Monday, August 28, 2006

Vacation time! LaPortas in Alexandria, Virginia

On my 5 day vacation, I went down to Washington DC for some much needed R&R. Jason and I went to a restaurant in old town Alexandria, Virginia. We had a bit of trouble getting at the restaurant because we tried to get at it from the back, but that's impossible. There is a parking garage right by the restaurant though, and there was no parking attendant there when we showed up so we didn't have to pay anything.

This is a business casual restaurant, so I wouldn't suggest walking in off the street in jeans and a t-shirt. The restaurant is in the bottom floor of an office building, and looks like it could easily convert into an office space if it had to. Not the most appealing of atmospheres. Also, the patronage was definately older than most restaurants I go to.

I ended up ordering the salmon fettucini, and the sauce alone was delicious!! It was a dill cream sauce, I loved it! Our waitress was very attentive and friendly. We both ordered dessert, which was also quite good. The food here is definately worth the trip.

I think drinks + entree + dessert ended up costing us $30USD per person. Not too bad! (And I love the fact that sales tax down there is significantly less than it is up here).

So if you're ever in Alexandria, you should look this place up!

For more reviews, and an address, check out We8There LaPortas Reviews.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Spice of Life - A disaster in Port Dalhousie (last week)

A group of us (over 10) made reservations for a restaurant in Port Dalhouse - a town close to/in St. Catharines. From the outside, the restaurant looks like a cute place. It's got a nice patio too (that unfortunately couldn't be utilized because it was raining). Our group was put upstairs in the dining room. I had to use the washrooms, and I know that some people don't understand why I would talk about the washrooms in a restaurant review, but I believe that part of good atmosphere is having a nice restaurant. I thought that their restroom was rather grungy. The paint was peeling, there was paint on the toilet, and nothing looked clean. Though it did look like they tried hard to decorate the place.

Since we had arrived before 5pm, we were waiting until after 5 pm to order off the dinner menu. Before then, I split an order of spring rolls with 2 other people at the table, and they were amazing! They had potatoes in them, which is odd to me for spring rolls, but they were delicious!!

However it seemed that after 5pm, things went downhill. We ordered our dinner around 5:15, and had to wait a good hour and a half to actually get our meals. The excuse was that everything is made from scratch. Once the meals did start arriving, there was probably a 10 minute span from when the first person received their meal, until when the last person received their meal. Once I received my meal, I started to eat the mashed potatoes, and they were freezing cold! It was disgusting. I had to send them back to be reheated. Also, I had ordered my steak medium rare, and it was cooked well done. I don't want to know what the steak would have been like if I had asked for well done.

As if that weren't enough, once the bills came (we asked for seperate bills), they weren't actually seperate bills, and we had to figure out whose food was on which bill. My dinner ended up being on three different bills.

Needless to say, not much of a tip was left after going to this restaurant, and I definately will not be returning. For more reviews on Spice of Life, see Spice of Life ResToronto Reviews.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Final lunch @ Korean Grill House (Korean BBQ) in Toronto

My final day at work today saw a group of us at the Korean Grill House on Queen Street West in Toronto. I've been to Korean BBQ before and quite enjoyed it so I was looking forward to this restaurant. We had made reservations so once we got there we were seated immediately. Unfortunately, since each table has a grill in it (or more than one grill), you can't move tables around to sit with a large group. Our group ended up taking up 3 tables. We ordered the all you can eat meat, with extra short ribs. You're given quite a selection of food! There are all the regular Korean/Asian foods, like kimchi, sprouts, tofu and sticky rice. Then there was chicken, beef, and pork (as well as the short ribs) to cook on the grill.

That is the main reason for coming to this place. It is a lot of fun to cook your food, even though you may think that you could do that at home, so why bother coming to a restaurant. But the service here is excellent. They are very quick with bringing more meat, more rice, more drinks, more napkins, anything you need really.

The atmosphere is somewhat less appealing. I found it kind of dark and dingy looking, and the chairs aren't that comfortable.

The cost of the food is a little pricey, but you leave with a full stomach (and then some!!!).

For more reviews on Korean Grill House, see ResToronto Reviews for Korean Grill House.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Birthday Dinner for Mom @ The Keg

The family went out for a birthday dinner at The Keg last night. This place is usually packed on the weekends, but on the weekdays its not too hard to get in. The accoustics in this place suck though, because you can hear the conversation of everyone around you.

We all ordered Prime Rib Classics, and we were told that there might not be enough prime rib left to serve us. How can The Keg possibly run out of prime rib? That should be illegal. Thankfully none of us were kept from that yummy prime rib. You can always count on good food at The Keg, but you do have to pay for it. However, you'll never leave without being completely full!

The service was ok. And we managed to grab some extra chocolate mints on the way out. I love those things!

For more reviews of The Keg, see The Keg in Mississauga ResToronto Reviews.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Easy Dinner in Etobicoke - Dundas Street Grille

I was in Etobicoke on Saturday hanging out with some friends and we decided to go to the Dundas Street Grille. The parking lot was surprisingly packed at 6pm. This place is definately a family restaurant. It is not by any means a trendy spot to dine. The average age of patrons is probably older than most other restaurants. We had to wait a while to be seated because it was so busy.

The menu was huge and the prices were low! We all ordered one of the specials, a turkey dinner. It didn't look too appetizing, but I thought it was pretty tasty. However, we did have a bit of a problem with the service. I ordered my drink soon after sitting down, but I had to ask for it again, and didn't get it until after I had received my dinner.

It was weird because around 7pm, the restaurant cleared out. There was hardly anyone left in the restaurant! I'm not too sure I would return, unless I was with my parents or my grandparents.

For more reviews on Dundas Street Grille, see the Dundas Street Grille ResToronto Reviews.

Also, after dinner we headed over to the Yellow Cup Cafe, which is a cute place that serves sandwiches, salads, all different types of coffee and desserts. It has a great atmosphere (and yummy coffee!). Check out the Yellow Cup Cafe ResToronto Reviews.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bye bye party for me @ Bistro 222 in Toronto

So I only have a week and a bit left before I return back to the university world (no professional student comments!). A gang of us from work headed over to Bistro 222 on Richmond. It's in a weird area, because during the day there looks to be nothing on the street, but they are actually mostly clubs.

Anyways, we arrived there with dinner reservations for 6pm and headed upstairs to their rooftop patio, which was fairly full. The service up there was good. They asked if we needed more chairs, and empty bottles/glasses were cleared quickly. Around 7 we decided to go back downstairs to eat dinner. The restaurant was empty! What restaurant is empty on a Friday night at 7pm? But it was too late to back out.

Ordering drinks took a while. Infact, from my time of ordering to my time of receiving it was about 10-15 minutes. I ordered a Diet Coke, and what was placed infront of me was a can of President's Choice Diet Coke and a glass of ice. President's Choice Diet Coke is the cheapest of the cheap!! And I'm paying $3 for this? I could go buy 1/2 the case for $3!

When we try to order, the waitress isn't too sure what the soup of the day is. She also didn't know if you could replace fries with something else for your dinner. I tried to order steak, medium, and to replace the fries with roasted potatoes. I got a steak, well done, and fries. For the amount of money that it was, this should not have happened. Even if they had told me that I could only get fries, that would be better than telling me I could get roasted potatoes and give me fries instead.

Someone that had dessert said that it was very good. We perhaps all would have been better off eating only dessert!

For more reviews on this restaurant, see Bistro 222 ResToronto Reviews.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

With a name like Superior, it has to be good?

I was downtown for some theatre on the weekend (Canon theatre), and walking along Yonge Street I saw the restaurant Superior, which is fairly close to the Canon. We walked into the restaurant and the entrance is fairly impressive. There is a massive wooden bar located to the left, and stairs to a second story section of the restaurant.

We were seated on the first floor of the restaurant, near the middle of the restaurant, and were one of 3 other tables full in the entire restaurant. This was slightly weird, as it was noon and the street was very busy, so why was there no one in the restaurant?

The menu was very limited, and I was pretty disappointed with it. I didn't know what half of the items were, and the things I did know were not quite to my taste. This is definately not the place to go for people that want simple food. I ended up ordering the steak sandwich, which was pretty tasty. Our waiter was attentive, as he should be since no one else was in the restaurant.

I would return to this place if they beefed up their menu. For more reviews on Superior, see ResToronto Reviews for Superior on Yonge.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Friday Night Blahs - Dinner at Swiss Chalet

Unlike most other residents of Mississauga/Toronto, I had no plans to visit the cottage on the long weekend of the Civic Holiday. By about 7pm, there was hardly anyone left in town! We didn't want to cook dinner so we headed over to the local Swiss Chalet. We can't get enough of their chicken!

When the parking lot is close to empty, take this as a sign that there is no one in the restaurant! I think there may have been about 5 other families in the restaurant in total. And just a note for those with young ones, this Swiss Chalet location has a kids area for you children to play!

I got my favourite, the double leg dinner, which was great as always. I think our waitress was fairly new, as she seemed to forget about us once dinner was brought out. We had to signal to her to get us refills.

This restaurant is by no means an up scale restaurant, but for family dining it serves its purpose.

For more reviews of this Swiss Chalet, see ResToronto Reviews for Swiss Chalet on Leanne Road.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dinner on the warmest day of the year - Baton Rouge

By the time I got home from work, I was too warm to do anything. I decided to head out for dinner up to Hart Land in Mississauga to a somewhat new restaurant up there called Baton Rouge. I had been to the Baton Rouge at Eaton Center and wasn't too impressed, but I thought I would give this one a try with an open mind.

The biggest downfall to this restaurant is its prices. For the atmosphere, services, and food it provides, it is way too pricey. A steak runs upwards of $25 and the prime rib is over $27. I am a prime rib fan though, so despite the price I decided to try it out. It was delicious, and the portion was way too big to finish in one serving. It would be better for my wallet if they reduced the portion sizes, and hence the prices. That would give this restaurant the extra edge and probably kick it up a rating or two in my book.

Our waitress was ok. There really wasn't much to complain about with her. The acoustics in the place were weird though. The ceilings are high, which I think carries the sound weirdly and at times I had trouble hearing my waitress. Also, the booths are slightly elevated, which makes you feel like you're peering down into other tables around you.

Given the high prices, I expected a mint after my dinner. Maybe I've just been spoiled with good restaurants recently.

Overall, a good meal, but too pricey.

For more reviews on Baton Rouge in Mississauga, visit ResToronto Reviews for Baton Rouge.