Summer is officially here, and with that, Summerlicious. What started as a city driven PR project to get tourists back after the SARS attack decimated our fair city over ten years ago has now turned into a bi-annual convoluted campaign with over 200 restaurants competing for your prix fix bucks.
While tourists themselves are surely left scratching their heads, us residents don’t fare much better either. The standouts – the Bucas, Ufficio and the Chase Fish & Oyster et al – will be swarmed with deal-seeking diners, while many other restaurants, all who pay the same beaucoup bucks to participate, will languish in the limbo that has become the start of the summer season.
So, in the interest of information, whether you are a licious-lover or a loather, here is a list of restaurants that you may want to steer clear of from July 7-23rd.
Katsura Japanese Restaurant – Westin Prince Hotel
While this relic of a restaurant does decent Japanese eats, their recent bouts of Dine Safe infractions, which include: operator fail to provide hand washing supplies, operator fail to provide separate handwashing sink(s) and their lack of working thermometers means until they are out of the yellow zone, you might want to get your hand rolls elsewhere.
The lackluster kitchen at this Yonge and Wellesley institution is doing its best to turn things around by way of a new chef that recently took over. But since pub food seems readily available, there’s really nothing stopping you from swinging by for a pint and a plate on your own terms.
Okay, no offence to their prime rib and McSteak filled menu, but this is a corporate chain with locations across GTA, so it’s not really in the spirit of the licious layout. If you haven’t been yet, is a prix fix deal really going to draw you in? To cap it all off, they offer a Canyon prix fix as part of their regular ol’ menu anyway, so maybe seek something more adventurous than this meat and potatoes meh-ness.
This breakfast based eatery opens at 7am cranking out coffees and breakfast specials for Bay Street types. Their Summerlicious prix fix leaves breakfast out of the equation, instead offering their lunch and dinner menus in an effort to drum up more day-long dining. Upon inspecting their website however, they close between 4 and 5pm, so either dinner is for seniors looking to be asleep by 7pm, or something’s amiss. $28 for dinner at a diner? I’ll just stick to breakfast, thanks.
One quick social media scan reveals a mess of reviews for this Westin Harbour Castle eatery, with notable points taken for their dirty atmosphere, spelling mistakes on the menu and bland food. Instead, hit up Toula for drinks only, the lake view is pretty killer after all, with wall to wall windows on their 38th floor. But hey, Canoe is also part of Summerlicious, so maybe just try and plan ahead instead.
Are there any other restaurants we should avoid this Summerlicious? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.