HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Marky's on Bathurst - please help me

I have no choice in the matter - dinner at Marky's this weekend. What can you recommend that would cause the least damage?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Haven't been for about 7 years, but the chicken soup was good the last time I was there. The tuna sandwich was regrettable.

    If I were to return, I'd order a corned beef sandwich and keep my expectations in check.

    Here is Marky's menu, in case you want to figure out your plan in advance:

    1. Do you like liver? If you do, the liver and onions is probably the least damaging item on the menu.

      1. I recommend that you say you are sick and don't go out with whoever wants to eat there.

        If you really have to attend, why not just order a salad?

        4 Replies
        1. re: foodyDudey

          No! Don't order a salad!!! Stick with the corned beef, its the best option.

          1. re: ddelicious

            OMG, I'm actually scared!!! Unfortunately I cannot not go. Believe me, I thought about it but it's not an option. Pray for me.

            1. re: millygirl

              Don't be too scared, millygirl.

              This isn't saying much, but I found the food at Marky's to be better than the food at Gabby's, Mr.Greenjeans in recent years, or Hemingway's ;-)

              If you just get the "city's best" chicken soup ("city's best" according to the menu, but it did taste better than most TO chicken soups when I last ordered it), you could always pick up a take-out shawarma at Yakamoz across the street after dinner :-)

              1. re: phoenikia

                I only remember Marky's from the one they had at university when I went and well, there was nothing to remember!

        2. Funny, I just talked to my dad the other day about how terrible the place is. He agreed but said that if hehad to get anything there, it would be the liver and onions.

          1. I've had some of the worst food I've ever eaten at that place. I'd probably order the corned beef, and have something to eat before I go.

            I've never had liver there, so I really shouldn't pass judgment, but one requirement for making liver kosher is that it must be overcooked before it's cooked (yes you read that right) - thus the popularity of chopped liver with lots of fried onions and schmaltz.

            Given there are now other, much better, kosher options, that's so sad....

            4 Replies
            1. re: embee

              When I drive by Marky's - which is often - I'm always astounded that it's still in business. I suppose the local Orthodox Jewish population keep this long-time Glatt Kosher outpost going somehow. My more religious acquaintances inform me it's as abysmal as ever, but they belly up there just the same. Still, when I find myself trapped in a situation similar to which you find yourself, millygirl, I adopt a posture of kosher defensive eating. In Marky's, I'd have a soup - not the borscht, though - and be prepared to send it back to the kitchen if it's not hot enough (a common failing there). After that, try to avoid anything that demands actual cooking. Stick with cold dishes. The chopped liver sandwich should be acceptable. Maybe a side salad of sliced cucumbers or cole slaw. Nothing more except water.

              I'd be intrigued to read a debriefing report of your experience there.

              1. re: juno

                "I adopt a posture of kosher defensive eating" - LOVE it!

                1. re: juno

                  I had an unforgettable lunch with my bank ( a nice boy withy Leumi) 20 years ago. Nothingwithstanding that I wanted to be polite, not make waves and not offend his orthodox sensitivities, I sent back the potato salad because it looked disgusting. Yopu would think potato salad would be safe, no?

                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                    Probably not after 7 other people sent back that same potato salad over the previous 4 days.

              2. How about suggesting Moe Pancer' instead?

                Moe Pancer's
                3856 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M3H3N3, CA

                2 Replies
                1. A job I had a looooong time ago used to have monthly meetings and we met at Marky's. I thought it was pretty good - but I only stuck to the soup and meat sandwiches and it was lunch. However as I said that is going back 12+ years.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: juliewong

                    Marky's is an institution!!! and by institution...I mean that they serve the same quality of food that you'd find at an institution....

                  2. If you are going to eat there, check out the cuttlery, make sure its clean. also ask for the meat to be LEAN if it turns out not to be you can send it back. Good luck.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bubbieofsix

                      I was at Marky's once , 22 yrs ago when i moved to Bathurst and Wilson. I guess its still bad. I do like Moe Pancers . corn beef its great and the kishka. about all i order

                      Moe Pancer's
                      3856 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M3H3N3, CA

                      1. re: ddelicious

                        LOL. Thankfully it got postponed to this weekend. Ay gevault!!!

                        1. re: millygirl

                          Well millygirl....the Bread should be fresh..if that's any consolation!!!

                          1. re: millygirl

                            Look on the postponement as a reprieve.

                            1. re: millygirl

                              Well assuming you lived to tell the tale, millygirl, the chowish sadists in all of us are most curious to hear your report...:)

                              1. re: peppermint pate

                                He, heh. I feel like I should get a tee shirt with "I survived Marky's" on it :)

                                It's funny because I considered writing something when I got home last night but couldn't bring myself to it. As in, I just wanted to put it all behind me. But today is another day, and you asked, so here it is.

                                It's not an experience I want to relive anytime soon, no, make that ever again. I knew I was in trouble when the person that suggested the place, said "everything here is sooo good" and the menu is taller than I am.

                                I started with chicken and matzoh ball soup which was awful. Tasted like it was from a cheap mix. Pretty much salt and water with a very strange, almost flourescent yellow color to it. The matzoh balls weren't good either. I've made much better myself using a mix.

                                Big mistake going there hungry, but I was. Second course I decided on a chicken stir fry. My reason being, how badly could they screw it up? Chicken, fresh veggies, garlic, soya, ginger. And even if the chicken wasn't good, I'd be okay with the veggies. BIG MISTAKE. It was a disgusting mess. The chicken was way overdone. In fact I'm still not sure it was chicken. It looked AND TASTED like deep fried styrofoam. The veggies consisted of over cooked green beans and about 1/ 2 bag of baby carrots. There you have it my friends - chicken stirfry, Marky's version.

                                Hubby went out on a limb and ordered the corned beef. Although not great, it was just okay. Given our situation, he was thankful about his choice. Another in the party ordered the lasagna, and what a plate of crap that was!! Almost unrecognizable. I did not have it in me to try it, but it really looked awful. Even the supposedly ceasar salad that came with the lasagna looked bad. Grated egg and olives with romaine leaves is Marky's version of ceasar.

                                The waitress was pleasant and service was fine. She overheard my husband say that he did not care for the matzoh balls and she came back with a bowl of noodles for him to put in the soup which I thought was quite nice of her. She almost looked sympathetic to us.

                                All in all, I have to say that it wasn't as bad as I was expecting but then again, I was thinking I would get sick afterwards :) And I didn't.

                                And the cutlery, I mean can it get any cheaper. I confess this is a big pet peeve for me. Don't cheap out on the cutlery people!!!! The place has been around for close to 30 years, no? You'd think he'd get some half decent forks. Mine was all crooked and so thin, I felt like I was in a campground.

                                What surprises me is the place WAS BUSY!!!! And not just jews either. People seemed to be enjoying themselves and get this - eating everything on their plates!! Cold cheap frozen french fries and all.

                                Marky should be ashamed serving that kind of crap. I mean, come on, how difficult would it be to make a proper stir fry?? That was just shameful.

                                Thankfully I will not have to do that ever again. Next time it will be my pick.

                                1. re: millygirl

                                  Well, now I just HAVE to try this place. It sounds like quite the dining adventure.

                                  1. re: millygirl

                                    They can't even do jewish right, and you expect them to do Chinese (chicken stir-fry) and Italian (lasagna) better?

                                    If a jewish restaurant can't even do chicken soup properly, forget it. I can't beleive that the place was so busy.

                                    1. re: millygirl

                                      What did Marky's do for cheese in the Caesar and lasagna? Why go looking for trouble? You don't need to look for trouble there.

                                      For more (mis) adventure , see Ely's. (Colonel Wong is B.H. no more.) What is in Ely's is to Chinese food what Reconstruction is to Orthodoxy.

                                      It is remarkable that all you maivens laud Caplansky's whilst making fun of Marky's. Marky's has an excuse. Not a good one , but still an excuse.

                                      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                        The ceasar salad and lasagna was on my 100 + year young aunt's plate and I wasn't about to get to close for a number of reasons. But I'm thinking the egg was the substitute for cheese in the ceasar. As for the lasagna, good question. I did see long slices of overcooked carrot layered in there, so perhaps that was meant as a sub for the cheese? Honestly the plate was a disaster. I think you get the picture.

                                        The really funny thing is, being the good jew that I am, I totally forgot that there would be no cheese in the lasagna until you mentioned it. OMG, LOL.