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Oct 12, 2004 02:04 PM


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Has anyone else tried the new Fran's location on Shuter St.?
We went after the theatre on friday night and it was
dreadful. The home fries were the frozen cubes from a bag and they had been re-heated 4-5 x..hard as rocks.
I ordered a reuben sandwich, which is supposed to come with sauerkraut(it did not)and the cheese was some sort of fake cheese product, and did not even taste like swiss. I can't believe that this is was the choice of restaurant for the lobby of the new ,boutique, Pantages Hotel...yuck.

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  1. Had the same experience. It was awful. I mean I know it is a diner, but I could do without the side order of grease that came attached to everything we ordered. Won't be going back anytime soon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jenna

      I live near the former Fran's site on St Clair W at Yonge. When I moved here in 1991, Fran's still made some of its own pastries, which were coffee-shop-credible with real whipped cream. They offered a mean sharp cheddar grilled cheese sandwich. In other words, there were some items on the menu which involved cooking, as opposed to bag-opening, deep-drying and food processing.

      I watched the deterioration steadily - prices rose, quality fell - until its inevitable close a few years back. The sharp cheddar was replaced by a typical processed flavourless "cheese," the manager telling me "people prefer it that way." The pastries deteriorated, ditto the service.

      Pantages is never going to be taken seriously as a hotel destination until it replaces this egregious example of how to cut corners and offer mediocre food for a lot of money with a real eatery. A Danforth souvlaki place, a mom & pop burger joint, a Schwartz's all offer real food with less pretentions and a lot more taste - real value - than this hash house.

    2. I don't think I've been to Fran's while sober, and I think I'd like to keep it that way. Diner food just isn't my thing, unless you twist my arm (with gin) first. :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: xtal

        I love diner food, when it's made properly (ie, not pre-cooked and reheated). Fran's is not representative of diner food.

      2. I'd agree- went to new FRAN"S location just before a Massey Hall concert with a few friends. Fran's was the institution- the place to go for the diner experience. Well, it's not happening at this location.

        Bad food & equally shoddy service from wait staff who I suspect will always unfortunately have a captive clientele from being in such a prime location.

        Ordered BBQ Double Chicken Breast with special sauce, seasonal vegetables & sweet potato fries. Friends ordered Meatloaf + Fish & Chips.

        BBQ Double Chicken Breast- the actual chicken 'breasts" were 2 slivered slices of chicken breast that were like a child's portion. It was pathetic that they would have the gall to serve this. The menu also read " special sauce" on the chicken breast; there was no visible sauce. What was on the chicken breast was a extrememely unedible concoction of mainly salt, some parsley & perhaps one other spice. I realize that most restaurants salt up their entrees to have their patrons drink more but this salt mixture is ridiculous. Sweet Potato fries & the "frozen" seasonal vegetables were stone cold.

        Friend's meatloaf for $12.99 or $13.99 consisted of one sliver of 'gray colored" meatloaf. The only reason we saw the color was the gravy was ordered on the side.

        Waitress didn't bother to come back after the food was dumped off to ask us if everything was okay.

        We had 20 mins to spare- so we all ordered 3 pieces of Coconut cream pie. It took almost 15 mins before the pies hard is it to slice up 3 pieces of already prepared pie? Also, the cream on top of the coconut filling was warm- was it sitting on the kitchen counter or was the fridge not working?

        All in all, there were lineups at the door - possible all going to the concert across the street like us. Forgotten the change of ownerships of Frans and whether it is still privately owned but if this was the case, wonder how the original proprietors of Frans would feel about their name being used on such bad food being served and by mediore wait staff?

        11 Replies
        1. re: fooddiva7

          You guys do realize this thread is from 2004? After six years I guess this is not really the "new" Fran's anymore. You will be unhappy to hear that yet another new Fran's will be opening soon on Front St. just east of Yonge, roughly across from the Sony Centre, alongside a new Oliver and Bonacini restaurant. Like the Shuter location, I expect this Fran's will do brisk business from people looking for something quick and familiar before attending a show or other event downtown.

          1. re: Gary

            Yes, I know it's an old thread but it's sad to see that horrible food is still being served since 2004. I agree with your comment re: the new Front St. Fran's- it's a prime location and will always do bo brisk business due to the theatre or event crowds.

            1. re: fooddiva7

              It sounds like their motto: "Horrible Food still being served since 2004".

              1. re: scarberian

                keep to the mdiocre breakfast and you will do OKAY, frans has always been a breakfast joint more than anything else, now it is becoming a fading Golden Griddle

                1. re: scarberian

                  Oh they've been serving horrible food long before 2004.

                  They used to make their own INCREDIBLE coconut cream pie when I was a kid. That is now ancient histoire. Their food has been godawful for decades. But this is not exactly news.

                  1. re: magic

                    I agree with you Magic....they did indeed make a coconut cream pie to die for....and served it all day....However, I agree. Godawful...only pickel barrel is worse.

                    1. re: magic

                      Magic- they do make a NICE Coconut Cream Pie. I'm not a big dessert person but I do like this.

                      1. re: fooddiva7

                        It used to be GREAT about 20 years ago. And I do mean great.

                        It went away for many years and a few years ago they brought it back. Although tasty it clearly was not the same. I don't even think Fran's made it anymore. I'm guessing a food service supplier made it. It was pretty good but not in the same league as the original.

                        I had it again a couple of months ago and that was the last time I think I will have it. The quality had deteriorated even more and it was simply not worth the fat or price tag for me. Ah well.

                    2. re: scarberian

                      Tagline: "Hey, at least we're consistent!"

                      1. re: scarberian

                        Agreed- their motto is " Horrible Food still being served since 2004 and we are expanding down to Front St! "

                2. It's around the corner from my office so it's convenient for the staff but we've had so many crappy meals there it's appalling. Every time my colleague has ordered the super nachos they always and I mean always forget the jalapeno which is stated as a topping right on the menu, they also forget the sour cream at times. Do NOT ever eat their eggs benedict it's disgusting, made out of a box too! I hate restaurants who make 'fake' hollandaise or use margarine instead of butter, that's the whole reasoning behind a great hollandaise the compliment of the butter to make that great sauce/taste. Service is pretty good at times (I know many of the waitresses/waiters and they are really nice) but it takes forever for them to get to you once you've been seated at your table. I will admit their French Onion soup is pretty good, could have more cheese of course but then again it's not difficult and doesn't take rocket science to make a french onion soup.