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Restaurants

Humble Beginnings

Posted by Josh Wise / Reviewed on October 3, 2013 / review policy

Humble Beginnings TorontoHumble Beginnings is a new eat-in, take-out and catering spot in the Junction. This new start-up focuses on fresh, seasonal and local fare. Their homestyle cooking offers unique flavours and new takes on old classics with a large enough menu to meet most tastes. We dropped in to check out what they had up for a mid-week dinner in their new space on Dundas West.

Humble BeginningsThe restaurant has a small front end space, designed primarily for expedient take-away service, and comfortable seating in the back for 15. Everything is in full view when you walk in the door. Their fully exposed kitchen sits directly behind their stainless steel counter and display cases, so you can sit and watch the chefs quickly whipping up dishes. Waiting at the cash to place our orders we were able to get the ear of the chef, some last minute menu advice, and watch how it was all being prepared.

Humble BeginningsFirst out was the Saffron Chicken ($13.45), a half chicken (your choice of dark or white meat) served with with a choice of their daily sides. The chicken was extremely moist and teaming with flavour. The power of the saffron was subdued with a hazelnut and honey glaze. We chose the side potatoes to go with this dish - a simple savoury pairing for this flavourful main.

The lamb burger ($9.95, lead photo) came chef recommended, and we were happy to oblige. We snatched up the last one of the day, and felt thankful for it. This thick and hearty patty is served medium-rare and piping hot. The fresh cilantro flavour matched by a well-balanced seasoning. The Ace bakery bun was topped with a pile of arugula and thick tzatziki sauce. We added the fresh farmers market salad for an extra $2.50.

Humble BeginningsThe Korean-style short ribs ($12.45), however, left much to be desired. The meat was a little overcooked and the cherry cola barbecue sauce was too spare to be able to compensate. This dish seemed like a bit of a departure from their other dishes, and even when served with a mixed vegetable wasn't quite enough for a filling dinner. A side quinoa and asparagus salad ($9.95) was a good add-on dish to finish up the meal, though ordering it made things a little more expensive than desired.

Humble BeginningsWe were impressed with the Ontario Rainbow Trout ($13.45). This lightly seasoned fish was served skin on and seared with a slightly flaky texture - still moist and juicy. This simple and fresh tasting thick cut filet was paired well with their mixed vegetable side, an oil-drizzled, roasted variety of seasonal veggies.

Humble BeginningsHumble Beginnings is a nice addition to the Junction. They serve up simple, home-cooked dishes with a refreshing focus on fresh, healthy and local ingredients. If you're looking for a guilt-free meal at a reasonable price, this place is certainly worth a shot!

Humble BeginningsPhotos by Marni Wolf

Discussion

14 Comments

Benedict / October 3, 2013 at 04:20 pm
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Looks good!
ABI / October 3, 2013 at 08:24 pm
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Looks great. But I wonder if its a well thought out SUSTAINABLE business plan/business model? Or is it just a quick idea on a craze...
Bloory / October 4, 2013 at 09:19 am
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*teeming*
Marty McFly / October 4, 2013 at 05:50 pm
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Looks good.

But with portions of those sizes, they should use smaller plates. :-)
Mau Roose / October 5, 2013 at 08:38 am
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Absolute worst sandwich place in Toronto!
You guys really need to get out more and hit up some other spots before creaming your pants over ths bush league establishment.

Mau Roose for mayor 2014
Sandman / October 5, 2013 at 07:06 pm
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Burgers look good. Gonna check it out!
Angela / October 6, 2013 at 08:20 pm
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Had the hamburger & my friend had the salmon. Savoury & delicious. Will go back again for sure. Lovely place.
Riverside? Whatevs / October 7, 2013 at 05:52 am
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I would have sent the short ribs back as a patron. And as a chef, I would have never sent those gnarled short ribs out to anyone aside from my staff.
Story / October 7, 2013 at 11:09 am
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Living in the "hood" these guys just opened up and I've been a few times now. Had their trout which was awesome. The Chester is literally unbelievable, so much flavor. I've grabbed a few wraps and salads for takeout a few times too which we're really great. I just wish they had their liquor license which they said their getting.

Great service as well always greeted with a smile and the chef always remembers me!
P / October 14, 2013 at 10:37 pm
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Loved this place! Had the Chester Burger and it was DELICIOUS! Loved that the dishes were simple and the ingredients spoke for themselves. I will definitely be going back!
Antonio / November 25, 2013 at 04:55 pm
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Food is amazing and service is just fabulous. Definitely going to make this one of my weekly visits.
Nicole / April 16, 2014 at 06:11 pm
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Just want to let you a know that Humble Beginnings now has their liquor license, serving a variety of wines and local craft beers! They also have a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon (12:30 to 2:30pm) live acoustic music series.
April Grace / July 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm
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Delicious. I had the salmon and Joel had the steak. Wonderful service. Very welcoming.
Meghan / October 12, 2014 at 02:58 pm
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Just ate here last week. I cannot describe how flavourful the food was! I had the salmon with roasted veggies. It was fantastic!

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