DANGEROUS DAN's (714 Queen East, at Broadview, 416-463-7310) Located across the street from a peeler palace, this no-frills steak 'n' burger joint looks kinda scary from the street. Dangerous, even. But the friendly kids behind the counter and rock-bottom prices won't frighten away the value-conscious. Better still, Dan's delivers! Complete dinners for $20 per person ($10 at lunch), including all taxes, tip and a domestic beer. Open Sunday to Thursday 11 am to midnight, and Friday and Saturday 11 am to 2 am. Fully licensed. Access: ramp at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
when james mckinnon, the for-mer maitre d' of the pricey and now-defunct steak house Houstons', decided to open his own place two and a half years ago, he didn't want what he describes as a frou-frou place. Instead, he opened a Tulip-style diner on one of the roughest corners in town. When hiring his first cook, he asked the applicants if they could fight."I can't teach someone to fight, but I can always teach somebody how to cook," explains the affable McKinnon.
The joint he named for his grandfather has been considerably cleaned up from its previous incarnation as what the burly restaurateur calls Cafe Crack.
Still, Dangerous Dan's looks a little, well, dangerous. But once inside, any fears are allayed by friendly counter staff and a wallet-friendly lineup, mainly meat. There's stuff like the massive 24-ounce Homeburger, a gargantuan mound of ground beef that's the equivalent of six Quarter Pounders ($10.95 with great chunky fries and pop).
Two-and-a-half pounds of meaty beef ribs drenched in house-made garlic sauce and sided with a whack of fries goes for a bargain-basement $12.95. A thick, perfectly grilled 11-ounce New York steak with slivered mushrooms, a very capable Caesar salad and fries enough for two is $14.95. Unlike the Purple Onion, Dan's charbroils its beef barbecue-style, resulting in steaks that are cooked on the outside and tender-pink in the centre.
There are huge and very good Tree Hugger veggie burgers ($3.99 plain to $4.89 with peameal bacon -- say what?) and a Greek salad with creamy feta ($2.75 small/$4.25). If that's not enough cholesterol, Dan's offers cardiac-arrest-inducing poutine ($3.99/ $5.26) and Chocolate Brownie Overload ($3.95), a big chocolate brownie layered with chocolate ice cream and syrup as well as real whipped cream.
If Dangerous Dan's sounds too intimidating, all this first-rate food can be delivered to the safety of your own home.