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Prohibition/Booze Emporium Review

Stopped into Prohibition/Booze Emporium last night for a quick dinner mostly as a result of all of the talk about the spot on this board.

The room is nicely put together with some cool touches (we loved the idea of the light-switches in the booths that were wired for service requests - like in planes - although we didn't need to use it as the service was very friendly and well-timed).

As for the food, it certainly wasn't horrible but we walked out questioning the term "GastroPub" they have been advertising. With the exception of oysters being on offer, the menu was pretty much straight-up Pub. I had the fish and chips, which was too heavily battered and salty for my personal taste, but otherwise standard and decently executed. My friend had the chicken "TV Dinner Special" which he liked less. It included a grilled chicken breast covered in an overly sweet BBQ sauce, a compartment of passable mashed potatoes and a compartment of very oily zucchini slices. He found the whole thing quite boring after a couple of bites.

The bill, with tax and tip, for the two entrees, one draught beer and an iced tea was $50.00.

We were expecting the menu to have more twists and interest. Our overall review was that based on the room and the service we would happily return for drinks, but the food was underwhelming.

Intrested to hear from others who have visited - did we just select the wrong items from the menu? Other options included a Kobe burger, mussels done two ways, wings, gourmet Mac & Cheese, smothered steak...

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  1. i am not sure chefs in toronto understand what the term 'gastropub' really means...many seem to be using it now...but i have yet to experience the gastropubs of england

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      1. I have to admit, my experience was completely different. My expectation was that being a gastropub, Prohibition would be swank, hip and have something other than pub food. What a complete mistake that is!!!

        Basically, this place has all the feel of a rocker bar that will pretty much close up in about 3 months. It's completely skidsville.

        Those switches on the side of the booth were interesting, except any attempt at using them resulted in zero service. I perused the wine/drinks list...ummm.....may as well be ordering from a very low end restaurant...nothing interesting at all.

        Eventually, I picked a bottle of red to share with my 3 companions. The waitress appears, 4 chunky, very inappropriate glasses in hand, struggles to open the bottle and then finally manages to pour the wine. As I go to drink there is lipstick smeared all over my glass..umm...great. I ask for a new glass, it arrives and I pour my wine in.....guess I should have inspected it first, as this one has a toothpick in it. At this point, I should have just walked out the door, but being the polite boy I am, I again alert our waitress. Alas, she offers us as replacement a glass of house red or a round of shots. Well, being no dummy, we take the shots. They arrive after we drink the rest of the wine....all 5 of them. Obviously, our waitress decided she was to be included in the event, as she hadn't been doing enough of them behind the bar already.

        All I can say is don't even bother with this dump. I can't wait for it to close and something decent pop in. Gastropub? I'd rather go to Dangerous Dan's down the street.

        3 Replies
          1. re: JamieK

            haha they have a copy of his review up on the wall...perhaps downtownjoe will make millions from the royalties ;)

            1. re: JamieK

              Now if only they had a fact checker on their Betty Ford material.

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            1. The original comment has been removed