Craft beer, oysters and ribs: these are three things that easily spring to mind when you think of a gastro-inspired festival within our great city. We'd like to introduce you to one you may not have heard of. And it involves steak.
And, no, it's not held by The Healthy Butcher, Cumbrae's, Barberians, or Harbour 60. Every February it is hosted by Allen's. That's right, you probably haven't heard of it.
Nestled next to the Danforth Music Hall, Allen's is an unassuming little resto that has been in operation since 1987 and focuses on tradition over trend. You won't be surrounded by the latest contemporary art, nestled in pricey upholstered booths, or served the hippest new bourbon cocktail; but you'll feel at ease in the unpretentious space and … oh … let me get back to the steak.
Each February, owner, John Maxwell selects an incredible menu of extremely special breeds and cuts to the table. This year, we look forward to 12 breeds, 39 individual steaks and 11 cuts – all from hormone and antibiotic-free beef. The emphasis is on fresh and local and features Ontario farms that focus only on producing quality beef through practices such as grass feeding and pasturing. A particular “get it while you can cut” recommended by Maxwell himself this year is the Charolais ribeye of Jesse Robb Farms of Lynden, Ontario; hormone- and antibiotic-free; fed grass, hay, barley, corn; aged 35 days. While you won't get the posh atmosphere you would at Morton's or Hy's or the dimly lit and low-ceilinged tradition of Barberians or Tom Jones, you'll get a comfortable atmosphere in an unassuming pub-style joint that serves decent comfort food and damn fine steaks for two weeks every February (it runs until February 22nd this year).
Sshhh – here's a glimpse at the secret steak menu:
For those of you who prefer to hibernate during the winter and only venture out once the warmth of the sun hits the sidewalks, Allen's has a secret for you as well: a 90 seat secluded patio. It's lovely. It's perfect for a summer pint.
Interested in Toronto real estate which is close to this steak and patio oasis? Learn more about the neighbourhood by visiting our Danforth Neighbourhood page!
Have questions? Please know we’re here to help!
~ Steven and the urbaneer team
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