July 26, 2012
In the basement of Holt Renfrew's flagship store in Toronto, there is a reasonably priced grab and go eatery called Holts Gourmet.
They offer a variety of already prepared grab and go items like sushi & sandwiches
Paninis on the left and pre-made sandwiches on the right.
And some heat-up later items like salmon and chicken with side salads.
My Holt Renfrew Brown-Bag lunch!
Chicken, brie, pesto, lettuce and tomato panini $7.95
They offer a daily selection of 6 paninis. When I went, there were 4 great vegetarian options and two meat paninis, being a carnivore - I chose the chicken option.
I chose the chicken and brie panini and they immediately put my panini in the grill while I went to pay. The panini was crunchy and crisp on the outside with the perfect amount of melty cheese and grilled chicken inside. I was skeptical about brie cheese and pesto sauce since I usually associate mozzarella and pesto together, but it worked out well.
Overall: When you think of Holts, you associate the name with quality and expensive luxury goods. And when you add "food" in, you would probably think that they have pricey and delicious food as well. It's not the case with Holts Gourmet, you get great food without the high-end prices.
Update: November 13, 2012
Grilled salmon with mango mayonnaise and a side of squash quinoa salad ($4.50/100g)
The mayonnaise on the salmon was really nice, but it didn't save the super dry grilled salmon.
On the other hand, the salad was really good! The squash was tender and tasty, the quinoa was really tiny and hard to eat, but the dressing tied it all very well together.
Pesto chicken pasta ($4.50/100g)
Very dry! And they barely reheated it - we were super disappointed. This was a huge waste of money.
Overall: I was really disappointed with the quality of Holt's Gourmet food - it's definitely not worth the price you pay for.