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Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

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Norwich, United...
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Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

Hi again all,

One of my friends has reeled off a list of what he classes as chain restaurants in Toronto which he has enjoyed on previous visits. He knows the type of restaurants we generally like but obviously we are hoping to discover some gems just by walking. Does anybody have any major thoughts on this little lot?

Jack Astors (I have signed up to the VVIP club, got $10 off a $25 spend coupon so probably will head here)

Milestones

Lone Star

Shoeless Joes

He has also mentioned Real Sports and Wayne Gretzky's as good sports bar/grill options (I think Shoeless Joes is another).

I know I can read the TA reviews but sometimes it is better to ask on the forums to get the real low down from the experts. Aside from JA I haven't really got any thoughts so if they all suck please tell me. Also interested to know how busy these places will be on a cold November midweek night. I remember in Seattle (I know Seattle is in the USA) last year on a Tuesday night we were practically the only people eating in some of the restaurants and this was at the end of May!

Any thoughts or comments much appreciated.

Thanks

Ju123

Canada
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1. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

Jack Astor- yuck! Milestones not much better.

There are so many great non-chain restaurants in Toronto that are not expensive. Stick with the gems you will find on your walkabout.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

Milestones and Lone Star are fine...the latter is good for fajitas.

Better pubs/bars downtown..like Earl's (King and York street - financial district...very busy after work on week nights) and Joey's (near the Eaton's Centre)....Also the Irish Embassy and the Beer Bistro on Yonge street are also good for a drink.

Even the Keg (a chain restaurant) on York street is great for a drink and bite.

I prefer all of the above to the list you have (even over Milestones and Lone Star)

Canada
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3. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

Milestones would be the only one I'd eat at honestly.

I have recently eaten at Jack Astor's and Shoeless Joes (last night actually). Neither one was very good. The latter being the worst.

Lone Star I've only ever eaten at once and was not impressed.

I'd echo The Keg, even The Pickel Barrel (Rose Reisman's menu choices)

Ruths Chris, even the Bloor Street Diner would be preferred choices.

Burlington, Canada
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4. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

Of that list from best to worst - Milestones, Lone Star, Jack Astors, Shoeless Joes.

I also think that far and beyond the best chain that was mentioned in this thread is "The Keg". Great steaks. Not cheap but excellent.

Toronto, Canada
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for Toronto
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5. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

agreed. Hitting chain restaurants IMO defeats the point of travelling. You might as well stay home and eat at Garfunkel's. It's inevitable you'll need to hit one at some point out of sheer desperation anyway. Check out restaurant reviews on here and at NOW Magazine.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

I agree with the comments above.

However, I do believe that a meal at either Jack Astor's or Milestones at Yonge & Dundas square is worth it for the view. They both have an amazing position right above Yonge & Dundas Square, and it can be pretty fun to sit and watch the goings-on below you. Any other locations are worth a pass.

They shouldn't be too busy mid-week, but you'd be surprised with downtown restaurants - you might have a 10-15 minute wait.

SE Ontario
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7. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

You might also want to take a look at the restaurant news and reviews in Toronto Life:

http://www.torontolife.com/

Norwich, United...
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8. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

Ok thanks for the replies, not entirely unexpected I guess but there are always times when a safe chain option does the job so was trying to weed out the good from the bad.

Food for thought (excusing the awful pun).

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

Well, when it comes to chain restaurants, some links in the chain are stronger than others, and that is why you have so many different opinions in your answers to this question..............personally, I would, and you may have already done so, check the TA reviews regarding each restaurant location in question................btw, to the best of my knowledge Wayne Gretzky's is not part of a chain..............as you say in your post above, "there are always times when a safe chain option does the job"...IMO The Pickle Barrel is usually a safe bet...............The Keg is another chain that is usually good, because their main offering...steak.....is consistently cooked properly, but as mentioned above, they are not necessarily the least expensive option, and the menu is somewhat limited..........I've pretty much, over the years, eaten at every one of the places you mention, and had good and less than good meals at every one.............

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Any thoughts on these 'chain' restaurants for dinner?

You may want to try The three brewers on Yonge for pubfare....

Beer bistro and Irish embassy are excellent suggestions....

Keg is also great for chain related restaurants....