Subterranean culture // The Docket

The PATH's best go-to destinations to stop that tummy from rumbling

By Melissa Wilson

On Friday June 3rd, 2011

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Precedent’s guide to the best food, arts and happy hour in the PATH promises to keep you healthy and sane on your indoor adventures

BEFORE WORK

coffeeBest coffee
Open since August 2010, Aroma Espresso Bar (Standard Life Centre) is already a fixture on the PATH coffee circuit. A latte and a croissant can be had for $4.50, and the power breakfast (two eggs, veggies and toast, $9.15) will keep you going through lunch.

bakeryBaked goodness
Opening last month in First Canadian Place, Brick Street Bakery’s artisanal, local fare is a welcome respite from the cardboard muffins and biscotti hocked by the plethora of Starbucks and Second Cups. Owned by Brit transplant Simon Silander, the place offers an array of croissants, brioche, scones, cookies and coffee, plus a breakfast sandwich made with fresh, local ingredients and organic whole wheat bread.

LUNCHTIME

burritoHealthy Fast Food
It’s hard to find decent Mexican food on this side of the border, but especially so in the Financial District, where Thai food and pizza rule. Surprisingly, Mucho Burrito (First Canadian Place, Bay Adelaide Centre and Brookfield Place) will satisfy even the most staunch burrito connoisseur. Plus, with fresh, roasted veggies, black beans and low-fat cheese, a burrito is reasonably low-cal (about 550 calories — almost half of which is just from the tortilla), especially if you pass on the meat and the (totally delicious) burrito sauce.

artArt smart
If slow food is the opposite of what’s in your lunch bag, try slow art instead. Straight Flush (1st floor, Bay Adelaide Centre) is a $3 million light sculpture by the grandaddy of light art, James Turrell. This California-born Quaker believes art needs to be viewed over time. To take in his five-panel light sculpture, Turrell parked himself on a chair and watched the light shift in colour. Do the same on your lunch hour.

AFTER HOURS

saladQuick dinner fix
For a no-fuss dinner, stop by The Market by Longo’s in First Canadian Place on your way home and pick up the fixings (it’s open until 7 p.m.). The salad and hot food bars are sizeable and feature the standard stuff, plus chicken cordon bleu, grilled tilapia, sushi and an unassuming, but delicious, chicken curry pasta salad. Still too much work? Grab a prepackaged meal (including a meat and two sides, with the combinations changing daily) for $6.

barDrowning sorrows
The perfect hideout to drink away horrible client blues, Four (Commerce Court) offers specialty martinis for only $4.44 every day after four. Assuage the alcohol calorie guilt with the food, which is likely the healthiest in the PATH. Every item on the menu has 650 or fewer calories and has been appropriately scrutinized by a nutritionist. General Manager Mike Berlanguet swears by the salmon salad (464 calories), which he eats at least once a week.

Dirty Nachos
Sometimes you just need them. Head to The Duke of Devon (TD Centre) for a sinful plate of chili nachos to share with a colleague (or not — who’s judging?).


Photo: Quick Dinner Fix, © Liv Friis-Larsen via istockphoto.com