completely delicious, if not a little artery hardening. Quite the culinary experience!

I looked over the dinner menu, and now I definitely want to go back for supper! First off, they have a decent beer selection that includes St. Ambroise beers – essential for a Montrealer! Also, this menu is decidedly better than any other bar combo that I’ve seen. No all deep fried menu here! The dinner menu, which comes encased in old record albums boasts steaks, catfish, salads, pastas, pizzas, salads & a variety of lighter fare. There are also weekly specials, – this week’s special include seafood pasta, spanakopizza, and a blue plate special – bangers, mashed potato, gravy & salad, all specials ranging between $9-$12. Not bad!

The service was fast, friendly and efficient. This combined with the casual comfort of the whole experience made this one I’m planning on repeating many times over.