Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Seven

Blog No. 348

20190630_113634You’re going to have to stay with me here, because this one is personal and may not make sense to some folks. Sundays tend to be a day for me to get things done. I’ll have stuff piling up all week and not enough time or energy to do the little things. Things need cleaning, desks need organizing, clothing needs to be folded. Sometimes I work on Sundays and that’s that. It gets skipped or whatever. Sometimes I work Saturday nights until three in the morning and I sleep most of my Sunday away. I’ve made it clear that I love my breakfasts. Sundays aren’t always a good time for a solo guy to venture out into the wild to find some eggs and bacon (or sausage if I’m lucky). The later in the day I start my search, the more the obvious options fill up. Plus, I have things to do back at home. When that happens, I get creative in what I consider breakfast. That leads me to a breakfast burger.

Breakfast Spot Seven: Barrel House

I’ve mentioned Barrel House in this blog in the past. It’s one of my favourite go-to restaurants in the city. Sometimes I go there because I’m craving something specific on the menu, sometimes it’s because I’m not sure what I want and I know I’ll have a bunch of good options. It’s the place I inevitably go with groups of friends when we can’t decide where to go for a meal. There’s always something you’ll enjoy at Barrel House. They have my favourite burger in the city. Anyone you choose there is good, since the patty itself is where the magic lives, but I tend to go for the Benny Burger 20190630_114224(and not just because of the name). It’s essentially Eggs Benedict on a burger and that counts as breakfast for me. They’ll even serve you a cup of pretty good coffee.

You have to take into consideration the atmosphere and the time they open (as early as 11am on a weekday and 11:30 on the weekend). It’s a bar. There are going to be people there drinking and being loud (yes, even at 11am most of the time). Sometimes you’ll get lucky and it’ll be quiet for a while, but if you’re there during the football season, forget about it. I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m a counter guy. That goes for bars too. When things start to get busy, the seats at the bar fill up quickly. Many of those folks tend to be smokers, so after they go out for a puff, they drag the smell back in with them. For non-smokers, that can be a real stomach churner. It’s not every time, but again, football season increases the potential for that.

20190630_113604The place is generally clean, though, and the servers and bartenders are friendly. The kitchen is open to the rest of the restaurant too (just behind the bar and in the corner) so you can watch your food being made (a bonus for an overly concerned eater like myself). As I said a bunch already, everything I’ve had to eat there has been either good or great and the portions are generous. It’s not the cheapest place to go, but it’s definitely worth the cost. The Benny Burger (sans hollandaise sauce for me) requires two hands to hold. The large patty is topped with a mound of ham and a fried egg. Napkins are a must. Pair it with a tatter tot poutine (that’s kind of like hash-browns, right?) and that’s a breakfast (or lunch, or brunch) to write home about. Just be ready to have to work to get your bill. For some strange reason, it takes a long time to get it, no matter who’s working.

I give Barrel House a star for being a good place to go on Sundays, one for the best burger I’ve had, a third for having coffee or beer as options, and a fourth for also having the best poutine (tatter tot or fries). They lose a star for having to fight to get the bill. It’s not the end of the world, but I’ve got the rest of my Sunday chores to do, ya know?

home-made-rating-7

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Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Six

Blog No. 344

img-2879I have a false memory that persists every time I drive down University Ave. I distinctly recall an ex of mine mention that her father used to take her to Skippy’s for breakfast (I think pancakes) when she was little. I’ve mentioned this to her, but she insists it wasn’t her who said that (and she says that she has never been there). Either way, it’s a longtime establishment in the city, and they serve breakfast, so it’s a place I’ve tried. The parking may be inconvenient, but their hours are good, the food is breakfasty, and they are close to my day job, so it’s become a fixture in my rotation.

Breakfast Spot Six: Skippy’s Restaurant Continue reading “Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Six”

Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Five

Blog No. 340

20190410_091324Back when I was just getting started with writing (before No Light Tomorrow came out) I was looking for writerly things happening around the city. I had joined Write on Windsor (which I believe Christian had found) and there was this other thing going on called Drink and Draw (also found by Christian). It was Friday nights at Squirrel Cage on the now hopping Maiden Lane. It was a neat place and a fun weekly event. I met a bunch of cool people and awesome artists. I was intent on doing the Zine back then, so having the artists help out was amazing. One of them even did the art for the second printing of No Light. Eventually, I got to know the owners. They are really nice guys from Toronto who are dedicated to opening cool and creative places in that area. The expanded to include a home decor shop, Bungalow, an ice cream parlor, Buuntz & Co., and a restaurant, A Dog’s Breakfast. Continue reading “Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Five”

Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Four

Blog No. 335

559974_380900205265501_88840158_nI did not intend for my breakfast reviews to end up getting me anything. My intention was to talk about places where I enjoy going to get a good breakfast. I didn’t even think that the people who own the restaurant would read them. While I meant to be positive in my assessments (as I’m really only reviewing places I already like) I have pointed out some things that I didn’t like, or would prefer in a different way. Some of it was just being honest and some was for comedy (whether you think so or not, I’m funny).

The people at Deb’s Place happened to read my review and pointed out that I could get my potatoes without onions, and they did so the last time I was there (which was on a Wednesday, when I said that their hours stated that they are open but I thought they weren’t). They have also asked if I would be interested in kicking off an Artist of the Month at their restaurant. My new book, The Neon Heart will be available there for a month, then I will help them find another fantastic local writer to have their book featured. Again, none of that was my intention, but it worked in my favour and should continue to work in the favour of other local authors, so thank you to the fine folks at Deb’s who are open when they say they are and will gladly make you potatoes without onions. I’ll have the information available on the The Neon Heart book page when it’s available for purchase there. Continue reading “Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Four”

Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Three

Blog No. 332

20190227_095459_hdrOkay. Three months in and I already messed up. That’s fine. I’m not upset. You shouldn’t be either. I was trying to get a book out, so I may have been a bit distracted. I can do a breakfast review now and another one at the end of the month and we can pretend this never happened. I will point out that my book is on the way, though. Something to be excited about. I hope the copies are good. I’d love to start selling them as soon as possible. They weren’t cheap. I’m pretty happy with them, though, so I can focus on breakfast this morning. My favourite meal of the day.

Breakfast Spot Three: Deb’s Place

We started the our tale at the beginning of the year talking about my love of breakfast stemming from my Sunday morning meals with my grandmother. While nothing will top that breakfast (or those memories) after my grandmother passed away, I started to have regular Sunday morning breakfast with my parents. We went to Deb’s Place in south Windsor after church and the food there became the new standard from which I base my experience at every other breakfast joint. You may ask why I just don’t go there every time, and that’s a fair question. The biggest answer is the hours of operation are limited. The other, I suppose, is variety. Either way, it’s a solid go-to place in the city for breakfast. Continue reading “Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Three”

Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Two

Blog No. 327

20190220_093722_hdrWhen I came up with this idea (to end every month with a breakfast review) I actually had, like, a plan and an order in mind. On the second one, I’m already shuffling it all around. The place I was intending as number two (to create a kind of narrative that started with number one) will have to wait as I didn’t manage to get there all month. I’ll save the details for when I finally get there, but for now, I’ll jump the queue and review a breakfast I did have this month.

Breakfast Spot Two: Anchor Coffee House

I’ve been going to Anchor Coffee House for several years. Maybe four? Maybe more? How long has the Huron Line location been open? Subtract a couple months off of that, and that’s about how long I’ve been going there. My mom told me about it, actually. She worked near by at the time and knew my desire for a good local cafe. I’ve written entire first drafts, edited manuscripts for other people, and generally taken up a seat at the bar for hours on end ‘writing’. I’ve also had a lot of good coffee and a lot of good food. Continue reading “Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Two”

Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part One

Blog No. 323

20190118_103655Sometime in the little break I get between Christmas and the New Year, I found myself at a local breakfast place. I’m a big fan of a classic breakfast, and I’ve probably been to most of the breakfast joints, greasy spoons, and diners in the city at one time or another. At this particular breakfast experience, I was chewing on a piece of bacon and thinking about how I normally like sausage, but most places don’t do sausage well (or don’t have a good product to work with) so I go with bacon instead. I know. Tough blow to take. The point is, that I was thinking about the different places I like to go, and what I like to get when I go there. Some places do the eggs really well, or the hash browns, or whatever. I thought, since I like breakfast so much, I may as well devote some of my weekly blog to it. So, for the rest of the year, I’m going to devote the last post of a month to doing a local breakfast review. Though, we’ll see how this works in practice. The post may float around if I have to promote something. P.S. Not a pancake fan, so when applicable, my brother may fill in a review for those. Continue reading “Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part One”