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“NO MANNAS BUT THORNS”

Hawthorne Food and Drink
Ranked #848 of 8,516 Restaurants in Toronto
Price range: US$8 - US$23
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Description: Hawthorne Food & Drink was established for the sole cause of giving back to the community. On the one hand, the restaurant serves delicious farm to fork city food made from local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. On the other, it provides free training and career development for people in need of skills and employment. The menu represents the amazing diversity of Toronto. Hawthorne Food & Drink is a social enterprise of Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC), a non-profit organization based on a sectoral workforce development approach.
toronto
Level Contributor
365 reviews
248 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
“NO MANNAS BUT THORNS”
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Despite all the good write ups of the wonderful 'social conscience' of Hawthorne, at the end the food is their Achille's heel! The location is slightly off the beaten track but the decos is modern and funky. We had diligently made a reservation but on arrival found that we were almost the lonesome diners which the maitre'd proceeded to tell us to sit wherever we desired. The menu was unimaginative and short, most useful for 'undecisive diners'; the maitre'd immediately informed us that 2 of the 'cheese' items on the menu were not available and that side dishes like vegetables and potatoes are extra. Unfortunately, the food has a lot of execution issues; it was cold and bland and the portions were for the birds. I don't think diners will mind paying more for a bigger plate which includes an appropriate portion with vegetables and starch included. If the restaurant is set up for the aims of retraining hospitality people then it had succeeded; we had had such warm and excellent services accorded to us by the maitre'd/waitress/server, Krysta O! Kudos to that! But as far as returning, we will not be rushing until the restaurant corrected their main issue - FOOD!!!!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank connie l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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49 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    16
    18
    9
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not too shabby”
Reviewed 18 January 2014

There were a few things that the Hawthorne has going for it that could make it one of the best spots in the city, like all the food is locally sourced including the beer and wine, the location is just a little off from the core in a quieter part of the city, the place is small but comfortable with good service but unfortunately the food didn't keep pace.

Our foursome tried 4 entrees and 2 desserts, out of which only one entree and one dessert really satisfied the pallet. The fried chicken was super crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The dish was accompanied by a thinly sliced coleslaw. The one wonderful dessert, the "date bar" was warm with a scoop of vanilla gelato on top = wow, our expression as we ate the date bar persuaded neighbouring patrons to order the same.

So if you do decide to try the Hawthorne to ensure that you walk away satisfied order the fried chicken and the date bar dessert.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Aly S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
93 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“small portions, but tasty!”
Reviewed 12 January 2014

Portions are of a regular size, so not huge but just right, with good flavour. I had the Charred Romaine Heart, which would have been perfect if the egg was actually warm. It was a bit weird feeling the coolness of the yolk. If they could warm it up a little bit, it would go well with the warmth of the romaine. I had the buttermilk fried chicken which was very tasty. The eggnog cheesecake was delicious! My friend had the chicken liver creme caramel which was pretty good too.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank michelle1414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Dismal at best”
Reviewed 7 December 2013

One should not go hungry to this place given the tragically small portions. I ordered a club sandwich which comprised of smaller than usual slices of bread a few shreds of chicken and avocado slices that needed about another 2 weeks of ripening. No side salad or even a garnish of some sort. Service is indifferent at best and the choice of music was grating at best. And to add further pain to injury, the pathetic experience came to $17. If you're looking for a decent lunch in the area, head over to the George St. Diner at Richmond East and George St. The food is great and you won't leave cheated or hungry.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank IsaacBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
505 reviews
247 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
“Not as expected”
Reviewed 13 November 2013

This is a small restaurant with an open kitchen. It was full but even so it was not noisy making conversation easy and comfortable. There was one server so service while not slow was a bit neglected. We were here for lunch...first impression is the menu felt limited. A couple of apps, sandwiches and entrees that did not appeal. The chicken/pear sandwich had limited flavour. It was served with fries or a salad - the salad was almost a garnish. The brisket sandwich was deemed OK but not enough sauce. Not enough appeal to bring me back.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank travelfun001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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