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Restaurants

Loons Restaurant & Pub

Posted by Staff / Reviewed on July 11, 2008 / review policy

Loons Bangers and MashScoping for a patio on a Thursday night on Roncesvalles, two friends and I end up at Loons, a restaurant and pub just up the street from the Revue Cinema.

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.

Loons SandwichAcross 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.

Loons Sweet Potato FriesIn 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.

Loons Fish and Chips
Loons Restaurant
Photos by Photosapience except exterior photo by me.

Discussion

11 Comments

Greg / February 24, 2008 at 08:16 pm
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Huge backyard patio, definitely the best in High Park. Their burgers are excellent (even have a 24 ounce size, WOW!!)
david / July 13, 2008 at 10:48 am
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But too many damned smokers on the patio ruin it! Their cheesy nachos are quite tasty, but be very prepared--they may end up sending you to nearby st jo's hospital!

Overall, the food here is average. I really like the dark interior vibe though.
Meh / July 13, 2008 at 11:48 am
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The food is very, very average and they don't serve a particularly good pint. On the upside, you might catch David Miller at Loon's from time to time.
Jax / July 13, 2008 at 12:20 pm
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Patio yes! Food, not so much. it gets points for being in spitting distance of my house, though.
Teena in Toronto / July 13, 2008 at 10:39 pm
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Looks yummy! We'll have to check it out!
Brad / July 14, 2008 at 02:33 am
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Sammich looks fantastic, can't wait to try it
John / July 30, 2008 at 03:12 pm
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One of the best patios in the city!! Food and atmosphere make Loons a must visit neighbourhood pub. Will definitely be back with more friends.
Mike and Pam / September 11, 2008 at 04:16 pm
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Great place to relax after work. Their wings are one of the best in Toronto.
SARAH / May 22, 2009 at 04:14 pm
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great music, nice atmosphere, good food, beer...2 blocks from my house..perfection :)
trawna / October 21, 2010 at 03:57 pm
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As someone else stated, great patio, decent interior, not very good food. Service, by whichever 22 year old female is working there when you go, ranges from good to miserable. Beer selection could also use a quality boost.
David / March 11, 2011 at 10:26 pm
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Have been coming to Loons for years and have never been disappointed. Service and food are always great. It's nice to see a neighbourhood pub that really cares about their guests. Keep up the great work!!

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