THREE'S COMPANY (1331 Danforth, at Lamb, 416-406-3233) Complete meals for $17 per person, including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Average main $7. Open Monday to Thursday 7:30 am to 4 pm, Friday 7:30 am to 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 4 pm. Licensed. Access: barrier free, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Fortunately for all concerned, when it comes to Three's Company, any resemblance to that 70s sitcom ends at the name. And rumours that they're opening a second restaurant called the Thigh Master are completely unfounded.
This is a catering business that also welcomes diners with an informal café atmosphere. Specials are blackboarded here and there, and the menu is a sensible, unhip selection of soups, sandwiches, Asianesque bowls, quiches and breakfasts.
The cup of mushroom soup ($2.95) is a warming buttery serving thickened with finely minced mushrooms. It's a mellow composition that could be easily unbalanced by too free a hand with the herbs. All that's needed is a little salt and pepper. Order a house-made scone ($1.60) which does everything you can ask of a scone and you've got a solid lunch.
The turkey club sandwich ($5.95) is another nice and simple entry. While its whole-wheat ciabatta-type bread and avocado mayonnaise flirt with fashion, it's really just a hefty sandwich with real sliced turkey breast, bacon, lettuce and tomato.
3C's foray into what might be called Asian cooking shows that you don't have to stray very far from home to really get lost. The lemongrass chicken rice bowl ($8.25) is a clunky collection of vegetables and chicken breast slices in a sauce that tastes very out-of-the-bottle and some uncharismatic rice. It's like Chinese food night at Aunt Janice's.
Most desserts are made off-site, including bars by nearby Altitude Bakery. The Sweet Marie square ($2.25), accompanied by excellent Mountain View coffee ($1.60), makes for a fine finish, the perfect fuel for exploring this unpolished section of the Danforth.
Three's Company also does a lot of prepared frozen and takeout meals. The small mushroom and herb quiche ($3.50) is a winner, with lots of brown mushroom chunks in a good, eggy filling and a quality crust. Perfect to pick up on the way home from work. The frozen roast vegetable lasagna dinner ($7.95) is dominated by its filling of zucchini, eggplant and red peppers. If you like a big bunch of slightly mushy vegetables that are all kind of the same, this is for you.
All told, for competent, inexpensive homemade-style fare east of Greektown, try Three's Company.