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Beer Bistro..Worth a Visit?

e
easily amused Jun 29, 2009 08:42 PM

Have heard alot of good things about this establishment. Looking for a semi-casual place for a Friday Night gathering. Good food...drinks, beer. Is this the place???

  1. aser Jun 29, 2009 08:54 PM

    I think so, it serves its purpose. Good food, great selection of beers.

    The major complaint folks have w/ the place is the noise level. It is a post work Bay St hangout on weekdays. If that bothers you, I suggest you save a visit for the weekend, it's much quieter then.

    I personally like the busy atmosphere.

    1. jlunar Jun 29, 2009 08:59 PM

      Went maybe a month ago and had the horse tartare. Thought it quite good. Found the pizza not so successful. Desserts - the Dragon Skor Stout (or something like that) is tasty, but too melty that day. Didn't enjoy it. Enjoyed the strawberry one though.

      It's a semi-casual place for a Friday night (make reservations) gathering. I'd say okay food, beer, drinks...

      Just recently covered: http://www.torontolife.com/features/beerbistro/

      ---
      http://foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

      1. blue bike Jun 30, 2009 03:45 AM

        Yes, this is the place. You will have fun with beer. Mussels come with a selection of sauces and all of them are good.

        Make sure you make reservations, though.

        1. g
          Gary Jun 30, 2009 05:59 AM

          I concur with the above. Great beer selection and above average food. But Fridays are by far their busiest night as people from the nearby financial district head over after work, so you will definitely want to make reservations, and be prepared for some "shout talking". Not good for an intimate conversation but great for a lively casual time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gary
            s
            Sarah Cat Jun 30, 2009 06:11 AM

            I really enjoy the Beer Bistro. I like getting the three tiny glasses of draft beer for I think six dollars? It's a wonderful way to try new kinds of beer without committing to a whole pint. My husband and I went a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. The service was friendly and attentive and the food was good. The frites were fantastic!

          2. Wahooty Jun 30, 2009 07:23 AM

            I like Beerbistro for exactly this sort of thing...the food isn't exciting, but it is tasty, and goes well with the very good assortment of beer. I'll add that I was just there on Friday night, expecting the place to be packed and noisy, but since we got there late (10ish), the after-work suit crowd seemed to have cleared out. We were actually able to have a nice, relaxed conversation out on the patio, and inside the restaurant was quiet as well. So sometimes I guess you can get lucky...

            1. m
              melnumnums Jul 9, 2009 05:33 PM

              Has anyone been for brunch? Thanks!

              2 Replies
              1. re: melnumnums
                chocabot Jul 9, 2009 06:50 PM

                - I have, but it must have been 3 years ago atleast! I had baked eggs with spinach which were very good and my friend had the mac and cheese (like a gratin with bacon on top). It was so rich she took home half but said it was delicious. I saw some good looking burgers go by as well. Daytime weekends are quiet and they have a nice enough outside area to sit.

                1. re: chocabot
                  1sweetpea Jan 15, 2010 06:29 AM

                  BeerBistro was a great choice for a pre-game dinner last night. We arrived at 5:00 pm and tables were already taken by the after work suits. While the beer list was the major draw for a couple of my co-diners, I thoroughly enjoyed my mussels. In fact, I thought they were outstanding. I ordered the devil's puttanesca incarnation, while another co-diner went for a more classic prep (white wine, shallots, lemon, cream). I tasted those as well and they were delicious. Other items were a lovely pasta, stuffed chicken, which was probably the least interesting option of the bunch, and the onion soup dumplings and sticky lamb ribs as apps. The ribs were insanely rich (read: fatty) and were delicious if you are only eating a rib or two. I'd be overwhelmed by the fattiness if I had to polish off the entire order, but that is the nature of lamb ribs, in my experience. The dumplings were certainly tasty, but in my opinion, way too heavy. They arrived molten hot, smothered in a thick layer of cheese, and by the time they cooled off enough to take a bite they had to be chiseled apart. I'm not sure if they are intended to be soup dumplings (meaning soup inside), but they were more like onion soup flavoured pierogies. Everyone enjoyed the overall taste, but I would not order them again. They were way too heavy for me. I would, however, return for more beer sampling and the mussels. I loved the presentation in the Staub crocks, with a lovely loaf of chewy sourdough. Excellent. I should also mention that despite the full house by 6:00 pm, servers never seemed to be scrambling. Our server in particular was extremely efficient without ever seeming intrusive. Nice place, good vibe and a bit noisy, but not deafening, like the Irish Embassy can be.

              2. m
                MeMeMe Jan 15, 2010 09:02 AM

                Yes yes and yes. Their pulled pork sandwich is divine - easily the best in the city. Beer is used for cooking in every dish in the joint. Always a good choice in my mind.

                1. s
                  Super Dave Jan 15, 2010 01:49 PM

                  Very worthwhile place excellennt food. Thier Pulled Pork sandwich was voted by Toronto Star as the best in the city about 18 months ago. On Saturdays they used to roast a whole suckling pig. Not sure if they still do.

                  1. CocoaChanel Jan 15, 2010 01:59 PM

                    It's a great casual spot. Excellent beer selection, nice bar/atmosphere. The frites are good, the pulled pork sandwich is excellent, and the burger is one of my favourites. The bun they use for their sandwiches is delicious -- it has a nice crust that does not fall apart, but the bun itself is also soft.

                    I've tried the mussels once - the broth was ok, and the mussels were not overdone. The lobster quessadilla I find too cheesy, but others I've gone with really like it. The pizza flatbreads are meh. I wouldn't bother. I've never tried it, but when Mr. Vuitton and I go, he swears by the salmon.

                    It's more of a suit place on Thursday, by Friday 6ish/6.30 the suits have left the building. I agree with others who have said it can get very noisy.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: CocoaChanel
                      ingloriouseater Jan 15, 2010 02:19 PM

                      the suits are fine (i am one of the guilty), the noise level is great, the only problem when it is this busy is that service realllllly get slow and you wait and wait and wait for everything...but it is often worth it....if you can put up with the wait

                      1. re: ingloriouseater
                        CocoaChanel Jan 15, 2010 02:29 PM

                        LOL. I am also guilty
                        :)
                        True, service can be spotty. We typically end up sitting in the bar area (at one of the couch things) with better service from the bartender.

                        1. re: CocoaChanel
                          1sweetpea Jan 16, 2010 05:36 AM

                          I guess we were lucky on Thursday evening, then. It was pretty packed by 6:00 p.m., but we never felt neglected by our server. We weren't in a rush and our food arrived in a timely manner. Our server was always around to collect our beer tasting glasses and inquire as to further beer orders, which we ordered at staggered times throughout the meal. We never waited more than a minute or two or three for drinks to arrive.

                    2. m
                      Marumari Dec 22, 2010 06:25 AM

                      Tried this place last night at about 6:30 PM, before catching "2001: A Space Odyssey" at TIFF.

                      In short, the space is nice, with a good divide between bar and resto areas, while still feeling open. The service was alright, but it was packed, so that's fine.

                      Beer was good- quite a long list, as well as some special Winter-types. No problem, there.

                      The food, however, was .. hrm. We started by sharing a 'potato skins' order, with smoked salmon which was quite good. Good freshness and hot/cool balance. The GF had the crab quesadilla, which was okay, if a little too packed with cheddar-type cheese. It wasn't great. Worst of all was my main dish, which was the broiled bass with a 'bean stew' or something. It was terrible. Plain and slightly musky fish, on top of a large pile of bland and tough fava beans, apparently dumped directly out of a can, and onto the plate. NOT tasty. I considered sending it back, but I generally don't do that, and I didn't have time to wait for a replacement plate.

                      Our server was quite nice, but never once asked how our meal was. Not good. Instead of making a stink, I decided to post here. I can't imagine BB would change anything; they seem to be doing quite well.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Marumari
                        b
                        BargainHarolds Dec 28, 2010 07:56 AM

                        Beer Bistro food = downhill. It's a shame.

                        -----
                        Beer Bistro
                        18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA

                        1. re: BargainHarolds
                          y
                          Yongeman Dec 28, 2010 08:56 AM

                          So wait....one iffy review and it's suddenly going downhill? I didn't notice any previous postings from you BargainHarolds. Have you been?

                          1. re: Yongeman
                            b
                            BargainHarolds Feb 19, 2011 04:52 AM

                            Of course I've been. How could I claim the food has gone downhill if I hadn't?

                            And it's not "suddenly" going downhill. Have you been? If not, please go. Let us know what you think.

                            1. re: BargainHarolds
                              y
                              Yongeman Feb 19, 2011 06:09 AM

                              I have been, and enjoyed the few apps that I shared along with the beer. I guess the brevity of your post made it appear that you were merely summarizing the earlier posts in this thread. Sorry you haven't been enjoying your visits to the BB lately.

                              1. re: Yongeman
                                b
                                BargainHarolds Feb 19, 2011 07:28 AM

                                Have you been recently? I used to love the food there. It was always a little overpriced, but it was good.

                                I went two times fairly recently, and decided that Beer Bistro wasn't worth anymore visits.

                                The cooks are terrible at cooking a steak. The "pulled pork" pizza was covered in what seemed to be chopped ham.

                                I guess if one is looking for a really long beer list, it might be worth going. But that hardly makes the Bier Markt worth visiting, so I don't think it justifies a trip to the Beer Bistro either. Especially with Duggan's around the corner.

                                -----
                                Bier Markt
                                , Mississauga, ON L5B, CA

                      2. s
                        Stephanie L Dec 23, 2010 03:13 PM

                        I have been to Beer Bistro 4 or 5 times and always had a good time. The food is very good and the beer selection is of course excellent, fun to order a few different apps and share. Have fun!

                        -----
                        Beer Bistro
                        18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA

                        1. m
                          myriam5555 Feb 21, 2011 11:05 AM

                          Another good place for beer and good (not great) food is Smokeless Joe's on John Street across from the Scotiabank movie theatre. They have a fantastic beer selection and good mussels and bread.

                          -----
                          Smokeless Joe
                          Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: myriam5555
                            atomeyes Sep 7, 2011 04:27 PM

                            They moved to College (open in the fall)

                          2. 6
                            6eehappy Sep 7, 2011 01:17 PM

                            Its one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto. The staff is very knowledgeable and the food is amazing. I would definitely recommend getting fries even as just an appetizer for the table. If you like Chocolate, the flourless chocolate cake is hands down the best I've had anywhere.

                            1. c
                              canadianbeaver Sep 7, 2011 05:54 PM

                              Was there on Tuesday night for a pre-Jays game dinner. My dad and I shared the duck confit corn dogs, the potato skins and a bowl of mussels. The corn dogs were amazing, really interesting concept and well breaded. Potato skins were a big hit with dad; they had smoked salmon on them (I liked them but am not a big potato fan). Mussels were good too, but very small and wouldn't want to have eaten the whole bowl solo. Service was attentive and informed. Overall, a great experience. Booked my reservation through OpenTable online and had no problems at all.

                              1. c
                                ctl98 Sep 7, 2011 08:18 PM

                                It depends what you order, I suppose. I really, really, really like their fries and the mussels as well. So I usually go for a glass of beer and mussels and fries. Everything else I've tried there has been ok to above average. Some are a bit overpriced though (like those appetizer tacos).

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