Tuesday, October 13, 2015Mostly Cloudy 14°C

Victory Cafe

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on October 3, 2007 / review policy

Victory Cafe TorontoMuch like its eclectic Mirvish Village neighbours, Victory Cafe likes to wear a lot of different hats. Cafe, pub, art bar, restaurant, you name it, Victory seems to morph into whatever you'd like it to be.

Most days, I'd stop in with beer-lovin' friends for the latest microbrew offerings or head upstairs for an art opening or live performance. This time around, I've got a couple hours before work in the area, so it's time to give the dinner menu a proper trial.

Enjoying the breeze by a patio window, myself and three friends each pick out an entree and a couple appetizers to start things off...

Sweet Potato FriesSweet potato fries ($5.75) are an instant favourite. I usually get my fix of these at Fresh, but Victory's prove much nicer as they aren't fried to the dark, crumbly (though tasty) extent that Fresh does 'em.

Veggie SamosasAlong with the fries we share another vegetarian-friendly dish: Veggie Samosas (5 pieces for $5.75). Again, we've picked out a great starter. These crispy mini samosas are filled with wonderfully fresh potatoes, peas, etc and are spiced just hot enough to offer some kick without burning out your tastebuds before the entrees arrive. I will definitely be having them again soon.

The entrees arrive soon after and are good looking though a tad more hit-and-miss than our appetizers.

The Vegetarian Pasta Special ($9.95) on this evening is linguini in a rose sauce with tomato, onion and zucchini. Pictured at the top, it looked great but the looks didn't translate into flavour. Overall, it was nice, but lacked punch - which was only emphasized by soft, overcooked linguini that made chewing quite optional.

A separate side of garlic bread and salad was a nice touch.

Side of garlic bread and mixed greensSalmon BurgerOn the flip side, the Salmon Burger ($9.95) turns out to be a great choice. Seasoned well and topped with a mango chutney, the sweet and savoury combo was as unique as it was tasty.

Victory Cheese Burger with Herbed Mashed PotatoesVictory Cheese Burger, assembled with dijonThe Victory Cheese Burger ($8.75) is also a winner (all puns intended). A thick ground meat patty is dense and juicy though I'd encourage a little more generosity with the cheddar (ah-hem!), please.

Veggie BurgerDespite some great vegetarian choices, Victory's Veggie Burger ($7.50) didn't impress. My co-diner described it as, "moyen", the patty just boring and dry. Condiments to the rescue...

The fries were good, but nothing beats these three creamy words: herbed mashed potatoes. Delicious.

Overall, there is good food to be had at Victory... you may just have to try a few things til you find the winner.



Adam / October 3, 2007 at 10:59 am
I love Victory! It has such a great little patio on one of my favourite little streets in Toronto.
Debbie Ohi / October 3, 2007 at 11:55 am
Also worthy of note: all the music events at the Victory. It used to host a <a href="http://www.thesession.org/sessions/display/155";>Irish music session</a> but has sadly shut down (I kept meaning to attend but looks like I missed my chance). Now it hosts a jazz string quartet every Wednesday.
Joe / October 3, 2007 at 12:46 pm
If you like veggie burgers you should try one at the central just up the street from the vic. it's amazing... a friend of mine that is an avid meat eater was impressed with it! and it's made in house. actually, all of their veggie food is delicious, pastas, salads, etc. also, i think the people there are more inviting, overall food quality is higher and the bands are better but that's just my 2 cents.
Kara / October 3, 2007 at 05:38 pm
I'm so happy that more people are checking out this area! Mirvish Village is great- along with the Vic. I agree with Joe though, Central's veggie burgers rock!
Tanja / October 3, 2007 at 11:39 pm
Thanks guys... good to know!
Andrew / October 4, 2007 at 03:21 am
I can't figure out why the Vic is always packed and the Central is so inconsistently populated. There is no comparison with the food - hands down the Central. Same goes with the service and the cleanliness... I guess people are becoming a custom with mediocrity - and this needn't be the case if they took a few steps North!!
Jackson / July 14, 2009 at 12:02 pm
Finally got a chance to check out the Central last night. While the beer selection certainly wasn't bad, I've seen much, MUCH better in Toronto - the fact that it is mentioned before Cafe Volo, The Rhino and others is truly unfair (although this may not be in order, I don't know). The service was annoying slow, and I'm about as patient as they come. Overall, not impressed. The location and patio however made the rough parts a little easy to take. I'll join the few above me by saying that if I'm on Markham St., I'm going to stick to the Central.
Jackson / July 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm
^^^My mistake, I meant to say, "Finally got a chance to check out Victory Cafe" last night.
Bill / September 27, 2009 at 08:56 am
I'm with Jackson - service was painfully slow & the place was a pretty run down (the washrooms were particularly bad). I really can't see why it's number 1 on the list... beer selection was pretty small (only 1 cask) and the servers were pretty unhelpful with describing or suggesting anything on tap and the food was merely passable - I far prefer Cafe Volo or Ces't What to Victory. I won't be going back.
justsayin' / January 18, 2011 at 06:29 am
I think we have heard enough from the Central employees and/or owners above. Slamming the Vic won't bring people to Central, nor will it give the Central what it lacks most, atmosphere!
Matt / January 19, 2011 at 02:54 pm
Please, everyone, read the comments above, internalize them, and never ever come here. I don't want you taking up a seat in my favourite pub in the city, by a wide margin, and this always-packed place certainly does not need your business.
shamus / February 28, 2011 at 11:40 am
both victory cafe and central have the poorest servers i've ever encountered in toronto. the male hippie server at victory took me 20 minutes to get my drink order, another 10 to receive it, and i had to flag him down 25 minutes later to ask for my bill because i was not giving them any more of my money. here's a tip in life: if you aren't going to do your job then don't work there.

the central has this blonde haired woman whose probably the worst person i've ever seen behind a bar. after asking if they had one type of beer she disgustingly said no and didn't offer an alternative. every request or order she made it seem like i was asking her for a favor and if you're wondering why you didn't get a tip it's because i did most of the work myself.

i also pissed on both your toilet seats as a thank you gesture. f u c k those places.
gross replying to a comment from shamus / March 15, 2011 at 04:59 pm
wow, you're a great guy. piss on the toilet seat, ruin the place for others who like it there because you had a bad server. you're a pig, grow up.
benicegirl / March 17, 2011 at 10:49 pm
Replying a comment from gross.
I bet you, you are one of the bartender, I do agree with shame that those bartender are to buisy on facebook with there iPhone those days.They don't focus to much on the clientele.I don't understand why the owner don't see those kind of workers that they hire Shameless
Cynthia / April 15, 2011 at 12:37 am
I'd been wanting to try Victory Cafe for awhile because I heard good things about the food. We ordered the Mac and Cheese and the Victory Burger with a side of sweet potato fries. The food wasn't amazing but it was pretty good. Unfortunately the service was terrible. We waited a couple of minutes by the "Please wait to be seated" sign and after two servers walked by without even looking at us we asked a server for a table. We had to ask a server if we could order and waited 45 minutes for our food. Our other server seemed unenthusiastic and possibly high. I won't not go back but it'd be nice if the servers were a little more attentive.
marj / September 2, 2011 at 07:16 pm
(hopefully,) Coming to a BlogTO review near you: How some complete moron bought one of my favorite bars in the city and turned it into a total disgrace. You can tell that most of the staff are completely unhappy, their beer selection is complete shite when compared to what it used to be and none of the old regulars go there anymore.. what does this tell you?
Jennifer / December 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Why can't the Victory cafe have at least ONE good white and ONE good red wine? THey have a CRAZY list of nearly all Chardonnay... WTF is up with that? And I'm not a snob. I'd be happy with a Partager or a Vila Regia for those prices. I'd also pay more for a really good choice. I realize it's more of a beer place but I don't want beer. I just want to hang out with my beer loving-friends and lately I've been making them go elsewhere so I can drink too. I do love the Victory food and I'd be happy to go nearly any day if they'd just serve something drinkable for the non-beer people.
tripper / April 15, 2013 at 03:48 pm
I've been to the Vic five times exactly. The beer and the food are decent but as others have commented the service is usually not. My last time here my companion and I waited at least 20 minutes for our bill. When it wasn't forthcoming (our server had mysteriously vanished, no doubt in a puff of "smoke") we simply went to the bar on our way out and I stood there with my credit card until someone took notice of me. They looked completely confused by my request to pay as though no one had ever paid a bill before. We could have easily walked out without paying and our stoner server would never have noticed (or even reappeared for that matter).

I wonder how much money they lose this way.

It's a shame because the place is otherwise a gem and the location is perfect with a fabulous patio. It just needs to be cleaned, spiffed-up, and re-staffed.

The Vic is just steps from my house and I'd come here a lot more often it didn't piss me off almost every time.
Jeff replying to a comment from Andrew / July 15, 2015 at 04:07 pm
That is just wrong. I have seen both kitchens and I have been inside the stocking rooms of both as well. Although I wouldnt say either is super clean I can for sure say the central is NOT clean. They are both good places to visit but you obviously work there or got paid to write that ridiculous review.
Lex / July 24, 2015 at 02:48 pm
Went here yesterday because it was a beautiful day and we wanted to hang out on a patio. Without the outdoor atmosphere I have a feeling that Victory would be forced to close in a hurry, because the food was lousy and the service was awful. I ordered a minestrone soup. When it finally came, it was lukewarm and contained 4 ingredients max: Water, salt, oil and celery (there may have been a baby carrot in there too). No tomatoes? No pasta? No beans? No lentils? No anything to make it worth the $7 it costs to sample this tepid toilet water? Needless to say I didn't finish it.

Unfortunately, I also ordered a salad, and asked them to hold the walnuts because I have a nut allergy. Naturally, the salad comes out covered in walnuts. I bring this to the spliffed out waiter's attention, and there's no apology or anything. He just turns around without a word to get it replaced. Victory Café - you have failed miserably.

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