Nevada [Mark-June 2005]

1963 Queen E
(416) 691-8462

 

Nevada is a trendy Italian restaurant in the heart of the beaches. I went there for brunch in Sept 2002 and I only remember one cool thing: the wicked patio. I do not really remember the food, very well. I do not remember it being bad, but I do not recall it being memorable. One of the largest and nicest patios in the Beaches, Nevada is a casual fine dining place for local folk.

Similar to The Beacher cafe just a few blocks east, Nevada serves Italian and North American dishes, made shi shi poo poo on fancy schmancy oversized plates. Place is beautiful in decor but food is very “blah”- like The Beacher Cafe. Both are charming and decorative and very homey and comfortable but food is very mediocre. Nevada is definitely one of the more trendier dining spots in the Beaches. Dinner entres are $9.95-$14.95 and they serve a weekend brunch with a fairly large menu. Gorgeous side patio that sits about 50 people comfortably. For our brunch adventure, Wendy ordered bacon, sausage, and a potato latke which she thought was too “eggy”, and she did not appove of the yellow tinge. I ordered the Peaches Foster French Toast and boy- it was not 3’s Company (Stuffed Peaches French Toast in a Berry Confit). I was looking forward to a mouth watering array of peaches braised over bourbon with a medley of fruit, bacon, and sausage. Of course the friendly and accomodating staff replaced the yucky bacon and sausage with more fruit, thank goodness. HOWEVER, when my French toast was served, it was way too eggy and there were 3 small slices of peaches and no hint of bourbon. I was not looking to get drunk (I’m not a drinker at all) but i really wanted to taste the intense flavour of bourbon and it was not there at all.

Nevada also serves a varierty of egg dishes (like most brunch spots) and it’s pretty cool to serve Challah and Potato latkes. I did not know that Jewish food was that trendy. I certainly was scared of it when i was growing up. Trust me, i dreaded potato latkes each Chanukah. As Wendy and I have been friends for 13 years, she is certainly more of a potato latke expert than I and she did not approve of 3’s Company’s latkes or Nevada’s.

Dinner at Nevada seems to be standard trendy fare: thin crust trendy pizza, pasta dishes, fish, chicken, a seafood dish, and a steak or meat dish. Very typical. I would suggest going here if you seek casual fine dining, a hip and cool decor with friendly, energetic, and young staff, and mediocre food. Although the painted mural sign on the exterior wall of the patio claims that it is a bakery, Italian market, and bakery, Nevada is only a restaurant. Accepts all cards, open late.

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.

Arax Restaurant

1966 Queen E Toronto
(416) 693-5707

Last night Justine and I went out for dinner at the 16th annual Beaches Jazz Festival in the Beaches. We found this cute, charming Mediterranean bar/restaurant in the heart of the Beaches with about 15-20 tables.

The decor of Arax is “homey”, looks like its family run, (we peaked inside the kitchen and it looked like the owner’s mother was the cook that night.) with dim lighting, in an intimate bar-like setting. The place was surrounded by very happy customer, photos of people kissing, depicting a “home-style” neighbourhood restaurant, richly surrounded by an arrays of large mirrors (giving the illusion that it’s larger) and strung with a cheesy floral design resembling trashy curtains from the 1980’s.

Staff are very friendly and the customers looked so comfortable, like family. They were very lively and looked as though they were enjoying themselves immensely. The only drawback is the very small and limited menu. From this simple one page menu of about 15 items, we only found 2 vegetarian options.

Some dishes on the menu include Fried zucchini slices ($5.95) (Lightly battered) , and sweet tomato chutney with mushrooms and peppers ($5.95) , and Lahmajoun ($13.95) grilled flatbread with a layer of seasoned ground beef. ($13.95).

Justine ordered the large Falafel plate, with 4 Falafels, salad, topped with Tahini sauce and a plate of thinly sliced pita (unfortunately white pita) for $13.95. I ordered the vegetarian shawarma plate with spicy red beans and medley of vegetables and salad for $13.95 topped with tahini sauce. I loved the mix of the flavourful beans in a lemony viniagrette, topped with the strong aroma of the tahini. Prices are as follows. Appetizers and salads are $5.95-$9.95 and entrees are $9.95-$13.95

Our food was fresh, tasty, and although there was a lot of tahini on our plate, we still thought the food was excellent. Falafel was not too greasy but fresh, nutty, and flavourful.At first glance, it resembles a bar with a large display of drinks.

They accept all cards. Service was excellent and staff are enthusiastic and seem to love working there. Food was excellent and water was always refreshed with a lime 🙂

Tryst Cafe

2197 Queen E
(416) 693-5775

Right in the heart of the Beaches, the storefront resembles a simple bubble tea shop but when you go inside, it is a great place for cheap, fast, fresh Asian fare. The owners work there, a friendly couple who display their menu flat on the table by the cash. You can order directly from the cash, as the place is really casual. It’s really hot in the summer so be warned.

There are only 5 booths with two oversize TV’s, giving this place a very casual place to just have a quick meal or a bubble tea. Most of the meals are light and mostly contain loads of stir fried veggies, with tofu, chicken, or beef. The menu is flexible and the owners are the ones working behind the counter so they seem to care about their customers. The ambiance is a bit on the kitscy side with bright yellow seats and bright yellow and blue walls. Although not pleasant to the eye, the food makes up for the poor taste in decor. Warning: In the summer, the place is quite stuffy and hot, thus the backdoor of the cafe is left open for air to circulate. Food is often between $7.00- $10.00. Expect a bubble tea to be between $4.00 and $5.00. There is often a communication gap between what you order and the price. Noodle dishes are more expensive than rice dishes. The daily special include rice only and are $4.95-$5.95. I order the same dish every time, stir fried veggies with tofu, without rice or noodle for $9.25 including all taxes.

Reviewed by Mark

Karas

2024 Queen E
(416) 699-6314

Located in the heart of the Beaches, this place was packed for brunch. Has a beautiful front terrace, especially nice for people watching in the summer. Food is quite reasonable (under $10.00) and some cases under $7.00. I had an egg white spinach omelete with brown toast. Service is prompt and my friends and father all enjoyed their meal. The only drawback is that staff are pushy and the overall ambiance is a “rushed” environment where staff are nervous wrecks. Overall, the food and decor was very Greek and lineups were minimal.

Urban Bistro

1959 Queen E
(416) 691-2999

*almost identical menu to Urban Thai in Little Italy

Nestled right in the heart of the “Beaches” neighbourhood, this cosy, small restaurant with excellent Thai food. I enjoyed the spicy peanut vegetable stir fry with tofu for $8.95 and my friend had the same type of stir fry but with Chicken. Drinks are large and overpriced so ask for a lot of water instead. Prices are not too high (about $9.95 for an entree) and portions are big. There is a nice back terrace for hot summer afternoons. Cash and all cards accepted.

Sunset Grill

2006 Queen E
(416) 690-9985

2313 Yonge Street
(416) 482-4229

1422 Dundas Street West
(416) 532-1571

1602 Danforth Avenue (near Coxwell)
(416) 466-0648

1 Richmond Street West
(416) 861-0514

2200 Bloor St W
(416) 763-1444

I went to this diner with my friends on an early Sunday morning. Be warned, go early because the lineups start after 11:00am. They serve breakfast all day long but breakfast specials end at 11:00am. The place is non-pretentious, noisy, has that “greasy spoon” feel and has a large menu of classic breakfast food. The only problem is that there is very little selection for the vegetarian person. The only vegetarian breakfast items are fruit salad and yogourt and cereal, all served a la carte. I ordered the fruit salad with an order of yogourt. The portions were decent and I was satisifed. The second time I visitid Sunset Grill, I had the frittata, a yummy egg white omelete with mushroom, onion, and green pepper. It was not greasy, and light and fluffy and very fresh.

My friends had typical breakfast fare: eggs, bacon, and toast with coffee. The tables are close together and the place is very noisy. The place is bright and seats many tables. There are no bells and whistles, no super cheery waitresses, just good, honest, fast, reliable service. The prices are cheap (<$10) and the food is flavourful. I would not go back because I could not eat very much but it is definitely a hit with my carnivore friends. They only accept cash. 😦

Tulip, The

1606 Queen E
(416) 469-5797

 

I have only heard of good things from the Tulip. This review is not intended to bash the restaurant whatsoever. Situated at the cusp of the Western Beaches at Queen East and Coxwell, it is only a short distance from Ash Bridges Bay and the Beaches.

The Tulip is a nice cosy diner that has that neighbourhood feel. It is known to be THE place for steaks in Toronto. Steaks are quoted as being “the juiciest and best” in Toronto. I have not had a steak since thwe age of 16 so I am not familiar on how to rate a steak.

I do know from my visit to the Tulip is that is it popular, and that people love it. The place was crowded that cold rainy Sunday in early 2003. There were line ups from the time we got in until the time we ended our meal. Unfortunately, I was not aware that this place was a steakhouse.

I was disappointed to find out that there was nothing on the menu for vegetarians. Personally, this was a nightmare since I was very hungry. The place is known for its famous steak and traditional breakfasts at very affordable prices. Not trendy or pretentious, but expect lineups from 10am-12pm.

I enjoyed a healthy vegetable salad from the dinner menu, pretty pathetic considering the place is well known for breakfasts. I was surprised that there was no cereal, oatmeal, egg whiete omeletes, or granola and fruit.

Some famous items from the Tulip include the bacon and scrambled eggs, hash browns, burgers, cheeseburgers, fries with the special “Tulip” gravy, fried mushrooms. grilled chicken breast sandwich, and liver and onions. Eye magazine calls the burgers are “fat, impeccably seasoned, juicy and delicious.” If this place is all about traditional breakfasts (eggs, bacon, etc), steaks, and burgers, this is not the place for me.

The decor is dated back to the 1970’s. Restaurant staff are friendly and helpful. Unfortunately, this place is not suited for vegetarians.

Beacher Cafe, The

2162 Queen E
(416) 699-3874

A major disappointment! From what we thought it would be, we thought it was some deep jazz cafe with lots of cool, diverse dishes, with some funkiness. When we got inside we found spacious tables, a beautiful outdoor terrace, all resting on top of a hill in the eastern tip of the Beaches. The artwork is stunning and it resembles a gallery where customers can purchase the art if they so desire. The food is BLAH! Really nothing special, and there is nothing vegetarian at all. I had a pathetic vegetable and rice stiry fry that lacked flavour. The plates were nice but that’s it. The staff are friendly but nothing spectacular. The ambiance is nice, it had me wanting to come back. My food was warm and the stir fry sauce was plain soy sauce, how boring. I was hungry after that meal, so I was very disappointed. I really had high expectations for this place. It is a great neighbourhood place and they have lovely art on the walls (for sale too) but the food is BLAH.

Nevada [Sept 2002]

1963 Queen E
(416) 691-8462

 

A brunch delight, a large and beautiful terrace and a large menu with some vegetarian options. (mostly pasta dishes and very few brunch items). Located right in the heart of the Beaches on Queen Street east, this two floor large restaurant has a large variety of food for everyone. I went with about five friends and my friend’s dog and we were all very happy with the price and the portions. Brunch is about $7.95-$10.95 and there is a variety of vegetarian dishes. I enjoyed an egg white omelete with a variety of garden vegetables. Other friends had large portions of eggs with bacon sausage and toast (typical brunch fare) and were quite satisfied.

Portions are large, the food is flavourful, colourful, and the presentation is nice. The plates are extra large, decorative, and artsy, and the service was slow and disorganized but it did not bother us on that nice fall day in September 2002. Tables are close together on the terrace so there was a lot of squeezing into small places. For some heavy set people, this could present some problems. The place is funky and cool, a mixture of a pub type ambiance, a large Bistro, and a family restaurant, all wrapped into one. Decor and ambiance is better than mediocre food. Nothing to cry home about. I may go back once per year but will not be main hangout. Would only recommend on first date where mood and setting is more important than food.
Nevada accepts all cards, open late, perfect for summer and early fall dining. Offers weekend brunch.