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Worst/Slowest/Most Disappointing brunch ever at STARVING ARTIST!

So we went to brunch at STARVING ARTIST a long block north of Bloor at Landsdowne Ave.
From the time we ordered to the time our food arrived was 1 HOUR!!!!! No explanataions from the non-existant server, NOTHING!
Now this place has a good reputation, like it gets bigged up in NOW and has some good word of mouth. EXCEPT the food is mediocre! My 7 year old neice could make it because none of it was made using a stove! Just microwaves and bottled salad dressing! Oh and it seems 1 waffle maker for the whole restaurant that seats over 20. They don't use bread here, they use waffles which in concept is delicious, except so poorly executed it was extra disappointing because well, the menu reads great (burger sliders on waffles anyone?) and I wanted to support our local economy!

Ok, so Eggs Benny is 2 microwaved poached eggs (you can hear the microwave dinging in the back ground and the eggs are in that characteristic microwave poacher mold) on top of cold potato waffles (sounds great right? except they were cold) with from-mix hollandaise sauce. On the side is a scoop of grocery-store mayo potato salad (if that potato salad was actually "homemade" I would be embarrassed for the cook) and a handful of dried out mixed greens with a couple squirts of Kraft Raspberry Vinegarette (not dressed properly either because the vinegarette is pooled on the plate).
Multiply this sort of food for 5 people and it took them over an hour for them to "assemble" it.
The meal was only $9 (BTW the servers inform you it's $12.50 including tip, which would be a 25% tip. How generous of them!), but for $9, you could eat an amazing brunch at Aunties and Uncles and be served it with in 15 minutes!

Aunties and Uncles
74 Lippincott St, Toronto, ON M5S2P1, CA

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  1. Sounds like no wonder that they're starving.

    1. Sometimes you must suffer for art.

      4 Replies
      1. re: munchieHK

        just curious if you mentioned any of this to your server? was any effort made to correct things for you?

        1. re: xiolablue

          Unfortunately, learning to cook from scratch can't be done in half an hour. This truly does sound like food a starving artist might eat—at home.

          1. re: xiolablue

            Oh, the servers/staff knew! It wasn't just us, the other tables on the patio waited just as long too. When we were paying the bill, when they calculated that $9 + tax + 25% tip is $12.50, they apologized to one member of our group saying that they thought it was going to rain, so they were understaffed. For the record, there were 3 cooks behind the bar, and another person making drinks! I'm not sure how most restuarants work but I've been to excellent spots with only 2 cooks!

            1. re: mary sand

              I am thinking of Morning Glory on King East where I had a delicious hot brunch in a very small space with maybe only one cook (might have been two). Yes, it is possible, and yes, this Starving Artist place sounds awful.

              Morning Glory Cafe
              457 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1L6, CA

        2. Yeah the potato salad is straight from Ziggy's or Druxy's and the microwaved eggs are just weird hahaha. they seem like really nice people there, but the food just isn't hitting, step it up guys!

          1. I live practically across the street, and have gone ONCE, and never again.

            It sounds like I ate the same thing you did. Soggy, mushy, potato waffles with oddly perfect microwave eggs, a stingy and poorly made/bought salad, potato salad, and fruit salad. I also found the bacon to be cold, and would not describe it as caramelized, but rather... dipped in a caramel like substance.

            Found the coffee to be rather bland, especially after the owners rave about it. I don't understand all the people that flock here. I will admit though, brunch was terrible, but I've been curious about their dessert waffles for a late night snack since they serve until midnight...

            If I go out for brunch in the area, I go to Yasi's Place, west of Lansdowne on Wallace (a couple blocks away from Starving Artist). Its not a mind blowing breakfast but its a satisfying, tasty, quick, and an overall enjoyable breakfast.

            Yasi's Place
            299 Wallace Ave, Toronto, ON M6P3N2, CA

            1. I gotta say the whole "potato salad with brunch" thing just escapes me. I hate the combo at Aunties and Uncles and I'm not likely to be trying it here after your glowing review. Blech.

              2 Replies
              1. re: peppermint pate

                On the plus side, Aunties gives you other options as a side - and the food is great.

                1. re: peppermint pate

                  do you just hate potato salad in general or just with eggs?

                2. i have to say i agree with everything you said . they are nice guys and its a shame that none of them have a more refined pallette . it tastes like the menu was put together by a child , or at least a raving sugar addict bc everything on it except the potato waffles is sickeningly sweet . the potato salad tastes saturated in sugar and is definitely not made by them (and i agree , if it is , then O DEAR) the "raspberry vinagrette" tastes like bad candy , and the waffles are terrible .

                  i have to say for the first couple of visits i was wowed by the concept / location / vibe , but on the third try i realized how truly terrible the food is . too bad they dont do any of it right , sad to see how easily ppl get fooled by cool (including me for a day or two)

                  1. Dangerous Dans - shamefull excuse for Philly Cheese Steak sandwich - cheap burger bun, shitty toppings, meat was ok.

                    Dangerous Dan's
                    714 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1H2, CA

                    1. Did anyone like this place at all? My friend wants to go this week, and I personally have a pretty bad waffle craving anyways...but nothing puts me in a bad mood like a bad meal does


                      9 Replies
                      1. re: ekim256

                        i think they're waffles are pretty disappointing..

                        i went to watch a game during the world cup, and sat at the bar so got to see them work.

                        and although they don't use microwaves (the beeping are their waffle irons), i did see them replenish their pot of hollandaise with only a stick of butter and ripping open a mysterious white packet of powder and throwing it in.... voila? thats pretty nasty.

                        1. re: jayseeca

                          omg...I absolutely HATE crappy hollandaise. I refuse to ever go back to Frans for anything because of a nasty hollandaise experience (well...I guess that's not saying much given that it's Frans) so that would really make my stomach turn. The reviews on Yelp are quite mixed...

                          I've been hunting for a really darn good waffle, and their bacon-waffle was intriguing...but I'm thinking that I'd be much better off trying to see if she'll go to Cantanhede O Bairradino instead and satisfying my waffle craving elsewhere. It's too bad, waffle-sandwiches for dinner sound good...and if they only do waffles, you would think they would be tasty!


                          Cantanhede O Bairradino
                          662 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H3Y8, CA

                          1. re: ekim256

                            Also, if you guys are in the area, it wouldn't hurt to hop on the bus on Lansdowne going north, then catch the LRT to St.Clair and Christie for an awesome brunch at Stockyards.

                            I think its only on weekends though, if thats when you're planning to go. I'd double check.

                            1. re: jayseeca

                              ah...Stockyards is on my list for a yummy brunch but my friend wanted to do dinner in the area and our inner children were excited about waffles-for-dinner. After a bit of digging, I discovered Le Petit Dejeuner serves waffles at dinner time, but I think she'd prefer to stick to that area bc of her schedule. Thanks for reminding me about Stockyards!


                              Le Petit Dejeuner
                              191 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1J5, CA

                              1. re: ekim256

                                I love, love, love the waffles at LPD. So crisp and light and yeasty. My favourite is with the strawberries and cream. So good. Just wish the portions were larger.

                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                  Someone else suggested this place as well, and I went intending on ordering the waffles benny - but I remember that you mentioned the tasty strawberries and cream and the portion was small...so I ordered an eggs benny AND a waffle :P So good! Don't have time to post them on my blog for the next while, but I just pulled the pics off my camera and just looking at them is making my mouth water...
                                  Very crispy and light waffles - excellent maple syrup - big on the yum

                                  Thanks Jo :3


                        2. re: ekim256

                          Umn. Not worth a trip out, imo. The waffles at Aunties and Uncles are better.

                          Aunties and Uncles
                          74 Lippincott St, Toronto, ON M5S2P1, CA

                          1. re: jlunar

                            Mmm...if only they did all day brekkie

                            1. re: ekim256

                              Yeah, sadly... breakfast and lunch only. I think they close pretty early... around 3? 4? Good waffles though. Well, I like 'em.

                        3. I went this past weekend, and waited an hour for my food. An hour! The highlight was that it was served to me by a very sour hipster waitress (the best kind). The service was so bad it was hilarious. Or maybe that's cause I was deliriously tired.

                          The food was meh. I wouldn't go back. I had the waffles benny. The potato waffles were pretty yummy, but very rich and more "mashed potato" in texture then I was expecting. The eggs were fine, the bacon was fine, the hollandaise was pretty terrible. I was given potato salad even though I didn't order it (obviously they screwed up my order!), I didn't venture near it. I don't do mayo potato salad, but this looked especially horrible.

                          Conclusion: Not the worst brunch ever, but I wouldn't recommend it.