Loons Restaurant & Pub
Inside it's almost empty. With 30 degree heat, everyone is camped out on the expansive mish-mash of a back patio - an assortment of plastic furniture, wood tables and Muskoka chairs that evokes memories of cottage country.
With dinner on the agenda, we grab a four seater and order up a round of local micro-brews to beat the heat and hopefully drown out the antics of the two year old at the table next door. The menu is stacked with the usual pub fare, with just one Polish favourite (perogies - $8.69) thrown in to reflect the flavour of the local neighbourhood.
We skip the apps and shareables and head right for the mains. Up first is the bangers, beans, and mash ($9.29), a standard assemblage of breakfast sausage, mashed potatoes, baked beans and fried onions. My friend is impressed that the mashed potatoes are real. Apparently, he has really low expectations for pub food. But overall, he rates the meal as mediocre. In his words: The beans tasted like the ones you get out of the Heinz cans. Nothing too special, but not horrible. Then again, it's hard to screw up sausages and mashed potatoes.
Across the table, I'm eyeing the other's massive plate of sweet potato fries and a sandwich called the Loons Deli ($8.49 + 1.50 extra for upgrading from the regular to sweet potato fries). He figures since there's so many Polish butchers on the street that deli meat might just be the thing to get here.
There's no question the sandwich is a looker (see photos above and below). Smoked turkey, ham and pastrami are piled high on a grilled Italian bun, accompanied by provolone cheese, tomatoes, avocado and Loons' special sauce.
The taste rating comes in at ok. Size-wise it's tough to beat (half was taken home for a late dinner #2), but apparently the meat doesn't live up to "memories of Poland" or whatever expectations incited the order. The crispy sweet potato fries are a keeper. They look and taste good and would definitely be re-ordered on a repeat visit.
In the mood for something fatty and from the sea, I order what's billed as Loon's famous 6oz beer battered fish, with a side of fries ($10.29). Unlike the large chunks that can be found at some of Toronto's best fish and chips joints, the pieces here are oddly tubular which makes me suspicious that they've been rescued from the deep freeze. But the taste doesn't disappoint. The fish is perfectly cooked. The batter doesn't go soggy; and with a few squirts of ketchup they make a pretty decent pub meal. The fries are good too - definitely a cut above the much debated offerings at the Cadillac Lounge.
Photos by Photosapience except exterior photo by me.