Hirut Ethiopian restaurant open at Woodbine and Danforth.
Been wondering for a while when this was finally going to open. Hopefully it will be of good quality. It will be nice to have a decent eating option within walking distance. This area is a restaurant wasteland, apart from Relish, which I hated.
Anyone tried it yet?
We had some friends visit the neighbourhood a couple of Saturdays ago to join us for our first visit to Hirut. Verdict was that we enjoyed the food, but the ambiance needs work ... lights were ablaze for most of the night, and it took an hour for the music to come on. The menu offerings were small, but we were impressed with the flavour of what we tried, although I agree with the comment that the veggie plate wasn't the best I've ever had. Since it's their only veggie offering that could put some off, but fortunately we were all for enjoying a meat-centric meal. But we were wholly stuffed and happy by the end of the night, always the sign of a good dinner outing.
With some improvement of the ambiance and a few more menu offerings, Hirut could make a go of it. For ppl like me who want something within walking distance, I'll give them a chance to work out the details. This restaurant reminds me of what Basil Thai offers - great food at a decent price, but low on the ambiance. In short: great for take-out.
Tried Hirut on Saturday with our 13 month old (who was in a miserable mood and wouldn't eat anything!). I'm no expert on Ethiopian but everything was tasty enough and fresh. We ordered the vegetarian platter and the non-veg platter. I believe both were $11. I thought the veg was a little dull.
The waitress was great and carried my son around whilst we ate. I'd say I preferred the food at Rendevous but Hirut is closer to my house. One other party arrived as we were leaving but I don't think they are getting too much business.
We got hit by the Ethiopian craving last night and briefly considered re-visiting Hirut, as it is just around the corner, but our last experience was so dispiriting we opted to walk through the miserable rain down to Rendezvous. I'm so glad we did.
We passed Hirut on the way, empty but for one table. It was pretty forlorn looking. Ten minutes walk got us to Rendezvous and what a difference! The place was almost full, including the bar. We were the only non-Ethiopians in the joint. The service was warm and welcoming, the food was superb (I think it's on par with Dukem now) and they had English Premier League football on the big screen, so we got to see Arsenal blow their championship chances over some excellent Zilzil Tibs and a perfectly flavoured vege platter. I must say that as much as we love Dukem, we actually enjoyed the atmosphere at Rendevous much more. It has such a relaxed, neighbourhood hangout vibe. Dukem always feels like you are in a restaurant, Rendezvous feels like you are in someone's living room watching the game.
Thus fortified, the walk back home through the relentless drizzle seemed almost pleasurable.
I will visit Hirut again, but probably by myself for a quick lunch. I do not want to risk spending more than I need to, as I suspect I will be disappointed. I hope they learn not to dumb down their food. Even if they do, I just don't feel the preparation skills are there. There is a reason this place is empty, and it's not for lack of a potential customer base.