When in need of decent sit-down place to eat in Parkdale, time and again I find myself at Rhino.
The atmosphere at this bar/restaurant is totally laid back and the menu not bogged down by the usual bar fare. Still, even though I find myself returning for more, I'm not completely convinced the kitchen can handle their own menu.
I'm there in a party of three (with very different cravings), and we order up Fish & Chips, a Prosciutto Sandwich with Fries and a Thin Crust Primavera (veggie) Pizza.
First to arrive (from friendly staff) are 3 waters (with lemon) and a beer. Simple items and for the sake of mentioning, perfect.
When it came to food, the clear winner (pictured above) is the prosciutto sandwich. The bread is soft and fresh, prosciutto and other fillings savoury, and the fries are light and crispy.
From then on it's just downhill.
The fish and chips look promising, but the balance of the dish is way off. The fish, while lightly battered was just too heavily fried. I had to donate my napkin to the owner of the dish to deal with the grease. Meanwhile, the accompanying chips/fries were SO lightly fried they were flavourless -- aside from half of them which tasted like fish from their plate-neighbour. Bleh.
Finally, my own dish, was the primavera pizza. Again, it looked pretty good. Starved, I even dug in before remembering to photograph. The other three slices though, were relunctantly finished.
The crust was ok. Thin, kind of pita-like, but not very crispy at all. The veggie toppings (ie. the best part) seemed good too. It was the ingredients that fused these two that really ruined the meal.
Do you remember when McDonalds came out with pizzas a decade or two ago? Mini ones they used to bake in microwaves that looked like pizza ovens? Yes? Well, if so, do you remember the nasty sweet and slimey tomato sauce that topped them? Fresh out of a can, surely? Well, let's just say I had the most unwelcome feeling of deja vu.
That and the melted cheese for which I have real way to describe but am assuming it was some kind of bland processed mozza, just destroyed any potential this dish might have had.
(And the stomach rumblings later that night would congratulate me again on a choice well made.)
Still, I like this spot, and something tells me I'll probably end up at Rhino again. It's just one of those places where you need to find the dishes that rock, and stick with 'em.