- Address: 609 King St. W., Toronto
- Visited: 04/28/2017, Dinner, 4 people
- Cuisine: German
- Rating: 3.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://www.wvrst.com/
I’ve heard only great things about WVRST since they opened in 2011 and their popularity has steadily increased year after year. Although they don’t take reservations for groups less than 8, and there’s no time limit once you’re in, we decided to brave the line on a Friday night. Our plan was to arrive at 6pm with hopes to beat the dinner rush. What we didn’t plan for was the students, the many many students. Stephen and I arrived at WVRST just after 6pm to meet our friends and there was already a line down the stairs. We joined the queue and waited about 30 minutes to get in.
Atmosphere: Inside, WVRST’s beer hall setup was reminiscent of a cafeteria. Orders were placed at the counter and assigned a number placard. 90% of the seating was large communal tables (like the Great Hall at Hogwarts) and diners were left to their own devices when it came to finding a seat. This means it can be difficult to sit together if you’re in a large group. The servers will do their best to help accommodate, which was nice. The music was loud and conversations lively. My voice was pretty strained after an hour of shouting over our beers.
Service: Being a mostly self-serve restaurant, we didn’t interact much with the staff at WVRST. I did appreciate the line keeper who was fair with the rules and didn’t make exceptions. Food and drink orders were taken at one counter and there was another bar for just drinks. We found a spot of 4 seats together, after a group of 30+ rearranged themselves, and took turns ordering. After sitting back down with our number placards, our food and beer arrived quickly.
Food: Reading through the drink menu, I was impressed with the breadth of variety and beers available. WVRST was true to its beerhall them and stocked plenty of local craft brews. Some were even vintages from previous years and the prices also varied in range. Stephen chose a pilsner while I opted for the cider sampler, 6 pre-selected samples ranging in sweetness and acidity. I liked almost all of the samples and I’m always a fan of flights, the more variety the better.
From the sausage menu, Stephen picked the Duck with foie gras while I stuck to a traditional Oktoberfest topped with sweet peppers and sauteed onions, both on toasted buns. We also shared a plate duck fat fries topped with melted Swiss Raclette Cheese for the table. One of our friends was vegetarian so sadly he missed out on the fries, but he added melted cheese on his sausage for some cheesy goodness. I liked the how crispy the fries were and the Chipotle dipping sauce was delicious. Quite a few of the dips caught my eye and I’d be interested to try the Honey Dill and Jalapeno Cilantro flavours one day.
As for the sausage, my Oktoberfest was well seasoned and juicy. The toppings were a bit overpowering but you could still taste the savoury meat flavour with every bite. I thought there was a good amount of fat and the texture of the grind was good. Stephen on the other hand did not love his. The flavour of the foie gras rang true and was great, but the texture of the sausage was squishy, almost pate like. It was hard to bite through the casing without the filling oozing out every which way. He also thought the sausage was slightly underseasoned.
Our bill came to over $60 for the two of us, which was quite a bit for two drinks, sausages and a split side. I can easily see the vast drink menu and laid back, raucous atmosphere being a draw for many. Personally, if I’m going out to eat, I am starting to prefer a quieter space.