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Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

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Berkshire, England
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55 posts
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Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

My girlfriend and I recently returned from a week in Toronto. After reading some reviews from this forum, we decided to have a meal in "Pickle Barrel"

When we arrived there was a 15 minute wait, which was fair enough. We were then seated at a table in the corner and given the menu to browse. Generally a waiter/res will come around and acknowledge you and ask if you would like any drinks. This was not the case, we were sitting down for at least 20 minutes and in this time, not one person said anything or even acknowldged us. We could not even grab a member of staff's attention. It was like we were just dumped in the corner and forgetten about. I find this type of service terrible!! In the end we just grabbed our coats and walked out!

I appreciate this is my own experience, but I believe this sort of thing is important when visiting a restaurant.

If anyone else has had any other bad experience's with this restaurant please add to the post, I feel if people are considering visting this restaurant they should know any bad experiences.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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3,004 posts
88 reviews
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1. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

LOL! The Pickel Barrel is a pretty average (at best) cafeteria-style restaurant that (for some uknown reason) seems to be a favourite of seniors. You really shouldn't expect much there. It's pretty similar to, say, a Fran's or Golden Griddle.

Sorry you had to find out this way! Hope you had some better meals than that in town!

Toronto
4 posts
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2. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment and I live here. Thankfully we do have a lot of pubs in Toronto. I personally gave up on this chain of restaurants after they served me a rancid steak. These types of restaurants tend to generalize in every type of cuisine without becoming proficient in any.

poodleville TO
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674 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

I grew up going frequently to the very first Pickle Barrel in Toronto. Yes, they have changed over the years. You can now find them in many malls. They are good to go to if you just want something like a salad, soup, chicken fingers, deli meat and fries. Its too bad your experience was so bad. They really aren't that horrible.

Toronto, Canada
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926 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

Fazeboy, too bad you had a bad Pickle Barrel experience. I go to one up north on Leslie for a before or after movie snack meal and it suits me fine. Perhaps you should have complained to the hostess if you were being ignored. It might have helped although it shouldn't be necessary, I know.

canada
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38 posts
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5. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

Hi I was at the Pickel Barrel in Sherway Grdns. Great Eggs Benedict & the Shakes WOW 20 Extra LBS for sure it was good I remember the Pickle Barrel on Yonge Str when I was in my teens the servings were HUGE.

Toronto, Canada
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177 posts
52 reviews
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6. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

I don't mind the Pickle Barrel. I think they're average in terms of service- I've never had a bad experience, and I've never had exceptional service either. you get what you pay for, I guess. I usually only go to the one at the Atrium. Yes, it's a chain, and there are better alternative pubs and restaurants, but I don't think it shoudl be avoided. They do have a varied menu and all-day breakfast so if you're with picky eaters, it's a good place to visit. I would have flagged a waiter down after a 10 minute wait.

toronto
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354 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

IMO, the pickel barrel is definitely a notch above fran's and the golden griddle - both food and decor-wise. it is a shame you weren't served, and that is certainly no excuse - no matter how busy they were. i would also have been put off, and would have left. but make sure you bring the matter to someones attention (the host/hostess...anyone working there) so they can try to make things right in the future. as customers, we are all in this together, and your saying something might help the next person, and so on...

Nottinghamshire
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28 posts
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8. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

I have just returned from Toronto and went to the Pickel Barrel twice, the food was good and the prices too, but I noticed an odour that permeates the place from the moment you walk in, on the second night we were placed at the back of the restaurant and the smell was even worse, like open drains.

The waitress suggested it could be the pasta on the next table, but it smelt like drains to me.

N Ireland
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110 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

Well I think the Pickle Barrel is great value for money, with great tasting food -but they are obvoiusly too popular for their own good, as there is always a wait to eat there! I can only comment on the 'new' Pickle Barrel at the Atrium (I think?, anyway its just off Yonge downtown), my food was perfect all three times I visited.

Its true to say that it doesn't 'specialise' in any particular style, but it definitely has a huuuuge menu with someone to suit everyone!

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Mykonos
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7,072 posts
23 reviews
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10. Re: Pickle Barrel...............AVOID !!

jonnysion, i agree with you about the Pickle Barrel Grand (as it's now called, since they completely renovated their Atrium on Bay location). We've been going there for years, about once every other month, because the food has always been good and is reasonably priced (the BBQ half-chicken dinners have always been a bargain, but I don't think we've ever been served anything we didn't particularly like).

Like you said, however, the restaurant may be a victim of its own success. We used to go there on Friday evenings on the way home from shopping, but haven't been able to get in for dinner since February because the lineups and table wait times have been way too long every time we've gone past there since. I only hope the service and food quality aren't slipping as a result -- guess we won't find out, though, unless we happen to walk by sometime when the place isn't packed! If we do have a bad experience on our next visit, I'll be sure to follow-up with an update on this post.