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Restaurants

7 West

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on March 21, 2007 / review policy

Penne ArrabiataClient meeting or romantic evening, 4pm or 4am, I find myself returning time and again to a little Toronto hideaway known as 7 West.

Located at (you might have guesed) 7 Charles Street West (just south of Bloor), the cafe takes over all three floors of a lovely old Victorian townhome and is ever-so-conveniently open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In mid-afternoon, you can sit by a window on quiet Charles St and take in the exposed brick, laid back grooves, and fantastic selection of coffee and teas. In the middle of the night it's an even sweeter destination as the lights are turned low while the music is turned up and you can order up the kind of dish just not available at the usual 24-hour diners in town.

7 WestStopping in yesterday, a few friends and I settle in on the 2nd floor and order up two domestic beers ($5), a regular coffee ($2), cappuccino ($3) and some water for those parched from the post-work bike ride up Bay.

"I'll bring some for everyone," the waitress smiles back and returns quickly with glasses and a couple mini carafes of water. Nice.

After a brief stint with the diverse menu, we settle on our orders:

Penne 'Aribiata' ($13) - Pictured at the top, these penne were just as fiesty as their angry (albeit misspelled) name suggests. A generous portion of penne, they were accompanied by red peppers, onions, sausage and spicy tomato sauce. They were as tasty as they were photogenic. (For the record, it's Arrabbiata!)


Rosie RavioliRosie Ravioli ($12) - Stuffed with ricotta and asparagus, these fresh ravioli are smothered with rose sauce and served with a couple slices of Italian bread. At the first sight of all those seemingly heavy ravioli, we can't help but wonder why they would bother with the bread, but after tasting the sauce, the owner of this dish made fine use of those slices and saved the dishwasher any scrubbing.


7 West BLTBLT Sandwich($9) - A hearty sandwich, the BLT got along quite nicely with it's side of house salad -- though the salad nearly stole the show. Unlike your usual mixed green salad side, 7 West's colourful side comes topped with red pepper, cabbage, and fresh chick peas! Delicious.


Grilled Vegetable SandwichGrilled Vegetarian Sandwich ($9) - This was my choice and probably the least welcome of the lot. While it was described as "honey glazed vegetables with bocconcini," there were no bocconcini to be found and the veggies seemed more like stir-fried freezer vegetables in a bun. Trust me, I've cooked them like this, myself, at home. The salad also saw no chickpeas. Ah well, they can't all be winners.


The dessert counterOf course, a disappointed diner can easily be cheered up with a dish from the stocked up dessert counter.

In this case, the answer was a monster slice of Chocolate Banana Cake ($6).

Chocolate Banana cakeMoist and positively delicious. BLOGTO bonus points to whoever decided to lace the icing on the side with decadent dark chocolate chips.

Mmmm.

7 West Cafe, 7 Charles Street West, 416-928-9041

Discussion

22 Comments

andrew / March 21, 2007 at 10:02 am
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27 hours a day? Now that's what I like to hear...this is definitely a great spot for a drink or a meal any time of day...
Dan / March 21, 2007 at 10:58 am
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A great restaurant... Personally I like the breakfast menu better than the dinner menu though.
Steve M / March 21, 2007 at 11:11 am
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I used to go to 7 West all the time, though most of my visits were at 2am or so. I think it has been about 10 years since I was last there (cripes, I'm getting old).

If I remember correctly they used to have a really good veggie chili.

Sameer Vasta / March 21, 2007 at 11:25 am
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7West has been a weekly stop for me since 9th grade. Each floor has its own quirks and sensibilities, so it's a great place no matter what mood I'm in: I just go up or down a floor!

Their Moroccan Chili is divine (white kidney beans!) and of course, you can't ignore the amazingness of their Chocolate Banana Cake, as you mentioned. I'm a fan of their Apple Crumble as well, and I'm not afraid to say that they make the best moccachino in the city. And I usually take my coffee black.

Okay, I'll stop here before I start sounding like an ad for the place.
Tanja / March 21, 2007 at 01:46 pm
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Vasta - I'll definitely have to try, the only other main dish I've had that i would *not* recommend is the veggie pizza... "it's not delivery.. it's...";
Alberto Arias / March 24, 2007 at 10:29 am
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7 West
I agree, the Banana Chocolate Chip cake is amazing. I found out it comes from Carole's Cheesecake Company. Now I can get a whole one!
Alisa / January 3, 2008 at 05:24 pm
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Very pedestrian food at boardwalk prices. Iceberg lettuce is a definate no-no when mesclu mix is affordable and easily obtained. Potato chips with sandwhiches do not justify the prices. Can the not serve homefries or at least home made chips?? Are you kidding me. Overly decadent cheescakes seem like they are trying to compensate for something they are lacking. If you are hungry in the middle of the night, I'd suggest doing a shot and hitting the sack instead, keeping the hunger for breakfast at a better restaurant.
Kristen / August 20, 2008 at 09:26 am
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If anything, pay for the ambience. I find it kind of overpriced and the service is quite poor, especially in very busy times. It seems less busy during the day. The dessert menu is really good though, and it's so cozy that I put up with it anyway.
cynthia / March 29, 2009 at 11:52 am
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Their 20 years of service speaks for itself. Prices are reasonable considering you can go to any other restaurant and pay more for take out....or fast food. Comfort food in a clean and cozy enivronment is not easily found. If I'm not mistaken their salad is both romaine and ice burg mixed loaded with ingredients that compliment every bite. I love their chips and good to know that in this day and age of transfats, we dont have to eat french fries that soak in 2 day old oil. And after asking the server what my options were, I was told I may choose from the salad, Miss Vickys crisps(not cheap) or home fries. And sometimes after a late night of partying I go to 7 West just for their cheesecake which compensates just fine. Alisa, were you fired from 7 West for giving such bad service????You sound so bitter, and I would personally like to know where the better breakfast is in this city because I have been searching for some decent eggs, and I still cant seem to find a comparisan to 7 west. Sad that you could substitute a shot for food, hate to look in your fridge.
foodieprincess / May 4, 2009 at 09:22 pm
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The tuna melt is yummy!! And if you're lucky enough to be there on a night when they're serving the coconut beef soup, order it. You won't be disappointed!!
jibbly / January 5, 2010 at 08:46 pm
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The pesto is just okay at this place, nothing special. It's actually kind of flavourless. But I'll stop by this place when I'm in the area because it's reasonably priced and the portions are just right.
Stacey / August 10, 2010 at 10:28 pm
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I got the chocolate banana cake twice. I find their slice sizes are inconsistent. For 7 dollars a slice they should really be larger. I got a slice to go and it was decent on the top.. but then the bottom of the slice was paper thin.. The guy doesn't know how to slice a cake??? Disappointed for 7$ a slice.
brixton / September 1, 2010 at 08:32 am
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This is my new fav after club eatery. Bruschetta at 4am never tasted soo good!!
jamesmallon replying to a comment from Steve M / September 10, 2010 at 08:42 am
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Vegetarians have no business having an opinion on taste.
dasistwunderbar / January 15, 2012 at 04:04 am
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if you're going to call 7 west out on spelling mistakes you'd want to make sure you're at least as perfect as you're suggesting they be. I can't believe this review slipped past your editor.
geogeorge replying to a comment from dasistwunderbar / January 31, 2012 at 10:53 am
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BlogTo doesn't have an editor.
Anaa / April 29, 2012 at 04:00 am
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Nothing special..i found the cocktail too sweet. Other than that, $7 for a terribly thin slice of cake makes me dont wanna come back again...
a-girl / February 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm
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I used to work here. The food is so boringly basic, with many of the ingredients being storebought, jarred, canned, etc. The manager was incredibly rude and would regulary make employees cry. We were treated like cattle. When i finally quit, they took (almost 4) months to send me my last paycheque (I had to threaten legal recourse before they decided to pay me). Hate this place so much.
Jazz19 / February 21, 2013 at 09:37 am
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penne arabiatta is not an English word...you can spell it any way you wish, spell it the way it's pronounced ...thats your choice, please stop correcting foreign words,
Unhappy / December 14, 2013 at 08:23 am
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I was at 7 west with a date and was having a wonderful time till we were approached by the owner named Wolf informing that our public display of affectionate was imappropriate since when was kissing wrong???
Frank / January 27, 2014 at 11:05 pm
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Unhappy: Wolf, or Wolfgang as he is also known (aka not his real name at all) is a pretentious prick. He would say that as he is a sad lonely man who likes to come across as an uber smart hipster. Him and "jack" (also not his real name) as well as Kyle (actually the only one using his real name) feel as though they are better and more intelligent than the majority of people they serve.
P Kessler / April 18, 2014 at 06:52 am
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Please update this review, I used to go here a lot as I work in the service industry and worked around the corner for many years, but I can honestly say food quality is not the same, and service has really really gone to shit, I was there twice this week after being out of town for a few years thinking that the first time this week was just an off night, tonight service proved to me the owners just don't care anymore (which is shocking because if it is the same woman I've met her and she used to really care)

Sadly to say, Place haste gone down hill, It used to be hard to get a table on any floor, now it's quiet when there is only 1 floor open, obviously I'm not the only one to feel like this or else they would still have all the floors packed

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