Thursday, June 23, 2005

Thornbury Bakery Cafe

"More Than Just Great Buns!" is the motto on their business card. However this little bakery cafe in Thornbury Ontario will have to do a bit better than cute to get my rave vote.

Brian and I stopped there on an antiquing trip, and while it was okay, it wasn't what I expected. I had an egg salad sandwhich - but it wasn't on home-made bread! This is a BAKERY, shouldn't the bread be something other than mushy store-bought? They forgot my tomato, putting it on Brian's sandwhich instead - and he hates tomato. That's not the end of the world but it left my sandwhich rather bland.

Service was friendly, and the cafe is cute (there's that word again!) but I can only give this eating establishment 3 teacups out of 5. 3 tea cup rating for tea room reviews

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Razmatazz Coffee Bistro in Orillia Ontario

Really all I can say about Razmatazz is that I have never had a worse cup of cappucino! I ordered cappucino and tiramisu. The cappucino came mixed, in a glass cup. Not only did it look awful, it was so bitter I couldn't drink it. The tiramisu was good, not great but tasty.

Rating 1 out of 5, and that's only for the dessert. 1 coffee cup rating for tea room reviews

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Meaford Ontario: Eath Harvest Cafe

It looked great from outside. On entering we saw a cute little room, with yellow walls, dark wood floors and kidney shaped purple tables. The ceiling was great, an old tin one.

You place your order from a limited menu, at a big old counter. There wasn't a lot of choice but sometimes that's good!

I had egg salad on brown bread - which arrived sans lettuce. Hmmm...didn't realize you had to ASK for lettuce on a sandwhich! The egg itself was very nice, it had chopped peppers, a nice change from the ordinary. Problem was the plate it was on was marbled from having food cut on it. The blackened crack-like lines didn't add anything to the eye appeal.

My cafe au lait (Single shot) was so strong I had to get up and ask for more hot milk - and another bigger cup to put it in. I went to add brown sugar which was in an open container on a side counter, but a fly was crawling around inside. Up to the counter to ask for brown sugar in a package but alas, they had none! So I had to use white sugar which just doesn't cut it for me.

Brian wanted pie and hot chocolate but they had no pie. He asked for cheesecake but it had just been made and wasn't ready (at 2 pm). My overall impression? It was too seedy and that fly really put me off. I doubt I'd go back.

Rating 1 out of 5 cups. 1 coffee cup rating for tea room reviews

Friday, June 17, 2005

Leeky Canoe Pub & Eatery - up the creek without a good paddle?

This Meaford Ontario restaurant could stand a makeover. It was very grungy, the carpet was filthy and torn in spots, edges of runners curled up, and the chairs looked like something out of a 50s or 60s movie - "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"

My Caesar salad was good, not great, but not terrible either.

After my salad (I froze with the cold wind of an airconditioner on me) I went to the washrooms - which are ever so quaintly (NOT!) called "outhouses". If I'd gone there first I'd never have eaten in this pub....

It's just your typical northern Ontario diner which is trying in vain to have a cute image. "Don't feed the lizards" is one of the signs on a fake tree with plastic lizards hanging from it.

Sorry guys, the Leeky Canoe just doesn't cut it with me. 2 out of 5 ranking from this courier de bois! 1 coffee cup rating for tea room reviews1 coffee cup rating for tea room reviews

Monday, June 13, 2005

Chez Piggy

Chez Piggy is a cute little outdoor cafe in Kingston Ontario. There's an interior sit-down part too but the outside is in a courtyard setting, and is a great place to go on a cool spring or autumn day. You feel like it's summer - you're surrounded by greenery. Even though it's right in the middle of the city but you don't even notice.

Food was great, service excellent, we had good company and a fun time eating and people-watching.

This hungry and thirsty traveller gives Chez Piggy 5 teacups out of 5.

5 tea cup rating for tea room reviews

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Coffee & Company, Kingston Ontario

Oh do I love this place! It's an old building, with wide hardwood floors, lots of windows, right on the main street of Kingston (Princess Streeet, near Chez Piggy).

As soon as I walked in I knew this was the kind of place I could spend hours in... reading, writing, sipping lattes and cappuccinos.

I've only been twice but can hardly wait for a summer antique trip so I can drop in again. I give Coffee & Company 5 coffee cups out of 5.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Ossawippi Express off the tracks

When Lorine and I pulled into the parking lot of the Ossawippi my first thought was why are we the only car in the lot, its lunch time in the middle of the week, that can not be a good sign. And it turned out that my first impression was the right one. Now the restaurant itself is kind of neat. It is made from old railroad cars that have been converted into a restaurant. A lot of the original RR hardware has been retained which makes for an interesting decor. If you are a train fan you will probably like this restaurant for that reason alone.

As far as the rest goes I was not all that impressed. It is a little grubby and run down not disgusting or anything but a few crumbs on the table or something floating in my glass is enough to put me off (I had both). As far as I am concerned an eating establishment should be spotless and the Ossawippi is far from spotless. The big spider crawling down the curtain was not that nice nor was the bug that crawled across the table in the middle of our meal.

The waiter was friendly but not that good and the food was tasty but perhaps a little bit overpriced for what it was. However as we were the only customers there was a lot of overhead they needed to cover. I had the Short Line Sandwich which consisted of hot chicken strips on bread with a mushroom sauce and some fried potatoes. It was tasty but the root beer I had with it was a bit flat and had no bite. I finished with a cup of tea which was fine except for the flecks of something in my cup. Call me weird but when I order tea that's all I want, no extra bits are required.

Bottom line if you are into trains it is worth a stop but otherwise you might want to wait for the next train.

2 teacups out of 5 3 tea cup rating for tea room reviews

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Ossawippi Express Dining Cars, Orillia Ontario - fast track to oblivion?

Brian and I had been to the Ossawippi about a year ago, but it's getting a little seedy these days. It is old railroad cars that have been converted into a restaurant. The cars are actually on a railway track. You enter one car and are taken to the car you will eat in. Decor is quaint (but a bit rough around the edges now, in need of a facelift), with old luggage on the brass luggage rails, posters on the walls and so on.

The velvet chairs are threadbare. It would like fine in dim candlelight at night, but at lunchtime, which is when we went, with full sun streaming in the car windows, all its flaws are glaringly visible. We were the only customers in our car, in fact, the only ones in the whole restaurant. Not a good sign....

Our server almost immediately committed what for me is an unforgiveable error. He picked up my water glass by the lip of the glass! That is not okay! Everyone knows they need to pick it up by the stem or by the underneath part of the glass. The server's fingers should never touch where a customer drinks from. Second problem -- my cup had lipstick on the rim, which I didn't notice til my coffee was poured.

Okay, food arrrived. I didn't see our server arrive with it, and he suddenly bumped into my arm and shoulder from behind as he hastily shoved the plate in front of me, then reached over the table past me (still in my face!) to put Brian's plate in front of him. I was so startled I jumped and gave a little scream. He didn't bother to apologize for knocking into me. How unprofessional and rude is that??

The Ossawippi was on a fast track to nowhere in my books!

I had the Conductor's Special, chicken and asparagus on bread dipped in egg and fried, with caesar salad. It was tasty, my only complaint is that the lettuce was a bit old and there was too much dressing on the salad. Dessert was an expensive ($6.50) Profiteroles Caramel (vanilla ice cream in puff pastry with caramel sauce). The ice cream had melted so it was actually puff pastry in whitish-brown swirl sauce. Not impressive, especially for $6.50.

Overall it wasn't a good experience. I rate this 2 out of 5 teacups. 2 tea cup rating for tea room reviews

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Mrs. B's Has Seen Better Days

Last time we were in St Marys Ontario, Brian and I stopped for supper at Mrs. B's Country Style Dining at the Stone Willow Inn. It is a very small restaurant, open for meals or for tea/coffee and desserts. We used to love it here. Note the words "used to" ...

Although small, it has always had friendly service, good food and a nicely set table. Until now. Having raved about the place, we took friends. What an embarrassment! The tables were the kind you sit at in a High School cafeteria - remember those? Chipped, stained, yukky...

There were no tablecloths, not even a paper placemat!! Our server apologized, saying that their table coverings were at the cleaners.... well, sorry, but I don't really care about your problem. It's disgusting to sit for a meal at a bare table that is chipped and stained. I mentioned that the owner might have thought to send someone out to buy a few paper placemats.. when there was no response I asked for another paper serviette so I could put it under my plate and flatware. It was better than nothing. Our server gave me quite a look - which only added to my ire.

Service was poor, we were the only people in the room but our server forgot items and never came back to find out how we were. We had a meal, which was adequate, not great, not the worst I've had either. I had to ask for water when my glass ran dry. We were never asked if we wanted anything else to drink.

Our server asked if we wanted dessert, there was a pregnant LONG pause while we waited to find out what they had.... finally I had to ask what our choices were. I don't know, maybe we were supposed to just kind of know what was available?

All in all a terrible experience. It was so bad we won't be back, and that's a shame because we used to look forward to our trips there just to go for their food and desserts. I rate this ZERO teacups out of 5.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Brewed Awakenings Coffee House & Tea Room

I stopped at this little coffee house and tea room. It doesn't have a particular style of decor but it was clean and tidy. There is only room for about 4 people to sit, most people probably get take-out.

Their selection of teas and coffees is somewhat limited so I ordered Earl Grey tea, which was okay. The food menu was limited - a few sandwhiches, brownies, cookies, muffins and so on. I had a bran muffin which was okay, nothing special, but tasty.

It was a typical decent small-town Ontario spot to get a cup of tea or coffee - a nice alternative to Tim Horton's if you are a coffee lover!

I rate this tea room 3 teacups out of 5. 3 tea cup rating for tea room reviews

Brewed Awakenings Coffee House & Tea Room
16 Main S,
Grand Valley, ON
L0N 1G0