I've been going to Tom Jones for 20 years. I wouldn't call it my favorite steakhouse (as I like a few in Toronto, but none stand-out as being exception overall vs. the other good ones). What I will say is that I've been to Tom Jones more often than the others.
First, when I wanted to have a business meeting and wanted a quiet place with few people I went to Tm Jones.
Second, Thursday night is the night downtowners generally go out and most good restaurants are full. so without reservations you can't get in most of the time. So there have been times when I/we are drinking and then decide to go to dinner we can always rely on Tom Jones as it is never full.
The funniest story I tell people is that of the 20 or so times I've been there about ~25% of the time there is just 1 other table other than us, ~25% of the time there are only 2-4 other tables, 25% of the time it may be half full and twice, including the last time, we were the only table. And never ever seen more than half full.
So if few people want to go how could I consider it to be so good?
I do consider their steaks to be very good, again, not exceptional, but I like it slightly more than the next best (say Harbour 60) and not nearly as good as the steaks at Gibson's in Chicago.
What I find exceptional though is their caesar salad. It is fresh made from scratch at your table - only place I know that does it. Nothing pre-made. The caesar salad dressing is made at the table. Oil, raw eggs, crushed with a spoon garlic, seasoning, bacon, anchovies. The caesar salad has a spicy zing - because of the freshly crushed raw garlic. I love it!
Also, they have the best cheesy garlic bread.
But it is very expensive, maybe a bit over-priced. And as one critic said, there isn't much presentation "art/flair" with their food (though I consider the caesar salad show a neat experience), which is true.
The other reasons why somebody might not like it.
The restaurant is in a stand-alone building at the corner of a parking lot. In some ways, it looks spooky (I referred it to as the haunted house steakhouse to my wife). And the entrance looks "uninviting". And the atmosphere is the exact opposite of trendy or cool. It is old school - I mean really old school. No female waiters - doesn't seem like anybody that works there is under 50 years old. And some people may not like it when the restaurant is large empty (can make people feel uncomfortable and make them feel like they made a mistake and made a fool to come to such an expensive steakhouse).
The place does so little business I wonder how it has stayed in business for so long? My guess (just a guess)....The owner owns the building (so no rent and probably low property taxes). Second, the owner may be wealthy and just like to have this steakhouse (and it doesn't make any money and he doesn't care).
So here is how I summarize it:
- Great steaks
- Best caesar salad in the world - hands-down!
- Great cheesy garlic bread - best in the world, but not world's apart better
- If you want a real old-school experience (again, I mean real old school)
- If you actually like a dark, quiet and very unbusy atmosphere
- If you can't get in in any good restaurant and need a place to go
- Willing to pay high prices
The above factors are key to whether you will enjoy dining there. The haunted house feel for me is "cool"...
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.