Jenna and I ate at Big Daddy’s after our Elles premiere on Friday night because it was a) very close to TIFF surroundings (right in front of Roy Thomson Hall) and b) we wanted some oysters!

We decided to share some fresh oysters and appies while we discussed the movie.


Seeing this makes my eyes water with joy. I looooove oysters. I also like the sauces they have at Big Daddy’s.


Chef’s Choice oysters – A dozen chef-selected oysters served with freshly-grated horseradish and house-made sauces.


One of my oysters with hot sauce & a squeeze of lemon juice. Perfection.


Grilled Calamari

On the menu, it says it’s supposed to be “Marinated with clover honey & jalapeño, then drizzled with roasted garlic Creole butter.”, but it didn’t taste like that at all. As you can see, it seems like it was just served on a bed of tomato sauce. This was okay, the calamari was grilled nicely. I was just a bit puzzled that it didn’t come the way it was supposed to. We were starving, so we didn’t bother sending it back.


Seafood Gumbo – “A classic, hearty Louisiana-style soup with shrimp, crab and oysters.”

I did not like this at all. Ours came to our table lukewarm and it tasted a bit bland to me. There was also only 1 fresh oyster that they just seemed to chuck in there afterwards because it was still slimy and cold when I had it (not sure if it’s supposed to be served that way or cooked) and the crab in it was quite dry.

Jalapeño Bacon-wrapped Scallops – “Served with roasted garlic & pepper, tomato stew and crispy onions.”

This was a nicer dish. I liked the spice that the jalapeno offered, with the smokiness and crisp of the bacon. The scallops had a nice texture, but nothing too special about them. The crispy onions were a nice touch, but I felt like they weren’t crispy enough.

Overall, this was just an ok meal. We were really hungry (TIFF does that to us because we rarely had time to get food in between screenings and gallivanting about town). We’ve been here a few times and it seems to be hit-or-miss when we go. The fresh oysters have always been a hit with me (it’s a bit hard to mess up fresh oysters), but honestly, I think it’s a bit pricey for $21 for 12 oysters. The rest of the appies we got were okay, but nothing to write home about. What about you? What are your favourite spots to eat during the Festival? Let me know by commenting below! :)

Big Daddy's Bourbon Street Bistro & Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon


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