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Pickle Barrel isn't what it used to be

lawrbaby Oct 13, 2011 01:01 PM

I have to agree with ALL of the postings about the Pickle Barrel

It used to be a great restaurant, especially Leslie St.

The staff actually used to care, great fast service and great food

The menu has changed, they have gotten rid of all the signature dishes that made the Pickle Barrel the Pickle Barrel

I met the new owner six months ago, tried to praise the manager, he couldn't care less
( Peter something....)

Well guess what, his attitude shows up in the training of the staff, the service AND unfortunately the food as well

The only good thing left is Dina, the manager of the Promenade location, SHE actually cares about all of the above!

They should pay her the big salary and put her name in lights!!

Pickle Barrel
, North York, ON M2N, CA

  1. petek Oct 13, 2011 02:06 PM

    Does anyone even still go to the "bottom of the barrel"?
    They used to be ok about 10-15 years ago,now not so much....

    1. haggisdragon Oct 13, 2011 02:13 PM


      1. t
        TexSquared Oct 13, 2011 02:26 PM

        It's a case of complacency -- they opened when they didn't have much competition to deal with, they were the go-to-choice for many locals and tourists... so as they slacked off more and more, competition came along with better product/service/prices and they've made no effort to keep up.

        Other great examples: Fran's, Licks, Mandarin, Spring Rolls, Burger King....

        1 Reply
        1. re: TexSquared
          justsayn Oct 13, 2011 02:51 PM

          I disagree completely TS. There was absolutely no complacency or slacking involved. PB has made tremendous efforts in so many areas over the years. Remodelling, new menus, light fare, new dessert concepts, seasonal choices. Today's PB is not at all what it used to be from days gone by, and that is exactly the problem. Worse is that the new PB is not for me. They chose to focus on a new crowd and it looks pretty busy when I pass by...and keep walking.

        2. v
          vidkid Oct 13, 2011 02:34 PM

          I read the subject heading and wondered if all of a sudden Pickle Barrel was the new dining hot-spot in Toronto.

          1 Reply
          1. re: vidkid
            atomeyes Oct 14, 2011 04:50 AM

            my sentiments exactly.

            its like a poster complaining about Mandarin's food tasting like its made en masse

          2. Food Tourist Jan 26, 2013 12:19 PM

            I have to go to Pickle Barrel at Yorkdale Mall this week. What drinks/food can I order so as to survive the experience?

            7 Replies
            1. re: Food Tourist
              justsayn Jan 26, 2013 12:53 PM

              which location?

              1. re: justsayn
                Food Tourist Jan 26, 2013 01:42 PM

                Updated question to read "Yorkdale Mall". I remember several years ago that people suggested the roast chicken as passable but in this case, it might be a case of cocktails/appetizers only.

                1. re: Food Tourist
                  justsayn Jan 26, 2013 01:56 PM

                  Not the worst location in the chain : )

                  I doubt there is anything that stands out as amazing. The onion rings are real so probably worth having. Nothing wrong with their salads. Calamari is probably just as you would expect.

                  Feta burger is a good entree as is the bbq half chicken.

              2. re: Food Tourist
                prima Jan 26, 2013 03:58 PM

                I find their cabbage borsht to be decent. I don't mind their salads. Haven't tried their burger, but someone at my table ordered last time I was there, and it looked decent.

                1. re: prima
                  julesrules Jan 26, 2013 06:15 PM

                  Surprised they still have borscht. It's been years for me but I remember complaining to my dad, he said, stick to the salami and eggs. I said, sounds great, but the current menu distracts with 5-ingredient-wanna-be-trendy omelettes. I guess it's a matter of how you order.

                  1. re: julesrules
                    prima Jan 26, 2013 06:21 PM

                    Ya, definitely keep it simple at PB. Not a great place to order avocado spring rolls. ;-)

                    The Cabbage Borscht is the soup of Sunday at Yorkdale. http://picklebarrel.ca/restaurant/ind...

                  2. re: prima
                    trane Jan 27, 2013 09:48 AM

                    +1 for the (chopped) salad. It's really hard to mess up a salad. Although can't remember 100%, but I believe that their cobb salad comes with ranch dressing and not blue cheese. They will substitute blue dressing though.

                2. b
                  bsv Feb 12, 2013 02:51 PM

                  that place never had GREAT service but okay and someone where you went with your bubby.
                  however things started to change.
                  after five years ago, I went and the waitress miss heard me and messed up my order. The manager, came over and told me I WAS wrong that I DID order the salad. At this point, I was dinning with my mom, who pointed out in no way could I have ordered the salad since I can not eat lettuce. The manager left in a huff and did not say anything more

                  two years ago: I went to order a deli tray, I waited by the counter.the manager came over and we told them we needed to order and left us with the booklet of what to order, then we stood and waited, and waited, we could see the staff standing around talking by the food counter. We finally turned around and left. to have the manager, said, "bye hope everything was okay"

                  last year: my bro wanted matzo ball soup. We waited forever, the service was slow and the menu still is far to large with ads in it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bsv
                    justsayn Feb 12, 2013 03:05 PM

                    lol - so sad.

                  2. Charles Yu Feb 12, 2013 03:14 PM

                    Their latest advertisement on the radio claimed that the GTA is a 'culinary wasteland' until the 'new' Pickle Barrel with their re-vamped international menu comes along!!

                    I am lost for words!!

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