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Ox Head 7:25pm
I imagine the Ox#2 suffered greatly when the Noodle House opened nearby with its separate & ample parking lot.

Ox HeadSep 16
There's a notice on the door of the former Ox Head 2 (Carling near March) indicating a termination of lease for non-payment of rent, dated July 20, 2019.

Has anyone noticed how the original Centrum location is doing lately?

On the 2019 list of Canada's 100 Best Restaurants, Stofa certainly did not disappoint. Even while doling out innovative gastronomic experiences, Stofa's atmosphere remains relaxed and casual, making it an excellent option for any occasion.

We ordered the Blind Tasting Menu for $90/person, along with wine and a cocktail, and an additional dessert (the highly recommended soufflé). We received 10 things and despite each plate containing just a morsel, by the end, we were bursting at the seams. While we had our favourites (i.e. the mushroom soup and the seared duck breast, the latter of which can be found on the menu), we found each dish carefully thought out and well-executed and enjoyed everything we were presented.

Service was highly-professional, if not a bit cold; they took the time to explain each dish, which was highly appreciated, but zipped through it rather quickly and disappeared. Nonetheless, they were thorough throughout our dinner, checking in and making sure there were no questions or concerns.

All in all, I'd definitely recommend trying Stofa. I, for one, am interested in having their tasting menu again, just to see what new creations they've come up with.

@ 36 PhoSep 16
When you first walk into 36 Pho Viet, you'll notice that it doesn't look like your typical pho restaurant. Decked in sleek dark furniture, the restaurant's ambience is a step-up from its counterparts.

However, while it differs in appearance, the food here tastes very similar to other pho restaurants. The only differences lie in the portion sizes (which are a tad smaller) and the prices (which are a tad steeper although still inexpensive). To their defense though, they are one of few pho restaurants in the area so perhaps the prices are competitive.

Along with the furnishing, the quick and personable service adds to the classy ambience of the restaurant. Overall, it's a decent pho restaurant and a good option for an inexpensive (first?) date. I'll most likely be back, if not just for the lack of choices in the area.

IstanbouliSep 15
Gave it another chance 7.90 for small chicken shawarma with dry chicken and a weak garlic sauce. Maybe it’s better during the week with the tunneys pasture crowd. I love shawarma and I wish there was some good shawarma in the Wellington west / Hintonburg area.

Mati is the epitome of an Instagram-worthy restaurant. With gorgeous décor, large windows and unique finishings; beautifully plated food; and not to mention a PATIO (#patioseason), it makes sense why it's everywhere I look on social media. I'll admit it definitely made it on my list of "Places To Try" for one (or all) of those reasons.

And I wasn't wrong. The place was indeed very Instagram-worthy and I saw plenty of potential influencers taking photos inside and outside the restaurant. The food (we ordered Braised Beef Cheek, Steak & Eggs, and Lobster Grilled Cheese) was well-executed at a reasonable-for-a-fancy-brunch-place price.

The damper came from the service. When we were trying to walk into the restaurant, the door was somehow locked on the outside. We went around to the patio side to ask a waitress and she told us it shouldn't be locked and to try again, continuing with what she was doing. We tried it again for another minute (having had 3 people try it) before a departing guest let us in. When we finally got into the restaurant, we found a hostess standing at the door smirking at us. It would seem as if she'd seen our struggle? We let her know about the door and she said it shouldn't be locked. Ok, sure.

She led us to our table where it took a while before we were offered water. When one of my friends asked for a new glass due to the large particles floating in his water, she ROLLED HER EYES, and said it was probably just due to it being hard water [unlikely since nobody else had the same problem], did he still want to change the glass? Yes, yes, he did.

The rest of the meal was, for the most part, uneventful. She did once come to ask us how the food was but also left before we could even finish our sentence. We did not see her again until we asked for our check, having to flag down another waitress to go find her.

Unfortunately, while picture-perfect, the service at Mati made the entire experience very disappointing for me. It is unlikely I will return.

I have probably always only ordered scallops at The Wellington Gastropub as far as I can remember because it is always good. I might have had a pork chop once. But see, I just came back from a trip to PEI so for the first time, I was not impressed by my scallop lunch. While the scallops were seared to perfection, I could taste the fishyness or lack of freshness. PEI ruined me!!

The scallops were also served on a bed of white beans in a tomatoey sauce with grilled squashes with a hint of spiciness. It wasn’t my favourite.

The bread is warm and served with canola oil. It continues to a welcome appetizer, especially when very hungry!

I've walked by OCCO Kitchen & Bar quite a few times this summer and every time, I'm intrigued by its décor. After hearing rave reviews about the Orleans location, I was very much looking forward to visiting the (more convenient) Downtown location.

The modern décor did provide a nice ambience to the restaurant. Service was pretty prompt and cordial, although our waiter seemed a bit impatient when asked about his recommendations and when I first walked in, I made eye contact with 2 of the staff (waitresses?) who just looked at me but failed to greet me or direct me to a table. It was a bit awkward but the rest of the evening went fine.

The food was alright but nothing to write home about. Most of the things on the menu felt like standard pub food with a minor twist and while I'm usually excited about "twists," these ones fell short for me. I got the OCCOnda Fries and a Pork Belly Taco while my friend got the Candied Bacon Cheese Burger. We both agreed that all of our food was a bit on the dry side with my friend, having been, concluding that the food she had at the Orleans location being better. The OCCOnda Fries, while not bad, were basically a more expensive version of one of NY Fries' poutines, but drier due to a lack of sauce. Similarly, the Pork Belly Taco wasn't bad but at that price point, I've had better.

Overall, OCCO Kitchen & Bar is not bad but I probably won't return.

The omelette continues to be amazing. Pictured is omelette #4, which contains bacon, mushrooms and cheese. I chose sourdough bread (over molasses) and a salad (over fruit). It all came with the traditional home fries. It is mashed and fried. It might look funny but it has always tasted amazing.

Pad Thai at Bite ThisAug 31
I somehow have never been to this place but glad I finally did. I tried the pad thai which is now $11. It is a good deal as it is served in the take out paper box, so there is a lot. I also agree that it is the best take out pad thai. It is a bit tangy, a bit spicy and a little bit sweet. It is tomatoey, just as I prefer pad thais to be.

La DiperieAug 28
I have to admit soft-serve ice cream is my weakness and dipped soft-serve ice cream gets me every. single. time. So it shouldn't come as a surprise when I say this is my favourite ice-cream place in the city. They don't only have dipped cones but they has V-A-R-I-E-T-Y (in dips and toppings). Unfortunately, there's only one kind of ice cream flavour (vanilla) but with that many kinds of dips and topping combinations, it really doesn't matter to me. It's a little bit on the pricey side but I don't find it much more than your typical specialty ice cream/gelato place. The only complaint I have is that the amount can fluctuate even if you order the same size. My friend and I both ordered a mini but his was significantly shorter than mine. Not sure if this is a one-off though and we didn’t talk to them about it either because there was a long line forming.

In terms of ambience, the store is quite small with few seats but is very Instagram worthy, with their aqua walls and cute décor. Staff there are friendly and patient, even when their customer (me) takes their sweet time choosing their dip and toppings.

I definitely will be going again before the end of the summer and recommend that you try it too!

I found the very last couple dozen bottles of vanilla extract in a box at the back of my supplies cupboard. Send me a private message if you want some. I have 3 bottles of plain, and about 10 each of the rum and the brandy. $20 each.

Closed some time ago.

This restaurant is one of the few popping up in the city that specializes in Northern Chinese food. You won't find any of the typical "Cantonese"-style foods, let alone the "Chinese Canadian" varieties. The food served is mostly (very) spicy - as is most Northern Chinese food – and is made with uncommon ingredients like "aorta" and "chicken cartilage." That coupled with the awkward opening hours (3PM-1AM) and the poorly translated menu makes it appear as though this restaurant caters towards the foreign crowds more, e.g. international students.

We ordered a plate of "Pig's Intestine with Pepper King" and "[Frog] in Dry Pot." Both dishes were delicious in how they were seasoned but, despite asking for them to be made less spicy, both dishes were still incredibly spicy, especially the latter. I could barely eat more than 2 pieces and ended up focusing more on the former dish, which was also spicy but less so.

While the food was pretty good, the ambience of the restaurant left something to be desired. Finding the restaurant was a bit challenging because the signage was not clear and the exterior of the store looked like a garage. The interior of the restaurant is better furnished; however, there was no air-conditioning or fans when we went during 40C weather. I’m not sure how the waitress managed in the heat; we were sweating buckets just sitting. The waitress was quick to address our concerns when we asked (except for the issue of heat) but didn’t seem as comfortable interacting with us in English as she was with other customers in Mandarin.

The restaurant has a lot of potential and I’d give it a second try, though perhaps I’ll delay my visit for the winter time when spicy food is needed and air conditioning is not.

La CantinaAug 25
La Cantina is a little shack in Osgoode on Main Street. They just opened earlier this summer and are such a great addition to our neighborhood. The food is really fresh tasting and scratch made. So far we've tried the pork, beef and chicken tacos, all delicious! We'll be back. Highly recommend checking them out.

I had to. kinda wish I didn't but really happy I did.

Photo doesn't not nearly capture the flavour of this delicious heap.

They're still the best if you want a loaded sloppy burger. And they really nail the fries.

Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Corn Relish, Jalapeno, Onion Ring, Bacon, [the best!] Chipotle Mayo, Pretzel bun. More chipotle mayo on the side for dipping.

They are friendly and you can tell they're proud to have the longest line in the food court! Don't let a bit of a line scare you though, they really keep the queue moving.

Presse CafeAug 23
Dear Presse Cafe Queen street location - in my mind at least, a red tortilla does not make a ham n egg breakfast wrap remotely 'southwestern'. Throw some salsa in there, jack cheese, peppers...anything really... it's not like 'southwestern' actually means anything. Also, if you put the words 'tuna and olives' in three different places in both official languages, call me crazy, but the wrap should probably have an olive in it somewhere. Both wraps were okay, but not as advertised.

The coffee was good.

I stopped by and picked up a meatball sandwich. It wasn’t very good. The meatballs were lacking in flavour with an overly bready texture and had a thin oily sauce with them. Stick to the pizza.

EggnogAug 19
The egg nog I made was stored at room temperature, it was a hit over the holidays with the relatives. Thought it might be too strong at first taste, but it was actually quite smooth.

I simply mixed all the ingredients together in a big bowl and then funneled it into beer bottles that I capped and stored in the closet.

I still have a couple bottles left in the fridge, will bust them out again this Christmas. Might make another batch this fall and do a side by side comparison, though the random leftover alcohol I use will surely be different.