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C'est What

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on May 3, 2007 / review policy

C'est What TorontoAmidst my group of friends, C'est What has earned a reputation as a great "first date place". With a mixed crowd, warm atmosphere and diverse menu, it welcomes most anyone like an old friend.

On this occasion, I arrive in a large group (including a couple dates) and settle in somewhere between the bar, pool tables and a fireplace lounge area. We kick things off with drinks from the 35 beers on tap and then look over the menu.

Dubbed "ethno-clectic", this menu is clearly not limiting itself to pub standards. We order up Moroccan Stew, Jerk Chicken Roti, Vegetarian Roti, a "Lamburger", and a Veggie Burger.

RotiBoth roti come without sides, as they take up most of the plate on their own.

Pictured at the top, the jerk chicken ($9.95) is mixed with vegetables, sauce and chick peas while the vegetarian roti ($7.95) packs huge chunks of baked potato along with chick peas and veggies.
Veggie Roti

Moroccan StewCrossing continents, the garlicky Moroccan Stew ($9.95) proves to be a hearty and nutritious choice. Served over basmati rice, it was rich with chunky vegetables, chick peas, beans, apricots and raisins.

LamburgerThe Greek-influenced "Lamburger" ($9.95) is one of the most popular dishes at C'est What and it's not hard to see why. You get a juicy minced lamb patty, grilled and topped with melted Swiss, alongside herbed "frites" and a side of tzatziki. We ordered two of 'em at our table alone.

Veggie BurgerWhile the menu describes the Veggie Burger ($8.25) as being served on a toasted bun, I was delighted when mine arrived on thinner slices of toasted multigrain. With just a little added mustard, it was savoury and well proportioned. A huge side salad made this a balanced dish I'd order again.

Apple Pie a la ModeAs for dessert, what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in flavour. A messy honey-crumble-topped Apple Pie a la Mode ($7.25), and a whip-cream-drowned Hazelnut Brownie Sundae ($6.95) are both are delicious and sized generously. Ask for extra spoons... even if you're alone. You'll make lots of new friends.

Hazelnut Brownie Sundae

C'est What
67 Front Street East (at Church)
11:30am to 2am everyday

C'est What



Steve / May 3, 2007 at 10:14 am
Yum-ness! If I could get a date, I would come up and take her there...
But lately, I'm feelin' like if I was the last guy on Earth with the last box of chocolates and flowers tied around my neck, I still couldn't get a date:- )
Ryan C. / May 3, 2007 at 10:58 am
They also have a supremely awesome selection of Beer!
the2scoops / May 3, 2007 at 12:51 pm
Lots of fantastic craft brewed beers, great food, pool tables and casual vibe. C'Est What is definitely a reliable go-to place.

Not to kvetch, but did they reduce the size of the lamb burger patties? I love them , but they seemed to be smaller in the past few month.
Tanja / May 3, 2007 at 01:11 pm
Aw, Steve, maybe you can waltz in and start introducing yourself. heh.

Steve / May 3, 2007 at 01:59 pm
Hmmm, actually, with food that looks as yummy as that...who needs a date...more for me: - )

mmmmmmm, Hazelnut brownie....sacraliscious.
chephy / May 4, 2007 at 12:30 am
I go there quite often. Mainly for the beer and the atmosphere. The food is not bad, but frankly I found it was nothing to rave about. But everything tastes better with some of the great microbrews they have on tap! Man oh man, I love that place.
Sid / December 29, 2007 at 10:50 pm
I have enjoyed evenings of great beer, good food and the cozy ambiance at C'est What, but have been recently changed my mind. A large group of us was made to feel very unwelcome by the host and we will (sadly, as the beer and some bar staff were great) not return. Think twice before going to C'est What to unwind and enjoy your evening.
Roger / May 29, 2008 at 11:23 am
Sid, perhaps we encountered the same person?

C'est What used to be my fave pub. I had been going there since I was old enough to drink legally. But somewhere in the last few years they changed ownership or management and it has lost all its appeal.

A friend and I arrived at a half-empty pub on a Thursday evening and was told to wait to be seated, even though there were clearly tables available. I said we were expecting a third to join us but she wouldn't let us have a table and told us we'd have to wait for a table for two. I could hardly believe it!

I'll never set foot in there again. What a sure way to lose business from long-time regulars.
Marion / August 13, 2008 at 12:41 pm
I went to C'est What at Five o clock PM, at a slow hour, dying of hunger with my boyfriend and was vastly disappointed. The waitress was egregiously unfriendly and snooty, looked at me like I was Ken Lay from the corner of her eye-even though we ordered not water, but alcoholic drinks. Then we proceeded to get the fish special of the day and the lamb burger. After THIRTY FIVE minutes I asked the snooty lady where my food was quite politely, and she said the fish takes very long to bake. OK fine I thought to myself, maybe its some gigantic fish fillet because when I make salmon at home it takes 20 minutes tops in the oven at 400. After FORTY SEVEN minutes the food finally comes. The fish is a dainty little filet portion, which CLEARLY did not take 40 something minutes to bake. The lamb burger was OK, not the best I have had by far. As the portions were small I asked the waitress for some apple pie then she promptly said they make the pie from scratch and it would take 25 minutes long with a snicker. So enough said, please save your money and don't go there!! The service is awful!!!
Matt / August 20, 2008 at 09:14 am
C'est What? was recommended to me by a Maritime friend who used to live here. The first time I went I was pleased with the food, although not amazed (the burger was a tad dry), and I was thrilled with the beer.

Next, I made a late evening visit with a friend who was layed over at the airport. I ordered the apple pie. The waiter gave me the same "it takes a while to bake" speech, and I was fine with it. The pie was DELICIOUS.

By the time my best friend came to visit us I had hyped this place up considerably. I took him there for dinner before the Destroyer show at Lee's Palace.

It was awful. Terrible.

My girlfriend sent her dish back and ended up sharing the mediocre sheppard's pies that my friend and I had ordered. Then we ordered that pie, which had become legendary in my mind: it was utterly disgraceful. Judging from texture, temperature and flavour, the pie was baked, refridgerated, nuked, and doused in plain cinnamon.

I won't be going back for a long time.
Joey / October 9, 2008 at 01:48 pm
Guaranteed diarrhea.

I do agree with a number of the other postings though. Been going to the Rebel House and the House on Parliament for years without disappointment. Suprised that a number of classics didn't make it to this list, including the Doragh Irish Pub and Allen's beside it (whuch probaly has the best lamb shank in the city, btw...). Another well kept secret is Smokeless Joes, a teeny, tiny little basement pub with pages of small-batch foreign beers, fresh oysters and a rollicking crowd. Get there early becuase there isn't much space and it packs in fast...
Joe / August 13, 2009 at 07:09 pm
I've been to C'est What for over four years now, and I haven't had one single bad experience. The food's always been at least OK, but the portions do vary from line-cook to line-cook. I generally stick with the appies, morroccan stew, poutine, or the falafel, and avoided anything that seems half-fancy (a general rule of thumb for bars). The bartenders and waiting staff have always been friendly, but I suppose I've just always had the luck of getting good service for four years. I've also caught some pretty good live music here, the most recent being this past NXNE.

The highlight here is definitely the beer selection. Everything's single-batch micro-brewed, and the bartenders generally do know something about the beer you're drinking. I would say this is at least worth checking out. Judging by what others have said, the safe thing to do is to eat elsewhere first, then come here for a brew.
Alheli / October 10, 2009 at 11:18 pm
I cannot recommend this place to anyone. My husband and I just ate there this evening and we both got sick. We experienced mild food poisoning (nobody ended in the emergency room, yet) after ordering well done burgers. The people are friendly and the beer tastes great, but we both feel terrible. We will never go back there.
Bob / December 29, 2009 at 09:39 pm
My girlfriend took me here on my birthday because I am a very enthusiastic beer fan and I was definitely pleased by the beer selection. However, we also encountered horrendous service. My girlfriend got up on two separate occasions to wander the place to find our waitress, who after she finally found did not actually apologize for the poor service. It got so bad, that after waiting for over 20 minutes for our second appetizer we ordered, my girlfriend went to go investigate and found out that the food had not been ordered due to a printing error (?) At this point, my girlfriend said to cancel the appetizer and asked for the bill. The unapologetic waitress even had the audacity to then ask if we still wanted the birthday brownie that my girlfriend had secretively ordered when I went to the bathroom. Man, so bad. We both decided that we would never go back for food and if we went back for beer we would just sit at the bar because that is the only way you will actually get decent service. It's a shame too because the two other waiters that weren't actually assigned to us were much more helpful.
Patricia replying to a comment from Steve / September 20, 2011 at 09:42 pm
Take me!
Anna replying to a comment from Steve / January 11, 2013 at 04:27 pm
Aww Steve!
C'est What Sucks! / February 15, 2014 at 04:49 pm
Such a loser of a place! Fascist rude staff and terrible service! I don't know how ppl tolerate this place! Do not bother going!
cheKoz / April 9, 2014 at 10:01 am
I have been going here for 20+ years, I recommend this place to people constantly, it has never ever let me down as a great beer/food/service establishment that's totally on the chill vibe for good times!

Lauren / August 8, 2014 at 04:54 pm
The staff and food are top notch. I go every month to just have the delicious tandoori chicken sandwich and a couple of beaus beer. Fantastic spot.
ell / April 25, 2015 at 08:57 am
Jeff Buckley played here in the 90s.....time machine, please.

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