Our neighborhood in the city has a fair number of restaurants within easy walking distance from our condo.

This is extremely fortunate, as when we have a craving, or I am done with cooking for a while, we walk the 10 minutes or so to any one of 6 restaurants in our neighborhood.

This has evolved into favorites at each place, so being somewhat creatures of habit, we tend to choose which restaurant we want to go based on what we feel like eating.

Avant Goût is one of these. If you check their menu, you will see that they have a broad variety of dishes on their standard menu, but also offer three or four daily specials. What a treat!  The food is delicious, and I think, quite reasonably priced. But, it has a regular clientele, so if you want to give it a try, reservations are a must! It’s small.

So why Avant Goût for me?

I love provimi liver. Many of you might say ‘yuk’ (as does my husband) so it’s a treat for me to be able to order this in a restaurant, especially one whose chef knows how to cook provimi liver. As you may have guessed, I don’t cook liver at home so Avant Goût is my go to place for this dish.

But recently I had an insatiable craving, not for liver, but for a good burger. I checked Avant Gout’s menu and sure enough, they offered a prime rib burger, so off we went. I even made my husband swear that he would not let me break down and order liver, no matter what.

The restaurant has been recently updated and it looks great. We were seated, chatted with the owner, ordered some wine, and then placed our dinner order.

I actually reminded the owner that I usually order liver, but this time I was breaking tradition and I was going to have their prime rib burger.

You guessed it…  “Oh so sorry, we don’t offer burgers on our dinner menu”.

Lament, lament, I said I’d choose something else, so while everything looked great, I ordered, (you probably guessed it again) provimi liver in the end. What can I say, it’s been about a year since I last ate this delicious dish.

So the two of us settled into casual conversation while waiting for our dinner.

In due time, my husband was served his steak frits, and I was served a sumptuous, mile high prime rib burger! Not a word, just a smile from the owner. I was absolutely taken aback…I said, how did you do this, and with that same smile he said he just asked the chef.

My craving was totally satisfied and the burger was just as I had imaged it would be sitting at home before going to dinner. This is the kind of service that keeps us going back and we’ve been going to Avant Goût for more than 15 years, maybe once, maybe twice a year. Great place, great food, great people!

Watch out for bike lanes!

Just a post script if you’re living in Toronto, the city of bike lanes.

The pavement in front of the store next to our restaurant was torn up for some kind of work or other, so it was blocked off, directing pedestrian traffic on to the bike lane.  However, bike traffic was not re-directed onto the road to make room for pedestrians. Something I realized only after the fact.

While I am now accustomed to looking for bike traffic, then car traffic, then car traffic and bike traffic while crossing the road, I did not look for bike traffic before stepping off the sidewalk.  But then, I was not crossing the road.

Just to make things werse, this is a downhill section of roadway and so bikes can get up to 30-35 km/h just coasting.

I never heard a thing and nothing happened except the proprietor of the business next door came running out to warn me, but the bike and rider were gone before I even knew it. I still don’t know how he got around me, but he did.

Another lesson learned. I think the city is bound and determined to rid the roadways of automobiles, are pedestrians next?


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