Fred’s Not Here ★★

Price: $20+

Fred’s Not Here is not bad but they could improve. First of all, just getting into the restaurant is a little confusing. Their sign is above the wrong restaurant so you must read a little sign pointing you next door to know where it is. Not hard but it doesn’t look professional if you get what I mean.

I just had a starter – the baked lobster and crab soup with a shot of cherry ($9.49). It’s good and hot; they somehow puff the bread up over a soup bowl so once you break it, it deflates and you can scoop out the soup. If you order this, probably order another item as well since as a starter it is not filling enough. This usually wouldn’t be enough for me too but my friend also brought in cake (I ate here for her birthday), so by the time we finished I was actually full.

I noticed some people liked the seafood especially, so maybe that might be worth checking out. I wouldn’t suggest the fries though, I saw them and they seemed like ones you find in a frozen bag. I think it would be wise to ask the servers for recommendations if you really are debating, they probably won’t steer you wrong.

This leads me to the next part of my review, the service. I think service here is actually fast paced. At times I felt rushed to order or finish my meal but since I was with a big group, I kind of understood where they were coming from. Our server was nice but she seemed scattered at the end. When everyone was paying their bills she gave a lot of us the wrong change, so make sure you check your bills when paying cash here.

Overall, good place for lunch and dinner with friends, coworkers or older relatives. Not so much with your boss. They have a lower level bar area but its hardly packed on a weeknight. Dresscode: Casual to Semi-Casual.

Website: http://fredsnothere.com/
Location: 321 King St. West, Toronto ON
Telephone: (416) 971 – 9155
Hours: Not sure. Call restaurant to confirm.

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Summerlicious – Blu Ristorante & Lounge ★★1/2

Price: Over $30+

I ate here for a past summer-licious event’s with some friends. I had a salad, veal scallopini with butternut squash puree and tartufo ice cream. Everything was okay but it wasn’t really that amazing. I found the salad had too much sauce on it and the butternut squash puree nice but kind of overwhelming the veal. Perhaps it would have been better if it was placed on the side?  I can only say I loved the dessert. But since they probably bought that….its not much of a recommendation. I did get to try a friend’s dish, they ordered the acorn squash (vegetarian dish) and it was rather good. As for the other pictures posted of the salmon and pasta, etc. I can’t make a comment except I remember being told it was also a bit too salty.

Service is nice though, one of my friends was 30 mins late and I ordered for her thinking she wouldn’t have to wait when she arrived. However, her order arrived sooner then expected and it got cold while we waited for her. Our server was very polite and was more then willing to re-heat it for us without asking or making it seem like an inconvenience. I didn’t get any attitude, which I much appreciated.

This place is nice for a romantic date and eating with friends. Not really for family with kids though. Dress code: Semi-Casual.

Website: http://bluristorante.com/
Address: 17 Yorkville Ave, Toronto ON M4W 1L1
Telephone: (416) 921 – 1471
Hours: Monday to Thursday: 5:30pm – 11:00pm, Friday to Saturday: 5:30pm – 11:00pm, Sundays – closed.

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Richtree Market Restaurant ★★★ 1/2

Price: 10-15+

Similar to Marche, Richtree follows the same method using an individual card to add food costs to your bill so you can pay at a cash register afterwards. Depending on each location, there may be smaller restaurants such as the one located at Eaton Centre. There is no seating except in the food court and no need for individual cards to be used. Other locations I have visited are College Park and the one underground around Scotia Plaza, which has seating.

Good for lunches with friends and coworkers.

TIP: If you come 10-15 minutes before they close, they will sell any food made that day for 50% off!

Website: http://www.richtree.ca/
Locations: Various locations

Marche Restaurant ★★★1/2

Price: $10-15+

If you are not familiar with this restaurant, it provides diners with a unique market-style experience. Diners go in with a personal card and order anything they want. Food will then be charged on your card to be later paid when you leave. This allows you to pay for yourself with no worries on being charged the wrong amount if in a large group. Or if you are paying for both parties or splitting costs for one item, you can just charge on one card.

There are also separate stations where you can order meat, sushi, seafood, pizza, pasta, salad, dessert, tea, alcohol, even juice/smoothies! All freshly made right in front of you.

Great for lunches with friends, casual birthday parties/events. A place where you can come after work or during break-time.

Website: http://marche.moevenpick.com
Locations: Various locations. Review for Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5J 2T3
Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 7:30am – 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 7:30 – 1am
Phone: (647) 350-6999

Pickle Barrel – Atrium ★★

Price: $15-20+

This is a popular place frequented by students, families and professionals looking to grab a bite and have drinks after work. The atrium downtown location near Eaton Centre is where I usually eat, so I will be basing my review on that. I recommend their seafood linguine, sweet potato fries, italian sausage penne, grilled chicken hummus wrap and cheesecake. I dont recommend their soups, esp. the chicken soup w/ matzo ball. It seemed like something from a cambells soup can with just two large meat balls. What also recently turned me off was when I ordered a mojito, I found a bug in it! If it occurs again, I’ll lower my rating.

Service here is sometimes spotty as well. For example, for my last visit the hostess was clearly not having a good day with all the glares, no smiles and greetings she was showing. But the waitress for our table was very nice, always checking up us. Their roles could easily be switched if I had gone on another day. So I don’t think they have consistent service.

Website: http://www.picklebarrel.ca/index.php
Menu: http://www.picklebarrel.ca/menu/pickle_barrel_menus/grand.pdf
Location: 312 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M5B 1R4
Telephone: (416) 977 – 6677
Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 8am to 11pm, Friday & Saturday: 8am to 12am.

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Moxies ★★1/2

Price: $25+

I went to Moxies, a popular restaurant chain for my birthday. It was a restaurant I hadn’t tried and was kinda convenient to eat at. Decor is nice and lighting is somewhat dark, giving it a relaxing atmosphere I guess. I think our waitress was kind of new, she didn’t really seem experienced but she was friendly so I have no real complaints there. Now with the food, I had a seafood linguine and a strawberry-blueberry daiquiri. I found there was too much sauce in the pasta and the daiquiri was overly sweet even for me (which is saying a lot).

Not sure about this place yet, I don’t necessarily love or hate it at the moment. I’ll update my review should I ever happen to visit it again though. Moxies is a place to go with friends and family but not anything business related.

Website: http://www.moxies.ca/
Location: Various locations, review for 3401 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M6A
Telephone: (416) 787 – 7600
Hours: Sunday to Monday – 11am to 12am, Tuesday to Thursday – 11am to 1am, Friday to Saturday – 11am to 2am.

Moxie's Classic Grill on Urbanspoon

Baton Rouge ★★★1/2

Price: $30+

This place totally surprised me! I came in expecting it to be really bad since my mentality is “when has a restaurant attached to a mall ever been good?” So far I had their soup of the day (it was tomato soup), shrimp cocktail, grilled calamari, ahi tuna salad, filet mignon (8 oz.) and new york striploin (14 oz.). Meat dishes come with a salad (house or caesar) and potato (mashed or baked). They all taste good but when ordering their meat dishes, they generally undercook. So I recommend when you order medium, say medium- well. They also ask for you to cut into your steak to see if its cooked to your liking so you can change it if anything.

If you are eating here for the first time, I recommend the shrimp cocktail (delish but you only get 5 jumbo shrimps) for $15 I believe, filet mignon with mashed potatoes and if your starving, add in the ahi tuna salad! This order alone will probably cost you over $60-$70, so its a nice place for special occasions, family dinners, dates and such. For seating, I recommend a booth…its just more comfortable.

Note: I have gone to the Front Street location but I still prefer the one at Eatons.

Website: http://www.batonrougerestaurants.com/
Location: Various locations. Review for 216 Yonge Street (Eaton Centre), Toronto M5B 1N5
Telephone: (416) 593-9667

Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 11am-11pm
Friday: 11am-12am
Saturday: 11:30am to 12am
Sunday: 12pm to 10pm

Baton Rouge Restaurant on Urbanspoon