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Movie night turns into gluttony

February 13, 2010

We thought we were one of the last ones left to see Avatar – we were wrong.  Who knew we needed tickets an hour in advance for a Wednesday night?   Now we do.  The four us stood in the Cineplex lobby feeling defeated after being declined at the box office.  Plan B – get food and sulk. 

So we ventured a few blocks south of the theatre.  The wind kicked in, forcing us to seek shelter in the closest restaurant (our destination would be taboo to Torontonians and we would be ridiculed by any foodie).  We were in the Entertainment District where tourists get suckered into paying top dollar for sub-par nosh.   This time we were the self-inflicted victims.  We knew what we were getting ourselves into but the weather left us with no choice.

All that preamble to get us to this – my VERY FIRST restaurant review!   Drum roll please….

The RestaurantJoe Mamas

The Location:  King St West (on the tourist strip between Spadina and John)

The Menu:  It was no secret that this place specialized in meat.  Might have been the $80 platters piled high floating past us.  Or the menu heaping with ribs, pork and beef entrees ($22 – $40).  They also had pastas ($22) and a few fish and chicken dishes ($20 – $24).

The Food:  Three of us stuck to the appetizers to take advantage of the half-priced deal.  Our selection (note: amounts below reflect prices before 50% discount):

  • Chili Rubbed Chicken Skewers ($8) – they got a thumbs up across the board!  Super moist and the brown sugar rub was yum!   Might have been the sugar:)  So good, I’m going to try to replicate at home. 
  • Fried Calamari ($8) – just OK.  I’ve had a lot of calamari in my 30 years and this was middle of the road.
  • Grilled Shrimp & Scallops ($15) – there were approx 6 shrimp & 4 scallops swimming in butter (and the same sugar rub). So yeah, it was tasty.  But I wouldn’t have paid the full $15 for this portion size. 
  • BBQ Chicken ($21) – Keith was the only one that opted for an entree.  Nothing fancy, just a  tasty chicken breast with 2 sides 

The Damage:  $55 + tip for 4 of us.  The entree skewed the bill a little high. On second thought, the half-priced apps skewed the bill lower.   

You should go if: 

  • You’re in the area and have a hankering for meat (all you can eat ribs on Thursday)
  • You’re craving a martini (cheap martini night on Thursday)
  • Blues/motown music is your thing (they have live music every night and it’s pretty good)
  • You feel like nibbling yet are tight on cash.  Oddly you’ll be asked to sit at the bar to take advantage of their half-priced apps (be nice to the waitress and you won’t have to…shhh).
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