Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Eatery Review

So, a big part of the reason I wanted to have my own blog is to document various bits of my experience as a freelancer. That's going to include things like where I am now, what my overall impressions of the place are and what, to me, makes a good placement.

In this particular post, I thought I'd give a rundown of the places in my current work-neighbourhood (at King Street West and Spadina Avenue) that I've already been to for lunch. This list does not include places I've eaten at during other placements in this neighbourhood, but I might get around to that at a later date.

Without further ado, (and absolutely in a particular order) then:

La Pizza
The lunch crowd I saw in there today indicates that I picked the wrong menu item, but I can say definitively that their breaded chicken sandwich is vile. Firstly, it's billed as a chicken sandwich, with no mention of breading, and secondly, it is of such poor quality that I was literally still nauseous -- as a result of eating it -- 4 hours later. I'm not even going to bother trying to give this place a second chance.

KFC/Taco Bell
Oh, fast food restaurant, thou bastion of cheap, consistent food. I've been here twice already, picking up a CrunchWrap Supreme from the Taco Bell once, and the Chicken Strips from KFC the other time. You've probably eaten them too, I really don't need to describe the experience.

Why bother even taking a picture? You know what it looks like, and the Junior Chicken Sandwich (or whatever they're calling it) on the value menu is predictably value-quality.

New York Subway
This establishment first caught my eye on a previous visit to Romni Wools Ltd. at Queen and Bathurst, and I couldn't spare a moment to check it out. On my visit, I asked for half-and-half 6" chicken/bean burrito. I was surprised to find ground chicken being used, but adjusted readily. For under $5, this was a decent meal, but not as stellar as I was hoping a place that "specializes" in gourmet burritos would be. The size of the lunch crowd indicates that I was trying the wrong burrito.

Taco Villa
on the Metro Concourse

I was just saying to Bruce last night that those looking for Taco Bell-easy food without feeling dirty afterwards should definitely try Taco Villa. I thought it was a second-rate Taco Bell too, until I tried a burrito there. I've been once since being at my newest contract, but I expect that winter will find me huddled on the Path, enjoying many a Taco Villa burrito. A word of caution, the food court is stupid-busy during lunch hours. Aim to be there around 11:30 or 1:30 and you'll avoid the office workers.

Toshi Sushi
While I liked the fact that some of the harder-to-find sushi items were on the menu a la carte -- I got to try Anago for the first time -- I didn't think anything about my Chirashi Sushi lunch was memorable. Bruce, however, was very pleased with the portion sizes and variety in his Teriyaki Chicken lunch. As for me, I don't know why I even consider buying sushi -- from any place that isn't Sapporo -- any more.

Burrito Boyz
I can only add to the heaps of praise which have been piled upon this establishment. Just expect things to get claustrophobic around lunchtime while you're waiting for your seriously tasty burrito. The English/Mexican fusion that resulted in a battered, deep-fried halibut fillet on a burrito (with your choice of toppings) is sheer genius. Also, score another point for these guys simply because their Medium sauce is genuinely medium-hot.

Furama Cake and Desserts Garden
Sure, it's got an odd name, but this is undeniably an all-time favourite for students at nearby OCAD and UofT, Chinatown shoppers and those "in the know" in the Studio and Fashion districts. What makes it so popular? Furama sells dim sum pastries, freshly made, the majority of which can be had for under $1 each. My personal favourite is the deep-fried curried-beef bun, but there are plenty of options to choose from. If you're in the mood for something sweet, the desserts/cash counter sells a wide variety of mousse-cakes and pastries. Since just about everything is seriously high-fat, I try not to go here often, but I very much look forward to treating myself when I do go.

Q Dim Sum Palace
I went with John to celebrate his birthday, and we both were simply blown away by the quality of the food. I ended up dragging Bruce out the very next day to give it a try. Bruce noted that the dim sum here is slightly different from the established norms, some things cooked a little differently, the texture of certain items being pleasantly surprising and such. I will definitely be returning (the fried taro dumplings, in particular, are going to be hard to avoid -- I think they're demanding I visit again as I type this).



At Wed Jun 21, 11:29:00 pm GMT-4, Blogger talksmart said...

blog hopping via blogger search and was led to your catchy blog name :-) Great posts and photos you have here.


At Fri Jun 23, 07:51:00 pm GMT-4, Anonymous Bruce said...

A few things to add.

Burrito Boyz: my steak burrito was excellent. I need to go back sometime and try the Halibut or the shrimp burrito.

Q Dim Sum Palace: to expand on my point about everything being just slightly different from the norm.. each dish seemed to have something that was ever so slightly different from how it is in your typical Dim sum place and if you weren't looking closely you might not have noticed it on a lot of dishes. The food was excellent nonetheless with the exception of the crab claw balls, as one of my favourites I must say that theirs was a disappointment.

At Sat Jun 24, 04:06:00 pm GMT-4, Blogger Michelle Hopp said...

We've GOTTA do lunch one day, is it pricey at the Dim Sum Palace?

At Sun Jun 25, 10:13:00 pm GMT-4, Blogger ghanima said...

Not especially pricey. Buying dishes with 3-5 items is about $3, on average, I'd say.

At Sun Jul 02, 01:39:00 am GMT-4, Anonymous FA_Homewood said...

Where exactly is Q Dim Sum Palace? I would like to check it out since I love them and I seem to go to the same place all the time. A new spot will suit me just fine. And I take it that you know your dim sum.


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