My family and I were looking for an outdoor patio to enjoy the weather and have a little brunch. It was my wife's birthday, so we thought we should go somewhere a little nicer than the usual haunts (greasy spoon, bagel world etc). We have/had dinner plans at Nota Bene and Sidecar, so this was something extra with our young boys.
We chose The Miller Tavern based on a few recommendations and primarily because of their unique patio setting. I used to go to the Jolly Miller years ago for cheap beer; things have changed to say the least.
Without a doubt, they have one of the best patios north of downtown. Short of the the Corona banners everywhere, which really cheapen the place, it is quite nice and comfortable. They have lots of shaded areas, plush seats and it is quite tranquil - even with young kids. The vibe reminds me of a golf clubhouse or tennis club - It might have also been that fact that many of the patrons were sporting their tennis gear!
Here's the bad news: the food is barely palatable and astonishingly overpriced!! I was literally in shock when I was handed the menu and saw that the brunch prix fixe was 27.50 per person. What is this, the Ritz Carleton??!! I'm sitting in a TTC parking lot at Yonge and Wilson - are you kidding me??? Needless to say, I asked for the a la carte menu, which wasn't much of a relief, given the cheapest thing on the menu was an 18.00 cheese burger.
Interestingly enough, I had the 19.00 burger at Nota Bene a few days earlier and I think it is the best in the city by far for the money. So, I was curious how this 18.00 burger would compare, but was ultimately underwhelmed to say the least. Overcooked, absolutely no flavour, dried out, rubbery-sour-dough-type-bun and an overall soggy mess. Now, I wouldn't normally be wasting my time commenting on a burger at a place like the Miller Tavern, but for 18.00, I couldn't let this go. You have to be a fool to spend that much on such garbage. I think the frozen Costco burgers are much better and Baton Rouge has a great burger for about 12.00 that is far superior in flavour. I will say the fries were decent and seemed as if they were home made. My wife had the Thai style chicken burger, which she liked, but for 19.00, not worth it at all.
It gets worse. My 4 year old son ordered the price fix kids menu. "Prix fixe kids menu you're saying" - yes, they have a prix fixe kids menu for 15.00 and there's no other choice!!!! I am kicking myself for being so foolish as to agree to stay and have my son pick at 15.00 chicken fingers and a tiny scoop of ice cream. I think it is absolutely egregious to charge that kind of money for a kids meal and not even give the option of a la carte. What 4 year old can tell the difference between chicken fingers and trust me, there was no difference other than price.
In the end, the server (who was actually really nice and efficient) asked me if I liked the burger and I was very honest with my answer. I told her that I wasn't impressed and that it wasn't very good at all. Her response was "that's too bad", which translated to "I don't really care and don't expect me to do anything about it". This is my problem with so many restaurants (and/or servers) in Toronto - they just don't care what you think. In the US, when they ask you how the food was, they actually want to know and will take care of you if you're not happy. In Toronto, I find, I get the Miller Tavern type gratuitous "how was you're meal", but they aren't really interested answer.
One good thing, they did bring a nice piece of apple pie for my wife's birthday, which definitely made up for things. But, about 80.00 later for 2 and 1/2 people, this place is highway robbery. If they just stuck to higher end pub fare or charged about 38% less, I wouldn't even be writing this review. However, their pricing is a farce and the food is for suckers...at that price.
Back to Bagel World next weekend...
3885 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4N 2P2, CA
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