Sneaky Dee's is a Toronto institution, best known for the bands that played there during Toronto's last music heyday in the late 1970s. Today it continues to be a popular place for both veteran and up-and-coming acts who play in the up-stairs room. Tonight though, we came for the food- which is served on the 1st floor.
The menu has a strong Mexican flavour, plus the usual pub fare and a good selection of beers on tap. Service was quick, with a friendly waitress bringing out menus about 30 seconds after we sat down in one of the wooden side booths.
We ordered Greek-style nachos, a pitcher of dark beer and a dish of Poutine along with the Guadalajara Combo Platter. This platter has rice in a sort of tomato sauce along with beans and a tomato and lettuce salad. It also come with one beef taco and 2 enchiladas with a choice of beef, chicken, seafood or vegetarian. The Greek-style nachos had black olives with mozzarella and feta cheese and was excellent. In fact, with a beer, this is a meal by itself. Sneaky's also offer two other nacho dishes: a vegetarian with beans and one with beef. The poutine was a bit dryer than that served in some Montreal establishments, but was still quite good. This poutine was made with crispy fries, a liberal dose of cheese and with a bit of gravy. With a tip, this came to just under $50. While we didn't order them that night, the burgers are also a good choice. Our food arrived in under 15 minutes.
The lighting in Sneaky's is dim, even during the day, however it's got a cozy feeling to it. The space is covered with large wooden tables and wide booths on the sides that seem to encourage groups instead of couples-- or maybe couples visiting the city with backpacks. It's definably not what passes for a commercial "English pub" over here. Instead, it has more of a student-hall feel to it, and with U of T's campus to the East, it's not surprising that the crowd is largely made up of university students of all ages from frosh to grad-students, sometimes with kids.
For entertainment, there's two TVs, tuned to the CBC and a sports channel that night, perhaps reflecting the demographic. For more hands-on entertainment there's a pool table and a solitary video game waiting for players in the back, by the kitchen. Washrooms are up front and downstairs, past walls that seem to be made of posters and stickers of long-past bands and gigs mixed in with graffiti.
Best of all, Sneaky's is open late, and opens early on weekends so it's a pretty dependable place to grab a meal before heading out, or breakfast if heading back.
Sneaky Dee's Profile
431 College St., Toronto