Eat, Drink and be Merry!

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KevinBacon

Happy New Year!

2014 was a great year for the Starving Student and we hope that 2015 will be even bigger and better! Stay tuned for new recipes, reviews and budgeting tips.

We also want to hear from you! Let us know what kind of content you want to see using #starvingstudent on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Munch.

The Senator, 1950s Realness

KevinBaconIf you are from a small town you know there is something oddly soothing about a local, down to earth diner. Sometimes it is nice to just sit and decompress from a stressful day somewhere the food is suspiciously cheap and every menu option can come with fries, even the salad. If you are a busy Ryerson student looking for that little slice of fifties America then look no further than The Senator.

Located Just down the street from the over priced Johnny Rockets, the Senator is everything you want in a diner; namely cheap eats, friendly staff and all day pancakes. Seriously, I can’t think of any stressful school situations, which cannot be improved by eating your body weight in pancakes smothered in maple syrup.

The price point of the Senator, while not the cheapest place around, is still low enough to keep it accessible to the average student. But lets face it folks, you are not going to the Senator because it is cheap, or because you are expecting great food. You are going because you want to feel like you have stepped out of the sad spiral of pain and frustration that is mid-term season and walked into the 1950’s, a simpler time when everything moved slower and people were not quite as big jerks. The Senator fits the bill perfectly, its décor, its choice of music, it’s weird breakfast bar, everything in this place feels like it was ripped straight out of the past.

And while all of that is great It is from the staff that you really get your monies worth at the Senator. All of the staff is super personable and genuinely want you to have a nice day. On more than one occasion I had them bring me a complementary piece of cake because I looked like I was having a bad day. (Little known fact: the fastest way to turn around a bad day is getting free carrot cake.) All in all a sweet and comforting slice of the past for when the world feels like it is getting to be too much.

Check them out!!

http://thesenator.com/

El Trompo

KevinBacon

Stepping into El Trompo, I was instantly transported from the cold Toronto evening, to the tropics of Mexico. The restaurant was small but was definitely not lacking in spirit. I was surrounded by Mexican culture. From my seat, I could appreciate the top to bottom decorations including vibrant table clothes, a hat rack of sombreros in the corner and Mexican antiques lining the walls. To drink, I ordered a traditional sweet rice milk beverage called harachata. It’s smooth texture reminded me of melted ice cream.

To eat, the options were endless. You could have tacos, fajitas, chorizo, or even molten cheese dip with flour tortillas. My friend ordered the restaurant specialty, the Al Pastor, a Mexican style taco filled with pork, pineapple and coriander. I got the veggie Quesongo, filled with mushrooms, sautéed onions and melted cheese. When it arrived, the presentation was adorable. Four little corn tortillas still hot from the oven, lined up one after another on the plate. We added some of the housemade spice sauce and tucked in.

Overall, the food was delicious. The flavours in both tortillas matched the vibrancy of the décor, and there was enough food to fill you up, but not so much you felt overwhelmed. Each entrée’s average price was approximately ten dollars a person, definitely affordable for a student budget. !!!!!!However, a caution, if your meal is any less than ten dollars they will only accept cash!!!!. Just a little heads up for all you debit reliant students.

If you are ever in Kensington Market and in the mood for a little taste of Mexico, then I suggest going to El Trompo for some good affordable eats.

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Lucullus, Elm street’s Best Kept Secret

KevinBacon

Looking for a better way to spend you lunch break?

Just a 5-minute walk from the heart of Ryerson Campus, is one of the quietest, loveliest, and most affordable bakeries in down town Toronto. The food at Lucullus is presented beautifully, made with real ingredients, and most importantly astoundingly delicious.

Their lunch menu, which is really what you should be going there for, is absolutely fantastic, for a mere 8$ you can get a hearty, fresh made soup of your choice and a delectable sandwich on fresh made bread. There are enough different soup and sandwich options to keep even your most gluten-free-organic-vegan-hippie friends happy.

From the moment you step in the massive oak-and-glass door you smell the of fresh baked bread makes you feel like that midterm you just bombed never even happened. As you walk down body of the restaurant, the baked goods and the pleasant golden lights that line the walls make you feel like you have stepped into some weird hipster nirvana.

All in all; the wonderful eclectic aesthetics, the friendly staff, the fantastic food, and the frankly astonishingly low prices make Lucullus one of my favorite lunch spots in the city.

Oh and did I mention that there is a 15% student discount on your 8$ lunch,

Now I am not much for fancy mathematics but if I punch those numbers into my calculator it gives me a happy face.

It’s Lunch Time! Liberty Noodles

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KevinBacon

Chaos. This is the best way to describe lunchtime in downtown Toronto. Waves of pedestrians as far as the eye can see. But, amidst all this disorder, there is a ray of shining light: Liberty Noodles.

Located in the Urban Eatery, Liberty Noodles is modern, Japanese cuisine that boasts a slogan of “no msg, no trans fats and no peanuts”. They offer a variety of items on their menu ranging from sushi to rice stir-fry to soup.

All are delicious.

My favourite by far is the Chili Chicken Udon, one of the items marked as “most liked” on the menu. After one bite, it is obvious why. The dish is the perfect marriage of chicken, udon noodles and fresh vegetables. The semi-sweet, semi spicy chili sauce adds just enough kick to keep it interesting. The generous portion size is also well worth the $7.95.

The lengthy line passes by quickly as you watch expertly trained kitchen staff prepare your meal. Each dish is executed meticulously with extreme care and a smile. This makes Liberty Noodle stand out among a multitude of Asian style fast food restaurants in the downtown core.

When hunger strikes, The Starving Student heads to Liberty Noodle.

Check out http://www.libertynoodle.ca/menu2.php for the full menu (how about bacon kimchi fried rice?)

 Munch.

Review: It’s All Grk

KevinBacon

The wrap. shawarma. GYRO. We all know the delectable, mouth watering guilty pleasure food is a staple of the (potentially intoxicated) student. The only problem is choosing which place to go to. If you’re in the mood during the day to get your mouth on something of that genre we have two things to say:

1. Skip the Shawarma

2. Go Greek

Really though, if you are going to the Ali Baba’s on Dundas and Church look right next door and discover It’s All Grk (Greek). The little hole-in-the-wall location offers pork, chicken, beef, and veggie pita wraps, there is something for everyone. All pitas are under $8 and so mouth watering and juicy, you’ll forget about the price right when they hand it to you.

I am a sucker for the classic chicken pita. Its got that perfect roasted chicken taste dripping with tzatziki veggies and, wait for it, french fries. I was confused too at first. But the lightly paprika’d frites add the perfect, magical texture and apparently very authentic!

If you’re a little more hungry they offer plates with rice and even full dinners (What’s up YaYa?)  Check out their website for a full menu.

http://itsallgrk.com/

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Munch.