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What restaurant are you ashamed of admitting you enjoyed?

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What restaurant has received mediocre or bad reviews from the general public and critics that you had a great experience at and loved? We're talking non-chain, sit down restaurants here (so no East Side's/McDonalds etc...)

for me, it's 360 revolving restaurant at the CN tower. And this is for the food! I've had better meals, but the prime rib here was melt-in-your-mouth delicious (medium rare) and exactly how I like it!

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  1. I'm ashamed to say that I like Bumpkin's. It's been around for so long that food writers and food lemmings ignore it. I used to go there as a teenager, thinking that the chandeliers and the Continential menu were swanky. The decor and menu have not changed; you walk in and feel as if you've stepped into a 1970's made-for-TV movie.

    Omigod, I just noticed they have a website - how strange, for a restaurant caught in a time warp...

    Link: http://www.bumpkinsrestaurant.com/

    4 Replies
    1. re: Heather

      Bumpkins lives! And here I thought it had gone the way of the Blue Cellar Room and other relics of my misspent University of Toronto days. Maybe the owners should turn it into a museum.

      1. re: Heather

        I'm also happy that Bumpkins lives and thanks for sharing the web site. It was orginally on Parliament in the 70s and I recall being taken there with a group by our high school French conversation teacher. We all felt so grown up and sophisticated. Then, it was a simple bistro with tables and benches and very good simple French fare, with perhaps 4-5 entrees. Through my university years, it was a standby for reasonably priced food that made it a great date place with our meager resources. The current menu seems like it tries to do too many things. Is the quality still good?

        1. re: gourmaniac

          I think the food quality is about the same as in the old days, which is to say that it's not superb but it's good enough for Bumpkin's. I used to go there because I thought it was reasonably priced and sophisticated, and it didn't serve anything weird. Now I go there once in a blue moon, because it feels like visiting a sweet old aunt.

          1. re: Heather

            I know that this place is a real dinosaur and some silly individuals shun it for psuedo-political reasons, but I really like/enjoy eating at the Jerusalem on Eglinton West. It has the freshest and most authentic Middle Eastern food in the city, the staff is friendly and helpful and it is still possible to not empty your wallet with a more than ample meal..plus it's very veggie friendly.

            I am not really ashamed to say I like this place, but sadly it is not hip enough, i.e., not on Bloor, Queen or College.

      2. Not one restaurant in particular but I've never met a Mexican restaurant I didn't like - and adequate food is OK - i.e. lots of chips, yellow stringy cheese, salsa that probably came from a jar, enchiladas with frighteningly red sauce, etc - now, I love good Mexican better, but there is *no* such thing as bad!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Elizabeth

          Ooooh, that's a truly courageous confession! I, too, have a weakness for the stringy cheese, bottled salsa, and lots and lots of margaritas made from powdered mixes. I developed a taste for junk Mexican (Texican?) a long time ago when Chi-Chi's used to be around.

          As for authentic Mexican cuisine, I wonder if there is a wonderful Mom & Pop dive somewhere in Toronto that serves interesting regional Mexican food (Yucatan, Oaxaca, Veracruz, etc). I make some of this food from cookbooks, but of course I have no idea whether I'm doing it right because I've never tasted the real thing. Oh, sorry, I guess this should be a separate thread...

          1. re: Heather

            there's a thread on mexican restaurants way below, but most of them sound like hole-in-the-wall taquerias of various central american origins. I too am dying to discover all those regional cuisines but I don't know that they can be found in Toronto :(