08 2 / 2012

Dear Diary,

After a week off due to an unscheduled flu epidemic that swept through Koreatown (and most of the world), we are back on the wagon and ready to eat!

Home to a wood cabin décor, cool kid Saturday night dance parties, and massive screens for your hockey viewing pleasure, Clinton’s stands as the last stop between the random Koreatown outliers (see previous posts) and the daunting strip of blocks upon blocks of Korean hardcore. 

So it was with mixed emotions that we descended on Clinton’s for a last supper of pub fair before endless pork bone soup and bulgogi (not that we’re complaining – bring it on already!).

It turns out Dan used to live behind the restaurant and told us about his fond memories of hitting Clinton’s for tasty lunchtime veggie burgers back in the day (like, 5 years ago).

Since then, Clinton’s hasn’t really changed – it’s still one of the only bars in K-Town for non-karaoke related fun. It still feels cozy and a little dirty inside, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And, judging by the crowds on weekends, it’s probably still a great place to pick up if you’re in your early twenties (or a creepy old man).

Here’s A.J.’s most charming pick up look:

And Beth’s “thanks, but not interested” look:

And Dan’s “creepy old man” look:

When we got to Clinton’s around 6:30pm, the place was relatively quiet, though the mandatory Leafs game soon started on the massive screen at the back.  The menu consisted of your pretty standard bar fare, though there was an intriguing vegetarian menu advertising fake chicken wings and some other items that we decided to avoid.

Our super nice waitress bluntly warned A.J. to avoid the Caesar salad (which we appreciated). Eventually, he settled on the bacon cheeseburger, Beth got the Mexi burger (both of which came with fries and salad), and Dan got the chicken wings (hot) with a side salad.

Here is said side salad in all its rectangular glory:

Because everyone was still feeling a little under the weather, there was, sadly, no beer drinking. However, Dan did order a hot toddy which was coveted by all.

When the food came, there was general approval. The side salads and dressing were basic but edible. The McCain’s frozen store-bought style french fries prompted an argument between Beth and A.J. about superior french fry preparation – A.J. likes the long, thin variety while Beth prefers the chunky, hand-cut style.

Overall, Beth and A.J. did agree that the burgers were decent, but nothing outstanding (Beth noted the predictably stingy guacamole portions). When asked to describe the burgers in more detail, both just shrugged and said they were “fine”. Beth eventually elaborated: “It tastes like everything was bought somewhere else.” 


The same can’t be said for the chicken wings however. Deep fried in a yummy batter and served with a really tasty hot sauce, Dan declared them to be some of the best wings that he had ever tasted in Toronto!

Beth took a bite and agreed, though we discovered she doesn’t know how to eat chicken wings (like, she doesn’t even know which end to bite!), so take her opinion with a grain of salt.

It’s hard to make wings look appealing from this close… but trust us - they were really good!

All in all, the bill was pretty average – in the $15 dollar range each. It seems pretty hard to find halfway decent bar food for cheaper these days.

In conclusion: if you need a burger, Clinton’s is probably no better than your average pub. But if you’re craving really great wings, hit that joint up! Everything else was pretty standard, but we’ll definitely go back for more hot wings. We liked our waitress, we like the outdated décor, and we like that Clinton’s still exists. A reliable mainstay, but in the face of Koreatown’s wealth of options, there’s so much more to explore… 3 snowflakes!