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In Search of Balm at Gilead Cafe & Bistro


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In Search of Balm at Gilead Cafe & Bistro

Vinnie Vidimangi | Feb 22, 2011 05:48 AM

So that you Philistines will know , the cafe and bistro are one and the same and with the same menu. I went for lunch. Order at the counter, food is brought to you all at once and after a long wait. And this was at the end of the service when no one else was ordering. I had to ask for the bread to keep me going. You are not paying for the decor- an "informal" room. Lots of hokum about the food.

I had, as described on the board :
Red Fife sourdough, 2 dips, $3.00 on the wesite but I think $3.50 on the board.
A heavy, boring bread. It didn't go with the two dips. The two dips were crushed chickpeas. I can't call them hoummous. One was reasonably plain, the other was couloured green and heavily cumined. Two tablespoons each.
The dips went OK with the toasted English muffin from my burger (infra). The bread went OK with the mustard and ketchup from the same burger plate.

Root vegetable salad, roasted shallot vinagrette, $9.00.
A mound of very thinly sliced carrots coins, at an angle, orange carrots interspersed with white.
The carrots coinshad been softened somewhat in a marinade. The treatment did nothing for the carrots, indeed if you like carrots you probably wouldn't like this dish. An excellent vinaigrette that kept with the aesthetic of the carrots, but both were wasted. Far too much - for two or three persons- and finishing got to be a bit of a chore. And I like large portions. Have to justify $9.00 I suppose.

Potato and leek soup,$8.00. Thin, small portion appropriate if it were one course in a long meal at a fancy restaurant. Delicious and perfect on its own. Easily the best thing that I had.

Cheeseburger, $11, hold the cheese. It arrived deconstructed on the plate. Arrayed were bib lettuce, fried onion, mustard , ketchup, thin shredded marinated red cabbage, sliced cornichon.
The burger itself was a quarter pounder, fried, dense, on a toasted split English muffin. After one bite , I abandoned the muffin, and after two more bites I finished the burger. Very tasty meat, but the toppings were too refined to go with the meat, and with a "bun" they would have become lost and the whole thing confused. And I refused the cheese! The toppings would have been better with a chicken kebob in a thin Lebanese pita ( The best is from Arz). They would have stayed discrete and gone better with the lighter meat. The English muffin with the beef patty was just grasping for elegance and dumb. A light Portuguese spada bun would have been far better.

The cornichon was a bore, the ketchup eccentric and wouldn't have gone with anything served except as I had it , with the mustard on the Red Fife bread, which was sort of.

I had hit the $30 limit on my coupon so I passed on dessert ($11 plus tax). I was sitting next to the coffee stand, on which there was honey as a sweetner choice. I poured two tablespoons of honey onto my soup spoon. Delicious.
Total, $35.50, less the coupon.

Overpriced for what it was and for the setting; furthermore flawed. Some things were unreasonably overpriced. ( Eg the carrots supra, a miserable little muffin, $2 plus tax)

JK needs to go to a BS detox centre. He would come out better able to achieve his undoubted potential as a chef, a better restaurant operator and perhaps profitable.

As an aside. Gilead goes towards proving my hypothesis that if if you are "English", it doesn't matter how good a cook you are, bread is a black hole.

1909 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

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