Quick Bite: Ben Thanh
In an age-old plaza at Dundas and Winston Churchill you'll find Thai fusion resto Ben Thanh. Ben Thanh is a chain, but don't let that deter you -- the selection is incredible and the food is consistently good. It's also a restaurant that seems to be standing the test of time, as both a Mexicali Rosa's and Spice Avenue tried and failed to hold down the location in recent years. The menu is enormous, boasting dim sum, Thai and Vietnamese spring rolls, congee, vermicelli, curries, seafood and rice dishes.
Though some independent pho joints have mom and pop appeal, it's hard to establish yourself as a go-to Thai place in a city overrun with Asian fusion restos. Ben Thanh, though it is a chain, boasts consistently good, well-priced food. Their vegetarian selection is top notch, and my go-to meal is the Vietnamese yellow curry with vermicelli -- a curry dish filled with fried and steamed tofu, vermicelli, potatoes and onions (I order it sans onion). The curry is so strong it hurts your stomach, AS IT SHOULD. It's always worth the pain.
Vietnamese yellow curry with vermicelli
10-15 minutes. Resto is rarely slammed and service is always prompt.