I’ve always thought of Laird Drive as the place in Leaside to get my big box shopping done, not as a place to go out for a great meal. The arrival of Against the Grain may have changed all of that. This “Urban Tavern,” serves up a varied selection of micro-brews, wines and delicious upscale pub-fare with a focus on in-season, naturally-raised and local Ontario ingredients. I’ve driven by it several times and thought it looked really inviting with the bright orange umbrellas opened up over two levels of patios but hadn’t had the chance to stop in until today. So, does it fit the bill for where to eat in Toronto?
I had the lime-scented grilled fish tacos – chunks of white fish, avocado, mango-pineapple salsa, coriander, shaved fennel and a spicy mayonnaise. They were absolutely delicious. The baby beet salad came with goat cheese, pickled red onions and grilled zucchini with a light green goddess dressing. Yum. My delightful lunch date, my dad, had the Carolina pulled pork sandwich, which came on a brioche bun with broccoli slaw. Other items on the menu that looked very appealing were the ATG signature burger, made with Ontario beef and house-made bacon, the mushroom and flax seed burger, the house-made smoked salmon flatbread and the kale and citrus salad.
Children under 12 can choose from five items on the kids’ menu including grilled cheese on brioche, pepperoni and mozzarella flatbread and mini cheeseburger sliders. Drinks and dessert are included, sure to be a hit if you add this spot to your list of where to eat in Toronto with kids.
Where to Eat in Toronto
There is a wrap-around patio on the ground floor outside with loads of space and the chic upstairs patio is where I will be heading on the next girls’ night out. Part of the lower patio is facing onto Laird Drive but it feels closed in enough that the street traffic wouldn’t bother me. On this occasion, we opted to eat inside to escape the heat. The space inside is large, airy and modern with a warm combination of stone and wood. The staff were very friendly and they automatically brought out the crayons for my four year-old. That combined with the antique tractor parked in the lobby made him one very happy camper.
When to Go
Against the Grain Urban Tavern is open every day for brunch, lunch and dinner. Head there for brunch with the family, girls’ night out or date night. Each night has a different special from oysters at the bar to “2 Can Dine and a Bottle of Wine for $49” on a Sunday night. It sounds like a good answer for where to eat in Toronto on your next date night to me!