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The Boil Bar (Bloor Street West): Toronto, Ontario

The Boil Bar (Bloor Street West): Toronto, Ontario

Name: The Boil Bar
Address: 442 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, Canada
Website: Website
Instagram: @boilbar
Wifi: No
Tender: Debit,  Credit, Cash
Neighbourhood: The Annex, Toronto
Type: Seafood

The Boil Bar on Bloor Street West just east of Bathurst is the second location for this expanding empire of seafood restaurants. The space seats around 35-40, with a long red banquette seating and paper covered tables in preparation for the meal to come.

The Boil Bar: Interior
The Boil Bar: Interior

When I arrive I’m presented with a tablet. I’m told this is where you review menu items as well as place orders. Using the tablet to scroll through the menu items both photos and descriptions are available. Placing an order is exactly like an online shopping experience where you add your choices to your order and then click submit to place your order automatically. It’s straightforward and very easy to use and I do like that I can place my order without having to flag a server down, while still being able to choose my items at a leisurely place. My only critique is that the tablet lacks descriptions for the four types of sauces that are available for you to choose for some of the dishes.

The Boil Bar: iPad Menu for Ordering
The Boil Bar: Tablet Menu for Ordering

The Boil Bar is a Louisiana-style boil seafood restaurant. If you’re unfamiliar with Louisiana boil seafood it might come as a shock to you when your food arrives in plastic bags.  The seafood is boiled and then marinated in the sauce of your choice inside the bags. For an extra $3 CDN + tax you can have a choice of veggies like broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms added to the mix as well.

Seafood options include:

  • Crawfish (Seasonal Market Pricing)
  • Dungeness Crab (Seasonal Market Pricing)
  • King Crab Leg (Seasonal Market Pricing)
  • Snow Crab Leg (Seasonal Market Pricing)
  • Lobster (Seasonal Market Pricing)
  • Shrimp ($12.95 CDN + tax/lb)
  • Mussels ($10.95 CDN + tax/lb)
  • Clams ($12.95 CDN + tax/lb)

Sauce Choices include:

  • Hydra Sauce – a lemon pepper sauce
  • Leviathan Sauce – a Louisiana Cajun sauce
  • Moby Dick Sauce – garlic sauce
  • Ketea Indikoi Sauce – curry sauce
  • Kraken Sauce – Boil bar signature sauce

After selecting your seafood, sauce, and spiciness levels the food arrives to the table in the plastic bag. Plastic gloves are provided for you to crack open that seafood as well as plastic bibs should you have chosen to wear something white or pretty to the meal. After having previously eaten at one of their other locations I knew to expect this but I must admit that my first time trying this I was wary of eating out of a plastic bag. Even the corn on the cob is served in a plastic bag. Needless to say it’s not exactly the most appealing of presentations, and despite my initial reservations I dug in on a leap of faith and discovered that it was actually quite tasty. A large part of your enjoyment will probably depend on what sauce you select. I personally found the Ketea Indikoi (curry sauce) and the Leviathan Sauce (Louisiana Cajun) sauce too hot for my taste buds, but for the most part I enjoyed the remainder of the sauces. The seafood itself was fresh but the sauce is definitely applied heavy handed and makes up most of the taste of the meal.

 

The Boil Bar: Louisiana Boil Style Seafood
The Boil Bar: Louisiana Boil Style Seafood

 

The Boil Bar: Oysters + Lobster Bisque + Garlic Bread
The Boil Bar: Oysters + Lobster Bisque + Garlic Bread

If you really can’t stomach eating out of bag they do offer a wide variety of dishes that are plated quite nicely in a fashion that you would come to know and expect from most restaurants.  Everything from calamari, to garlic bread, to lobster bisque soups are available. In addition they offer sizzling plates ($8.95 CDN + tax) featuring your choice of various seafoods, chicken, or beef. All served on, you guessed it – a sizzling hot plate with a side of rice and your choice of any of the four sauces available.

In addition they also offer baked dishes, which are also served on plates and not in bags. For the baked items your choice of seafood is mixed with a cream sauce and topped with cheese before it is baked off and served. Personally, it’s a mix of all three things I love – seafood + cream sauce + cheese, so I’m happy. But if you dislike any of those 3 things or a combination of those things then the baked dishes are probably a pass for you.

The Boil Bar: Cajun Udon + Baked Scallops + Baked Oysters
The Boil Bar: Cajun Udon + Baked Scallops + Baked Oysters

 

The Boil Bar: Baked Lobster + Boiled Lobster in Moby Dick Sauce
The Boil Bar:  + Boiled Lobster in Moby Dick Sauce + Baked Lobster

Lastly, if you’re looking for a memorable and unique beverage the Crab Caesar ($13.99 CDN + tax) is your best bet. A caesar is topped with a deep fried crab and garnished with a celery stalk and two shrimp. Definitely a snap worthy drink and a conversation starter.

The Boil Bar: Crab Caesar
The Boil Bar: Crab Caesar

The Boil Bar is definitely not for everyone. If you’re a seafood purist that likes your catch of the day with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon then boil bar is not for you as their sauces tend to take centre stage. I could also see a lot of people potentially being put off by being served with plastic bags even though plated options are also available. If you love seafood though and enjoy exploring alternatives in a unique style of dining then the Boil Bar delivers. Just make sure you don’t dine with anyone that’s overly uptight and prepare to dress for a mess.

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored, however the meal/items were complimentary. All opinions expressed are my own. All menu offerings and prices are accurate as of time of posting. Please refer to restaurant/shop for most up to date information.

*All images are copyrighted Allons.Y Styling & Photography. Please do not use or re-post without written consent and provide credit where applicable

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