Volo's inconsistent service

Post your own brewpub, pub and restaurant reviews here.

Moderators: GregClow, Cass

The Mick
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:58 pm
Location: Ottawa

Postby The Mick » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:54 am

I'm from out of town, but anytime I've been to C'est What I've had amazing service. It's usually a nearly full house when I'm there, yet no more than a minute after I've finished my glass does the server appear and offer me another, quickly and politely, barely interrupting the conversation going on at the table. I've been there alone, reading a book waiting for friends to finish work on a Friday, and the server usually takes time to talk about what I ordered and what amazing beers he/she has had lately. Whenever I've been to Volo the service has actually been pretty spot on too. Maybe I'm just more forgiving of slower service than most because I spent a good part of my teenage years serving and I realize that sometimes you can be going balls out and still not keep up with the rush. Or, maybe I'm just so happy that I'm in a place like Volo or C'est What, that I don't have access to on a regular basis, I don't take it for granted and every experience makes me wish I had bars like these back home.
I don't always drink beer ... because sometimes my friends win and we have to go to macro-only establishments.
Malcolm
Posts: 318
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:44 pm
Location: Parkdale

Postby Malcolm » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:32 pm

atomeyes wrote:Other thank TO beer week and the occasianl event, c'est what doesn't really do much...especially when copared to Volo.

Yeah yeah, they get some nice ontario rotating taps in, but their service sucks at times and i only wold go there if i wanted a variety of Unibrou on tap.

Personal opinion, natc, but they are better than the run of the mill bar, but there is usually zero reason for me to make a night out of going there.


Seriously? For one thing, they've got, oh, twice as many taps as Volo so of course they have to pad it with some obvious choices for the non-geeks. But Unibroue? When was the last time you were there, 1994?

My God, what are they serving at Volo, liquid gold?
atomeyes
Beer Superstar
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:39 pm

Postby atomeyes » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
atomeyes wrote:Other thank TO beer week and the occasianl event, c'est what doesn't really do much...especially when copared to Volo.

Yeah yeah, they get some nice ontario rotating taps in, but their service sucks at times and i only wold go there if i wanted a variety of Unibrou on tap.

Personal opinion, natc, but they are better than the run of the mill bar, but there is usually zero reason for me to make a night out of going there.


Seriously? For one thing, they've got, oh, twice as many taps as Volo so of course they have to pad it with some obvious choices for the non-geeks. But Unibroue? When was the last time you were there, 1994?

My God, what are they serving at Volo, liquid gold?


i'm new to this forum, so i take it that you play the role of the resident a-hole....

I was at C'est What during TO Beer Week. It was a Sunday night. It was quite empty. The bartender was uncaring and uninspired. he knew little to nothing about the Belgian beer challenge they were advertising.

their taplist had the same old house beer CW's been serving since I moved to toronto - hemp ale, etc etc. They had a few guest taps. Again, nothing exciting.

The difference between them and Volo is that Volo TRIES to be exciting. They have around 15 taps and most of them are one-off beer. they also have 1-2 casks (think CW has one?).

Its not about quantity. In Ontario, its about trying to grow the beer culture. CW, in my opinion, does very little to grow the beer culture. Volo has its House Ales that's encouraging brewers to push the envelope, try new beer and to encourage competition between brewers. You saw some success during Volo's Funk Night - a few of the one-off Brett-infused beer were very good.

I don't see any other Toronto bar trying to change the beer culture.

Case in point: i just tried to go to CW's website (which looks like it was created in 1995) and their tap list doesn't appear to have a Mac-compatable plug in. Brilliant.

i stand by what Volo does and it gets my patronage. you can stand by what CW does and give them your money. if their MO makes you happy, so be it. But when you go to Cask Days, or drink a Red Racer or Trois Mouskatiers, or look for Dieu du Ciel at another bar, remember: Volo had a part to do with that availability.
mgmoney
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:46 pm

Postby mgmoney » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:49 pm

have to chime in here...C'est What is my fave beer bar by far...always fresh interesting selection, knowledgeable bar staff and always fast and friendly service...
Everytime I learn something new I forget something old...like that time I learned to make wine and then forgot how to drive...
Wray77
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:39 pm

Postby Wray77 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:48 pm

atomeyes wrote:so if you, for whatever reason, decide to not head to Volo, then its fine with me. more room for me to drink and less beer options for you.


You're doing a pretty good job challenging already :P
Malcolm
Posts: 318
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:44 pm
Location: Parkdale

Postby Malcolm » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:03 pm

atomeyes wrote:i'm new to this forum, so i take it that you play the role of the resident a-hole....


I guess so, and you must be the resident idiot.
I thought my response was actually quite measured, considering what an ill-informed post yours was. Oh well.
Crushing news that C'est doesn't have a Mac plug-in, I don't think it can fix punctuation either.
C'est What has 6 casks I believe, not 1.Three of them are rotating, which includes "one-offs." If you actually think that most of Volo's taps are "one-offs"...
Guest taps? Like Neustadt, Grand River, Flying Monkees, Granite etc. etc? They actually make up the core of C'est What's product line, which is why it is a fine place to drink.
As for your assertion that Volo is responsible for Red Racer etc....well, I was drinking Red Racer at Opera Bob's a year and a half ago.

Be insulting all you want. But try to post intelligently.
robinvboyer
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:32 pm

Postby robinvboyer » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:54 pm

Unibroue?!? That one threw me for a loop.
zane9
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:05 pm
Location: Hamilton

Postby zane9 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:04 pm

atomeyes wrote:
i'm new to this forum, so i take it that you play the role of the resident a-hole....


I'm fairly new here, and we newbies don't usually throw a can of gasoline on a gently burning fire, in our first posts. That privilege is earned over time.

atomeyes wrote:I was at C'est What during TO Beer Week. It was a Sunday night..It was quite empty. The bartender was uncaring and uninspired...


I also was at C'est What during TBW. During the 48 Hours event I attended on Saturday, the place was packed, the service was terrific, and we all had a great time.

C'est What has had a commitment to Canadian craft beer and wine for a very long time, and I always enjoy going there.

I also really like Volo and get there as often as I can. The selection is usually interesting, with attentive service, with a small but thoughtful menu. (C'est What shines more brightly in the food dept.)

Both places are destinations for me, rather than my "locals". Each offers a different experience, each has a different vibe, and I take each one on its own merits.
JeffPorter
Beer Superstar
Posts: 2551
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:39 am
Location: Brampton, ON

Postby JeffPorter » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:Crushing news that C'est doesn't have a Mac plug-in, I don't think it can fix punctuation either.


Previously Used?
Previously Loved?

Nope...Owned!
"What can you say about Pabst Blue Ribbon that Dennis Hopper hasn’t screamed in the middle of an ether binge?" - Jordan St. John
User avatar
GregClow
Beer Superstar
Posts: 4038
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Parkdale
Contact:

Postby GregClow » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:42 pm

atomeyes wrote:Its not about quantity. In Ontario, its about trying to grow the beer culture. CW, in my opinion, does very little to grow the beer culture.


Seriously?

C'est What has been serving local craft beer for over 20 years - i.e. since before any other bars in Toronto knew what craft beer (or as it was known at the time, microbrew) was, let alone sold it.

They were one of the first places in Toronto to serve their own house beers - two decades before there was any House Ales - and while they may not be adding a new brand to the line-up every week, they're still fantastic beers.

Their formerly annual, and now semi-annual, Festival of Craft Brewers is Toronto's - and maybe even Canada's - longest running craft beer festival, with each instalment offering 40+ craft beers, many of them being product launches or one-offs.

They were one of the first places in Toronto to offer cask ales, and now have FIVE casks on at all times - more than any other bar in Toronto, I believe - with three of those five rotating on a regular basis.

They have 30+ beers on tap, representing many of the best breweries in Ontario and Quebec. And OK, only 4 of them are currently rotating - but put their regular draught line-up against almost any other bar in Toronto, and it's damn hard to beat. (Oh, and none of them are currently Unibroue taps, so I'm not sure what that came from...)

While I agree that Volo/House Ales/Keep6 are doing amazing stuff, and that Cask Days has become one of the premiere beer events in Canada, I really can't take the suggestion that they are the ONLY bar in Toronto doing anything to advance beer culture seriously. C'est What, beerbistro, Burger Bar, Rhino and many other places are just as important in one way or another. And of the whole lot of them, C'est What was doing it first.
frankwhite
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:21 am

Postby frankwhite » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:54 am

Malcolm wrote:
atomeyes wrote:i'm new to this forum, so i take it that you play the role of the resident a-hole....


I guess so, and you must be the resident idiot.
I thought my response was actually quite measured, considering what an ill-informed post yours was. Oh well.
Crushing news that C'est doesn't have a Mac plug-in, I don't think it can fix punctuation either.
C'est What has 6 casks I believe, not 1.Three of them are rotating, which includes "one-offs." If you actually think that most of Volo's taps are "one-offs"...
Guest taps? Like Neustadt, Grand River, Flying Monkees, Granite etc. etc? They actually make up the core of C'est What's product line, which is why it is a fine place to drink.
As for your assertion that Volo is responsible for Red Racer etc....well, I was drinking Red Racer at Opera Bob's a year and a half ago.

Be insulting all you want. But try to post intelligently.


C'est What has a great selection of craft beer - one of the largest to support all local Ontario beer. This is good. The casks are rotated yes - but often they do not have six on at a time. Who cares? They still serve great cask ale. Service is always good, at least when I am there.

Volo does make an effort to bring "one-off" beers on a weekly basis, with the addition of having guest taps at all times. This is good. The major difference between them is that Volo rotates on a daily basis, whereas most bars keep a consistent lineup.

Keep6Imports is responsible for importing Red Racer into Ontario. Keep6 is Volo. Just thought I would clarify your comment.


Alot of bars are doing great things for the industry - not just Volo and C'est What. Although they are pretty much the heavy hitters, we have The Only Cafe, Granite, beerbistro, Joes - let's not forget them!
atomeyes
Beer Superstar
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:39 pm

Postby atomeyes » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:15 am

frankwhite wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
atomeyes wrote:i'm new to this forum, so i take it that you play the role of the resident a-hole....


I guess so, and you must be the resident idiot.
I thought my response was actually quite measured, considering what an ill-informed post yours was. Oh well.
Crushing news that C'est doesn't have a Mac plug-in, I don't think it can fix punctuation either.
C'est What has 6 casks I believe, not 1.Three of them are rotating, which includes "one-offs." If you actually think that most of Volo's taps are "one-offs"...
Guest taps? Like Neustadt, Grand River, Flying Monkees, Granite etc. etc? They actually make up the core of C'est What's product line, which is why it is a fine place to drink.
As for your assertion that Volo is responsible for Red Racer etc....well, I was drinking Red Racer at Opera Bob's a year and a half ago.

Be insulting all you want. But try to post intelligently.


C'est What has a great selection of craft beer - one of the largest to support all local Ontario beer. This is good. The casks are rotated yes - but often they do not have six on at a time. Who cares? They still serve great cask ale. Service is always good, at least when I am there.

Volo does make an effort to bring "one-off" beers on a weekly basis, with the addition of having guest taps at all times. This is good. The major difference between them is that Volo rotates on a daily basis, whereas most bars keep a consistent lineup.

Keep6Imports is responsible for importing Red Racer into Ontario. Keep6 is Volo. Just thought I would clarify your comment.


Alot of bars are doing great things for the industry - not just Volo and C'est What. Although they are pretty much the heavy hitters, we have The Only Cafe, Granite, beerbistro, Joes - let's not forget them!


thanks for the reply.
my point is that my perceived difference between Volo and CW is that Volo tries and CW TRIED (in the past). I don't find CW to be on the cutting edge of Toronto's beer scene. Volo's cask takeovers are interesting. their imported bottle selection crushes CW (and, in my opinion, so does Beer Bistro's).

we can say that C'est What was the first in toronto to do this and that, and that's great that they were trail blazers. but, as i said before, Volo's head and shoulders above what everyone else is doing. their House Ales selection changes weekly and is interesting. From my experiences at CW, they have a large selection of Ontario standards that you can find drabs and dribbles at other bars (for example, The Only Cafe's tap list has improved as of late and their 15-20 taps aren't that different from what you will find at C'est What).

If I was choosing interesting draught, its Volo. if i was choosing great bottle selection, it would be Volo or Beer Bistro.
Wray77
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:39 pm

Postby Wray77 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:08 am

If I was choosing interesting draught I'd get the fuck out of yawntario. I can't help but think this bickering between beer geeks is just growing frustration with a lack of service. Not enough selection at the LCBO and not enough bars serving a decent selection of beer, and the ones that do charge too much. And the inconvenience of hunting down bottles or crowded bars. Then there is the local brewers that aren't living up to (at least my own unreasonable) expectations. Maybe Ontario will get there eventually but I'm impatient.
atomeyes
Beer Superstar
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:39 pm

Postby atomeyes » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:46 am

Wray77 wrote:If I was choosing interesting draught I'd get the fuck out of yawntario. I can't help but think this bickering between beer geeks is just growing frustration with a lack of service. Not enough selection at the LCBO and not enough bars serving a decent selection of beer, and the ones that do charge too much. And the inconvenience of hunting down bottles or crowded bars. Then there is the local brewers that aren't living up to (at least my own unreasonable) expectations. Maybe Ontario will get there eventually but I'm impatient.


you are 100% correct. but the situation's pretty ungood in most provinces. I'm heading to Winnipeg this weekend and there are 2 bars that have a good beer selection. Their bottle selection is likely worse than ours.

The local breweries are not great. Some are trying, but it will take a few years before we get good fruits of their labour.
PeenSteen
Bar Fly
Posts: 716
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:41 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby PeenSteen » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:16 pm

Ces't What is good, service is pretty good, selection is good and they have been doing this for a long time so I will continue to go and not bash them in any way. I will go to Volo much more often though because its better and not just tap list wise but bottles, events, knowledgeable staff, atmosphere...everything.

Return to “Good Pub Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests