Pappas Grill (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 440 Danforth Avenue
Website: http://www.pappasgrill.com/
Type of Meal: Dinner



It’s been a while since I’ve ventured to the Danforth for delicious Greek food. The Taste of the Danforth is a bit hectic for me, I’d rather go on a normal night where tables are plentiful and the crowds subdued. But, we were visiting for a reason: my friend and I were attempting to cultivate our artistic side and try out a Paint Nite class.

But, before the Picassos in us would come out, we had to fuel up on food and wine (at Pappa's a decent cabernet sauvignon only set us back $35 a bottle). The grilled calamari ($11.95) was cooked until it had a light smoky char and turned out tender. It was simply presented with olive oil, fresh thyme, bits of bell peppers, capers and a wedge of lemon. On one hand, I liked that the calamari was the star of the dish; but found the presentation a little lacking. Although, the spoonful of sauce in the middle was salty and flavourful so you really don't require tons of it.


Although hard to pronounce, the garithes me feta (baked shrimp with feta cheese; $12.95) was great for sharing. Inside were four plump sautéed shrimp topped with garlicky crushed plum tomatoes, red onion slivers and an ample portion feta cheese. 


It’s almost like a warm bruschetta but richer (likely from the butter and liquor added to it). With the sheer amount of sauce given there was plenty to slather on the soft white bread.


With all the starters, we ended up sharing an entrée. Visiting a Greek restaurant is my opportunity to have lamb – something they do so well. With four choices available we went with the roast leg of lamb ($18.95). The leg is a leaner cut but also tends to have a gamier taste to it (although not overwhelming).


Pappas gave such a big portion that I’m glad we shared as it’d be too heavy for one person. There were different cuts put on the plate, and the top slices where the meat also contained a thin sliver of fat and connective tissue was best. Although there was a lamb gravy jus that accompanies it, I personally wanted something more as it was slightly bland given there wasn’t much of a crust on the lamb itself. 

At Pappas it was my first experience with having baklava ($4.95) warm. I found it mellowed out the sweetness, but did cause the bottom to crystalize and stick to the plate. All in all, it was good but could have benefited from more ground nut mixture as I found it was predominantly phyllo pastry.


All the food and wine left us satisfied and ready to paint! I’ll be the first to say I’m not artistic – trying to get my hand to recreate what’s in my head is so hard. But, the instructors broke it down step-by-step and encouraged us to just have fun with it. Soon I started relaxing and just going with it – plus with paint if you make a mistake you can repaint over it. In the end, I was happy with my creation and it will look perfect in the guest bathroom. If you're interested in reading more about the Paint Nite experience, #Parv's post offers a better insight.


Pappas was better than I expected – I knew a restaurant that had to rely on Paint Nite activities to bring in customers likely isn’t booming with business. Portions and prices were reasonable, the service friendly and efficient, and the dishes tasted decent.

If only they didn’t cram all the painters into the top section of their restaurant (you wouldn’t want to experience if you’re clusterphobic) my friend and I could have even had more wine given their low bottle prices. Alas, the close quarters left no table space for glasses and certainly didn’t encourage us want to stay for another round of drinks after painting.  

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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