[REVIEW] The Combine Eatery Toronto Restaurant Review
Open:Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
So the Combine Eatery, a Tex-Mex-Comfort-Food-Fusion restaurant on the Danforth probably opened up sometime last summer. I walk by it every single weekend when I go to get my nails done and its usually pretty packed, so I figured it must be at least a bit better than some of the Mr. Greek crap that litters the strip. So when my parents suggested they wanted to take us (and my sis partner) out for dinner on Sunday, I thought it might be a good choice. Cheap, cheerful, close by, and "safe" for mom (she had been a few times before and found stuff she enjoyed).
So when we got there for 7:30, the place was pretty bare, only two other two-tops in the restaurant were seated.. but it was Sunday eve so no serious judgements were made.
Service was friendly and attentive, lots of refills for pops/beer were made promptly before they became necessary, however the food did take a little while to emerge from the kitchen.
So onto that food..
Among members of the table, we tried:
Pulled pork Burrito stuffed with beans and rice, served with slaw, a side of pineapple salsa, guac and lime crema
The pork was a bit dry, and could have used a sweet note (rub or sauce). The slaw was a little heavy on the cilantro and really lacked seasoning and acid so it wasn't that exciting. The pineapple salsa (an add on for about 1.50$) wasn't much better... it at least offered a touch of sweet, but was heavy on the cilantro flavour and didn't have any heat or salt. Meh.
Steak Burrito with above accompaniments
Didn't sample but was enjoyed.
Mac and Cheese with side salad and mashed potatoes
The salad was pretty standard, and the mac and cheese was fine but nothing great. I love baked mac and cheese with a golden crumb topping, but this one could have used a LOT more sauce. The baked cheese on top was nice, but the noodles inside were all pretty dry, and again- no seasoning.
Bacon-wrapped meatloaf with mashed and slaw
This was probably the best dish of the night. The meatloaf was really tender and juicy, and the bacon was perfectly crisp.
Hazelnut Creme Brulee
We loved the presentation on the desserts, and while I certainly enjoyed the cheesecake, like the creme brulee, it wasn't anything special. The texture was a bit too chalky, and I didn't get as much lemony flavour as I would have liked. Regardless, I ate it all.
So would I return? Possibly if I were dining with my parents who wanted to eat near their place and were looking for a cheap, quick, easy meal. I mean, it was probably on par with a lot of basic pubs, but with some more interesting options (like a variety of fish tacos). So if its Combine, Danforth Greek food or the McDonalds on the corner, I would agree to the Combine for sure. But if that Pachuco spot is in the running (which is just across the street and also offers Mexican type options, then I'd go with that for sure.