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Restaurant Makeover at Massimo's

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Yongeman Oct 27, 2007 09:48 PM

Walked over to get a slice tonight, after a beer at the Free Times, and there was Igor and crew inside, doing what they do. That's a place that really needed some upgrading--not too much, I hope.

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    warlock RE: Yongeman Oct 28, 2007 10:02 AM

    I was passing by the place last wednesday and saw Igor and another guy having a beer outside,it was pitch dark inside.I did not see a Restaurant Makeover sign though. I was thinking that Igor was doing his own contract (the guy must have a life outside of RM).BTW how is the Pizza at Massimo's?

    5 Replies
    1. re: warlock
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      Yongeman RE: warlock Oct 28, 2007 10:44 AM

      The margherita slice is my fave. When it's good, it's great.

      1. re: warlock
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        Ender RE: warlock Oct 28, 2007 11:17 AM

        When its fresh its awesome, but its not a trancesdent pizza experience like you find in NYC or Chitown.

        1. re: warlock
          deelicious RE: warlock Oct 28, 2007 04:41 PM

          Far too often it just isn't fresh. I gave up on them. Cardboard dough, tasteless sauce. It just isn't worth it. They hand you an inferior slice as you gamble for a good one. The last two times I threw the slice away in disgust.

          I will try it again after RM.

          There is a reason they called in the folks from RM and I dont think it was because they were doing so much business that they weren't able to keep up. The pizza lost its zip 5 years ago, at least.

          Hopefully it will be brought back to life...hopefully.

          1. re: deelicious
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            5andman RE: deelicious Oct 28, 2007 07:41 PM

            Haven't been there in years. I'm disappointed to hear that the quality has slid since my last visit. Hope that changes after RM.

            1. re: 5andman
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              warlock RE: 5andman Oct 29, 2007 06:23 PM

              To be honest RM might help in the decor,not too sure how much it will help the food,I mean what can one do if you serve old pizza...might give it a shot to see what is is about......

        2. shana RE: Yongeman Oct 29, 2007 08:28 AM

          I noticed this too. Is it just me or is anyone else sick of RM doing take out places? Like Reliable fish and chips over by the east end - it seems to me it doesn't make for exciting TV as the menus are so small and limited.

          However I am glad something is being done to Massimos - in university I lived on Robert Street just up from there and loved the pizza so much - especially the margherita and that lovely herb/garlic olive oil they drizzled on it before serving.

          Since I've started working nearby I've gone a few times to grab lunch and was disappointed by the general decay of the place. Luckily if you go at lunch there are always hot and fresh slices.

          I'd really rather go there than Amatos so I hope this RM works out for them!

          1 Reply
          1. re: shana
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            Yongeman RE: shana Oct 29, 2007 09:05 AM

            I'm getting tired of RM in general. It's all so scripted. I agree about Massimo's needing a facelift, though. Massimo's is like the girl in the old nursery rhyme, "when she was good, she was very very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid."

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            logicbored RE: Yongeman Oct 29, 2007 06:38 PM

            I just went by and it was re-opened. It does look better but almost looks like the cheque bounced and RM buggered off early. Had a margerita slice and it tasted as "2-day old" as this joint has become. Disappointed.....

            1 Reply
            1. re: logicbored
              shana RE: logicbored Oct 29, 2007 08:28 PM

              am watching RM right now - they are redoing a bagel place - sigh.

              I did go by Massimos today - they weren't open for lunch but I peered in and it looks cleaner and nicer. And they gave them a new sign - which is nice for a change - that's one of my biggest pet peeves with the show - they redo the inside and don't spend any $$ on the exterior sign - Reliable fish and chips is a perfect example. The new interior and the old sign totally clash. Thankfully they kept that awesome retro terrazzo floor at Massimos - still looked dirty though hopefully upon closer inspection I'll see that they polished it.

              Will try them again for lunch later this week and report back on the food.

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              hungry_pangolin RE: Yongeman Oct 30, 2007 10:02 AM

              I apologise for this, but I just can't help myself. To my mind, Massimo's has been the most over-rated pizza joint in the city for years now. I don't think that I've had a decent slice there in a decade. And I'm actually in a good mood at the moment.

              I wonder whether RM actually addressed the occasionally surly service as well. Jeez, guys, I'm only asking for a slice of 'za.

              5 Replies
              1. re: hungry_pangolin
                deelicious RE: hungry_pangolin Oct 30, 2007 02:28 PM

                Yes. It's been a looooooooong time.

                1. re: hungry_pangolin
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                  czthemmnt RE: hungry_pangolin Oct 31, 2007 06:46 AM

                  I'm glad that I'm not the only one who was more than a little taken aback by how rude the staff are. I went for the first time a month ago because quite a few people recommended the pizza, and the server didn't say one word, not one, the entire transaction, and literally threw the slice of pizza on the counter. Okay, maybe he's having a bad day (although it was only 11:30). Went back a second time, another server, same experience. The guy wasn't any nicer to the two other customers either.

                  1. re: czthemmnt
                    deelicious RE: czthemmnt Oct 31, 2007 07:00 AM

                    For me, I just need great pizza if I am grabbing a slice. I don't need the guy to say much at all, if anything. But then I will only go if its a GREAT SLICE.

                    Thats why I don't go to Massimo anymore.

                    1. re: deelicious
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                      hungry_pangolin RE: deelicious Oct 31, 2007 09:01 AM

                      When I go for a slice, I'm not looking for great convo or obsequious service, either, but I've been treated like I said that their mother was turning tricks.

                      Oh, yeah... and the slice sucked.

                      1. re: hungry_pangolin
                        deelicious RE: hungry_pangolin Oct 31, 2007 02:28 PM

                        lol

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                  adf1962 RE: Yongeman Apr 15, 2008 10:03 AM

                  The episode aired last night. It wasn't that great. Not sure where the $30K went. I've seen better builds in larger restaurants.
                  Last night's episode promped me to go today for lunch. I've been going there for 25 years, ever since I was a student at UofT. I miss the old guy behind the counter. He was lively. The pizza hasn't really changed that much over the years. The margherita is still great and they use fresh basil so you can't go wrong there. The crust might be a bit different. I still go there once a week.
                  The guys in there are pretty quiet and mind their own business. . .it's usually "hi, what'll you have" and "bye". They're usually pretty busy but will chat with you when they have some down time. I've never had a problem with these guys.
                  Sorry to hear some have had bad experiences but me and my coworkers continue to go there.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: adf1962
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                    embee RE: adf1962 Apr 15, 2008 05:00 PM

                    For many years, their margherita was my choice for best Toronto slice. I've found them extremely inconsistent for many years now. It's still delicious on a good day, but there have been many bad days.

                    1. re: embee
                      Finnegan RE: embee Apr 16, 2008 12:28 PM

                      Used to go there daly about 25 years ago too when I was at the UofT. It tasted good because it was cheap and hot...last time I was there (for old times sake) was about a year ago and it was nothing to write home about. Sw the RM episde and wasn't overly impressed by the changes (Brenda Bent's designs never impress me - but I guess to get Susur Lee on the show they had to take her).

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