Location: 1900 The Queensway, Etobicoke
I’ve mentioned before that Scaddabush is a surprisingly good casual chain restaurant; well, I just tried the pizza, and yeah, I still like the place.
I got the Mario: “prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, baby arugula.”
It’s good — it’s not mind-blowing, but I certainly enjoyed eating it a heck of a lot more than the pizza at Pizzeria Libretto.
The crust is basically Roman-style — thin and a little bit bready, with a satisfying amount of crispiness on its exterior. It’s not bad at all. And the toppings are solid. The tomato sauce is slightly garlicky and not over-applied, and the salty prosciutto and peppery arugula work quite well together.
It’s nothing that anyone’s going to get too excited over — but like everything else at Scaddabush, it’s better than you’d think, given the quality of the competition.
Location: 197 North Queen Street, Etobicoke
I continue to be baffled by the success of Panera Bread. It’s really expensive, consistently mediocre, and always busy. I don’t get it.
The bread’s not bad, I’ll give it that. I’ve had a few sandwiches here, and the bread is always the highlight.
I got the “Pick 2,” which means you can pick two smaller things and pay a lot for it. I got a small sandwich and a little bowl of chili, and it came up to a bit over 14 bucks, and just get the hell out of here with that. This should cost about half of that for the quality of food they’re serving.
Specifically, I got the Fontiga Chicken Panini, and the Turkey Chili.
They were both fine. The sandwich had a mild smoky flavour — I guess either the cheese or the chicken was smoked — but was otherwise the sandwich equivalent of white noise. It’s neither good nor bad; it’s just kind of there.
The chili was fine, but it was about on the level as a can of soup from the supermarket. A nicer can — maybe one that costs a buck fifty instead of a buck — but a can nonetheless.
And of course, as usual, the place was packed. Why? I guess it’s better than the literal garbage that they call sandwiches at Tim Hortons, but still: why is this place so popular?