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“One of the most exciting alternative restaurants in town”
Review of The Depanneur

The Depanneur
Ranked #2,135 of 8,963 Restaurants in Toronto
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Restaurant details
Neighbourhood: Old Toronto
Description: We’re a community of food lovers and showcase for culinary talent in Toronto. The Dep is a versatile, multi-use space designed to host different kinds of informal food-related events, including Drop-In Dinners, Workshops & Supper Clubs. We also host a lively weekend brunch and offer commercial kitchen space for rent by the hour or the month. We're also the home of Newcomer Kitchen, an innovative new nonprofit social enterprise that provides a venue for Syrian refugee women to cook and sell meals. SUN & MON Cooking classes and workshops 6:30-9:30pm T.O. cooks share their secrets WEDNESDAYS Newcomer Kitchen Traditional Syrian homecooking for pickup or delivery THURSDAYS Drop-In Dinners with guest cooks 6pm+ “Open mic night” for culinary talent in Toronto! SATURDAY The Rusholme Park Supper Club 7:30pm+ Family-style dinner parties with a rotating cast of guest cooks SAT & SUN Mazeh - Levantine-inspired Brunch 10am-2:30pm Hope to see you at The Dep! -LEN
Reviewed December 5, 2014

Len, the owner, says he designed this place with his youthful Montreal memories in mind. Depanneurs are shabby main street convenience stores there nowadays, but the name refers to a shop that relieves a pain in the society, and he thinks stressed-out Toronto needs a big dose of pain relief. He also thinks Toronto needs low-budget places where creativity can spill over. In my opinion, he's a philosopher, hiding out in a restaurant.
Lori and I went with two friends, who recently arrived from China; they agreed to guide us, on Thursday, which is pop-up night. The guest chef is Lejen Chen, one among 50 a year who pop by to do something really out of the ordinary -- in this case a Beijing-style meal, cooked by one of the pioneers of alternative food in Beijing, and the founder of the first Chinese organic urban farm dedicated to Community Support Agriculture. We have a heroine cooking in our midst.
What a meal it was, but no use telling you, because every night has a different set-up and every week has a different pop-up. Check the schedule, and don't miss these one-in-a-lifetime opportunities!
The place says community out of every pore. When he opened, Len asked neighbors to donate cooking equipment and furniture, so the neighborhood has always felt totally at home. If you choose a long table in the middle, other people will join you. While they're not in-your- face, why wouldn't you listen in on their conversation and talk with them? I ended up having a great chat with Edmund Rek, one of the founders of Evelyn's Crackers, who joined us as we were into a dessert of millet and maple syrup.
Talk about a night out and about!
I didn't see any white linen. I did not see a maitre d, though Len is extremely hospitable. I had to hop over a backpack to get to the bathroom. I think that if you want white linen, special bathroom and a maitre d, this is not a good place.
But if you want a lively social scene, really special and innovative cooking at great prices, and want to contribute to the place being a happening place -- I can't imagine how it could get any better.

Date of visit: December 2014
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8  Thank wayne300944
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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14 - 17 of 17 reviews

Reviewed October 29, 2014

I have been to Depanneur several times both for their drop-in dinners and for their supper club events and it is an amazing place. There is so much variety and i have rarely been disappointed. its a totally unique concept - every week night they have different guest chefs making a particular meal - i have been there for street food of Mauritius, a three course Polish meal, Burmese curry night, twice for a four course Bosnian feast, for Spanish tapas, for a vegan Passover seder and many other special meals. Its also fun because everyone sits at big tables and eats communally so you get to meet people. They also offering workshops and classes every Monday night. Of course some guest chefs are better than others - but every Tuesday Len the owner does the cooking and with him you are guaranteed a great meal. I always take visitors from out of town to this place since its such a special Toronto experience!

Date of visit: October 2014
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3  Thank DerekLeebosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed October 17, 2014

I'm always looking for something different when I go for breakfast/brunch and was pleased when my kids decided to take me for brunch for my birthday. The place is funky looking and set up with tables and kitchen inhabiting the same space. Felt very comfy. Staff was friendly and attentive and explained how it works. The menu is a list of breakfast items that you pick and choose from separately and are charged for rather than a huge breakfast of the Denny's take-it-or-leave-it variety. Mix and match for $3 each including taxes. Not cheap but not unreasonable. The quality of all my choices was excellent. I had eggs sunny side up well done (not everyone understands how to make these but they arrived perfectly done) double smoked bacon (delicious) and for novelty the sweet potato and chick-pea panelle (a delightful discovery). I was full. Some in our party ordered a fourth choice and were stuffed. The chef was most appreciative when I complimented the meal and told me how much it means to him when people enjoy his food. You won't have to tell him that to just be nice if you come here for brunch because the food is prepared in such a way that it is lovely to look at when it arrives on your plate as well as being absolutely delicious.

Date of visit: September 2014
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1  Thank Urban-ExplorerA1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed April 27, 2014

We were very disappointed with our breakfast. All the offerings read better on the board that it was tasty. Any greasy spoon would have been better and better value. Beware they charge $2.00 for every up of nothing special coffee.
Our party of 4 will not return.

Date of visit: April 2014
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1  Thank mamaleone-1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The_Depanneur, Owner at The Depanneur, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2014

Hi there,
I'm sorry you didn't have a great experience at The Dep. I just wanted to let you know that you came during a brief period where we had a temporary, transitional kitchen crew. Since September a great new chef has taken over our Brunch service, and he is doing a stellar job, with a focus on local & organic ingredients (which is why it isn't as cheap as some breakfast places), and special treats like curing & smoking our own thick-cut bacon in house. Our regular coffee is also now improved - and a bottomless cup! I hope you might consider giving The Dep another chance.

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