An uninformed source tells me that hipster cafeteria Spaha (66 Harbord, 416-260-6133) has gone downhill ever since chef Hani Ben Shabat took a trip to the other side of the Looking Glass. Not so. After placing my Saturday brunch order -- a dozen-and-a-half mussels steamed in pulpy tomato ($11.75 with quite good frites) -- my server returns and explains that the kitchen has only six mussels on hand. But they'll whip up what they have and not charge me. What a deal!
This tasty plate is just as good as I remember it being during Ben Shabat's reign, although the messy too-thick sauce is closer to something better ladled over spaghetti than dunked with a buttered French stick. Feeling like a cheapskate, I grab an eight-ounce burger to go ($7.50, sided with greens and watermelon) that the Troubled Balkan later pronounces meaty indeed.