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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cafe La Gaffe :: Baldwin Village

So you may have noticed that I've hit almost all of the spots on Baldwin. There are some that I will not return to, so they'll never be reviewed or recommended (Bocca, Margarita [never again...worst on Baldwin], Kuni Sushi Ya, just to name a few)
Wanting a last minute venue for a friend's birthday lunch, we hopped down to Baldwin. Perhaps the fact that they were able to accommodate a group of 13 on last minute's notice should've been a sign that this wasn't' a hot spot but hey, sometimes it's about the company and laughter...not the food. Right?

Cafe La Gaffe 
Verdict:  Massive portions, but massively boring
Meal: Lunch...and leftovers for dinner
Price: ~$15 + tax & tip

Location: 24 Baldwin St., Toronto

Prosciutto & Brie Sandwich ($12.95)
Served open faced on a crusty roll with basil and pine nut olive oil pesto, caramelized onion, and red sweet peppers. Served with a market salad.
This was a pretty big sandwich with piles of prosciutto on top of piles of pesto and peppers on one side and rather large slabs of melted brie on the other. The bread was toasted, hooray, and overall this was a decent sandwich. Not exciting or especially tasty but certainly big and filling. 



Pasta ($12.50)
Capellini with Atlantic salmon, portobello mushroom, mixed peppers, scallion and spinach in a Parmasean rose sauce. Served with a market salad
I was really surprised when this arrived. Plopped down was a giant bowl of pasta. It was cooked well, and filled with a decent amount of veggies and salmon. My goodness, the portion was huge.

Risotto ($14.95)
Arborio rice with marinated chicken breast, Black Tiger shrimp, leek, mixed peppers, and spinach in a tomato pesto broth. Served with a market salad.

Again, huge portion. Quite cheesy but it worked well with the texture of the rice and this wasn't a bad dish. At this point, a fellow luncher told me that Cafe La Gaffe used to be a wonderful spot on Baldwin for French food many years ago, but it has changed drastically over the years. Again, nothing was bad, but aside from huge portions we didn't find anything note-worthy.
Chicken ($12.95)
Grilled marinated chicken breast with an orange, dijon, and honey glaze served with a market salad and pesto pasta

I couldn't believe it. My friend is a big eater and he actually said "there's too much chicken for this sandwich". I agree - it was a huge chicken breast. He didn't seem too impressed with the flavours - I didn't taste it, but given the rest of the dishes I'll take his word for it.

My other friend got the Salad Nicoise, which certainly looked pretty but she was also underwhelmed. Filling, yes. Wow-factor, no.

The food was not bad but just boring - the focus is on huge portions rather than excellent food. There was just too much of everything, really. Too much food, sauce, spices, etc. I would go here if I knew it would be a particularly long and busy day at work because 1 lunch order would probably feed me for both lunch and linner (not a full dinner). In that sense, it's not a bad deal for around $14, and you can take it to go.

If you're looking for tasty over quantity in Baldwin Village I'd visit Etsu for Japanese.Sage Cafe for wraps, or Hana Korea for bibimbap before considering Cafe La Gaffe. Steer clear of Margarita, and Kuni Sushi Ya. Please.

Cafe La Gaffe
Verdict:  Massive portions, massively boring
Meal: Lunch...and leftovers for dinner
Price: ~$15 + tax & tip
Location: 24 Baldwin St., Toronto
Cafe la Gaffe on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

Chris (tinytines.com) said...

Cafe La Gaffe used to be one of my fav restaurants! Well, I admit, the portions have a lot to do with it. The flavours are nice (albeit predictable). Unfortunately, their breads and salads were a real flop last time I went (which was almost a year ago.. actually)

You're absolutely right though. There's nothing absolutely outstanding there. It's a good place if you're massively hungry and need decent food.

Chris (tinytines.com) said...

Cafe La Gaffe used to be one of my fav restaurants! Well, I admit, the portions have a lot to do with it. The flavours are nice (albeit predictable). Unfortunately, their breads and salads were a real flop last time I went (which was almost a year ago.. actually)

You're absolutely right though. There's nothing absolutely outstanding there. It's a good place if you're massively hungry and need decent food.

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