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Mar 1, 2008 02:17 AM

Worst in Toronto

As we all know, most are so so or bad than good. Let's here what you think is terrible and why. Let's not have others avoid the same mistakes we made.

Some of mine:

Art Square Creperie on Dundas and McCaul
Swatow-for it's Deplorable service and mediocore overated food.
The Bad Kitty in Chinatown- I can't remember the name but it has "Kitty"in it- Cucumber as a main component in a stir fry. The most horrible slit-your-wrist depressing atmosphere ever.
Hare Krishna Restaurant in the Hare Krishna Temple on Avenue- Used to be ok. Now it's just dreadful. Crusty old rotten curries served up whenever they feel like it in the basement of the temple.
Magic Oven Pizza

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  1. Buppha Thai on Queen St E at Javis. The absolute worst Thai food that I've ever eaten. The fried rice was clumpy with dried up old vegetables and completely flavourless. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. With Mengrai in the neighbourhood, I hope that this place shuts down soon.

    Any Golden Griddle for non-breakfast food. I used to get dragged here by my coworkers and it was hideously bad.

    Fran's Diner on College just west of Yonge. Why people eat at this place, I'll never understand; the fact that it's open 24 hours is simply a threat to the people of Toronto.

    Spring Rolls: the biggest insult to Asian cuisine ever unleased upon the world. I can't necessarily claim that the flavour of the food is the worst, because frankly I have yet to find any flavour in any of the food I ate there..

    27 Replies
    1. re: vorpal

      uh second Frans.. I have had a very unsanitary experience there and the food has been just terrible every time Ive been forced there.

      1. re: hungryabbey

        3rd. Last time I went I didn't want to eat anything... so I ordered a smoothie. How can you get a smoothie wrong?? It was all ice, the fruit was all chunks that didn't make it up through the straw. Just embarassing.

        1. re: SMOG

          I gather Frans has gone downhill over the last 30 years or so, but their breakfast food is still edible. (Hard to mess up.) I always appreciate that they have veggie breakfast sausages.

          1. re: Allison_

            5th....I work in the area and get dragged by colleagues to Frans whenever there's birthday or what ever...terrible. Last time I went (about 1 month ago) i simply had a bottle of water.

            1. re: da9920

              Lived in T.O. for two years (mid-90s) and Fran's certainly came up. Don't remember being overly impressed but certainly the impression was it once had a great reputation as an amazing greasy spoon. Sorry to hear it seems to continue to not live up to that.

        2. re: hungryabbey

          Fran's is deep fried brown or microwaved fried food. blech.

          1. re: jo blam

            The only thing worse than Frans is Golden Griddle...

            1. re: LovelyAsia

              Completely agree about Fran's and Golden Griddle. I'm sure the only thing keeping them in business are tourists. They're just plain awful and I finally have no problem refusing to go to either place. Funnily, it's my friends visiting from Rochester who want to go there.

        3. re: vorpal

          i def agree with you on Frans and Spring Rolls. i HATE Spring Rolls and I don't know why people keep insisting that we go there for lunch. All I taste is either salt or ketchup.

          and Frans...the only time I'll go is if it's LATE and if I'm drunk. the last time i went, i had the "asian noodle bowl" was like gravy on pasta with a few bean sprouts on it. disgusting.

          1. re: pinkprimp

            Yes, the flavours at Spring Rolls are always noticeably... off. Like they've been cooking a dish for years, ingredient proportions have drifted naturally, but no one has tasted it in so long that they haven't noticed.

            1. re: Allison_

              no rating, the 'factory' on broadview (the front is a front) produces the 'food' to ship to the various outlets, i.e. dundas(atrium), front st(st lawrence mkt area) etc.
              food for those who know no better, and priced beyond acceptable

          2. re: vorpal

            I haven't been to Spring Rolls in years but what irked me beyond description last time I went was that they served the food with this slippery jasmine rice on PLATES and insisted that we eat with slippery lacquered chop sticks. Okay, this would be fine if the food (or the rice) were served in bowls, but not even Chinese people would try to eat off a flat plate with these impossible chopsticks, and they were doing this as some sort of ploy for authenticity. And the food was terrible.

            I made the mistake of going to "Natural Sushi" on Yonge on a trip to TO a while back- gummy, undercooked rice that was stodgy like oatmeal, and the rolls were almost nothing but this abominable rice. Horrible.

            1. re: vorpal

              Agree 100% re: College-Yonge Fran's, Spring Rolls, and Golden Griddle (any time of day).
              I'd like to add the Asian place at the NW corner of Carlton and Parliament (Ginger?) -- easily the worst allegedly Thai something or other I've had. I think they used ketchup in the sauce.
              Oh, and also Richtree in College Park. I'd say all the Richtrees, but I haven't been to the other ones in years.

              1. re: vorpal

                I haven't been in the College street location in some time and will not soon after reading these reviews, however, having said that I would like to mention to everyone down on Fran's that they have a very good spot across from Massey Hall that we often patronize after the annual Women's Blues Review
                Always open quite late when we pop in there for a bite.

                1. re: fruglescot

                  I went to that Fran's when it first opened in part because of good memories of the St. Clair Fran's (that I frequented so long ago) and it was close to the office. However I have not returned since....not a terrible place, but not that special either...filling portions I recall.

                2. re: vorpal

                  i have to agree with Frans and golden griddle (horrible service, and bad, bad, bad, food). i don't know how they can both manage to stay open 24 hrs. is there really That much demand for these places?

                  spring rolls, and all it's counterpart (go, east) is such a sham. i think ppl do there for the decor and amosphere more than anything. the food there is terrible.

                  1. re: chalenegirl

                    i dont even think their decor is anything special. all those "trendy" asian places have the same theme when you walk inside. it's as if the same person designed them all.


                    1. re: chalenegirl

                      Talk about lack of truth in advertizing: I once made the mistake of ordering Fran's coconut cream pie, which the menu claimed to be "the best in town!"

                      Hint: it sure wasn't.

                      1. re: SpiceMustFlow

                        They opened anew Fran's at Yonge/Shuter a few years ago and it's not the greatest food at all! I highly recommend out of the kindness of my heart that you all steer clear away from their 'eggs benedict' which is beyond disgusting. I can't stand restaurants who either make their hollandaise from a box or with margarine. Hollandaise must always be made fresh with butter, otherwise the consistency and flavour is 'off'.

                        They've always been known to make one of the most dynamic rice puddings in T.O. which was true once over 25 yrs. ago! Tried the pie too, yeeeeech.

                        1. re: midnightmadness

                          If you want diner fare in that neighbourhood and you want to avoid Fran's Shuter & Victoria, continue walking south on Victoria until you see Victoria Restaurant at Queen St. It's the real deal and has completely reasonable prices.

                          1. re: Googs

                            I agree about Victorias. I didn't realize it was still there. Used to eat lunch there back in 1967=1968 as a starving intern at St. Mikes across the street. Good, filling food at a good price.

                            1. re: Brucethegreatest

                              Thread age is showing! Victoria Restaurant is closed - space is reno'd and I believe it's a retail outlet for orthopedic shoes? Never went in but it was always fascinating to watch while waiting for streetcar at the stop on Queen.

                    2. re: vorpal

                      Spring Rolls, I agree.... It is horrible.

                      1. re: vorpal

                        Thanaks for the pitfalls. The only one I know - amongst those you mention - is Golden Griddle. The one at 180 Eglinton Ave. East is not only unfriendly but the food is bland and they make you wait a long time for it.

                        1. re: vorpal


                          Frans- the worst of the lot ( ALL LOCATIONS) with horrible food at elevated prices with equally terriible service staff.

                          Spring Rolls- I agree that it's the biggest insult to Asian cuisine unleased upon Toronto. Those who love it there, have no idea what real pad thai or good food is. I was disgusted with the taste of ketchup in my pad thai when I was there.

                          John's Italian on Baldwin- pizza was cold and halfway through my slice, there was a long piece of hair on my slice that was not mine. Haven't been back since.

                          Lone Star Grill- half a pound of salt on your food...not good.

                          Chippy's- fish ( salmon) wasn't bad.....but not worth the price despite the pedigree of the owner having worked for Susur Lee. Would have gotten the same qualtity at a lower priced mom & pop chip shop.

                          Sassafraz- horrible food, strawberry shortcake had a scone like biscuit that was as flakey as a hockey puck. Couldn't break it with your fork alone. Go there to only have a drink among the pretty decor.

                          601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                          100 Cumberland St, Toronto, ON M5R1A6, CA

                          Lone Star Grill & Bar
                          360 Great Northern Rd, Sault Ste Marie, ON P6B4Z7, CA

                          1. re: vorpal

                            I'll second Spring Rolls... an awful example of anything asian, let alone "fusion". Why this place is packed everyday eludes me.

                          2. The Breakfast Grill on Parliament just north of Queen. You only make one thing. How can you do that so poorly? It's breakfast! Get another business plan.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Googs

                              I have to take this one back. After The Breakfast Grill was taken over by new owners the service, food, and attitude have all improved. Still not Destination Breakfast, but if you live a 5-10 minute walk from Parliament & Queen and don't feel like making brekkie it's pretty okay.

                            2. Ginger - various locations. Expansion has left them resorting to super sub par ingredients.
                              Golden Griddle breakfast buffet.
                              Any Kelseys the worst of the worst chains.
                              Le Biftheque closed thankfully.
                              Any place in Chinatown that serves "Beach Chicken" or "House Chops".

                              1. salad king tops the list for me.
                                also agree with magic oven...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: rayrayray

                                  I have to say there is one dish at Salad King that i love... I know it's completely inauthentic and the kitchen is a conveyor belt, but I can't help enjoying my annual "good-bad" feed of golden tofu curry with all those crushed dried chilies dumped in...

                                  at least they're consistant

                                2. The original comment has been removed