Friday, December 18, 2009

Rustic Cosmo Cafe: Cozy and Delightful

Rustic Cosmo Cafe is my current favourite restaurant in Parkdale. Located at 1278 Queen Street West, the cafe serves up good breakfasts and good coffees: a winning combination.

On weekends, the cafe serves the best eggs benedict, with a side salad, and spicy homefries. Add a fancy cafe latte, and a warm 'n cozy atmosphere, and you've got yourself a great Saturday morning. The trick is to arrive early, or wait your turn in a short line-up. Do not even consider going to the Cadillac Lounge for breakfast down the street instead -- the homefries just won't cut it. (The last time I went to the Cadillac Lounge for breakfast, my homefries were not even completely cooked.)

Wooden benches, an open kitchen/cash area, good food, good coffee, and the comfortable atmosphere make Rustic Cosmo a delightfully relaxed neighbourhood locale.

Le Tibet: Fine Tibetan Cuisine?

Keeping in line with the Tibetan theme, Tasty Tastebuds and I checked out Le Tibet, located at 1526 Queen Street West. Okay, our original intention was to visit Danijela's, but the latter had actually shut down, and lo and behold, Le Tibet was in its place. So we decided to check it out.

(It's so hard to keep track of restaurant closures on the most western stretch of Queen Street these days -- there seems to be a revolving restaurant door as the neighbourhood moves somewhere in between, back and forth, from gentrification to ghettoization).

Le Tibet had amazing mulligatawny (yellow lentil) soup. Definite highlight. Otherwise, the meat dish that Tasty Tastebuds ordered was very rice-heavy, and my vegetable noodles were equally so-so. One should probably expect more from a restaurant that bills itself as "fine Tibetan cuisine." Locals seemed more inclined to treat it as a family restaurant, as the other diners among us all shared giant pasta dishes and dumplings as small groups.

The view of a massive, brightly lit big box store across the street is also not so "fine." But I saw today that owner Tenzin T. Valunbisitsang has set up a beautiful quilted window hanging to cozy up the atmosphere a tad. So he's on it.

In the end, we were not overly impressed by Le Tibet, with its only "finesse" in the fine service and fine price tag. But if you're a die-hard Tibetan foodie, and must check this place out for yourself, do try the soup and dumplings, but steer clear of the mains. Oh, and the hot sauce on the side is kinda nice too.