Located in Little Italy, Utopia Cafe occupies a small space with tightly packed tables. Thankfully, it was pretty empty when Chris and I dropped by on a Monday evening. I can imagine having to get pretty up close and personal with neighboring patrons when this place gets a little busy.
The restaurant has an enormous menu. They have pages worth of salads, burgers, burritos and sandwiches, including many vegetarian options. There’s definitely something for everyone here. Unfortunately, for an indecisive person like myself, too much choice isn’t a good thing. The longer the menu, the longer it takes me to decide what to order. Lucky for me, I was with my oh-so-patient friend, Chris. After narrowing it down to burrito’s, I asked the server for some of her favourites and informed me that she loved any of the steak dishes they have.So, I went with the Steak & Cheddar Burrito – marinated grilled striploin, cheddar, grilled onions, lettuce, green onion mayo and salsa ($12.50). I’m not sure I’d call this a burrito… maybe a wrap? Name aside, it was actually quite tasty. The steak was seasoned well and wasn’t too tough. The cheese was nice and gooey and although I couldn’t taste the green onion mayo, it all went together very well. My only complaint was that the mixture of the mayo and salsa was a little watery and started leaking out of my burrito.
All the burritos come with Costa Rican black bean rice and your choice of either a sesame slaw or field mix salad. Since I was in the mood for something unhealthy, I decided to substitute all of that for a side of fries. More like a mountain of fries, actually. The portion was enormous, just like their menu. The fries were a bit thicker than what I prefer, but underneath the mountain of fries I was able to find some smaller crispy bits. Utopia Cafe has a selection of flavoured mayo including green onion, jalapeno, garlic dill, roasted red pepper, Dijon, wasabi and Karashi (which the server explained to me was a mustard-like flavour). My first pick would have been green onion but since it already came in my burrito, I went with the garlic dill for $0.95.Chris went with the Steak Sandwich – striploin served on a Panini topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and green onion mayo with a side of fries ($9.50). Since the server mentioned she loved anything with steak in it, he decided to go with it in sandwich form. This turned out to be incredibly bland which was surprising given that on paper, this was pretty much the same thing I had ordered. The only difference was really the cheese and grilled onions in my burrito. If you’re feeling something with steak in it, I’d skip the sandwich and get the burrito instead.
I was actually thinking of ordering an appetizer to start since I was starving. Luckily I restrained from doing so since the portions were so large. I ended up packing half my meal to go. But after only trying two dishes (which were quite similar), I think I’d have to come back to make a fair assessment of Utopia Cafe. As for the service, our server was warm and friendly. However the food took a pretty long time to come, even though it wasn’t very busy.
At a glance:
• Extensive menu full of salads, burgers, burritos and sandwiches
• Many vegetarian options
• Large portions, reasonable prices
• Small space with tightly packed tables
• Located in Little Italy
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3 stars
• Service: 3.5 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars