Bite & Sip
Bite & Sip may be the only bright spot in the otherwise doom and gloom over Honest Ed's closing . The smoothie and pretzel shop opened to quiet acclaim under the Toronto institution nearly a year ago, tucked between the Wine Rack and Hero Burger. Owner Milka Cobanov, originally from Yugoslavia, has slowly building a reputation for delicious soft pretzels, amongst other things. She is warm and gently attentive, handing out samples so you can experience the gamut of items.
Cobanov also carries a variety of sandwiches and salads. The sandwiches are served on white or whole-wheat rolls, croissants, as grilled paninis, or breakfast bagels. The breakfast sandwiches are a steal at $2.99. You can choose between ham, bacon, turkey or sausage with your egg and cheese, or get a kid-friendly PB and J or grilled cheese. The other sandwiches ($3.49 for half, $5.99 for whole) are bistro twists on standard fare, like chicken pecan salad, Tuscany turkey and grilled Italiano.
The salads (small $3.99, large $5.99) are also well-trod classics- Caesar, Asian, Garden and Greek- and guess what, you can add marinated chicken, tuna or chicken pecan salad on top to increase the protein content for $1.49. No wild tastes or new flavour profiles here but made well, fresh and cheap.
Smoothies are the (semi) liquid highlight of the menu (small $3.49, large $4.49). Various blends of strawberry, banana, pineapple, berry, peach and mango are pulverized with ice for a thick and deceivingly creamy drink (all fruit smoothies are non-dairy). Their sweet smoothies would fit right in at an ice-cream parlour, with flavours like mocha java, Oreo, chocolate peanut butter and pumpkin pie.
The décor, and branding, is a bit of a jumble of bright colours. A gaggle of high schoolers were diving into the pretzel bites when I arrived, and their giggles and gossip, coupled with the interior design and menu, was like stepping into an episode of Saved By The Bell (I'm really dating myself here). That's when I realized Bite and Sip felt like the kind of place you loved to go with your friends after nagging day at school, where a nice lady would make you a big pretzel and what your juvenile brain thought of as a really fancy shake, before you finished up, split with your friends and headed home to face the 'rents.
Photos by Jesse Milns