Tuesday, February 17, 2009



Saturday, September 8, 2007

Everyone Loves a Buffet!

And I'm not an exception to the rule. When I don't feel like cooking and can't decide where to go to eat, a good buffet is often on the list of places to go.

For breakfast, there's obviously the Golden Griddle. Keep in mind though that many Golden Griddle locations have different days set up for their buffets. At the Dixie and Matheson location in Mississauga you can get their buffet on the weekends in the morning. The buffet selection isn't quite as extravagant as their standard breakfast menu, but certainly has it's variety for those mornings where you say to yourself "hmm, do I want scrambled eggs, pancakes or french toast? maybe I want all three."

Moving along into the lunch realm, you have a number of selections. For Chinese food, I will usually either go to the Imperial Buffet at the corner of Dixie and Dundas in Mississauga or the Mandarin Buffet at Hurontario and Matheson, also in Mississauga. Both of these places offer food similar in quality, though I'd probably give the advantage to Mandarin because of the way they obsessively fill your water glass. Both places have prices that vary based on the time of day and day of the week. You'll get a much cheaper price for lunch on a tuesday compared to dinner on saturday with a meal for two ranging from $30 to $60 depending on when you go.

In the event you find yourself going up to Barrie and craving a Chinese food buffet there is a Mandarin there as well just off the Essa Road exit from highway 400 - but instead of going there, you should go over to King's Buffet. The overall selection probably isn't as broad as the Mandarin buffet, but they do have a wide variety and have an extreme advantage on price; your weekend dinner will be roughly $7-$8 per person less expensive there. The location is a bit better - just 2 minutes from the downtown core of barrie on Dunlop Road west.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Breakfast at the Gas Station now?

I'm a commuter. I travel about 45 km every day from home to work and from work back to home, this requires a lot of gas in my car and me not waking up in time to make breakfast at home.

What do you do in this case?

Well, Candian Tire came up with an idea and combined a gas station, a mini-grocery store (Sobey's Express), Starbucks and a cafeteria/convenience store and called the whole thing Q.

Avoid the heat-lamp ready egg sandwiches. They're kind of like an Egg McMuffin, but entirely lacking in moisture and flavour.

If you head a little farther over to their cafeteria type counter, you'll see a variety of breakfast options that are served from very early in the morning to very late in the morning. There were various options - omelettes, eggs, etc. I had scrambled eggs, bacon, homefries and toast. Certainly not the $1 Ikea breakfast but not too off at about $4. Coffee's extra - but I guess that's whythere's a Starbucks in the same building.

It's not the best breakfast I've ever had in my life, but certainly not bad for the money - and extremly convenient too. When you need gas, breakfast, your morning coffee and some items from the grocery store you can do it all in place at the corner of Dixie and Eglinton at the Q.

Oh, and they have this awesome slushee machine thing that you can make a Yak out of. What's a Yak? Well, a Yak is a slushy with soft-serve ice cream in it.

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The Tall Spruce Bed & Breakfast

Last July, I decided to go on a bike tour from Mississauga to Picton, ON. The half-way point i decided on was Port Hope, Ontario - a quiet little town about 170 km bike ride from my home in Mississauga. It's just south of the 401 if you're coming through by car and just on the edge of Lake Ontario.

Having never attempted doing a bike ride of a distance more than 80 km, I decided that camping after a 170 km bike ride was a little out of the question. I needed some place that had a comfortable bed to sleep in and a pleasant atmosphere. Also, after a ridiculously long bike ride the statement on their website "no climbing of stairs is required" was certainly an appealing feature.

As I was heading east, I was very happy to discover that the Tall Spruce Bed and Breakfast was near the town's west edge. Having exhausted pretty much all of my energy I was very happy to arrive. The owner Tom and his family were there that evening, just starting up the barbeque and invited me to join. After busting my butt for the last 10 hours (i'm no Tour de France candidate at this point in my cycling career) it was so nice to be able to relax and be treated as a member of the family.

The house was very beautifully decorated and immaculately clean. The hosts were pleasant, friendly and very willing to go out of their way to make me feel welcome. On top of it all, the house is air conditioned and the breakfast is included. I stayed in the Carrara room. It was very reasonably priced at only $90 (the largest room with the private bathroom is only $120).

If you're coming in by bicycle from Toronto - it's on Lakeshore road - the one that you'd already be following to get into the town. After a long ride is was very reassuring to see the tall spruce trees out front and know that my day of cycling was at an end. Coming in from the 401 - take the Toronto Road exit toward Port Hope and follow that until you get to the stop lights at Lakeshore road and make a right.

I thought the Tall Spruce Bed and Breakfast was a great place to stay, and fully intend to stay there the next time I find myself stopping through Port Hope.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Golden Griddle

When you live in the suburbs, there aren't a lot of easily reachable no-name breakfast places to go when you don't feel like dirtying dishes or having cereal.

This is where the Golden Griddle comes in - old reliable.

The menu is generally pretty far from being unique - lots of bacon & eggs type dishes and omelettes. There are some fun menu items though - i'm a big fan of the strawberry waffles, and if you love things with chocolate chips their chocolate chip pancakes are certainly quite good.

I'm also a big fan of the sort of traditional bacon & eggs type breakfast, which makes the weekend buffet a nice thing as it offers scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, french toast, bacon, sausage and fruit for the wimps.

The location I head to most frequently is at Dixie Road and Matheson in Mississauga. The staff are quite friendly, cheerful and full of smiles and there's generally little to no wait time.

At this point, I'm open to suggestions for good breakfast places - just email me (untastic at gmail dot com) or leave a comment if there's some place you think is good and you need the rest of the world to know aboot it.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Breakfast at Ikea?

Breakfast and furniture shopping?? It must be the new fad. Ikea has a reputation of simple, quality products that are cost effective and their breakfast menu is no exception. The North York Ikea (located at Leslie St and Sheppard Ave) is the closest of their stores to my work place where you can show up at around 9:30 in the morning to get yourself breakfast for $1.

yes - one stinking canadian dollar (plus tax of course).

And one dollar will get you quite a bit. a good sized portion of scrambled eggs, two sausages and a heap of home fries - it's that simple. you line up, grab a tray and take a plate. If you want, you can add 2 large pancakes for another dollar and a cup of coffee for a third dollar which essentially means you can get a breakfast that's hard to finish because of all the food for less than four dollars with tax included. The food is decent - it's no five-star restaurant and it doesn't pretend to be, but if you live in the general area of an Ikea and are the type that would normally hit a McDonald's or Tim Horton's drive-thru - hit up the Ikea instead. Sit down and have a good sized breakfast for the cost of the change that's jingling around in your pocket.

Then you can wander through the store and buy that sofa you always wanted because you've saved SO MUCH money on breakfast.

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Alexandra's Restaurant

A great Italian place to go in Mississauga is Alexandra's Restaurant (sorry, no link that I could find). They have some of the best Italian food in the city that I've come to experience. I highly recommend the Daddy's Calzone for your main course and the Creme Brulee for desert. The service is great, the food is outstanding and the layout of the restaurant is much nicer than you'd expect based on it's location. Alexandria's is a great break from your big-box "Italian" restaurants like East Side Mario's (not that there's anything terribly wrong with that place - but that's for another day). Everything is fresh, and looks and tastes like a lot of effort was put into it.

Alexandra's is on Eglinton Avenue about 2 km west of Renforth - right on the edge of Mississauga and Etobicoke. It's in a small almost strip-mall type of plaza behind the Tim Horton's so pay attention or you may drive by and regret it.

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