CAFE TASTE (1330 Queen West, at Brock, 416-536-7748) Complete meals for $19 per person, including all taxes, tip and a coffee. Average main $9. Open Tuesday to Saturday 11 am to 8 pm, Sunday 11:30 am to 4 pm. Unlicensed. Access: two steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NN Rating: NN
If you just want to have a coffee and maybe dessert, give Taste a shot. Or wait until they've got their licence, which will allow them to fulfill their focus on wine.
If you want a boring, possibly well-intentioned, amateurish lunch, make it yourself. Don't pay good money for it here. Taste's small French-press coffee ($2.61), made up of 75 per cent Arabica and 25 per cent Robusto, not only cuts the environmental and political mustard (organic, fair trade, bird-friendly), but it also tastes good. The two cups of assertive but not over-roasted java, accompanied by honey, demerara-style sugar and cream is a pleasing little coffee party for one.
The menu is short. That's the good news. The special is ham with Swiss, brie and Dijon on a multi-grain bagel ($7.39), slices of boring ham and boring cheese with little discernible brie and some mustard. Big whoop. The accompanying greens are fine, but what you've got is a dull sandwich with some lettuce.
Ditto the "three-cheese grilled sandwich on artisan harvest loaf with fire-roasted red peppers and side of organic greens and fresh-cut fruit" ($9.13). I've seen a lot of artisans loaf in my time, and one of them must have been in the kitchen, because this sandwich is lame: crooked, dry, verging-on-burnt bread with bland cheese, an incidental amount of red pepper, the same greens and, just for contrast, a nice big serving of pineapple.
The desserts of crème brûlée and blueberry-almond tart aren't tragic because they're made somewhere else.
So pull up a chair in the calm, attractive space and have a swell coffee or maybe, eventually, some wine. And then go somewhere else in Parkdale that at least knows how to make a decent sandwich. firstname.lastname@example.org