Against the Grain

Post your own brewpub, pub and restaurant reviews here.

Moderators: GregClow, Cass

atomeyes
Beer Superstar
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:39 pm

Against the Grain

Postby atomeyes » Sat May 04, 2013 6:27 am

it kind of kills me to post this, but...here I go...

the new Against the Grain (Laird south of Eglinton) finally opened. Very good Belgian bottle list. Pretty good tap list. Cask engine as well.

Their upper level patio looks incredibly great and it is non-smoking. buck-a-shuck oysters on friday (4-6).

so...other than my preference to support independent restaurants/bars, the above positives really make me want to try AtG for summer patio drinks. No nice (non-smoking) patios in the east end.

their food is apparently cookie cutter and gross. can anyone confirm? and how is the atmosphere there?
midlife crisis
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1966
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby midlife crisis » Sun May 05, 2013 1:10 pm

Didn't Stephen Beaumont consult on the one down at the lakefront? I've been there a couple of times and it is quite enjoyable. Don't remember finding anything gross about what i ate. Of course, that great location helps a lot, too. Haven't been to the Laird one but I'm curious as to why it kills you to like it. Maybe they are part of a larger chain I'm unaware of? Very pleased to hear they have a cask engine.
atomeyes
Beer Superstar
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:39 pm

Postby atomeyes » Mon May 06, 2013 7:26 am

midlife crisis wrote:Didn't Stephen Beaumont consult on the one down at the lakefront? I've been there a couple of times and it is quite enjoyable. Don't remember finding anything gross about what i ate. Of course, that great location helps a lot, too. Haven't been to the Laird one but I'm curious as to why it kills you to like it. Maybe they are part of a larger chain I'm unaware of? Very pleased to hear they have a cask engine.


pretty sure they contract their food out (like Mill St) to a mass company, although they do have a chef's bio on their website.

i've never heard anything great about their food. my neighbour works at the new location and she wasn't overly thrilled about the food.

i'd also rather support an independent business when possible. and as a friend put it, when you feel like you're at Kelsey's but with beer (i.e. lots of young, good looking girls working there, possibly uninspiring food), it kind of isn't my vibe.
User avatar
GregClow
Beer Superstar
Posts: 4038
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Parkdale
Contact:

Postby GregClow » Mon May 06, 2013 11:06 am

atomeyes wrote:pretty sure they contract their food out (like Mill St) to a mass company


The food at Mill St. isn't "contracted out" exactly. The restaurant is owned and operated by FAB Concepts, who own a lot of other pubs & restaurants (including Against The Grain), and the menu shares some dishes with other FAB-owned pubs. But I believe most of the food is prepared on site - albeit with more control from a central company than you'd see at an indie restaurant, and probably more frozen ingredients (or so I'm guessing based on a couple of things I've had there that had some telltale signs of not being made completely from scratch).

As for ATG, my understanding is that the chef there has much more control over the kitchen and menu than at the other FAB pubs. Mill Street Beer Hall is being operated under a similar model.

I haven't eaten at ATG, but the food I had at the Beer Hall recently was better than anything I've had from the regular menu in the main Mill St Brewpub. I've had a couple of decent specials in the Brewpub, though, and the Brewmasters Dinners I've been to have been generally pretty good as well.
atomeyes
Beer Superstar
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:39 pm

Postby atomeyes » Tue May 07, 2013 11:16 am

GregClow wrote:
atomeyes wrote:pretty sure they contract their food out (like Mill St) to a mass company


The food at Mill St. isn't "contracted out" exactly. The restaurant is owned and operated by FAB Concepts, who own a lot of other pubs & restaurants (including Against The Grain), and the menu shares some dishes with other FAB-owned pubs. But I believe most of the food is prepared on site - albeit with more control from a central company than you'd see at an indie restaurant, and probably more frozen ingredients (or so I'm guessing based on a couple of things I've had there that had some telltale signs of not being made completely from scratch).

As for ATG, my understanding is that the chef there has much more control over the kitchen and menu than at the other FAB pubs. Mill Street Beer Hall is being operated under a similar model.

I haven't eaten at ATG, but the food I had at the Beer Hall recently was better than anything I've had from the regular menu in the main Mill St Brewpub. I've had a couple of decent specials in the Brewpub, though, and the Brewmasters Dinners I've been to have been generally pretty good as well.


it would be similar to other chains - recipes, sauces and some ingredients come from head office. Red Lobster makes almost everything in house, but it is still that chain-like flavour to it. I also assume the SYSCO truck makes a visit once every few days.
Steve Beaumont
Posts: 443
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2003 7:00 pm
Contact:

Postby Steve Beaumont » Fri May 10, 2013 7:37 am

What Greg wrote is correct. FAB might be a chain, but it's a small chain and very much a democratic organization. To my knowledge, all the food at the Queen's Quay -- where, yes, I did consult on the start-up -- is made in-house. I expect the same would be true of the Laird one, too.

This ain't Darden, folks, just a small group of 6 or 7 pubs, Mill Street (which they manage, but don't own), 2 AtGs and Bar Vespa in Liberty Village.
hopdevil
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Mississauga

Postby hopdevil » Mon May 13, 2013 7:51 pm

Beware the price of the cask beer; $8.50+
Yesterday, it was Johnny Simcoe, and it was a far cry from the cans from the brewery and the draft at Bryden's.
On a positive note, my pint of RPA was $6.50+

By the way, in the same plaza is a Longo's and their wine / craft beer bar, 'Corks'.
Nice selection and a great weekend deal; $10 for a pint and a 10" pizza.
Their pint price was $6+
User avatar
Belgian
Bar Towel Legend
Posts: 9923
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:15 pm
Location: Earth

Postby Belgian » Tue May 14, 2013 2:51 pm

hopdevil wrote:Beware the price of the cask beer; $8.50+

Yeah I've noticed that beer pricing is getting a little bit geh in Toronto.

Especially with a nice low-ABV cask session ale.... inappropriate to 'Bay Street' price those beers which are meant to be enjoyed in quantity.

Wellington SPA is quite good on cask for said purpose.
In Beerum Veritas
atomeyes
Beer Superstar
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:39 pm

Postby atomeyes » Thu May 16, 2013 7:51 am

hopdevil wrote:By the way, in the same plaza is a Longo's and their wine / craft beer bar, 'Corks'.
Nice selection and a great weekend deal; $10 for a pint and a 10" pizza.
Their pint price was $6+


but then you're drinking in a Longo's.
chris_schryer
Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:06 am

Postby chris_schryer » Thu May 16, 2013 7:58 am

Regarding cask pricing, I fell the same way, and I set the prices at Castro's. The problem for a big volume beer, is you're pretty restricted in what alcohol cost percentage you can work with. Most people price at 35% alcohol cost. This is great, when you are buying a $75 pin of 7% IPA, but blows with you're buying a $210 firkin of 3.5% mild (yup, got stung with that one....). That's $9.09 PLUS TAX for a pint of mild. Even at 45% alcohol cost, that is still $7.07 plus tax, which is ridiculous. What it means is, we don't buy some beers from some brewers any more.......
esprit
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1677
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Esprit Agencies-Toronto

AGT

Postby esprit » Thu May 16, 2013 10:05 am

I've eaten at AGT Queen's Quay 3 times...once with my wife when we were making a delivery and twice with Belgian suppliers. Each time everyone thought the food was quite respectable. The lakefront patio is probably the best in the city and gorgeous on a sunny afternoon. We have a number of our beers on their list which makes it all the more pleasing.

To quote the Strawbs and their 1973 semi-hit "YOU WON'T GET ME I'M PART OF THE UNION, TILL THE DAY I DIE"...is there a better argument for privatization than this fiasco....but the union knows the government does not have the cohones to address this as "it's not broke so don't fix it". Minimum wage for part timers is $14+ per hour. We hit a rough patch a year ago or so and my wife took a part time job at a prestigious auto dealership. She was receptionist and cashier and had as much or more responsibility than most LCBO employees (she's also licensed to operate a fork lift so I make her carry everything) and she was paid $10 per hour. She worked "part time" for Bell Canada in the same situation as thousands of LCBO employees but she did it because it was a job. The LCBO is an organization bloated at the top levels with far too many people who didn't finish high school earming $100K+ but you won't see that change anytime soon. Don't know why I'm postihg this rant but,..there it is. Should be another thread...I know.
rejtable
Bar Fly
Posts: 631
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:05 pm

Postby rejtable » Thu May 16, 2013 10:36 am

Who shot who in the what now?
esprit
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1677
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Esprit Agencies-Toronto

AGT

Postby esprit » Fri May 17, 2013 9:50 am

Hey Rejtable...does coherence mean anything to you?

Return to “Good Pub Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron