Toby’s Good Eats

18 Feb

110 King Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 4S6
(905) 529-7475
– Jackson Square

Apparently along time ago, well the 1970’s Tobys was an up and coming Canadian chain, serving excellent pub style fare at decent prices. But some how along the way decided to ignore their clientele and followed greed into a more upscale menu, isolating their fans and regulars and slaying their entire chain. Well besides two independants that still operate today.

Oby’s has always stood out to me in Jackson square for as long as I can remember, the old rustic wood panels and booths and tables definitely take me back to the ’80s on some levels. I have a definite connection with the place. Hell one of the best dates I have ever had ended there, after seeing Borat at Silver City Ancaster, they even stayed open an extra half hour for us. It was a great night and although things never really worked out for us, I still deeply care for her and always will. But enough of the sentimental nostalgia and on to the present.

It has been quite awhile since I have been to Tobys, and even Jackson Square itself, hell for many years I was at Jackson almost everyday, but the move to Stoney Creek makes it less useful.

So being Valentines day, and remembering Toby’s had awesome nachos, off we went. Right away we noticed was only 1 server and 1 cook for a lunch rush, and was not so much a rush either. Maybe 5 other patrons were in the place, definitely a change from years past. We also noticed that the menu had changed quite substantially and prices were also well above the norm. At one point we even debated going to Harvest Burger instead. But we quickly settled in and agreed on an order of nachos – an astounding $10.99+ taxes, and I went with the truck stop burger-$9.49+ taxes- with bacon and cheese-. Melissa ordered the cannelloni combo $8.49+ taxes for lunch. Our food took a fairly long time, which was not so surprising considering the staff situation.

First out was the nachos, which had been upped in price by over $2 and were about 50 percent smaller than before. But I have to give it to them, they were damn good. Not as good as the Snooty fox, nor nearly the ginormous portion the fox gives you for same price, but still pretty damn good. trust me, around here nachos are something almost always done wrong. The chili was great, there was a nice amount of jalapenos and sour cream and a mixed cheese blend. A great start taste wise.

Sadly though, it goes down hill very fast from here. My burger was pitifully small, bordered on being double well done and the bacon and cheese were cheap and tasted as such. The romaine lettuce also through the burger off, it had a strange bitterness about it. And the fries…omg I forgot how much I have always disliked Toby’s steak cut fries a la Mccains frozen boredom variety. Melissa’s entree came with a decent caesar salad but of course was bare bones, only lettuce, dressing and croutons, but taste was was good. Her cannelloni however was pathetic at best. The same size as a michelinas or PC frozen variety but nowhere as good as the president’s choice one. It was clearly frozen and bland and way over priced. Accompanying it was a very small piece of garlic toast cut triangular that appeared to be near it’s end.

In summary I will not go back to Toby’s again. Harvest burger had a 3 times bigger burger for $4 cheaper and with fresh cut fries. For nearly $40 this is poor value at it’s best. Get some Michelinas if you want the pasta or even better presidents choice frozen.

Rating 3.5 out of Ten

Sorry Toby it’s over

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