I moved away from TO too long ago to remember...
April 8, 2009 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Danforth (Toronto) restaurant filter: Friend, still healthy, recently diagnosed with cancer. I want to buy her whole family (2 adults, three kids under 10) an awesome meal out, nearby. Looking for suggestions on FABULOUS restaurants near Logan and Danforth, or in Chinatown on Gerrard. Your suggestions please, and thank you!

Pre-surgery, pre-detailed-diagnosis (but yes, it is cancer), internettty-prognosis-searching stage. Young, not the expected demographic for this cancer, she is currently full into "uh... wtf?" mode and understandably freaked out. In lieu of flowers, which die and remind you of the fleetingness of life, etc., I'm looking to buy her a meal. Somewhere that can tolerate kids, has amazing food, and might be somewhere she hasn't been before. (This last is a super stretch, obviously, since I can't tell you where she's been...)

Extra points for Big-Carrotty (but not BC)-type vegetarian stuff, or hippie 'crunchy' places. Or, alternately, the name of that bigger Chinese restaurant on the south side of Gerrard between Broadview and Boulton (where you can get live fish, which they throw onto the carpet next to your table to demonstrate its "aliveness" prior to cooking).

But really, I'm in the market to look at your favourites in any food category, so lay it on me.

Thanks thanks bundle of thanks!
posted by Mrs Hilksom to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Friendly Greek... nothing terribly special but it's appropriate for kids.
posted by cranberrymonger at 11:28 AM on April 8, 2009

Citizen at Queen & Broadview is really good. If your friend is feeling very cautious & responsible w/r/t diet it's not the best choice as the food tends to be rather rich, but man it's tasty, the atmosphere is very comfortable, and the chef is really friendly & will visit your table and crack jokes. I recommend the spaetzle (kind of like pasta, warm carby comfort food) and the pavolva dessert (reeeally good meringue with fruit). If you go on a weekday evening bringing fairly well-behaved kids shouldn't be a problem.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:49 AM on April 8, 2009

Best answer: Batifole (French cuisine)
Make a reservation, they are always busy. The restaurant is at 744 Gerrard St. E. Here is a map.
posted by jmmpangaea at 12:14 PM on April 8, 2009

Best answer: Hanoi 3 Seasons is not too far out of the area you've mentioned, and it's fantastic. It's often really busy though, and I think the hardest thing is going to be finding a place that's not only great, but great with three kids under 10, no matter how wonderful they are. Many of the best places for food in the east end are now in Leslieville, along Queen Street East between Broadview and Leslie. (the Danforth has declined a bit, though places like Globe Bistro are pretty nice - but it's still mainly Greek, or Greek-ish). Places like Tomi-Kro, the aforementioned Citizen and Batifole, Table 17, Joy Bistro, Leslie Jones, and PikNik are all favourites of ours - but as the mom of a five-year old, there are few that we can relax and enjoy a meal with her in (though she's been to many - but one kid is one thing, three is another. Also, considering seatings, crowding and service and food choices when I say that). We most often eat at Baldini's , where Tony is just great with our daughter, and my parents when they visit, and we always have a good experience. It's just nice, that's all - like a neighbourhood resaurant where we go for good food and each other's company - but not a grand dining experience.

My best suggestion would be to find them a wonderful meal from Loic Gourmet, and have it delivered (they do deliver). Loic's stuff is pretty great, and as nice as it is to go out, sometimes it's nicer to stay home with everything practically done for you. He may even be able to customize something, if you explain the situation and your wishes and any preferences of theirs.

Also, Wild Thyme often has beautiful green growing things in interesting containers that would be nice with that, without the funereal air of flowers, maybe, if you do want to send a centrepiece, or flowers another time.

Oh - and further east on the Danforth, Bistro Camino is getting some buzz, and there's plenty there that sounds delicious to me, and that my five year old would gladly eat. I'm thinking it's nice enough to be a treat for us adults in a price range that we are eating in more infrequently as parents than we did as just a couple. The decor sounds very nice, but not so fancy that I'm scared to take a kid there either.

I'll walk my dog down Gerrard tonight, and hope to find the name of that place with the fish floor show for you.

Sadly, Le Cafe Vert would have been just perfect - near Queen and Logan, Big Carrotty and nice for a family - but they just closed. Of everything mentioned above, the vegetarian choices at each will be on the slim side, though many are happy to alter dishes.

Good luck!
posted by peagood at 2:04 PM on April 8, 2009

Best answer: We're big fans of Simon's Vegetarian Wok at Gerrard and Logan. I think it could be described as "kid friendly" (or casual, at least) but decor-wise it's one of those rather spartan places with plastic tablecloths, etc. Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen is also really good, casual and a bit more pleasing to the eye, although a little farther east (Danforth and Greenwood). We've seen children eating there, so it's definitely kid-friendly.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:24 PM on April 8, 2009

I hope I've helped - but I didn't make it to Gerrard last night (dog has a sore paw). I'm interested in checking out Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen soon - I'm glad I checked back. I'll still try to get that name for you. And I forgot about Simon's! But the Card Cheat is right about the decor.
posted by peagood at 6:58 PM on April 9, 2009

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