BAR VOLO (587 Yonge, at Dundonald, 416-928-0008) Complete meals for $30, including all taxes, tip and a pint. Average main $12. Open Monday to Wednesday 4 pm to 1:30 am, Thursday and Friday 11:30 am to 1:30 am, Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 1:30 am. Licensed. Access: barrier free, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Scouting out a patio location for Pride weekend? If you like beer with your queer, then Volo's the place to go. With at least 100 different bottled beers and 12 local micros on tap, this is the best place on the parade route for brew fans.
A pint of cask-conditioned F&M ale doesn't even bruise the wallet at $5.25, and a trio of 5-ounce tasters is an equally reasonable $5.50. If that's not good enough for you, stop by any Monday night, when almost all microbrews on tap come in at a double-take-inducing $4.
Volo's menu resembles your typical Euro-bistro cuisine, which to no one's surprise translates as bar food with gourmet pretensions. None of it's awful, but none of it's excellent.
The mussels ($9) are nicely cooked, but their flavour is almost drowned by the tide of heavy tomato cream sauce in which they float. The same red sauce hobbles the polenta appetizer ($7), but less so. Otherwise, it's an agreeable bowl of soft cornmeal, melted cheese and mushrooms.
The burger ($10), which should be the calling card of a serious beer bar, is dry, under-dressed and over-seasoned. The small, rectangular, biscuit-like sloppy-topped Mediterra pizza ($12) may provoke an emergency-strike-force response from the United Nations food authenticity monitoring program (UNFAMP). Just for contrast, the creamy little mocha Opera Cake $6.50 is moist and fresh.
The food's weak at Volo, but that's not its claim to fame. People come here for the well-priced excellent selection of beers.
So even though the food's strictly NN, the booze earns NNNN; for the overall rating, split the difference.