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The Beast's "Beast 120" menu: great way to snack or have an early dinner!

My friends and I wanted to meet up after work and we thought we would try The Beast's "120" menu. On Wednesday-Friday, they offer $4 beer, $5 wine and tapas-sized offerings for $4 each. The burger is $8 (sides are extra).

We got there at 5 and grabbed a table near the front. Between the 4 of us, we sampled most of what was on the menu.
My wife and I had the tasty pago de ariaz tempranillo (we learned to appreciate this black grape when in Spain) to drink and we ordered:

pig's head pasta
Ricotta-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers
Dirty Rice Fritters
Lamb Ribs

The other couple ordered

Lamb Ribs
pig's head pasta x 2
House-Made Charcuterie
Southern Sliders
Cauliflower Pakoras

They drank Flying Monkey's Hoptical Illusion and prosecco ($5/glass).

Everything was quite tasty. The pig's head pasta was made from headcheese and served with an egg yolk on top of a good-sized portion of homemade pasta. It was an incredible offering at a great price.
I loved the stuffed peppers and the rice fritters were also a very nice snack. We all attacked the charcuterie board (we mistakenly ordered all 3 charcuterie instead of one). The elk loaf w/blueberry was very very nice.

In all, it was a great way to get to know a cute downtown restaurant.

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Beast
96 Tecumseth St, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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  1. Glad to hear it was good. Have been meaning to hit this up, but I'm on the opposite end of the city usually...

    1. Went last night, and overall a great value for this type of restaurant.

      The tasso ham sliders were the highlight for me. Great texture with the combination of meat + cheese + biscuit. My gf really enjoyed the lamb ribs also. Although I felt the pig's head pasta was under-seasoned and the pappardelle too thin (1.5 on the dial?), thus lacking bite.

      Plus hoptical illusion for $4, pretty good deal. Props to them for making quality food in such a small space.

      2 Replies
      1. re: aser

        Wanted to bump this.

        We went today at 5:00, sat on the patio, and had a lovely time. Still: $4 beers, $5 glasses of wine, and snacks from $2 to $5. Wednesday to Friday from 5:00 to 7:00.

        Two of us had the:
        "poutine" (gnocchi poutine), chorizo, spot prawn po'bo, goat cheddar with pimento and crackers, 4 oysters with a simple mignonette. Each had a glass of wine. With tax, before tip. $38. It was all reaaallly good, especially the poutine with roasted mushrooms. The patio was lovely, not at all full.

        Highly recommended. I will definitely go again and check out some of the other items including lamb ribs and hushpuppies.

        1. re: EarlyDrive

          Beast is an incredible value and the food/atmosphere/service is all amazing. Went with a group a while back and enjoyed the "120" menu. The entire group was thoroughly impressed with all the food offerings, not to mention the $4 Hoptical Illusion!! (aren't going to find that in too many Toronto spots at a $4 price point).

          All round wonderful time

      2. For the month of July they are doing Beast 120 on Saturdays as well...

        WON
        http://whatsonmyplate.net

        2 Replies
        1. re: wontonfm

          At this price, it's cheaper than the food truck event!

          1. re: ace123

            And less crowded...

            I must say that I've been to Beast for their 120 menu. And while it's a great deal, it's not something I would go out of my way for. I've now eaten at Beast 3 or 4 times and each time I think "that was decent". I really want to like it more, but it feels more like a nice neighbourhood spot rather than a destination. If I still lived around the corner from there, I would probably be a regular. Perhaps I need to try the whole beast dinner to convert me.

        2. I was there tonight and had a great time. Arrived at 6:15pm and there were only two other tables. Over the course of the hour, the place filled up.

          What a great value! The drink list features Ontario wines from better-than-average Niagara vineyards like Lailey and Stratus. Wines are 5oz pours for $5 - awesome. The most of the food comes portioned to it's easily split between two people (e.g. two lamb ribs, two dirty rice balls). The food was all good and the price made it great.

          15 Replies
          1. re: littlelam

            I went to Beast for the 120 menu on the recommendation of this board and it was the first time a recommendation had let me down. The food was awful, the service was awful and the wine was pretty lacklustre. Two other friends were supposed to meet us there and we quickly texted them to make other arrangements. I don’t know if it was an off night but it was certainly off putting.

            1. re: binzy

              Welcome to Chowhound! What items did you order?

              1. re: tjr

                We were three girls and we ordered the bread & butter (which was the only good thing), olives, pimento cheese and crackers which was basically philedelphia cream cheese (and so stated by the waitress when asked if it was goat or cow's milk) prawn po boy, lamb ribs that were both dry and gristly and the dirty rice balls which were very, very bland. My friend asked if there was a sparkling on the 120 wine list and was told there was and what arrived was in a flute but not sparkling at all. When she told the server - who was disinterested at best our entire time there - that it was flat she was told in reply that it was supposed to be like that and was just not a very bubbly sparkling. All in all it was a most disappointing experience.

                1. re: Non Doctor

                  That report is at odds -- both food and service wise -- with every experience I've had there. I doubtful about the Philly Cream Cheese as well. That would be very weird and out of character for the place.

                  1. re: jamesm

                    Have you had the item in question? I suggest going to taste it yourself before weighing in with an opinion on what it was made of. And the waitress didnt state the brand of cream cheese but certainly did state that it was cream cheese. I may not have the most sensitive palate in the universe but its a pretty universal taste...that type of cream cheese. I understand this report is at odds to the others. I went specifically because of all the great reports I had read. I was not happy to say that I had an unpleasant experience but I did and I thought it was worthy to note. It was not just my opinion but also the two other girls I was with who felt strongly enough about it to tell the two other people who were coming to meet us to meet us elsewhere. I understand off days happen and usually would be willing to give a place another go but to be honest there was nothing about that first visit that even hinted at the possibility of a better experience.

                    1. re: binzy

                      I haven't had the item in question. I simply said had they used commercial Philadelohia Cream Cheese as suggested it would have been uncharacteristic and out of synch with the rest of the menu.

                      1. re: jamesm

                        she said she had pimento cheese, which is a southern dish, the recipe of which includes cream cheese (some don't). philadelphia cream cheese is not bad.

                        it's very tasty, if made well. but maybe not in this case.

                        i'll still try to make it to beast's 120 menu, though.

                  2. re: binzy

                    I'm with you on the lamb ribs. I wasn't a huge fan - they were on the dry side with chunks of fat / gristle (though there was still enough meat on the bone to eat).

                    I did, however, really love the dirty rice balls. They were basically risotto balls with cajun seasoning - mine were definitely not bland and actually quite yummy.

                    1. re: littlelam

                      Lamb ribs by nature are very fatty. When I've been there the server actually explained that nature of the lamb ribs when we ordered them as she said often ppl aren't used to the product so to speak.

                2. re: binzy

                  I will say that I have been to Beast twice and the food has been underwhelming to me as well.

                  Much like Local over in Roncesvalles it's one of those places that gets a lot of love here but I can't seem to find the attraction. I also found the food to be quite bland with the exception of a poutine I had there which was quite good. The lamb ribs are indeed fatty, and they are almost inedible, it's fine to explain the "character" of the ribs, but even better would be to prepare or cook them in a way that would make them more delicious.

                  The staff and service however are super friendly and efficient - the second time I was there was for a birthday party and everyone had a great time, but most agreed the food didnt blow them away.

                  I would go one more time to try their brunch - that may be more to my liking.

                  1. re: themiguel

                    I don't think anyone described the food as being stellar or anything. It's cheap happy hour food done surprisingly well given the price point. If you went expecting something else, your expectations were far too high.

                    1. re: tjr

                      That's how I feel about it. It is cheap and cheerful, a great value for what you get kinda of expereince. I mean $5 for lamb ribs??? Commmon! That's a steal!

                      1. re: tjr

                        My comments were based off of two regular dinners, not the 120 promotion.

                        1. re: themiguel

                          I'm also had the regular menu and always found good value for money and tasty food in a local hood kinda place.

                  2. For the value, it's one of the best deals in the city that I've come across. Food has always ranged from good to great, never bad. The bread is unreal, chorizo always tasty, enjoyed his po'boys. A lot of white bread based items on the 5-7, but I don't blame them for it.

                    We left stuffed with 4 drinks total and we came out around 50-60. Will definitely go again.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: miketoronto

                      I've never tried the 120 deal. My comments are based on a few dinner and brunch experiences.

                    2. I've been to Beast for their 120 happy hour and I don't really have any complaints about it. On a nice summer day like today, it's a nice little patio to enjoy a few drinks and have a few dishes to share to snack on which is what it's designed to be.

                      I agree that the lamb ribs are a little fatty and it's very off putting for those that can't stomach the fat, but to those that prefer the flavour, it's actually not bad in terms of value. I quite enjoy their poutine as it's very different than a traditional poutine. If I'm not mistaken, it's made with gnocchi, cheese curds, beef and beef jus rather than a traditional gravy. It was unconventional, but once again, fairly good. Oysters are $2 a piece so you can easily go in there, have a few oysters, a glass of white wine and some other snacks and drinks for under $25/$30 a person all in and a good afternoon.

                      I think that's the expectation people should have when going for the 120 menu rather than it being the go to spot with spectacular dishes.

                      Just my 2 cents.

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: dogseatfree

                          I just assumed it signified the two hours it is on for.

                      1. Finally made it for the 120 and was really impressed, such a great deal. My wife and I don't eat pork so we ordered everything that didn't have it, and it was way too much food. By the end I was hurting. Anyway, some thoughts...

                        - Bread + butter ($2), house-baked, warm, and delicious, terrific butter.
                        - House-marinated olives ($3), the small ones were addictive.
                        - Braised duck tongues ($4, they were out of duck hearts), in a spicy soupy stock, perfect snack food.
                        - Pimento cheese + crackers ($4), a good rendition of this Southern fave, nothing fancy.
                        - Veal sweetbreads ($4), these were big and meaty and tender, with a thin fried coating. Could have used a bit more salt and maybe some spice too, a touch bland.
                        - Spot prawn po'boy ($4), we ordered two of these assuming they'd be tiny, but they weren't really, should have split one. Flavour was dominated by these roasted pickled tomatoes, but in a good way.
                        - Hushpuppies ($4), very crispy and nice spicy flavour. Excellent.
                        - Braised artichokes ($4), I need to stop trying to love artichokes, I just don't. Maybe these were good, but yeah, no more artichokes for me.
                        - Lamb ribs ($4), two nice-sized ribs, very fatty and very moist, not dry at all despite previous reports. The sauce was tasty. I liked these a lot.
                        - Ricotta + tomato crostini, the fresh ricotta was lovely. Same tomatoes as on the po'boy, this time I did not like them, fresh raw summer tomatoes would have been better.
                        - Gnocchi "poutine" ($4), I can see why this one of their signature dishes, super delicious. Alas at this point we were dreaming of Rolaids.
                        - Fish cakes ($4), this was a special that night that they gave to us when the waitress remember that the collard greens we ordered had pork. A very nice bit of service, a seriously amazing fish cakes, spicy and almost all fish. Of course at this point we were swelling up like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python.
                        - Tres leches cake ($4), saturated in sweet condensed milk and topped with a blueberry sauce, we managed a few bites of this before turning it over to our toddler daughter who polished if off.

                        Total with a beer and three glasses of wine before tip was $86. Tremendous value, we really could have had half of what we ate and left satiated. But as usual we went buck wild and ordered the whole menu. REALLY need to stop doing that...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: childofthestorm

                          thanks for the detailed review! i loved Beast when I went (Okay, so I am still dreaming of the toffee pudding..) and I cannot wait to return. Thanks for the reminder.