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Dec 26, 2011 10:28 AM

Rally Sports Bar + Smokehouse - O'Connor/VIc Park area

I learnt about this place from a message that Googs posted in another thread. Based on their facebook page they are open today.

Anyone in the area willing to check it out? Looks good based on the pics. I am not in the area ever really but looks like it could be worth a drive especially on a game night.

Hardly any info on that page, best to click through to their facebook from the above link.

1660 O'connor Drive, Toronto, ON M4A 2R4

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  1. think this is the bar/resto on the west side of o'connor that used to have GnR cover bands once a week. forget what resto it was before that.

    i have no clue what you're talking about, tho. all those links were busted.

    6 Replies
    1. re: atomeyes

      Guess I shouldn't have assumed the links would have worked on their website. Here is their facebook link:

      1. re: ylsf

        i have the right location. this is the 3rd incarnation.

        i have zero desire to eat at a place that can't get their website to be passable and not have goofy links. same with their facebook profile.
        call me a snob, but it means that someone's not paying attention to detail.

        i'm more curious about the bbq place on Danforth and Danforth

        1. re: atomeyes

          I'm planning on checking it out in the next couple of weeks for an event.

          I assume it is your standard sports pub.
          I wouldn't expect an above-average gastro-pub (with a twist)

          1. re: atomeyes

            Pretty sure that spot at Danforth/Danforth closed down? Smokin' Hicks? Heard bad things about it so never got around to trying it. Unless something is opening up in its place?

            1. re: ylsf

              yep. that's the place. i'd bike by it and think "that's a really weird location."

        2. It's just at a soft opening phase. They got their liquor license and decided to go with the flow. A grand opening will follow soon.

          The website, atomeyes, would work better had the link posted by ylsf (no offence to you ylsf) not had errors. That aside, their site does need details. Many more details.

          There is a great amount of attention to detail mixed with the opening night realization that there are many more details to be attended. They have the right kind of attitude to work this through. I wish them luck.

          The rooms look nice and are quite comfortable, you can see and hear multiple games from anywhere you are save the bathrooms, the menu is well-priced and almost completely dedicated to the carnivore. It's far, far too early to say any more. I would be neither nice nor fair.

          I'll probably give them a whirl Thursday night for the Leafs-Canes, Canada-Denmark games. It's against my normal policy of giving the restaurateurs a month to get it together. However, I didn't make the World Juniors schedule so there you go.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Googs

            May as well start linking these to make them easier to find,

            Rally Sports Bar & Smokehouse
            1660 O'Connor Dr, Toronto, ON M4A 2R4, CA

            1. re: Googs

              As for Hick's , I came , I saw , I vamoosed..

            2. Just to add my 2ยข

              I finally visited Rally's this weekend, and while Buster Rhino's has nothing to worry about, my group really quite enjoyed their pulled-pork sandwiches. Rave reviews, and the onion rings were enjoyed by all as well.

              UNFORTUNATELY, I ordered the buttermilk fried chicken, which I DO NOT RECOMMEND.
              Chicken was massively over-seasoned with dried herbs, and had a distinct freezer flavour to it. The Fries were frozen and poor as well, and the chicken batter was fresh, but was 'frilly' (for lack of a better word) and the overall effect reminded me quite a bit of the Swanson frozen chicken dinners of my food-deprived youth!

              Staff was delightful and professional, place was clean and attractive for a sports bar, and the group all said they would return.

              2 Replies
              1. re: TorontoTips

                I'll give it another whirl, but I think your buttermilk fried chicken tragedy might have just been an off night. I've had it (okay, shared it since BOY that's a lotta food to me) and it was fine. Not, "this makes memories of Harlem's fried chicken go away", but good enough that I would have it again.

                1. re: Googs

                  Cheers, Googs, thanks for the original reco.

                  The pulled pork was quite good, nice rolls, maybe a tiny bit under-stuffed, but yummy, and the onions rings were legit and tasty with the cold beer, and they even have blues bands on Fridays - hoping my Jackhammer Blues Band can get booked :-)

                  I hope the chicken was just an off-night, since not only couldn't I eat it, I couldn't talk any of my table-mates into a 2nd bite, either :-)

                  I suspect that the kitchen thinks they were improving it with all the dried herbs, but a) really great fried chicken doesn't need all that, and b) it's about the quality of the chicken and preparing it properly. This one was a miss on all counts. Or they can change the name to pesto-battered-chicken and I'm sure lots of folks will rush to get some. :-)

                  Me? I'll just stick to the BBQ items :-)

              2. I finally got a chance to try this place and was very pleasantly surprised.

                First of all, let me say that if you go into this thinking Old School BBQ Joint, you'll be pretty disappointed. This is more of a sports bar that serves well above par food, made in house and some of it has spent time in a smoker.

                I went with a couple co-workers and we ended up hitting 4 main options.

                1) sides: The creamy coleslaw could probably use a little less dressing. It was a little over mayo'ed but a real plus on it was the addition of horse radish. Not a big wallop but a slight, nasally hint.
                The beans had a unique taste and I really liked that. The taste itself didn't do much for me one way or the other but the fact that they had their own personality rather than the same ole, same ole was very nice. As to what that flavour was, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Almost like a pumpkin pie spice maybe.

                2) The pulled pork sandwich at first glance I'd probably dismiss. I'm glad I gave it a taste. The overly saucy meat usually means a sandwich that tastes only of sauce. Well the pork was able to stand up it and the sauce itself was quite tasty. The bun was a good choice. Soft and not over powering. It had a good amount of slaw on it too. Maybe slightly too much.

                3) The brisket sandwich was very good. Thin slices of brisket with a light smokiness to it and tossed in sauce. Add caramelized onion and put on a piece of baguette. All in all a really tasty sandwich. Nothing like a Texas brisket sandwich though.

                4) The Pork Belly sandwich was great. I wish there was a definite smoke flavour to it but alas it didn't have it. That's my only complaint. The richness of the pork was nicely balanced by the sauerkraut. The mustard added a nice nasal note and the grilled sourdough bread was a really nice choice.

                5) One of the guys ordered a bucket of chicken to take for dinner tonight. All we could smell on the way back to work was his dinner. He decided to open it up and let us have a taste. I loved it. A nice, hefty breading for the buttermilk soaked bird. It still had a bit of crispiness after the 15 minute ride back to work. Really tasty.


                4 Replies
                1. re: Davwud

                  I'll have to give the ever evolving Pork Belly another try. Sounds like they're getting closer even if the smoke was lighter than you wished for. Agreed the coleslaw still needs work. I AM pleased that they continue to work to improve everything rather than becoming complacent.

                  1. re: Davwud

                    thanks for the review. i still have to find a sports event to watch there. will probably go once the NBA season starts

                    1. re: Davwud

                      Was back again today for lunch. I can confirm the chicken is excellent. I like a more herbaceous batter but this was tasty, crispy and adhered to the bird very well.

                      I sampled fries and onion rings. Both from frozen but both better than average. Especially the fries. Perfectly cooked.

                      The accompanying pasta salad needs work. It's very innocuous. Nothing bad about it. Just nothing to make it stand out. I was told they're "Working on it." I suggested they add pimento. For a start anyway.


                      1. re: Davwud

                        Looks like I'll be trying Rally at some point over the next few weeks. Glad to hear you liked their chicken, Davwud. That's what I'll be trying. ;-)

                    2. We tried this place for summerlicious and i was pleasantly surprised. It was really great value, but the food (esp. the bbq items) and price point for the regular menu would make me a repeat customer anyway. Service was friendly and efficient, and the booths were nice. i see them doing huge business during the Olympics- no matter where you sit you can see a flatscreen!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Smorgasbord

                        Or stand. They also have tv's in the bathrooms.