Monday, 23 April 2018

Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto, ON (University Avenue)

I had supper this evening at Pizzeria Libretto (University Avenue, just north of King Street W).  It was surprisingly busy for a Monday night.

Free samples at - April 2018

A couple weeks ago, I had answered an emailed survey from SampleSource and a box of free goodies (free!) arrived today.  This is the seventh box of samples I've gotten from them over the years.

Here is what I received along with some coupons.

Looks like some fun stuff for Gord, Crumpet, Muffin and I to try ... there is something for us all!

Easy Restaurant, Toronto, ON

I had an early lunch today at Easy Restaurant on Queen Street W, just east of the Roncy/King Street W/Queen Street W intersection.

Easy is know for their breakfast and I was torn between having breakfast or lunch ... and went with lunch.  I ordered the grass fed burger (but without the cheese, onions or peppers).  There were no condiments for the burger so I used what I'm assuming was chipotle mayo on it.  It was a good burger.  The fries were good too.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Book ~ "Indefensible" (2016) Pamela Callow

From GoodreadsWhen Elise Vanderzell plummets from her bedroom balcony one gorgeous summer night, her children awaken to a nightmare.

Their mother is dead.

Their father is charged with her murder.

Lawyer Kate Lange knows all about nightmares. She’s survived the darkest period of her troubled life and the wounds are still raw. Now she’s been handed a case that seems utterly unwinnable: defending her boss, high-profile lawyer Randall Barrett. A prosecutor’s dream suspect, Randall is a man who was cuckolded by his ex-wife. A man who could not control his temper. A man who had argued bitterly with the victim the previous day in full view of his children.

With limited criminal law experience, Kate finds herself enmeshed in a family fractured by doubt. Randall’s teenage son is intent on killing him. His daughter wants only to feel safe again. And the entire legal community would like nothing better than to see Randall receive a public comeuppance. As Kate races to stay a step ahead of the prosecution, a silent predator is waiting for the perfect time to deal the final blow. 

Elise and Randall had been married and have two children, Lucy who is twelve and Nick who is fifteen.  When they split up, Elise stayed in Toronto and Randall moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and started his own law firm.  Elise brings the children to Halifax one summer to spend some time with their father.  Randall arrives unannounced where Elise is staying the day they arrive.  Randall and Elise have a big argument and that night Elise is found dead.  Nick swears he saw his father toss his mother over the balcony to her death and Randall is eventually arrested.  This takes up a big part of the book.  With few options, Randall asks Kate, a lawyer in his firm, to represent him.  With no criminal experience, an unlicensed partner and an attraction to Randall, Kate begrudgingly takes on his case.

This is the second book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style.  It is written in third person perspective with the focus on wherever the action is.  The editing could have been a bit tighter, though, because Randall's dog is Charlie yet later in the book it is referred to as "Scrubby" a couple times.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence. 

The author was raised and lives in Halifax (I was born and lived in Nova Scotia until I was in my twenties ... my sister lives in Halifax).  I liked that the author set the story in Halifax and didn't make it look like it was Any Town, USA ... there are local references such as Kate's colleagues going to a pub called the Lower Deck and a bar called the Economy Shoe Shop (I've been to both) and she goes jogging in Point Pleasant Park (I've been there too).

This is the second in the Kate Lange series (so far there are four and I read the first one last month) and I look forward to reading the others in the series.

Café Diplomatico Restaurant & Pizzeria, Toronto, ON

I had supper tonight at Café Diplomatico (College Street/Clinton Street).  I've been there a couple times over the years but for some reason have never blogged about it.

It was nice to sit on the heated patio

I ordered a personal pizza with pepperoni, bacon and sliced tomatoes.  I love love love pizza and this was a good pizza.

GDous Juicy Chicken House, Toronto, ON

I had lunch today at GDous, a Shanghai fried chicken chain on Spadina Avenue just north of Queen Street W.  They recently opened but apparently haven't had their official opening yet.

A lot of their menu items aren't available.  I ordered the Crispy Chicken Steak combo.  I was told it would take 7 minutes to make but it was actually 25 minutes.  The fries were kind of cold.  The chicken was good.  It looked like a boneless chicken breast until I got to the end, which was hidden in the bag, which was actually just bones.  Surprising considering the cost plus that's what the pictures on the wall look like.  I would be inclined to make it a boneless chicken breast.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Duke Of Cornwall, Toronto, ON

I had supper this evening at the Duke of Cornwall (on University Avenue, just north of Queen Street W).  It just opened about three months ago.

I ordered chicken wings (medium) and fries with Ranch sauce.  They were good.

Erin was the server/bartender.  She was friendly and took good care of me.

Duke Of Cornwall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Boston Pizza, Oakville, ON

I had lunch today at Boston Pizza in Oakville (North Service Road/Dorval).

I sat in the dining room

I ordered the Broken Lasagna (with no onions or parm).  I've had it a few times before and like it, though it's been a while since I've had it.  It was really good.  It was hot and freshly made.  There was a lot of sausage.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Book ~ "Off the Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge" (2017) Becky Aikman

From Goodreads ~ "You've always been crazy," says Louise to Thelma, having just outrun the police in a car chase and locked an officer in the trunk of his own car. "This is just the first chance you've had to express yourself."

In 1991, Thelma and Louise, the story of two outlaw women on the run from their disenchanted lives, was a revelation. Suddenly, for the first time, here was a film in which women were, in every sense, behind the wheel. It turned the tables on Hollywood, instantly becoming a classic and continues today to electrify audiences as a cultural statement of defiance. But if the film's place in history now seems certain, at the time its creation was a long shot.

Before Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon and a young up-and-coming actor named Brad Pitt got involved, "Thelma and Louise" was just an idea in the head of Callie Khouri, a thirty-year-old music video production manager, who was fed up with working behind the scenes on sleazy sets. At four a.m. one night, sitting in her car outside the ramshackle bungalow in Santa Monica that she shared with two friends, she had a vision: two women on a crime spree, fleeing their dull and tedious lives - lives like hers - in search of a freedom they had never before been able to realize. She knew in that moment that she had to be the one to write it.

But in the late 1980s, Hollywood was dominated by men, both on the screen and behind the scenes. The likelihood of a script by an unheard-of screenwriter starring two women in lead roles actually getting made was remote. But Callie had one thing going for her - she had no idea she was attempting the almost impossible. And she pulled it off, by dint of sheer hard work and some good luck when she was able to get the script into the hands of the brilliant English filmmaker Ridley Scott, who saw its huge potential. With Scott on board, a team willing to challenge the odds came together - including not only the stars Davis and Sarandon, but also legends like actor Harvey Keitel, composer Hans Zimmer, and old-school studio chief Alan Ladd Jr. - to create one of the most controversial movies of all time.

In "Off the Cliff", Becky Aikman tells the full extraordinary story behind this feminist sensation, which crashed through barricades and upended convention. Drawing on 130 exclusive interviews with the key players from this remarkable cast of actors, writers, and filmmakers, Aikman tells an inspiring and important underdog story about creativity, the magic of cinema, and the unjust obstacles that women in Hollywood continue to face to this day. 

Louise and Thelma
Thelma & Louise is a movie made in 1991 starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon as two friends who go on a road trip with unexpected results.  The supporting cast included Christopher McDonald, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen and Brad Pitt.

Thelma and Louise are best friends who set out for a weekend vacation at a fishing cabin in the mountains.  Thelma is a ditzy housewife married to a disrespectful and controlling man named Darryl.  Louise is a waitress in a diner and dating a musician named Jimmy, who spends most of his time on the road.  The vacation doesn't go as planned they end up on the run for murder.  Rather than be captured and spend the rest of their lives in jail, Thelma suggests that they "keep going" and they ride the car over the cliff to their deaths.

This book is all about the movie.  It discusses how the writer shopped the script around and Ridley Scott finally decided to direct it, the small budget, casting of the parts (Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster were originally chosen for the leads but eventually dropped out due to other commitments), the actually filming of the movie, the reaction after the movie was made, how it's become a classic and what the actors had done before and since the movie.  I found it interesting to get the behind-the-scene view of what was going on at the time and during the filming.

It's been a lot of years since I've seen Thelma & Louise and after reading this book, I'm going to watch it soon now that I have the inside scoop.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Topbox - April 2018

My April Topbox arrived today.

For only $12 a month, you will receive a Topbox with 4 carefully selected, indulgent, beauty products. Then test the products in the comfort of your own home.

Here's what I received ...

Total value = $38.81 value

Retro Suites Hotel, Chatham, ON

I spent the last night in Chatham (three hours from Toronto) at the Retro Suites Hotel ... I've stayed here a couple times in the past and liked it.

The Retro Suites Hotel combines historic elements of the King William Block with modern amenities, providing an unparalleled experience for guests to the region.

The buildings that encompass the Retro Suites Hotel have undergone a series of renovations, with an emphasis placed on preserving their original character and architecture.The Block has some of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in the city. T.J. Rutley designed the George Stephens hardware store in the 1888. The store featured a glass façade — the largest windowpane in Chatham at the time. The Chatham Tri-Weekly noted in its newspaper that “…Mr. Stephens is to be congratulated upon the enterprise and success.”

Later, the building housed Zink Hardware. The entrance faced the market square, where Chatham-area residents purchased their fruit, vegetables and meat products from local vendors. Today, the Stephens’ building has been painstakingly restored and now features the hotel’s hospitality suites.

The staircase, in the hotel’s lobby, dates back to 1895, when it was a part of the Merrill Hotel. The terrazzo floors and tin ceilings, along with the contemporary art and furnishings, give the Retro Suites Hotel its unique appeal. 

The suites all have themes.  This time I was in the Urban Studio.  It was a  huge room!

Monday, 16 April 2018

The Elephant's Nest, Chatham, ON

I had supper this evening at The Elephant's Nest (on King Street W).

It's a BRIGHT place.  I'd be inclined to turn down some of the lights.

I ordered honey garlic wings and they were good.  The fries were tasty too.

The language of the clientele was colourful but I was okay with that.

The Elephant's Nest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato