This End Up, at 1454 Dundas; call (647) 347-8700
On Steve’s second and final evening, we supped at This End Up, known for being my first date with Bryn. While I came down a bit hard on This End Up in that post, I still had several positive feelings associated with it. Foremost, I genuinely had a good time there and thought the food was good. The main drawback was the self-limiting concept. However, Steve and I like to drink when we hang out, and This End Up’s beverage program is first rate. It’s also just a block or two from my house, and is thus eminently convenient.
All of this rationalization probably obscures the fact that my first date with Bryn way back in May was the start of a new lease on life. It didn’t work out at all, but it was the happiest and most carefree I had been in a long time. Although Bryn and I have lost touch, I owe her a great deal. And for that reason, I will always think of This End Up fondly.
On this evening Steve and I had a grand adventure. Although This End Up’s notoriety stems from its cocktails, it also has a decent beer selection. In particular, it offers beers on draft from King Brewery. Steve and I chose these beers to go along with our sandwiches, mine being the chutney burger ($11) and Steve tackling the fish po’ boy ($15). Each sandwich offered the option of salad or fries, and we both chose fries. Skin-on, not overly-greasy, and on the skinny side, these are a perfectly acceptable accompaniment to a meal.
The chutney burger was good, if a bit small. The pork belly brought the smoke element you would normally get from bacon, but without the crunch. None of the other ingredients were much help in this matter – I might have even preferred iceberg over the arugula to provide some texture. Despite being one note texturally, the flavor was spot on, and the price reasonable.
Steve approved of his po’ boy with the caveat that the fish got lost in the bread a bit.
Thirsty for more action, we made our way over to The Common on College.
The Common, at 1071 College Street; call (416) 546-7789
The Common represents a new breed of coffee shop by day/bar by night enterprises, a natural extension of the coffee shop business and one I’ve been championing for years now.
The Common is a terrific place to hang out, with an accommodating staff that goes to lengths to establish a neighborhood atmosphere. I’ve spent many a day there writing and sipping cappuccinos.
As evening rolls around at the Common, the barista cum bartender drags out a box of various spirits and a few bottles of wine. The prices for wine and beer are affordable at $5 for a generous pour of red or white, and the same for a bottle of Mill Street Organic.
On this night, Steve and I both opted for red, sat by the window and opined lost love.
Midfield Wine Bar and Tavern, at 1434 Dundas Street West; call (647) 345-7005
Not fully satisfied, Steve and I opted for a final drink at the Midfield, an inviting Wine Bar a few doors down from This End Up. It was a stage of the night where there was quite little damage left we could do. At this point, I think we just shared an order of frites ($6), and each had a light beer.
Still, the staff was very friendly and this is certainly a place I wouldn’t mind exploring more. They have a thoughtful wine list and several small plates that would seem to match well with an evening of drinking. I am particularly curious about the quail escabeche with asparagus and potato ($8).
One warning sign, however, is that the fries weren’t particularly well done, some cut very small and the oil tasting a bit dirty.