HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What's your latest food project?
TELL US

The Lobster Trap

abscissa Nov 15, 2007 03:07 AM

Anyone who has been here have any thoughts?

I have been there several times and it is a very strange place in my opinion... one the one hand you are paying for premium food, on the other hand there are paper placemats and the place feels like a family restaurant chain.

  1. s
    Scary Bill Nov 15, 2007 05:40 AM

    You are correct. Been there once, never again.It truly is a trap.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Scary Bill
      a
      antifoodie Nov 15, 2007 06:00 AM

      The question then: Why have you been several times? There must be something good about the place.... Or not.

      1. re: antifoodie
        abscissa Nov 15, 2007 10:16 AM

        I have been about 3-4 times and I have always enjoyed the food. Actually I think it's fantastic. The atmosphere ruins everything though. And I kind of felt it was maybe a bit expensive.

        I mean seriously, who the !@#! uses paper placemats? Let us say you were going to your favorite high-end TO restaurant, Scaramouche, Sushi Kaji or whatever, and they put down a paper placemat with trivia on it... honestly what would you think?? Paper placemats are for pancakes at Dennys at 4 AM when you are so drunk you can't aim the syrup on your plate.

        1. re: abscissa
          Fwagra Nov 16, 2007 09:22 AM

          Newsflash! This just in: Lobster is not haute cuisine!

          Paper placemats (with maps of the Maritimes) suit it perfectly. Best lobsters are those eaten by the side of the road in New England, stuffed into a fresh white roll, wrapped in a paper napkin.

          1. re: Fwagra
            s
            Scary Bill Nov 16, 2007 09:40 AM

            **Another Newsflash**

            Places that serve lobster on paper plates and picnic tables shouldn't have $$$$$ pricing.

            1. re: Scary Bill
              Fwagra Nov 17, 2007 05:50 AM

              Perhaps. But, hey, where can you get a lobster in a restaurant for cheap that's not chopped up into bits and slathered with some gummy, glutenous MSG sauce?

              I love Bergon lobsters. They sell them fresh; you can cook them at home, or they will even cook them for you. Anyone heard of Bergon? Are they still around?

              1. re: Fwagra
                skylineR33 Nov 17, 2007 05:56 AM

                Easy. You can get a steamed boston lobster at $9/lb without any MSG at ElegantView chinese restaurant. Is this cheap enough ? But it has to be at least 4lb. 4 lbs for $36 dollars. And if your other friend in your party like it pan-fried with onion and ginger, you can have another one, probably there is some MSG sauce in it, but it is nicely cooked and delicious in ElegantView. So 8 lbs of lobster for less than $80.

                You just need to know your way around GTA to get this type of deal.

                1. re: skylineR33
                  m
                  millygirl Nov 17, 2007 06:33 AM

                  I'm curious skylineR33, have you tried the lobster at Wah Sing on Baldwin? I've had it there a few times and enjoyed it. Wondering if it is similar to ElegantView.

                  1. re: millygirl
                    skylineR33 Nov 17, 2007 08:40 AM

                    No, I have not been to Wah Sing. Maybe some CHer here been to both places can help making a comparison ? All I can say is it is not the best in town but very good IMO (I have only tried Ginger and Onion because it is the most popular there, there are some post in an earlier thread describing it). It is very busy at weekend, so recommend to make a reservation. To be more accurate, it is $8.88/lb in weekday and $10.88/lb in the weekend. Remember to bring cash if going there !

                    1. re: skylineR33
                      e
                      erly Nov 17, 2007 09:08 AM

                      I have eaten at Wah Sing on a couple of occasions.
                      There is no comparison.
                      Wah Sing is competent, but not as spot on with cooking time, and method.Last time I was at Wah Sing, about a year ago, our Lobster was tough.
                      Some here prefer the dry method of O Mei, but I prefer Elegantview and Dragon Dynasty.

                  2. re: skylineR33
                    JamieK Nov 17, 2007 06:37 AM

                    +

                    -----
                    Elegantview
                    3601 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M1W, CA

              2. re: Fwagra
                NovoCuisine Nov 16, 2007 11:22 AM

                Now that sounds like the only kind of lobster I'd go out and pay for rather than cooking it myself.

              3. re: abscissa
                p
                pearlD Nov 18, 2007 03:42 PM

                We've been to the Lobster Trap (also WAS) a family favourite at least 2 or 3 times a year..last time was in April '07.....
                I will not go back , I didn't/don't object to the paper placemats et al...I found the place to be so 'bedraggled' and I hesitate to say, but also dirty-feeling (cutlery/dishes) Don't even look down at the floor which has been the same 'carpeting' as far back as I can remember. If I want a Lobster Dinner I'm willing to go to the House of Chan and pay the BIG $$ or simply get some cooked from one of the better places available around town.
                p.s. there were 4 of us for dinner.. two had decent lobster and two had seriously 'over-steamed'.... I will say that the service was good but it was not a 'saving grace' and that's it for our family.

          2. y
            Yum2MyTum Nov 15, 2007 06:12 AM

            Aw I'm sorry that people didn't enjoy their experiences here.

            Growing up, The Lobster Trap was our family's go-to place for special occasions. They had a creamy and delicious bisque, great fixings, a casual atmosphere and glorious lobster of all sizes. We always left with bursting bellies, and nothing but good things to say. A very family friendly place.

            I think it's relativley unique in that it is very down-home in atmosphere as absicisaa comments, but the prices are not cheap - they're not unreasonable, mind you, just not particularly low - and the food, though rustic, is not unsophisticated.

            -----
            Lobster Trap
            1962 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M4A1, CA

            5 Replies
            1. re: Yum2MyTum
              j
              jessi20 Nov 15, 2007 09:01 AM

              i have to agree with yum2mytum. my husband claims that the lobster trap is the best restaurant in toronto....and not just because of the food. he remembers family events being held there as well when he came from out of town. he says the service is the best in toronto (though i do not think it is the best, i have to admit it is pretty damn good). he says the seafod is the best (he is not much of a seafood eater, but he DOES know fresh from frozen) and it is interesting for visitors. we have had many out of town guest for dinner there as per his request and no one has ever disiked their meal.
              yeah...............it's not the absolute standard for seafood...but it sure as hell beats red lobster. it also is fun for a family get together.

              1. re: jessi20
                y
                Yum2MyTum Nov 16, 2007 05:34 AM

                Thanks jessi20 - I was feeling quite outnumbered.
                It's not an amazing culinary experience - it doesn't claim to be. It's definitely no Starfish, (a restaurant that I enjoy very much for different reasons) but it's not pretentious, it's family friendly, the seafood is fresh and the atmosphere is homey.

                1. re: Yum2MyTum
                  j
                  jessi20 Nov 16, 2007 07:11 AM

                  yum........guess it depends on your expectations. fine, some here love starfish. great for them. i cannot comment as all negative comments regarding starfish seem to mysteriously dissapear. lobster trap has always worked for us though. so enjoy your next outing there. for those that are planning on going.........do not let the food snobs steer you away. food is decent, service is awesome and location is ideal.

              2. re: Yum2MyTum
                monkeyinthemiddle Nov 16, 2007 04:11 PM

                the "bisque" was the worst part of the lobster trap for me.
                it was all cream

                1. re: monkeyinthemiddle
                  s
                  shannonjd Feb 4, 2010 11:27 AM

                  What??? I LOVE the bisque!!! it's one of my favorites!!!!

              3. kawarthagirl Nov 15, 2007 06:52 AM

                GAHK! I hated that place. Lobster should be an event. Better to buy one and cook it or if you can't handle that, buy one pre-cooked.

                We actually got really decadent 2 weeks ago and ordered 1 live and 1 cooked from Clearwater - it arrived the next day ... sweetest lobster meat I've had in a while!

                3 Replies
                1. re: kawarthagirl
                  a
                  auberginegal Nov 15, 2007 09:14 AM

                  how much does shipping cost? is it by weight?

                  1. re: auberginegal
                    kawarthagirl Nov 15, 2007 10:16 AM

                    Good question - I can't remember - if you go on their website, you can get the full price for your order without placing an order...http://www.clearwater.ca We bought 2 x 1.5 pounders + a bag of cracked crab claws and our shipping was somewhere in the area of $20. It'd Fedex...

                    1. re: kawarthagirl
                      m
                      millygirl Nov 15, 2007 11:52 AM

                      Went once to the Lobster Trap and like kawartha girl, hated it!!!! If I want a lobster I either go chinese or Starfish. Nothing will do once you've had Starfish lobster!

                2. skylineR33 Nov 15, 2007 08:21 PM

                  For cheap and good lobster, why not go to ElegantView chinese restaurant on Victoria Park and Finch for fresh lobster ? It is $9 per pound and they showed you the lobster before they cooked it. I saw one there that is 23 pounds one night.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: skylineR33
                    kawarthagirl Nov 16, 2007 05:44 AM

                    Has anyone ever bought some at T&T Supermarket (the new one on Cherry st)? What's the quality like? They're $8.99 / lb

                    1. re: skylineR33
                      e
                      erly Nov 16, 2007 12:04 PM

                      Usually people who frequent the lobster Trap want their Lobster steamed or broiled.
                      Dragon Dynasty offers this option.
                      I am not sure that Elegantview will (although we were back there this week for a 6 pounder between four of us,as they cook it perfectly).
                      We stopped going to Lobster Trap a couple of years ago, after many many years of being regulars, as we were having one overcooked Lobster after another, so we just gave up.
                      I do however agree with the rustic atmosphere of Lobster Trap, as that is in my perception of a Lobster restaurant.

                      1. re: erly
                        skylineR33 Nov 16, 2007 12:15 PM

                        yes, they can also broiled/steamed the lobster. However, it can only be cooked in one way(any way you want as long as they know how to do it), for more than one way, they will charge additional "production cost". One constraint is the lobster size has to be from 4 to 12 lbs. But Scallion and Ginger is the most popular way there.

                        1. re: skylineR33
                          e
                          erly Nov 16, 2007 12:31 PM

                          Thanks Skyline.
                          I didn't know that they would steam it.
                          I love their Ginger- Onion, and we have them add garlic, but we have friends who prefer steamed.
                          Will take them to Elegantview to try it.
                          Also disappointed with their portion, and preparation of the giant Geoducks they had this week, but must say, this is the first unsatisfactory dish in a long while.

                          1. re: erly
                            skylineR33 Nov 16, 2007 12:48 PM

                            I see. I also like their steamed whole shell fresh scallop with black bean sauce, nicely done, $3.95 each, sold out pretty early on a weekend night. Also, the sweet and sour pork, which is also their famous dish, ordinary but perfectly balanced on thin and fat meat used !

                    2. Spare rib guy Jan 11, 2008 02:49 PM

                      I prefer good food to fancy decor,but that's just me.Few local places can match The Lobster Trap in the lobster they serve,pricey yes,but I'd rather spend a few extra bucks but know I'll enjoy my lobster.The decor hasn't changed in the 35 years I've been eating there,who cares? Some people like an old favorite that preserves its tradition.I do find the organ player an interesting new addition,I requested Rock Lobster one night, LOL

                      1. f
                        farmgirl1836 Dec 2, 2013 06:32 AM

                        The Lobster Trap has been a go to restaurant in my family for many, many years. Unfortunately, we will no longer be returning. We bought two Buytopia vouchers months ago and recently read the scathing review in The Toronto Star of both the Avenue Road and Woodbridge locations. We tried to give the vouchers back, but couldn't. So, on Saturday night we went and used one. It's definitely not the same Lobster Trap I remember. I must say that the lobster was good, but that's all that was good. The atmosphere was dull, the service terrible, the bisque a new recipe not at all resembling at all what once was, even the garlic rolls, salad and baked potato were drab, to be polite. It's just sad that what was to my family an institution has taken such a downhill slide. I don't wish bad things for any establishment, but I won't be surprised if The Lobster Trap on Avenue Road will no longer exist within a year. Too bad.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: farmgirl1836
                          m
                          magic Dec 2, 2013 06:35 AM

                          Had a HORRIBLE experience recently as well.

                          New ownership. Avoid!

                          1. re: farmgirl1836
                            Spare rib guy Dec 2, 2013 04:20 PM

                            The Lobster trap atmosphere was always dull, service iffy.The reason I go would be for the Lobster, if I want good salad and baked potato I'll go to a salad bar.I have been going since the early 70's

                            1. re: Spare rib guy
                              m
                              magic Dec 2, 2013 05:38 PM

                              Curious, Spare rib guy, have you been recently?

                              1. re: magic
                                Spare rib guy Dec 2, 2013 09:30 PM

                                I was there shortly after the new ownership took over.The lobster was exactly the same, (I always have it broiled) bisque was close enough , buns similar, salad was salad.I don't think it has been renovated ever , it's like walking into the past.Same paper table mat map.

                                1. re: Spare rib guy
                                  m
                                  magic Dec 3, 2013 06:22 AM

                                  The decor doesn't bother me. What bothered me was the service.

                                  Amongst the worst I've ever experienced. :(

                              2. re: Spare rib guy
                                f
                                farmgirl1836 Dec 3, 2013 06:33 AM

                                I've been going to The Lobster Trap since it was located in a strip plaza on Morningside Drive. My mother told Otto that he needed to find a location closer to the City. That was about 1966. The lobster was good on our recent visit. But, they now use paper cocktail size napkins, not cloth, the bibs are very flimsy plastic, they no longer provide clarified butter with a burner under it (some lame excuse about the glass cracking), no finger bowls. The salad looked so sad on the plate and the potato was not cooked on Saturday, possibly Friday. The salad and potato came near the end of the meal, although he kept coming by our table and the one next to ours letting us know that the potatoes and salad were coming. The butter didn't even melt on the potato -- it was just lukewarm. Trust me, it's just not the same as it ever was!

                                1. re: farmgirl1836
                                  Spare rib guy Dec 3, 2013 11:42 AM

                                  OK, no argument regarding your experience.I just can't find anywhere else that makes a broiled lobster with their breading like The Lobster Trap.While I did find slight differences my last visit, the lobster seemed the same.We went pretty much as the doors opened, so being nearly empty, the service wasn't much of an issue.

                            Show Hidden Posts