MILDRED’S TEMPLE KITCHEN (85 Hanna, at Snooker, 416-588-5695) Complete “quickie” lunches for $28 per person, including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Open for lunch Monday to Friday 11:45 am to 3 pm, dinner nightly from 5 pm; brunch Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. Closed some holidays. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNN
Ravenous the other afternoon, the literary Device and I pop into Mildred's Temple Kitchen for a quickie.
Sadly, not the carnal kind. The quickie we're meeting for involves lunch at Donna Dooher and Kevin Gallagher's popular Liberty Village brunch spot. We've heard that weekdays 15 bucks can get us soup, sandwich and dessert. What's more, if we're not in 'n' out in 45 minutes (nudge, wink) lunch is on the house.
With the CNE Air Show sonic-booming overhead, Temple's soaring, elegant space seems even more like a Parisian departure lounge than it did the last time we did Mildred's. Minus 200 suburbanites foaming at the mouth in a brunch frenzy, the room is unusually serene until the next unexpected ka-boom.
Saucier Jason Sheardown preps for patio patrons.
The Device inhales a plate of airy ricotta gnudi tossed with cremini mushrooms and double-smoked bacon before polishing off the mighty house burger ($16) layered with leaf lettuce, beer cheese and button 'shrooms, and sided with a virtual Everest of very good frites lightly dusted with bits of sun-dried tomato.
I go for the combo du jour ($15), today a porcelain mug topped up with spinach and slightly crunchy chickpeas in a soupy curry that borders on dal, dolloped with yogurty raita. It's coupled with a grilled sandwich of Oka-like Niagara Gold cheese and sweet roasted red peppers on thinly sliced sourdough spread with tangy black olive tapenade, a smallish butter pecan square to finish.
Not watching the clock and lost in leisurely conversation, we feel at least an hour has elapsed between our arrival and the appearance of the bill. The Device's Rolex proves us wrong: Mildred's gets us fed in just 43 minutes.
So no free lunch.