When we snatched up our new office digs earlier this month, one imperative prerequisite – and I cannot stress this enough – we had was…FOOD…of course. There had to be some great spots nearby to nab our desk lunches. Or go for a meeting. Or head for a stiff drink and apps after those days you start wishing negative thoughts on your colleagues. So winding up near Queen and Portland was rather, shall we say, serendipitous, because we’ve got a few vibatious choices to fill our bellies midday…
I’ve personally been here seven times since they’ve opened, and I’m a fickle fellow. The waitstaff is great, the food always delicious and quick, and the space couldn’t be more a la mode. I love the wine list and the price points couldn’t be more reasonable. (I’ve ordered the $45 Falanghina more than a couple times.) Inside there’s space for about 80 power lunchers, and with the recent addition of the front patio (to be licensed soon) and the upstairs terrace (which will open at the end of the month), I’m guessing there’s seating for at least 160 people. Arrive early or be sure to make a reservation, because come 1pm it’s as packed as it is during the dinner rush. PS Does anyone want to settle our debate as to the pronunciation of Gusto? Is it Guss-toe or Goose-toe?
Gusto 101 | 101 Portland Street, Toronto
Come and Get It
I’m actually eating the herb-crusted green bean salad as I sit here clickity-clacking on the keyboard. I’d tried to go twice prior, but I don’t like lines and the wait seemed as unbearable as having to listen to a new Madonna album. (Take that, Madge!) The food is fresh and simple but fancy. If you’re looking for a gourmet sammie, salad, or poutine it’s sure to satisfy. Try going earlier in the week if you’re as impatient as I am, or get there for 11am sharp Thursday and Friday.
Come and Get It | 170 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
Banh Mi Boys
Faboosh banh mi. Nuff said. I’ve heard that Banh Mi Boys is currently thinking about/in plans to open a second location by the end of the year. Awesome. I’ve had to wait here too, and more than once passed this option by to nab subpar salad rolls at Loblaws. Again, head in right when they open or be prepared to toe tap while standing for 20 or so minutes.
Banh Mi Boys | 392 Queen Street West, Toronto
The One That Got Away
Been here a couple times before. The One That Got Away has, other than an unnecessarily long name, some tasty fish tacos and salads and wraps and chips and…well…the rest of the menu seems to have gotten away on me. (Insert drum/symbol bang here for comedic effect.) The grilled fish isn’t quite as satisfying as the fried, but hey, that’s the price you pay for watching your waistline.
The One That Got Away | 581 King Street West, Toronto
Also in this area you can find The Chickery, Alimento, Lamesa (which should be opening for lunch in a couple weeks), La Palette, and Tequila Bookworm. I haven’t gone to any of these ‘proper’ yet, and I have other work to move on to…so check them out for us and tweet us how they are.