Where to eat lunch this week: Delux

Where to eat lunch this week: Delux

Ossington’s French-Cuban fixture has started serving lunch—and there’s plenty to celebrate

Cubano sandwich at Delux (Images: Catherine Hayday) 

The place: Now chugging toward its third year, Delux was among the first to set up kitchen on Ossington’s restaurant row. Though the dinner menu is described as “rustic French,” the midday card is distinctly, deliciously Cuban.

The crowd: Three quarters of the tables are occupied by stylish people who have the sort of jobs that accommodate regular leisurely west-end lunches. (No, we don’t know what they do, either.)

The deal: We’re lured in by a sidewalk sign promising midday mojitos ($8). The lunch menu includes just two specials: the Cubano special, featuring a pressed sandwich of cured pork shoulder, fries and a bottle of Coke ($15); and the Cuban dinner, with roast pork, rice, beans, plantains and salad ($14).

The dish: The roast pork is so tender it falls apart at the poke of a fork. The rice and beans are soft without being mushy and sop up the succulent extra pork juices. Simple green salad is topped with pieces of sweet, fresh mango. The green plantain chips are no afterthought: crispy outside and chewy inside. Finally, a cup of Cuban coffee (espresso sweetened with demerara sugar) is a perfect antidote to the post-pork coma.

The time: An indulgent 76 minutes. We linger over our espressos, but it’s possible to be in and out in 45 minutes if need be.

The cost: $27, including mango juice ($3), coffee, tax and tip.

Delux, 92 Ossington Ave., 416-537-0134, deluxrestaurant.ca.

Read the Toronto Life review of dinner at Delux »