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May 5, 2011 02:27 PM

Richtree- What the !@#$%^&*

What is remarkable is that the place is so busy and so expensive when the food is such a nothing. And as for you Chowhounds who complain about the service , forget it. This place is a marche, which must be French for cafeteria; you walk around a lot and take your food.

Shepherd's pie, $7.98, lentil soup and bun, $4.49, biscotti $2.49. Total with tip (!, non -discretionary) and tax $19.41.

Not worth the calories even after my $15 computer coupon reduced cost and the marching burned calories. And a pity for the good ingredients. Wildly overpriced for wholesome but talentless, hospital-like cooking. But a good hospital.

Sheppard's pie. In about a 20 square inch aluminum container. The top layer of potatoes was about two thirds to three quarters of the serving. The ground meat was flavoured with a bit of heat , which displaced any other flavour there may have been ( I give the kitchen the benefit of the doubt) . The potatoes had the feeling of lots of fat in them. The dish keeps better that way, heat and fat. The thought that I had was , $2.49 at the gas station.

Oh yeah, nothing, nothing with it. Not a scrap of salad , a bit of carrot or anything.

The vegetable sides at this station and elsewhere where so expensive ( and oily) that I have blotted out the price.

The lentil soup was from a choice of four or five soup. I picked the one that I thought to be the most promising. It was a big bore. But maybe I was right in my selection. I had said "big". That's a figure of speech. The bowl was small.

The biscottii was the worst I ever have had. As if a child had made it. Like loosely aggregated dry pound cake and very sweet.

In walking around to check if I had missed something , I saw a basket of dry bread slices under the counter at a serving station. I took a couple of pieces and ate them to try to get rid of the sweet

taste. (fn.1) This bread and the bun with the soup were the best part of the meal and actually good.

I couldn't find a glass of water ( I'm dieting) , but very expensive (notwithstanding self serve) drinks were readily accessible.

If I had to pay full price , I would feel ripped instead of bewildered. And this is without having had a normal lunch, a bit of salad, veg and a drink.

O mores , O tempores, Oh to be loaded and lunch at Bayview and York Mills!

fn.1 It is some four hours after the lunch, and some time afte r I submitted my post and I can't get rid of the excessive sweetness.


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  1. The Square One location has a good coffee and muffin special (which I noticed is not availble at the York Mills location) and that's pretty much the only reason to give this place any business. If they dropped their prices by about 25% and scrapped the mandatory tip, Richtree might not suck so much.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Brain of J

      The York Mills location has been a culinary dud, under several names, since it opened years ago. Little more than a very expensive cafeteria. Teams up nicely with the Metro supermarket in the same plaza, which has to be one of the sloppiest, dreariest Metros in the GTA. I avoid both, though I live just a few minutes drive away. The only decent food outlet in the plaza is Nortown Meats. You'd do better, next time you're marooned in that plaza, to buy prepared foods at Nortown and wolf it down in your car or a nearby bench - even though Nortown doesn't ordinarily provide utensils. Yet the Richtree remains insanely popular. It's crowded every time I walk past it on my way into Nortown, no matter what the time of day. There is no rational explanation. The mandatory tip is especially annoying.

      Nortown Meats
      303 York Mills Rd, Toronto, ON M2L, CA

      1. re: juno

        Agreed, that location is really bad. As is that Metro. I refuse to shop there, thank goodness for the Loblaw and Bruno's just a couple of minutes further away. I do miss Chapmans in that plaza, though. Expensive, but tasty prepared foods.

    2. When the new Marche re-opened in Brookfield Place, we actually find the prices there cheaper than Richtree York Mills, and the food at Marche is slightly better. The only good thing about Richtree YM is to have a quick bite if you live in the area, and pizza is usually decent. Richtree YM used to have decent crepe, but now it has gone downhill, way down... and service, just forget it.

      if you have to make a trip there that takes more then 15 minutes, don't go there...

      PS You get water from the "fountain"

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. @ VVM: You picked it.

          1. I got lost in the tunnels connecting College Park with the mall under 777 Bay St. and I came across a Richtree selling everything for 50% off or rather 2 for 1. I got a lovely smoked salmon sandwich, an egg salad sandwich, several muffins to take home and a really good freshly squeezed OJ. I would never pay the regular prices however. I thought that the quality was excellent, although seasonings were blander than I prefer. Shared a late lunch with a friend, so it was a good deal. Now if I can just find it again.