Food and Restaurants 1918 Views by ERIC VELLEND

Menumental: Torontonian has to dine-out for a whole month straight


When we first moved into our house three years ago, the kitchen was less than ideal. The oven, fridge and sink were crammed into a tiny mudroom at the back and the dishwasher, counters and pantry were in the next room.

But as a chef who has catered large functions out of way worse kitchens, I quickly got used to it. My wife, however, always hated the bifurcated room and the cheap countertops whose pattern could only be described as a kaleidoscope of ugly. I use the past tense on our kitchen as it's lying in a dump somewhere, and a full renovation is underway.

We've set up a makeshift kitchen in the basement with a toaster oven, microwave and kettle. But preparing anything beyond a cup of tea in that dark, subterranean lair turns me into Igor from Young Frankenstein. "Froedrick! Your toast is ready!"

And since our main floor is a construction zone and it's getting too cool to eat dinner outside, there is no civilized spot in our home to enjoy even a takeout pizza.

So over the next month, my wife and I are going to become well acquainted with the many restaurants within walking distance of our house. Tune into these pages for a weekly report.

Since it's hard to write with a plumber sawing away at an 84-year-old cast iron pipe, I've been shifting my office between various Toronto public libraries. When at the Palmerston branch, I've been popping in to Sky Blue Sky (605 Bloor St. W., 647-351-7945, for lunch.

A culinary anomaly in Koreatown, Sky Blue Sky is a casual sandwich shop with plenty of seating and more than 25 varieties to choose from, all under five bucks. Owner Chad Comfort is a friendly, laid-back guy, who named the restaurant after Chicago alt rocker Wilco's sixth album and all the sandwiches after their songs. As a both a fan of the band and anything between two slices of bread, I've become smitten with the place.

Comfort's menu lives up to his name: these are delicious homespun sandwiches made on house-baked bread, not over-the-top chef creations with truffle aioli and organic Brie de Meaux. While I'm still working my way through the menu, my current favourite is Black Bull Nova, a grill-pressed sammy of capicola ham, provolone, grilled onions, tapenade and sun-dried tomato spread on three cheese white bread.

There is also a daily soup, soft homemade chocolate chip cookies and the peerless root beer of Stewart's.

What I like most about Sky Blue Sky is that it is a rare purveyor of an affordable lunch that doesn't require a nap, Gaviscon or half a tin of Altoids after.

In your face, falafel!


There are 0 comments on this post

Leave A Comment