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Ontario (inc. Toronto) Birthday Dinner

Help! Birthday Dinner this Friday, downtown, group of 16 20-somethings

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Help! Birthday Dinner this Friday, downtown, group of 16 20-somethings

CuriousCat | Jan 27, 2009 11:42 AM

Hi folks. I'm in a bit of a dilemma... we had made reservations a month ago for a birthday dinner this Friday at Mengrai Thai for a group of 16. With 1 week to go before they party, they call me up and they tell me that for a group this size, they require a minimum spend per person of $35, which doesn't even include alcoholic beverages!

(I find this ridiculous, by the way. I've worked in event planning in Toronto, and I don't remember seeing any restaurant that charges a min. spend unless you ask for private space, which we didn't. A deposit or no-show fee, yes, but not a minimum spend. Plus, most minimum spends include all beverages! They did offer to lower the minimum spend to $30/pp if we moved the party to Sunday (we can't do this), but who charges a min spend on Sundays anyway?)

Anyway, about half of the group are graduate students, and the rest I know are looking to cut back on spending during tough times. I certainly don't want to force people to pay $50+ just for dinner (after tax & tip), as we will be going out afterward too.

So, can anyone offer some other suggestions? We have fairly adventurous tastes, and 2 or 3 of us are vegetarians. Ideally I'd like some place with entrees in the $10-$20 range (a couple entrees above that are ok, so long as there are some in the lower range), where there's no minimum spend (or at least a smaller one).

I'm looking into Ivory Thailand, any recent reviews of that place? It doesn't have to be Thai food either, but we would like to stay within the downtown core, preferably close to subway or streetcar.

I'm so disappointed in Mengrai. I've met Allan, taken his cooking class, gone to his restaurants... was really looking forward to this. :(

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