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Deep Blue Fish and Chips (Danforth/Broadview)

s
SxCx Oct 11, 2007 09:39 PM

After reading Steven Davey's glowing 5-N review, I had to check it out. Got the recommended Jerk Cod with sweet potato fries, coleslaw, and some sort of fruity dipping sauce.

First, the food.

The fish itself was probably the best part, although the batter's deep brown colour was a bit strange. Apparently they don't use conventional flours? Either way, I went with it. The cod was moist and flaky with subtle spicing, which I consider good, since it didn't overwhelm the flavour of the fish. The batter was a bit chewier than what I'm used to, but it also wasn't offensive. Near impossible to eat with a fork and knife, however, so I gave up and ate out of hand. The sides were pretty rough -- a mound of overcooked, twig-like sweet potato fries and limp, flavourless coleslaw that had small bits of tropical fruit thrown in for the sake of novelty. If it weren't for the interesting take on fish, I might not have returned.

Next, the service. Haha.

I went in around an hour before closing, so there were few people inside. The only people working the front were a fry cook and a server/cashier. The server was hilarious, mainly because I can't remember the last time I've encountered someone who was so transparent in her callousness while on the job. It was all there: sarcasm, resentful body language, and of course, complete inattentiveness. I actually thought the place was cafeteria-style when I walked in, since she was in no hurry to check on the guests, or seat me, or do much of anything to make me feel welcome. Real casual. It's like we were sworn enemies and I never knew it until now. Judging by my description, you'd think we'd be speaking of someone in their 50s or 60s -- nope. I doubt she was a week past 20.

In the end, I got everything I wanted, and was in no real hurry, but I couldn't help but marvel at how brash and confrontational she would be with every poor soul that walked in after me. Thankfully, I had a sense of humour about it, but if she's been at all consistent in her behaviour, I bet there's a ton of people who won't be coming back.

The bill came out to $9.50 or so (with a can of pop), which would have been great had the sides not been worthless. I'll check these guys out again, just to see how some other items fare. And also, to watch that scornful server in action. Jesus.

  1. a
    Apple Oct 11, 2007 09:42 PM

    The big question I have is - do they have halibut? I will be in the neighborhood over the weekend and would be willing to make a detour for a good battered halibut :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: Apple
      s
      SxCx Oct 11, 2007 09:47 PM

      I actually can't recall, but I would assume so. They had a small visible display of fish near the front counter, with at least three to four varieties inside.

      1. re: Apple
        l
        lsk Oct 12, 2007 12:14 AM

        Yes, they do have halibut. As one of the sets, it's the classic English one with fries, tartar sauce, and green pea hummus, but you can choose your fish and batter. I had it on Tuesday and it was fairly good -- flaky interior and crisp golden-brown battered exterior.

        1. re: lsk
          a
          Apple Oct 12, 2007 08:20 PM

          Oh lovely. Heart attack on a Saturday afternoon. Thanks. Looking forward to it.

      2. y
        YummyYummy Oct 11, 2007 11:18 PM

        Here's the link to other recent thread with all the other Deep Blue reviews! ;)

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/432199

        1. JamieK Oct 12, 2007 05:18 AM

          And here's a place link -

          -----
          Deep Blue
          749 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4K2P6, CA

          1. m
            merlot143 Oct 12, 2007 05:28 PM

            I didn't know there was a review. I walked past it tonight and saw a slew of people waiting for food. Obviously very popular already. Hopefully this will stay open, unlike the Caribbean place a while back that also got good reviews.

            1 Reply
            1. re: merlot143
              e
              embee Oct 13, 2007 10:51 AM

              The first couple of times we tried that Caribbean place, it was very good, if not up to the standard the review promised. But, over time, the food became blah and the service worse. They deserved to fail.

            2. w
              wontonfm Oct 21, 2007 06:23 PM

              Went there last night (saturday) at around 8PM and it was packed. We had to wait about 10mins for a table. They were also doing A TON of takeout business.

              I had the jerk battered fish + sweet potato fries + coleslaw. I think they are getting into the groove because my meal was actually very good. The fish was nicely seasoned and the server mentioned that it isn't spicy and offered to bring me some hot sauce with my order if I wanted more heat. I thought this was a great touch since a lot of people on these boards have been complaining about the lack of heat.

              The sweet potato fries were crisp and perfect. Not soggy or greasy at all.

              The coleslaw was OK. It wasn't bad but it wasn't amazing. It hit the spot though as I love the sweet/sour combination... I also have a weak spot for mangoes.

              My tablemates had the traditional halibut. I also enjoyed this. One of my tablemates wasn't fond of the mean because she likes her fish crispy... but I think the crispy vs. chewier is more a matter of preference. The fries were good and fresh. The green pea hummus was OK. I would have been happy with just a coleslaw. Also really enjoyed the tartar sauce.

              Loved the added touch of the vinegar in a spray bottle.

              I don't live in the neighbourhood but if I did it would be in my regular rotation. I'll visit again but not in a major rush... it's off my beaten path.

              1. p
                Pincus Oct 22, 2007 09:09 AM

                I enjoy the place when I want to have a relatively greasy meal. The coleslaw as a side is nothing special, but I love the green pea hummus. I've had the halibut and jerk cod so far, planning to slowly work my way through the whole menu as I cheat on my diet once a week.

                1. j
                  julesrules Feb 5, 2008 07:22 AM

                  I really wanted to like this place despite the mixed reviews. But sadly I did not.

                  We got the Jerk combos. The sweet potato fries were the best part, but I'm just so used to having them with a spicy dipping sauce at Ten Feet Tall. In fact TFT's spicy jerk mayo dip would be the perfect with this meal. The fridge-cold spicy tomato salsa they serve with it, I guess to provide some heat, really does not work. I didn't like the batter, whether due to the batter itself or slightly old oil I couldn't tell. The fish pieces are really quite small. The tropical coleslaw was as somebody else described, lackluster with random tiny bits of neither ripe nor green mango.
                  The service was kind of sad. But I can understand where the young woman (who did try to be pleasant, but was somewhat clueless) might get a bad attitude, given the management she's dealing with. They have the NOW review blown up and posted by the cash, and it includes a large picture of the owners. So I know it was the owner who was cooking our meal, but cast us only a dirty look when we came up to show our toddler the open kitchen. That's fine, but when the debit/credit machine is not working, and I only discover this on my way out, and the owner tells the server "it was working all day" and walks away... well.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: julesrules
                    p
                    Pincus Feb 6, 2008 09:00 AM

                    I'm now treating this place as take-out only because I do enjoy the food, but don't enjoy the atmosphere while dining there.

                    I think I'll give them another month for a final shakedown and try another sit-down meal and see if my subjective experience improves.

                    1. re: Pincus
                      w
                      wontonfm Feb 6, 2008 07:04 PM

                      I only go for takeout ... I don't like to leave smelling like fried fish!

                      The owners/chefs have never been anything but lovely to me. I've had them recommend extra condiments that go well with the fish (without me asking for anything) and in general being lovely.

                      Too bad you had a crappy experience.

                      WON
                      http://whatsonmyplate.wordpress.com

                      1. re: wontonfm
                        j
                        julesrules Feb 7, 2008 07:40 AM

                        It's actually good to hear it was just a bad day because I actually felt kind of bad for the guy that he was so unhappy given that they just opened recently, business seems good, etc. We'll probably go back eventually because DH loves fish and chips and there are plenty of other menu items for me to work my way through.

                        1. re: wontonfm
                          p
                          Pincus Feb 7, 2008 08:01 AM

                          The owners were not a problem. It was the waitstaff twice, although it looked like they were putting some more engaged ones in place the second time I went for a sit down meal, which is why I'm going back in a month for another test.

                          1. re: Pincus
                            foodyDudey Feb 7, 2008 09:34 AM

                            They have been open at least six months now, do you think thay will have it all sorted out in another month?

                            I was there sometime in August, and probably won't be back. I really wanted to like Deep Blue since I live in the area but my first visit didn't go well mainly due to service issues, and the food was just passable. I don't know what has changed for it to get a great review from NOW.

                            1. re: foodyDudey
                              p
                              Pincus Feb 7, 2008 10:17 AM

                              I'm praying their "Help Wanted" sign for wait staff will bear positive fruit. :)

                    2. b
                      bobbieMac Feb 7, 2008 01:32 PM

                      I went here last Fri and got the Jerk cod meal. The fish was good, well seasoned and moist, but a tad small. Batter came out a little harder than I like. Rather than mayo, there was some type of tropical relish. It would've been nice if the relish had a more kick, given it's suppose to be jerk. The light spicing of the batter is understandable so not to over power the fish, but the option of a spicier condiment would be truer to the jerk name.

                      The sweat potato fries were very crisp and excellent accompaniment. Relish was also excellent, very flavourful with the added mango.

                      Service...this is where i'd totally agree with the OP. The place needs a lot of work. The waitress was unattentive and took about 15min before taking our orders. It would've been longer, as she was about to take the order of another table that just sat down before she noticed us. Waiting for the bill was another ordeal. It was snowing heavily, and there were very few tables full, so it definitely wasn't due to volume.

                      Anyways, it's not a bad option for takeout.

                      1. y
                        YummyYummy Feb 24, 2008 06:43 AM

                        Yesterday, I finally got a chance to try this place that's been open for awhile. WOW, it was the best halibut and chips I had so far in the year 2008. ;) Just excellent!!!

                        Even had a chuckle with one of the owners as we made fun of just how bad and overrated Chippy's really was. I couldn't agree more. LOL

                        Anyway, my next visit I'm gonna try the old cod and chips and pretend that I'm in merry old England.

                        By coincidence, as I was leaving the owner mentioned that they have a brand new review from the Toronto Sun in Saturday's paper. Just found it and I'll even put the link from NOW magazine as well. Shows you just how impressed I was by my take-out order of Fish and Chips. :)

                        http://www.torontosun.com/Lifestyle/2008/02/23/4870218-sun.html

                        http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2007...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: YummyYummy
                          Teep Feb 24, 2008 08:56 AM

                          Thanks for the review and links. In the Now article, it says "Like its Queen West counterpart (see listing, this page)" - what does that refer to?

                          1. re: Teep
                            p
                            Pincus Feb 25, 2008 10:10 AM

                            The NOW writer is comparing (not in the most clear fashion) Deep Blue to Chippy's. There is no Deep Blue location at Queen W.

                        2. LadyPB Jul 18, 2008 02:20 PM

                          We finally made it to Deep Blue last Friday. My friend and I split one order of the traditional halibut and one of the jerk cod. Loved the green pea hummus. The fish in both cases was very good. The salsa was unexciting. The tropical slaw was quite good if not a revelation. We'd planned to order the scallop meal, but the scallop delivery wasn't in yet.

                          As has been noted by others, the table service is barely acceptable. If the server wasn't related to one of the owners, there's no explaining why they'd put up with such bad attention to their customers.

                          Both owners were on duty and working hard to keep up with the orders. We were there at the end of the lunch rush - and they truly seemed to have had a rush.

                          I think take-out's the way to go with this place.

                          1. w
                            wontonfm Sep 21, 2008 09:20 AM

                            I haven't stopped by this place in a while... how is it holding up? Any changes to the menu or improvements? The few times that I've been I've enjoyed it (I go for the standard halibut and chips).

                            Just curious

                            WON
                            http://whatsonmyplate.wordpress.com

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: wontonfm
                              m
                              millygirl Oct 12, 2008 12:35 PM

                              Ever been in a situation where you get totally grossed out and wanna leave but it's too late? Well that happened to us today at Deep Blue. It wasn't our first time and we've had one or two good quick meals there in the past. But today, uggghh!!! We were in a hurry, getting ready for company tonight and wanted something fast so we stopped in before picking up some flowers and to race back home. What a mistake!!! Honestly the place is so run down filthy, I wanted to hurl. But we had already placed our orders, hubby was starving, not much time, etc. The place has only been open a little over a year and what a mess. Come on guys, where's the pride??? Everything including the ketchup and vinegar bottles had a slick coating of combination dirt and grease. Not to mention the walls, floors, wood trim. Forget the plastic shield by the deep fryer. I realize it must be a challenge given the amount of deep frying going on but figure it out. And the best part, the owner was walking around all sweaty and stuff in a blue tee shirt, goes downstairs and comes back up in a white chef's jacket that was guess what - filthy dirty black!!!!! Thankfully drinks are served in plastic cups because I could only imagine.

                              Oh I almost forgot, the food! You know what, I was just so disgusted by the whole thing I don't even know what to say about the food. I suppose it was okay but at that point.....well what more can I say.

                              And by the way, on the way out at the cash, when our server/cashier asked how our meal was Mr. Millygirl ever so politely pointed out that the meal was good but the whole place needs a good scrub. Cashier/server dude was deer in the headlights 'Really, you think so'? Duh!!!!!!!!!

                              Reminded me of a similar post someone talked about Homeway, and the server picking crap off the floor and then serving food. This guy did the exact same, picks a roll of coins up off the shitty floor, proceeds to run his hands through his hair, then goes and gets our food. OMG, I gotta run upstairs just thinking about it.

                              Sorry for the rant but I had to try and save others.

                              1. re: millygirl
                                JamieK Oct 14, 2008 01:12 PM

                                ah millygirl, you made me laugh again. I've never been to Deep Blue and never will (especially after reading this) because the best F&C place convenient to me is Olde Yorke, but thanks for you entertaining rant!

                                1. re: JamieK
                                  m
                                  millygirl Oct 14, 2008 06:14 PM

                                  Agreed, Olde York is by far the best in towne, in terms of cleanliness and quality :)

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