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Julie's Cuban Restaurant-Have YOU been?

  • k
  • kathleen Mar 3, 2006 02:24 PM
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Just gotta copy of "Cheap Eats Toronto" and I keep reading about this place "Julie's Cuban Restaurant." It got rave reviews in here...cheap, good food, good atmosphere. I'm wondering if it is worth checking out? Whose been, and whatta ya think?

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  1. i wouldn't call it cheap or great.

    went last in the summer when they have a patio open.

    everything is worth trying once, but don't have too high expectations.

    1 Reply
    1. re: karen

      We had a recent birthday party there and it was NOT cheap in any way! A pomegranate martini was almost $10...yikes! The wine we had was way over priced.
      The food is average, not bad and not super great! If you ever been to Cuba the food is not the something memorable!!
      The service is uneven.
      Will not return.....nothing to see here....move on!

    2. I took my SO to Julie's last summer to celebrate a birthday. We ordered a variety of tapas: shrimp in white wine, calamari, plantains, corn fritters, and shared a main of fish which I believe was the special of the day. We each had a Mojito and two glasses of wine. The cheque came to around $90.00. Overall it was decent--nothing spectacular--the Mojito's were very disappointing especially considering what we paid for them. The restaurant was small and tightly packed--service was sporatic, but they were busy as it was a Saturday night. We enjoyed the food, but neither of us felt that we absolutely needed to go back again anytime soon.

      1. f
        Food Tourist

        Julie's is good but not excellent. I guess I went with too-high expectations as usual. I find it a bit expensive, particularly the main dishes. An average-sized chicken quesadilla special was $13. The food itself lacks punch and overall is not memorable.

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        1. grew up hanging out there boefoe it was cuban food, anyways good food alittle over priced. not cheap eats by any means!

          1. went Sat night
            not cheap at all(alchahol very expensive)
            The specials tapas where outrages,quesadias $7.00 thats fine but with chicken $14.00 as a tapas thats a rip off
            Tapas was very nice, unusual and very tasty but the meal went hugely downhill after that
            Main courses where shocking and almost inedible
            Beef, steak and chicken

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bones 10

              We ate there in the summer...skipped the appetizers and the tapas and went straight for two mains and two mojitos. We got outta there for under $50. Definitely a cute date place...good atmosphere.

            2. Not mind-blowing, but I really enjoy the food and the atmosphere there. I agree with the other posters that (although it's not outrageously expensive) it probably doesn't belong in cheap eats.

              1 Reply
              1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                funny, we do the opposite - don't order mains, just a bunch of apps to share. i think people who like it (and there are many - i live across the street from it and the place is always packed, not just in the summer), like the whole package - the atmosphere feels cozy, it's kind of romantic in a shabby comfy sort of way, the patio is great in the summer, and the servers are generally friendly. it has a laid back feel with good comfort food.

              2. This place is about atmosphere, especially with the beautiful patio in the summer. It has a certain cozy vibe that few restaurants in this city have. My wife and I ordered a variety of small tapas dishes, and they ranged from delicious (ceviche, corn frituras) to poor (inedible oil-saturated rellanos). I'd heard good things about the mojitos but was also disappointed by them -- Fire on the East Side makes 'em bigger, better and cheaper. All said, we will probably return to Julie's in the summer to enjoy the relaxed vibe again, but the food itself is average at best -- especially considering the prices.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Gary

                  i have only been once and the experience was shocking. It was very busy, summertime, and although we had called in advance, when we arrived they said they couldn't seat us on the patio. Fine, but we noticed there was an empty table of four on the patio the whole time we were there. Waiting for a VIP, I guess?
                  Our waitress took forever to get to us, then took our order distractedly and disappeared. We tried to flag her down and she whooshed by us a few times, but to no avail. The app's finally arrived, delivered by someone else, and they were fine. We asked the deliver-er of food about the wine we had ordered, but alas, not being our waitress, he couldn't help us. I typically like my wine to arrive before my food, but maybe that's just me.
                  Our mains arrived shortly after the app's, delivered by our waitress. She dropped the plates and ran. We assumed she was picking up the 4th main for our table of 4. Ten minutes later, with 3 mains in front of us and our friend meal-less, we flagged her down and asked if his meal was coming. She stared at us blankly, then said she must have forgotten to order that one. We asked if she could rush his meal through the kitchen, or if she could recommend something that could be served quickly. We were super polite about it. To our astonishment, she said "oh no, you'll all be finished by the time his comes out anyway". No apology, no offer to fix the problem, just a shrug. Our very sweet and starving 4th graciously said he'd share with his girlfriend. We asked if maybe it was at least possible to bring our wine. We were so in shock at this point that I don't even remember my main, except that I gave a quarter of it away to Mr. Meal-less. As we finished, our wine arrived.
                  Now, I am a radical over-tipper. It's a knee-jerk reaction for me. But at this point, we decided it was not service that could in any way be rewarded; she had done nothing to fix her mistakes or even apologize, and what about the poor person she served next? So we left a 9% tip on the total bill, including the wine we didn't drink.
                  As we were leaving, she said to my friend, "how could you leave that tip? That's horrible". She said it loudly, so that the table next to us looked up with furrowed brow. At that moment, we could have rioted, or we could just get the heck out of there and end this misery. And so we left, past the open table on the patio, feeling hungry and guilty and utterly dejected. Never again, Julie's- once left us with enough memories for a lifetime.

                  1. re: MartiniGirls

                    In that case, I would have left 0% tip. You're very generous.

                    And as for the comment from the waitress...oh boy.

                2. This place is a real shame. From the outside it looks incredibly charming and cozy and BUSY.
                  But once you get inside it's one disappointment after another. We were there last night, a group of 9, for a special occasion.
                  The server was cute and friendly and nice, but seemed to be run ragged between all the other tables. He wasn't all that attentive to our group and we waited almost 45 minutes before we even ordered. Plus we had to literally flag him down just to order drinks.
                  The food is okay. And for just okay food, it's crazy expensive. The topline on this site is a bit misleading because the mains are more in the 20-25 range, with tapas items in the 8-15 range.
                  I had called before to see if there would be a cutting fee if I brought some cupcakes for our friend. The guy on the phone told me he didn't think so but would check and I ensure him that these were CUPCAKES, not a slab cake, not some huge concoction of a dessert...Cupcakes.
                  I asked him again when I got there and he said that the owner insisted on charging us, which was understandable, but a bit tight.. But at no point did he say the charge would be $18 added on top of our bill. More than the cost of the cupcakes themselves. Ridiculous. (and we gave one to our waiter because he was salivating over them!)
                  When the bill came, our waiter was nowhere to be seen to answer all the questions we had about what each item was, or even to explain the $18 OPEN FOOD item on our bill. There is nothing worse than 9 adults having to spend a half hour with our cell phones out trying to divide up a bill that ended up to be almost $500.
                  All in all, we had a good night, but I don't think any of us will be back there. Such a shame, since it's such a great location.
                  PS: Don't get the Sangria. It's not worth it.

                  1. I guess one of the benefits of an archive (this thread is over 2 years old) is we can use it, in part, to judge consistency. Interesting to hear that Julie's is still crappy and over priced. Fits my experience of 4 years ago. This place has been scamming Toronto with it's "charm" for ages.