Linuxcaffe 326 Harbord, at Grace, 416-534-2116. Complete lunches for $10 per person, including all taxes, tip and a coffee. Sandwiches $4.75. Open Monday to Thursday 7 am to 7 pm, Friday 7 am to 11 pm, Saturday 10 am to 11 pm, Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. Unlicensed. Access: step at the door and washrooms around a narrow corridor. Rating NNN Rating: NNNNN
Wandering around T.O. lately, I've noticed advertisements for the Geek Squad, so I'm certain I've stumbled into its headquarters when I enter Linuxcaffe. More than half the customers are hunched over laptops, as is the owner. This is apparently a meeting place for "open source enthusiasts." Open only five months, Linux uses only local ingredients that are picked up in an environmentally friendly kid's wagon. The lunch menu offers soup ($3.20) and build-your-own panini and wraps (both $4.75) containing your choice of three items from the meat (or veggie pâté), cheese and veggie lists.
I opt for ham, Swiss and sun-dried tomato. Mayo, mustard, lettuce and tomato are included above and beyond the three choices. The panini come on too-tiny Portuguese buns, so I order a second, this time, chicken, Brie and roasted red pepper.
I'm told they roast their own chicken and prepare it on a meat slicer, but it looks suspiciously like processed poulet. Still, both are delish.
The smell of the Tuscan white bean soup has my taste buds singing, but it needs a whole lotta salt to pick up the flavours of rustic chunks of cabbage, leek and potato. It would be perfect with shavings of real Romano, not the nasty powdered substitute on offer.
But people obviously come here more for the Wi-Fi access, great coffee (fair-trade from i deal), cheery music, plants and huge windows. It's an office away from the office.