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Old School at Dundas and Palmerston celebrates "good Ol' 'Genuine Classics' available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Executive Chef & Founder/Co-Owner Brad Moore, Chef Du Cuisine/Managing Partner Ian Kapitan and Sous Chef Declan Edwards offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, a general store and BBQ....
Old School at Dundas and Palmerston celebrates "good Ol' 'Genuine Classics' available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Executive Chef & Founder/Co-Owner Brad Moore, Chef Du Cuisine/Managing Partner Ian Kapitan and Sous Chef Declan Edwards offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, a general store and BBQ.
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Review: Back to summer school

 
By Alan A. Vernon, reviewed on July 09, 2015

It surely sounds like a sane and rational business venture to me. Veteran chef Brad Moore decides to play on the success of his former School in Liberty Village by opening Old School on Dundas West. Why not try to replicate a proven concept and serve the same legendary...

It surely sounds like a sane and rational business venture to me. Veteran chef Brad Moore decides to play on the success of his former School in Liberty Village by opening Old School on Dundas West. Why not try to replicate a proven concept and serve the same legendary breakfasts and brunches that School has become famous for since 2008? Well, Old School, certainly serves breakfast and brunch, but now open 24/7 (where did they find anyone stupid enough to work the graveyard shift?), the idea is to serve genuine classics all day long, including-regretfully-dinner.


Located in the spot of the former Hudson Kitchen, the chic black and white diner looks like a shoo-in. But I dare you to get through the dizzying and over-footnoted menu without getting a headache. I'll try to keep my comments about the horrid menu design to a minimum, but really trying to figure out what comes with what and what is served at what time of day is a conundrum that even Einstein might have had trouble figuring out. Even the staff is confused. Come too hungry, and you might faint from starvation by the end of the ordering process.


In addition to offering typical-with-a-twist a.m. and lunch time selections, plus a bounty of baked goods and homemade sodas available at the abutting General Store, exec chef Moore and partner/chef de cuisine Ian Kapitan have crafted an evening carte that's all about home-style, no-nonsense barbecue. In their own words, "Simply real good, feel good food." Promises, promises. Am I missing something here?


An hour passes before the first item arrives so our amicable, empathetic server drops by with a complimentary scone. Nice touch, but if a savoury cheddar and chive one is also available why serve a sweet blueberry scone before dinner, one that incidentally happens to be raw in the centre.


With a bounty of food on order, I request that the kitchen stagger the dishes so they don't all come at once. Surprise! Everything shows up at the same time, even stuff not ordered. But that turns out to be godsend because a Carolina sandwich ($11) of pulled pork with sweet BBQ sauce and potato chips on an egg bun is probably the best darn thing on the menu. A salad with a watery dressing drizzled over unbroken lettuce leaves follows as does a burger ($14) of smashed beef with fried onions, classified sauce on a classic roll that redefines what mushy and messy means.


Sides also disappoint, but at least a Carolina potato salad ($3) and a Kansas City coleslaw ($3) look and taste like what they appear to be. Not so a blackstrap brisket and beans ($5). Its acrid sourness will have you gagging before you're forced to spit it out. But the big draw at Old School is supposed to be the Biggie ($36), a full rack of slow ribs, a quarter smoked chicken ($18 on its own) and any two sides. (BTW, the rationale as to why they don't combine a half rack ($22) and a half chicken is still a mystery.) Yes, the ribs are meaty and shockingly tasty despite the fact that they are practically petrified from overcooking. And that poor chicken? Did you know that white meat could double as a paper weight? Even a honey crisp apple crumble ($8) is beyond bad.


The only good thing about Old School is an amicable and caring staff, including a well-trained manager who has a hard time hiding his distress due to our failed dining experience. So worried, he insists on comping our entire meal-minus the sangria ($9) and a mojito ($9), of course. There is just no excuse for this kind of flubbed effort with a chef of any repute in the kitchen. Either Kapitan attends summer school or on principal (sic) I must give food at Old School a failing grade.

Reviews are meant to describe a dining out experience at a given period in time and are the personal opinion of the writer.
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3 Comments for Old School

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Would you recommend?

Laura Simon does not recommend Old School

I also was very disappointed to hear that their branding is made up of ripping off local artists. They still fail to credit Kelly Mark with the giant reproduction of her work everyone's posting on instagram, #oldschool. Brad Moore should be ashamed of his carelessness in taking advantage of the community he set up shop in.
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Catherine Heard does not recommend Old School

Disappointed to read about the restaurant using plagiarized copies of artists work in their decor. http://t.thestar.com/#/article/entertainment/visualarts/2015/08/20/artists-claim-dundas-west-restaurant-copied-their-art.html
Posted on

Brad Moore recommends Old School

Mr Vernon, Greatly appreciate your review helping Old School and its team as we work around the clock (literally ha) to improve reaching the many goals our OS family has set out for ourselves. We fully agree we've yet to establish our desired performance with long lasting consistency. Again we all thank you for your comments / details related to food, beverage, service, concept. Unfortunately I take great exception with your outrageously dumb comment "(where did they find anyone stupid enough to work the graveyard shift?)" Coming from a food writer (or wannabe food writer) you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to entertain your monumentally massive following (please add two cups of sarcasm). You clearly demonstrate your partial intelligence and can't imagine its going to lead you to NYTimes anytime soon. To answer your stupid comment/question.. - people who simply want to work regardless of what time it is. - people who refuse to live within the box you and other set forth to them - medical students who wisely start conditioning themselves for a future job expectation - anyone who strives to develop themselves - people who simply like the night hours and lifestyle that suits THEM * Further - speak, comment, mark anything you wish of the concepts elements but shut up when critiquing hours of operation. Being a big food guru like you..if anyone should be aware of Toronto's very poor 24hr options it should be a genius such as you. Compare TO, its embarrassing what we don't have SIMPLY because people don't put forth the effort. Ian and I gladly suffer the pain knowing we're doing our best to change. Doesn't sound stupid..better word is ambitious. Lastly please be certain each and every area requiring improvement should be hung over my head. Want to attack an individual then I'm your man. Wise up. Brad Moore Executive Chef/Co-Owner & Founder Old School brad@oldschoolyyz.com
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 Please select only one reason why you would recommend this business.