Group dining in Yonge & Finch area
On Saturday the 28th, I plan to have a group of my friends to a pre-bowling dinner. Assuming I discover that I have 8 friends or less, I will have them to my house. More than that, however, and they will not have any place to sit and I'll have to take them to a restaurant.
We're later going to spend the evening drunken midnight bowling at the Bowlerama at Yonge & Finch, so I need a restaurant in that area that will be a) friendly to my entertaining budget, dinner, without alcohol for around $20 per person would be fine b) amenable to a large, slightly loud, but not particularly rowdy group who are dressed casually. Preferably they would also have c) free or cheap parking since we'll all be driving.
Any thoughts? It doesn't need to be too specific to the Yonge & Finch area. Anything in a region bordered by, say, Duffering, Bayview, the 401 and Steeles.
Haute cuisine not required, but not horrendous sit down service is.
A report back:
I decided on the Algonquin Grill because it was ultra-convenient to the bowling alley. The atmosphere was great, fun, energetic, but not too loud. More pub than bar or restaurant.
Though on a decor note, the bench seating was not well matched to the table height. All four people, as soon as they sat down said something about needing a booster seat or feeling short.
The service was marginal. Some things were great, other things not so good. I was particularly annoyed when I heard the manager promising our table to someone who was standing in line. "They'll be gone in two minutes or so and then you can sit there." We'd paid our bill, but we were still finishing drinks and such and deciding where to go next since it was too early for bowling, but we were taking up space in the increasingly busy restaurant. We weren't planning on being gone in 2 minutes.
The food, unfortunately, was almost universally awful. It was basic food - burgers, fries, wings. I had a steak sandwich that was at best a quarter of an inch thick, so naturally was overcooked. I don't think it had ever experienced salt or pepper, or any other flavouring, really. The wrap one friend had was ordered without dressing but with hotsauce instead. They took off the dressing, but didn't add the sauce. The ribs were scant and overcooked. The wings were pretty decent.
About the best thing I can say about the meal was that our bill was suspiciously low. I think some of the stuff we ordered never made it onto the tab. Which is good, because if I'd paid for *all* of that crap, I'd have been really annoyed.
Frankly, it was better when it was Toby's Good Eats.
I don't want whoever posted the recommendation to feel bad though. I was leaning towards going there even before I asked around here.
We used to eat at Toby's before we went bowling back in the days when it was Toby's. I haven't tried the Algonquin Grill since it changed, but with this recommendation, I've made this our dining choice for the evening.
I was considering Milestones, but this will be cheaper on parking, and my restaurant bill.
re: fun foodie
The following are moderate priced places, with good food and groups will not be a problem
Paisano's, 116 Willowdale, just north of Sheppard - decent pizza; Italian
Mezza Notte Trattoria, 5304 Yonge, south of Finch
Cuisine of India, 5222 Yonge - good/great Indian
Zaffron, 6200 Yonge, south of Steeles - "Persia meets Italy" (yes, you read right!); little bit more expensive
Also, lots of Korean rsetuarnts in the area