Saturday, 31 March 2012

Monk's Kettle, Toronto, ON

After Gord and I left the Old Mill Inn Spa, we walked west along Bloor Street W.

We stopped at Monk's Kettle for an early supper.

It bills itself as a "craft beer emporium" ... needless to say, Gord was excited!

We sat at a table in the front ... here's Gord.

In addition to having a menu of beer, they also have some posted on a board.

I ordered chicken wings with a Bourbon Chipotle sauce and a side order of fries.

The wings were good. I'm not a fan of battered wings but liked these ones. The sauce was tasty and had a bit of a kick. There were 12 drummettes and they were a decent size. They must have been sitting for a while, though, because they could have been hotter. The fries were good but expensive at $6.

Gord ordered wings with a dry rub (his were good too) and Tempura Shrimp.

He enjoyed them.

My one complaint would be the service. Mike was the server/bartender. Though friendly enough, he didn't seem to know much about the food. I had asked him some questions about a couple of the sauces and he had to check with the cook. Also, he wasn't very prompt in ensuring we had drinks. At one point, my glass was empty for a while and he never asked me if I wanted a refill. He wasn't very quick in removing our empty plates either ... I ended up putting them on the table next to me to get rid of them. It's not like the place was packed ... there were never more than seven people there.

I'd go back to the Monk's Kettle for the atmosphere and food ... hopefully the service will be better.

The Monk's Kettle on Urbanspoon

The Old Mill Inn Spa, Toronto, ON

Our tradition is to go to the spa on our birthdays.

Since today is Gord's birthday, I took him to the Old Mill Inn Spa ... we'd never been there before.

Here's the ladies' change room ...

We waited in the Quiet Room for our services to start.

While you're waiting, you can help yourself to tea, water, cookies, almonds and/or apples.

Our first service was a 60 minute couples' massage. Here we are in the room.

My massage therapist was Belinda ... for a wee one, she was very strong. I like deep massages and would ask for her again. Gord had Sarah as his massage therapist and enjoyed his massage too.

Then it was on to our pedicures. We ordered a glass of bubbly to enjoy while we were getting our feet done. Ivette did a great job on Gord's feet.

Diana gave me the Rosemary Mint Pedicure (A rosemary mint foot soak in one of our luxurious massaging pedicure chairs is just the beginning, to be followed by a leg and foot exfoliation and a relaxing massage. A refreshing treatment for the legs and feet.).

While I was getting my toes polished, Ivette put a chocolate mint mask on Gord's feet. It smelled amazing! I was jealous!

Here we are ... do we look relaxed or what?!

My polish is Peru B Ruby.

I liked the Old Mill Inn Spa and would go back. Everyone was friendly and it's a nice relaxing spot. The fact we could order a glass of bubbly was a bonus.

Happy birthday, Gord!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Will barb wire keep away the dumpster divers?

This is our garbage and recycling area, which is in a corner of our parking lot.

Our condo corporation is charged for the removal of our garbage which impacts our maintenance fees ... the more garbage bins we use, the more we are charged. Our condo corporation encourages our residents to recycle. Not just for the environment but because the City collects our recyclables for free. The more we recycle, the less we throw in the garbage so the less we we pay.

We've had two problems. One was non-residents dropping their garbage off in our bins, thus having us incur the extra cost of the extra garbage. Also, dumpster divers come in digging through our bins and making a mess. A couple years we put a fence around the area. You could only get in through the gate (which has a passcode) ...

Or the gates, which are only opened when the trucks come to clean out the bins twice a week.

The dumpster divers were still getting in by climbing over the fence or under the gates ... still making a mess.

Last week the gates were extended up and barbed wire was added. We had talked about doing this when I was on the Condo Board and our then property manager said we couldn't put up barbed wire because it was a liability issue ... if dumpster divers get hurt climbing over, the Corporation would be liable. I guess the current property manager doesn't feel it's an issue.

And no climbing under the gate either!

It should be interesting to see how effective this is ... I hope it is. It's creepy dropping off garbage and recyclables when there is a guy in a bin.

What Crumpet and Morgan do on a Friday afternoon

'Nuff said.

Fiona the Blind Dog

What an amazing story! It's like she's a different dog.

So happy she found a home.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Frozen dinners

I don't eat a lot of frozen dinners. I'd rather make something fresh.

When they are on sale, I'll buy a couple to put in the freezer for emergencies. I find they are handy to take to work if I haven't had a chance to make a lunch. Or if I'm home during the day and I want something quick.

I tried a Michelina's Roast Turkey dinner a couple months ago ... seasoned, glazed, roast turkey breast medallions with mashed potatoes and gravy. Sounds pretty good, right? It was nasty. So nasty that I wrote to the company to complain. They sent me a couple coupons to thank me which I've never used. There were just a couple specks of turkey and it didn't look at all like the picture on the box.

Last week I had a Weight Watchers Smart One Slow Roasted Turkey Breast dinner ... with a classic pan gravy & garlic-herb mashed potatoes. Yum, right? Nope. A couple small squares of turkey, some runny mashed potatoes and a pile of gravy. Very salty.

Today I had their Homestyle Beef Pot Roast dinner ... with carrots, onions, potatoes, and green beans in gravy. The roast was a weird texture. It's like they made a processed piece of meat and then cut it in perfect squares. Not roast-like at all. And really salty.

I'm surprised that Weight Watchers would put out such poor quality food. Never again!

A frozen dinner I do like is PC Blue Menu Chicken Tikka Masala ... tender, bite-size pieces of seasoned chicken in a creamy tomato curry masala sauce, on a bed of fragrant basmati rice. It's delicious and spicy and actually tastes and feels like chicken and rice. I really enjoy this one.

Do you eat many frozen dinners?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Heading home

High above the clouds ...

About to land in Toronto ... yippee!

All you need is LOVE

In front of the LHotel Montreal.

Westin Hotel, Montreal, QC

I was in Montreal for a few days for meetings ... the company I work for is based here.

I stayed at the Westin Hotel, near Old Montreal.

Here is the entrance from Rue Saint Jacques.

Here is my room, complete with a king bed.

Alas, there is no bathtub ... but there is a huge shower stall.

Not a great view from my windows.

I've stayed here a few times in the past and I've had a bigger room and a better view. I found this room really dark and small. It was in the St. Jacques Tower ... I like the other tower better.

I like this hotel because it's fairly new and I find the beds really comfy. WIFI is free and it's a quick walk to the shops and restaurants on Rue St. Catharine or to Old Montreal.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Vieux-Port Steakhouse, Montreal, QC

After our day of marketing meetings and cocktail hour, some of us went out for supper at the Vieux-Port Steakhouse in Old Montreal.

It's a cute spot in an old building.

There were 14 of us and we had no reservation ... we just showed up on someone's recommendation. They were able to seat us over three tables.

Here are Dorothy (Vancouver), Trudy (Halifax), Baljeet (Toronto) and Cedric (Montreal).

Helene (Toronto), Brenda (Vancouver), Stacey (Toronto), Chris (Calgary), John (Calgary) and Imran. (Toronto).

Dave (Toronto), Dmytro (Toronto), Darrell (Toronto), Steve (Toronto), me and Alice (Calgary).

I ordered the Rib Steak and garlic mashed potatoes.

It was tender and tasty ... I had ordered it medium-well and it was more medium-rare, though.

Here is our server, Tom. You could have lively lobster if you wanted.

It is a nice restaurant ... a place to go for a special occasion. Tom took good care of us.

Vieux-Port Steakhouse on Urbanspoon