2-for-1 Coupons - What's worth it?
I have a Toronto Life 2-for-1 coupon book, and one of the Entertainment books that schools such as mine use as fundraisers for our students. I'm looking to use up my coupons as they expire in a few months, and want to know which places I should rush and which I should skip. Here is a partial list of places to choose from (I'm leaving out the pubs and fast foodish places since they're fair game anytime):
- Bombay Palace, 71 Jarvis
- Courthouse Market Grille
- Dhaba Indian Excellence
- KAMA Indian
- Rosewater Supper Club
- ThaiThai Cafe, King St.
- Vechio Frak, College St.
- Touch of Asia (Eglinton W)
- Salto (davenport)
- La Cocina de Dona Luz
- Joy Bistro
- Real Jerk
- Big Mamma's Boy
- Bistro 333
- Le Saint Tropez
- Buppathai (quuen/Jarvis)
- OJA Noodle House
- Saffron Tree (Gerrard)
Quite a list I know. So I guess let me know the FIVE BEST and/or FIVE WORST. Assume I'm looking for somewhere with good food, good service, a nice atmosphere (anywhere from quiet/romantic to bustling/happening) - where two people can enjoy a nice meal and some decent wine.
Definitely skip Buppha Thai. I ate there maybe a month ago and the food was really bad. Tasteless Thai fried rice with really overcooked chicken. Appetizers were missing from the special appetizer plate (in their defense they included more of the ones that did make an appearance). Just awful.
I've always enjoyed Joy Bistro on Queen St. E., especially so when I could use its 2-for-1 coupon in the Entertainment Book. But it still offers fair value even at regular prices. A cosy room, a better-than-average patio overlooking a park, good service, mainly neighborhood clientele, decent wine list at civilized prices and nicely- turned-out food - though I was told that its head chef, Milton - who had a deft hand with most of the dishes, especially fish - had left recently.
However, most Entertainment Book restaurants aren't up to much, which may be why they're in the book in the first place. They're often overpriced to start, with forgettable food. I use only a couple of Entertainment Book coupons and simply forget about the others. The only other one I've regularly used is Bon Vivant, a vaguely French/Italian joint on Avenue Rd. south of the 401, that was surprisingly good. A somewhat limited menu and a short wine list, but what they do they do well.
Despite good reviews here, I had a terrible expirence at OJA. It was one of the first times I wish I had stayed home, or even gone to crappy springrolls.
The food was horrible and tasted waay too fishy, and the noodle soup my bf got was bland and tasteless. There were bugs everywhere, and when I went upstairs to the bathroom I noticed they had the kimichi lined up on the bar with flies buzzing around it. The toilet didnt flush and the water in the bathroom wouldnt turn on. When I told them they took me into the cash/prep area and told me to use that sink, like this happened often. I shudder to think about that place.
Cant comment on much else, but I walk by wish on a daily basis and have only heard great reviews.
Definitely stay away from Rosewater Supper Club. Notorious for extremely poor service and average food during summerlicious/winterlicious, I wonder how they would be when presented with a 2 for 1 coupon.
Dhaba is a great Indian restaurant and I highly recommend going there, especially if you have a coupon. Le Saint Tropez is a cute French place with good food as well.
Dhaba was renovated in June by Restaurant Makeover. Susur Lee is the guest chef. His wife did the design. It'll be on TV this fall. Other than Big Momma's Boy and Wish, I'd steer clear of everything else — half-price not-very-good is no bargain.