Monday, January 25, 2010

Disappointed by Duggan's

I visited Duggan’s during their “soft launch”. I can only hope it gets better from here.

Duggan’s has been getting great buzz – an exciting new microbrewery located in the heart of downtown Toronto. There’s certainly some real potential here, but this is not yet a must-visit poutine destination.

While there’s no doubt that the beer (courtesy of owner Michael Duggan, formerly head brewer at Mill Street) will satisfy most aficionados - especially Duggan’s already famed #9 IPA, the service and ambiance - not to mention the poutine - are still very much a work in progress.

During our visit, the waitstaff were generally inattentive (getting a beer involved flagging down a second server after our original server took our order and disappeared) and the space itself lacks character. While it was full of patrons, bare walls and fairly standard pub furnishings make the space feel unfinished.

And the poutine is disappointing. I sampled the duck confit version (there’s also a curry poutine on offer), which featured a disappointing amount of the promised confit. Instead, the main feature of the dish was the mushy French fries, which simply couldn’t hold their shape or flavour when doused in gravy.

The gravy itself, and accompanying cheese curds, are passable enough as pub food. But the finished combination of elements fails to satisfy.

I’m willing to give Duggan’s some time – and another go. Especially because I've heard that better Duggan's experiences do exist. Anyone care to share?

Fries: 2/5
Cheese: 3/5

Gravy: 3/5

Total: 8/15


  1. Give them a break they just opened!!Plus the soft launch was free was in not?I love both the food and the beer there. Walk a mile in some ones shoes before you slag them off!!

  2. I think you reviewed them too early. You surely will have to come back. They've really shaped up!