Karaoke Review: Hurricane's w/ Katie Appleton, Karaoke Queen
I had heard about karaoke at Hurricane's for sometime now so I finally managed to get out this this summer. Its been a whirlwind of reviews although it may not feel like it to some. Whether this venue will blow me away or not is another story, although this is the season.
The Good: Katie's sound equipment as I've said before is first rate. If you sound bad here, that will be one for the record books. Decor is quite inviting, considerable more than many other places I've visited. Food prices are actually fairly good and the selection is nicely broad: Mexican, Greek plus traditional pub fare and all day breakfast (nice!). The setup is excellent as you are facing the whole audience unfortunately to due to space there is no dance area but at least you feel like a performer. Service is fairly fast and wait times are withing average range (40-45 minutes). The location is quite convenient just 2 blocks west of Ossington Subway station and both free and paid parking can be found.
The Mixed: The food quality unfortunately didn't match the wide selection. Its okay but I've had better, especially in the fries department. Perhaps it was a fluke but the wait staff forgot to give me anything to go with the dry (McCain?) string fries I got with my steak. There is little more bland than fries like that with nothing on them. The song selection is a bit weak although the spread of song material helps a little. Still, Katie needs more songs. Why is it that all the female Karaoke MC's I've have weak selections? I'd love to have a female Karaoke MC with strong hosting and song inventory.
The Bad: There is nothing actually bad here. The worst part of this place is weak song selection. (The absence of condiments with bland fries could have been a freak occurrence)
Summary: Hurricane's has a good deal going for it and being a decent venue in the mid-western part of Toronto isn't the least. An excellent configuration and good use of limited space and good decor help a quality MC put on an enjoyable show. The food quality could be better but its not a deal breaker. What nags me with this MC is the weak song selection. MC's, if you haven't added to or updated your collection in the last 12 months, get started. Other Karaoke Hosts are well ahead of people who are working with the premise that 5k songs is enough.
Final Grade: B-
Facilities: 8.0 (Good use of somewhat small space)
Equipment: 8.6 (Monitor is in good position here)
Song Selection: 6.9 (sorry, but we need to get more songs in here)
Food Selection: 8.4 (Quite good)
Food Service: 7.8 (Fairly good attention to detail needs to be a little better)
Food Quality: 7.0 (which the food quality could match the variety)
Prices: 8.6 (at least you aren't overpaying)
Location: 8.2 (Close to subway, parking free and paid)
Wait Times: 7.9 (Within reason, you'll probably get 2 songs in)
Host: 8.2 (Katie is very consistent, which is a good thing in her case)
Hurricane's Bar & Grill
963 Bloor Street West
Wednesdays, 10 PM - 2 AM