So to continue our exploration of College Street, we ended up at Utopia Cafe tonight. What a relief this place is from the "meet markets" disguised as restaurants on the College Street strip. Casual and unpretentious atmosphere, adequate service, and reasonably priced and decent meals.
Dining partner had poutine, which was surprisingly good. Crisp fries with actual cheese curds (not just shredded cheese) and a vegetarian gravy (but I wouldn't have been able to tell had they not mentioned it was vegetarian on the menu). We were quite happy with this find since good poutine is more elusive here.
I had a black bean and corn chowder and a tandoori chicken sandwich. The soup was a "chowder" in name only - it was tomato based. It was very tasty though, with a good amount of kick to it. Would have loved some cilantro thrown in there, but that's a preference thing.
Tandoori chicken sandwich was decent. Cumin was very prominent, which is good since cumin is one of my favourite spices. Lots of sweet onions in the mix as well. Sandwich was served with a green salad (typical mesclun mix stuff) for $7.99.
They have a good number of appetizers, some of which, like muhamara, I'm eager to try since it's not offered on very many menus around the city. Mains consists of an assortment of burritos, quesadillas, sandwiches, burgers, and salads. Numerous vegetarian options. Average price for a main meal is around $11.
I think this will become a regular neighbourhood haunt for us for casual fare.