There are good, bad and mediocre restaurants in Toronto - and then, there are some truly b-o-r-i-n-g ones as well. This came to me after reading about the recent U.S. filing for bankruptcy protection of Sbarro, a mainly mall-based pizza and pasta chain. One online expert noted that Sbarro was pretty much irrelevant, with no atmosphere, no charm, no gustatory zest, no signature product. It wasn't particularly bad, just not much of anything. In short, b-o-r-i-n-g.
Now, surely Toronto hounds can come up with boring resto nominations to match Sbarro's. Like the Miller Tavern, for example, near Yonge St. and York Mills Rd. I should know, because I get there a half dozen or more times a year: It's handy to my lodgings, and I'm seduced by its $1 corkage charge on Mondays and $25-off coupons with which it occasionally papers the neighborhood. The upstairs dining room - I've never tested the boring quotient of the main floor bar - is large, pleasant, comfortable. Effective service.The menu is standard-issue 1970s golf-club cuisine: respectable-quality but unimaginative steaks, burgers, salads, seafood, comfort foods, none of it distinct, some of it overpriced. You'll forget what you ate a couple of hours after leaving. Bland. Not necessarily bad, though - bad is at least interesting - just dreary and unimaginative. No zing, no zest, except for the $3 bread charge, which is annoying, and anything that gets your blood pressure up is never boring.
Yet the Miller's attached parking lot is always jammed, which suggests that boring can sometimes be a major selling point. So it is that I'd like to hear other nominations for boring GTA restos - either chains or stand-alone - that seem to be surviving despite their utter boring-ness. Places you've been to, and maybe even went back once or twice, and maybe - like me and the Miller - still go to every now and then, if only to see if it's still as boring as you remember. Your nominations, please.