I spent my university –um, polytechnic – years steps away from Yonge and Dundas and it sure isn’t what it used to be. Remember Rockwell’s Jeans, Sam the Record Man, Mr. Sub and when the Eaton Centre actually had an Eaton’s?
Image: Pedro Szekely
Despite the fact that I live downtown, I don’t get to that (vastly different) corner much anymore — certainly not daily — as I did when Rick Astley was burning up the pop charts. But I was there very recently to see a move. (Argo — it was okay — I didn’t love it). After the movie, I was hungry and suggested Salad King — a long time Ryerson haunt — to D., who wondered aloud if it did indeed have good salads.
Not especially. In fact, it only has two salads on the menu: Green Mango Salad and Green Papaya Salad. I could not explain is rather incongruent name. So I looked it up.
When the owners of the restaurant opened their original location (just a few steps away in the Empress Hotel building at Yonge and Gould) they did indeed serve salads and, sandwiches, but soon switched to Thai food. I don’t actually remember this from my J-School days — they were well into the new menu when I arrived on campus.
Not surprisingly, it was mostly full of people who were not too concerned about their RRSPs. Yeah, it looked like pretty much wall-to-wall Ryerson students. I wish I could say I was suddenly transported back in time to my youth. But it wasn’t the same. This place is much bigger and now they even have table service.
But the food was the same — not the best Thai food in the city, but tasty enough and still quite cheap. I don’t think it will be a new regular dining spot, but it was fun to revisit.
Later we walked by the condo I lived in 18 years ago — 18 years ago! —and I was once again shocked back to reality. Next week is my birthday and I have been an adult for a very long time.
You really can’t go back to Salad King and there are no more records for sale.