Eat cheap: 2014

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  • Page 1 (Results 110)


  • 1

    Banh Mi Boys on Yonge

    399 Yonge, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1S9

    Steamed bao ($3.49), kimchi fries ($5.99)


    The perpetual lineups at both of these insanely popular Saigon sub shops – with a twist! – attest that somebody must be doing something right.

    We’re guessing it’s the visionary steamed bao stuffed with correctly battered southern-style fried chicken dressed with gently pickled carrot and crunchy cukes ($3.49), a few squirts of Sriracha and some chopped jalapeño for heat. Or maybe it’s the legendary kimchi fries smothered in sweetly pulled pork, chopped scallion and squiggles of house aioli ($5.99).

    Sounds like the recipe for a third.

    “Down the road, but first we’re launching an entirely new concept,” says head Boy David Chau.

    To be called Lucky Red, the imminent resto promises a mix of the signature dishes with a more Cantonese card to reflect its funky Spadina and Dundas digs.

    “It’s going to be mostly bao, but bao like we’ve never done them before. We’re aiming for a late February opening, but it’ll likely be closer to mid-March.”

    Monday to Friday 11 am to 10 pm, Saturday 11 am to 9 pm, Sunday noon to 7 pm. Closed some holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: barrier-free.

  • 2


    96 Tecumseth, Toronto, Ontario M6J 2H1



    Though dinner at Scott Vivian and Rachelle Caldwell’s celebrated snout-to-tail beastro runs well into three figures, their takeout three-course Beastwich lunch special can be had every Friday for all of a tenner.

    Each week, this veritable Value Meal salutes a different city, Mexico’s Veracruz the subject of our recent visit. That translated as a sub-sized bun from the same Vietnamese bakery that supplies the Banh Mi Boys stuffed prodigiously with slow-braised ‘n’ shredded chicken thigh, black olives and creamy sheep’s feta. Sides of curried kale thick with black beans and Caldwell’s tres-leches cherry cobbler likewise impress, the lot boxed up to go.

    On Friday, Jan 24, the couple pay tribute to Buffalo, New York, with – what else? – a roast beef Beastwich on weck. Get there early as these wicked ‘wichs regularly sell out by 1 pm.

    Lunch Friday from noon. No reservations. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washroom on same floor.

  • 3

    Caffe Brasiliano

    849 Dundas W, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1V6

    Lasagna special


    Dundas west of Bathurst might be home to some of the hottest expense-account boîtes in town, but this family-run Portuguese hot table is certainly one of the most inexpensive on this now fashionable stretch of real estate. And tastiest, too.

    If it’s Monday, then it’s old-school filet of sole and fiery pasta al forno (both $9). Tuesday means roast chicken ($10), while Wednesday calls for very meaty lasagna in house-made tomato sauce. Ricotta-stuffed cannelloni shine on Thursday, and Friday can only be fish ‘n’ chips (all $9 with sides of garlicky grilled zucchini and non-designer greens in a plain ol’ vinaigrette).

    Be warned that Brasiliano is almost always packed to the gills, so you might be required to share a booth, a small price to pay for a nosh of this calibre.

    Monday to Friday 6 am to 6 pm, Saturday 7 am to 4 pm. Closed Sunday, holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: barrier-free.

  • 4

    Como en Casa

    565 Yonge, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1Z2

    Tamal Special ($6.99), shot of tequila ($3)


    Carlos Rios’s midtown cantina has it twice as difficult as every other Mexican resto in town. Not only is everything on his regional carte made from scratch, but it’s unusually health-conscious, too, a rarity in the land of rendered pork fat.

    “To be honest, I don’t know how to do it any other way,” says Rios.

    Lucky us! Alongside the obligatory student-friendly burritos, quesadillas and tacos, we get tamales made with house-ground corn laced with boneless chicken, carrot and coriander. The vegan version substitutes mushroom, onion and ancho chilies for the bird. Side them traditionally with short grain rice studded with real peas ‘n’ carrots as well as lard-free refried pinto beans, or alternatively with fresh cactus salad spiked with one of four house-made salsas (both $6.99).

    Come in right on the money with the addition of a $3 shot of tequila. Before we start a stampede, note that subsequent belts are 5 bucks a pop and require the purchase of food.

    Monday to Friday 11 am to 9 pm, Saturday noon to 9 pm. Closed Sunday, holidays. No reservations. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.

  • 5

    Fuzz Box

    1246 Danforth, Toronto, Ontario M4J 1M6

    Nova Scotian-style donair ($6.25), caraway fries ($2.95)


    When we first wrote about Neil Dominey’s Halifax-style donair shop two years ago, we set off an unintentional Twitter fatwa. Seems some took offence to our description of the love-it-or-leave-it gyro-like wrap’s “sickly sweet white sauce made with evaporated milk and garlic salt.”

    We’ll go with “an acquired taste” this time around, one that’s generally acquired after the ninth beer kicks in. That’s when a grilled pita stuffed with ground paprika-spiked beef and dressed with ripe tomato, Spanish onion and that contentious sauce ($6.25), along with a side of fries tossed with caraway seeds ($2.95), makes perfect sense.

    “Everyone seems to like them,” says Dominey of the spicy spuds. “Me? I can’t stand them!”

    Monday to Thursday 11:30 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30 am to 11 pm. Closed Sunday, holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement.

  • 6

    Gale’s Snack Bar

    539 Eastern, Toronto, Ontario M4M 1C6

    Hot turkey sandwich ($3.75), milkshake, pie à la mode (both $1.50)


    Diners still in original nick are a dying breed, sadly, and David and Eda Chan’s more than 80-year-old eatery is one of the last. From the six wobbly stools, the three lumpy booths and the tinny AM radio playing hits of the 50s and 60s slightly off-station, Gale’s is a true trip back in time.

    The prices are stuck way back then as well. Cheeseburgers might seem a little small when compared to the incredible hulks served most everywhere else these days but, hey, they’re $1.35 each. Buy two! A milkshake made with actual milk and ice cream served in a tall soda-fountain glass with a bendy straw goes for $1.50, as does a slice of house-baked cherry pie à la mode.

    And where else are you going to find a classic hot turkey sandwich for $3.75, tax included? Sure, the bird was frozen, from No Frills and never free-ranged in the Caledon Hills, but it’s roasted fresh daily, unusually moist and plentiful. The fries and mixed peas ‘n’ carrots come straight from that same freezer, the gravy tastes canned, the sliced tomatoes will never be in season and the bread’s unapologetically white, sourced as it has been from the get-go from the Weston Bakery down the street.

    In a word: perfection.

    Monday to Friday 10:30 am to 6 pm, Saturday noon to 5 pm. Closed Sunday, holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: five steps at door, tiny washroom on same floor.

  • 7


    519 Church, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2C9

    Square Peg


    The 519 Community Centre’s cheekily named first-floor café gets a lot of deserved love for providing marginalized street youth with entry-level restaurant jobs, but the grub it pumps out in its kitchen demands just as much respect, none more so than chef Jason Becker and crew’s weekday $10 four-course Square Peg lunch bento.

    Never the same twice, the lacquered box the day we visit sees crostini dressed with house-made headcheese and apricot jam next to a slice of puff-pastry pizza finished with duck confit, arugula and crumbled blue cheese. As dazzling to the eye as it is to the tongue, the exceptional execution continues with braised beef tongue in horseradish crème fraiche and retro banana cake updated à la minute with salted caramel and tempered chocolate.

    If only all social initiatives were this delicious!

    Tuesday to Friday 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. Closed Monday, holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.

  • 8


    695 Yonge, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2B2

    Coconut shrimp and grilled pork chop on rice ($8.25), crab and avocado spring roll ($1.75) 


    In the 15 years since it first opened, this bare-bones pan-Asian eatery has grown into a family-run chain with five locations, no surprise when all of $3.75 gets you one of the best grilled chicken banh mi in the city.

    Our standing order combines a faux crab and avocado salad roll ($1.75) and a substantial plate heaped with sweet rice, stir-fried choy, five tail-on coconut shrimp and a great honkin’ pork chop ($8.25). The latter’s description might be a bit of a stretch – it’s pork and it’s chopped – but the spicing and execution are right on the mark.

    Spring Rolls, eat your heart out!

    Daily 11 am to 11 pm 11 am to 10 pm (Queen). No reservations. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.

  • 9


    243 Avenue Rd, Toronto, Ontario M5R 2J6

    All-you-can-eat buffet


    Don’t let this unusually eco-minded Indian restaurant’s location in the Hari Krishna Temple put you off your feed. Heck, we’ve seen more religious proselytizing in our local pizzeria.

    No, here the message of transcendental love is sent via an all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet ($10, students $8, children under 12 $5). There are sesame-scented carrot and broccoli stir-fries, curries of onion and squash, and kofta-like meatballs in sweet Italian-style tomato sauce.

    Pakoras thick with spinach, bowls of creamy lentil soup and house-baked chapattis as well as fruit salad in syrup complete a typical spread, all served with nary a waft of incense.

    Monday to Saturday noon to 2:30 pm and 6 to 8:30 pm. Closed Sunday, some holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: 10 steps at door, washrooms in basement.

  • 10

    Jumbo Empanadas

    245 Augusta, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1M5

    Empanada ($4.50), avocado salad ($5.50)


    When Irene Morales opened in the Market back in 1991, Kensington was a no-go zone where only the fiscally challenged went to shop. Not any more!

    Today, discerning foodies pack the low-budget Chilean café for her signature oversized turnovers stuffed with combos like shredded beef, black olives, raisins and hard-boiled egg or wilted spinach, mushrooms, red peppers and nutty basil pesto (both $4.50). They side them with avocado salads finished with thin slices of not terribly ripe tomato, the occasional bit of broccoli and a terrific coriander vinaigrette ($5.50), a far cry from when she first set up shop in an outlaw sidewalk food cart.

    Has the neighbourhood changed since way back then?

    “There are too many restaurants,” says Morales. “I liked it better when there was just us, the egg lady and Amadeu’s!”

    Monday to Saturday 9 am to 8 pm, Sunday 11 am to 6 pm. Closed holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: four steps at door, washrooms in basement.

  • 11

    Ka Ka Lucky

    349 Broadview, Toronto, Ontario M4M 2H1

    Pork ribs on rice


    When it comes to holes-in-the-wall, none come much holier than this Chinatown East mainstay.

    Like King’s Noodle and the new New Hong Fatt on the west side and Ho Ho in Agincourt, Lucky’s focus is strictly Chinese barbecue, whether lacquered free-range chicken or fluorescent cuttlefish. But nothing holds a candle to the kitchen’s roasted pork ribs ($6.50 small/$8 large), a massive plate of plain ol’ white rice piled with gorgeously fatty pig and steamed broccoli.

    Sided with a pot of steaming tea and a ramekin of salty hoisin, they’re our guiltiest of guilty pleasures.

    Daily 9 am to 10:30 pm. No reservations. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.

  • 12

    Le Petit Gourmet

    1064 Yonge, Toronto, Ontario M4W 3V7

    Chicken pot pie with beet and potato salads


    Long before Patichou and the Five Thieves, Christian and Linda Boniteau’s très chic café was the Rosedale set’s patisserie of choice. Why, it’s believed that the two first introduced waspy Toronto to the concept of the croissant.

    Forty years later, the fare is as fantastically French as ever. Six dollars gets you a selection of salads like classic haricots verts with cauliflower and curried chicken with strawberries, while diehard Leafs fans can still get a three-egg breakfast with home fries, tomatoes, bacon or sausage, toast or croissant and coffee or tea next to an autographed photo of Johnny Bower for $9.

    Those of a less nostalgic bent won’t want to miss Gourmet’s $8 meal deal of textbook cheesy quiche or retro chicken pot pie sided with a heap o’ sweetly pickled beets and an avocado stuffed with creamy Russian potato salad and dressed with baby shrimp, even if the latter extravagance requires an additional buck-75.

    Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 7 pm, Saturday 7:30 am to 6 pm. Closed Sunday, holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: two steps at door, washrooms in basement.

  • 13

    Messini Authentic Gyros

    445 Danforth, Toronto, Ontario M4K 1P1

    Chicken pita lunch special ($7.45 Thursday)


    There might be dozens of Greek restaurants that serve gyros with fries on the side, but only this east-side institution and its recently launched uptown offshoot put the fries inside the wraps.

    See for yourself Thursdays when the daily lunch special finds a freshly grilled pita duly stuffed with fries as well as tender broiled chicken, tomato and thick tzatziki. It includes a second grilled pita, this one cut into slices spread with tangy kalamata tapenade. You also get a very good lettuce-free Greek salad and a tall glass of ginger ale – hold the ice – all for $7.45.

    With prices like these, it’s hard not to fall in love with the Danforth all over again.

    Lunch daily 11:30 am to 3 pm. Closed some holidays. No reservations. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement barrier-free, washrooms in basement (Yonge).

  • 14

    New Bilan – CLOSED

    183 Dundas E, Toronto, Ontario M5A 1Z4

    Chicken steak


    Although you’re never going to see it in the pages of Architectural Digest – unless plastic tablecloths and fluorescent light fixtures suddenly come back into fashion – this low-rent Somali café’s short wallet-friendly menu is more than worthy of attention.

    We’re particularly partial to chef Syed Bari’s Chicken Steak ($10), a riot of deboned legs and thighs that have been marinated in garlic, coriander and cardamom, then deliciously charred on the grill. Curried potatoes (with green chilies), tomato salad (with green chilies) and creamy house-made hot sauce (with green chilies) kick them up several notches.

    You also get small bowls of buttery goat’s head soup, styrofoam cups of spicy chai and stacks of house-baked chapattis so rich they could pass for East Indian croissants though completely dairy-free. Some feat that!

    Daily noon to 11 pm. Reservations accepted. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: short step at door, washrooms in basement.

  • 15

    Old Bleu Cafe

    73 Queen E, Toronto, Ontario M5C 1R8

    Lunch special


    Just a block east of St. Mike’s, Gong Zan Shen’s Old Bleu Café draws most of its lunchtime custom from the immediate neighbourhood. That, and a certain alternative weekly.

    The main attraction’s his multiculti Hot Lunch Box special ($4.05 small/$5.15 medium/$7.74 large). Monday there’s a choice of either gently jerked chicken or garlicky pork meatballs in old-school tomato sauce. Tuesday, curried lemongrass chicken thighs face off against slow-braised flank steak in five-spice powder. Wednesday means Caribbean-style jerk pork or curried beef, while Thursday goes Continental with pork Provençal or chorizo ‘n’ chicken à la Basque. Opt for the larger any day and get both mains.

    All come with designer greens in a Moroccan-inspired cumin vinaigrette, creamy rotini salad, rice and a few stray florets of steamed al dente broccoli. And Friday?

    “I freestyle,” laughs former Parisian restaurateur Shen. “I cook whatever I feel like, but usually it’s pasta.”

    Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 4 pm. Lunch daily from 11 am. Closed weekends, holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: Small bump at door, no washrooms.

  • 16

    Peter Pan

    373 Queen W, Toronto, Ontario M5V 2A4

    Lunch special


    If any restaurant deserves a plaque from the historical board for its contribution to the arts both culinary and otherwise, it’s this venerable Queen West bistro. No less a superstar than Susur Lee got his start here flipping lean ‘n’ mean burgers back in the 80s.

    The bargains continue to this day, especially at lunch, when chef Eric Pozzo’s two-course pasta prix fixe lists for $8.95 ($13.95 dinner). It starts with a generous plate of al dente vermicelli swirled with Woolwich Dairy goat cheese, toasted pine nuts and trendily wilted kale, a shaving of parmigiano and a chopping of garlic to finish. A warm slab of house-baked focaccia and an optional plate of buttery olive oil swirled with fruity balsamic vinegar complete the deal.

    “We bake the bread every single morning and every single afternoon,” sighs long-time owner Mary Jackman. “It’s a lot of work, but people seem to love it!”

    Lunch daily noon to 4 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.

  • 17

    Owl of Minerva/Boo Ung Ee

    700 Bloor W, Toronto, Ontario M6G 1L4

    Pork bone soup


    We wouldn’t know from personal experience, but they say it helps to be drunk or seriously hung-over to truly appreciate this late-night Korean cantina’s celebrated gam ja tang pork bone soup ($7.08).

    The redemptive ritual begins with mugs of steaming barley tea and bowls of sticky short-grain rice. House-made banchan follow – sour pickled mung beans, a creamy cabbage slaw of sorts, sugar-brined potatoes and two types of kimchee, one incendiary, the other not so much.

    All play second fiddle to the soup, a great stone bowl of slow-braised shank in blazing hot pepper broth festooned with slippery rice vermicelli, chopped raw scallion and a dusting of toasted white sesame seeds.

    If you’re really hardcore, you suck the pig knuckle to get every last morsel of obscenely fatty meat. Or so we’re told….

    24/7 (Bloor) Sunday to Thursday 10:30 am to midnight, Friday and Saturday 10:30 am to 4 am (Dundas). No reservations. Licensed. Access: eight steps at door, washrooms in basement (Bloor) barrier-free (Dundas).

  • 18

    Via Mercanti on Elm

    87 Elm, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8

    Lunch special


    When NOW surveyed the local pizza scene in these very pages exactly one year ago, ex-Queen Margherita pizzaiolo Romolo Salvati’s remarkable double-decker pie came out on top, quite the accomplishment considering the high-stakes competition.

    The Neapolitan chef ups the ante at weekday lunch with his incomparable pizza ‘n’ salad combo ($10). The 8-inch take on his benchmark wood-oven Margherita comes properly floppy of crust, appropriately chewy and charred and dressed with minimal sauce, a modicum of mozzarell’ and a fresh basil leaf or two.

    The salad’s an exercise in classic simplicity as well, a mix of ripped romaine, ripe tomato and radicchio splashed with white balsamic vinaigrette. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Monday to Friday 11 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday noon to 4 pm (Augusta). Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.

  • 19

    Qian He

    346 Spadina, Toronto, Ontario

    Pork pie


    With the possible exception of New York Subway, which has nothing to do with the Big Apple and doesn’t sell submarine sandwiches, has there ever been a restaurant as confusing as Qian He?

    The sign over the door says Qian He Golden Wheat Cake Room (“Branch 001”), but there are no pastries for sale that I can see. And other than a half-dozen varieties of house-made frozen dumplings, the only thing on the menu is something called Chinese Traditional Style Pork Pie ($2.99 tax-inclusive), which isn’t a pie at all but more of a northern Chinese spin on a burrito.

    Since affable owner/chef Fan Xiao Feng speaks little English, you order by raising the required number of fingers. Using a thin dowel, he rolls out a small ball of dough into a 10-inch circle, then fries it in a little vegetable oil until if puffs up like some mutant tortilla crepe.

    Using a spatula, he spreads the flatbread with a mix of hoisin sauce and sesame oil before pointing at a bottle of Sriracha hot sauce. You nod yes, of course. There’s also Heinz hot dog mustard for those who like that sort of thing.

    He then layers the flapjack with slices of lean smoked pork, a handful of raw onion and a garden’s worth of lightly pickled veggies like still-crunchy bean sprouts, carrots, daikon and coriander stalk. Rolled into burrito-esque bundles, each weighs slightly more than a pound and can easily feed two.

    And because of all those marvellous nitrates, they last forever in the fridge!

    Daily 9 am to 10 pm. No reservations. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: six steps at door, no washrooms.

  • 20

    Ritz Caribbean

    762 Yonge, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2B6

    Lunch special ($4.99), gizzada ($2.50), coconut drop ($2)


    Now in its 15th year, Richard Moore’s four-location chain of casual Caribbean self-serve cafeterias won’t win any awards for their generic food-court decor, but their daily $4.99 lunch special warrants every online rave.

    We’re not ordinarily fans of industrial-strength jerk chicken, but Moore’s nutty southern-fried version has us dancing in the streets: three large boneless pieces of crisply battered breast and thigh coupled with regulation rice ‘n’ peas in oxtail gravy and not overly creamy coleslaw. And no meal at the Ritz is complete without a pair of flaky gizzada tarts ($2.50) and a super-sticky coconut drop ($2), dental work be damned.

    Lunch daily 11 am to 3 pm. Closed some holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: barrier-free, not washrooms.

  • 21

    Tacos El Asador

    689 Bloor W, Toronto, Ontario M6G 1L2

    Goat tacos, avocado tostada (both $3.30), pupusa ($2.90)


    Yes, we’re well aware that this funky Koreatown cantina is actually an El Salvadorean eatery, but that didn’t stop you lot from naming it the best Mexican restaurant in town in NOW’s annual Readers Poll several years running.

    So, it ain’t Grand Electric. But does GE offer crisply grilled house-made tortillas brimming with slow-braised goat ($3.30 for two) or deep-fried tostadas showered with diced avocado, ripe tomato, shredded iceberg lettuce and crumbles of mild feta-like queso ($3.30), not to mention mashed bean ‘n’ squash pupusas paired with pickled onion relish ($2.90) and two spectacular hot sauces?

    We think not.

    Monday to Saturday noon to 9 pm, Sunday 2 to 9 pm. No reservations. Licensed. Cash only. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.

  • 22

    Rose’s Vietnamese Sandwiches

    601 Gerrard East, Toronto, Ontario M4M 2H1

    Banh mi ($3), iced coffee ($3), jello cake ($2)


    Though she’s moved her Saigon-style sub shop into a slightly fancier storefront around the corner from its original location, Rose Psam’s superb banh mi are as ridiculously inexpensive as ever.

    Three loonies are all it takes to snag her top-of-the-line Extra Deluxe, a flaky Parisian-style bun piled with all manner of house-made cold cuts – pork, pork, pork and ham – and garnished with pickled daikon, fresh coriander and Sriracha. Washed down with an iced Vietnamese coffee ($3) and a slice of coconut jello cake ($2), it’s one of the best meal deals around.

    Has Rose been to the Banh Mi Boys?

    “I know their parents so I went right after they opened,” says the ever-bubbly Psam. “I like what they’re doing, but it’s too expensive for me!”

    Daily 9 am to 8 pm. Closed some holidays. Reservations accepted. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: two steps at door, no washrooms.

  • 23

    Saffron Spice Kitchen

    459 Queen W, Toronto, Ontario M5V 2A9

    Kothu roti ($5) with soup or salad ($3)


    There’s more to Sri Lankan cuisine than rice and spice, and this recent four-seat addition to the wall-to-wall burger bacchanal that is Queen and Spadina proves it.

    Some may recognize co-owner/chef Esther Joseph from Esther’s Soup Kitchen in Cumberland Terrace, where her health-conscious carte has been a favourite of the cash-strapped for nearly 20 years. Deep downtown, the specialty of the house is kothu roti – think chopped-up house-baked paratha flatbread mixed with either curried chicken, lamb or scrambled eggs and a whack o’ slivered cabbage, carrots and mushrooms detonated with enough hot green chilies to melt down a nuclear reactor ($5 small).

    Side it with a made-to-order baby spinach salad or a bowl of mulligatawny soup for another $3 and you’re laughing.

    Monday to Friday 11 am to 10 pm, Saturday 11 am to 9 pm. Closed Sunday, some holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: barrier-free, counter seating, no washrooms.

  • 24

    Schnitzel Queen

    211 Queen E, Toronto, Ontario M5A 1S4

    Schnitzel platter


    Since scoring a recent 5N review in NOW, this tiny Regent Park take-away has been regularly slammed, and never more so than at lunch.

    “People come in with the picture ripped out of the paper and point at the schnitzel sandwich!” says owner/chef Karl Hubsch.

    Those of us who’ve been coming here since platform shoes were first in fashion prefer our beautifully battered and deep-fried pig as a plate (all $9.99) sided with creamy pickle ‘n’ potato salad, Mitteleuropean sauerkraut and maybe a little mushroom gravy.

    As well as chicken and pork, there’s also now a vegetarian version made with Edam cheese, but Hubsch draws the line at veal.

    “I feel sorry for those poor baby cows.”

    Monday to Friday 11 am to 7 pm. Closed Saturday, Sunday, holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: barrier-free, counter seating, no washrooms.

  • 25


    114 Ossington, Toronto, Ontario

    Cod fritter ($1.25), pizza slice ($2.75) and an egg tart ($1.25)


    Regulars swear by the salt-cod fritters ($1.25), pizza slices ($2.75) and basic veal sandwiches ($6) from João and Maria Caetano’s pair of west-side bakeries, but only their Portuguese egg tarts (pastel de nata $1.25) inspire devotional websites.

    And for good reason. Simple yet surprisingly complex, these fabulously flaky confections sport ambrosial egg-custard fillings the equal to Proust’s fabled madeleines in buttery puff pastry shells so brilliantly caramelized they could only have been finished with a blowtorch. They also come in coconut and chocolate versions ($1.50).

    But why settle for just one? Like just about everything here, the more you buy, the cheaper they get!

    Monday to Saturday 6 am to 8 pm, Sunday 7 am to 6 pm. Closed some holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: three steps at door, washrooms (114 Ossington) one step at door, washrooms (951 Ossington).


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