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What was your favourite restaurant that went downhill after they solidified their status

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What was your restaurant that went downhill after they solidified their status, it could have been because of a chef change, a renevation that just changed its character, I think for most people it would be higher end fine dining resto but I am curious to know what you think?

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  1. Mine won't be of the fine dining variety but are "downhill" nonetheless. Wouldn't say they were all "favorites" (#2 was a one-time visit, the others I'd go to at most every 2-3 months) but they all have the "downhill" requirement that you were looking for....

    1- Lone Star Texas Grill. When I first moved out here to Pickering I really liked going to Lone Star at Whites and Kingston and order some of their authentic Texas smokehouse dishes, especially the beef brisket. Maybe 2 years after my first visit, suddenly you didn't smell smoke when you arrived, the menu was cut in half, and all the smokehouse dishes were gone. That and they raised the prices of everything that was left, by $1-$2. What made the place unique in the area (the smoker) disappeared, now it's just another overpriced Jack Astors. Then they failed a health inspection. Needless to say we don't go there much anymore.

    2- Duff's. After reading all the hype here I visited the Buffalo location (I figure might as well go to the original) looking for "the best wings". Yuck, total disappointment, Anchor Bar is still the champ. I've posted about it in the past but needless to say no Duff's gets my business. Sorry, this is one time when Chowhound hype failed horribly.

    3- Memories of Japan. I know, cheap is cheap, but we remember when you'd get a decent amount of food at the teppanyaki tables for a decent price; you'd never leave hungry. Then they started to shrink the portions down (the "steaks" were down to 1/4 inch thick for crying out loud; they used to be 3/4" - 1" thick) and hiked the prices. Didn't even feel full after spending that money. Felt ripped off. Haven't been back since. Haven't been in the area in awhile - they still in business?

    4- Milestones. I know, corporate chain. I will admit, I liked them when they first arrived in the GTA. Decent menu, decent prices; sure it wasn't haute cuisine but it was pretty good for a chain (you'd rather be there than Jack Astors or Montana's). Last time I went I noticed that the menu was smaller, the portions were smaller, the prices were higher... and surprise surprise the restaurant had empty tables, on a Friday night when the place used to be booked solid with reservations. Obviously I won't be the only customer they'll have lost....

    5- Alice Fazooli's. They used to be "Alice Fazooli's Crabshack" and their New Orleans seafood dishes weren't bad (my wife, who lived in Louisiana for a year, said they were closer to authentic than N'Awlins and Southern Accent, whose menus are a total joke to her). Then one day, when we ordered our usual, the manager was nice enough to come over to ask our opinion (we honestly said we enjoy these dishes and order them all the time) and then proceeded to warn us that the next time we come there those items will be gone. SIR Corp in their infinite wisdom decided to ditch the Louisiana dishes which made the place special, and go all-Italian. Like you can't get that same crap everywhere else in town. They went from the only half-decent Cajun "chain" in the GTA (a monopoly in that market), to just another Italian chain, right along with Olive Garden clone East Side Mario, Old Spaghetti Factory, etc. No more Alice for us.... This one WAS a disappointment, moreso than any of the above ones (I edited this post to add it in).

    4 Replies
    1. re: TexSquared

      Two weeks ago, starving and cruising out in Missisauga, hit the Alice Fazooli, cause I had heard Jack Astors next door was crap. Little did I know, they are really clones. The on duty manager came over during our meal to ask our opinions and I really let her have it! The food was beyond garbage. The calamari must have come from Grand and Toy, but she said they had used Jack Astors cause they were low on stock! The veal parm was beyond a joke. Why would you need to squeeze veal through a tenederizing machine if it started out as veal. More like tough burger with tomatoes sauce. They comped us desserts, which they couldn't even get that right. Supposedly gelato was very near Hagen Daz Choc Ice Cream, not bad, but not gelato. The waiter said they would be doing a total re-vamp in the next week. He proudly stated more italian and more noise! Steer clear!

      1. re: Danybear

        OK, so 2 years ago (which was the last time we went) the manager told us about a total re-vamp where they planned to remove the Cajun things off the menu and make it all Italian. So, fast forward to 2 weeks ago, you're telling me that since then they started to serve Jack Astors food and are AGAIN announcing a switch to Italian? What a joke...

        SIR Corp must be run either by idiots, or people who think their customers are idiots. Here's their website: http://www.sircorp.com

        If anybody's been to Canyon Creek lately please don't tell me they're serving Jack Astor's food too....

        1. re: TexSquared

          Canyon Creek still has decent pork chops.

          1. re: tjr

            Canyon Creek is still good with great Chicago style steaks

    2. The Garden Gate Restaurant at Queen St. E. and Beech Avenue. It went downhill by going uphill. For years it was the ultimate greasy spoon, a Beaches hangout with scuffed linoleum and juke boxes in every booth that served so-so Chinese-style food. But it was filled with memories - memories of warm summer nights on the nearby beach's boardwalk and dancing at the Balmy Beach Canoe Club. Now it's been cleaned up, renovated, gentrified, and looks like every other family restaurant. The only things that remain the same are the semi-mediocre menu, and the neon sign hanging above the entrance proclaiming "Good food". It gave the joint its nickname years ago when some of its neon letters burned out. Hence, forevermore it became, and still is, "The Goof".

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bob Catt

        is the food the same?

        1. re: Bob Catt

          Agreed. The Goof used to be a great place for diner grub.
          Almost inedible the last time I tried it.

          1. re: Bob Catt

            I just joined chowhound and came across this bit about "The Goof". I am a former Beacher and just loved the place. I took my out of town guests there for the great atmosphere and the good old basic food. You could still get a peanut butter sandwich!! I am appalled at the so called reno. They wrecked it completely. The sign remains, the rest is a farce. The Beaches lost a true landmark. Sigh....

          2. I don't know if it would be higher end for most people or not. It certainly isn't for me.

            For me it's two that are now chains.

            1) Swiss Chalet. When were were kids and even as young adults, this was a good place to go to get a good meal. Ya, it wasn't the greatest food on earth but it was good and it wasn't expensive. Now, it's just not good. The last couple of times we ate there it was a rather cleansing experience. I vow never to waste my time there again however I still know people who love it and I'll probably get dragged kicking and screaming.

            2) Lick's. I used to love Lick's. A nice big, juicy burger and great rings. It was a staple of ours on trips down the the Eaton Centre. Now, I generally try to avoid it.

            I agree with Lone Star and would like to add Harvey's for honourable mention. My memories of it as a kid were that it was a pretty good place. Now it's almost a joke.

            DT

            5 Replies
            1. re: Davwud

              Oh, you won't be dragged kicking and screaming by me because I agree with you 100% on Swiss Chalet. Fond memories of being treated to SC by my parents. And like you, the last time I went, will be my last. Roll was cold and tasted like it came from the day-old rack at No Frills, the Chalet Sauce was watered down, the chicken was tiny, the fries weren't crispy. Not the SC of my childhood....

              Surprised nobody's mentioned Tim Horton's with their downsized frozen donuts... but that's another thread.

              1. re: TexSquared

                I find the quality of Swiss Chalet greatly varies from one location to the next - it is widely inconsistent. My nephews love the place and I will only go to the one on Yonge north of York Mills where they actually still seem to care about the food and service.

              2. re: Davwud

                I have to agree 100% with you about Lick's. I remember having my first Lick's Burger at the old Yonge/Dundas location back almost 20 yrs ago now. Back then the Homeburgers were very well seasoned and juicy--not the bland ones they seem to serve now. Sadly, I've never been able to relive that first Lick's experience.

                1. re: ParsleySage

                  God, way back when, my mother and I used to go to the first licks in the Beach, wait in line for an hour and then take the BEST burgers and fries down to the beach and eat and eat and smile, alas, Lick's will never be the same.

                  1. re: bigbadred

                    My mom and I used to do the same thing back then! Licks in the beach for dinner on Friday. We lived in the beach and I remember those looooong line ups, especially the first year they opened. Their burgers were amazing... and their chili dogs were awesome too! Now the burgers are bland and all the same shape like Harveys. They used to look really home made. I think ever since they started selling their frozen burgers in the supermarkets, they must be using them in the restaurants :(

              3. We used to love Wendy's.....a great salad bar where you could heap your plate with so many healthy items.

                Now look where they are....sigh

                1. Not a favourite, but I'm reminded from another thread of Coco Lezzone. It used to be semi-decent and now? Not so much.

                  Some restaurants I wonder if they were ever good, or if I just have fond memories of them from childhood. Swiss Chalet comes to mind, as does Ponderosa Steakhouse (I know, I know).

                  1. I'm surprised no-one's mentioned the most egregious one of all, Amato. When they first opened and there was only 1 of them, not a chain, their slices were manna from heaven- loaded with toppings, innovative combinations [which have since been copied by the PizzaPizza's et.al. - caramelized onions, roast chicken, potato pizza, etc.], always a huge slice and freshly made, etc. I haven't had a slice from Amato's in years now, they're just too disgusting [they are always limply decorated with a few sad toppings, and dry like they've been sitting there for hours and hours]. Coupled with their well-publicized shady labour and payroll practices, I'm amazed they're still around.

                    This thread is accurately indicative of a phenomena I've noticed over the last few years in Toronto [and I think that others may have alluded to on this board]. Toronto is a city of chains. For whatever reason, the minute any indie restaurant does remotely well, or gets a good review, they immediately turn it into a chain or franchise. I know why they do this [$$$], but inevitably quality declines, if not outright suffers. Many [not all] Torontonians like the familiarity of a brand, thus the endurance of chains when picking a place to eat out at. Another related phenomena is that of foreign or non-Toronto chains being absolutely terrible here in Toronto, but ok to good in other locations [from my personal experience, Le Pain Quotidien, Cora's, Eggspectations, Earl's, etc.]. Why the heck is this?

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: Smorgasbord

                      You hit the nail on the head. The reason is simple. People in this market are not willing to pay for quality, they want cheap cheap cheap. So, in order to keep prices low enough to stay in business, something's gotta give. Then add in the artificially high food cartel pricing (which I've argued about at length in the past), and that just makes a bad situation worse.

                      Take a trip to the U.S. and eat at the same chains you might visit in Canada. Notice how 1-the prices are lower and 2-the portions and quality are higher. KFC in Canada is a joke compared to the genuine article south of the border. Pizza Hut does a better job there. Even lowly McDonald's and Wendy's are better there. (no comment on Tim Horton's as I hate them no matter where they are). The $1 menu items at McD's in the U.S. sell for $1.39 in Canada, and they're actually made smaller here. Pay more for less, that's the theme...

                      Papa John's Pizza would embarass every GTA takeout pizza chain if they came to town, just on taste and appearance. However to put out their usual high quality of product in this market while paying cartel prices for the ingredients (meaning, actually using a significant amount of sauce, cheese, and toppings, not the "hand-wave" you see from the GTA chains) a medium would be pushing $20 a pie. They wouldn't last 1 year in this market as everybody flocks to godawful Pizza Pizza or worse, those nasty $5 "hot and ready" pizzas from Little Caesar's. Who cares that those chains all but apply the toppings with a spray gun, $5 beats $20 right....

                      If you want to blame anybody, blame your cheap-ass neighbours that give Little Caesar's business, and blame the food cartels. And realize that if you want quality you either have to 1-be willing to pay for it, or 2-take a trip to the USA.

                      1. re: TexSquared

                        Having lived on both sides of the border, I don't think any of those chains, on either side, have edible food, The word I get from the fast food fans in my family (they have been written out of my will) is that KFC in Canada is worse than KFC U.S. -- hard to imagine -- because of the Scott's history, but for the rest of the chains, the Canadian side is generally better quality.

                        But speaking of actual restaurants, Southern Accent in its early days was great, before the owners got tired of their original menu. Though I can;t agree at all with an earlier post that said Alice Fazooli's first incarnation was better. Remembering an unfortunate alligator app in Alice's first year, I'd still rank Southern Accent higher.

                        Also, The Boulevard Cafe on Harbord was actually quite good once upon a time.

                        1. re: TexSquared

                          You do know that Papa John's Pizza is coming to Canada right? There's one opening soon just around the corner from my place in London. I'll have to see if its any good once it does open..

                          1. re: Froster

                            According to their website their only Ontario location is in Belleville; at one time they had locations in the southwest (Windsor or Chatham?). I honestly don't expect to see them in the GTA anytime soon just because their pricing would not be competitive against all the "spray-on toppings" chains.

                            1. re: TexSquared

                              The Windsor location was only open for a few months from what I remember. The location was weird...high traffic business area with lanes that are hard to cross to pull in. Didn't get any flyers or anything either as an incentive to try it.

                              1. re: TexSquared

                                And this article explains why Toronto pizza is so bad:

                                http://www.thestar.com/Business/artic...

                                Because of the dairy cartel price-fixing the restaurants are going to use even LESS cheese than they already do? If I owned an independent pizza shop I'd be driving to Buffalo every week to buy cheese at Sam's Club....

                                1. re: TexSquared

                                  I know one that does.

                                  DT

                                  1. re: Davwud

                                    so do I....

                                2. re: TexSquared

                                  The Papa John's in Belleville is not nearly as good as the US locations I've ordered from. Best in Belleville is Brenda's Pizza Factory which also fits in this topic perfectly. Their pizza was AMAZING until recently. Now Brenda's is starting to go downhill too. I hope that they turn things around.

                            2. re: Smorgasbord

                              Your Amato story reminds me of Magic Oven. When they had the one location, I really enjoyed it, but after they expanded, they went to pre-fab crusts and very long delivery times and it just wasn't the same.

                            3. My favourite restaurant that went downhill is Spring Rolls! When I lived in downtown, they had only one location at Yonge and Bloor and it was very conveniently located close to where I lived so I frequently went there for dinners (including my bachelorette party). I always ordered the pad thai and it never disappointed. They also had a much bigger menu than they do now.

                              The last time I went, it was to their Mississauga location and it was the WORST pad thai I ever had! Portion size has stayed the same, but the taste was just awful! Has turned me off Spring Rolls for good! And same goes for the downtown locations as well, went to the one by St. Lawrence Market as we had a goodbye lunch for someone at work and got the same awful pad thai there too.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: sasgirl

                                I was going to mention Spring Rolls too. I also loved it when it was at Y & B and only at Y & B. Noodle dishes had a great selection of fresh veggies and while the portions weren't always huge, they were so tasty. Now, every noodle dish I try is a dish of greasy starch. Blah.

                                1. re: sasgirl

                                  I totally agree with Spring Rolls. Oh man. All their dishes are so awful now. Such inauthentic, bland food. Bad service too. I remember the good old days when I made the trek down to Yonge + Bloor just for their pad thai. It's a shame...

                                  1. re: sasgirl

                                    I totally agree. My sister and I would go once a week on our day off. This was at their very first location, tiny space, long lineups but great food. Loved their pad thai and Vietnamese bun. They were still okay when they moved to their bigger space at Y & B but since they've expanded ... ugh.

                                    I went last year to the Atrium on the Bay location. Their pad thai was definitely not how I remembered it. Very disappointing.

                                  2. My dirty little secret is Kelsey's. I go there with a girlfriend as it's the only place, and I mean the only place, between her home and my work. Kelsey's had been serving chick food so we could always go and find something edible, not overly meaty, and not too fattening. It had been reliable in that regard for a few years. Not any more. Every time they add chick food or anything we find bearable they take it off the menu just as fast. Here I thought that one of the chains finally recognized that women eat and drink too. Oh well. Never again.

                                    1. I worked (and frequented Taco Bell 15 years ago and loved their steak and chicken products, these days the chicken and steak is shredded and tastes nothing like it did back then,

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: philly cheeze

                                        "Peoples Food" on Dupont....since the change in ownership a few years back, in my opinion, the place has seriously gone downhill. It was for many, many years our 'favourite' place for Breakfasts or Suppers, it was 'our' never fail nearby place to eat...We have had too many bad pancakes (heavy doesn't begin to describe them) Burgers & Fries used to be a no brainer choice, of late, overcooked burgers and Fries undercooked or overcooked ..simply not good! A pity ...it was an Annex star!

                                        1. re: pearlD

                                          I know - older post, but I missed it earlier.
                                          Just wanted to set the record 'partially' straight. Can't comment on burgers as I don't do burgers.
                                          And, indeed the pancakes (formerly among best in Toronto) did suffer - but don't blame the ownership change. It happened BEFORE that change, courtesy of the Toronto Food Inspection system. The issue was with the eggs (always a concern - note that no street carts serve eggs - not allowed) - to make the best pancake batter, I was told that egge at room temperature shoud be used.However, the food inspector noticed the eggs on the counter and they were forced to refrigerate them (or get a bad restaurant rating).
                                          When I noticed the change, I spoke up and told them the pancakes had declined in taste - that's when I was told what had happened.
                                          Since then the quality has been patchy. I think they make a batch of batter early and it's best when the batter is at room temperature. Sometimes they make it fresh - and the resulting pancake is just not as good - it's too heavy.
                                          I also spoke up when they changed their sausage - but they've returned to the original supplier.

                                          1. re: estufarian

                                            I don't doubt that room temperature eggs are better, but that just sounds a little lame to me, as I know I can make mighty fine, light pancakes with eggs right out of the fridge and using freshly made batter, as well... Maybe they needed to work on a new recipe to accommodate the regulations and timing issues.

                                      2. You know-I was just thinking about Lonestar-they actually had at one time decent smoked side ribs-actually pretty tasty-the kids loved going and I liked the ribs and nachos.

                                        The family went recently and the ribs are oversauced non smoked back ribs and the nachos went from not a bad imitation of the kind you find in Texas to the bland pre fab pile you find in lower end road houses here,The place now is on the Montana's level

                                        The waitress said most customers prefer the food cooked this new way. In other words they have been dumbed down to our generic tastes. The restaurant, judging by the comments of the waitress, is being rewarded for this.

                                        One word...ARGHHHHHH!!!!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: alfie

                                          LS used to have a smoked brisket sandwich that was fantastic.
                                          I haven't been in so long, I guess it's gone too, eh??

                                          DT

                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            Yes, any of the Texas dishes that required the on-site smoker, all gone. I loved getting the brisket as part of a platter or in the sandwich form if I wasn't too hungry.

                                          2. re: alfie

                                            And it looks like the economic downturn and the new, crappy menu are taking their toll on Lone Star. I went to the Pickering location on Sunday evening when normally the place would be packed. It was DEAD. I just got the local Pickering paper and noticed for the first time, a coupon in the Lone Star ad. One thing we've observed in Pickering/Ajax, if a restaurant that never had coupons before suddenly starts putting them in the paper, they're gone within a year. Not a good sign for Lone Star.

                                          3. Despite that many Chowhounds gush over this place, my pick is JKWB. As soon as JK left the kitchen to start building his Culinary Dynasty, the place went downhill in a hurry: sloppy service, sloppier cooking. JK might be King Midas in many epicurean’s eyes, but without his constant touch JK Any Location turns to pot. Although I will say that the new Chef de Cuisine has breathed some much-needed life into a withering JKWB.

                                            Let the name calling begin.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: HelloClarice

                                              If it sucked so much, why did you go back?

                                              1. re: merlot143

                                                Uh, because I don't always get to choose where I eat. Unfortunately, clients/friends/colleagues often like to contribute to the decision-making - my lunch at Ki today being a good example of this phenomenon.

                                            2. Country Style on Bloor used to be the city's go-to Hungarian restaurant, but when the ownership changed, things went downhill fast.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Kasumeat

                                                I kinda miss the long-gone cluster of Hungarian spots on Boor. Like the Blue Cellar Room.

                                                1. re: Kasumeat

                                                  I never went there in it's halcyon days, but my first, last and only visit last winter was a trainwreck. A dry, leathery, overpriced schnitzel served by an angry troll of a waitress straight out of a Soviet cafeteria.

                                                  1. re: ziggystardust

                                                    "angry troll of a waitress straight out of a Soviet cafeteria."

                                                    ROFLMAO

                                                    DT

                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                      I think I know the waitress you're talking about. We're not going back there. The food sucked and the waitress was so rude that we were laughing about it. Too bad that most of the hungarian places are gone.

                                                      Any recs for good Hungarian?

                                                  2. re: Kasumeat

                                                    When did the ownership change? I was there about a year ago, and I thought it was still pretty good. Not gourmet, but definitely a good diner style interpretation of eastern European.

                                                  3. Definitely Focaccia. This was our go to place for a year, and I think Sam Gassira got lazy in the months leading up to his departure. Our last meal there was both expensive and terrible.

                                                    Haven't been back in years, though I suppose this is no fault of the current chef.

                                                    1. I echo some of the comments above about Alice Fazooli's. I much preferred it in its original concept. At that time, they also the option of getting a smaller portion of their pasta dishes which was really nice. Now, it's one size only. Another disappointment from that family of restaurants was the change of Al Frisco's to Frisco's Brasserie. My mother and I would always go to Al Frisco's pre-theatre and had really nice meals there. Then they changed the format. We went once and had a really mediocre and over salty meal and never went back. It turns out it's being changed to a Jack Astor's now.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Deborah B

                                                        Thanks for backing me up here. The Brasserie concept was horrible; we went twice (someone else was paying each time) and were never impressed, always felt that our host got ripped off. The place was never busy either; not surprised they're switching it to the tried-and-true JA format. But Armadillo had to have been the worst of the SIR Corp chains. Sure, it's corporate, but I've never been disappointed at Canyon Creek nor at the original Alice Fazooli's format. Always hated Armadillo and Brasserie, somewhat neutral on Jack Astor's.

                                                      2. Fran's hasn't been the same since the 70s. Sky High Pie! Mrs. Deck's dressing on That Salad! If it was good enough for Glen Gould...

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Edith S

                                                          I drove by there today and this thread popped into my mind.
                                                          I've never been so I can't comment but it seems to be that it's the poster child for this type of thing.
                                                          Same deal with Chicken Deli as well by all accounts.

                                                          I'll add St. Louis Bar and Grill into the mix. The original location was great but now it's fast food wings.

                                                          DT

                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                            Before I start writing I am going to let you know, I am a restaurant owner and own a production company that makes products for food service (restaurants).

                                                            I cannot count how many restaurants have gone down hill over the last couple of years. Too many to actually mention - my wife and I used to eat out all the time but rarely do anymore as everything is chains where I live (boston pizza on every corner). If your looking for good restaurant fair I would be hitting the small mom and pop eateries in your area. They generally buy their food fresher and in many cases less frozen products are being served. Some things many of you may not know

                                                            1) Every food production company has had to lower quality of food for the last several years, people want more for less and the only way to do that is to lower the taste value of the food. For instance protein in many cases this summer increased by 100% for the producer but we were not able to raise our prices by that much. Restaurants all took a huge hit this year in pricing on every single thing they carried (we took a 50% hit on just cleaning materials...ouch!)

                                                            2) In many cases the food you eat at chains has so much padded pricing its why you are paying a high price. As a manufacture in many cases I have to give a % of my sales to the foodservice companies themselves as well as any chains that may carry my product. This can be up to a 15% price increase in the price of the food to the supplier which in turn gets passed onto the restaurant, which in turn gets passed in a huge way to us the consumer (who do you think pays for all that fancy ad work and printing the chains have).

                                                            I have also noticed a marked decrease in server happiness as of late. Some of the places I have been too I wouldn't go back because I don't enjoy having my food literally thrown at me as they walk past the table - in many cases without a return visit to even see if I needed anything else or if my meal was acceptable.

                                                            Swiss Chalet hasn't been visited by my family since about two years ago, the local stores in the durham region somehow changed their fries...damn I loved their fries (best ever in my books) same as the sauce, it's been watered down. Its not that thick rich stuff we used to get as kids - would drink it.

                                                            Casey's for me, the service is incredible at our local Caseys in the Oshawa Centre but the menu changes what seems like monthly. So you try something and like it, then go back a short time later and it's not there because it wasn't selling. 1 month to try something....not near enough time.

                                                        2. My pick: Marche.

                                                          I loved Marche, the concept, the selection and definitely the food. I went to the Marche in HK and elsewhere quite a few times before I even knew about the ones in Toronto, and sadly, the one in Yorkville was my favorite for post-movie bites and their fancy ice cream creations.
                                                          Now Marche (especially the BCE location) have become become a depressing parody of itself. Lots of food, little to no taste. How can you make muffins that are devoid of any flavor? Beats me but Marche has managed to do so.

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: eatereater123

                                                            oh god. this is a hilarious topic and everyone's suggestions are great! I totally agree with the one's that chose Amato and the Marche! Both are very sad sad sad now.

                                                            AND I've always hated Spring Rolls, and I'm glad other people think their pad thai stinks...literally.

                                                            I have another to add to the list, good at first, but got bad really quickly. Sushi Train (yonge and bloor), wah wahh. but now it's gone, closed up, train has left the station, so sorta irrelevant now.

                                                            ooh, and a couple more...I can also put Korean BBQ Grill and Ho Su. both bbbadddd now. and they've both been slapped hard with sanitary violations by the city. ickkk.

                                                            1. re: alum

                                                              Marche! and Movenpik are definite losses if not for the food then for the experience. I think the bad financial times we are expecting will force the places that are only out for the money out of business along with many others less deserving to go.

                                                              1. re: Herne

                                                                Regarding Marche, Marche used to be a great place at BCE place and at Bayview and Yorkmills, when it first opened. Now it is rundown and service is nearly non-existent. Complaints will get you nowhere there with the management. They Swiss precision and the strenuous efforts to please customers is gone. The food hasnt been updated at all in years.

                                                                1. re: Teffub

                                                                  There is no connection between "Marche" and "Richtree
                                                                  Markets". First Marche severed its relationship with Movenpick. Then there were issues within Richtree and the founder was tossed out.

                                                                  The York Mills Marche was never as good as the one at BCE Place. Richtree, though, is awful.

                                                            2. re: eatereater123

                                                              I must say I’m going to go against the grain on Swiss Chalet. I still love it. I almost always go to the Eglinton/Mt. Pleasant location, which has been in the same spot for over 30 years! They really know what they are doing there. I love the food, and the service is always fantastic. I’m sure they do vary from location to location, but the ones I go to are usually really good to great. Especially the one I mentioned.

                                                              Agreed about Marche Movenpick, I used to love going there (for certain items). Now…. shudder. Let the tourists have that one.

                                                              Only been to JKWB once. Wouldn't go back. Agreed about Licks.

                                                              1. re: magic

                                                                Old post, I realize, but I agree that Swiss Chalet on Eglinton Ave. between Mt. Pleasant & Yonge was the very best of all their locations, so what do they do? CLOSE IT!
                                                                Yep, it's GONE, last good one remaining in the city.

                                                                1. re: TorontoTips

                                                                  I know, very sad.

                                                            3. Thanks OP for the post...now where do I start?

                                                              I am surprised no one mentioned Hero burger. I was in heaven from their Queen W location, and since they opened up a glut of chains, they are worse than Lick's, which has also sunk to new lows since they started backing off on the singing shtick.

                                                              Some of my former favourites now barely passable: Mai Thai at Yonge and Eglinton, Green Mango at Yonge and Bloor, and sadly Zorba's at Danforth and Pape

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: jamieal64

                                                                I totally agree with Lick's. Used to love it; now it's terrible. They never honour their own coupons, either.

                                                              2. JKWB!!
                                                                Interesting that my choice just received back-up from Justpete and Estufarian!

                                                                1. Fran's. Come back Mrs. Deck.

                                                                  1. I agree with Licks, Swiss Chalet and Hero. I'd like to submit Panago Pizza as well to the growing list.

                                                                    East Side Mario's used to be borderline acceptable for pizza and capaletti, but now they can't even make those right.

                                                                    I also think The Keg has slipped in recent years. Service especially.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: BodyByCheese

                                                                      I haven't had Panago in a few months, maybe 6 months? I used to love it - when did it start to decline in your opinion?? I'd rather know now than order a $28 pizza and be disappointed...

                                                                      1. re: BodyByCheese

                                                                        Regarding East Side Mario's, I used to love going there because I loved the iceberg lettuce salad (i know.... :) which was all you can eat, with a good dressing....I would order an entree just to get the AYCE salad, usually the Hell's Kitchen Chicken (which was decent)...In recent years though the Hells Kitchen Chicken was transformed into crap and small portions at that, and last summer they changed their salad to small bowls notwitstanding the AYCE, and changed their lettuce to "spring mix", which I hate. Its like eating dandelions. Now, I cant go to East Side's anymore...

                                                                      2. Licks is overpriced, frozen garbage, gonna agree on that one 100%

                                                                        Swiss Chalet has gone down the crapper too if you ask me; every time I go for take-out from an SC it's nothing but pimply-faced teenagers preparing all of the food and it's not nearly as good as it used to be

                                                                        1. The Rushton. :( it made me so sad last time I went... they got rid of the beet salad and put 'stinky salad' in it's place. Who writes that on their menu.? Stinky salad. ugh. I didnt' realize that it I should take that so literally. lifeless dressing, 2 or 3 tiny pieces of walnuts - heck even the blue cheese was lame. it takes a special skill to take the taste out of blue cheese. Plus, before they used to add a nice little steak to the side, now it's a few pieces of beef - already sliced... call me crazy, but the few times that I indulge in a steak I want to cut into it !

                                                                          poor presentation, slow service... it used to be our little celebration spot but now it's just so depressing....

                                                                          1. Le Select Bistro- was great when they were on Queen Street, then relocated, changed chef and now an utter train wreck.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Squeakycheese

                                                                              Agreed on Le Select! Been there twice since they've been on Wellington, and I've been less than impressed on both occasions.

                                                                              1. re: KayceeK

                                                                                I think they try to be too hardcore rustic french... I looked at their menu after I posted that and good Lord they are serving Cock's Combs!

                                                                                1. re: Squeakycheese

                                                                                  I had that impression too. Even the decor; I appreciate they're trying to create an authentic atmosphere, but something just doesn't ring true for me. We also didn't have great service last time; despite a reservation, we ended up waiting for about 15 min. and then were seated at the very back of the house, in the far corner, where we were forgotten about basically.

                                                                            2. What ever happened to Chef Shane Waite? Cru, in the Kingsway area was our favorite restaurant and before that when he was at Pearl in Streetsville. Moderate city prices, good wine values, and wonderful food. Even the vegetables were special. The new ex-Rain chef has altered the entire experience. Pity.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: iamafoodie

                                                                                I'm curious if yuo ever got any details as to what happened with this fellow. I know his approach to fusion was interesting. I wonder where he landed.

                                                                              2. OK, a caveat, I've worked in a couple of the places people have been talking about, and have no fond memories, so I might be a little biased.

                                                                                First Lick's, I was making milkshakes there (Y + D) nearly 20 years ago. And yes, it was hell. But I still like some of the food. The shakes are still great, as are the onion rings and nature burger. The chicken is inedible, the salads okayish, and the fries are stodgy, no matter how much Guk sauce you put on them (and I sure do like that Guk).

                                                                                Next, Coco Lezzone. I'd been there for dinner under the original owners, and it was lovely. It started to go downhill soon after it changed hands, to a man I will only id as "the Thug". We were made to put teeny portions on huge platters. The fish of the day was delivered out of the back of some Mafia-looking guy's Jag. It's really quite amusing to have to explain to the new hires that, yes, that actually is a bullet hole in the fridge. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

                                                                                The Only Cafe. You either love it or hate it. Same food, same guys on bar stools. But could they please finish the basement washroom reno? It stopped mid-way, and now it's just an embarrassing mess of primer covered in graffiti.

                                                                                As for places I have never worked at...

                                                                                I still like Swiss Chalet for delivery. Dine-in is only for times you have a gaggle of small children. I remember going with my Mum to the one at Yonge and St. Clair, it was always a real treat. I send packets of their sauce to a homesick friend overseas. The price is up and the portions are down, but it's still a pretty good value. The fries still suck, but they always have.

                                                                                The Pour House. They used to do really credible Pub Grub, but now the kitchen seems to be a total mess. Over-cooked wings, soggy pastry on the pie, and a cornmeal battered cheese app that was tiny, indigestible and probably would have been funny if I weren't paying for it.

                                                                                I could go on and on, but I'll spare you any further horrors.

                                                                                1. Herbs

                                                                                  They used to be such a great little restaurant, fantastic calves liver too! After Michael left, things took a turn for the worse...actually a bit before that...I still remember many evenings with the family parking at the Scotia bank parking lot then walking half the block for a meal you knew would be great and reasonably priced to boot.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Sadistick

                                                                                    I believe the spot that housed Herbs is now becoming a Mexican restaurant

                                                                                    1. re: lowchen

                                                                                      It's becoming an offshoot of Milagro on Mercer Street. A high end Mexican place that does decent foods and amazing ceviches. Those that are used to eating Mexican in situ at slave labour prices might object to the prices, but the foods quite good.

                                                                                  2. Shoot me, but I miss Chi Chi's and The Olive Garden! Yes, yes I will admit to these two unmentionable cravings. Now back to which restaurants "jumped the shark"...

                                                                                    Swiss Chalet (it seems anywhere in the GTA) - the one in Cambridge on hwy 24 is still pretty decent.

                                                                                    The Goof is horrible and no atmosphere any more.

                                                                                    Hot House Cafe on Wellington and Church. My wife and I used to go here when it was a Pat and Mario's. Their buffet is still okay, but seems to have gone slightly south in quality. Their menu items have suffered. They don't seem to have the same care in prep that they used to have when they first opened.

                                                                                    Carousel Bakery and their peameal back bacon sandwiches. Horrible, horrible. They may have been good when they first started, but it was like eating rubber the last time I ordered there (AND it was pre-made!). I usually go to Paddington's for my peameal; it's freshly made.

                                                                                    Milestones. Wha' happen ?

                                                                                    Mr. Greek - years ago they had very good quality food. Now it just tastes... no words to describe it.

                                                                                    Cora's. I'm not sure what the line up is for nowadays.

                                                                                    Harvey's. They used to use the same fries as Swiss Chalet and their burgers were actually juicy.

                                                                                    Magic Wok Chinese Restaurant in Markham (14th line and Kennedy). Their service and quality of food was top notch. We just ate there (large group) about a month ago and we might as well have been invisible. The staff were running around like chickens with their heads cut off and the food was so so. We ended up only giving a $10 tip for a hefty bill.

                                                                                    Anyone been to Johnny's on Vic Pk. lately? Haven't been there in a year and I was wondering how they're doing. I heard they changed owners.

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: scarberian

                                                                                      Not sure what Johnny's was like before.

                                                                                      For me now it's average burger, average onion rings, terrible fries, really good milkshakes. The only thing I admire about the burger is how the bun holds in the toppings so it's dripless.

                                                                                      1. re: Pincus

                                                                                        I've been going to Johnny's for 40 years - seriously! I can't believe they changed owners as I still see old John on the City-TV commercials.

                                                                                        For a frozen pre-fab burger, it hasn't changed. I worked across the street for a number of years, and I would say that they were the only place that offered sauteed onions for the burgers, which I felt added a lot. The fries have always been pretty bad, but as a teenage boy, I scarfed them down anyway. The milkshakes weren't bad but the big secrets to me were the fish and the steak. The fish was crispy and didn't appear to be from frozen, and the steak on a kaiser was a great garlicky treat (and not that much more expensive than a cheeseburger).

                                                                                        One unique thing was if you tried to eat outside, the resident seagulls would land on the tables and actually try to eat your fries out of your box! One thing they need is a resident falcon...

                                                                                      2. re: scarberian

                                                                                        As to Chi Chi's, some time ago I want into one (admittedly not local, but in Boston) and saw on the menu that they used "sour topping". Wassamatta, real sour cream cut into your profit margin? I left, and haven't been back.

                                                                                        1. re: ekammin

                                                                                          You gotta be kidding? "Sour topping?" That sounds so unappetising!

                                                                                          I remember taking my girlfriend to Chi Chi's on Markham Rd out in Scarborough back in the 1980s for salad in a taco shell bowl, fajitas and the deep-fried ice cream. Which wasn't bad at all. I'm getting kind of nostalgic now. Damn, time sure flies.

                                                                                        2. re: scarberian

                                                                                          Totally agree about Milestones. They used to be a reliable and consistent lower-mid range cost restaurant that was really handy when dining with more unadventurous friends. However, ever since they tried to go 'upscale' the quality has suffered and what you get is so overpriced!

                                                                                          1. re: scarberian

                                                                                            Johnny's was disgusting. I threw my burger into the garbage after two bites.
                                                                                            VVM

                                                                                          2. Yes, I mss the Hungarian (post 1956 revolutipn) places on Bloor, especially the Tarogato, which featured, it said, Hungarian and South American food, the latter just being the Hungarian dishes translated into Spanish (ternera milanesa instead of becsi szelet)

                                                                                            There was also the Bucharest (Romanian eggplant salad just like my grandmother made) and the Benes, Czech food.

                                                                                            Not that I don't tike Asian food, but I wish we had some of those European places back.

                                                                                            1. i like ribs. when i can, i like to take my time and do my own up the way i like it. that usually means going to my parents and taking over the charcoal grill.

                                                                                              my 2 disappointments are rib joints. places that i LOVED when i first went; but, have since deteriorated to the point that i won't bother going anymore (one, mercifully, has closed).

                                                                                              Phil's Ribs. when i moved back to Toronto in 2002, ribs were awesome. i would do takeout, eat-in whatever. i always had time for Phil's. something happened in the last couple of years and i the quality is down and the prices are up. i don't bother with the place anymore.

                                                                                              Cluck, Grunt, and Lo. first time there, i loved it. got their platter with pork & beef ribs, and smoked brisket. i was smitten. i later ordered take out, both Kansas City and Texas style. i continued with my dine in and take out flirtation for a while. i thought i found a new long term relationship. then, like a girlfriend that thinks she doesn't have to look good for you anymore, things changed. ribs ordered became incredibly dry. you would order Kansas City ribs and the server would bring Texas ribs and tell you that's all they had. take out orders would not be process, so when you showed up, illegally parked outside, you would have to wait. i had to end the relationship. mercifully, they're gone now so i don't have the lingering memory of good times past...

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: dickiegreenleaf

                                                                                                Won't miss "Cluck, Grunt & Lo" (My pick for WORST RESTAURANT NAME of all time). Only memory is trying to chew the "sauted collard greens" which were like rubber. Spinach you can saute, collard greens must be cooked a LONG, LONG time to be edible.

                                                                                              2. Since this topic has been resurrected, there are a few places I think of:

                                                                                                Dante's in Thornhill - never was a fan of their pizza, but I loved their sandwiches until the prices doubled. At $7.95, I thought their veal was a pretty good deal; at $15.95, I'm not so sure.

                                                                                                The Fish House - they used to serve some really good seafood when they were on Sheppard but after a while, the quality went way down hill, and the move to Woodbine didn't fix it.

                                                                                                Totally agree on Lick's and Marche. Once good, now ho-hum.

                                                                                                And one more blast from the past - Toby's. The original was wonderful, and even some of the franchise spots were OK for a while. The only one left that I know is at Yonge & Empress, and it's awful.

                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                  I think a lot if the suggestions in this thread are not actually places that changed at all ... it's just that your tastes have changed.

                                                                                                  I'm really not sure that Licks has changed either - they've always done a decent but dry burger with ok sides. It's just that now, all kinds of pubs and higher end restaurants are doing really good burgers and Licks suffers by comparison.

                                                                                                  Spring Rolls was never good ... it''s just that now Torontonians have a greater appreciation for good Thai food and Spring Rolls ranks near the bottom.

                                                                                                  And Swiss Chalet hasn't changed one bit on 25 years - my grandmother loves it and I've taken her to the one at York MIlls and Yonge every week since it opened in the late 1980s. The fries are exactly the same as they've always been. The sauce too. Some locations in the boondocks are lousy (I wouldn't feed my dog a quarter chicken dinner from the Kingston Rd. and Morningside location) but the core SC's that have been there forever are churning out the same stuff.

                                                                                                  1. re: victor page

                                                                                                    I've got to disagree with you. Sure my tastes have changed over time, but the restaurants you refer to certainly have changed, and changed considerably more than my tastes.

                                                                                                    Licks did a beautiful burger way back when, freshly cooked to order and to taste, and dry only when cooked well done. Their sides haven't changed, but the burgers certainly have. They are now frozen pucks cooked beyond well done, flipped many times, and cut into to ensure they are gray throughout and devoid of moisture. Then they are cooked some more.

                                                                                                    I can actually enjoy a Licks burger patty cooked at home, and keep some in my freezer for emergency feedings. They are palatable when seared and cooked to medium rare on my grill. I don't find them at all palatable at Lick's.

                                                                                                    I find it particularly interesting that a solidly frozen Licks patty will cook to well done on my grill in four minutes flat. I wonder what they do to these patties to make this happen - a raw, not frozen, burger of similar thickness, cooked on the same grill, is still very rare after four minutes.

                                                                                                    Swiss Chalet hasn't changed in 25 years? Give me a break. Twenty five years ago they had a very limited menu featuring chicken and a few variations on that theme plus a few sides. Compare that with their vast menu today.

                                                                                                    A few Swiss Chalets still turn out tasty chicken and fries, but many serve chicken with even the dark meat dry as dust. Beyond this issue, which is really about consistency rather than about product, many Swiss Chalets serve chicken that is very different and completely lacks the distinctive "Swiss Chalet taste". Many Swiss Chalets actually serve frozen fries. Please don't argue, since I've observed this myself.

                                                                                                    Per KevinB's post, he is absolutely right. The Fish House once served good plain fish, but that was very long ago. It hasn't been good in many years.

                                                                                                    Marche and Toby's represent different scenarios.

                                                                                                    There is no connection between the much beloved Toby's of yore and anyplace now in business that bears the Toby's name.

                                                                                                    Richtree Market restaurants, while corporately related to the defunct Marche, are not Marche restaurants. The underlying philosophy, the recipes, and the food quality are different and inferior, but so is the name.

                                                                                                    1. re: embee

                                                                                                      If Swiss Chalet serves frozen fries they are the best, most deceptively frozen fries I've ever come across. And if frozen they must’ve been fried from frozen 30 years ago, as the product has not changed one iota under my increasing scrutiny over the years. At the locations I usually frequent they couldn't seem further removed from frozen. They look, taste, and feel nothing like any frozen fry that I've ever eaten. Not even close! I’ll say one thing, if they are in fact frozen, they are geniuses, and I'd actually be even more impressed! Either way, I think they are quite good and enjoy them still to this day.

                                                                                                      1. re: magic

                                                                                                        Swiss Chalet chicken was so much better than the Toronto norm before air chilling became common that Dave Nichol put raw SC-branded chicken on the shelf at Loblaw's.

                                                                                                        Some Swiss Chalets still seem to serve the old chicken and fries, though not necessarily cooked well. Others definitely don't.

                                                                                                        Check out the SC on Queen E in the Beach. The chicken doesn't have the distinctive taste that SC claims comes from charcoal and some others claim comes from a bacon fat baste. Wherever it may com from, at that location the taste isn't there. The fries are frozen. I could say the same thing about the (now defunct) Danforth branch.

                                                                                                        Some locations serve frozen fries when their regular fries run out, while others seem to serve frozen fries exclusively.

                                                                                                        I've always found the "secret sauce" yucky. I'll eat it laced with ketchup and tabasco when the chicken is painfully dry. It's just a starch powder, so there isn't much to cheap out on.

                                                                                                        Hell, I'm so old that I remember when they served the (then always great) Swiss Chalet fries at Harvey's.

                                                                                                      2. re: embee

                                                                                                        I agree with embee in regards to SC the chicken is inconsistently cooked . . . but the big change for me was when they changed their tasty chicken sandwich . . . It was originally (for decades) served on a nice crusty roll (much like a larger version of their dinner rolls) . . . Now it is served on a joke of a hamburger bun . . . The bun always made the sandwich and now I never order it . . . now I usually get delivered the family meal in which you can opt for 6 dark quarters and fries for around 28 bucks . . . And as far as the sauce goes . . . as a kid I always got a fries and two sauces ...one to dip and one to sip . . . that for me has not changed (I know I'm scaring you)...

                                                                                                        Bring back the old bun!!!!

                                                                                                        SB

                                                                                                      3. re: victor page

                                                                                                        How can you say you are not really sure that Licks has changed? Have you got Alzheimer's? A Lick's burger from 1988 is nothing like what they pass off these days, it's completely inedible.

                                                                                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                                                          I haven't tried a Lick's burger in over a decade but when I tried them last (probably early 90s), they were the only burger that looked better than the smelled. I loved those burgers. I guess it's just as well not to go order one now based on the consensus here...

                                                                                                          1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                                                            I concur!

                                                                                                          2. re: victor page

                                                                                                            Lettuce Eatery (now Freshii?). Used to be my go-to place for food court lunch in TD Tower. Not the best salad ever, but the best selection/customization/price compared to everything else in the downtown underground. About a year ago, some toppings suddenly got ridiculously smaller (e.g. beet & potato chunks downsized to flecks the size of Tic Tac candies), some got eliminated entirely (e.g. chopped tasteless tomatoes substituted for whole grape tomatoes) and they changed the roll to 2 quarter slices of some kind of flatbread. Not great, but tolerable, until the last six months with an entire revamp of the ordering options so you are definitely paying more for less. It's probably still the lesser of the other food court salad evils, but eventually I just couldn't bear to go there anymore. I would have preferred if they kept the actual food/set up the way it was and just charged more, if produce costs were the problem.

                                                                                                            Meanwhile, McDonald's coffee actually *has* gotten better. Go figure. (I didn't buy it - someone bought it for me and I was pleasantly surprised!).

                                                                                                            1. re: balthazar

                                                                                                              I agree about Lettuce Eatery. While expensive, it did offer a nice selection, especially compared to the usual PATH suspects. It has definitely gone down hill. And what's with the name change on the heels of it branching out? Strange marketing concept. And FRESHII?!

                                                                                                              Anyhoo, Pickle Barrell anyone? Ugh. What an abomination it's become.

                                                                                                              1. re: balthazar

                                                                                                                You might prefer Fast Fresh Foods in Commerce Court (haven't been down there in a few months though).

                                                                                                          3. Apache burger - quality seemed to take a nosedive right around the time that they renovated.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: lynng

                                                                                                              I couldn't understand why anyone would want to eat their burgers. But at least here I swallowed mine, vide Johnny's. Also cf. Square Boy
                                                                                                              VVM

                                                                                                            2. Japango on Elizabeth St. It used to be slightly more expensive than most casual sushi joints in Toronto, but with way better quality, which made it worth enduring the cramped quarters. My wife and I were there a couple times a month. Sadly, after three very sub-par visits last year we finally gave up: the prices stayed higher, but the quality plummeted to all-you-can-eat sushi buffet levels. We still haven't found a casual and affordable sushi joint in the downtown core to replace it (places like Hiro, Kaji, etc. just aren't in our budget for regular visits).

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Gary

                                                                                                                Coconut Grove on dundas (west of bay, east of university) used to serve fantastic and incredibly priced rotis-- heavenly goat, ethereal chicken curry and lovely vegetable options like squash and spinach. The owners have changed ( i think last summer) and the food quality has become really pitiable (think a spoonful of gristle and some sad sauce being the filling for an entire roti) and of course, the price has gone up too. Really too bad, the old owners and staff used to brighten my day. :(

                                                                                                              2. I would have to vote for Webber's (just north of Orillia). When I was a kid I couldn't wait to go there on the way to the cottage. Now it's a totally over-hyped, over-priced tourist trap. The burgers and fries are tiny now and not nearly as good. Every time I drive by there now and see the huge line ups I just shake my head.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: mattagascar slim

                                                                                                                  The Rule in Toronto and environs is that any place that I like will become crummy and close (fn.1) or will just close. The problem is that respecting the customer by providing good food at a reasonable price is a recipe for failure here. Respect is not what the public wants; pandering and ass kissing, yes.My places solidified their status mostly with me.
                                                                                                                  So the chef/owner for the want of custom goes squirrely in the kitchen and cooks erraticly .Or he thinks that he has learned something new about customers tastes and lowers his standard; or he just betrays his standards from frustration and exhaustion. (And the food sits in the fridge too long, compounding the problem.) The result? Good food didn't bring success, bad food certainly doesn't for this operator, whose basic talent and honesty make him incapable of pandering effectively.
                                                                                                                  Or the chef/owner just closes while he still has all his faculties.

                                                                                                                  Then there is the problem of new management. Those were black days when the Ukrainians sold the Mars to the Greeks; when the Jews sold The Bagel to the Chinese. I will not name other names out of respect.

                                                                                                                  fn1. "The Curse of Doug". After several consistently good meals I will take Doug the Wino there to show off my chowish talent of discovery. Our arrival marks that the place is finished. The cooking now is in decline, and will continue so until the tragic end.
                                                                                                                  VVM

                                                                                                                2. Pho Mi 99 (Dixie & Dundas in Mississauga) has gone downhill in the last couple of years. I used to live across town, and my family would go there all the time for dinner. Now that I can walk there, it's rubbish. The last meal I had there, the chow mein, the fried noodles tasted stale, definitely not fresh fried, like they'd just come from an old package. The meal I had there before that wasn't spectacular either.

                                                                                                                  It used to be my favourite restaurant, now I'd rather go elsewhere. I'm not sure though if it was always like that, or if my tastes have changed to appreciate better Vietnamese and Chinese. They changed their menu too, and my old favourites are gone, so I can't compare how something I liked then tastes to me now.

                                                                                                                  1. I have to mention Duck, at the College Park Food Court. I know it isn't a restaurant, but I had such great eating experience there when it first opened! They wanted to beat chinatown bbq places not just in pricing, but in the quality of their bbq duck, chicken and won ton. You could get big, fluffty won ton made with minced chicken (not pork) with hints of ginger and sesame oil. The duck there was exquisite.....until recently, when both my visits featured chewy, gnarly legs that took a long time to eat. Too bad. I'll still go but will eyeball the goods before I order.....

                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                    Food Court
                                                                                                                    161 Richmond St, Chatham, ON N7M1P1, CA

                                                                                                                    1. ALL new Dim Sum Chinese restaurants north of Toronto!!!

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                        Even the Ambassador?

                                                                                                                        1. re: MeMeMe

                                                                                                                          I said 'new'! Therefore outfit like Yang's, Emperor, Regal Palace, Casa Vivtoria...etc

                                                                                                                      2. Cafe Leopold. Started so strong then the chef left. But a recent post on here just said they had a good meal so I am hoping they've pulled it out of the fire. St. Clair West is a really tough strip to make it on and I am always rooting for businesses here to survive!

                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                        Cafe Leopold
                                                                                                                        672 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C, CA

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                                                                                                                          Cafe Leopold is RIP

                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                          Cafe Leopold
                                                                                                                          672 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C, CA

                                                                                                                        2. Canyon Creek in Scarborough has gone way downhill. I was there a few weeks ago and tried their baked potato soup. It was served lukewarm. I had one of their lobsterlust meals - a steak topped with lobster and while the steak was hot, the lobster topping was stone cold! Yuk! The frozen fries served with their rib dinner are not too appealing either.

                                                                                                                          1. Latest is chowhound favourite - 'Fantasy Eatery, Scarborough'. All five dishes we ordered during our last visit a month ago were plain aweful!!

                                                                                                                            1. Does anyone remember when Green Mango was on Hayden street near Yonge and Bloor back in the early 90s - it was tiny with about two seats in it and the food was amazing. When they expanded it went downhill. Same with Scaccia - they used to be right around the corner from Green Mango and had a steak and pepper sandwich I used to dream about. Then they moved to Manulife and became awful.

                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                              Green Mango
                                                                                                                              2180 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S1N3, CA

                                                                                                                              Scaccia Restaurant
                                                                                                                              55 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M4W1A5, CA