Gilead's Cafe

Since we moved into the waterfront - I have been looking for a good lunch spot and I feel like I've hit the jackpot with Gilead's Cafe. It's one of Jamie Kennedy's creations and so I knew that all his ingredients were local or even grown in his own farm and he specializes in bringing the best out of seasonal produce.  This spot is in Corktown (the area borders the Distillery district and Leslieville) and if I didn't look it up, I really don't think I would've stumbled onto this casual mid-day spot. It's on a quiet street, surrounded by industrial vacant buildings. 

As  you walk in you see the variety of mason jars lined up on the wall showing off the colourful preserved items.  The menu is on a chalk board which is smart as it changes by season and the ordering is done before you sit down at the counter.
There are sandwiches, baked goods, salads and of course Jamie Kennedy's famous poutine which changes daily.  Today's poutine was a braised lamb poutine which of course we order.  Shaun, my dining companion ordered a peameal sandwich and I order a comforting grilled cheese with local grown tomatoes and their home made soup of the day - which is asparagus puree.
The poutine is a healthy portion and the lamb is sweetly braised and pairs well with the french fries, curds.  The gravy is very thin and seems almost like the lamb jus. I like it although my preference is always a traditional Montreal style poutine
My sandwich is luke warm upon arrival but it's still good.  The plate comes with a side of home cut lattice woven chips which are well seasoned and I suppose I didn't need to order the poutine nor the soup as starters.  The soup unfortunately lacked seasoning and I didn't really think anything of the soup.  Shaun says his peameal sandwich was different as the peameal was sweeter and he finished the sandwich nonetheless leaving only the pickle behind.  He just didn't feel like it!
The value for the menu is quite reasonable - it won't be a dirt cheap lunch but you're really getting quality and quantity for what you pay.
The highlight was having Chef Kennedy himself come out from behind the kitchen and say hi to a couple of locals.  He's quite a charming guy who's passionate about all things local which is a great philosophy.  I am happy to know that he's back there ensuring that all plates come out to his liking.  Next time, I will ask him for a photo :)

 *** 1/2 stars
Gilead Café, 4 Gilead Pl. (at Eastern Ave.),
647-288-0680 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              647-288-0680      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 647-288-0680 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.gileadcafe.ca.
Gilead Cafe on Urbanspoon

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