- Meghan Tansey Whitton
- Pho Hoang Minh offers “ridiculously plentiful” fare.
Mondays are days of doldrums and post-weekend delirium. The wind is blowing down Barrington Street, and you forgot your gloves at home. But there is sanctuary just on the next block. It's inside Star Anise (1571 Barrington Street), nestled inside one of the booths, in the form of a bowl of soup and noodles, laden with pork belly, chilli pepper and bean curd. The broth is beautiful and clear. The pork belly is a little bit of soy-braised indulgence. For $10.99 plus tax, it may go over your regular lunch price, but it's worth it.
If Tuesday's child is full of woe, it's because he doesn't know where to eat. The answer is Suzuki Sushi (1579 Dresden Row), in a bowl of steamed rice, topped with chicken teriyaki and drizzled with spicy mayonnaise and topped with bits of tempura. The Spicy Chicken Bowl started out as a staff meal, but a few loyal customers asked to be served the dish. It's kind of hard not to stuff your face really fast with this one. For $9, it's a sweet and quick lunch.
It's Wednesday and you're in Dartmouth, doing deliveries, running errands. There's a Wendy's and a McD's by the bridge, but that just seems wrong. Why? Because that little strip mall across from the Macdonald Bridge is home to a big bowl of pho. Pho Hoang Minh (172 Wyse Road) serves a ridiculously plentiful bowl of the classic Vietnamese beef noodle soup. The one you want is served with plump rice noodles, a flavourful broth that tastes faintly of cloves and onions and has meatballs, shaved beef and flank steak served on the top of the broth. Forget the hoisin sauce on the side, fill the bowl with bean sprouts and have at 'er for only nine bucks.
This is too good to be true. Run, don't walk, down to The Fish Shop at The Seaport Market. Why? All you can eat mussels, only on Thursdays. All you have to do is stroll in, grab a soft drink (a beverage purchase is required) and plunk yourself down to eat mussels until you have to stop. All of that, for only $6.50. It's a bivalve bonanza.
Your boss wants you to finish that presentation before you leave. Your needs lean towards something you can hold in your hand while you work. Spongy subs filled with processed meats won't cut it. But fear not, oh gracious diner, Ciboulette (1541 Barrington Street) is there, to rescue you from lunchtime lunacy! The paninis are $9 and are pre-made. Grab your ham, brie, spinach and rosemary aioli on apricot-hazelnut bread and go back to your cubicle, knowing that you will satisfy both your hunger and your boss.
Saturday is for errands. It's for farmers' markets and lazy drives. It's also for eating at home. Not a problem. Drop in to Tian Phat (209 Bedford Highway) and head to the back of the store. There you will find a freezer stocked to the gills with frozen dim sum. BBQ pork buns galore. Shrimp dumplings until you pop. You can spend a few bucks on a small package or go big before you go home and stock up for late-night snacks.
Today is the day after the night before. And the night before was rough. Coffee is a necessity. Somehow, your better half is as spry as a whippet and you end up in Dartmouth. Groggy, you walk in to Two If By Sea (66 Ochterloney Street). Yes, you will have a large coffee. But your gut is telling you it desires a proscuitto and provolone croissant. Salty, fatty and doughy, the croissant is a salve for your alcohol-laden insides, the coffee whisking away that nasty hangover. Forget steak and eggs. This is a refined hangover cure. All for less than eight bucks with tip.