Im working nearby and am looking for some good, interesting places to chow at lunch. I'm seeking signature dishes made with love. After all, life is too short to eat boring food.
My goal is to try out at least 3 different places every week and now that its nicer out, Im willing to walk more than a few blocks in search of my next good meal. Heres my opinion of what Ive tried so far (pretty brief but lots of em):
Rol San (Chinatown): very good, very reasonable dim sum. So far, the best Ive had in Chinatown and for my money, more enjoyable than Lai Wah Heen. A standby.
Goldstone (Chinatown): avoid the barbeque (see review below). Go for the congee and spicy squid. Yummy comfort food that I always go back for.
Xe Lua (Chinatown): Great sign, pretty good Pho.
Ghandi (Queen & Bathurst): Had the lamb roti, which was good, but not good enough to justify the horrific wait. They seemed to be very disorganized and overwhelmed by phone-in orders on the day I was there.
Shanghai Cowboy (Queen & Bathurst): Nice patio, above average diner type food, love the sweet tater fries.
Banknote (King & Bathurst): ehh. Tuesday mussel special might be worth a shot.
R Shop (King & Spadina): Reasonable prices for Japanese fast food. Nice atmosphere in a furniture shop, small portions.
Fusaros (Spadina & Richmond): Popular fast Italian. Decent but not notable.
Fionn MacCools (King & Spadina): Irish pub, pleasant staff and atmosphere, good grub and beers. A reliable fallback.
Toshi Sushi (King & Bathurst): Average, maybe above average family run Japanese joint.
Rasoee (Spadina & Richmond): Indian fast food concept. Interesting idea, pretty mediocre execution in terms of the food.
Friendly Thai (Queen & Portlland): Gloppy Thai with lots of filler (onions and green peppers) on the plate.
Chinese Traditional Buns (Dundas & Spadina): Very good, cheap, homey chow. Dumplings and noodles. Big menu worth exploring. Not the usual Cantonese fare.
Im anxious to try El Rincon in Kensington, Nonnas, find a good Jamaican goat meat roti and check out anyplace else that anyones willing to recommend.