Dr. Generosity

2197 Bloor St. W.
416.604.0704 

Aaron and I ran 10km and we decided to brunch in the west end for a change. Aaron has heard from Chowhound about Dr. Generosity and he had mentioned it for months but we did not get a chance to schlep to the west end. I nagged him and finally made an outing of running then driving to Bloor West Village to see what this place has to offer.

Located right in the heart of Bloorwest village, Dr. Generosity is a laid back establishment, similar to Brass Taps where they serve pub food (pub food has gotten healthier over the years, so don’t expect typical bar fare of nachos and cheese and fish and chips and burgers and fries) and a weekend brunch. Even pubs have jumped on the Brunch bandwagon in Toronto.

As it was Thanksgiving weekend, Aaron and I checked out the Thanksgiving themed menu with some Thanksgiving inspired items. We started with coffee and Diet cokes and for our meals, I ordered the stuffed French Toast with a berry puree with huge chunks of bananas topped with a raspberry sauce and sugared pecans. I also ordered additional maple syrup to soak my meal. We only ran 10 km but we had to carb load for our marathon the next week.

My dish contained four slices of challah bread stuffed with fruit but due to the soaking of egg and pan frying, the four slices stuck together to form one huge tower. It looked like too much; like a piece of art – colourful, with the texture of the fruit and the drizzling sauce, but it tasted spectacular.

Aaron ordered the turkey and cheese omelete with a side order of home fries (which he liked a lot) and he enjoyed the dish. He found it to be quite good and portions were large! The service was good and friendly but he felt the place lacked ambiance. He thought it felt more “pubby” then a cozy brunch place. He also found it quite far away from the downtown core so he would probably not visit it very often.

Other items on the menu include penne alla vodka ($16), chicken tetrazaini fettucine ($16), lamb and black jack stew ($16), provimi calves liver ($18), grilled fresh salmon ($19), baby back ribs ($22), new york strip steak ($25), chicken breast supreme with spinach, goat cheese, and garlic. ($19), buffalo wings (1 lb is $9, 2 lbs are $17), pan- fried calamari ($10), and mussels in a choice of either a spicy tomato broth, white wine broth, or garlic and parsley broth ($10) .

Some veggie items to note are the popular veggie lasagna ($13), and portobello mushroom melt ($10). Some appetizers worth noting include Dr. G. Grilled vegetable nachos ($12), spinach and artichoke dip (served with sesame flatbread) ($9), hummus and tzattiki platter with sesame flatbread ($9), sweet potato fries ($6), dr. G. home fries ($4).

Also serves an assortment of light fare, including soups and salads (house salad, caesar (both $8), my favourite – grilled vegetable and goat cheese salad -$9), sesame chicken salad- $12, and Dr. G. “chopped” salad (with your choice of tuna salad with walnuts or diced turkey breast) with loads of chopped veggies and hard-boiled egg ($11), and the chopped beef salad with grilled beef slices and roasted red peppers, roasted tomatoes and roasted corn on a bed of spinach- $14.

Open Monday-Tuesday 11:30am-9:30pm, Wednesday-Thursday 11:30-10:30pm, Friday 11:30am-10:30pm, Saturday and Sunday Brunch 10:00am-3:00pm, Saturday Dinner 3:00pm-10:30pm, and Sunday Dinner 3:00pm-9:00pm. Accepts all cards. Dinner prices kind of steep but Bloor West Village folk can afford it. Brunch prices are appropriate.

Offers a party room located on the 2nd floor and can accommodate up to 24 people for a sit-down meal and up to 40 people for a cocktail or hors d’oeuvres reception.

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Peter Pan [Mark Aaron]

373 Queen St. W
416/593-0917

On Sunday September 25, 2005 it was my 31st birthday and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I had arranged for a birthday brunch get together after I successfully finished the marathon (I did it in 3:55:30). After finishing naturally i was sore so our plan was to “brunch it up” on King west or Queen West. We made our way to Queen West hoping to “brunch” at Fressen but it was too far. I had seen Peter Pan many times but never went in. Boy i was missing something very special.

Peter Pan is one of the oldest “restored” restaurants on the Queen west strip between University and Spadina. Think of it as a classy “old fashioned” romantic restaurant. Once inside you have stepped back into the past–I do not mean a 1950’s diner, but a 1920’s or 1930’s classy restaurant, a more “high end” take on the classy diner, something more special.

This place has a great dela of charm. There is a lot of art on the walls (some for sale), wooden booths and a high, pressed-tin ceiling. As well, there are high ornate ceilings, an old-style bar (with built-in stools) and comfortable wooden booths throughout the restaurant. The place is named Peter Pan because it’s at the corner of Peter and Queen I suspect.

The menu offers many appetizers under $10, plus pasta, pizza, and burgers priced between $12-$15. Mains are between $14-$20. The whole place looks like it was never remodeled or re-done, almost completely restored, as if stepping into the past. What nostalgia! We went especially for brunch and we sat at the back terrace that seats about 6 tables and is surrounded by glorious trees and green space. Justine ordered the potato rosti with smoked salmon ($9)which she thought was simply amazing. She was glad to be served water with lemon. I ordered the French toast with maple syrup and fruit ($9). Daniel, Lizzie, and Paulo ordered the omelete with ricotta cheese that was accompanied with salad and pancetta on top ($9) . Wendy ordered the personal size chorizo sausage pizza with olives & artichoke hearts($9). She thought it was very good. All thought that the food was wonderful but the service stank. The young man who served us was frustrated by our size (we were 6 people) and he made nasty facial expression when we asked questions or asked for more water or coffee. When i asked for a mocha (espresso with steamed milk and chocolate) he said it was the girl’s first day on the Espresso bar and she could not make the drink. What a load of crap. A mocha is a single or double espresso with some chocolate syrup or cocoa. Give me a break. When Justine asked for fresh coffee, he gave a nasty facial expression.

Some items of interest include warm beet salad in a dijon vinaigrette with goat cheese, walnuts and a sweet poached pears with star anise ($9). As well, lamb shank ($17) with lentils and kale. Other items include whole wheat fusilli with goat cheese and grilled chicken, mushrooms, and spinach in a light cream sauce, goat cheese and spinach stuffed chicken breast over mashed potatoes and vegetables ($14 and $16 respectively).

Peter Pan also serves a vast array of desserts (cakes, pies, dessert crepes) and obscure types of wine. After finishing our brunch, Lizzie and Justine ordered the fruit dessert crepe but they ran out. To be blunt, service had attitude and was beyond crap. The guy just could not deal with six people. Come on! The women “greeters” were pleasant but this young man was a major grouch!

Serves weekend brunch. Art rotates regularly at Peter Pan.
Accepts all cards. Backyard terrace. Open Mon-Wed noon-midnight; Thurs-Sat noon-1am; Sun noon-11pm.

Barrio Lounge

896 Queen St. E.
416-572-0600

Barrio is a laid back lounge and bar where patrons can have a martini, a glass of wine, or even dine on a tapas-style menu of global delights. For those who do not know what”tapas style”-tapas is spanish for “snack-items”. This means that dishes are snack-size portions so you can try many things at once. The problem lies that these dishes are the prices of mains ($8-$10) when they should be $5-$6.

I looked at the one page paper menu (that changes every 3 months) and I only found three vegetarian items. Since mains are served tapas-style, you basically have to order 2-3 tapas just to be full. Rip-off central. I could understand ordering tapas-style if they were normally priced but Barrio has some nerve to charge those prices for tiny portions. I think it’s because the Queen East/ South Riverdale neighbourhood is becoming more and more chi chi poo poo like Queen West and more trendy, upscale restaurants are popping and morons like me are willing to try it and pay retarded prices. Was I ripped off? Decor is really nice. With pale green walls, calm jazzy, pop music in the background, and large photographs mounted on chunky canvasses, this place looks like a hip and modern bistro that would cater to an artsy crowd, probably journalists and writers, and other Queen east hipsters. Tables are close together and the actual restaurant is quite small. Many of the tables are lined up against a row bench that sits against the wall. Pillows and fluffy seat cushions add warmth to the modern design of this “Verveine-style” restaurant.

For my meal, I ordered a salad of roasted beets (red and pink), with arugula, sunflower seeds, in a very light viniagrette with creme fraiche on top ($8). I told them to hold the creme fraiche. Presentation is artistic, funky, and cool. For my main, i ordered the quesadilas with Alex Farms goat cheese (locally produced cheese store), grilled asparagus, and other funky little vegetables ($10). Both dishes were wonderful in terms of flavours, textures, aromas, and taste, but portion size sucked big time. My friend ordered braised chicken with green lentils ($10). It was served in a small cereal bowl. Quite laughable to say the least. He also ordered the same salad but he had the creme fraiche. I think creme fraiche is like whipped cream but it’s not sweet. Sound gross. Some vegetarian items to note : artichoke hearts in a garlic mayo, safron rice croquettes (rice cakes) in an eggplant caviar, and a selection of breads with Fred’s dips. Other items worth noting include popcorn shrimp with cocktail sauce and creamy dill dip, pork ribs with potato salad ($10), smoked trout with vinegary tapenade ($12), seared scallops with leeks ($12), and grilled strip loin frites ($12).

It is easy to order 4-5 dishes, thus making the dining experience quite expensive. Sunday’s “prix fixe” menu with 3 choices -one complete table d’hote for $19, and two table d’hote options for $23. Sunday “prix fixe” change weekly depending on what is in the market that day. Thank goodness for Sunday dinner where you can a real meal for a normal price. Although staff were very helpful and friendly, service was quite slow, portion size was pathetic and my diet coke was $1.75 and was filled with ice.  Accepts all cards. Open quite late

Trapezzi Wine and Dine [Mark Aaron]

505 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, ON
M4K 1P5
(416) 465-8778

 

Wendy and I decided to check out Trapezzi because it was one of the newer restaurants on the Danforth that had opened up some months ago. We knew that it was slightly shi shi poo poo so we thought that the Summerlicious food festival would give us an opportunity to try out a complete meal at a fixed price.

Trapezzi looks like a bar and bistro with dark hues of navy blue, chocolate brown, and black. The walls are furry and padded, perhaps an aid in sound absorption, or, perhaps it gives it a luscious, soft comfortable feeling. I would love to have soft padded walls throughout my house! Trapezzi is comfortable and clean, with clean lines and a contemporary hip look that is stylish and trendy. The menu comprises mostly Mediterranean fare (meaning Italian and Greek) and mains are around $15-$20 (OUCH!). For our summerlicious $20 dinner adventure, I started with a salad of baby spinach, red onion, orange segments, goat cheese, walnuts, citrus dijon vinaigrette. Oh my gosh, was it damn good. It was sweet and the vinaigrette made the salad light and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day. Wendy had the mushroom & leek soup, in a big heaping bowl, very filling and hearty. She also ordered a bottle of sparkling water called Aoli. For my main, I ordered the gnocchi with roasted red peppers, baby spinach, shaved parmesan, saffron cream. I did not like the cream sauce as I am not a creamy sort of person. It tasted like a rose sauce but I really enjoyed the delicate flavour the gnocchi with the roasted red peppers and the baby spinach and parmesan. I am not a fan of cheese at all, but this cheesy dish was an exception. Portion size was laughable. The plate was flat and trendy but I think I only got ten gnocchi pieces. What a joke! I still think that nouveau cuisine does not mean I have to starve. I swear that I only ate ten individual pieces of gnocchi so I was very dissatsified since I know that this main would have been $14.

I ate slowly and really enjoyed my meal, but I doubt I would go back for dinner here. I would probably go to Trapezzi for brunch, but not dinner. Wendy got lucky with her main dish. She ordered the Fruit de mare with Pan seared garlic and herb crusted Atlantic Salmon, sautéed spinach, roasted mini red potatoes, and grilled lemon. Her portion was much bigger and she seemed very satisfied. For our dessert, we ordered two desserts and we shared. Wendy ordered the Tiramisu, with lady fingers, marscapone cheese, and espresso, in a rich cream cheesy icing. WOW- YUMMY! Excellent. I ordered the thick and dense Dark Chocolate and Caramel Torte, a dense chocolate moussy cake with a caramel crusted bottom layer, similar to Skor Bar. My dessert was superb.

Other items on the menu include a variety of salads ($8-$10), mussels ($10), a variety of pasta dishes like smoked chicken penne, rigatoni, fettucini, linguini, ($14-$16) and risotto dishes like pancetta risotto and mushroom risotto. ($16 and $17) , as well as a variety of pizzas ($14-$15)(some include caprese, carne, bourbon chicken, and trapezzi), as well as beef, chicken, lamb, duck, and sea food mains ($23-$30). The beef, lamb, duck, seafood, and poultry dishes all come with a variety of sauteed or roasted vegetables so it’s probably worth the inflate prices. Desserts include a variety of Gelatos ($5), Strudels, ($8), cakes ($8), as well as lattes ($3.50), and capuccino ($3.50), and alcoholic coffees (all $7). Trapezzi is also a full service bar and serves over 50 types of wine (red, white, rose, sparkly), as well as liquors. Trapezzi also serves a variety of funky flavoured Martinis ($10) , creative, sweet, and delicious cocktails ($8-$14), and apperitifs ($8-$9).

In sum, our experience at Trapezzi was great. Staff were friendly and accomodating and they did not treat us differently just because we ordered from the Summerlicious menu. The place is small but the decor and colour scheme is very hip and cool, comfortable, and relaxing. Fully Licensed Restaurant and Bar. Catering available. Seats 45 people as a restaurant. Seats 100 people as a bar. Accepts all cards. Open 7 Days – Monday thru Sunday 11am – 11pm
Bar opened until 2am. DJ plays music after 11pm on weekends. Serves a weekend egg-themed brunch. If you want a shi shi poo poo experience to the max with a good vibe, good food, and friendly staff, then come to Trapezzi. Just make sure you eat before because portions seem to be small.

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.

Kubo Radio [brunch]

894 Queen St E
416-406-KUBO (5826)

web site: www.kubo.com

Set in Leslieville at Queen and Logan, this hip and trendy Pan Asian eatery certainly did not
appear to be serving brunch. It looked too much like a bar. However, when Aaron asked me to brunch last week, he told me “let’s go to Kubo Radio”. I checked out the web site and i remembered from my last visit that they also serve brunch.

It also helps that there is graffiti on the glass windows advertising their brunch. Luckily, the messy writing on the glass windows are done with washable marker. I think the advertise their dinner and brunch and the writings change daily.

As indicated above, Kubo Radio serves Thai dishes as well as other Pan Asian meals for the urban and funky modern hipster in Leslieville. I did not know what to expect to be served so it was an adventure. I did notice that Kubo Radio does serve traditional favourites like eggs, wraps, sandwiches, cereal, dim sum, and a variety of exotic juices and herbal teas.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a super friendly and laid back waitress. We were served shot glasses of mango juice (YUMM) and free appetizers of little “smurf size” blueberry muffins with a raspberry confit. I found those dishes to be quite cute and creative. I enjoyed my dining experience last time, but I was already enjoying my brunch experience as well.

I also noticed a yummy dish which comprised thick French cut toast with chocolate spread and bananas. They also serve a variety of veggie and non-veggie wraps and, like any brunch place, they serve organic granola with smashed fruit, mint, and yogourt. Trying to be on the somewhat creative side, i opted for the huge portion of steel cut oatmeal ($6.95) with raisins, grated ginger, brown sugar, and slivered blanched almonds. What a hearty plate. After running 32 km that morning, i was starving and that dish was perfect. Aaron ordered the Eggs Foreign-Tee- poached eggs on an English muffin w/spinach/ham/kubodaise ($9.95). He thought that it was OK but missing some spice. They offered some spicy sauce but he regretfully did not take it.

Decor and design is ultra modern and slick. Restaurant has clean lines and is minimal in design. Only accepts cash and VISA but no Interac. Dim Sum is not veggie friendly and there are only 3 veggie dishes but the oatmeal rocked. I understand that Kubo Radio also identifies itself as a pub but i must admit the whole ambiance is really stained with the 2 cheesy TV screens above the tables.

Babylon

 553 Church
Phone: (416) 923-2626

Situated on Church street north of Wellesley in an old 3 storey century old brick Victorian house, this place is an unpretentious place to relax and unwind. They have over 250 flavours of vodka Martinis, all home made from marinated and flavoured vodkas. All Martinis are $8.50. The menu is very small and limited. They serve a typical green salad, french fries (thinly cut and home made) perogies, caesar salad, hamburgers and some sandwiches that are perfect for late night munching.

Don’t expect a full course dinner at Babylon as the emphasis is on the drinks. They also serve beer as well. Cosy and comfortable with an operating fireplace on the main level, exposed brick, leather couches, small tables, intimate enclaves where friends or couple can chat privately, and an all around intimate setting. Some Martinis that caught my eye were the Chocolate martini with creme de menthe and coconut, The Fag Hag, Mango, Peach, Lime, Green Apple, and other fruity and lollypop flavours. Open late, accepts all credit cards.