City Palate

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004
Great Cheap Eats

Where to eat to soothe your soul and your wallet in the post-holiday doldrums.

King’s Restaurant
Liz Tompkins, good cook and a City Palate great palate. Usually my definition of “great cheap eats” is eating on the run for five bucks or less. However, if I want to sit down and be waited on, then I might have to ante up a few bucks. One of my favourite places to get my fill is at Kings Restaurant on Barlow trail just north of Memorial Drive. You’ve probably driven by there a hundred times and noticed the large sign advertising breakfast. Drive by at lunchtime and witness the throngs of people waiting in line for a bowl of wonderful wonton soup.

Kings is an unassuming cafeteria kind of place with friendly efficient waitresses and a loyal following that ranges from neighborhood R.V salesmen to cellphone-wielding suits outta downtown. Despite the extensive menu, most people seem to come for the soup. The bowl is full of tender-crisp fresh veggies and large, handmade wontons floating in a delicious golden broth. The flower shaped carrots are a nice touch; they take me back to the Chinese sweet-and-sour dishes of my youth. Kings is almost always busy, but you get in and out in no time at all. Wait ‘til 1p.m. and you’ll miss the line-up (104 Meridian Rd. N.E., 272-2332).