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Best resto/pub in Annex or Harbord Village area?

Will be heading out for some food and drink tomorrow night and are looking for a pub with a good atmosphere (ala Victory) but with the possibility of some other activities available (ie. pool or dancing). Any suggestions in this area? Have done The Brunswick House and Madison (ick)....hoping for something new. Would also be ok with heading down to College but not much farther.

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    1. What about the James Joyce? They have live music and pool tables.

      3 Replies
      1. re: estragon

        That is the single worst pub I've ever been in. They served us half-cooked wings (with visible blood inside) and when we complained, the cook (!) came out to our table and tried to tell us it was "cooked blood" (both of us were former chefs), then he took them away and deep fried the same wings--with the sauce still on!--till they were almost like charcoal and sent them back out. When we asked to see a manager we were told, "What do you expect he's going to do if you complain?" And don't assume anything here--we were just two quiet guys who went looking for a place to watch hockey. We had done absolutely nothing to draw anyone's wrath.

        1. re: estragon

          I agree with Ognir. I also had some horrible nasty chicken wings there a few years ago. Also during my visit there was a small bar fight, with a bloodied victim staggering around waiting for the cops while all the staff vanished for 40 minutes or so (to some sort of barricaded safe room, perhaps?) Much later I used the washroom and it was still strewn with blood-soaked paper towels. As you can tell, it was a super appetizing experience. I'd recommend any other pub over this one.

          1. re: Gary

            +1. The worst pub I've been in in my whole life. I was given a menu that really stank of piss. I kid you not. You know how you have to block your nose when passing by some homeless folks? Well, that was worse. When I asked the waitress about it, she just shrugged, didn't even offer me a different menu! And I just got out of there asap...

          1. re: food_lover

            Now this is an excellent pub, one of my favourites in Toronto. I've always been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, and they know how to pour a proper pint, too. The decor and service are also excellent. My only recommendation is to avoid the back room on weekend evenings if you want to chat, because the live music can be very, very loud.

            The proper name of the pub is the Pour House. It's at Dupont just east of Spadina, about a five minute walk from the Dupont subway stop.

            http://pourhouse.sites.toronto.com

            1. re: ognir

              Sorry to hear about the James Joyce. I don't think I've ever ordered food there.

              But Paupers is no better. Can't beat the location (across the street from the Bloor Cinema) or the layout (great booths), but the food is atrocious! Greasy and flavourless (other than an over-generous use of salt) - everything tastes like it came from a package or the freezer. Every time I have eaten there, I've regretted it.

              1. re: estragon

                beg to differ there mate, for pub food paupers is great and has a pretty darn reasonable selection, much better than most pubs that's for sure

                1. re: estragon

                  Don't get me wrong. If I never went back to Paupers I'd lose no sleep.

              2. I've had some surprisingly good food at the Green Room. I don't really know what kind of crowd is there during the winter, as I usually in the summer and sit in the "courtyard".