Most of the venues for the Fringe Festival (July 14-25) are clustered around Old Market Square, so trekking from one theatre to the next should be relatively painless. But even the most tireless of fringers will eventually tire, and will need to re-stoke the furnace in order to keep going.
Fortunately there are many places -- no more than a block or two away in any direction -- to do so, and although some of them usually close in early or mid-afternoon, many will extend their hours for the festival (as of this writing some hadn't yet decided, so call to make sure). In all of them $10 is about tops for whatever you might order.
THE FYXX offers a charming setting in a historic old building, as well as delicious sandwiches with interesting fillings on good breads. The Tandoori, for instance, boasts chicken that tastes freshly cooked, peach salsa and tandoori mayonnaise. Or the Godfather, stuffed with Genoa salami, cappicola, artichokes, black olives and feta. Or the Zorba, a tortilla wrapped around tzatziki-drizzled chicken, tomatoes, cukes, red onion, olives and greens.
All sandwiches come with a choice of caesar salad sprinkled with plenty of Parmesan, or greens in a balsamic vinaigrette, both good.
Desserts aren't house-made but they are delicious, from simple cookies and biscottis to sumptuous cheesecakes, layered sacrapantina, and a deep, dark chocolate brownie. The coffee is excellent, and the selection endless, including a few that are iced to beat the heat. 93 Albert St., 944-0045.
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For something more substantial than sandwiches, try the spartan little Double Greeting's piled-high servings of house-made noodles, particularly the fresh, chewy Shanghai noodles streaked with cabbage and pork, and the flavourful Double Greeting chow mein, enhanced by shrimp, roast pork, chicken, squid, scallops and vegetables. There are, as well, steamed barbecued pork buns, rice rolls filled with shrimp, beef, roast pork or green onions, and although you can also have your noodles in soup, the noodle-less "superior" soup is crammed with marvellous shrimp dumplings. Open until 9 p.m. on Friday, and until 6 p.m. other days. Closed Monday. 355 McDermot Ave., 956-1383.
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The Line Up has only limited seating indoors, but that's OK since its biggest attraction is the great triangular patio with a superb view of the square. Its around-the-world menu won't put your favourite ethnic restaurants out of business but there are a few satisfying choices, best among them possibly the fish and chips -- thickly but crisply battered cod with excellent fries. The spicy Moroccan vegetable soup is another top choice -- aromatic with lemon grass and cumin, and so thick with vegetables (chick peas, lentils and beans among them) that even the small size will feel like a meal. I'd skip the stodgy stir-fried noodle dishes but the deep-dish pizza is pretty good. 98 Albert St., 943-3166
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The Tallest Poppy won't be extending its hours, but if you want lunch on Thursday, Friday (until 3 p.m.) or Saturday (until 2 p.m.) the massive sandwiches are built on house-made challah bread, with fillings of locally sourced ingredients, including antibiotic and hormone-free meats, and the coffee is fair trade. Fillings vary daily but there's always one of lusciously juicy pork. A recent roasted tomato soup was wonderful, and the salads are excellent, too. 631 Main St., 957-1708.
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Maxim Bakery's buns are for takeout only and the savoury fillings have become pretty slim (the best is still the barbecued pork) However, there are some delicious sweet treats for nibbling on the go -- to wit, the custard tart, different kinds of coconut buns and a massive walnut cookie that melts on the tongue. Open until 6:30 p.m. 285 Alexander Ave., 774-8452.
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Keep in mind the two cafes in the Exchange District reviewed a few weeks ago: the Albert Diner, for burgers, fries and its Saturday eggs Benedict -- 48 Albert St., 946-5408; and Jejomar Bakeshop, for its sandwiches, all-day breakfasts and Filipino pastries -- 237 McDermot Ave., 415-1759.
Also a few that were reviewed last year: the White Star Diner for its burgers and fries, pulled pork sandwich and massive clubhouse -- 58 Albert St., 957-6930; Kay's Deli for its Korean-inspired tea-marinated roast pork sandwich and delicious fruit juice combinations -- 339 William St., 949-0424; and the Exchange Cafe's grilled panini and spinach salad with cranberries -- 137 Bannatyne Ave., 688-3341.
And don't forget about the dim sum that are served until mid-afternoon at Kum Koon, 257 King St., 943-4655, and Golden Terrace, 245 King St., 944-9400, and all day at Noodle Express, 180 King St., 943-9760; or the full Chinese menus at Logan Corner, 247 Logan Ave., 957-7288; and Foon Hai, 329 William Ave., 943-5032.