Lady Marmalade

I have been eating at Lady Marmalade for a few years now. It is my go-to lunch joint in the east end. The room is bright and open and has a great kinetic vibe. The staff are friendly and approachable.

The front door is almost at grade. If someone holds the door I can oomph myself in, maybe four inches of a step. Once inside there is a short hall to an open room with tables that I can fit under. I’m pretty tall so that is not always the case. They usually seat me nearest the door which isn’t “near” the door but means I’m not wheeling through tables, over peoples jackets and bumping chair backs. On the downside the washroom isn’t accessible.

If healthful eating is a priority then this is one place you’ll want to go out of your way to try. They serve from a breakfast and lunch menu all day. The menu is a mix of diner-y egg standards but with originality and care. Try the  Heuvos Rancheros or Heuvos Migas. I go for the salads and bowls. The crunchy Thai Slaw – I add chicken though it’s not on the menu – is fantastic. So is the Baja Rice Bowl. Everything is consistent, fresh and very tasty. They offer a selection of fresh pressed juices, I love the ginger-apple-beet, and the coffee is top notch. In fact the beverage menu is a strong point. As is the coffee.

http://ladymarmalade.ca

898 Queen Street East
Toronto, ON M4M 1J3
647-351-7645

Monday to Friday:
8am to 4pm

Saturday, Sunday & Holidays:
8am to 3pm

No Reservations but wait times at lunch are short if at all.

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Bacchanal

Bacchanal is one of those upscale dual purpose places equally suited to a special occasion as it is to a beer and steak frites after work. Chef-owner Luke Donato has gone out of his way to make this a barrier-free space and he should be commended for it. The door is at grade with a member of the service team holding it open as I approach. The large well- designed space has a modern bistro feel with cheeky custom wallpaper anchoring it firmly to the city. The menu is a well-crafted single page of bistro classics and the chef’s own creations. The food is excellent. A standout for me is the hors d’oeuvre Leeks Vinaigrette. It is one of those dishes that makes you feel palatably connected to Escoffier and the history of French Fine Dining. I like how the desserts section on the menu is given equal billing so I can plan my whole dinner in advance. Dessert is not an afterthought in a good restaurant. A lack of Decaf our only bump, oh the hardships of the gourmet!

The fully accessible washrooms are easily reached down a hallway giving you ample view into the open kitchen and a chance to chat with Luke if he’s not too busy.

Paid Parking underneath the building with elevators to the restaurant make this a 10 out of 10 access-wise. Friendly, approachable service and delicious food maintain the grade.

60 Sudbury Street,
Toronto, Ontario M6J 3S7

416.586.1188

Dinner Tuesday – Saturday

Lunch/Brunch Friday – Saturday

https://bacchanal.ca

 

Batifole

This is without a doubt one of my all time favourite spots in the city. Has been for years. So it is only fitting that I review it first. Though billing itself as the best French restaurant in Chinatown chef-owner Pascale Geffroy has recreated Batifole into one of the city’s best restaurants period.

There is a small step up into the place, maybe 6 inches. The room looks a little tight but I’ve managed to steer my chair from the entrance to the back when the place was full. With enough notice they go out of their way to accommodate. The washrooms are in the basement. Weather permitting there is a small patio out front. The air is casual and intimate. Equally suited for dinner with a friend or first date as it is a special occasion.

In Pascales’ words his cooking is “Provencal… more [olive] oil, more vegetables, more fish, less butter, less cream. It’s lighter”. Everything is made from scratch and prepares a la minute in the French tradition. That means the freshest seasonal ingredients prepared with care as you order. His passion and attention to detail are evident on each plate. From his aesthetic presentation of dishes to his interpretations of classics like Duck a l’Orange and Cassoulet. His fish and seafood dishes stand out. They are fresh, lively tasting and light. I’m always drawn to his ever changing list of specials. Vegetarians are pleased by delicious salads, beautiful vegetable and cheese tarts or ravioli. But leave room for dessert. Pascale makes them all himself. Few chefs are as masterful in this area of the menu. His fruit mousses and shortbread crusts, chocolate creations and homemade ice creams, the lacy tuile cookies, all of it just so good. This is French cooking of the highest order.

Toronto has many wonderful French chefs, come and meet Pascale one evening as he is always coming out into the dining room to ask how you are enjoying yourself in the best tradition of the chef-owner.

www,batifole.ca
744 Gerrard Street East Toronto, Ontario M4M 1Y3
Telephone: (416) 462-9965
Open Monday to Saturday 6:00pm-10:30pm
Closed on Sunday

Reservations Recommended.

 

 

 

The Longest Journey Begins With a Push

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Hello and thank-you for stopping by. My name is Derek. I am a T5/6 paraplegic. I have been for some time. I move around the city in my manual wheelchair trying to get into restaurants for a decent meal. I will post my experiences here. I may also post on other topics I hope you may find of interest.

There are a lot of restaurants in Toronto. A lot of good restaurants. I will go out of my way to eat at them. I was once carried by two bartenders up the ten or twelve steps to get into the Fifth so I could have J.P. Chalet’s cooking. I would go to the ends of the earth to eat good food. But the end of the earth is probably not all that accessible? So until they build a ramp there I’ll visit and report on restaurants in and around Toronto.