Two Peas Variety
Two Peas Variety is the ground floor casual restaurant and tuck shop of a Toronto pod hostel.
Food here comes in the form of well-balanced bowls, salads and sandwiches that are a far cry from the fried chicken Chef Adrian Forte (who takes the lead in the kitchen) was previously known for at Dirty Bird.
A front window opens to the street from floor to ceiling, while slim bars and stools providing minimal seating. Food is ordered and customized before your eyes behind the counter.
The name "Two Peas Variety" actually came before the food concept, though Forte has been espousing the benefits of the pea lately. He found himself dissatisfied and craving more after meals of leafy greens, and turned to more filling and balanced legumes.
Therefore, salads ($9.99) like the Kale Army top a base of slightly bitter Tuscan kale with a healthy amount of flavourful and earthy house channa, red pepper, roasted sweet potato, and chevre with an herb-ginger vinaigrette.
By contrast, the Dragon Bowl ($13.99) is spicy, taking more of an Asian influence rather than a slight Indian bent, with edamame, house kimchi, sauteed mushrooms, avocado, and Pacific salmon brined in soy and finished with sambal.The DL-Carnavore ($7.99) is a pressed sandwich of salt and pepper-marinated flank steak with mozzarella, mushrooms, spinach, and a star house maple mustard with yellow, grainy and Dijon mustard, plus maple syrup.
Island Way sorbet ($3.99) is a find, with sorbets frozen into bowls made from real fruit.
Both the coconut and pineapple are bursting with fresh flavour, and the coconut is incredibly creamy.
Iced lattes are made using Lavazza espresso, shots of which start at $3.
In addition to made-to-order items, there’s also the usual corner shop stock like chips and candy, as well as quirky souvenirs that go way beyond the stalls of identical tourist tchotchkes that line the streets outside.
Items skew toward more of a Spacing aesthetic, with graphic pillows ($39.99) and mugs in the shape of curling rocks or Toronto trash bins with raccoons popping out ($18.99).
Pods are named for Toronto neighbourhoods, only available to travellers from out of town, and $60 a night.
Guests have access to a rooftop lounge with a fridge and a chill rooftop patio with a barbecue.
The hostel even comes complete with an 11-seat movie room where guests can screen films of their choice and watch them communally, though there are TVs in the pods.