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Inter Steer

Photo: Alex Russel

Posted by Guest Contributor / August 11, 2009

Formally a dusty old restaurant that appeared to be called "Romantic Place" and whose facade looked like it dated back to 1970, Inter Steer underwent a big makeover a few years ago and re-emerged as one of Roncesvalles' most popular watering holes.

The bar's floor-to-ceiling wood paneling (post-makeover), enduring popularity with older, grizzlier drinkers, and brisk trade in Labatt's 50 attracted hipsters like a sale at American Apparel, who did more for the bar's reputation by word-of-mouth than its shiny new digs ever could. But Inter Steer remains popular because of its surprises in the culinary department, where it smartly under-promises and over-delivers.

Classic rock on the jukebox and sports on the TV aren't exactly heralds of haute cuisine, and Inter Steer's inexpensive menu of pierogies and other fried comestibles seems fairly standard. Give it a chance, though, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the delicious pub-food-meets-traditional-Polish fare that is the legacy of Susur-trained chef Bart Murawiecki (and owner Eva Radwan's nephew). Murawiecki has since moved on, but Chef Mike Cross, former sous-chef at Rain, has been filling those large boots since May.

The nacho pierogies, probably the caloric equivalent of four or five meals, are a personal comfort food favourite, although the sticky fingers - much the same idea over potato wedges - are probably the most popular menu item. The Steer Cigar, beef goulash wrapped up in a crepe, sounds a bit odd but is thoroughly tasty. Meals run in the $8-$15 range.

The servers, a handful of Polish ladies of varying ages, have a friendly and unstressed demeanor that hints at nepotism. Beer, wine or cider are the preferred drink order, although shooters always make the rounds among rowdier guests. If you order a cocktail, you'll have to be able to explain how to make it (and consider the garnishes; I once got three olives in my chocolate martini, but drank it anyway because my server was so nice).

One unusual house specialty that's worth a try is the Apple Pie dessert shooter: Bison Grass vodka served with a slice of apple and a pretzel. Altogether, the taste is like apple pie - one that's been soaked in vodka, of course.

Once you're tucked up into one of the cozy booths with your Polish fusion food and your Zywiec, you can pretend to watch one of the old silent films playing over the bar while scoping out Roncesvalles/Parkdale's weird and wonderful, from Bettie Page-style pinup girls on first dates with carefully disheveled shoe-gazers, to older, blue-collar fellas who've been keeping the barstools warm since lunchtime.

Writing by Jessica McGann

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Steam Whistle, Keith's, Cool, and Stella Artois.
Signature Drink:
Apple Pie dessert shooter
Bar Snacks:
Nacho pierogies and other polish comfort food
Patio:
No
Music/Genre:
Classic rock and hits from the '80s rule on the jukebox. Live music Wednesday and Sunday nights.
Live Music:
Yes
Who Goes There:
Hipsters, locals, long-time regulars, guys who think women still love Tom Selleck
Hours:
2pm - 2am daily

Discussion

9 Comments

Ratpick / August 12, 2009 at 1:13 PM
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Inter Steer didn't receive a "makeover" -- it moved two doors south, where the owner had a spectacular near-replica of the original built!

Eric S. Smith / September 2, 2009 at 10:49 PM
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Okay, the $8.00 nacho perogies may be the greatest things ever.

(We did find the staff rather sternly disapproving of our table's decision not to order alcohol. YMMV.)

Gary Pavlov / October 18, 2009 at 11:30 PM
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I was brought here by a group of friends from the neighbourhood for the first time this evening. They've got great local brews on tap, a rocking jukebox, and a pool table for only a buck. Not to mention the decor is fairly top notch and very visually appealing. It's a classy joint!

HOWEVER

I ordered the tofu & pumpkin sandwich... and...

IT WAS THE MOST HORRENDOUSLY DISGUSTINGLY AWFUL THING I HAVE EVER TASTED... EVER!!!!!!!

Seriously, it tasted like a dead dog's fetus corpse was rotting in between a kaiser roll. It was so atrociously terrible I almost vomited after taking my initial bite. I pawned it off to my hungry friends who agreed it was disgusting, but they were too drunk to care. Being a sober, vegan patron I could only cross my fingers I hadn't ingested a 12 day old piece of Roncesvalles road kill. I might return to Inter Steer... but it might trigger my gag reflex.

peter In replying to a comment from Gary Pavlov / November 17, 2009 at 11:28 PM
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if you have tasted a dead dog's fetus corpse before!
we all feel for you!

Simon / February 11, 2010 at 3:39 PM
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Who would even order a pumpkin tofu sandwich, though? Only vegan, and that obviously disqualifies you from any aesthetic judgments where food is concerned.

I love Inter Steer. The chicken fingers are miles ahead of the usual pub grub standard, the jukebox is surprisingly decent and the beer is very fairly priced....just don't order cool, unless you want a hangover from two pints.

Gary Numan / October 28, 2010 at 1:31 AM
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Seems like a good local bar for a drink but the food was TERRIBLE!

I wouldnt ever comment on something like this but went here based on the blogto best of perogies list.

Got the Nacho Perogies that were mentioned. They were disgusting, the overfried tasteless oily perogies (definatly frozen) were soggy as they sat in a fetid pool of watered down 7/11 nacho cheese sauce, the sour cream and guacamole had the same texture and flavour which isn't a good thing. Heads up it was really bad and not in a so bad its good fast food sort of way.

Maybe it must've been better in the past or a really bad night but these were offensively gross.

tdh / October 28, 2010 at 6:20 PM
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food has really gone downhill. Not sure what's happened there. I went when the new menu was first introduced, many times, tried nearly everything and liked it all. Went back recently and had a very sad plate of nacho perogies, the guac was rotten, sour cream tasted off, the perogies tasted freezer burnt or something. kind of dessicated. I think they need to reboot whatever they were doing. It had been going well.

Mark In replying to a comment from Simon / June 2, 2011 at 10:04 AM
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Lol, I completely agree. What were you expecting ordering pumpkin tofu?

Robert / March 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM
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New menu. Butter chicken pierogi.!

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