LETTUCE EATERY (TD Centre Food Hall, 100 Wellington, at York, 416-304-0090) Complete lunches for $14 per person, including all taxes, tip and a bottled water. Average main $8. Open Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 4 pm. Unlicensed. Access: enter Canadian Pacific Tower on York and ask security for elevator to concourse level. Rating NNN Rating: NNN
The food court below the TD Centre has a new name. It's now called the Food Hall. Pretty inspired, eh? But you can't blame them for wanting to get rid of the term "food court." It's a little too telling, given the culinary crimes committed in such places.
A recent arrival at the Food Hall, Lettuce Eatery is an independent, locally owned outlet offering a salad-centric alternative to the fast food options surrounding it. Judging by the stampede of well-shod heels surging toward the Eatery during the lunch hour, it's a hit. You can build your own salad or sandwich, selecting from over 50 ingredients and 20 dressings, or order from a selection of standard combinations.
The Cobb salad ($8), served, like all the others, in a big transparent plastic takeout bowl, has enough greens to see Watership Down through Easter weekend or one office worker through two small lunches. Lacking any real flavour punch in the dressing, the Cobb is dominated by its sprinkled bacon and blue cheese (a healthy alternative?). Unfortunately somebody forgot the avocado. It's big, it's fresh, and other than the chicken, which tastes very processed, it's satisfying.
The bistro salad sandwich ($7), actually a wrap, with romaine, turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese, crumbled egg and tomato, shares the strengths and weaknesses of the Cobb: ample but contains processed poultry and boring dressing.
Desserts go all puritanical with choices like puffed wheat squares and sunflower brittle.
Lettuce Eatery appeals to the fit hustler-bustlers who populate the banking core and is a valuable resource for those who aren't brown-bagging it.