I checked out the Abbott Pub & Fare on Yonge, north of Lawrence. Pretty darn good food; lousy, rude, indifferent service. First the food.
The food was very good to excellent. For the most part, but not entirely.
I ordered the much talked about Buffalo shrimp, as well as a Cobb salad.
The Buffalo shrimp: Excellent. Totally worthy of that Toronto Star focus a few months back. And just huge! Normally size isn’t the end all and be all with shrimp for me but I must say I was taken aback by how big and plump they were. And quite a few of them too. I’d say 8 or 9 big ones, easy. Well priced at $10 I thought. Delicious. Exactly what I’d look for in Buffalo shrimp. Crisp, slightly sour (in a good way), and paired nicely with a blue cheese dipping sauce. Well done!
The Cobb salad – not so much. I’ve certainly had better. Serviceable but could’ve benefited from plenty more dressing, basic seasoning, and bacon. Grilled chicken was tasteless. Veggies were nice, fresh, and abundant but what is it with restaurants that pride themselves on homemade food but serve horrible, out of season tomatoes?! Uggh. Annoying.
The killer dish was the sticky toffee pudding. Oh my word. Oh my word indeed. Heaven. As was my friend’s chocolate mousse. Wow. All desserts are house-made I was told. My friend’s lamb burger was pretty good, but I’ve had better. His fries seemed frozen and I wouldn’t waste more than one quick taste on them. Utterly forgettable.
The service was lousy. Just awful. From the moment we stepped inside we were greeted with indifference and it seemed we were not as welcome and cared for as the locals. Our server was humourless, cold, and borderline rude. As all the staff there seemed. Not just him. More than one unforgivable mistake was made, which my friend - a server himself - agreed with. Too bad, very nice pub food (for the most part), and a cute/nice vibe with some surprisingly good tunes playing all night.
I will visit again as their food warrants a second chance. But if I get the same bad service I will do as done with other tasty but poor-serviced establishments. I’ll take my money elsewhere without looking back.