Argo Cafe

Argo Cafe has been around since 1954 and I recently discovered it while working at the Athletes Village. Chef Denis Larouche and brother-in-law Kirby Wong took over in 2004 turning Argo Cafe in to a culinary diamond in the rough where you can find great food at realistic prices. The atmosphere is that of a classic dive with great service and a hint of hipster cool.

Having already tried the House Chow Mein, which is fantastic, I decided to give the Spaghetti Carbonara a whirl. It came with a bowl of bacon and lentil soup and a package of saltines. The soup was a great starter and tasted very fresh with lots of tender lentils and salty bacon pieces.  Carbonara is an easy thing to screw up and/or fake with cream but Chef Larouche does it the right way with bacon, black pepper, Parmesan cheese and an egg yolk.

I was seated close enough to the kitchen to watch my lunch come to life and from what I could see it was made fresh just for me, with the egg yolk and cheese added away from the heat to avoid cooking the yolk and keeping the dish creamy. This kind of cooking is generally reserved for fine dining establishment at a much higher price. To see the care and effort put in to the dishes at Argo Cafe is really amazing considering the surroundings. The Carbonara has some shrimp in it as well as you can see from the photo but I started eating them before I remembered to take a picture! That is the ultimate sign of great food, when a food writer is so taken with the dish they forget that they need to take a picture and start devouring it.

You can check out their website to see the rest of their menu and to read about an upcoming feature that Food Network Canada is doing on them for a show called “You Gotta Eat Here”.


2 responses to “Argo Cafe

  1. We have been going to Argo’s for years now and it has only gotten better, prices are right, food is fanastic but with everyone else coming we now must go at 11am, oh well the secret is out, just don’t tell anyone about the creme carmel………original dessert

  2. ian beaty - guy nearby and argo regular

    argo is awesome, though prices have edged up past ten dollars for the (go to) daily specials in the last year and a bit. Still, everything is served with complimentary choice of daily soup and the food is undeniably good- notably quality ingredients and delicious rich sauces– it’s still a gem. friendly staff too. A friend of mine, GB ate lunch here 21 consecutive business days in a row.

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