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Beer Bistro or Bier Markt?

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Jo Sep 30, 2005 09:09 AM

Help, please. I'm trying to distinguish between these two. I seem to recall that one is popular with this board and the other is not. I did find a thread about Beer Bistro that was positive, but didn't see any threads specifically about Bier Markt. Which has better food? Which has the better selection of beer? TIA.

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  1. j
    Jack White RE: Jo Sep 30, 2005 10:35 AM

    I would go with Beer Bistro. Food is MUCH better, and the ambiance is nicer.

    You can't go wrong.

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      pinstripeprincess RE: Jo Sep 30, 2005 10:48 AM

      there's a HUGE difference between the two and you'll notice it if you end up at either at some point.

      while many complain that BierMarkt is bad because it's a chain. it's just plain not good period. they over stuff the joint, the food is mediocre, but the worst thing is the service i'd say. the atmosphere is too.... frat party for 30 somethings. so unless that's what you're going for, don't bother.

      beer bistro... is great! the selection of beers isn't as international as biermarkt but they're very good quality beers. they even have a nice blueberry one that's got blueberries in it. the food is great, although a touch more expensive. i'd suggest the ribs, smoked arctic char and chocolate cake. mmmm........ the atmosphere is more upscale casual and it's a great place to relax, enjoy a meal and some great beers.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess
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        Jo RE: pinstripeprincess Sep 30, 2005 11:05 AM

        Ah, thanks. That's exactly what I wanted to know. I've got all my business colleagues coming into town and I'm putting together a list of places for them to go. A meat market/frat party is NOT where I want to send them! Thanks for the insight.

        1. re: Jo
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          pinstripeprincess RE: Jo Sep 30, 2005 12:59 PM

          i'm glad that helps.

          if it's business colleagues then i'd say that anywhere in the bay/front/king st areas will be more than adequate. some places do turn a little lounge/clubby at a certain hour, but it's better than frat boys.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess
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            Jo RE: pinstripeprincess Sep 30, 2005 01:08 PM

            Thanks again. My entire company and spouses/partners are flying in for our annual Christmas party in early December. Party is Saturday night, but most folks will come in on Thursday or Friday to make a weekend of it. So I'm just putting together a little "guide to T.O." with lots of different dining options to make sure they don't end up drawn into a nasty tourist trap. Beer Bistro seems like a good mid-range option for people who want good food in a casual setting, but not pub or diner.

            1. re: Jo
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              Eric RE: Jo Sep 30, 2005 03:33 PM

              Don't go to Beer Bistro on Saturdays 9.00pm-12.00pm if you want to talk to your friends. The very live jazz group that is playing then makes that impossible.

            2. re: pinstripeprincess
              j
              Jo RE: pinstripeprincess Sep 30, 2005 01:09 PM

              Thanks again. My entire company and spouses/partners are flying in for our annual Christmas party in early December. Party is Saturday night, but most folks will come in on Thursday or Friday to make a weekend of it. So I'm just putting together a little "guide to T.O." with lots of different dining options to make sure they don't end up drawn into a nasty tourist trap. Beer Bistro seems like a good mid-range option for people who want good food in a casual setting, but not pub or diner.

        2. j
          Jane RE: Jo Sep 30, 2005 11:01 AM

          A few weeks ago, I had forced to have lunch at the Bier Markt (group lunch with co-workers...no choice but to attend!) I was served a glass of soda water and, when I looked closely at it, saw some crud on the rim. I pointed this out to the wait-b!tch and asked for a fresh glass of soda. Her response: "Oh, don't worry, it just looks like lipstick." My response: "Perhaps, but it's not MY lipstick." She gave me the evil eye before sullenly (and oh-so-slowly) fetching a fresh glass. Unbelievable.

          The Beer Bistro, on the other hand, is great. Be sure to have the steak tartare!

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            Phil RE: Jo Sep 30, 2005 01:07 PM

            I agree with the other that the Beer Bistro is nice. I will point out one negative, however. I find it kind of noisey.

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              thebeavises RE: Jo Jul 20, 2006 04:11 PM

              I ate at the Bier Markt once and only once--We got the fondue, which had obviously not been nuked enough, and it was a solid chunk. We asked them to reheat it and they did. While we were waiting, we decided to save our mussels so we could eat them at the same time, and the waitress took them! We let her know that we hadn't finished those yet, and she just walked off. I got my pasta main, and it was also cold, but the plate was burning hot--I told the waitress, and she got the manager, who proceeded to argue that the plate was hot, therefore the food must also be hot. I told him to touch it, but he wouldn't. Finally he brought it out too hot to eat with another serving of mussels--we told him we didn't want them, but he wouldn't take them back!!! BAD service...

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                Gary RE: Jo Jul 20, 2006 07:28 PM

                I'll add my voice the throng: the Beer Bistro is great, and the Beer Markt is crappy. I've been to the Markt twice, in the bar area (never the dining area) and was treated with indifference the first time and assaulted by a bouncer the second time.

                During my second (and last) visit my friend and I were standing near the very middle of the room. It was early in the evening and pretty much had the place to ourselves, and were facing each other having a conversation. A bouncer decided to walk across the empty room, for some reason choosing a path that crossed directly behind where I was standing. As he passed, he paused to put one hand on each of my shoulders and push me forward about a foot. Then he continued walking and went behind the bar, leaving my friend and I staring at each other, unable to believe what had just happened.

                Though angry, I decided that confronting a bouncer three times my size in a bar would be a losing proposition, so we quickly finished our beers and left for greener pastures. To this day I have no idea what the point of this was: as I said, the place was nearly empty and we did nothing to provoke this treatment.

                Attitude like that disgusts me, and I'll never return under any circumstances.

                The food and service at the Beer Bistro, on the other hand, are terrific.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Gary
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                  Ubervache RE: Gary Jul 20, 2006 09:06 PM

                  On our last dinner at the Beer Bistro, we asked them for a sliced Granny Smith apple with our fondue and they were onyl too happy to oblige! A first rate restaurant!

                2. kerwintoronto RE: Jo Jul 20, 2006 10:05 PM

                  Thanks for all the info. Been looking for somewhere to intro my wife to different beers. I think Beer Bistro it is.

                  1. s
                    starvin RE: Jo Jul 21, 2006 02:48 AM

                    If you want to introduce your wife to a great selection of beers, you should try "Allen's" on the Danforth. The food is excellent as well. It's quite busy on the weekends, and usually has a band of some sort. My fiancee is a beer freak and a food lover- he's always wanting to go there!

                    I find the Beer Bistro to be just okay...and the Bier Markt is a service nightmare...Very rude and slow...I hate that place!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: starvin
                      kerwintoronto RE: starvin Jul 21, 2006 03:00 AM

                      Thanks starvin. We will try it out.

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                      leebee RE: Jo Mar 1, 2008 01:08 PM

                      DON'T GO TO THE BIER MARKET FOR THEIR FONDUE!!!!! Save yourself from an absolutely terrible place with tasteless food. Everything about this place is worth staying home and heating up a PC Fondue kit w/ friends. I guarantee you'll enjoy your evening 10 fold.

                      1. CriolloLover RE: Jo Mar 1, 2008 09:18 PM

                        Just wanted to add some more recent props to the Beer Bistro - a definite must in Toronto for those looking for an outstanding bottle selection (though pricy - the cellar list is certainly worth checking out) matched by some of the best beer focused food in Canada. Service is prompt and friendly. As previously noted the steak tartare is worth having. If you're planning on dinner on a Friday/Saturday - make reservations.

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