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Grilled cheese fest is a disaster!

phillr Feb 28, 2014 05:23 PM

I'm sure a lot of angry chowhounders are here. Let's vent and raise awareness so that people are not suckered into future Joylister events.

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  1. Flexitarian RE: phillr Feb 28, 2014 06:09 PM

    A little bit of detail might help.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Flexitarian
      atomeyes RE: Flexitarian Feb 28, 2014 07:11 PM

      hearing they oversold by 700 tickets.
      people aren't being let in.
      people inside are incredibly crowded.

      all rumours i've heard from ppl at the event

      *edit* all the LOLs here

      1. re: atomeyes
        disgusti RE: atomeyes Feb 28, 2014 07:40 PM


        1. re: atomeyes
          Underdog Rally RE: atomeyes Mar 1, 2014 06:09 AM

          Those pictures tell an incredible and hilarious story of yearning, betrayal and heartache.

          I need to grab me a pack of costco hot dogs, set up "hot dog fest," and charge $40 a head. I'll even throw in the ketchup for free.

        2. re: Flexitarian
          Moimoi RE: Flexitarian Mar 1, 2014 08:24 AM

          I posted earlier on the event. Not a prize-winning review but provided a bit of info... Oh... was only able to taste the Construction Site's mac & cheese grilled cheese (soo good) because I offered to help the production guy. Line ups everywhere were just too long. Too many people, not enough support, poor planning. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/967266

        3. hal2010 RE: phillr Feb 28, 2014 07:50 PM

          $45 for grilled cheese in the lobby of Roy Thompson Hall? No wonder everyone's upset

          1. petek RE: phillr Feb 28, 2014 08:17 PM

            Serves em right. Grilled cheese "fest " indeed! Ha!
            "there's a sucker born every minute"

            1. sal_acid RE: phillr Feb 28, 2014 08:30 PM

              Pay $45 to eat grilled cheese among a crowd of strangers?

              $45 for Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

              Grilled cheese. $45.

              Are things that boring in Toronto?

              1. daislander RE: phillr Feb 28, 2014 08:30 PM

                Everyone thought it was a grill cheesefest and showed up for free g.c and was told they had to buy $45 ones so everyone got pissed off and left?

                1 Reply
                1. re: daislander
                  szw RE: daislander Feb 28, 2014 10:40 PM


                2. atomeyes RE: phillr Mar 1, 2014 04:55 AM

                  i would like to point out that the 700 oversold tickets netted the organisers almost $30 000 in extra revenue.
                  Just think about it.

                  1. y
                    ylsf RE: phillr Mar 1, 2014 06:05 AM

                    Wow. I like how they appealed for volunteers the day before the event! Disappointed that the food bloggers that I follow on instagram just showed all kind of pics but no mention of any of these issues

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ylsf
                      Dean Tudor RE: ylsf Mar 1, 2014 06:18 AM

                      It seems like the volunteers were the winners: they got in (presumably for free?) before the others, no freezing, probably a free Tee shirt, they got the food, etc.

                      Let's hear it for volunteers: sharp cookies all...

                      1. re: Dean Tudor
                        Veggo RE: Dean Tudor Mar 1, 2014 06:26 AM

                        Small wonder that the Canadians who invade Florida en masse in the winters have a reputation for being frugal. They blew it all on grilled cheese sandwiches?
                        P.S. I'm in Florida, and I miss my Canadian friends in the summer.

                      2. re: ylsf
                        blitz RE: ylsf Mar 1, 2014 06:59 AM

                        is it possible the food bloggers were allowed inside before everyone else? 1hr before doors open kind of thing. i did think it was rather strange that they got off good shots of food and didn't mention the lines...

                      3. TorontoTuna RE: phillr Mar 1, 2014 07:31 AM

                        Gail's G.C.'s are still 95 cents...with a dill and ketchup on the counter...and no frou frou line-ups.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: TorontoTuna
                          MissBingBing RE: TorontoTuna Mar 1, 2014 07:58 AM


                          1. re: MissBingBing
                            TorontoTuna RE: MissBingBing Mar 1, 2014 08:15 AM

                            Christ! Been eating there off and on for 25 years...think I'd spell her name correctly. Thanx for the correction.

                        2. t
                          terrycar RE: phillr Mar 1, 2014 08:37 AM

                          Is this what they call a first world problem?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: terrycar
                            foodyDudey RE: terrycar Mar 1, 2014 08:38 AM

                            They should have held GCF in Syria, Iraq or Ukraine!

                          2. d
                            disgusti RE: phillr Mar 1, 2014 08:43 AM

                            THREAD OF THE YEAR

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: disgusti
                              foodyDudey RE: disgusti Mar 1, 2014 09:00 AM

                              It shows you what is important to some CH posters when a thread about nothing draws more posters than some very good new restaurants.

                              1. re: foodyDudey
                                justsayn RE: foodyDudey Mar 1, 2014 09:09 AM

                                It's actually about a lot, and all to do with CHers.

                                1. re: foodyDudey
                                  vil RE: foodyDudey Mar 1, 2014 09:15 AM

                                  People (some? most?) come to CH for food-related entertainment.

                                  1. re: vil
                                    foodyDudey RE: vil Mar 1, 2014 10:27 AM

                                    I agree, I have mentioned in the past that CH is "for entertainment purposes only". It's like the condoms you would see for sale in vending machines in a bar. Blow them up and play practical jokes with them, but don't use them for what they are usually intended.

                                    1. re: foodyDudey
                                      vil RE: foodyDudey Mar 1, 2014 11:18 AM

                                      To be fair, there is a lot of useful information here on CH. Stuff that cannot be easily found elsewhere. But you never know which way it is going to go.

                              2. Flexitarian RE: phillr Mar 1, 2014 09:58 AM

                                I took a look at the marketing (ie the website). I have to admit it sounded pretty alluring. Low-brow comfort food from a variety of impressive looking establishments in a higher-brow venue like Roy Thomson Hall on a Friday night in the middle of the winter. Something different, something fun, something not too expensive, a food most people like, unlimited portions, some 'free' booze, etc.

                                But, in their quest to maximize profit rather than providing a great experience with great value and thereby build a long-term 'foodie' event brand they totally blew it, did not limit numbers and the end result was a lot of people got scammed. I'll certainly stay away from Joylister events. I hope others will too. They should refund the money to those who request it.

                                59 Replies
                                1. re: Flexitarian
                                  justxpete RE: Flexitarian Mar 1, 2014 10:02 AM

                                  I'm in awe that they were able to sell that many tickets. $45 for grilled cheese and a beer? It's no small feat.

                                  1. re: justxpete
                                    Veggo RE: justxpete Mar 1, 2014 10:11 AM

                                    Wouldn't you like to have the mailing list? You could either tell them to wake up, or if you have an evil bend you could sell them something they don't need for more than it's worth.

                                    1. re: Veggo
                                      neighborguy RE: Veggo Mar 1, 2014 10:24 AM

                                      Doncha feel sorry for those who gave up $45? That they're suckers doesn't quite express it right.

                                      1. re: neighborguy
                                        magic RE: neighborguy Mar 1, 2014 10:30 AM

                                        It seems a bit cynical to express contempt for people who did nothing wrong. Why the hate for people for spent $45 for a fun night out. What have they done wrong? I don't understand this attitude.

                                        Will they live? Yes. Is it a first world problem? Sure.

                                        But such cynicism. Egads.

                                        1. re: magic
                                          justsayn RE: magic Mar 1, 2014 10:32 AM


                                          1. re: magic
                                            canadianbeaver RE: magic Mar 1, 2014 11:57 AM

                                            Lots of people in the First World have actual things to worry about. This expression needs to change.

                                            1. re: canadianbeaver
                                              magic RE: canadianbeaver Mar 1, 2014 12:06 PM

                                              Champagne problems is another way to put it.

                                              1. re: magic
                                                LexiFirefly RE: magic Mar 1, 2014 01:15 PM

                                                I like champagne problems! :)

                                                1. re: LexiFirefly
                                                  magic RE: LexiFirefly Mar 1, 2014 01:50 PM

                                                  There you go :)

                                                2. re: magic
                                                  canadianbeaver RE: magic Mar 1, 2014 01:50 PM

                                                  I like that, too.

                                                  1. re: canadianbeaver
                                                    magic RE: canadianbeaver Mar 1, 2014 01:52 PM

                                                    I've heard it around, I didn't make it up :)

                                              2. re: magic
                                                neighborguy RE: magic Mar 1, 2014 02:30 PM

                                                As a self-identified CH/food-person I can understand being guided by a sense of discernment but I wouldn't say I'm precious. As in nowhere close to being willing to pay that kind of money for homey food and beer.

                                                Case in point: the other week I was at a local diner getting take-out. While I was waiting for my food sitting at the counter I watched the cook make another order. It was for grilled cheese: two pieces of sandwich white, buttered only on the outsides with a slice of processed stuff in between. Doesn't sound like much but seeing that thing come off the flat-top would like anyone salivate. Seriously. It was degorgeous. Plated with no garnish, that puppy could not have been more than three bux. Kinda doubt those poor people who are now out $45 would ever be caught dead at that diner tho.

                                                1. re: neighborguy
                                                  atomeyes RE: neighborguy Mar 1, 2014 08:51 PM

                                                  do you seriously think that any of the vendors were selling Wonder Bread and Kraft slices?


                                                  1. re: atomeyes
                                                    frogsteak RE: atomeyes Mar 1, 2014 11:26 PM

                                                    holy shit was it rye bread ? omg i missed rye bread?

                                                    1. re: frogsteak
                                                      foodyDudey RE: frogsteak Mar 2, 2014 12:14 AM

                                                      You probably missed the Rob Ford weed and crack GCS ! What else could justify those prices?

                                                      1. re: foodyDudey
                                                        atomeyes RE: foodyDudey Mar 2, 2014 04:11 AM

                                                        Pretty simple, actually.

                                                        1. it's an event. therefore, you are paying for admission to an event/party, to hear the band, to meet people, to have an experience. so, i'd put $10 towards that "experience"
                                                        2. grilled cheese - go look at Cheesewerks's menu. $10 per sandwich. Leslieville Cheese $8/sandwich.
                                                        3. cost of cheese: In Canada, premium cheese costs money. We're not talking about slices or Black Diamond. if i need to explain that to people on here, then shame on you
                                                        4. types of sandwiches. Anyone take a moment to actually look to see what's being served before shitting on everyone's head? What if some of the sandwiches had fois gras or truffles on them?
                                                        5. All you can eat. Eat 3 sandwiches (which is incredibly disgusting when you consider the amount of cheese one would be consuming) and that's $30 if you're at Cheeseworks.
                                                        6. soup: there was soup and not just grilled cheese. so $5 for a cup of soup.

                                                        so 3 sandwiches, 1-2 cups of soup plus $10 for the experience plus a "pint" (used incredibly liberally here) of beer and you're looking at the attendee getting more than their money's worth.

                                                        i laugh at people who will pay 3 figures for a front row ticket to Beyonce when she is lip-synching. but hey, people are clearly doing it and it isn't for me to tell someone what to do with their money or how to enjoy life. the problem with this event, though, is that it failed to meet the expectations.

                                                        1. wasn't ACYE because of lines and overcapacity
                                                        2. people had to wait 40 min to get in and it was cold out
                                                        3. it was overcrowded inside
                                                        4. beer was a sample size cup

                                                        That's where the failure is.
                                                        In the past 2 days, i happened to have a craving for grilled cheese. totally forgot that this event happened. i shredded some higher-end gouda with some regular cheddar, took 2 pieces of rye bread, a tomato, some onion, avocado and butter, and grilled it. topped it with curry ketchup and ate 2 pickle slices with it. it was a delicious, comforting lunch. i personally would never, ever pay $40 for a grilled cheese event, since 80% of those sandwiches can be done in the comfort of my kitchen, and i have no desire to have ACYE grilled cheese and eat them, standing up, in a crowd. i also would never line up for the Gorilla Cheese food truck. but past food truck events show that GC is one of the most popular trucks. that's the beauty of capitalism. if people want to put out $5 for a pet rock, then god bless 'em.

                                                        1. re: atomeyes
                                                          justxpete RE: atomeyes Mar 2, 2014 08:07 AM

                                                          "I shredded some higher-end gouda with some regular cheddar, took 2 pieces of rye bread"

                                                          That sounds awesome.

                                                        2. re: foodyDudey
                                                          KhaoSanRoad RE: foodyDudey Mar 2, 2014 05:40 AM

                                                          we run an event, and the cost just for the "venue" is $40 per person (more if we do not sell out). this is before food and entertainment is added.

                                                          the rth site doesnt list the fees for the space they took over, but id be guessing that they would have to pay for all spaces as no other event could share at that time. so its in the range of $10k. then add the nickel & diming like: exclusive caterer buyout, security, cleaning fees, power fees, extra garbage fees, etc. this could bring the cost to $15k or more.

                                                          now add music, tables, ticketing service fees, credit card service fees, alcohol permit, signage, decorations, volunteer "appreciation", marketing & advertising, etc.

                                                          now add the food...

                                                          atomeyes: they did specify "beer samples" so personally i would have expected 4oz pours with option to purchase more.

                                                          as for the 40min wait, im guessing this was a max not an average and they used a discount ticketing service to cut costs which may have been one of their fatal errors. anyone know who they used?

                                                          as for joylister, i feel for these guys. i think they were just trying to offer an event that people really wanted and hopefully make a buck in the process. i believe they were not oversold as you can verify capacities with rth. tho they did fail to understand their power needs. i have worked at rth for events in the past and know their power is very limited. maybe only a dozen outlets available. as for food volume they seem to have asked 10 vendors to each make 500+ sandwiches. so 2.5 per person. not off by much but thats still not ayce. but if you ask me, their most fail error was the scale. they should have either started smaller to learn lessons or hired a pro organizer to get it right.

                                                          - khao san road

                                                          1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                                                            frogsteak RE: KhaoSanRoad Mar 2, 2014 06:58 AM

                                                            it's pretentious to rent a hall that would require such a hefty ticket price to celebrate such a low brow food item.

                                                            1. re: frogsteak
                                                              atomeyes RE: frogsteak Mar 2, 2014 07:33 AM

                                                              not sure what you're not understanding.
                                                              they sold out.
                                                              they probably needed a space bigger than Roy Thompson Hall.
                                                              it was possibly pretentious to not rent a hall that was large enough to accommodate the demand for such an item.

                                                              people who want to call grilled cheese sandwiches "low brow" should go back to eating their high brow food, like roasted bone marrow, or baby back ribs, or brisket. Oh, wait...

                                                              1. re: frogsteak
                                                                Flexitarian RE: frogsteak Mar 2, 2014 10:30 AM

                                                                Why this event was oversold is really simple. Unlimited 'gourmet' grilled cheese sandwiches from impressive establishments and some beer at Roy Thomson Hall on a cold winter Friday night has one hell of a lot of curb appeal, even at $45.

                                                                1. re: Flexitarian
                                                                  pourboi RE: Flexitarian Mar 2, 2014 10:45 AM

                                                                  No. that is why there was demand for tickets... "Over selling" an event means that they sold more tickets than the venue could hold. Which means people were having to wait in line until others already inside decided to leave. For an event that was only 4-5 hours long and expecting over 2,000 people with only 10 food vendors in the Winter = a bad idea..

                                                                  1. re: pourboi
                                                                    Dean Tudor RE: pourboi Mar 2, 2014 12:25 PM

                                                                    Surely too there are requirements of Special Occasion Licenses which limit people for drinking. Was Friday even legal in size????

                                                              2. re: KhaoSanRoad
                                                                JennaBean RE: KhaoSanRoad Mar 3, 2014 09:12 AM

                                                                Usually I agree with your take on the business side of things, however, this is my wheelhouse and these guys are either completely incompetent on a scale I can't even being to understand of fraudulent. Given that this event after expenses I would expect they net $50K this is sort of epic failure is inexcusable and they should never be allowed to do something like this again.

                                                                If there is even a grain of truth to the power issues, then the fact that they didn't realize this, or even know how to ask the right questions to figure this out, is beyond stupid.

                                                                While events are stressful, they are not rocket science. In fact, at some point they become painfully simple.

                                                                1. re: JennaBean
                                                                  canadianbeaver RE: JennaBean Mar 3, 2014 11:09 AM

                                                                  Also, how you handle complaints afterwards makes a big difference too. I haven't seen anything to show remorse or actually regret.

                                                                  1. re: JennaBean
                                                                    KhaoSanRoad RE: JennaBean Mar 3, 2014 01:40 PM

                                                                    as this is your wheelhouse, this is in no way meant as a challenge. more of a sympathetic note.

                                                                    I agree with you on the incompetence. But I have seen many seasoned organizations make a similar error on power requirements at rth as they did. Of course, they all handled it better.

                                                                    I don't believe they banked 50K. I think they paid each vendor for the sandwiches at a discounted rate (maybe in the ballpark of $5-$6 per sandwich). Making their profit closer to 15k. of course this is only speculation.

                                                                    I guess I'm just very sympathetic to these guys. I have personally had many failed ventures but none so public as theirs. And now it looks like they will refund most ticket holders making this fiasco a 50k one day loss.

                                                                    - khao san road

                                                                    1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                                                                      pourboi RE: KhaoSanRoad Mar 3, 2014 02:31 PM

                                                                      RTH may (or should) discount its rental fee "IF" they had assured them that there would be enough power for the event. Plus some people may be too lazy to request a refund... if they are lucky they may not lose too much money.

                                                                      Seems like CheeseWorks turned out to be the star of the day by handing out cheese samples at the event to people waiting then honouring tickets at their location for free sandwiches on the weekend. Win Win!

                                                                      Friends of mine have done similar large events (as a vendor) at the Interior Design Show VIP Party, burger week at the street car barns and a hospital charity event at Evergreen Brickworks. Each time, even though they are given a number of servings that they have to produce by the organisers, they always over supply themselves as they would rather be the last ones open feeding the late comers than the first one closed because they ran out of food.

                                                                      They also bring backup heat sources (catering Gel fuel) for power outages etc. and it has saved their butt more than once.

                                                                      1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                                                                        atomeyes RE: KhaoSanRoad Mar 4, 2014 04:39 AM

                                                                        my understanding is that vendors were paid around $1200 each. i have a very reliable source.

                                                                        1. re: atomeyes
                                                                          KhaoSanRoad RE: atomeyes Mar 4, 2014 06:20 AM

                                                                          for 560 whole sandwiches? ok, so they can market and negotiate. too bad about the organizational skills.

                                                                          - khao san road

                                                                          1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                                                                            atomeyes RE: KhaoSanRoad Mar 4, 2014 08:06 AM

                                                                            around 640 sandwiches were made by 1 vendor, and that was above the likely negotiated quantity.

                                                                    2. re: KhaoSanRoad
                                                                      ylsf RE: KhaoSanRoad Mar 3, 2014 09:21 AM

                                                                      You make some good points like venue costs, etc but the event organizers should have known about a lot of the issues like power (as JennaBean mentioned, by asking the questions) and planned for it. They were incompetent in the least.

                                                                      Any event that I have been to always has the grilled cheese places SWAMPED. There is an issue with timing on making the grilled cheese and when you throw in the limitations of the grills (and using undersized/non-restaurant grills too because of power limitations) this was a recipe for disaster. If a food truck like Gorilla Cheese can't handle demand where people are paying $10 a grilled cheese how did the organizers figure that so few food vendors would be able to handle the crowds and their expectations of AYCE grilled cheese.

                                                                      The thing is this isn't the first or last badly organized food event in Toronto. There is definitely a desire for more food events in the city as can be seen by the demand but I feel like Toronto really needs some spaces that can accomodate them at reasonable prices with hopes that the organizers pass on some savings to patrons.

                                                                      1. re: ylsf
                                                                        JennaBean RE: ylsf Mar 3, 2014 09:24 AM

                                                                        The kicker for me is that they did the poutinfest and by all accounts it was just as bad. You'd think they would have learned a lesson - oh wait, maybe they did and will now continue to try to profit from it.

                                                                        1. re: JennaBean
                                                                          pourboi RE: JennaBean Mar 3, 2014 09:36 AM

                                                                          Correct me if I'm wrong.. but Poutine Fest was not a single event in a single location.. I understand that you bought a "passport" that entitled you to free poutine at the individual restaurants listed.

                                                                          Only issue I heard about the event was there were some online ordering issues for the passport.

                                                                          1. re: pourboi
                                                                            ylsf RE: pourboi Mar 3, 2014 09:37 AM

                                                                            There was a one-off event as well


                                                                            1. re: ylsf
                                                                              pourboi RE: ylsf Mar 3, 2014 10:46 AM

                                                                              I stand Corrected...

                                                                            2. re: pourboi
                                                                              JennaBean RE: pourboi Mar 3, 2014 09:46 AM

                                                                              I was referring to the big event all in one place that happened about six months ago. Over sold, ran out of food, lines, etc...

                                                                            3. re: JennaBean
                                                                              petek RE: JennaBean Mar 3, 2014 09:43 AM

                                                                              I'm now leery about anything/event with the word "fest" in it..It's a shame.

                                                            2. re: Veggo
                                                              Veggo RE: Veggo Mar 1, 2014 10:48 AM

                                                              As it is told, a fool and his money are soon partying.

                                                              1. re: Veggo
                                                                justsayn RE: Veggo Mar 1, 2014 11:01 AM

                                                                HA! Never heard that version. So true. Funny.

                                                                At the same time, I can't give a damn that people wanted grilled cheese sandwiches. Hurts my head to come up with reasons to hate them.

                                                            3. re: justxpete
                                                              foodyDudey RE: justxpete Mar 1, 2014 10:30 AM

                                                              As I was having lunch, I thought $45 = 4.97 rotis at my favourite roti place, including HST!

                                                              That's Simone's Caribbean restaurant on Danforth Ave, in case anyone hasn't read my earlier posts. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9195...

                                                              1. re: justxpete
                                                                Jacquilynne RE: justxpete Mar 1, 2014 01:21 PM

                                                                I dunno. The fancy pants Grilled Cheese sandwiches at Cut The Cheese are in the $9 range, so $40+tax for an all-you-can-eat tasting of a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches doesn't seem more than mildly overpriced to me, particularly as it includes some drinks, too

                                                                Now, the event itself sounds like it was a clusterfuck, making it not at all worth $45, but a well run event of the same nature wouldn't seem too terrible at that price to me.

                                                                1. re: Jacquilynne
                                                                  justxpete RE: Jacquilynne Mar 2, 2014 07:05 AM

                                                                  I'm more in awe that they sold so many tickets. Having run a few events in the past (albeit at a much higher cost), the numbers they garnered are staggering. Next time I run an event I need to talk to their marketing department.

                                                                  As for the price, fair enough, but I'm not sure I'd want to eat 4 GCs in the span of a couple hours (lineups aside). I'm just so surprised that GCs and beer for $45 commanded that kind of attention. It's an amazing accomplishment.

                                                                  1. re: justxpete
                                                                    atomeyes RE: justxpete Mar 2, 2014 07:35 AM

                                                                    and that's what some of the people on here don't comprehend.

                                                                    just because it ain't for you (and i had little desire to go to this event or to a poutine fest), doesn't mean it ain't for others.

                                                                    Chowhound: the home of people complaining about complaints. the home of people poo-pooing a grilled cheese festival, yet creating threads about McLobster, McPoutine, new doughnuts at Tim Hortons and what to eat at Casey's bar and grill.

                                                                    1. re: atomeyes
                                                                      frogsteak RE: atomeyes Mar 2, 2014 07:51 AM

                                                                      actually some of us consistently shit on trailer trash chic

                                                                      1. re: frogsteak
                                                                        atomeyes RE: frogsteak Mar 2, 2014 08:01 AM

                                                                        i've never been a fan of of the McThreads, nor am i a fan of drinking PBR or 50 because it is cool.

                                                                        i like food that tastes good. taste is perception, though. everyone has their guilty pleasure, and i sort of understand that.

                                                                        but trailer trash chic would include food like baby back ribs (slave food), bone marrow (poor food) and brisket (slave food or Jewish peasant food). most of the popular food dishes nowadays stemmed from the poor cooking it to perfection because they were using cheap cuts of meat and had to improve upon the taste/texture so their families would eat it.

                                                                        getting back to grilled cheese. there's something about it that people undeniably love. comfort food, childhood memories, melted cheese...who knows. but it is loved. so i sort of get it.

                                                                        Here's one menu item: Kimchi, sweet soy pork, lotus chips, cilantro, and fontina cheese on light rye bread. So yeah, a sandwich i wouldn't make at home. so i get the desire to have it.

                                                                        but another sandwich: Cheddar cheese, monterey jack cheese, bacon, avocado, spinach, red onion, tomato, and garlic mayo. Another sandwich: Aged white & yellow Ontario cheddars, parmigiano, romano and asiago topped with Ontario bacon on Calabrese bread. Dudes, go make that at home. i pretty much did yesterday for lunch. you can do it as well.

                                                                        so that's one of the things i find to be funny about this festival selling out.nothing's hard to replicate. but hey, people don't see, to want to do it and want to pay $40 for someone to melt cheese...

                                                                        1. re: atomeyes
                                                                          pourboi RE: atomeyes Mar 2, 2014 08:14 AM

                                                                          Ok invite 4 friends over and make those 4 grilled cheese's at home... you have to buy 4 types of bread plus: Kimchi, sweet soy pork, lotus chips, cilantro, fontina cheese, Cheddar cheese, monterey jack cheese, avocado, spinach, red onion, tomato, garlic mayo,Aged white & yellow Ontario cheddars, parmigiano, romano, asiago & Ontario bacon

                                                                          Sounds like a minimum $200 shopping trip to me.. divided by 5 people hey look you just spend $40 per person and you still need to buy beer!

                                                                          If you only go out for things you cannot cook at home I am then guessing you never grab a coffee, or go out for a beer / wine with friends as it is much cheaper to just do that at home..

                                                                          Personally I am not a huge Cheese fan & I find things like Grilled Cheese and Poutine too filling to eat a lot of, so the event was not for me, but I can see its attraction and I do not poo poo people for going. But for 2200 people you need triple the number of vendors and the length of the event needs to be extended to stagger the crowd more. Also they should have had more beer and wine booths and maybe some cheese tasting areas to not only add more value but to give people something to do (and consume) between waiting in line for the Grilled Cheeses.

                                                                          1. re: pourboi
                                                                            atomeyes RE: pourboi Mar 2, 2014 08:43 AM

                                                                            this argument about making grilled cheese sandwiches at home is probably presented by the same people who go for brunch and order 2 eggs, toast, jam and sausage links.

                                                                            in the end, the consumer dictates what s/he wants to spend their money on. i don't give a shit if 2000 dummies want to line up on a winter's eve for grilled cheese; i only care if my wife inexplicably bought us tickets for this kind of event.

                                                                            what i do care about is people being taken advantage of. paying something and not getting a return on investment is poor business. it gives food festivals a bad reputation. it hurts the vendors, who were likely on the receiving end of complaints, had to deal with higher volume than promised and who - as I know for a fact - lost money on this event. that is the LOL part and the shame.

                                                                            again, i have no desire to spend money on grilled cheese sandwiches. not my cup of tea and i sort of get why people want to, but not really. but it clearly is something that LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WANT TO SPEND MONEY ON. good for them. good for people who want to buy $2 Evian water when Toronto's tap water's delicious. good for people who pay large amounts of money for Glory Hole doughnuts. the list can go on and on infinitely. but please focus on the true issue (the lack of organization) and don't insult those restaurants or food trucks that are making an honest living off of a niche food service.

                                                                            you might as well ridicule pharmacists for just putting drugs in a bottle, or dentists for just looking at your teeth, or a veterinarian just looking in your dog's ears. shows more of a lack of your understandings as to the service that one offers.

                                                                            1. re: atomeyes
                                                                              Vinnie Vidimangi RE: atomeyes Mar 2, 2014 10:40 AM

                                                                              Let's say that I start a restaurant. I'm an excellent cook. I treat my customers with honesty and respect. My plates are generous, nothing weird on them. My prices are not only reasonable but cheap. What are my chances for success?
                                                                              Oh yeah, I open in Toronto.

                                                                              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                pourboi RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Mar 2, 2014 11:04 AM

                                                                                It depends - Can I get a half price coupon for your restaurant?

                                                                                OH! And as long as your restaurant is not at Eglington & Dufferin

                                                                                1. re: pourboi
                                                                                  Vinnie Vidimangi RE: pourboi Mar 3, 2014 08:17 PM

                                                                                  Over the decades in Toronto. Every chef- owner who has operated a restaurant in the manner I described has either failed or given up in frustration after a few years.
                                                                                  In diverse locations, but all lower rent and all not bad neighbourhoods. In any event, why is location so important in Toronto?

                                                                                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                    pourboi RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Mar 3, 2014 09:59 PM

                                                                                    A bit of an overstatement I would say.. MANY restaurants last more than a few years and prosper.. I do not even know where to begin.. except to say that maybe you have some fundamentally unreasonable idea of what you mean by "cheap" prices and "generous" portions.

                                                                                    But first one to pop into my mind is Ho Su on Queen & John, I find the portions generous and the prices cheap for what you get (especially the lunch combos). And I do not think they serve anything weird. They have been in business for many years in a prime location and are very respectful of their customers. The owner has not failed or given up in fact she has an other location which she also owns (not sure which was first).

                                                                                    1. re: pourboi
                                                                                      Blueicus RE: pourboi Mar 3, 2014 10:02 PM

                                                                                      Ho Su may be cheap, but that place fits the adage of "You get what you pay for"

                                                                                      1. re: Blueicus
                                                                                        pourboi RE: Blueicus Mar 4, 2014 04:54 AM

                                                                                        For a downtown lunch option under $10 it is hard to beat their Korean chicken with Tempura.

                                                                                    2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                      justxpete RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Mar 4, 2014 09:13 AM

                                                                                      Try looking up "group of seven chefs" which among many, many countless others render your supposition completely invalid. Also, paying attention to the city around you rather than focusing on a single mediocre French bistro might also be to your benefit.

                                                                                  2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                    foodyDudey RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Mar 2, 2014 12:32 PM

                                                                                    Depends where the location is and what you are serving. Nothing weird on the plate? What does that mean these days?

                                                                            2. re: frogsteak
                                                                              MissBingBing RE: frogsteak Mar 2, 2014 09:51 AM

                                                                              Language, young lady!

                                                                          2. re: justxpete
                                                                            KhaoSanRoad RE: justxpete Mar 2, 2014 10:28 AM

                                                                            i thought the same thing!

                                                                            i may enlist them for a chance at redemption to promote my event (not run it of course).

                                                                            - khao san road

                                                                            1. re: justxpete
                                                                              JennaBean RE: justxpete Mar 3, 2014 09:15 AM

                                                                              Price point becomes a key element for ticket sales. They hit a sweet spot with the ability to mass market and have some perceived value with the added beer "samples" - very different from trying to sell ticket at $100+ price point.

                                                                              1. re: JennaBean
                                                                                justxpete RE: JennaBean Mar 3, 2014 09:47 AM

                                                                                True, but irrespective of the event's success or failure, there's still something to be said for how well they apparently marketed the event. However, I have no knowledge of what happened at the actual event, how much of a dismal failure it was, or what events they've done in the past - all I'm referring to is sales alone. That's impressive.

                                                                      2. d
                                                                        Dean Tudor RE: phillr Mar 1, 2014 07:50 PM

                                                                        One write up...


                                                                        1. petek RE: phillr Mar 3, 2014 10:13 AM


                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                          1. re: petek
                                                                            JennaBean RE: petek Mar 3, 2014 11:11 AM

                                                                            What a great sub head in that article!

                                                                            1. re: petek
                                                                              ylsf RE: petek Mar 3, 2014 11:59 AM

                                                                              So it turns out they are offering refunds to people that complain...

                                                                              And, they are planning for the next Poutine festival thing.

                                                                              1. re: ylsf
                                                                                petek RE: ylsf Mar 3, 2014 12:08 PM

                                                                                Refunds are the right thing for them to do, and I dunno about their next venture. Luckily for me I'm not a fan of poutine..

                                                                                Have there been any good food "Fests" in T.O? I almost went to Noodle Fest but couldn't make it.

                                                                                1. re: petek
                                                                                  szw RE: petek Mar 3, 2014 12:57 PM

                                                                                  I had a great time at the cask beer fest a couple years ago

                                                                                  1. re: szw
                                                                                    lister RE: szw Mar 3, 2014 01:33 PM

                                                                                    The two beer fests I like are Cask Days and C'est What's Summer and Fall festivals. They are the only three that we always go to.

                                                                                    The only negative things about Cask Days, IMO, is the location, the limited seating and one drink poured per person at a time (been told that's a liquor license thing.) I'm not two fisting or anything. While my GF holds down the seats I get the beers so we can drink them together. Haven't been able to do that for the past two years. :-(

                                                                                    We don't participate much in the food fests. This one was an exception due to me being alone, it being right near work and home and I like grilled cheese! Ah well. Hopefully the refund comes through.

                                                                                2. re: ylsf
                                                                                  barneyvernon RE: ylsf Mar 3, 2014 12:10 PM

                                                                                  Who would give these folks another chance?

                                                                                  1. re: barneyvernon
                                                                                    lister RE: barneyvernon Mar 3, 2014 12:53 PM

                                                                                    Well, certainly people who don't know about their last two events. I certainly didn't know about the Poutine one. If I had known how many tickets were sold for the Grilled Cheese Fest I wouldn't have gone. Immediately upon entering when there still was space to move around I knew this was going to be a fiasco when I checked several times outside to see the line never shrinking. I got out at 7pm!

                                                                                    I wouldn't attend another one of theirs until they've shown several times that they've learned and know what they're doing. I've done that with the Session folks after being disappointed with their beer festival two years ago. I didn't attend last years (still issues) nor will I attend this years event.

                                                                                    1. re: lister
                                                                                      szw RE: lister Mar 3, 2014 12:58 PM

                                                                                      A lot of people don't do research into who is hosting the event. If the premise sounds okay and the cost is agreeable for a "night out" thats all people need.

                                                                                      1. re: lister
                                                                                        Pincus RE: lister Mar 3, 2014 02:33 PM

                                                                                        Yeah. It will take quite a few positive Joylister events before I consider attending one. And I nearly succumbed to buying tickets for this one!

                                                                                      2. re: barneyvernon
                                                                                        frogsteak RE: barneyvernon Mar 3, 2014 03:36 PM

                                                                                        "Who would give these folks another chance?"

                                                                                        There's an old saying in Tennessee that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

                                                                                        1. re: frogsteak
                                                                                          pourboi RE: frogsteak Mar 3, 2014 05:10 PM


                                                                                          Besides I doubt they went out to "fool" people... I think they just got in above their heads...

                                                                                          Think they will need to answer a lot of detailed questions before I would go to their events...

                                                                                          Number of tickets being sold, number of vendors, etc..

                                                                                          1. re: pourboi
                                                                                            justxpete RE: pourboi Mar 3, 2014 05:13 PM

                                                                                            That was a George Bush quote.

                                                                                  2. Underdog Rally RE: phillr Mar 3, 2014 08:33 PM


                                                                                    The menu is actually kind of interesting. I'm going to try making some of these at home, even if they're not all really grilled cheeses.*

                                                                                    Never thought to mix boursin with other cheeses in a grilled cheese sandwich, for example, or the grilled equivalent of a bbq pork bao with asiago.

                                                                                    *At a fraction of the cost, with better beer.

                                                                                    1. i
                                                                                      INDIANRIVERFL RE: phillr Mar 4, 2014 08:14 AM

                                                                                      Nest time you come down to the land of the Mouse to thaw out (75 deg F today) and get your Disney fix, check out the Toasted in Winter Park, FL.


                                                                                      Prices are pretty good, too.

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