Stout Irish Pub (website, Twitter)
221 Carlton Street, Toronto ON M5A 2L2 (on the south side, between Parliament Street and Berkeley Street, the nearest major intersection is Carlton Street and Parliament Street) 647-344-7676
Don’t believe the hype.
I went to Stout as our regular PubStumpers pub was repeating a season of trivia and we wanted to try somewhere new. I wanted to like Stout — I really did — as it has a cozy fireplace with slippers and a games night with Scrabble and other classics on Mondays, but Stout was not for me.
There are a few reasons I won’t be going back. First, they serve “Irish Car Bombs.” I have no problem with the drink itself, but the fact they listed it on their menu shows just utter insensitivity. Next, there was aggressive marketing concerning PubStumpers, which has not happened at the other places I have been to as we were asked for our email addresses and extra points were given for the most enthusiastic team. (Seriously? This ain’t high school, this is supposed to be fun.) Finally, the service was slow, my meal arrived five minutes after everyone else’s at our table, and at the end of the evening there was a mistake on our bill, naturally not in our favour.
According to NOW, Stout was voted the best pub in Toronto for 2014. I weep into my cider for those who voted for this farce. You, my poor dears, obviously don’t get out enough. Also, they don’t seem to run Pubstumpers here anymore according to the Pubstumpers website.
Number of visits by yours truly: first — and my last — on a Tuesday evening in July 2011
TTC information: a three-minute ride southbound from Castle Frank Station on the Parliament bus or take the streetcar from College Station eastbound, which will drop you after a four-minute ride at Parliament
Booze selection: 45 beers, with a taster tray, so you can try any four. They also serve Screech, single malt Scotches, cider, and lots of mixed drinks (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: I overheard one patron say that the chicken wings were “some of the best wings [he’d] ever had.” We ordered them; they were good, but not great and according to my favourite dining companion, the food was rather bland
Service staff: slow (see above)
Prices: expensive, $2.75 for ginger ale (!)
Toilets: downstairs, cramped, and only two stalls in the ladies’
Wheelchair accessible: no as toilets downstairs and the entrance level was very, very crowded with seating
Televisions: three that I could see
Live music: Irish kalee on Sundays, cabaret on Wednesdays
Piped-in music: Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Beatles
Rating: two (out of five)