Milestones

Unit A13-095 Yonge Street
(Empress Walk Mall at Yonge/Sheppard)
(416)-225-2552
For a complete list of locations

Milestones is a classy chain of restaurants, similar to Kelsey’s or East Side Marios, but slightly more upscale and less of “horse stables” ambiance. In other words, Milestones seems less noisy crowed with huge tables, spread far apart, with dim lighting, and an overall ambiance that is more calm and inviting. Located in most suburbs malls or in the middle of big box stores, I went to this particular Milestones at Yonge and Sheppard with Steve and Debbie in the fall.

The first floor was a bar/pub and the second floor was an intimate dining hall, with a cosy ambiance

Due to the limited vegetarian items on the menu, I ordered the Vegetarian Thai Noodle Salad- large and colourful with avocado, tomato, letture, cucumber, Thai rice noodles, mushrooms, artichokes, in a spicy Thai dressing ($9.99). Debbie had steak with garlic potatoes. Steve had grilled salmon with rice

All dishes came in large plates and super large portions. Decor is trendy with large spacious tables and booths. Rich in wood and comfort, yet provides an atmosphere of energy and fun. Very crowded with people but not congested

Friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable staff. Decor is super modern and classy, in an elegant design
Milestones is a chain across Canada, all over Greater Toronto, Greater Vancouver, all of Ontario, B.C., and Alberta. Milestones claims to be the proud creator of Bellini, a frozen cocktail, a blend of Lamb’s white rum, peach liqueur and champagne, topped with sangria.
This restaurant also serves an extensive list of wines, house wines, beers, cockails, margarita’s, dacquiris, and other drinks

The men is very diverse, as it includes steak, chicken and ribs, soups and salads, stir fry’s (not vegetarian) , seafood, pasta, but unfortunately very few vegetarian options. The only vegetarian options I found were the veggie burger platter, tomato basil capellini (tomatoes, basil, sundried tomatoes, calamata olives, and feta), Miso Dragon Bowl (Asian vegetables, brown rice, and Thai peanut sauce), the California spring greens salad (spring greens, glazed pecans, red onions, goat cheese, and strawberries), the typical garden salad, a roasted garlic caesar salad, and the Vegetarian Thai Noodle Salad.

In addition, they also serve an extensive brunch and low carb menu. They also serve low calorie meals, as well as items with little or no trans-fats.Brunch is served 7 days a week until 4:00pm. Typical brunch items includes a variety of omeletes, egg benedicts, French toast, poached eggs, and mimosas. The lunch menu is very similar to the dinner menu but there are more sandwiches burgers and wraps (known as rollups)–mostly in chicken and beef varieties

Some vegetarian appetizers include hot tortilla chips with fresh salsa, baked goat cheese and roasted garlic dip on flat bread, and the toasted onion and herb focaccia triangles. Liquor license. Accepts Interac, and VISA. I was quite pleased that they had a low carb menu and there were some vegetarian appetizers but not enough vegetarian entrees.

Joy Bistro

884 Queen E
(416) 465-8855

 

Walking into this little bistro right in the middle of South Riverdale at Queen East and Empire, we could not see inside since all of the windows were foggy. Upon entering, we noticed that it was small and the decor looked very much like a Pottery Barn furniture store. Very cosy and comfortable, we were seated in a small table right by the entrance. We noticed that tables were small and fairly close together.

The brunch menu is extensive but unfortunately does not have many vegetarian options except the famous Dutch blueberry pancake, which looked fabulous. I ordered an egg white omelete for $8.99 and it came with two free toppings, from a list of about twenty (I chose mushrooms and spinach) It came with toast and home fries and I replaced with salad in a yummy balsamic viniagrette “pudding-type” dressing

I am VERY happy to report that there was a bottle of ketchup on the table so there was no need to ask for tiny portions of ketchup. I was disappointed, though, as I expected it to be cool, unique, and hip, but instead it was very “cookie cutter”—looked like we stopped by Calvin Klein’s living room.

Staff are friendly staff, accomodating, no lineup. There is a separate dinner and brunch menu. There is an outdoor terrace (patio) that seats 32 in the summer. The place also serves affordable French-influenced continental cusine, cocktails, beer and wine, and gourmet coffee. The terrace overlooks the tennis courts at Jimmie Simpson Park. They accept VISA and Interac.

7 West

7 Charles
416.928.9041

7 West is located on 7 Charles street, on three floors of an old converted Victorian home, with hardwood floors, exposed brick, and a fireplace. It’s just one block south of the Yonge/Bloor intersection. They serve many vegetarian meals and the prices are really affordable for what you get. The drinks are expensive, though. Never go on a Saturday night because this calm, cool, funky, hip cafe becomes a busy, crowded cheesy bar with macho guys with way too much cologne and women who look like whores socialize and drink and the whole ambiance becomes all loud and resembles a bar- YUCK!

Go during a weeknight or during the day on the weekend. I usually order the vegetarian chili or the grilled vegetable sandwich with a lot of chick pea green salad. It’s colourful, fresh, and portions are decent. 🙂 My veggie chili was a bit liquidy, but it’s quite tasty and not expensive.

They also serve excellent salads, and light meals, desserts, and full course dinners. You get good quality food and good service. Just avoid going Friday and Saturday night.

7-West also serves brunch on the weekend. There is small one-pager, in addition to the menu, with traditional brunch fare with affordable prices. Drinks are bit high (Diet Coke for $3.00) but I had the granola with fruit and yogourt for $6.00 and my brunch date had eggs, peameal bacon, with a chick pea green salad and service, presentation, and quality of food was good.

Pickle Barrel

Pickle Barrel Locations:
Yonge/Eglinton
Yonge/Dundas
Leslie/Cummer
Yonge/Steeles
Yorkdale Mall
Promenade Mall [Thornhill]
Markville[Markham]
Web site: http://www.picklebarrel.ca

This place offers a vast menu (over 300 items) of different kind of food: low fat, healthy, vegetarian, many Jewish-style entrees, Italian, Asian, pasta, fish, chicken, a menu for all tastes. There is an extensive list of desserts with a beautiful display of gorgeous cakes, pies, HUGE ice cream sundaes, and they have the best Frozen yogourt smoothies. Smoothies are served freezing cold, smooth, thick, and creamy, and served in a tall glass.

For dinner, I usually order a vegetable stir fry that is kind of bland (please note that food at the Pickle Barrel is more on the bland side) and I also order a Frozen Yogourt Smoothie with juice, fruit, and soft serve Colombo Frozen Yogourt, always low fat and tastes just like ice cream. My friend ordered the grilled salmon with an orange glaze that came with salad and potatoes. Although I do not eat fish, it looks nice and it was $11.95.

Prices are decent, portions are huge. Entrees are between $7.95 – $12.95, desserts are between $6.95 and $8.95 and appetizers are between $5.95-$9.95. Last time I ordered the roasted vegetable quesadilas with roasted zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, onion, with cheese. I got four large quesadilas with an order of salsa on a bed of lettuce for $5.95. Most other vegetarian items, unfortunately, involve big thick buns like the veggie burger, or vegetarian lasagna or pasta dishes or pizza. The California wraps are not vegetarian but there are healthy wraps like grilled chicken, fish, and turkey. Lisa Weinberg, a registered dietician was the one who initially developed the low fat, healthy menu which consists of about 20 items. Catering is offered for more than ten people and take out is also available. I would recommend this place for good old “North American trying to be ethnic” comfort food.

They accept every card in the world so this is convenient. Portions are big so be prepared to eat a lot. Check out the menu at Yonge and Dundas at http://www.picklebarrel.ca/picklebarrel/dundas.pdf. There is also a low carb menu, a kid’s menu, a take out menu, and a low fat menu. It seems that every location has a slightly different menu, depending on the demographics. Check out their web site at http://www.picklebarrel.ca

Belly Busters

3447 Yonge Street
(416) 489-6051

This hole-in-the-wall submarine shop along Yonge St. just south of York Mills has legendary status amongst my brother and his friends. They especially like to “hit” this place late at night when they are red-eyed and suffering from a bad case of the self induced munchies.

After hearing the praises of these subs for so long I popped in for a take-out order one rushed Friday evening before heading up north to the family cottage. Trying to remember four separate sub orders for people with selective tastes was not an easy task; but with the help of the owner who also prepared the submarines I was able to get everything right. I have a soft spot for restaurants where the owner also prepares the food while cohorting with the patrons. It shows a sense of pride, dedication and intimacy that is missing from larger restaurants (see Mystic Muffin review)

I must admit, I am not the biggest sub fan, but my turkey/bacon sub was generally quite good. Really, I only have Mr. Sub and Subway to compare it to so I can say this is the best out of those three.

Sierra Grill

 2901 Bayview Ave (Bayview Village)
416-224-1700

Food is a big part of my (Jewish) identity. This place has food and I mean large portions. Located at Bayview and Sheppard, in the parking lot of Bayview Village, a posh mall with designer names and posh labels, Sierra Grill, formally known as Sunshines is a Jewish paradise of food, flavour, and fun. The food is not “Jewish” per se, but most of the clientele is Jewish and the preparation and style of the food is “Jewish style”, schtuppy, rich, large portions, and filling. The menu had Jewish jargon, so that was comfortable. Known as the best and largest salad bar in Toronto, I opted for the salad bar as a meal and my partner opted for a large Seafood medley with unlimited salad, potatoes, all for $16.95. Entrees are between $12.95 and $18.95 and the salad bar as a meal is only $12.95. I was stuffed as I gorged on sauteed vegetables, like eggplant, zucchini, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and green peppers. I also took advantage of the many other salads like chick pea salad, cous cous salad with vegetables, and many stir fried vegetable dishes. In addition to the salad are a variety of fruits, fruit salads, breads, desserts, soups, marinated and sauteed vegetable dishes. I was so stuffed, I felt full for the next two days. The ambiance is loud, like a mall. The tables are far apart- enough for intimate conversation, but be prepared to speak loudly. There were no lineups and reservations are not required. The restaurant is very large and sits over two hundred people. The salad bar consists of five areas, and the food is fresh, colourful, not greasy, and very flavourful. It is not super spicy but not bland either. The prices are a bit high but the portions are large and be prepared to be stuffed. Drinks are expensive but large quantities. Overall, it was too loud and had that “food court” ambiance. The decor is pleasant, very “dining room” type of theme- woody, bright lights, and people everywhere.

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.

Brownstone Bistro

603 Yonge
(416) 920-6288

How can I sum up this restaurant? Great food, trendy decor, friendly staff, but very slow service, but when I went last summer 2002 to Brownstone, the waiter failed to mention that all of the food we ordered was not available so they got creative and made up their own dishes. To our surprise, the food we ordered contained nothing that we expected. The food itself was fresh, tasty, and flavourful. The prices are high and the head waiter had major attitude. He argued with us that he ran out of the food we had ordered so he had his team of chefs make something completely different. He never notified us that the meals we ordered were not the meals we received. The service was very slow and the head waiter was very rude to us.

In sum, I would never go back to Brownstone ever again because they are disorganized and they do not listen to their customers. The head waiter kept on telling us how we did not understand that he ran out of the food needed to prepare our dishes so he made us alternate dishes. The problem was that none of the waiting staff informed us. Too stressful, too pricy, too long a wait, this place was a great disappointment.

Serre Picasso

6810 St Jacques St
Montreal, QC H4B 1V8
Phone: (514) 484-2832

Open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, Serre Picasso has been serving up a large variety of North American fare for the past 25 years. With affordable prices, huge portions, and specializing in HUGE complete breakfasts. Located in the West End on seedy St. Jacques, on the 90 bus route, near Vendome metro station, this popular all night hang out for teenas, psot-clubing, and St. Jacques folk is right next door to a strip club. Ambiance is very low, if not kitschy and seedy.

With a large selection of unhealthy vegetarian options, and great all-inclusive breakfast specials. Breakfast specials are served the whole day and include eggs and bacon, pancakes, French toast, and Belgian waffles. Breakfast is not the only thing on the menu. They serve submarine sandwiches, pizza, steaks, hot dogs, hamburgers, souvlakis, Caesar salads, pasta and much, much more, there’s something for everyone at the Picasso all-night diner. Sits more than four hundred diners in this restaurant, divided into 4 sections. With a laid back ambiance, a diner-type decor, this family-style eatery is worth the visit. Accepts all cards.

Vichy, Buffet

7205 Newman
514-367-1731

Located right on Newman Boulevard near Dollard Ave, on one of the main strips of Lasalle, this place has the most diverse menu of affordable, fast food for the hungry one in all of us. If you like to over-eat, then this place is for you. They offer huge roasts of beef, veal, lamb, ham, turkey, all kinds of seafood, every variety of chicken, pizza, pasta, sausages, ribs, kebabs, salads, fruit and desserts. GROSS. The cost is $9.95 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, $7.95 all other nights. Lunch is $4.95; Sat. Sun. brunches are $6.95. Excellent value for your money but not for your tummy.

Buffet Vichy offers a large dessert menu (cakes, pies, ice cream, fruit salad) and prices are low. Quality is low and food is not that fresh. There is a section where you can make grill your own meat. I don’t recommend this place if you want high quality, healthy food. In terms of freshness, it’s a gamble. Since the food just sits there it may not be sBuffet Vichy is not fresh, unless you go right when it opens, and often times, most dishes have a lot of salt, preservatives, and a thin layer of oil. YUCK. In general, I usually have salad, bean salad, sometimes a pasta item, and ice cream, fruit salad, or jello for dessert. Not the healthiest of places and can be packed and loud like a baseball stadium at times.

530 seats, expect lineups on the weekend. Accepts all cards.