This Resturant has now closed
Myself and my girlfriend were looking at going out for something to eat that was in a nice setting and was fairly cheap at the weekend. After hunting around on the internet for deals we decided to go to Tootsies on the oxford castle site.
The reason for this was simple. I went to the tootsies website, where you can sign up to as an RSP club which means you can get £10 off food on your bill when you spend over £20 or all food is half price.
So we hurried down there, where I enjoyed the smoked burger. This is filled with Cheese and a smoked tomato ketchup sauce. I also decided to go for a slightly healthier option and went for the chicken burger instead of beef. This option is available to all burgers. We have been to this place many times, but the size oif the burgers is really big. My burger cost £8.95 and comes with a side portion of fries. Which as we had the voucher to use meant that the price of the burger was just over the price of a MaccyD's!!!
My girlfriend ordered a chill burger which is filled with chilli, sour cream and Guacamole and also had a extra portion of cheese in the burger. This was more complicated by the fat that she suffers from a slight wheat allegy so likes to not have the bun, but instead the burgers gets wrapped in lettuce.
All of our order was taken highly professionally by our waitress and our food was delivered in a timely fashion. The oxford Tootsies is fauirly new as is the castle development in Oxford and has been there since around 2006. The resturant is always really popular and has ample seating areas outside for the summer months.
Our bill should have come to around £30, but due to the offer only cost us £18, in my eyes for the size of the food you get this is a real bargain. Bearing in mind that of this bill a 12% tip was included as were two pints of Coke.
This offer is valid until the end of march at the moment, but you do also receive offers through out the year. I firmly believe that this is an excellent value for money meal in the current climate.
I went to Tootsies for lunch with my mum today. It's a chain restaurant with branches in many major towns and cities across England.
Their main specialty is burgers and to be honest, they do these particularly well. They are substantial though so sharing my be an option!
You don't need to book a table, as you will be seated on arrival by a server. I expect if you need a large table or wanted to eat on Valentine's day or similar, you may need to phone ahead.
Their drinks are reasonably priced and at the branch I went to (Reading) they have a bar as well as table service. There were only three beers (San Miguel, Becks, and Heineken) to choose from although their wine list is pretty good.
There is a good selection of starters, some for individuals and some for sharing, there are also a couple of healthy options if that's your thing!
I don't have children so can't comment from that point of view, however there were plent of youngsters in the restaurant so I presume it's family friendly. Apparently there are activity packs and a specially designed children's menu.
Alongside the previosly mentioned burgers, there are veggie options, steak, chicken (can be ordered instead of beef in a burger), rice dishes etc etc. They also have seasonal menus-this depends on the branch.
The service was ok, not great, and the decor was a little drab but-you can't have everything!
I googled the restaurant before I went and joined their VSP club which meant I got a £10 voucher emailed to me. Apparently they send out offers periodically. You can also use Tesco Clubcard points to pay for your meal. Their webste is at: www.tootsiesrestaurants.com you can look for your nearest branch and join their VSP club!
I went for dinner at Tootsies Restaurant in Brighton last night and thought I would review this restaurant.
Tootsies in situated in the famous Laines area of Brighton. I have passed by it on numerous occasions as I wander down the Laines darting from shop to shop. I never went there before because it always looked out of my price range but last night myself and my husband decided to give it a go and discovered it certainly wasn't out of our price range. We also didn't know it was a Chain until we saw the menus (dead giveaway, the bog standard laminated menu!!!).
As I have already said, Tootsies is situated in the atmospheric Laines so this is a good start for any restaurant, as the location is perfect! You have to go through their courtyard first to get into the restaurant and this is lovely. There are lots of outdoor space and candles on tables, making this a very romantic place. We chose to sit inside as it was a bit chilly but the glass doors had been pulled back, giving us the indoor/outdoor feel. We were allowed to choose whatever table we wanted and our menus were given to us straight away. The lighting was quite bright inside but as soon as it started to get dark they dimmed the lights immediately.
I was very impresses with the menu, as there was a lot to choose from. In the starters you could have e.g. soup (£3.95), Nachos (£4.95), King Prawns (£6.95).
You could also have sharer platters, which I always think is a good idea if you aren't that hungry. They started from £8.95.
The mains consisted of salads, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, pies and steaks etc etc. There is also an extensive Brunch menu served until 1pm and a lunch menu (2 courses, £9.95).
We ordered Spanish wine priced at £15.95. It was very nice although I would have preferred to order the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Unfortunately, at £21.95 it was out of wine price range!!!
For starters we ordered nachos (£4.95) and garlic bread (£2.95). The garlic bread was on foccacia bread and was very tasty. The nachos however, were unreal. They portion was huge and it was presented beautifully. There wasn't too much cheese and there was generous helping of salsa, guacamole and sour cream.
For a main course I ordered Argentinean sirloin steak (£13.50) and had it with peppercorn sauce and chips and salad. My husband ordered the classic burger with an additional topping of caramelised onions (£9.50). Both dishes were very tasty and my pepper sauce was the nicest I have ever tasted (I told the waitress too but she wouldn't give me the secret recipe!!!). The only negative I would say was my salad with the steak. It was just a load of lettuce leaves; they could have put in a few tomatoes and red onions to make it tastier.
We were really full up after this so decided to pass on the desserts and coffee!
Service and everything else
I couldn't fault the service. The waitress appeared at exactly the right time and the space between the starters and the main course was perfect. I hate when they throw your main course at you just as you are smacking your lips after the starter!
The toilets are immaculately clean and well presented. They have obviously spent a bit of money on making sure they are presentable.
We got the bill two minutes after asking for it and there was an optional 12.5% charge added on. I was happy to pay for it and also happy that it was optional.
Overall, a very pleasant experience. The setting was very nice and I would be just as happy to go for a meal for two as I would with a group of friends!
The address is:
15-18 Meeting House Lane,
01273 726 777
Mon-Thurs 11.30am to 10pm
Fri 11.30am to 10.30pm
Sun 10am-10 pm
Location reviewed - James Street, near Selfridges, London
After stumbling across this branch of tootsies 6 years, I go back with my family at least once a year when we go on a daytrip to the big smoke. This particular branch faces strong competition as it is located on small street filled with all kinds of restaurants. I should probably try one of the others but tootsies is that good we dont feel the need to.
The interior, although having recently been refurbished which made it look slightly less appealing, still has a fresh youthful atmosphere. The waiters come for all over the place, i cant remember ever speaking to an english one. The service is very professional and friendly.
Now down to the good stuff. The food is simply amazing. its a gourmet burger bar so to not have a burger would be a crime!
and they do so many! and they have an array of sauces so that you can create your own tailor-made burger. and for london the price is very reasonable. I simple cheeseburger and fries will set you back 8-9 quid and its an american sized portion i.e. so big you can barely finish!
if its a nice day you shoud ask to sit outside as you get the full atmosphere from the entire street and the hustle and bustle of all the restaurants. its a typically london buzz!
my tip: if you have tesco clubcard vouchers then trade them in for tootsies vouchers. for 10 pounds of tesco vouchers you get 40pounds of tootsies vouchers. this would almost cover a meal for a family of four!
Tootsies has been trading for over 35 years with various different owners. They are currently part of the Clapham house group, owners of the gourmet burger kitchen, and have recently gone through a large series of refurbishments & have a new menu. The new menu is a relatively recent change (jan 2008) and they have moved away from what was primarily a burger/diner into a more eclectic eatery - not dissimilar to TGI Fridays.
Once again I was with my boss having a meeting but there were 6 of us this time. We went to the branch by st christophers place (near Selfridges) - nearest tube bond street (Central line).
This is the first time I had been in the new look Tootsies, normally I would go to the one in Canary Wharf which had lots of leather booths,nice and comfy & decent burgers (but that has now been turned into a GBK). My first impression upon entering the restaurant was that they were going for a hamptons feel, new England coast easy diner but to me it looked more like a café at seasalter. There was far too much tile & sea themed pictures, not really what you expect in a place like this (you will see what I mean when I get to the food)
We were greeted by the person I assumed to be the manager, after waiting a few minutes for them to get over the fact there were six of us, they uncheerfully pushed a couple of tables together in the doorway for us. A waiter appeared telling us he was going to go clean some tables and he would be with us shortly & reappeared 5 minutes later with menus, cutlery & napkins.
For starters we went for a 6 king prawns, butterflied & cooked in garlic & a chipotle red pepper sauce. The prawns tasted fine but I couldn't distinguish what the chipotle sauce was. Not great value at £6.95 for 6 I thought.
Loaded nachos with beef was £6.50, typical for this kind of thing but they had melded into almost one huge chip so not much fun for 6 of us to try and share.
Beer battered onion rings £3.95 - typical of onion rings in most places, not much taste & when you take a bite all the onion comes out in one go, poor but expected
Classic platter (£11.95) was the last item we were sharing & with a name like that I was expecting BIG things. There were ribs, all in a rack so you had to slice them off, you could almost taste the 'ping' of the microwave they were so bland. They had the texture of processed meat but I cant imagine it was as it had bones (or did it? Maybe they were artificial.). Te 2 slices of garlic bread were totally stale & as anyone reached to take a bit someone would pipe up with "NOOOOOOO! Its stale" surprisingly none of the staff heard us moaning about it. Calamari was passable, deep fried in batter, there were almost a dozen pieces (not that calamari is expensive). Teriyaki wings must have come from a hummingbird they were so small, albeit a hummingbird with a serious cholesterol problem since they were so greasy. Not a great platter - they even have the gall to recommend wines to go with it - heaven knows what they would taste like.
So at this point we weren't particularly anxious for the main course, what would be missing? We had already had to request 2 extra plates as they didn't bring us all one for the starters. Fresh napkins were dropped onto the tables and the next culinary battle began.
I went for the classic (again, you cant go wrong can you? Its classic) which is a beef burger with bacon & Monterey jack cheese at £8.50. I was offered to double the burger when I ordered & asked how I wanted it cooked. I went for medium which is their standard & with only a single pattie. It arrived with a small bowl of medium cut fries, some of which were cold, with a wooden skewer through the middle to hold it all together. The first bite all I got was dry sour dough bun, in my opinion stale, which is used as its firmer than most normal bread and holds together better once the juices from the burger & cheese has soaked into it. There was no danger of any of it crumbling even if it had been encased in sliced bread. The burger itself had absolutely no taste, the flavour of the cheese was not apparent & neither was the bacon. I thin this is the first time I have eaten bacon with no taste at all - I even pulled part of it out to taste it on its own to make sure I wasn't going mad. The grind of the beef was quite large which usually gives a juicier burger as it retains the fat more but not in this case - classic it was not. Someone else had the same thing so it wasn't just my tastebuds being deceived.
The chilli burger elicited the same response & one person went so far as to have one bite of the smoked burger(burger with that chipotle sauce again at £9.50-bizarre that it's a £1 for just sauce & no bacon) & not eat any more of it.
CBLT, a chicken BLT looked better, served on focaccia there wasn't the issue of the stale sour dough and it was only £6.95 - a much bigger meal than the burgers.
The boss went for Hereford beef & ale pie which he declared edible in relation to our meals.
No mention was made of the half eaten meals when our plates were cleared away, nobody checked if the food was ok while we were eating & we weren't said goodbye to as we left. The service was miserable, probably driven by the grumpy manager who originally seated us.
On the plus side the toilets were nice.
To sum up the experience, my favourite item on the menu was the puy lentil & vegetable (burger). The description of it is
Puy lentil & vegetable - fabulous with added toppings
All they need to add is "s#it on its own" at the end. If this is how they market their dishes how can you order in confidence?
12.5% is added to your bill for service, not sure if the boss paid it but it wasn't deserved.4 starters & 6 mains with 3 large bottles of water came to £100
I fear this will be my last visit to Tootsies now its been "improved" I have lost my taste for it.
The Earl scores *
*** Toenail in my soup
**** dipping my toe in
****** Toeknee Curtis
also posted on ciao
Location reviewed - Tootsies Gun Wharf Quays, Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Branch Manager Gareth Blake
Telephone: 02392 833787
If you are looking for an enjoyable and healthy meal out with the family, then I would like to bring Tootsies restaurant to your attention. With its young and lively style and eclectic individuality, there is something for everyone, with the emphasis on children are welcome.
After a stressful shop at Gunwharf Quays, the doors of Tootsies were like a magnet, they drew us inside. I have never been to one of these eateries before so wasnt sure what to expect. However, though the place was absolutely heaving, they still found a table for us within 10 minutes and we were a party of 12, which was quite impressive.
We had four small round wooden tables placed in a line and admittly it was quite cramped. However our waitress was extremely polite, laid back and quick, which compensated for the lack of space. Within minutes she had returned with our drinks order and was ready to take our food order. The children were more than happy when she produced a large pile of colouring sheets and pots of crayons. It was instant silence as they set to work on their pieces of art.
*** FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD ******
The A5 laminated menu with its large font size, is extremely easy to read. Most of the food here is chargrilled, with the emphasis being on burgers and chicken. However the quality of the meat is second to none and is not comparable to a Big Mac or BK Flamer.
There are various Vegetarian options and these are located with a small V alongside the description. There are dishes with nuts in, so just take care if you have intolerance.
They claim the beef is from prime cuts only and the chicken is not loaded with water or chemicals to swell the meat. The chicken is brought from Europe and not purchased from Asia which offers poor quality meat, quite often tampered with. Even the eggs are free range, GM free and originate from the Welsh hills. Basically what you see on the menu is what you get, healthy tampered free food with delicious sauces.
The items available are in two columns. To begin with you have the starters section, followed by sandwiches, then salads, side dishes, burgers, speciality burgers and grills. On the rear of the menu wines, soft drinks and the all-important desserts are listed.
No one on our table ordered a sandwich, but after seeing one served to the table opposite, we started to wish we had. The sandwich is nothing like two slices of bread, cut down the middle. The bread appeared to be wholegrain, packed full of filling and held together with a large wooden skewer. Served with extra salad and French fries, priced at just over £6, this really is a tasty lunch. There were five options given here ranging from the BLT to Prawn and Avocado.
However, apart from the children, out table ordered from the burger section. Four adults ordered the Chicken, Swiss Cheese and Mushroom with tarragon mayonnaise. Served with crispy lettuce and a good portion of delicious lightly fried chips, not too greasy and an acceptable length with a large char grilled tomato on the side. I have a phobia against tomatoes and ketchup, so if like me you cant abide these things near you, and then just say. The staff are more than accommodating and nothing is too much trouble.
Inside the sour dough and seeded bun, was a piece of pure succulent chargrilled chicken breast, cooked to perfection with a large juicy mushroom oozing in Swiss cheese. Word of warning though - its impossible to eat a Tootsies burger sedately, as soon as you bite into the sour dough bun; the contents have a tendency to launch themselves out the other end. A knife and fork is required otherwise you will be wearing your lunch. We all agreed after devouring every mouthful that this burger was extremely delicious and worth every penny of its £8.95 price tag.
Other items ordered for the adults were the Thai Chilli Burger. Most items on the menu are under £10, but the portions are large and worth paying for the quality of the ingredients.
The Thai Burger was presented inside the same sour dough bun as my dish. I did not wish to appear rude and ask my friends if I could try some but I was assured that the burger was succulent and extremely tasty, not too spicy, sweet but with a bit of a kick to it. Served with salad, fries and jalapeno peppers, all plates were cleared.
The speciality burgers are the Jalapeno, served with jalapenos, avocado, Monterey jack, red onion, sauce, sour cream and coriander. The Thai Chilli Burger with Thai mayo, red onion and coriander. Chorizo & Red Pepper with black olives and garlic mayonnaise
Burger with the Works, includes crispy bacon, Monterey jack, grilled pineapple, fried egg, caramelized onion, beetroot, a huge plate load and meant for those with an appetite.
Chicken & Avocado with crispy bacon and crème fraiche. Chicken & Goats Cheese with grilled peppers and basil pesto. My personal choice of Chicken, Swiss Cheese & Mushroom, extremely tasty and filling. Lastly the Thai Chicken, chargrilled marinated chicken breast with spicy peanut sauce.
Unlike the adults, the children ordered different meals from each other. Childrens meals are £4.95 with a drink and ice cream or milkshake, or £6 for the organic option.
We had hot dog and fries, baked beans or peas were an extra 80 pence, meatballs with spaghetti, fish and chips, ham and cheese penne pasta (organic range) and finally bolognaise with pasta swirls. Served on an adult sized plate, the children all ate with gusto and the majority of the plates were almost licked clean.
The fish was cod and inside I could the flakes were pure white, no grey bits to be seen which children hate. The meatballs were plentiful with ample sauce to dribble down their chins. The penne pasta was almost white in appearance with no hint of additives or colourings. Finally the hot dogs. Looked and tasted as if the sausage was grilled, not steamed, presented inside a submarine roll with fries.
A side order of garlic foccacio bread on each table accompanied our meals. Four slices of bread, lightly toasted and oozing in butter with a subtle hint of garlic. A real must have on your table for £2.25 each portion.
A carousel of sauces are brought to your table as well as a pot of mayonnaise. The sauces are sweet corn relish, barbecue, ketchup and onion relish. There is no rush to scoop it all on your plate; the sauces stay with you through out your main meal.
Of course there are more items on the menu you can choose from. Rather than type each individual dish, if you go to the Tootsie website, which is www.tootsiesrestaurants.co.uk, you can download a copy using the Adobe link and see for yourself. It is presented online exactly the same as the menu in the restaurant, complete with prices.
The children are offered a variety of flavours of ice cream ranging from chocolate to mint. These are included in the childrens meal price. The ice cream for the younger ones consist of two to three scoops in a glass sundae dish, with a cherry and chocolate wafer/straw on top. They can have one flavour or mix and match. Sauces and sprinkles are provided in a rotating carousel, similar to the meal sauces previously. The sprinkles were difficult for the children to shake out, as they all seemed to be glued together, but the sauces were easy to pour from the small jugs. As an alternative, little ones can also order a milkshake, but all of ours wanted the stronger stuff and opted for milkshake.
For the adults, we can choose from Chocolate Brownie, Cheesecake, Waffles with Syrup, Fruit Fondue, Sticky Toffee Pudding or Jersey Ice cream. All priced just under £5.
I had the brownie and found it quite sickly, which was probably not down to the dish itself but with me being an absolute hog and ordering a desert in the first place. The brownie was warm and served with one scoop of vanilla ice cream and sauce on top. It was heavy going but I still ate the lot.
The cheesecake changes daily so ask your waitress which is the flavour of the day. Yesterday it was chocolate hazelnut and was served with a drizzle of single cream. My friend ordered this and found it utterly delicious, stating she would order this again.
Also on our table were the waffles, strawberries, ice cream and syrup. Quite a few adults opted for this and every crumb and every lick of sauce was devoured. Two good-sized waffles, with quarters of strawberries around the edge of the plate, on a bed of maple syrup. It looked as good as it must have tasted. It received a full marks response from our party who chose this pudding.
There is a bar serving most alcoholic beverages. Sprits are served as doubles and at £5 per glass, come with a mixer. Beer which includes Stella and San Miguel are priced at around £3 for a bottle. A good selection of wine but somewhat expensive. Various prices depending on what you have, expect to pay at least £4 for a glass and close to £20 for a bottle.
Soft drinks are the usual diet coke, lemonade, tea, cappuccino, milkshakes etc. Expect to pay around £2 or £2.95 for a milkshake. One to recommend is the butterscotch, I have never tasted anything so delicious. Worth every penny and even the calories, which thankfully are not on the menu.
*** THE ATMOSPHERE*****
Tootsies in Gun Wharf overlooks the Solent and is adjacent to the Spinnaker Tower. The view itself adds to the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Though the restaurant was cramped and packed to heaving, the staff were not fussed or stressed.
The décor inside is all made from wood, from the flooring to the picture frames, not a hint of plastic in sight. Film memorabilia adorn the walls as the music plays quietly in the background. With its many cosy corners to relax in, this restaurant is clean, tidy and extremely unhurried.
All the staff are wearing the same style of t-shirt with various phrases across their backs such as Eat Healthy or Fresh is Best. A great promotion for Tootsies healthy eating menu.
In the summer months you can eat al fresco on the decking and watch the world go by. However in the middle of November, we were not prepared to sit outside and just wanted some heat and a large plate of comfort food.
**** THE TOILETS*****
There are separate cubicles for men and women with individual toilets and own washbasin inside. The baby-changing unit (box standard drop drown from the wall kind) is combined with the disabled toilet. All loos are spot less and checked regularly and even include an automatic air freshener. Beware of the tiled floors inside, they can be slippery if wet.
*** HOW TO PAY *****
They accept credit, debit cards, cash and cheques. The pin and chip machine is brought to your table for convenience. A tip is not included on your bill and is down to your discretion. If like us, we had to divide our bill, this is not a problem either and your waitress will work out your total divided by how many adults are contributing. At the end of paying, your children are given a balloon to go home with and can present their artwork on the huge memo board inside the restaurant.
**** TO CONCLUDE ******
The website is loaded with information, ranging from locations to job vacancies and is well worth a look. The link is www.tootsiesrestaurants.co.uk as I stated previously. You will also get an idea of what the interior is like prior to a visit.
I must admit we all enjoyed our food and the service was great, very fast and efficient. This is one of the best chain restaurants I have been to.
No need to order from the bar, the whole lot is brought to you from start to finish. The children were welcomed unlike some eateries that I have had the misfortune of using. I like the fact they were given drawings to do until dinner arrived. Napkins are provided in piles and not per person, they must know just how messy little ones can be. Also straws are given with the little ones drinks to avoid nasty spills.
However, it is quite expensive, though the quality is good, so realistically you pay for what you get.
Once inside, there is no room for buggies or prams, which is very frustrating. Luckily my buggy could fold up and was placed in a corner away from the customers. If you are laden with carrier bags or have a newborn in a pram, then you could have some difficulties.
Disabled customers would find it hard to manoeuvre a wheelchair inside but I am sure the staff would be more than willing to help.
If you want to save money, then opt for a fast food diner, if you want great tasting and wholesome food, then choose Tootsies.
Thanks for reading.