Euro Crepe Cafe

582 Danforth Ave
(416) 462-2500

Euro Crepe Cafe is a relatively new place on the Danforth that serves both sweet and savoury crepes and other brunch fare. Given the fact that many places on the Danforth do not survive a year, Wendy and I thought we should stop and critique the crepe selection. Wendy loves savoury, while I love sweet so I think we could give our perspectives on this place from both the sweet and savoury point of view.

Upon entering Euro Crepe, we noticed that it was packed with people, amongst an airy “open concept” narrow dining area. With an open kitchen with a huge array of teas and coffees and a fresh fruit and veggie bar where crepes are made before your eyes, Euro Crepe already stood out. We were getting hungry as the host brought us to our table. The aroma of fresh coffee, tea, fresh fruit, grilled veggies and the sizzling of crepes being made before our eyes got us excited.

We sat at the back of the restaurant. Overall decor looks European, like a French cafe.

I ordered a strawberry and banana crepe with caramel sauce. Although the portion was small, it was delicious, fresh, and strawberries were sweet and juicy.

Wendy had the grilled veggie crepe with hummus & swiss cheese. It was extremely well portioned (big) & very tasty. The servers are not professional, ours forgot our requests for buckwheat crepes, so if you are ok with casual, sometimes forgetful service, then give it a go.

Euro Crepe serves both sweet and savoury crepes and European sandwhiches, salads and waffles. Some popular crepes include a breakfast crepe with bacon and eggs, and includes toppings like veggies, a variety of sauces. Another popular crepe is the grilled chicken breast crepe and Wendy’s choice (grilled vegetable crepe).

Euro Crepe also serves dessert crepes with ice cream, fresh fruits, caramel , marshmallows, cookie crumbs. They also serve a variety of espresso drinks (espresso, capuccino, latte, mocha, fresh juice, and a large variety of loose tea (I ordered vanilla black tea).

Service is kind of slow. Slightly kitschy (but nice) French art of cafes and other European cultural symbols on the wall. I must admit it is endearing to have cute and innocent servers who have been hired just because they are eye candy. They have a certain naievity that is cute and innocent, but at the same time, sometimes not very competent. It is odd when servers are not knowledgable about the fare they serve. There is no web site or take home menu at present but hopefully something will turn up on the World Wide Web soon. Accepts all cards.

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Prince of Egypt (closed end of 2007)

135 Danforth
416-463-2228

Prince of Egypt recently opened on the Danforth and Wendy and I avoided it for a long time. We were always curious to peek in to see but we were not gutsy enough to walk in. Probably because of our fond memories of the Schillings Cafe, the lovely place we used to go for brunch and decadent chocolate.

We decided to satisfy our curiosity by finally going. We immediately felt comfortable when we entered Prince of Egypt, a spacious, casual restaurant owned by Adam Soliman (he likes to be called president) and his father. Adam is a bubbly 25 year old, friendly, cute, and enthusiastic about his new restaurant on the Danforth he runs with his dad. His demeanour is genuine and very animated.

Menus are quite interesting as this place has re-used old menus and taped pieces of paper over top with their selection of delectable Middle Eastern dishes. Kudos for being creative with not throwing out old menus!

Despite the fabulous, fresh food and desserts, the decor is dreadful. Bright fabric adorns the restaurant, attachd to lamp-post type woodwork that looks cheaply designed and built. The tables in the large dining hall are covered in plastic tablecloth with kitschy designs.

I see too much styrofoam and I can’t help to think that this restaurant was designed on a very low budget. I must admit the whole experience was quite positive, despite the tacky and kitschy renovation. The decor looks authentic than any restaurant on Gerrard street (in Little India) but I want to emphasize that the food is to die for.

For our appetizers, Wendy and I order the eggplant dip with pita (babaganouj) and it is chunky and not too creamy like traditional Middle Eastern fare. Wendy orders an Akane tea, which resembles rosehip and tastes divine. For our mains, I order the hummus, tabouleh, and babagonouj pita sandwich, and although it’s not jammed packed with those three delicious ingrediants, it’s fresh and delicious. It comes with any salad of my choice so i choose the grilled veggie salad with grilled eggplant and pepper and other fresh veggies. Wendy orders the African meat pita sandwich with the ** salad which she loves. Both dishes are $11.95 and portion size is not overly huge, but not skimpy.

For dessert, we share the Egyptian rice pudding which is spicy and aromatic. It is made with rice, milk, sugar, coconut, and rose water. This is the second runner-up for rice pudding (1st goes to Indian rice pudding for its pistachios, cardamon, and nutmeg medley).

Other items include beef kebabs, Roasted chicken legs, Lamb shank, vegetarian lentil soup, grape leaves with rice and lamb, and funky designer salads that come with each meal.

For dessert, we ordered creamy rice pudding with coconut, milk, rice, and rosewater, house-baked baklava (both $2.50) with deep red akane tea ($1.25), that according to Wendy, tasted like rosehips. I ordered a Cinnamon tea with milk and cream. It resembled a spicy Indian tea (known as Chai to most).

Decor is kitschy and cheap, but the food is fabulous, fresh, healthy, large portions and there are many vegetarian (and even vegan) dishes.

Complete meals for $15 per person ($7 at lunch), including all taxes, tip, and an anise tea. Average mains are $6-$10. Open Monday to Wednesday 10:30 am to 9 pm, Thursday to Saturday 10:30 am to midnight, Sunday noon to 8 pm. Unlicensed. Accepts all cards.

Makkah Restaurant

1020 Danforth Ave
416-406-2056

I used to stop by Makkah quite regularly when my dance classes were located at Greenwood & Danforth, but the school has moved, so now I must make special trips when the cravings arrive.

As you walk by, the naan & chicken cooking in the tandoori oven lures you in. Located across the street from a mosque, it is popular with families & naighbourhood folk looking for some fast Pakistani Halal eats.

The prices are right – delicious large fresh naans go for $1. The top price I’ve noticed is $6.99. My typical selection is the meat thali, which is $5.99 & includes a naan. Essentially, you choose 1 meat dish from the bin of prepared food (curry) & two of the veg options (lentils, chickpeas, spinach, whatever). It all tastes good, so I’m happy.

The ambience is not remarkable. I love the tandoori oven in the window, but that’s about it. The counter looks like it was made with bathroom tiles, the lighting is fluorescent, it looks practically hospital-like. There is seating in the back, families from the mosque seem to eat in. I’m partial to taking it out.

They suggest a minimum of $10 for interact purchases, but I’ve paid that way with smaller orders.

New York Cafe

757 Broadview Ave
416.778.4444

If you are looking for casual comfort food, in a casual relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere just off the Danforth, then look no further. The food is reasonably priced, pretty decent, and is served in huge quantities.

Among the best – the pizza! New York Café serves up a classic old school style pizza – stringy mozzarella, traditional toppings, all around classic & very good. Again, the serving size is rather generous. Also good – chicken souvlaki & all day breakfasts. If you have a hankering for decent breakfast food at 5:00 pm, served with a beer – no problem, NYC can accommodate!

It’s proximity to the Bad Dog Theatre & the Music Hall makes this a great destination for a quick economical bite to eat before a show.

Best waitress – Joanne without question. I have been known to call ahead & request a seat in her section. She is friendly, prompt, attentive & completely honest, everything you look for in a stellar waitress who deserves every last cent of her tips. Tip generously!

For a while, a group of us referred to NYC as “The Peach Pit”. We were reminded of the 90210 venue despite the mural of the New York skyline. It’s an easy place to dine. Check it out for yourself.

Coco Banana Fine Carribean and Vegetarian Restaurant

 1690 Danforth (near Coxwell)
416-406-0534

Wendy and I decided to have a nice affordable lunch one cold and rainy Saturday afternoon in February. We really wanted to head down to Little India but since we were shopping on the Danforth, we thought we’d try out Coco Banana since the sign outside claimed that it was a Carribean and Vegetarian restaurant.

Upon entering, we found ourselves in a homey and comfortable restaurant with colourful original art (for sale!) from Jamaica, Barbados, and even some art looked African in its influence. Coco Banana contains about 10 tables and comprises one large room with a bar at the back with a medley of alcoholic creations. Decor looks like very exotic and charming and very cosy like one’s living room. Reminds me of a family owned establishment like Addis Abbaba on Queen West.

Wendy and I started by looking at the assortment of exotic juices. I ordered Mango Juice($3.69) and Wendy ordered Pineapply soda ($1.50). Coco Banana serves a medly of exotic juices, exotic juice cocktails, and Carribean sodas. Some include Ginger/Pina juice ($3.69), Guava juice ($3.69), Ting – a grapefruit soda ($2), Banana soda ($1.50), and Ginger Soda ($1.50). Some exotic juice cocktails include Guava Mango, Ginger Pineapple, and Mango Carrot (all $2.25).

For our appetizers, we both ordered the vegetarian red pea soup soup. The waiter did not tell us it contained bananas (or plantains). I knew Wendy would be grossed out so she did give me pieces of the bananas in her soup. The idea of bananas in soup may sound gross but it really very good. The banana flavour really meshed well with the soup and the consistency tasted more like a potato. It was super yummy and filling but not that spicy. A definite comfort food for a cold wet rainy day. Other soups include Pumpkin Soup and Congo Pea Soup ($3.50 small, $4.50 large). Other appetizers include Pepper Shrimp, Coconut Shrimp ($7.50), Acra (black eye bean fritters)($3.00), Fried Plantain (5 pcs.)($5.00), Beef Patties, Chicken Patties ($1.25), Patty with Coco Bread ($2.25). Salads include Jerk Chicken Salad ($6), Jerk Shrimp Salad ($9), Creole Salad ($7.50), and Garden Creole Coleslaw ($3.50).

For our entrees, I ordered the veggie roti which contained curries chick peas, potatoes, carrots, and peas. The only problem I had was that the curry sauce was very liquidy and i could not find any chick peas. I would say the roti was delicious but potato-centric. Wendy ordered the Jerk club sandwich and she found it was tasty. It was $5.50 and she would definitely order it again. Coco Banana offers entrees in small and large sizes. Some entrees include traditional Carribean dishes like Jerk Chicken ($6.99, $7.99), Curried Chicken ($6.99, $7.99), Stew Chicken ($5.99, $6.99), Curried Goat ($7.99, $8.99), Oxtail ($8.00, $10.50), Fish Dinner ($7.50, $10.50), Shrimp Cr�ole (with Creole Sauce)($10), Curried Shrimp ($11), Cod Fish Cr�ole Cabaret with salad and plantain ($12), and Red Snapper (with saut�ed cabbage pepper, and carrot) ($10.50)

Vegetarian meals include Veggie Roti with chick peas ($4.99, $5.99), Eggplant Roti ($10.99 large only), La Creole Roti (Avocado, Onion Lettuce, Tomato, Pepper- $4.99 (sm), $5.99 (l)), Sauteed Cabbage, Carrot, Onion ($4.99, $5.99), Vegetarian Platter (Rice and Peas, Acra, Eggplant) ($11.99), Cr�ole Cabaret (Veggie, Fried Eddoes, Plantain & Marinade) ($9.99), Giromont Soup (Squash) ($3.50, $5.50), and Beans or Congo Pea ($3.50, $5.50)

Non veggie Rotis include Curried Chicken, Jerk Chicken, Curried Goat, Stew Chicken, and Curried Shrimp all from $5.99-$8.99. Sandwiches include the Jerk Club and the Stew Chicken Club, both $5.50 . Combos include Jerk / Oxtail Combo ($11.50), the Jerk Chicken or the Stewed Chicken Combo ($11.50), and the Curried Goat or the Curried Chicken Combo ($10.99)

Desserts include Reversed Pineapple Cake ($3.50) and Sweet Potato Pudding ($2.99). Coco Banana also serves a variety of Carribean ice creams (Pistachio, Mango, Coconut, and Soursop, all $2.50). Lastly, they also serves frozen yogourt, smoothies, and milkshakes ($2.00, $3.69)

Although I did like the soup, Wendy was not too impressed. I found the soup hearty, thick, and delicious. Wendy found the soup to be bland and she did not like the banana taste although personally I could not taste any banana. Wendy claimed that you can taste the banana and according to her she thought it was wrong for a soup to have bananas.

 

The guy was nice but he oversold all of the food. He was not honest about the variety of vegetarian food. He said the soup was fantastic and the portion size was decent but we found the soup lacking. The roti was good but not fantastic. I did find many vegetarian options and I would go back to try out new items since I think the veggie roti just did not do it for me. In sum, Wendy and I would go back but we won’t go out of our way. Service was friendly and cheerful. Food was served quickly.

Old Nick [Mark Aaron]

123 Danforth Ave,
416-461-5546

Conveniently situated along the Danforth near Broadview, the Old Nick is a pub that serves pub fare and beer but on the weekend they supposedly serve on the best brunches in Toronto with a supplemental menu of organic options. Decor is nothing to cry home about, with that typical “pub” motif, stained varnished wood tables, a large bar, and hardwood floors, The Old Nick does not remind me of a place where I would brunch on the weekend but we figured we would try this place out since we heard from Now Magazine that it was voted one of the best brunch places in Toronto.

Aaron and I met up with his friends Brad and Steven and we all entered the empty place on a quiet Sunday at 1:00pm. We all started with drinks. Brad and Steven ordered fresh orange juice and they commented that it was good but not “freshly squeezed”. I ordered a freshly squeezed Diet Coke and I think Aaron had a coffee. Unfortunately, they DO NOT have espresso drinks, so a minor drawback for the Old Nick, but, afterall, it is a pub, right?

Most of the menu contains egg dishes, hence I felt that this place was slightly egg-centric. I would have prefered other options. I did see on the non-organic menu some non-egg options like pancakes and French toast with fresh fruit, as well as waffles with fresh fruit and whipped cream. I was looking for some healthier options but the rest of the menu contained mostly egg dishes. I was happy to see that egg dishes came with spelt toast and organic homefries.
The organic menu for January 8, 2006 contained items such as Divine Decadence (3 egg omelete stuffed with portobello mushrooms, gorganzola cheese, organic homefries, organic greens, and organic toast $12), Yawn and Stretch (omelete stuffed with organic spinach, roasted red peppers, feta, with organic homefries, organic greens, and organic toast $12),That’s Amore (Eggs benny with parma prosciutto, shaved parmesan cheese, organic greens, organic potatoes, and organic toast $13), and Oh My Goodness (French toast with organic apple walnut bread, with blueberries, raspberries, and cream, served with organic maple syrup $12).
For my meal, I ordered the Mexican egg white omelete ($8.95) with spring greens in a
yummy ginger viniagrette. The egg white omelete came with a 3 cheese blend and spicy
salsa with a lot of cilantro. It was extremely delicious, fresh, not greasy, and flavourful.

Steven ordered the Well Hung (3 eggs any style, organic lamb or organic chorizo spicy 4 pepper sausage, organic toast, organic greens, and organic homefries- $15). He thought that the salad dressing was tasty and it was great to have salad and the organic homefries which were pretty tasty too. He thought that they could have brought the food out a little hotter then it came. He also had the chorizo sausage which was good, but it didn’t blow him away as a great sausage. It wasn’t as spicy as he thought it would be. The spelt toast was very hearty and grainy. Steven liked the idea of a set menu and also the weekly special menu. That way you are not stuck getting the same thing over and over if you are a
returning customer.

Brad and Aaron both ordered the Razzle Dazzle (eggs benny with guacamole and cheddar cheese chunks- $13). He
thought it tasted REALLY good — perhaps a bit greasy, but with all that cheese
it was hard for it not to be (it was definitely a “two-Lactaid pill” breakfast!). He also found that his meal did come out “luke-warm” — he thought it could have been served hotter. The portion was pretty big (he thought there were 3 eggs — most places serving eggs benny only give you two eggs). The “organic potatoes” were pretty good as well. Brad did not recall them
being oily or greasy, which was his main complaint with breakfast potatoes. Accepts all cards. Open for Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4 pm, bar open daily 11am to 2am. Secluded outdoor patio seats 40

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.