Reviews and Such Coffee Shops Restaurants

Daily Grind Coffee – Portage Avenue

In the years leading up to my ordination, part of my training consisted in doing placements in various parts of the city. One such placement was at St. Chad’s, at the time sharing space with Saint John XXIII on Portage Avenue at Rouge Road. During the several months that I was there, one of my favourite stops was The Daily Grind, coffee shop. At the time it was in a little strip mall, just northeast of St. Chad’s.

The Daily Grind table marker
My table marker at The Daily Grind happened to have just the right letter on it.

Well, fast forward about a decade, and St. Chad’s has moved east and is now sharing space with Kirkfield Park United Church, and The Daily Grind has also moved east, and has taken over a much larger space
I was heading down to St. Chad’s last night to connect with some of the friends I had made when I was there, and decided to stop in at The Daily Grind for supper.

An above average Americano from Daily Grind.
An above average Americano.

When I saw the new location, I was a little skeptical, because it was quite a bit larger, looking like it might have been an old Boston Pizza, or some chain of that style. The feel in the old place had been relaxed and quite homey. Fortunately, the owners have made clever use of some bookshelves, plush chairs and coffee tables, to give the new place much the same feel as the old.

Daily Grind Dinner

Although first and foremost a coffee shop, The Daily Grind has a good selection of foods to choose from if you are looking for a meal. I decided to go with a soup and salad. There were two soups on order, and I chose the Mulligatawny. This is a thick, creamy version of the soup, which was how I was first introduced to it. The flavours are bold, and there is a good mixture of chicken, vegetables, and rice in the dish.

A rich, creamy mulligatawny.
A rich, creamy mulligatawny.

I ordered a Chef’s Salad as well. Both of these are substantial orders. A half-order of each would make a good dinner. Again, like the soup, there was a good mixture of ingredients. I like the fact that they use romaine rather than iceberg for the salad, There was also no problems find the ham, cheese, etc. The dressing was plentiful, but not overpowering or so much that it left pools all over the plate.

The Daily Grind Coffee Chef Salad.
The Daily Grind Coffee Chef Salad.

A couple of things haven’t changed with the switch in locations. The first is that there is still a quite large selection of desserts to choose from. I went with the classic Date Square. Although, as you can see from the picture below, it’s actually more of a Date Rectangle. Still, very enjoyable.

Daily Grind Date Square.
An elongated piece of date square.

The other thing that hasn’t changed is the service. It was always warm, friendly and welcoming, and ten years on it’s still the same.
If you live out on the far west end of Portage Avenue, The Daily Grind will make a nice neighbourhood coffee shop for you to become a regular at. Otherwise it’s a great place to visit whenever you are in the area.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.