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Restaurants

Rush Hour

Posted by Jerrold Litwinenko / Reviewed on February 16, 2009 / review policy

rush hour cauliflower soupRush Hour is a relatively new addition on an unassuming corner in Davenport. A notch and a half up from homestyle cooking, they serve hearty and nutritious food in a casual atmosphere with a casual approach. It's not exactly fine dining, and prices reflect this. Dinner for four, with apps, entrees and wine comes in at around $40 per person taxes and tip in. Having had a great first meal there back in December, we figure it's worth another visit, and we bring friends.

One thing diners should know is that portions at Rush Hour are generous (I'm reminded of the many times I've eaten with old world family and at European friend's homes). This being our second visit, and knowing this in advance, we still can't help but order an appetizer - all of us deciding to go with a body-warming soup to fight the bone-chilling cold we just came in from.

Points are scored for the funky bowls that draw us into our winter-beater soups ($4). The Carrot Ginger is smooth, lush orange, and the punchy ginger bite is just what I'm looking for. The Cauliflower Cream soup is equally good - it's rich, and its flavour robust. Opting for something a little more adventurous, two in our party go for the Shrimp Curry soup, and quickly agree - it's a little less curry-rich than anticipated and is a little shy on flavour. We also nibble on the Chorizo Sausage appetizer ($9). It's sliced up and served in a colourful medley of grilled peppers, and we're pleased to find that it's a mildly spiced, delicious and well-prepared sausage.

rush hour chorizo sausage

Service is very attentive and staff friendly, and food and wine-pairing advice is shared comfortably upon request. We elect for one of the Portuguese reds from a wine list that doesn't go super deep on selection, but also doesn't go deep on the wallet ($22). We move on to mains.

rush hour pork tenderloin

The Pork Tenderloin ($18) is a tender, succulent cut - completely smothered in sauteed mushrooms. The grilled peaches are a nice compliment, but being canned, are not up to snuff according to the peach-loving ex-pats from the state of Georgia, who are dining with us at Rush Hour for the first time.

rush hour lamb shank

The Braised Lamb Shank ($17) is a rich, melt-in-the-mouth experience. Doused in a light tomato-based sauce and resting on a (far too) enormous bed of mushroom risotto, it's delightfully prepared and satiating.

rush hour red snapper

Seafood mains are very well received and come highly recommended. The Baked Red Snapper ($18) is served completely covered in a saucy mix of delicious mussels, artichokes and olives. The Grilled Grouper ($21) is also a big hit, and comes prepared in a delicious citrusy, clear, white wine reduction with capers.

rush hour grouper

The atmosphere at Rush Hour is much like the food. It feels warm and comforting and the staff are so great that the (Ikea?) chairs (mine fell over as I pulled my coat off it) and the butter at the table (in those little single use plastic tear off lid jobs) are easily forgiven. Quality for price, Rush Hour is a really fantastic dinner experience.

Discussion

29 Comments

Crazy / February 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm
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I LOVE this place! I've been here several times and never had a bad meal. The owner makes you feel right at home, as he is usually the server during the week, and the atmosphere is so warm! I especially love the cauliflour soup and at four bucks, it's cheaper than a value meal! I love the steak, the gorganzola cream pasta, and of course the grouper. Go, you won't be disappointed.
TP / February 27, 2009 at 11:18 am
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This place is right in my neighborhood and I love it. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is chic but casual. The staff are friendly and welcoming.

I would recommend this place to anyone wanting a fantastic meal and a very reasonable price.
Ugh... / March 13, 2009 at 09:17 pm
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Wife and I went for dinner on a friday night. It was empty and for good reason.
The bread before dinner was dry, the oil was conola, the wine was watered down, both meals were sub par. My pasta was over cooked, the vegetables were not fresh and the sauce was canned and lacked flavour. My wife's meal was worse. Lamb shank, obviously cooked, frozen and micro-waved before serving.
The waiter did not speak english well enough to know what was wrong....
Jerrold replying to a comment from Ugh... / March 13, 2009 at 09:27 pm
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^^^ I don't believe a word of what you're written, and neither should anyone reading it. For certain, the oil is not canola, water is not added to wine, their sauce is not canned, and no one in their right mind would cook, freeze and nuke a lamb shank at a restaurant. You either have no clue about food, or you're making this all up to spite them. Otherwise you'd put a real name to your comments.

Ugh... replying to a comment from Jerrold / March 14, 2009 at 11:03 am
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Why would I make it up? I actually wanted to like the place. The decor is great and the location is nearby.

To be fair, I think it may have been an off night. When I look at the picture above of the lamb shank it looks nothing like what was served. Rather what was served seemed to be an imitation. Perhaps the chef had the night off?
The bone was freezing cold and the meat was dry - what does that say? When returned to the kitchen it came back simply flipped over and reheated again but the bone was still ice cold to the touch.

Maybe it was an isolated incident, but you are only as good as your worse day.

If the food had been decent the prices were great. Although we had an off experience there I wouldn't dissuade people from going, if the food improves this place has a lot of potential, maybe another night would be better and at that cost I think it's at least worth trying out.
Shauna replying to a comment from Ugh... / March 14, 2009 at 02:25 pm
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This "Ugh" comment is absolutely ridiculous! Full of either lies or mere stupidity! I can't believe anyone with any sense of taste would ever be able to write such laible and pass it off as a useful review. Get a life, go back to McDonalds where you deserve your poor quality meal, and the next time you go to enjoy a meal, spare us the anguish of reading your BS! Way to stand behind your comments with a name, by the way (sarcastic of course).
Neighbourhood resident / March 15, 2009 at 03:04 am
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Jerrold / Shauna - Ugh is the only person who seems to has eaten at Rush hour and is not a friend of the owner therefore his comments are valid. This restaurant should be glad of this feedback and use it as an opportunity to improve it's food.

BTW - re the name, that is a genuinely stupid comment. This is the internet, what difference does it make if your handle is Ugh or Shauna? It's not like anyone knows anyone else.
Tony T. / April 3, 2009 at 04:45 pm
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While not the worst meal I have ever had, it was far from the best.
Jenny replying to a comment from Ugh... / April 17, 2009 at 11:47 am
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I have been there a few times. I assure you that the oil is olive and the wine selection is good and has not tasted watered down any of the times I have had wine there -- which is all of the times I have been there. The traditional Portuguese style of some dishes could seem a bit off to some palettes if not use to that style of cuisine. However, there are also many continental dishes that are very good.

Also, bonus points for having fresh fish, not frozen. Seems to me that a place that keeps fresh fish on hand is not going to send out a nuked lamb shank. Anyway between me and the people we have dined at the place with, we've had all kinds of meat and it all seemed good and fresh (and this is on multiple visits).

All in all, it's a satisfying eat, fresh food, reasonable prices, decent wine. I have been a very satisfied customer.

Also, the bread is usually so good and fresh, I end up eating way more than my share!
Ricky / May 12, 2009 at 10:36 pm
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Went earlier this week with the wife.

Good points
Nice atmosphere, good prices and great service.

Bad points
Disappointing food, I had the grouper which was overly salty and quite hard to finish. Wife had the ribs which were nothing special and the bbq sauce tasted like ketchup. Fries were good though.

I hope the chef gets his act together soon as the place has potential however I suspect that it will end up as another local dive aimed at sketchy Portuguese beer drinkers wearing tanktops.
bart / May 22, 2009 at 09:09 pm
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I can't believe how harsh people are. I've been here a few times and every time I've been very impressed by the quality of the food for the price. It's always been fresh and well prepared.

I think the reviewer pretty much got it right by saying it's a notch and half up from homestyle cooking. This place is a casual restaurant that serves typical Mediterranean / European food. If you're a cheap loser who expects fine dining at under 20 dollars for a main, obviously you'll be disappointed. And I really doubt this will turn into a local dive. You can really tell the staff make an effort.
Ronny / June 13, 2009 at 08:16 pm
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I read these comments after just having gone. I'm not sure I agree with any of them. This isn't the worst place in the city, but I would never tell my friends to go either.

to Ricky - there were 4 portuguese guys at the bar drinking beer when we went! None of them were wearing tank tops though! lol
Yummy! / June 28, 2009 at 06:24 pm
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I've been there a couple of times and each meal was a nice surprise! I'm used to going to the Canyon Creeks and Jack Astor's in the city. When I went the first time, I had their Picanha, a Brazilian steak. It was very good! The last time I went for lunch and I ordered a delicious summer shrimp and mango salad. I'm very picky with salads but this one was great! It's pretty good food considering the price. I'm planning to go with my family.
I recommend going!

BTW, I had the bread and the owner baked it fresh for us! It was delicious!

Brianna / August 19, 2009 at 04:21 pm
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My friends and I have been to Rush Hour many, many times and have tried numerous dishes and never have we left feeling disappoited. Nice ambiance, Great food and friendly staff and not over priced...What more could you ask for?

Jessica / December 4, 2009 at 12:53 pm
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This is an awesome place with awesome food. You've got to try it for yourself!

cathy / December 31, 2009 at 08:28 am
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I've gone to Rush Hour literally dozens of times over the last couple of months and have found nothing, absolutely nothing, that would throw me off. The food is excellently prepared consistently, the vegetables are always cooked to perfection and the meat is always grilled as to specifications. If anyone doubts that the food is fresh (not frozen or microwaved) you can ask the owner, whose usually the server as well, to see the fresh food. He is kind enough to bring a platter by with fresh fish or meat for anyone's inspection. I find that for the atmosphere, the food, the drink, and the service especially, this restaurant is UNDER PRICED!

PS. When a restaurant owner takes the time to make a 3 year-old's ice cream look like a work of art, they are obviously in love with their work and respect EACH customer.

I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this restaurant to friends and family-I already have!

GO you'll love it!
Maggie / May 14, 2010 at 02:41 pm
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My husband and I went for a Sunday lunch. Our experience overall was very good. In fact, it was some of the best sea bass I've ever had! My husband was very happy with his steak and some really yummy mashed potatoes. I found my rice to be way oversalted - so much so I didn't finish it - but that didn't ruin my meal. The waiter was friendly and talkative but on the ball. We will definitely go again.
Jen / November 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm
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Rush Hour is awesome! Food is the best, wine is amazing. We have decided to host a private holiday company party there and the owner is extremely helpful and accommodating.

I highly recommend this restaurant for the food, atmosphere and service. My husband and I have been numerous times and we absolutely love it!
Carlos / December 21, 2010 at 01:49 pm
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We had a family Christmas lunch at Rush Hour last Saturday and it was rather good.
There where 6 adults and 3 children. The service was friendly and the food was very good. The decore is simple, teh room neat and tidy and teh bathrooms where clean.
Food was fresh and the portions where huge.
Our waiter offered suggestions for the kids and offered to make smaller dishes or split them for the children which was great.
Price was very affordable for what we received.
Would defiinatley go back. Rush Hour stands out in the area because there are so many lack lustre restaurants in that part of Toroto.


Danny D / February 19, 2011 at 04:46 pm
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I have been to Rush Hour numerous times, and the food has been great. When ever business associates or family are visiting the city i always take them to Rush Hour and there has been no complaints and believe me if there was problems with the food they would have complained about it in the establishment. The is a variety of different soups that all taste great and I agree with some comments the Picanha, the Brazilian steak is a great eat at a great price. It's great to visit Rush Hour it's a very welcoming and relaxing atmosphere to be in. Rush Hour has very nice and helpful staff and I am sure that if there is a problem with your food it will be corrected by the staff. For a good meal at a fantastic price I recommend this place.
Sil / May 3, 2011 at 09:39 pm
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I have been to Rush Hour since it opened and i can tell you there is nothing wrong with the food it`s amazing,fresh and delicious to die for ....The service is just amazing they make you feel right at home.I definitely recommend RUSH HOUR for great food great service and great atmosphere...see it for yourself !!!To all the haters take your stupid comments some were else... If you have nothing good to say don`t say it at all
CCRITICAL CONFORMITY / May 4, 2011 at 06:12 pm
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I would agree Sil, I have visited this place called rush hour after a friend told me about it, I was surprised to find it on this site. Any how, did you know they have an outdoor patio now it will be great to eat that great food they serve out doors in the sun.
CCRITICAL CONFORMITY / May 4, 2011 at 06:13 pm
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I would agree Sil, I have visited this place called rush hour after a friend told me about it, I was surprised to find it on this site. Any how, did you know they have an outdoor patio now it will be great to eat that great food they serve out doors in the sun.
Robin / July 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm
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Just went tonight for my first time. LOVED seeing a resturant that had beer besides the crappy Bud, Miller, Corona, Heinekin and Stella. Had the braised ribs and mango salad. MMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm! I'm coming back.

By the way, try the Flying Monkey Lager - it was wonderful if you know your beer.
Paul / July 20, 2011 at 08:23 am
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I went to the rush hour for the first time just the other day, I tried the mango salad with fish, This is a must stop for anyone looking for great food in a casual environment.
Dave / August 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm
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I love this place. One of the few Portuguese restaurants where you can walk in as a visible minority and not have everybody stare at you the whole time your there. Food was amazing! So far I've had the bife a casa and ribs and I have no bad things to say about these dishes. Owner is super nice. I reccomebd this place to anybody.
Michael / December 1, 2012 at 09:03 pm
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After reading the reviews about Rush Hour, my wife and I agreed this would be a good spot to take my "Sogra" for her 61st birthday dinner. Despite the very non-Portuguese name, the food, ambiance and experience were fantastic. We were greeted by the owner, Fernando, with a short sampling of white port. If you are not familiar with white port, it is like the older more distinguished brother of red or ruby port. The Fonseca brand was slightly chilled and commenced our evening appropriately. We started with a few appetizers, including the grilled calamari with sweet peppers, and butterflied chorizo served over a grilled peach. We found these appies to be a nouveau take on traditional items served in the motherland and were quickly devoured. Our table of seven chose various dishes from the main course offerings. My 13oz truffled strip loin was cooked to a medium perfection and was juicy and tender. My wife's Ahi Tuna dish was also tasty, but not the best she had ever had. My Sogra's Chilean sea bass was melt in your mouth, great texture and simplicity was very enjoyable. The rest of the table seemed to enjoy their food. The desserts were simple yet well prepared and tasty. I enjoyed the tiramisu, and my niece had the fried apples with sugar, cinnamon and a scoop of ice cream. I missed the boat and should have had the apples (That would have been a plate licker for sure). The ambiance was quiet and quaint, not loud and boisterous. You could have a decent discussion during dinner and enjoy the experience. Our total meal bill for seven people worked out to about $45/per person plus tip. This includes a bottle of wine (appx. $35) 2 appies, 7 main courses, 6 desserts, 1 cappuccino, 3 coffees, and a partridge in a pear tree....
We will be returning again to Rush Hour in the very near future.
Dino Di Manno / December 28, 2012 at 05:57 pm
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I must say that when it comes to freshness, great food and great wine, no one beets Rush Hour restaurant. The owner is more than pleasent, and the staff is great, kind and very friendly. The cook is wonderful and always there to greet you and assure you the food will be to your liking. Now the owner is fantastic serving fresh bread and briniging a sample of dishes that are on the menu. He will also have you sample a great glass of wine. He brings class to his restaurant and makes you feel at home. The food is amazing the prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is comfortable. Every function we are there always satisfied and leaving full and happy. I truly give Rush Hour a 10 out of 10. Love it and will remain my best portuguese restaurant by far.
Dino Di Manno
Megan replying to a comment from Ugh... / May 27, 2013 at 10:24 am
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I completely disagree with you. I've been to Rush Hour twice over the last 6mths. The restaurant takes pride in serving fresh meats -- he even brought out the uncooked beef to show the fat content/what the cut was.

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