Hannah's Kitchen is Yonge & Eglinton's cheery beacon of lunchtime goodness. The narrow shop is dominated by a gleaming counter loaded with sandwich fixings, a colourful swath of chunky salads, two great daily soups, and hot, fresh, comfort lunches.
Today I choose a daily special- Caribbean Chicken Stir Fry. It comes with rice, but the friendly employee is happy to substitute veggies instead, giving me a huge serving of Mixed Vegetable Salad in Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette. With bread on the side, lunch comes to $9, pretty reasonable for this neighbourhood.
The vegetables are cool and hearty-- chunks of summer squash, red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, and carrots, each perfectly blanched for ideal texture. But they're overpowered by their dressing, which is vinagery and oily-- and there's so much of it that within minutes, my paper bag looks like it ran away from a wet t-shirt contest.
The chicken is mild and sweet. When a dish is touted as "Caribbean", I go in expecting heat, but here there's none. (Did I just racially profile some chicken? Maybe). Plump chunks of white meat and sweet pineapple, with fresh, still-crispy peppers in an easygoing and nutmeggy sauce. I suppose the nutmeg is a nod to jerk seasoning, but this dish would be better named Canadian Chicken- mild, mellow, and multicultural. It comes in a biodegradable paper container- thumbs up to Hannah's for the green packaging.
Most of the food at Hannah's is seasoned to err on the side of mildness, and in general the fare here is fresh, delicious, and actually tastes home-made. With an extensive catering menu, an in-depth website, and reliably good daily specials, Hannah's is a lunchtime winner.