Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Jack Astor's Bar & Grill, Toronto, ON (Front Street)

I met my pal, Franca, for supper this evening at Jack Astor's on Front Street. We haven’t gotten together since before COVID so it was awesome to see her and catch up. 

Franca ordered a Thai Sesame Stir-fry Bowl with chicken.

I ordered my go-to at Jack Astor’s, Chicken Parmigiana. It’s been a while since I’ve had it there and the first time I’ve had it with spaghetti, which worked well. The chicken had a funny taste, though, and I realized it was the cheese .. it was a bit burnt.

Monday, 8 August 2022

Book ~ "Third Wheel" (2022) Nick Spalding

From Goodreads ~ Jake Carlisle is living his best life, thanks to the crazily successful influencer channel he created with his best friend, Sy. Reviewing wacky hobbies and adrenaline-fuelled adventures, Sy has pushed Jake into doing more exciting stuff than either ever thought possible. Then disaster strikes.

When newbie Helena joins the team, Sy quickly falls head over heels for her. All of a sudden, with romance blossoming and the business dynamic shifting, Jake is horrified to find himself becoming the dreaded third wheel.

Being the odd one out was not what he signed up for. And he’ll do anything to get his best friend back - even if that involves a little light sabotage, an unhealthy amount of jealousy ... and one very unfortunate pair of tartan Speedos.

Will Jake be relegated to the background from now on? Or will he finally learn to stand on his own two feet and succeed at getting his life - along with his friendship - back on track?

Jake and Sy have been friends for 25 years and have a business together as influencers ... they do activities and then social media and YouTube posts about it. It sounds like a fun gig.  Sy feels they need a female host to draw in more viewers so hire Helena. Sy falls in love with Helena and suddenly it's Sy and Helena hanging out all the time and Jake has become the third wheel. Because of his friendship with Sy, Jake tries to go along with the new relationships but ends up feeling left out and resentful.

I've read many books by this author and thought this one was okay, though I found it wasn't as light and fun as previous ones. It is written in first person perspective in Jake's voice and it's as if he is speaking to me, the reader. I wasn't crazy about the main characters. Jake is a bit of a wimp and lets Sy and Helena walk over him (though he gets better towards the end). Sy lets his new relationship with Helena take precedence over his lifelong friendship with Jake. The author is English as are the characters so there were some references to I didn't know like an airing cupboard, a muggins, etc.  As a head's up, there is a swearing (lots of F-bombs).

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Fionn MacCool's, Windsor, ON

Gord and I had breakfast at Fionn MacCool's this morning ... it's in the lobby of the Four Points by Sheraton.

We both ordered bacon and eggs and it was good and hearty.  It was supposed to come with beans but we said we didn't want any.  The toast, though, wasn't very toasted.

Our server was friendly.  There must have been issues in the kitchen because it took a long time for the servers to get food out.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Eastwood's Grill & Lounge, Windsor, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Eastwood's Grill & Lounge.

I’d recently read about Windsor pizzas (the pepperoni is shredded and they use canned mushrooms) and saw they had them on the menu so ordered one with no mushrooms. When it arrived, it was pale and kind of cold and the cheese wasn’t fully melted. So I asked to have it put back in the oven. It didn’t make a big difference but it was hotter. And there's wasn't "loads" of cheese ... I'd asked for extra and I still wouldn't consider it "loaded". It reminded me of a frozen pizza and I wouldn’t get it again. 

Gord ordered Cajun fish tacos and a Caesar salad and said they were really good. He said the coleslaw added a delicious fun crunch.

A Dog's Breakfast, Windsor, ON

Gord and I had brunch this morning on the patio at the Dog's Breakfast in Windsor ... it's Gord's go-to place for brunch when he comes to Windsor.

Gord had Eggs Benny and Mark and I had Good Ol' Breakfast with peameal bacon (our usual!).  Both were delicious!

John was friendly and chatty and took good care of us.

Friday, 5 August 2022

The Bull & Barrel Urban Saloon, Windsor, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at the Bull & Barrel Urban Saloon in Windsor.

We both ordered the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger. I got mine with no cheese or lettuce and waffle fries and Gord got his with no tomatoes and a Caesar salad. A very delicious burger and the waffle fries were yummy! 

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

GLB Brewpub, Toronto, ON

GLB Brewpub recently opened on Lower Jarvis Street and we wanted to check it out ... so we headed there for supper after our cruise on the Kajama.

We sat inside where it was cooler.

They brew beer there and you can buy some to take home

Kajama, Toronto, ON

This afternoon Gord and I went on the tall ship, Kajama. ... we did the 4pm sail and docked at 5:30pm.  We try to do this cruise every summer.  It was a warm but cloudy sail ... the breeze felt nice.

Kajama (pronounced 'Kai – ya – ma') was built at Nobiskrug shipyard in Rendsburg, Germany, and launched on July 26, 1930 under the name Wilfred. She was a three-masted cargo schooner. Captain Wilhem Wilckens was her owner and master and he operated from the homeport of Hamburg from 1930 until 1960.

In 1960, she was purchased by Captain Karl Asmussen of Egersund, Denmark. Captain Asmussen renamed the ship Kajama after his two sons and his wife: Kaywe, Jan and Maria. The ship continued to work under sail until the mid1970s, at which time the Asmussens converted her to a strictly motor-driven vessel.

Throughout the years from 1930 until 1998, Kajama traded general cargo. Her voyages went as far south as Balboa in Northwest Spain, throughout Western Europe, and Scandinavia, and above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. In January 1999 after the passing of Captain Asmussen the previous year, Kajama was purchased by Great Lakes Schooner Company of Toronto. After preparation for sea she steamed to England, Azores and on to Toronto. Kajama underwent a major overhaul and restoration to her original profile in just over ten months.

They always invite people to help hoist the sails.

Here we are ...

We headed east around the Islands.

Book ~ "Happy Never After" (1996) Mary Kay Andrews (Kathy Hogan Trocheck)

From Goodreads ~ Since retiring from the Atlanta Police Department, Callahan Garrity is really cleaning up with her House Mouse housecleaning company - especially since she added "crime investigation" to the list of services offered.

Callahan agrees to locate the missing member of the popular '60s girl group, the VelvetTeens. Then lead singer, Rita, is found passed out drunk by a swimming pool near the dead body of the trio's former producer. The smoking gun in Rita's hand suggests that the VelvetTeens won't be reuniting for a comeback tour anytime in the near future ... unless Callahan and her "Mice" can spotlight - and survive - a different killer act. 

Callahan used to be a police officer and changed careers when she bought House Mouse, a cleaning service that she runs with her mother, Edna ... but she still does private investigating on the side.

The VelvetTeens are heading for a comeback but are missing Delores, who no one has seen in about 20 years. Vondette, one of the singers, Delores' cousin and the ex-wife of a good friend of Callahan's, hires her to find Delores.  Rita, Delores' sister and a bandmate, has fallen into hard times over the years and is now an alcoholic,  When their former manager, Stu, ruins their potential comeback, Rita vows to kill him ... and then is found passed out at his house holding the gun that just killed him.  She is arrested and Callahan is then redirect to help her lawyer to prove Rita didn't do it.  Stu had lots of enemies so it could have been anyone.

The writing was okay, though it could have been edited better as there were words left out. The storyline was convoluted and there was a lot going on (too many side stories). The ending came quickly and I wasn't buying it. It is written in first person perspective in Callahan's voice.  Because it was originally written in the early 1990s, they are still using pay phones, CDs, answering machines, etc. and there are references by Callahan of growing up in the 1970s. Some of the terms used are now cringe-worthy. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

This is the fourth in the Callahan Garrity Mystery Series ... I read the first one in 2018 and recently picked the series back up again.  It's not a great series but I'm now halfway through so I'll keep going to the end.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

The Islands Caribbean Cookshop, Toronto, ON (Liberty Village)

I had lunch today at The Islands Caribbean Cookshop in Liberty Village. They recently opened there and I was looking forward to checking them out.

I ordered a boneless chicken roti.

“Chicken Roti - Boneless tender chicken marinated in our unique curry blend served in a soft, warm, freshly made Island's roti skin.”

When I ordered my roti, I was asked if I wanted chick peas and I said sure but I didn’t see any. It was a good roti, though … the curry wasn’t spicy and the chicken was tender. I get it again.

Monday, 1 August 2022

Happy Simcoe Day!

It's Simoe Day, a holiday, here in Ontario.

It is named for Col. John Graves Simcoe ...
  • Hero of the American Revolution
  • Commanding officer of the Queen's York Rangers
  • Founder of Toronto
  • First Lt. Governor of Upper Canada
  • Builder of Yonge Street
  • Abolished slavery in what's now Ontario 30 years before the rest of the British Empire did it and 60 years before Abe Lincoln did it