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Restaurants

The Rex

Posted by Tanja / Listed on January 12, 2007 / review policy

Fish n Chips at the RexIt's no secret that The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar (Queen & St. Patrick St) is a musical institution in this city. With 2-3 (mostly free) shows every day, jazz jams on Tuesdays, local and international talent and a fantastic location, this place is truly hard to beat.

I try to stop in as often as I can. I mean, the coffee is actually pretty good, drinks are served fast, and the music, as mentioned, is great. What else could a girl ask for?

Actually, after a long day of work, followed by doing all my 'xmas returns' at the Eaton Centre, I could ask to have a look at the menu... that's what.

Thankfully, the Rex kitchen has got it covered.

Like any classic bar, the Rex menu is mostly made up of traditional bar fare. Unlike so many, they actually make the food fresh and not out of your grocer's freezer.

Oh, and it's super cheap.

Before I even look at my menu, I notice that all around me are basket after basket of nachos. They look great and before I can even suggest it to my friend, I see she's made eye contact.

"You want to order 'em?," I ask.

She is already waving at the waitress.

Shortly thereafter we have a basket of our own.

Nachos

Tri-coloured nachos ($5.99) tossed with fresh jalapenos, beans, peppers, olives and tomatoes and then topped with lots of gooey cheese. Along with this foot-wide spread comes side sour cream and salsa. We dig in.

Crispy and delicious. On the downside, it's a little greasy. Not greasy enough to stop us though.

My only suggestion: ditch the side salsa... it's just not up to par.

While we are chowing down I notice several other people eyeing us, and soon after, they have their own baskets. It must be those colourful chips.


Next up, the Rex burger with side salad. ($6.99)

The Rex King Burger

A big thick ground beef pattie served with lots of fresh toppings and condiments on the side. I'm not generally a fan of thick burgers because i find them way too dry, but this one breaks that stereotype. Probably made in-house, the pattie is spiced well and doesn't require a tall glass of water waiting in your other hand.

Side options are fries, rice or salad. I go for a salad with balsamic dressing and what I get is pretty standard. Nothing extraordinary, but it's plentiful, crunchy and definitely fresh -- which is really the most important factor, in my opinion. Dressing comes on the side too... another nice touch.


Across the table, we've got Fish 'n' Chips. ($8.50)

Fish n Chips at the Rex

The portion was huge. Lots of crispy hand-cut fries (with real potato skin still on em.. YUM), cole slaw, tartar sauce and framing a monsterous fish portion. Like the nachos, it's a tad greasy, but we both agree we've never really had fish 'n' chips that wasn't greasy, so it becomes a non-issue.

Taste test: Perfect. Stuff this dish in a Chippy's box and you'd never know the difference... though frankly, it probably wouldn't fit in there.

So then, who's joining me next week?

The Rex

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The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar -
194 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON - phone: (416) 598-2475

Discussion

9 Comments

kitten / January 13, 2007 at 01:33 am
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I walk by this place almost everyday twice getting off and on the subway at Osgoode. I would have never even thought of going in but I think perhaps I will give it a shot...
Tom / January 13, 2007 at 01:07 pm
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<p>I work nearby, and this has been our Friday lunch spot for years. They cut their menu in half a few months ago, but all the favorites are still there. Our regular waiter, Jonathan, really holds the place down. He remembers what we drink from week to week and usually knows our food orders before we even say them.</p>

<p>I would have recommended the B-Rex burger instead of the one you ordered. It's served on a thick piece of buttered garlic bread with melted Swiss and sauteed mushrooms. For vegetarians like myself, there's the V-Rex, which is the same sandwich but with a meat-like soy patty. There are a couple other veggie options, too.</p>

<p>Highly recommended if you're in the area.</p>

Tanja / January 13, 2007 at 10:07 pm
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Thanks Tom. I didn't feel like swiss that day so I didn't go for the B-Rex, but I'll definitely give the veggie a shot another day if you say its good!
Glitterati / January 14, 2007 at 11:21 pm
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I love the Rex! Good food (ditto on the Nachos, and the springrolls are tasty too!), amazing tunes, and a warm, kick-back kind of atmosphere. It's always a good time. Who says a jazz bar has to be stodgy?

Thanks for all the excellent reviews... this site's going to make figuring out my Winterlicious dollars a lot easier!
Abraham / January 31, 2007 at 12:00 am
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Yum, those nachos looks delicious.
tripper / March 3, 2008 at 09:43 am
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My partner and I are looking for a new place to go on Saturday nights. One that has music and decent pub food. Judging from the review and all the comments it sounds like The Rex is a good bet. Must try it.
Bri / September 16, 2009 at 10:59 am
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The Rex remains the best Jazz venue in Toronto. Where else can you go to hear great music (multiple shows each day) have great food and a wonderful relaxing pub-like atmosphere? Prices are very reasonable, but do bring cash as most bands will "pass the jar". Saturday late shows will almost always have an $8 cover. The only complaint I have is that it's called a "Jazz & Blues Bar"...but you will SELDOM hear any blues there, it's 95% jazz.
Pilar / September 1, 2011 at 11:25 am
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I have been wanting to go to this place. Do they play more Dixieland or Big Band jazz or do they also play NOLA trad jazz? I'm a bigger fan of the latter.
Tom / February 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm
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Does anyone know if they have karaoke, want to go on Tuesday? Thanks.

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