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Green Eggplant

Posted by Tania Grafstein-Ho / Reviewed on November 24, 2011 / review policy

Green Eggplant TorontoGreen Eggplant just might be the most popular restaurant in the Beaches. But what's up with the name? One might assume the restaurant either serves Thai or vegetarian food but the menu is more broad than that and perhaps best described as Mediterranean.

Inside, the walls are lined with brick and accented by colourful paintings of various flowers. With the dim lighting at dinner, the environment is chiq enough to bring a date and yet cozy and energetic enough to bring a family with kids (which many do). This is the Beaches after all.

Green Eggplant TorontoPrior to ordering, we're served 3 complementary homemade dips with our basket of French loaf. The dips are absolutely divine. The first one (my favourite) is baba ghanoush which is creamy and chock full of fresh garlic which literally kicks you in the face. But that's the way I like my baba ghanoush - with the garlic literally seeping through my pores (okay maybe not the best dip to start eating while on a date).

Our server explains that the second dip is made from grilled eggplant which is then fried and mixed in with a sweet tomato base. And the last dip is a homemade hummus. Better than any form of grocery store bought hummus but I prefer the two other dips which we wipe clean.

The menu has a massive array of options including fresh fish, aged steaks, big salads, grilled sandwiches and plenty of home style cooking from scratch. Generous portions are the norm and most meals are are served with a house or caesar salad and a choice of basmati rice, fries or red skin mashed potatoes.

Green Eggplant TorontoI try my friend's Rainbow Trout Fillet, broiled over lemon garlic sauce and served on a sizzling plate with a side of mashed potatoes and Caesar salad ($17.99). The fish is fresh and soft with just a hint of lemon & garlic that doesn't overpower the natural fresh taste from the fish.

Green Eggplant TorontoThe mashed potatoes have such a flavourful and velvety soft texture that it's almost unreal.

Green Eggplant TorontoOn the flip side, I'm underwhelmed by the salad which tastes quite bland and is lacking dressing.

Green Eggplant TorontoMy other friend orders the Mediterranean Filet Minion Salad ($17.99). Crisp lettuce, radicchio, tomatoes, cucumbers, warm grilled peppers, zucchini, asparagus and avocado topped with filet mignon and crispy fried onions, and tossed in their home made house vinaigrette. This salad is massive and can be shared by two people.

The salad is crispy and the steak is hot, juicy and tender, marinated with Mediterranean spices and made exactly the way she requests (medium rare). The dressing is a sweet, light olive oil and vinaigrette with a tangy citrus flair. It's so delicious and different from anything I've ever tried before that I actually ask my server how it's made. She tells me that people along with various newspapers including the Toronto Star have been trying to get the recipe for years. But they're not giving it up. A Green Eggplant secret just like the Colonel's blend of spices.

Green Eggplant TorontoIn front of me is the Grilled Double Chicken Breast with basmati rice and house salad ($15.99) with the same secret dressing. Also on the plate is the aforementioned homemade baba ghanoush. I officially smell like a walking, talking onion by the end of my meal. The chicken breast is juicy and flavourful and the basmati rice, well, properly cooked basmati rice. It's not like Susur Lee is in the kitchen but this is comfort food done well.

Green Eggplant Toronto



Pretty Good Review / November 24, 2011 at 10:10 am
Pretty good review of a great restaurant, but I have one correction the editor should have caught: "The first one (my favourite) is baba ghanoush which is creamy and chalk full..." It is "chock," not "chalk." Other than that, good review!
Mike / November 24, 2011 at 10:47 am
I do like the Eggplant. Their BBQ Chicken sandwich is great. And all of their burgers come with salad & fries! But, one time I was there when I paid with debit I didn't include a tip b/c I left it in cash on the table and he thought I wasn't tipping and asked me, "What, no tip!". Should have seen the look on his face when I pointed to the table, ya that's right!
Sean / November 24, 2011 at 10:51 am
Love this restaurant except for one serious problem it has...
During the winter months it is absolutely awful to eat at the restaurant if you're seated within about 30ft of the front door. You are blasted with an arctic rush of air every time someone enters or someone leaves the restaurant. A simple heavy curtain or other blocking device would solve the problem, or a proper heating system that fills the chamber between the outer and inner doors with hot air. As it is now, you’re keenly aware of your proximity to the entrance and the fact that people enter and leave with unwavering frequency.
Still, it's not horrible enough to stop me from going, but I am nearly always in a state of regret upon sitting down - eating my dinner with my winter coat on reduces the shine a little bit.
Like Literally, Totes / November 24, 2011 at 11:15 am
I'm not sure that the fresh garlic "literally kicked you in the face," but if you keep up confusing "figuratively" for "literally," someone else might.

Mike / November 24, 2011 at 11:43 am
I'd love to see a garlic clove kick someone in the face, literally!
bob loblaw / November 24, 2011 at 11:47 am
Long time beacher. Have been to this place a few times. Don't understand why it is soooo full all the time. Extremely, extremely average.

Just illustrates the dearth of places in the Beach.

Seriously, you'd do better at the Goof.
Spellchecker / November 24, 2011 at 11:58 am
chic = stylish, fashionable
chique = not a word
ROB BLAHBLAH / November 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm
really Bob?you need to go right home after the Goof,so you can be near the bathroom!
(if you know what I mean). not even close to the quality at the G-Plant.
Mike / November 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm
The Egglant is good, but agree with Bob in a sense that I don't really understand WHY beachers fill the place up every night. There are a lot of great other places nearby like Bow Thai (best calamari I've ever had!) that I like to throw into the mix.

Rob - I don't really understand the attraction of the Goof too. They're are fast and efficient, but the food is like any other Canadian Chinese restaurant I've ever been too, but they're always busy...
DESToronto / November 24, 2011 at 12:50 pm
My wife got very sick after eating there one time, so we don't go near it.
CP / November 24, 2011 at 01:14 pm
I haven't been to this location but the Eglinton one is just awful. Don't trust any restaurant named after a fictitious vegetable.
bob loblaw replying to a comment from ROB BLAHBLAH / November 24, 2011 at 01:31 pm
Say what you want about the Goof, but the pics from the G-Plant (sic)above illustrate what I mean. The one for the Mediterranean Filet Minion Salad is sloppy and un-appetizing, not to mention that it looks like someone did a #2 on the plate. And are those out-of-the-box croutons on the salad? Amateur, and as I said extremely average.
DiscoDon / November 24, 2011 at 01:46 pm
Decent resto, yes. Best in Beaches? No. ViVetha tops Green Eggplant any day, any meal. Great brunches, great lunches and great dinners at ViVetha. Very far end of Queen, last strip of stores on the south side by the Neville Streetcar loop. And very reasonable. Would love to see a ViVetha review on here (I will look now in case there is one!)
darasta / November 24, 2011 at 02:23 pm
Im with bob.. This restaurant is hit or miss. Sometimes its great other times it is way off. I wont go back after my last visit. dirty wine glasses and a sub-par meal.
Kristian / November 24, 2011 at 02:59 pm
Your salad problem only occurs when you order the Caesar Salad, as you seem to have done. The House Salad is a complete reversal on that - it is delicious.
David H / November 24, 2011 at 03:10 pm
Most places in The Beach top the Green Eggplant. Near there you've got Whitlocks, Bow Thai and the new Indian place, Cinnamon - all of which serve great, home cooked food. Heck, I'd rather go to The Firkin or The Salty Dog! The few times we've been to GE it's been slow service, cold food and for brunch pre-frozed, reheated home fries. Avoid like the plague and go elsewhere. We'll not go back and are always astonished that it has so many customers when other, better restaurants fold. Sad.
Mike replying to a comment from Kristian / November 24, 2011 at 03:35 pm
There house salad is pretty fantastic!
JEB replying to a comment from Like Literally, Totes / November 24, 2011 at 07:42 pm
Couldn't agree more with the "literally" comment, not only because of the face-kicking baba ghanoush issue but also because bad breath would be the least of the author's worries if garlic was literally seeping through her pores.

Greg_M / November 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm
Bro, me and my buds were all playing some sick volley ball last summer and like totally crackin' open the Powerades all day / all night and were all like "Yo, bros, where's a dude-bud supposed to get some mint good eats around this quaint little bedroom community, right?" And then bro, I ain't gonna lie to you, we totally ran up on this pad like all serendipitously, bro. The mint service and sick wait staff are what totally like pure makes this place pure crack-a-lackin' all day /all night, bud. The waiter even said that he couldn't push tables together and then asked someone in the back and then totally pushed the tables together for my cousin's friends and me and Stacy and Tina and Krystal, nuff respect bro. The parking situation was a bit rough (not gonna lie to you, I almost wore out my flip-flops, there's a lot of walking involved) and the dance floor is a little small. That's the only drawback, but I would totally go back for those delectable culinary delights, bro.
MissyV110 / November 24, 2011 at 10:41 pm
happy to see a review of tgis wonderful local restaurant, kind of taken aback by the typos ........someone needs spellcheck.

"chalk"........already covered.

What is "chique"?.....does the writer mean "chic"?

C'mon, anyone should be able to spell "complimentary"

If garlic "literally" kicked you in the face, no one would fo to the restaurant. Look up "literally"" please.

I cannot, unfortunately, say my "bro's" were ever there, nor whether they received, um, "nuff" of anything.

I am also guessing that this might be a mis-posted Grade nine english assignment. In which case, the grade of 65 seems u usually generous.

ViVetha is so worth a review; fresh, delicious, thoughtful menu.

Rant over.
Missyv110 / November 24, 2011 at 10:48 pm
How embarassing that my critical comment is itself filled with typos. Freakin iPads. "the grade of 65 seems UNUSUALLY generous"

Of course, no one's proofing my stuff. Hey! No one's proofing blogTO's either. Whew.
Long time Beacher / November 25, 2011 at 02:39 pm
I live in the beaches (sorry the beach) and love it but the restaurant scene is pretty terrible. Only exception is the new Indian Cinamon restaurant. Very good
DiscoDon / November 25, 2011 at 03:45 pm
Cinamon is indeed a good spot, and very welcome! Yes, ViVetha review, please!!!
piccola / November 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm
On top of the "literally" and "chiq" nonsense, let's not forget the "filet minion"...
Kevin / November 28, 2011 at 12:49 am
You're right. Good review.
RestoKINGPUBcrawler / December 21, 2011 at 04:08 pm
I LOVE this restaurant. It makes my life so much better with every bite I take. The breakfast is great, arguably better than the dinner which is hard to top!
Nancy / April 6, 2012 at 07:50 pm
I live in the Beach and mourn the fact there are few interesting restaurants. As for the Green Eggplant, the food is okay, nothing outstanding, the service quite good. However, I am actually offended at the size of the portions. Almost every person walks out of there with half his dinner in a take-out container. There's just something obscene about this kind of waste.
Does the chef not understand he is halving the owner's profits? And surely by now the owner(s) must be aware of this?
Pokes replying to a comment from Missyv110 / April 2, 2013 at 05:17 pm
@Missyv110 I bet the others whose typos you were so quick to point out are having a good laugh. If you'd like to pick on someone for making mistakes perhaps you could review your own catalog of posts seeing as how it is so vitally important to ya :)
Purple Eggplant / May 5, 2013 at 03:39 pm
Went there yesterday. Even though the photos in the article above are from two years ago, they are accurate, right down to the complimentary dips and bread that they give you after you are seated. The bread and three dips (the middle dip is a sweet house-made eggplant chutney) is possibly the best aspect of the experience. We also had a French onion soup to start, which was actually excellent. The main dishes (sandwiches with salad and fries) were severely lacking in flavour. The fries seemed to be deep-fried from frozen. As some have pointed out above, the main dish portions are also unreasonably HUGE. I like getting more for my money, but the amount of food was insane. We like to walk from Bellwoods all the way to the Beaches and back, so we were left carrying our food home for more than 10 km. The service was also terribly slow, but in fairness the restaurant was packed.

I'm not totally down on the place, but at the same time I don't see a need to go back.
Aileen / July 14, 2013 at 12:19 am
Will never go back there owner extremly rude when asked for a fresh cup of coffee, then he added the tip in the bill how dare he, surely thats against the law to do that, I know the greeks do it but the next time, I experience this I will refuse to pay they can call the police, and buy the way ur food sucks.
Dunc replying to a comment from Purple Eggplant / January 25, 2015 at 11:34 am
You walk from Bellwoods to the Beaches and back?!? That sh"t cray yo!

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