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Restaurants

This End Up

Posted by Rebecca Fleming / Reviewed on April 4, 2012 / review policy

This End UpThis End Up, sandwiched between sports cafes and a whole lotta businesses that start with "Brasil", is the latest restaurant to open up on the stretch of Dundas West that is Little Portugal joining the likes of the Federal Reserve and Midfield Wine Bar. Open now for just over a week, part owner Karen Young says they're still in their soft opening, but when I stopped in last weekend - save for the lighting - there was nothing soft about it.

This End Up TorontoOccupying the spot that was once a restaurant aptly named Kilo Buffet, Young and her partner have transformed the space, with the only surviving remnant of its previous incarnation being the vertical signage outside proclaiming its identity as a restaurant. Inside, church pews against exposed brick serve as seating, and lighting is provided by Edison bulbs and vintage electric signs advertising Liquor! and the Brewers Retail.

This End Up TorontoAs of our visit the menu was on the small side, but Young promised more items to come as they settle in. Not that a small menu is anything to be docked points for, as it is well thought out with a few sandwiches and a burger on offer, as well as a salad, wings, and intriguing starters (aka Nibbles) like Frito Pie and Pickles & Sticks. Their cocktail menu is nowhere near lacking, and is nicely organized into the categories of sweeter, tarter, bitter, spicier and bubblier, so those about to imbibe know what they're getting into.

This End Up TorontoSpeaking of cocktails, I started with The Ramona ($12) from the tarter selection while my girlfriend went with a something a little sweeter, this being The Mutt (also $12). I've been on a bit of a bourbon kick lately, so the Ramona with its Makers Mark, lemon, vanilla and soda hit the spot. It was definitely pucker-inducing, but very refreshing - front porch on a rocking chair in the deep South kind of refreshing - at the same time.

This End Up TorontoThe Mutt (tequila, Pimm's, cardamom, lavender, bitters and rosemary) was a little herbal for my liking, and we tasted sage over rosemary which may have served more as a garnish than anything else. Nevertheless my girlfriend enjoyed it and said it would be a repeat offender given the chance.

This End Up TorontoHalfway through our drinks, the food arrived. The House Salad ($9) composed of arugula, smoked beets, orange, cucumber, pickled fennel, sweet onion, toasted sesame, and shaved pecorino made for a very striking presentation. I'm not crazy about beets (they always taste a bit, for lack of a better adjective...dusty) but I really enjoyed the smokiness of these ones as it defined their flavour. All of the different flavours and textures complemented each other and overall it was just an incredibly fresh salad.

This End Up TorontoThe wings ($10) described as "Seoul meets Buffalo" might be their signature dish. Made with gochujang, a soy and chili based Korean condiment, Buffalo wing sauce, and sprinkled with sesame seeds, they were a little bit sweet but with a spicy kick. The wings themselves were a decent size, and with around ten of them on the plate, the price is right.

Already a bit full at this point we halved the vegetarian sandwich and split the generous portion of shoestring fries it came with. Made with marinated & spiced chickpeas, and topped with black olives, parsley, pickled cucumber and smoked tomato sauce it was good enough to convert a staunch meat-eater at a table nearby (I wasn't eavesdropping...his voice carried...), and the pickled cucumber was an amazing touch.

The fries didn't look like much, but wow were they tasty. With some crispy, and some a bit mushy (in the best of ways) with just the right amount of salt, and served with smoked ketchup, they were probably the best fries I've had in a long time.

This End Up TorontoWe finished the night, not with dessert (baked by OMG) but with another cocktail of course. Salvia #1($10) hailed from the tarter side and it was our favourite of the three. Made with Pimm's (yes, more Pimm's), lemon, sage simple and cucumber soda, it was a bit sweeter than The Ramona, but still tart enough to be listed as such.

This End Up TorontoThis would have been a definite do-over for me, but as the drinks were on par with, or higher than the food prices, it would be the last for the evening. I love the trend toward more complex cocktails these days, but hate that I can't always afford them.

This End Up TorontoWith its laid back atmosphere, and genuinely friendly service, I for one will end up back here again...after all, partaking in delicious food and cocktails while sitting on a church pew is just about the closest thing to a religious experience I'll ever have.

Discussion

46 Comments

back / April 4, 2012 at 09:37 am
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Speaking of This End Up, i watched the Human Centipede last night.

Interesting.
jules / April 4, 2012 at 10:10 am
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I'm glad they made sure their exposed brick, chalkboard menu, vintage lighting fixtures, and chicken wings established them as trendsetters in the west end scene.
danielle replying to a comment from jules / April 4, 2012 at 10:24 am
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Why so snarky? These people have clearly put a lot of love and care into their first restaurant, one I sure wish I had in my own neighbourhood. Must be nice to be jaded by so many choices! Best of luck to them.
dee / April 4, 2012 at 10:43 am
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HOLY SMOKES, the sandwich in the opening photo is the vegetarian chickpea sandwich referenced in the review?!?! It looks and sounds INCREDIBLE!! I might have to make a trip just for this sandwich!!
Mackenzie Chiu / April 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm
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Congrats guys! I'll be in next week to check it out!
Confused / April 4, 2012 at 01:41 pm
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Isn't pickled cucumber just pickle?
james / April 4, 2012 at 01:44 pm
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forget this place. owner is a loser.
lol / April 4, 2012 at 02:00 pm
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10 dollars for 6 or 7 frozen costco chicken wings?
P replying to a comment from lol / April 4, 2012 at 04:24 pm
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" The wings themselves were a decent size, and with around ten of them on the plate, the price is right."

...reading is sometimes tough.
Bobbb / April 4, 2012 at 04:25 pm
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Looks pretty generic on every level
logo replying to a comment from james / April 4, 2012 at 04:29 pm
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Get a life (and some friends) dude.
Mondayjane / April 4, 2012 at 08:00 pm
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I totally do not understand the snark here. Sheesh.

Anyway, good review, I def want to check this new place out, and best of luck to the new owners!
zappa / April 4, 2012 at 09:44 pm
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Nice food and place.
Sorry that Toronto the place for losers to whine.
What a bunch of bear big babies this city has become.
These unemployed neo hippies could move all to Montreal and let us free of their stupid faces & comments.
Go bear babies go, there is no sugar for you here, suckers.
morga replying to a comment from zappa / April 4, 2012 at 09:57 pm
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It's mostly Blog TO trolls. I meet new people in the city everyday for work and most are positive. You will find the internet in general is rather negative.
Meg / April 5, 2012 at 02:21 am
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Nice place and people. I hope people go there instead of the Lakeview.
Paul / April 5, 2012 at 07:31 am
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so far, gone there twice. incredible both times - pork belly sandwich was delicious and the tongue and cheek sandwich was tender and tasty! blogger is right about the fries - some of the best i've ever tasted....
Dumptown Man / April 5, 2012 at 11:46 am
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Love this place
Owais / April 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm
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Had the chickpea sandwich and an in house flavoured soda (pineapple and sage) was delicious! The space is beautiful, regardless of whether its "trendy" or not they did this place right and I'm happy to have a new spot in my hood. Now all we need is a coffee shop...
gz / April 5, 2012 at 02:22 pm
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A welcome need for the area! Can't wait to try out. The food and the interiors look great.
liz / April 5, 2012 at 03:34 pm
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Looks awesome! i am definitely gonna check it out!
also, for good coffe.. go to GCB - Grains Curds Beans...
its a small cheese shop just down the street, and they have amazing coffee!!!
tracey / April 5, 2012 at 10:13 pm
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Very nice place. We liked the decor, the farm mural and the old Brewers Retail sign. I had the chickpea sandwich and a Slavia. Very nice. Good salad and tasty skinny fries. Two others raved about the burger - best ever. Also you can get a giant Mojito in a mason jar. The service was great. We didn't have dessert. I hope they rethink their no-coffee policy - they don't serve it because there is such good coffee at other places down the street. Maybe that is true but it seems a bit awkward.
Gabe / April 6, 2012 at 12:00 am
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Looks Great. Welcome to the neighborhood! Great to have a place you can go to, have a sandwich, a cocktail. Nice. Welcome.
Stuli / April 6, 2012 at 12:08 am
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Loved the Fries! Was great to get a good quality sandwich and great fries. Usually its a mediocre sandwich and mediocre fries or mediocre salad. Was great, to have a great andwich and amazing fries too!!!!
Frank / April 6, 2012 at 08:40 am
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Dying to check this place out! Congrataulations to Adam and Karen.
LC / April 11, 2012 at 01:13 pm
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I wish they would put a proper menu on their website, the list up there doesn't give much information.
roger doneff / May 9, 2012 at 06:31 pm
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more on the food would be helpfull
Gabe / May 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm
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Sandwich Artist
Ze / May 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm
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I decide if this place is good! Wait here. I try tomorrow, report back. Must tell Boss.
Betty / June 11, 2012 at 09:49 am
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The smoked pork belly hanh mi is the best I ever tasted. Wow on the mojito!
liz / June 26, 2012 at 04:08 pm
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The food here is so fantastic, and the owner and the staff are super sweet and sincere.. I have been back at least ten times now, and eaten pretty much everything on the menu !!!! I really love the burger, its one of the best in my opinion, the vegetarian sandwich, frito pie and wings are awesome too! I am sad to moving out of the area, but we will definitely be back with more friends in the near future
ThePaulProject / January 9, 2013 at 12:53 am
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My wife and I love this place! It's great food, good prices and great service! We've brought our son with us a few times and even he had a good time. (Not an easy to impress kid either :) ).

Great job guys.

Ps:
Personal fav: The Better Mac (You're welcome)
Paiger / February 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm
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Looks great! Welcome to the neighbourhood!
jameson / February 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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The sides and drinks were much better than the actual burger...too bad.

I think the best part of my visit was learning about Sanremo Bakery where they get their delicious donuts from. Now that place is awesome.
This End Up replying to a comment from jameson / February 22, 2013 at 06:55 pm
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Sorry to hear that you found our burger to be disappointing. We'd love to hear your feedback as to what the problem was. Thanks for visiting, and hopefully we'll get the opportunity to change your mind regarding our burger!

the This End Up team.
Mark / February 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm
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Does This End Up do take out burgers, or call ahead take out meals?
RCI / February 23, 2013 at 01:38 pm
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@Mark - I live in the hood and usually call ahead for takeout. Depending on how busy they are as they can get quite busy - the range for ready time can be between 10 to 30 mins. Sometimes I like to go straight there after work and order a 'to go' plus a drink and sip/chug while I wait at the bar. They always seem to have a beer and/or cocktail specials.
Craig / February 23, 2013 at 05:44 pm
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Great food, and relaxed atmosphere. Very tasty and Innovative cocktails ... love the homemade cream soda for working lunches.
Tanya / February 24, 2013 at 10:39 am
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This place was excellent. Brought a large group here and everyone loved their food. I really enjoyed the creative drink and food options and I was impressed at the portion sizes for the price.
Bill Best replying to a comment from james / April 5, 2013 at 03:10 pm
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I don't know where that's coming from, James. Adam and Karen are two of the nicest people I know.
Adam replying to a comment from Bill Best / April 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm
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Careful, don't feed the trolls, Bill! Also, thanks!
Scott / May 16, 2013 at 02:00 pm
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Amazing sandwiches, great cocktails, excellent service and probably the best fries in the city. What else could you ask for?
Gayle Franklin / November 9, 2013 at 08:51 am
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I have been there several times - great food - especially love the "Big Mac" burger! Fries are super! Took my granddaughter as well and they do have a kids menu! Prices include taxes. Definately a favourite - too bad not closer to home!!!
Renee Russell / March 11, 2014 at 07:22 pm
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gluten info would be nice
James / March 30, 2014 at 10:06 pm
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This place had great food !!! My SO has a severe allergy to wheat and she had one of the best pork sandwiches she has ever had. The pork belly was not gross greasy and just the right thickness to compliment the pork chop and my better mac had a beautiful pink center (How real burger lovers eat) and a great sauce on top. Great staff and prompt service despite being packed.
lisa / June 21, 2014 at 08:02 pm
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I have had almost every sammie on the menu. This place is so yummy. Consistent, and has great service. I highly recommend.!
Vaclav / August 3, 2014 at 05:15 pm
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I went there about two years ago. Had a cocktail and a tongue sandwich. Loved it so much. Always wanted to come back but I'm living far from this place. Last week I was there again and noticed the whole neighbourhood has changed for better. Went back there and ordered a cocktail and a sandwich again. Loved it more. Should make my way here more often for food and other things.

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