Tucked away on downtown’s east side is Bistro 243; a place that teeters on the edge of tying to be gourmet, while being rife with well-priced cuisine. Sandwiches and Burgers can be found along side Pastas and Chops… and although the menu lacks a specific theme or direction, it more than makes up for it in the taste and value departments. Oh, and it’s licensed with some nice draft choices, too.
Burgers are 7 oz. of Ontario Angus, ranging in price from $8.75 to $12.50 depending on accoutrements. The Highway Man stands out, topped in Canadian Cheddar, Pemeal, a Fried Egg and BBQ Sauce. Served with Salad or Fries, I cannot help but suggest the latter. Despite not being a fry-guy, these fresh-cut, perfectly-seasoned Steak Cut fries are thick and meaty. A word of warning: be sure to order your Burgers medium-rare for maximum effect. There are close to a dozen other Sandwiches and Wraps on the menu, accounting for a variety of tastes.
In the mood for Pasta, the Mediterranean Linguine ($12) jumps off the page at me. Al dente Linguine is tossed in Garlic and EVOO, accompanied by pan-seared Mushrooms, Onions, Peppers, Spinach, Asparagus and Tomato, topped with fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The menu has a variety of other mains, including Butter Chicken ($12), Mushroom Risotto ($15), a 10 oz. New York Strip Steak dinner with all the trimmings ($19), and a Grilled Salmon & Veggie entrée ($18) that looks great as it’s served to the table beside us.
It seems that every time I visit or pass by Bistro 243 it’s getting busier and busier. The word is getting out that these guys make a variety of great things at a reasonable price… and they serve a Weekend Brunch.
Nice enough to bring clients at lunch, relaxed enough to have beers after work, cool enough to bring a date, Bistro 243 has what it takes to satisfy a variety of tastes and situations. Chef Prem admits that’s he’s been tinkering with his menu recently. Albeit a bit unfocused, it looks like he’s finally got it just right.