Hey! Rod Bowers new Roncesvalles location
Hey! is in my neighbourhood. I have been many times - for real meals, snacks, and a blow out pre-opening dinner with the local Vegetable Garden Tour gang, which featured lots of ingredients from our gardens.
YES, the original service was slow and inattentive. There were clear front of the house issues and also, clearly kitchen venting issues, that are being addressed. I don't hesitate to call the wait staff to task when they are not hopping to it - I am invested in Hey! being a success - it's whole raison d'etre, fits right in with what I want in a local restaurant.
What is that, and why will I stick with Hey? Simple - it's about the only restaurant in the Roncesvalles-Queens area (I know them all, and have visited them, as they open, over the last 2 decades) that serves proper meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner - in a non-cafe style setting. It's unique. You can sit, take your coat off, spread out a bit. You can also just grab a coffee and muffin, or a drink. This is the kind of food we cook and eat at my home. It's really about taking the whole diner concept to a much less fried place.
The Hey chefs and kitchen staff do an amazing job with seasoning - they are NOT over-salting, which is the case in most (even Toronto's most high end) restaurants. This is what makes Hey food something that can be eaten frequently. Plus with the menu changing so frequently, there's no need for boredom. All in all, it's an amazingly healthy line up of food, that need not be too pricey.
The other day, my 5'8" teen daughter polished off a huge chicken pot pie (that she pronounced as good as mine), and huge slice of apple pie, but I just had a small pot of the rillete. Earlier in the week, another daughter just grabbed coffee, juice and baked goods, en route back to Waterloo U - I was happy to know she was eating healthy food, after she skipped the offerings at home.
Since I cancelled our Globe subscription (due to their atrocious handling of the Wente plagiarism scandal), it's been great - the bad review is neither here nor there in terms of influencing me. Rodney Bowers is playing the long game with Hey! He's got my support.
Went a couple of weeks ago. Had mac and cheese w roast pork and a side of brussel sprouts, friends had gnocchi as well as a beef dish w roasted sunchokes and garlic puree.
Gnocchi was the standout, both the mac and cheese and sprouts were somewhat unimpressive and unmemorable. Beef came out almost cold with unimpressive sides. On the whole portions were small.
Service was friendly but slow. Took a while for our food to come especially for a quiet rainy night mid-week. CNS was right about constant smell of burnt oil.
Total bill with 1 beer each, tax and tip was $90. Not outrageous but given portions, not worth the money and not good value for me.
I really wanted to love this place. The room is big and lovely. Don't know if I would've gone with the jugular and given zero stars, but my first impression was that there are better places to go in the neighbourhood. Too bad.
So I dropped by for brunch this weekend. I was in the area and ended up parking close by there and we were walking around checking out the options and passed by here so we gave it a shot.
I had the smoked ham hock with 2 fried eggs served on beans. I also had a kale juice (mixed with some other stuff, they have a juicer on site). My friend had the daily quiche and a coffee.
I enjoyed my meal and my friend seemed to like his. Price was around $10.50 per entree for brunch. I probably wouldn't order the same thing again though because there wasn't really much ham in it.
I got a donut to go and my friend had a cookie. The donut was really dense... too dense...
Anyone been for dinner? Bowers was there on the Saturday when I went.
We went the first week it was open (breaking my cardinal rule of never going the first few weeks a new restaurant is open). We were shown to our table and informed by our server that he was going to blow us away. They were out of wine - not his fault - so we ordered our meals - salads plus entrees. He brought cutlery and then forgot about us. When we informed the manager that we felt we'd been forgotten, the manager corrected the situation immediately, got our order into the kitchen, and took the salads off of our bill. Well handled. The server didn't bother to apologize or even acknowledge that he'd screwed up.
The salads were very good - excellent kale caesar - very lightly dressed yet flavourful. Can't remember the other salad but it was good too.
Very underwhelmed by the pizza and the burger. My brother-in-law enjoyed his spaghetti & meatballs.
Took forever to get the bill - actually considered leaving without paying it, and I used to work in the business - this was such an awful service experience that it was laughable. Kind of like watching a train wreck in slow motion, knowing it could have been avoided, but it was too late.
It would take a lot to get me back in there again - maybe a deathbed promise... Yes, he did blow us away!
They opened during the Polish festival and then reopened on Friday night. Went in for dinner with the family and the place was slammed. On top of that their a/c broke which didn't help much. Food was good but needless to say the temperature didn't make it the most enjoyable of experiences. He's got some pastas, a few sandwiches, a fish dish, couple salads etc. It's gonna do take out in about a wk or so i believe. A few beers on tap as well and a juice bar too. Also they do baked goods and coffee etc. He's making good use of the space. They also did a nice job on the room. Prices are decent, he's also gonna do a kids menu but they hadn't launched it yet when i was in. I'll go back in a week or so, great new addition to the 'hood : )