I'm visiting the city for a week at the end of May; attending a conference. I am a grad student, so I am looking for good deals, naturally. By "good", let's say dinners for under 35 bucks before tax and tip including an entree and plat; or lunches for under 30. No wine or alcohol, no dessert, unless there's something really tempting. I also have a fairly conservative palate; not really into the venison/game/wildfowl meats; pretty standard stuff but done with fresh, local ingredients, expert sauces, comfort food with a creative twist. I am happy to search out anything within a 1/2 mile walk of a Metro stop, and atmosphere doesn't matter- noisy, young hipster-ish or traditional and a bit stuffy are fine. It's all about food quality and price. And early dinner/lunch/late table d'hotes are particularly appealing. Some of the places on my radar so far from friends and the board have been:
for Italian/homemade pizza: Magpie/Bottega
for breakfast/brunch: Nouveau Palais; Lawrence
for lunches/bistro dinners: 22h00 specials at Lemeac and Chez Victoire; lunches at Laloux, Quartier-General, Au 5eme Peche, Le Comptoir, L'express and La Montee de Lait; Ferreira: Le Seingalt; Le Local: Au Chaud Lapin
downtown lunch: Brasserie T; Kitchenette; Apollo wine bar @universite and Ste Catherine, Birks Cafe or Beaver Hall/XO or Sinclair for a 'special treat', I hear they're a bit more on the pricey side, but Birks has gotten rave reviews in several newspaper articles I've read, and I hear the Sinclair chef is one of the most under-rated in the city.
pub-style lunch: le Reservoir
other misc: Qing Hua Dumpling, Espace la Fontaine; Stash Cafe; Kitchen Galerie; 400 Coups-friday lunch special
Have I mentioned any "can't miss"; "better avoid"; "delicious, but whoever told you could eat there at lunch for 35 bucks even without wine is crazy". And what haven't I got that should be there?
Any and all suggestions appreciated. Thanks! Greg