trendy and undewhelming
I don't know where he gets his info from, but I have an SO (not a food person and def not a 'hound) who has a '"TO DO" list of places that generally get a bit of hate on here. Included are Shanghai Cowgirl, Freshwood Grill and Buddha Dog. I dread dread dread the eventuality of going to these spots only to see in slow-mo the trainwreck of not great food or service and paying at the end with a premium.
Just so I can update my own private "TO DON'T" list, what's hot (but not really) these days?
re: rafer madness
To your T.O. DON'T-go list, let me add the following:
Don't go to any fancy burger joint in this city, trendy or not. It's rarely worth the price. Something will invariably get botched, despite the simplicity of the act of putting out a decent burger. It's much more satisfying to barbecue your burger at home with fresh-ground chuck.
Don't go to any resto that gets a rave review in the papers - for at least six months, thereby allowing the place to recover from an overwhelming response to which it can't possibly cope over the short haul. And even after six months, be wary. A rave review can get ownership thinking it's better than it actually is.
For those who drink wine, don't go to any resto that charges more than $15 to bring your own bottle. Otherwise, BYOB is a pointless exercise. Indeed, $5 or $10 is more appropriate, no charge at all, like the Italian resto on Bathurst St. called Paese (except Saturdays), even better.
Don't go to any resto that uses the word "gourmet" in its name or on its menu. The word is usually just a cover for overpricing.
Don't go to any joint where the owner is not usually on the premises.
Beware of Summerlicious/Winterlicious menus. The food festival was a winner when it started, but now - aside from the occasional place that actually tries but that you can't get into anyway (except for lunch at 2:30 p.m.) - all it means now is a free dessert in a madhouse of a restaurant. Lie low till it's over.
Don't go to any resto recommended on this (or any other) board on Eglinton Ave., east or west, unless the one who recommends spells "Eglinton" correctly. All other misspellings are acceptable, but not "Eglington" (which rankles, for some reason). Besides, most joints on Eglinton at or near Yonge St., which is almost wall-to-wall restos, are overpriced, though certainly trendy.
Any resto that causes you to drive more than a half-hour to get to probably isn't worth the effort (unless it's a particularly good deli). I'm delighted to learn that Shanghai Cowgirl, Freshwood Grill and Buddha Dog, listed on your own personal T.O. DON'T-go list, are beyond my travel zone, so I'll never find out whether or not you know what you're talking about.