Browsing: Restaurant Features

J & H’s 40th Anniversary on July 1, 2016


Drop into 2635 to wish them well and stay for cake. Imagine, a family business sill going strong after 40 years!

Ben’s Deli-NYC



Not far from our hotel in Midtown Manhattan last fall, we came upon Ben’s Kosher Deli. We hadn’t planned on filling up quite to the extent that we did. We had previously decided to eat rather light as we were catching a plane for a transatlantic journey later that evening.  We immediately sampled the cole slaw and two varieties of pickles-one traditional style and another just barely pickled.

The enormous menu was hard to sort through and make a decision as there were just too many choices.


We were not quite sure what we had gotten ourselves into but we were impressed by the ambience and settled in.


Before long our “server” appeared. I use the word “server” loosely as this fellow thought that he was there to entertain us more than provide us with food.

When we inquired what a “kreplach” was he said: “Have you ever tasted a wonton? Well then you have tasted kreplach”. We ended up ordering chicken noodle soup with extra kreplach.


D had his sights set on a pastrami sandwich that I enjoyed a taste of, but never could consumer an entire sandwich (or even half).


I went to one of my old favourites “fresh” cut fries. Actually they were made from baked potatoes likely left over from the day before. Those old baked potatoes may have been “freshly” cut but the potato wasn’t “fresh” to start. This was an old trick that D and I learned in our early restaurant days. We used left over baked potatoes and lightly fried them and then loaded them with cheese and bacon bits to make potato skins.



Back to our waiter for a minute. He asked us where we were from and immediately indicated that he had been to Winnipeg once in January and how much he loved it and the vibrant comedy scene. Turns out he knew a friend of ours who used to run a comedy club. When we caught up with that friend months later, he had some outrageous stories of his own to tell.

Ben's Kosher Delicatessen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “New York is a gothic Roquefort.”-Salvador Dali

New York 15-Isla 16 211

Love never fails.

Peg Beer Company


Ever since our son took his certified brewer training we have become a family of craft beer aficionados. I am the lone holdout, preferring my glass of red wine, for medicinal purposes of course!


As a result, we happen to know of Nicole Berry, the sole owner and operator of Peg Beer Company. I have watched the renovation process of the building, which was the former home of an indoor skate park, in the Exchange District by following Nicole on Twitter. Her birthing pains have paid off because the rustic/modern interior is a beautiful , sleek space perfect for the neighbourhood and a venture of this kind.


The evening we sampled the fare, the three beer drinkers in our group were duly impressed with the offerings, but they did indicate that they were really looking forward to the time when Peg Beer Company will be serving their own beer. We understand that this will be in the upcoming months.

peg2But, to the food! The menu is compact which I appreciate. I prefer when a few items are done exceptionally well rather than a bevy of options that are perfunctory. In the case of the Peg Beer Company, less is indeed more.


We all chose flatbreads and the hits were the Roasted Beet and the Bacon and Egg. The former started with a smear of cream sauce and in addition to the delectable roasted beets, it was adorned with ham, mozzarella and a drizzling of dill oil.


The bacon & egg flatbread was my favourite, reminding me (and I mean this as the highest compliment) of by gone days when my family would order the thin crust Gondola pizza with bacon. Gondola’s sauce was used sparingly and the bacon was cooked on top of the cheese. I have searched for a duplication of this decadent taste and I think that I have found it. Peg Beer’s version starts with garlic butter, diced bacon, aged cheddar and a free run egg. Next time, I may even suggest that they hold the egg!


When I didn’t think the evening could get any better, I spotted Platz on the dessert menu. I am not a huge sweet lover but fruit platz (Mennonite coffee cake) is my favourite and this recipe is absolutely authentic.

Peg Beer Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”  ― Abraham Lincoln


Love never fails.

Era Bistro at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights





A very good friend of mine has recently endured a significant loss. I want to treat her for lunch so that she could fill me in on how she was doing and so that I could lend an ear, if she needed to process some stuff. I thought that Era Bistro at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was the perfect place for us to meet. I liked the free parking and she works very close by at Portage and Main. But I thought that the Museum building itself was so optimistic with its peace tower point piercing the sky, that the significance outshone the convenience for me.

As I settled in, I spent some time looking over their clever menu sighting many of my home-town favourites.


My lunch mate choose Era’s take on a club house sandwich that she really enjoyed.


I loved the beet salad with toasted pine nuts and field greens. The edible flowers were a gorgeous touch. I think that the goat cheese may have been mixed into the creamy red wine vinaigrette, another touch that I loved.


For good measure I added the option of baked falafel and was delighted by my prairie lunch with an ethnic touch.

Turns out when the time came to pick up the bill, my friend was quicker than I was. In the end, I think too that instead of my being able to comfort her, she injected in me a fresh bout of resilience, perseverance and optimism.

Some of my favourite life moments are spent over a delicious lunch in the company of women.

Era Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”  ― Robert Jordan


Love never fails.




The Gates on Roblin in Headingley



Have you ever noticed that you can almost always predict what a dining experience is going to be like, by the bread basket? And in this case, with savoury premise-baked pasties, we anticipated that our evening at The Gates would be perfect and it was.


The perfect evening started with a great Canadian Merlot.


D and I share spice rubbed, pan-seared scallops perched atop crisp lardon (similar to bacon), roasted grape tomatoes and brussel sprouts. The dish was enhanced with honey lavender aioli. Ohh la la!


Our hosts shared their own scallops along with herb and flour crusted squid served with chili lime tzatziki.


For our mains I chose the evening’s special of salmon in phyllo, with shrimp and beet risotto. The portion was so generous that I took home half of my meal which I understand even tasted great a day later.


D was over the moon with the house-made spinach linquine, fennel, tomato, asparagus and honey lavender cream. He and our host both decided to team the pasta with seafood and were very impressed with the number of succulent mussels and shrimp.


Our female host opted for the herb salted tenderloin with chirizo and apple salsa served with roasted tomato salsa hash. It looked so delicious that I think that I will have to taste it in the near future.

Some evenings are made because of the food. On this evening with these good friends and important conversation, the evening was perfect even before the food came along. Imagine our delight when it was so lovingly prepared and beautifully displayed. This night, the food was the “icing on the proverbial cake” (and we didn’t even have dessert)!

The Gates on Roblin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Life is about the decisions we make to live passionately or passively. Where’s your passion?”
― Laura Castoro, Icing on the Cake    



Love never fails.

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