Toronto is really not impressed with the new GarfieldEATS restaurant
On the way to a restaurant, I rarely catch myself thinking, "I wonder if this is going to be edible."
But, these are my exact thoughts as I make my way to North America’s first ever physical location of GarfieldEATS in Toronto’s Bloorcourt neighbourhood.
Having its grand opening on June 21 and 22 (Garfield himself will be present), the QMR or Quick Mobile Restaurant, as its titling itself, is becoming something of an Internet sensation. It’s so named because the emphasis of the business is more on delivery and online orders, with no dine-in space at the restaurant itself.
Reddit and the people of Toronto are beginning to obsess about the cartoon-cat-themed restaurant, it seems for two reasons.
One: the restaurant and its app’s subculture, including Quebecois CEO (Chief “Entergagement” Officer) Nathen Mazri ,appear endlessly absurd. Two: the pure strangeness of the concept. Who has ever wanted a pizza shaped like Garfield’s head?
The new GarfieldEATS app (just launched in Toronto) is so filled with cursed imagery - a surprising amount, even for an app that describes itself as "Entergaging" pic.twitter.com/wjOwS6IixS— I'm Trevor™ (@Newbornstranger) June 6, 2019
On Reddit, bewilderment abounds on subjects ranging from what “entergagement” means exactly to the “babyshit orange” sauce (the colour of Garfield?) to whether even Nathan Fielder would pitch an idea this bad. One YouTuber even called the website “perhaps, unintentionally, the greatest work of anticapitalist satire ever created.”
GarfieldEats is the most effective satire of capitalism you could possibly think of and it's completely unironic— soundtracks for the socially disinclined (@vreeevrooo) June 7, 2019
The restaurant itself (formerly a laundromat), aside from having nowhere to actually sit and eat, is like a physical representation of the app.
Most of the standing room is taken up by merch like Garfield shirts, mugs, pillows and comic books. Kiosks are equipped with tablets used to order food through the app, or play videos of old Garfield cartoons (like the ones you’re suggested to pay for in order to view on the app).
As for the food itself...if this restaurant has achieved one thing, it’s matching the colour of the sauce to orange packaging, Pantone-style.
A “Garfield Peroni” pizza falls apart easily, strangely topped with onions, the orange tomato sauce highly off-putting at best. An equally-terribly-named “Garficcino” is also pretty horrible, but it’s probably my fault for falling for the novelty of an orange peel flavour.
Unless you’re starving or dangerously sleep-deprived, there’s really no reason to order either with so much great pizza and coffee in town. It’s overpriced too: pizzas are about $20, a Garficcino going for around $4.
A brief blip for Bloordale or lasting trend?
With the brand already operating overseas and many more locations being planned for North America, and the restaurant reportedly selling out on its first day in Toronto on June 5, it remains to be seen if cartoon cat hype can overpower a desire for quality pizza.
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