Thyme and Again: Quel je-ne-sais-quoi!


Time and time again: The smoked salmon sandwich
Photo: Ben Welland

Heart-warming food and a smile-inducing atmosphere are to be found at Thyme and Again

Each time I dine at Thyme and Again I leave with the same glowing contentment I feel after watching the film Amélie.

The cheerful, people-watching Amélie would like eating here amidst the bustle. She would admire the stacks of knickknacks against the walls and between the counters. She would listen attentively to the chit-chat drifting to our table from the other diners – white-haired ladies on lunch dates, rushing business groups and young parents squeezing strollers through the tight aisles.

But enough on the atmosphere and on to the food.

My party orders a selection of sandwiches from the short but varied menu. Vegans and gluten-free diners are well accommodated.

After a two-minute wait, during which we order coffee and gawk at desserts, we bring our goodies to a table outdoors and settle under a brightly striped umbrella before digging in.

The meal, like the movie, does not make me think too far outside the box, but that doesn’t diminish its quality.

The crisp quesadilla oozes melted cheese onto the plate, making a slight mess – be sure to grab a fork at the water stand near the cash to help scrape up any goodness that falls out of the tortilla. We all love the rustic seed bun for the smoked salmon sandwich, in which the crunchy seeds contrast against the silky salmon beautifully.

My favourite has to be the Moroccan chicken sandwich – a thick white bun hugs tender spiced chicken breast and a generous layer of mayo.

Don’t forget to get a side; the salads are exceptional. The coleslaw is refreshing and light, while the vegetable salad is surprisingly flavourful with sliced red onion and light poppy seed dressing.

Judging from the slurps and smiles from neighbouring tables, and the spoonful of lively carrot and ginger soup I stole from my friend’s bowl, soup is an equally good choice.

If you dare, you can go for a dessert. We do. The lemon thyme cake is light yet rich and melts in your mouth. The thyme is hard to find amidst the thick white chocolate frosting and lemony interior, but it’s still a delicious cake. The key lime tart wins my heart; the tart creamy filling is kept together only by a substantial but crumbly graham crust.

Be warned, one dessert is plenty for two if you don’t mind sharing.

If you are looking for a lovely lunch on a sunny afternoon, you won’t regret choosing Thyme and Again. It is a picture of delightfully affordable indulgence.

Thyme and Again
1255 Wellington St. West; (613) 722-6277
Lunch: $6.25-$10.50
Desserts: $2.95-$6.00