A unique – and tasty – idea in the eternal search for perfect pub grub.
I heard of the Yellow Griffin long before I ever visited it. Foodie friends of ours raved and raved about the menu and another friend who is into politics had his big launch there. We happened to be in the neighbourhood in August 2010 and thought to check it out. I was impressed, but the service is a little spotty. However, one goes to the Yellow Griffin for the burgers. You have eight bases (beef, chicken, etc.), 35 topping combinations (they say “over 35,” but it’s 35 on the nose), and nine sides which works out to 2,250 possibilities as the salmon burgers are limited to five topping combinations. Not too shabby! Although I will eat just about anything (liver, kidney, blue cheese, Marmite, anchovies, etc.), I have only had the Big Stilton Burger on beef as it’s what I like. They do have other menu items, but why bother?
The atmosphere is pleasant; the downstairs has booths with frosted glass or open tables and there are lots of mirrors and wood paneling. On Thursdays they have poker upstairs in their private party room, which you can book for parties. I popped my head up there for one such poker night and it was crowded! I went to one upstairs party in October 2010 and it was quite nice, except that the upstairs layout tends to fragment people, not drawn them together. There is a toilet, bar, and pool table upstairs.
Number of visits by yours truly: three so far, most recently on a weekday afternoon in February 2011
TTC information: Runnymede Station
Booze selection: more than 60 beers, including cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: this is why one goes; if you love burgers, you will love the Yellow Griffin. Do be prepared to wait for your food
Service staff: friendly, but not the most attentive even when the food is on your table
Prices: expensive, but you are going for the food and booze selection
Toilets: a tad whiffy, but clean. The inner light for the ladies’ stalls is hidden, so do look for it (near the hand towel dispenser) if you don’t want to be in the dark
Patio: small and south-facing
Wheelchair accessible: no, as toilets are in basement
Televisions: none downstairs, upstairs is a different matter
Live music: Tuesdays
Piped-in music: the first time I was there they were playing Jean-Baptiste Lully, the most recent time I was there the piped music was modern and a bit loud
Rating: four and a half pints (out of five)