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“Rating this place - It is all about what you want in a steakhouse”

Tom Jones Steak House
Ranked #2,878 of 8,641 Restaurants in Toronto
Cuisines: Seafood, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Downtown
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Rating this place - It is all about what you want in a steakhouse”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

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.

Why?

Two reasons.

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"...

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike K L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“To bad - Give it Up”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

Went there last week-end with a group of 8. Out of town family picked this place from prior experiences. We have not been here for some 20 years. Mistake!!
They want to truly live in their past, with TOP prices.. A rib eye at $52.00+ with no food presentation etc. is not today's restaurant scene. The steak was good, but service poor and so so attitude over all. The garlic bread was soggy. Why do we continue to patronize these places?.

Your choice and your money.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mwil41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Don't Bother”
Reviewed December 12, 2012

In an attempt to offer the classic, old style steak house Tom Jones disappoints on all levels. The food is good , but definately not worth the price - I wish there was a phrase that could capture the opposite of value for money. It's a dark, dank old school steakhouse which seems to be designed for couples who are looking to eat an overpriced meal and hoping not to be spotted by anyone. I suppose it's perfect for the boss who's having an affair with is secretary.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Indira S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Time for some upgrades”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

Tom Jones looks like a scene out of Austin Powers. Pretty dated (but kind of groovy baby). Food and service is excellent. Not cheap but quality of service and food justifies the prices.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank hulstonfive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver BC
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Old School”
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Great ambience. very old school vibe. great cocktails. We had lunch here, but I suspect dinner would be a cooler experience.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank ianpeean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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