Imperial Food and Beverages
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A mid to upscale cafe/eatery with an open grill and a gastro-pub feel, right underneath Barrymore's on Bank st.
Foods from Imperial Food and Beverages
2013 Jan 29
Looks like they're done:
Best of luck to the owner in opening a new place if he decides to. Despite the middling reviews, I always had pretty solid meals here. The only thing I won't miss is having to do laundry immediately upon getting home to get the kitchen smoke out.
2012 Dec 6
I think I'm done with this place...just a few highlights:
Upon arrival for a business lunch I was hosting, the waitress was standing outside and could not be bothered to come in for almost 10 minutes, even though she watched us walk in. When she did come in, one of my party was looking around the counter for menus and he was provided with one, with the waitress telling him we'd have to make do since they were running short (there were two occupied tables, mine included).
Someone at the other table asked if they had Coors Light. In a totally snarky voice, she called out to the cook saying, "THIS guy wants to know if we have COORS LIGHT!" to which the cook scoffed and called back, "uh......no." Totally unacceptable.
I ordered the "portabello burger" with no bun (which got a look) and I was served with two of the smallest mushrooms I have ever seen, oversalted, over cooked to the point of being pancake flat and crispy, topped with about 1/4 ounce of goat cheese. Another diner's beef burger released so much liquid that her bun and hands were soaked.
The diet coke that was ordered arrived after the food.
Food sucked. Service sucked. I'll be taking my lunch business to the Atomic Rooster, thanks very much.
2011 Oct 14
Went here last night for dinner and drinks. They've got two beers on draught (Kichessippi Blonde and Beau's Lugtread, $6.85/pint)and a few others in bottles (Stiegel, Kronenberg and more).
The menu seems to fluctuate although some items appear more standard. I had the Horn of Africa beef wrap with fries ($12). The fries were thick-cut and not very crispy, but I found they were well-seasoned and couldn't stop eating them. Think of them like wedges instead of fries and they're enjoyable. The wrap itself was alright. It smelled of heavily spiced meat but it didn't really carry through on the flavour side -- it was very tender though. There was cheese, sweet potato and pineapple in the wrap as well, although I found there wasn't enough of any of these to consistently notice the flavour combination. I was with a big group so I didn't really bother trying to get everyone's feedback but no one seemed supremely disappointed, nor did anyone seem wowed.
Overall it was a good experience, although not outstanding -- price-appropriate, I suppose. I would go back before passing judgment on the Imperial. It's a nice space and I'm kind of tempted to return for the poutine with green peppers, mushrooms and ground beef.
2009 Sep 15
Hubby and I arrived for a late dinner recently (after the chef had left for the night). To start, I had the gazpacho, and he had the carrot, ginger, apricot soup. I'm not usually a fan of gazpacho, but it was the vegan soup option, so I decided to take a chance. It was quite good! It didn't win me over completely to the gazpacho loving camp, but I would definitely have theirs again. Hubby quite liked his soup and polished it off quickly.
We then shared the sweet potato pizza without the cheese and with a tomato sauce instead of the pesto. I don't know if it's fair to judge it with so many changes, but I wasn't particularly wowed. The crust was fine, but nothing to write home about, and the toppings (sweet potato, sundried tomatoes and something else, onions, maybe?) didn't quite do it for me. All in all, the food was good but could have been better executed. Like pamused, I left feeling underwhelmed.
The service was helpful, pleasant and enthusiastic.
All that being said, I will be giving them a couple more chances because I like what they stand for and because I want to try the stuffed peppers (weren't available because the chef had left) and the vegan pancakes that they offer during brunch.
2009 Aug 27
i arrived for lunch at the imperial today with a sense of anticipation. i really like what's said on its website homepage, plus i'd heard a positive review or two from trusted sources.
even though we were one of just three tables (a new sidewalk was literally being poured in front of the place while we ate), the service was good. and what the imperial aims for on ambiance and theme, it achieves. i can imagine it being a fun place to hang out in on an evening when there's lively village energy breezing through.
as for the food: i was pretty disappointed in the croque monsieur. i guess i was expecting an authentic, warm, melty, smothered rendition. what i got was basically an egg-dipped grilled cheese with ham. i'm not saying it wasn't tasty (thank you, balderson), it just wasn't as advertised. the side salad was the epitome of simple - not a bad thing - and i did enjoy the gingery vinaigrette. oh, and my americano was also a disappointment.
all in all, i will neither avoid nor rush back to the imperial.
2009 Jul 18
Came here after work for a quick bite & beer before heading out to a movie. We ordered 2 Beau's, the Balderson burger & fries, the thai peanut soup & the chocolate pecan pie & sticky toffee pudding. All was good, took a while before we got our food, but the atmosphere is pretty enjoyable (kitschy blaxploitation movie posters & good music being played, art deco'ish interior). The burger was from scratch, and was very tasty, had a chunk of melted balderson cheddar on top with a chili mayo & fried onions on a multigrain bun. The thai peanut soup was a meal on its own, thick, hearty, rich with flavour - it came with some toasted baguette. The desserts were awesome - probably the highlight of the meal. Definitely made in house, the chocolate pecan pie was amazing, the sticky toffee pudding was very good as well. The servers were nice, the food was well prepared & very affordable. The bill was under $40. Definitely a good spot to grab a beer & burger after work, I will return!
2009 Mar 24
Went here a while ago with some friends. The place is small and pleasant, but drafty every time someone comes in due to the lack of a double door. The food is eclectic and affordable, with great ingredients. I had the chorizo lasagna with soup and my friends had burgers with organic beef, flat bread sandwiches and poutine. Presentation is great and the taste was good, the only downside was some of the food arrived a bit lukewarm. This place has a lot of promise, but would benefit from having a heat lamp and a double door.
2009 Jun 24
We went for Father's Day brunch around 10:30 am, expecting a line-up but it was actually very quiet, probably due to all the construction on Bank St.
They had three choices for brunch, all of which are served with a grilled tomato "provencal", fried mushrooms, home fries and grilled toast.
Traditional: 2 eggs done as you like, double-smoked bacon, house sausage and ham. Vegetarian: Sweet potato, leek and ricotta fritatta. Vegan: Blueberry pancakes with coconut cream filling.
We tried the first two, and ordered toast for our toddler (who ate our homefries instead).
All the food was yummy and done well, the bacon was particularly delicious, and we all went away stuffed. The variety of sides was so nice, and made the meal feel very complete.
It's a locale with a touch of local history, built in the home of the old Imperial Theatre. It's actually a totally cute place, with art deco touches (check out the gorgeous wallpaper on the back wall) and cheesy old movie posters for a bit of visual entertainment. There are a video projector and a screen set in the ceiling, and a promise to start showing movies some time soon.
2010 Apr 30
The desserts here are so good. Just had a slice of their lemon ginger frozen pie - amazing! Kind of like a key lime pie (but with lemon), with a ginger graham crust... was topped with whipped cream and some candied lemon rind and garnished with mint, very nice touch. Amazing taste!
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