Where to eat lunch this week: Daniel et Daniel

Where to eat lunch this week: Daniel et Daniel

Many Torontonians have sampled this caterer’s delights at parties, but boxed meals from its small lunch counter satisfy, too

Apricot-glazed apple tart from Daniel et Daniel

The place: One of the city’s most popular catering kitchens is also an excellent lunch stop for Cabbagetowners. The tiny takeout counter has all the gourmet goodies for a picnic at nearby Allen Gardens.

The crowd: Regulars with running tabs, executive assistants picking up office lunches and construction workers filling up on the hearty spanakopita.

The deal: Lunchers choose from the daily prepared sandwiches, salads and pastries, which are mostly priced by weight. Seafood, chicken stir-fry and noodle dishes can be eaten cold and quiches can be warmed up, if you have a few minutes to wait.

The meal: We fill our lunch box with sweet halibut fillet topped with olive tapenade ($6 per 100 g); crisp asparagus, snap pea and cherry tomato salad ($2 per 100 g); French beans with grilled sweet peppers and mushrooms ($2 per 100 g); and pearls of spicy couscous ($1.50 per 100 g). Saving the best for last, an apricot-glazed French apple tart ($3) contains a cushion of almond frangipane under a cap of thinly sliced apples. All in all, it’s a light, quick and satisfying al fresco feast.

The time: 26 minutes. Five minutes to order and obtain, four minutes to trek to the perfect park bench, and 17 minutes to eat.

The cost: $19.06, including tax, a bottle of organic guava limeade ($2) and a plastic bag to carry our bounty (5 cents).

Daniel et Daniel, 248 Carlton St. (at Parliament St.), 416-968-9275, danieletdaniel.ca.

(Images: Renée Suen)