Culture & Entertainment

Great restaurant, no-so-great name: Eat Fresh, Be Healthy

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Great restaurant, no-so-great name: Eat Fresh, Be Healthy

slider3 Last week, I went with a friend to a restaurant I’d never heard of—it was his turn to pick—called Eat Fresh, Be Healthy. It’s located behind Toronto’s City Hall, on a strip of Dundas West populated mostly by undistinguished Chinese restaurants and all-you-can-eat sushi joints. The place has only been around for a few months, and a quick Google search reveals that it hasn’t gotten much coverage from the local media. The reason? Hard to say, but I’m guessing it’s the horrible name. “Eat Fresh, Be Healthy”—sounds like a food court pita joint. As it turns out, it’s fine dining in a laid-back atmosphere with no hipster décor (a true rarity in Toronto these days), served up at really reasonable prices. Actually, there’s only one price at dinner: $25, which gets you a generously portioned appetizer, an even more generously portioned main, and a dessert. The menu changes with the seasons, but the night I was there I got the spicy jumbo shrimp and spaghetti (which came spiraled in a large wine glass), the very handsomely plated “Surf and Turf” (a saucy stack of pan-seared veal, black tiger shrimp and sautéed mushrooms), and a cardamom-laced panna cotta that was actually quite lovely and not the usual prix-fixe dessert afterthought. The owner, Chef Dan, has worked in some of the city’s best kitchens, including Canoe and Jump Café Bar, and it certainly shows: the food (which is largely organic and locally sourced—thus the name) punches far above its weight. The chief difference between Eat Fresh, Be Healthy and much pricier joints isn’t the food, but the service and the surroundings. The kitchen is right in the dining room, behind a sneeze guard—as if the restaurant actually was a pita joint—which means Dan and his staff casually chat with diners and make eye contact and bon-appétit gestures as the plates are served. The tables have tablecloths and the flatware is classy, but otherwise the dining room is very utilitarian. Some might object to this, but I found it a hugely welcome change of pace. Just in the past couple of years, dining in Toronto has become almost unbearably precious: there’s a lot of good food to be had, but it always comes wrapped in what Tina Fey would call “hipster nonsense,” and I’ve had my fill of it. Bring on more restaurants like Eat Fresh, Be Healthy, I say! But, uh, maybe try a catchier name? ( Image courtesy of Eat Fresh, Be Healthy)
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Culture & Entertainment

Great restaurant, no-so-great name: Eat Fresh, Be Healthy

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