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House on Parliament-going downhill???

xiolablue Jul 10, 2010 05:10 PM

I used to like this place alot because although it has that laidback pubby atmosphere you could always count on the food being good.

I went today and it was embarrassing, the food seems a former shadow of itself and the service was terrible.

I witnessed our server eating/stuffing her face with at least two plates of food at the bar between servicing about 4 tables. Everytime she walked by her mouth was full or she was chewing and mumbled or grunted when we placed our drink and meal orders.

Also the washroom is tiny and disgusting.


House On Parliament
454 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A3A2, CA

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  1. kayehm RE: xiolablue Jul 10, 2010 07:28 PM

    Sadly, I would have to agree. I also used to go there all the time but my last few visits have been really... bad. The service was absent-minded and formerly good food was mediocre.

    On one visit there was a bug squished into the yolk of the boiled egg in my formerly favourite dish there - the spinach salad. I mentioned it to the aforementioned spaced-out server who told me it must have happened outside since I was eating on the patio. Bug squished into the yolk... like it committed suicide there. There was no offer of compensation of any kind and she just walked away. I have not been back since.

    But that bathroom - it has always been tiny, albeit not completely disgusting :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: kayehm
      hungryabbey RE: kayehm Jul 11, 2010 02:02 PM

      Oy- I cant believe they pulled that line with you and didnt even compensate for their big mistake.
      I too have seen HOP go down hill. We used to be regulars.. and actually my last visit was fine.. but the time before that, I had really bad service...snobby.. forgot our app and when we asked about it, we got "oh, yah, sorry". Not even a "would you like me to bring it now?" or anything. Awful. I think HOP belongs in the "Places we loved before going downhill" thread.

      1. re: hungryabbey
        kayehm RE: hungryabbey Jul 31, 2010 05:39 PM

        We went back yesterday afternoon - just for snacks and drinks. We ordered the samosas to share - they were not horrible (after sopping up the grease with a few napkins). But service... it still kinda sucked. It seems like no one there cares. I think this will be the last visit.

    2. r
      raebmv RE: xiolablue Jul 11, 2010 06:48 PM

      Count me in as deeply disappointed too. I have lived in the neighbourhood for many years, and HoP used to be a reliable destination. But the last few visits (most recent not voluntarily), the food and, more importantly, the service has taken a real dive.

      1. p
        Pincus RE: xiolablue Jul 12, 2010 01:06 PM

        Dang. That is my go-to pub when I'm in the neighbourhood and Sukhothai is closed. :)

        3 Replies
        1. re: Pincus
          Googs RE: Pincus Aug 1, 2010 09:33 AM

          If you just want drinks, Pincus, there are other much friendlier places in the nabe. The Cobourg and Samovar spring to mind immediately. If it's a patio you're looking for, don't forget there's Plum (don't eat there) and JamCafe. All of these places have better service and lack attitude.

          HoP, you're a PUB goddamnit! Your food doesn't have to be as good as it was in the Joan Olsen days. Just drop the 'tude.

          The Cobourg
          533 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X 1P3, CA

          1. re: Googs
            0madness RE: Googs Nov 17, 2010 01:22 PM

            I know the HOP has changed the service sucks and the attitudes are the same...unfortunatrly the coburg is not much better..unless you order your drink and keep your mouth shut!!

            1. re: 0madness
              Googs RE: 0madness Nov 18, 2010 07:44 AM

              I was just at The Cobourg last night. I had a fanTAStic time. Service was friendly, the people were lively and happy. I'm certainly not a regular there. They've always been nice to me, though. It's never failed that I meet another person from the nabe and make a new friend. Last night included.

              The Cobourg
              533 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X 1P3, CA

        2. b
          BRACAB RE: xiolablue Aug 10, 2010 10:08 AM

          I am very much a regular at the HOP and consider it to have the best pub food in Toronto - think Spotted Pig at half the price. It can be crowded and the service a bit abrupt but overall I believe the food and service to be consistantly good. A great neighbourhood pub..

          Spotted Pig
          23 Augusta St, Hamilton, ON L8N1P6, CA

          1. m
            maryhenr RE: xiolablue Sep 12, 2010 01:09 PM

            Once a beloved brunch spot on a lazy Sunday afternoon, today marks my last visit to HoP. I have always defended the gastropub to friends and family, appealing to them that "the service isn't always this slow", or that "the servers aren't always this rude and unfriendly". However, today left me bereft of any more defenses - for the slow service, attitude, lack of acknowledgement, unfriendly and apathetic staff (though not all), and (sadly) cold food. Perhaps, I can take some solace in the fact that the evening bar/pub feel has been welcoming. Yet, with so many other affable pubs like the Artful Dodger and Bar Volo only a stone's throw away, I say, "Why bother?"

            5 Replies
            1. re: maryhenr
              hungryabbey RE: maryhenr Sep 12, 2010 06:02 PM

              Oh no, another regular turns their back. Im glad. When we had our encounter last week, the feeling we got from them was "we dont care.. we're busy, so whats a lost customer?" I mean, when we told them that we were not going to come back they said "Well thats your prerogative"
              I know this is off topic, but I have been meaning to go to Artful Dodger, what do you recommend Mary?

              Artful Dodger
              10 Isabella St, Toronto, ON M4Y1N1, CA

              1. re: hungryabbey
                maryhenr RE: hungryabbey Sep 17, 2010 09:51 AM

                The pub is relaxed and unpretentious. The food is not gastro pub quality but is home-cooked comfort food - think bangers and mash, shepherd's pie and prime rib dinners with yorkshire pudding. Their patio is great for brunch, or an after work pint. The staff and patrons are pretty amiable.

                Great food, just 5 minutes away, can be found at Bar Volo. The ploughman's platter and pizzas are highly recommended. This is another pretty chill establishment with easy-going staff. The music is stellar! It's the best I've heard in any T.O. pub (if you like alt/indie/brit). They have lovely languoring cask ales and the 2nd best domestic and international beer list I have seen. (Beer Bistro having the premier selection.)

                Artful Dodger
                10 Isabella St, Toronto, ON M4Y1N1, CA

                1. re: maryhenr
                  hungryabbey RE: maryhenr Sep 17, 2010 05:58 PM

                  Great! I appreciate the info.

                  1. re: hungryabbey
                    Googs RE: hungryabbey Sep 18, 2010 06:55 AM

                    Dodger's burger is pretty decent. I've never had anything I didn't like there. Just not enough to write about it.

                    If we get an Indian summer you should know they have front and back patios. Service, while not the fastest, is swift enough that you never encounter that uncomfortable feeling. At least I don't, but then I don't dine out if I'm in a hurry.

                  2. re: maryhenr
                    hungry_pangolin RE: maryhenr Sep 18, 2010 10:37 PM

                    Gotta say about Volo.... I remember when it open around 1985, and it was a great Italian cafe. They must have had a change in ownership, given the change in style, but I love their current sourcing of unusual or artisanal beer. They're one of the few bright spots on Yonge south of Bloor. I'm also fond of the rustic furnishings.

              2. Googs RE: xiolablue Sep 12, 2010 01:38 PM

                Just so these two threads can cross-pollinate:

                1. Frids RE: xiolablue Nov 2, 2011 04:11 PM

                  It's been quite a long time since HOP was mentioned here and I'm looking for an update. I was one of those people who had one too many bad experiences to go back just prior to their move but I have to admit I miss the place.

                  Anyone have any recent experiences to report? Thanks.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Frids
                    maryhenr RE: Frids Nov 2, 2011 04:45 PM

                    I have been meaning to report on my last three visits there in the past 3 months. I spent all visits on the cozy patio. I had friendly service from a very pleasant waitstaff, who was not from the old haunt. The food took its merry time to get to me, but I was not pressed for time and it was super! I highly recommend the nightly specials and fish & chips. FYI: I checked out Prohibition on Queen East two weeks ago, and it was fun -- great music, great poutine, great beer selection on draught and stellar service.

                    House On Parliament
                    454 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A3A2, CA

                    1. re: maryhenr
                      BRACAB RE: maryhenr Nov 3, 2011 06:53 AM

                      I have been at the HOP a number of times over the last few months. Service has improved since the move, there seems to be less attitude and more professional/efficient service. The food, particularly the daily specials is very good, as good as you will get in a Toronto "pub". Alas as a pub it really isn't a neighbourhood place to hang out and drink as it is just to busy and the bar too small. Brunch, particularly on Sunday is a different matter. The food is still good but staff are too hung over/tired or simply don't care.

                      1. re: BRACAB
                        Pincus RE: BRACAB Nov 3, 2011 07:50 AM

                        Thanks for the reports, I will have to go check it out, even though the smaller space doesn't sound appealing. And if I see the last server I had, I'm just going to turn around and leave. :)

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