Eats, chews and leaves: Bubby’s Kitchen cures exam-time blues

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The homestretch has arrived. With only two weeks of classes remaining (or less, depending on when you pick up this edition of the Martlet), there’s reason to celebrate. Forget about exams and papers for a few hours. Make plans to eat out this coming week. It may seem simple, but looking forward to a meal helps me stay motivated during those long days (and nights) when the list of homework assignments never seems to shrink.

Bubby’s Kitchen in Cook Street Village, not to be confused with its sister establishment just up the street (Bubby Rose’s Bakery), is perfect for a mid-week school break. I dined there recently and would definitely visit again. And again.

While the restaurant space is large, the actual dining area is quite cozy. The décor borrows from nature, with plenty of driftwood and local artists’ work hanging on the wall.

Even though our group arrived after 8 p.m. on a Wednesday, many tables were full. (Pssst . . . although Bubby’s technically closes at 9 p.m. on most nights, we stayed till 9:30, no problem.)

The dinner menu, while relatively small, packs a persuasive punch. Deciding what to order can get difficult. One friend went all in, devouring both a Caesar salad ($6 for a small) and the roasted-garlic-and-butternut-squash cannelloni ($16). The salad veered away from the typical heavy, creamy Caesar dressing; instead, it featured a light, flavourful vinaigrette. The pasta was a perfect dish for the season, with the squash supplying a warm, earthy foundation for the sweet garlic.

I dashed away the chills with a bowl of tomato-vegetable-chickpea soup ($5.95), which was the homemade soup of the day. For someone who’s notorious for not liking tomatoes, zucchini or cauliflower (all three were present in the soup), I quite enjoyed my choice. My only qualm: the soup needed to be served hotter.

I also shared the roasted pear and chevre flatbread ($9) with another friend. The combination of pear, spinach, goat cheese, toasted almonds and hint of garlic hit many of my favourite flavours: sweet, salty and savoury. I’ve written before how I dislike fruit on pizza, but trust me, it’s worth ordering.

On a previous visit, I munched on the lemongrass chicken-and-cashew salad ($8/$12). The pairing of thin rice noodles with copious amounts of cucumber, carrots, pea shoots and bell peppers made me forget I had ordered a gluten-free option.

Despite our extensive ordering, all three at our table indulged in some treats. Our collective sweet tooth chose flourless dark chocolate torte ($5.50), vegan hazelnut brownie ($4.25) and apple pie ($5.25).

The torte and the brownie disappeared without a trace. My friends loved both chocolatey concoctions, but I found them slightly dry. The pie met all my requirements for a generous, moist filling and sturdy crust, but again, I wished it were served a tad hotter.

Consider a weekday, or weekend, visit to Bubby’s. Maybe I’ll see you there.

 

4 out of 5 stars

Bubby’s Kitchen
355 Cook St.
Sunday to Thursday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Twitter:  @BubbysKitchen

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