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Moss Park Restaurant

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Curb side

The meal

My dish arrived promptly with functionality dominating aesthetics; there didn’t seem to be any thought into how my eyes would receive the meal. Despite the lack of aesthetic thought in presenting my food, the eggs tasted fairly good and the bacon was prepared masterfully; possessing a crispy skin while maintaining the integrity of a malleable chewy skeleton. The home fries held no surprises, simple and quite nice. A slice of tomato also adorned my plate, and for the first time that I am aware of, I was certain I was eating a Genetically Modified Organism – I mean this thing just tasted odd. But then again, we should all probably be getting used to eating test-tube food.

My coffee was probably the most pleasant surprise, especially since it was brewed in a machine that likely has a vengeful vendetta planned for the legislative body that passed the end of mandatory retirement act. The thing appears to barely work, but brews a mean cup of café. I immediately asked my server what kind of coffee I was sipping, unmoved by the question, he took his time and then reservedly muttered: “Brazilian”.

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Bacon, Eggs, toast and home fries with a side of rag

The restroom(s)

The restroom was befitting of the modest eatery: a little dirty but gets the job done. Evidently frequented, the garbage bin was full of rubbish, and the wall’s tiles practically screamed clean me! Still, the soap dispenser was full, lights were retrofitted with efficient bulbs (points for that) and a single fruit fly made my inspection a little bit less lonely.

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Weathered tiles and the toilet paper booby-trap just waiting for someone’s shoe

Side notes

My meal, although I enjoyed it, was served next to 2 dirty mugs and a used rag. To be honest this didn’t really bother me, and in fact added to my dining experience (in a grungy, no bull kind of way). This place is perfect if you want to dodge the condo crowd, are an advocate of dirt or simply want to have an honest cheap meal alone.

The only other patron was an older gentleman rolling a cigarette while reading the Sunday news. I probably could have had a seizure and his eyes would still have been affixed to his task at hand.

Unfortunately for us slaves of technology, the restaurant only accepts cash. I was unaware of this, and had to run to an ATM to pay my bill. The stern yet principled owner apologized afterwards for the inconvenience.

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Customer peacefully rolling his cigarette and reading the paper

Moss Park Restaurant

211 Queen Street East (Corktown)

Meal: 6.5/10                                                                    Accessible Entrance: No

Bang for buck: 7.5/10                                                Accessible Restroom: No

Restroom: 4/10                                                             The damage: $6.75 + tip

Average Joe’s

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Average Joe’s streetside view

The meal

As per usual, my meal arrives pleasantly presented with all its items methodically placed in an offset layered manner. I ordered a coffee (drip) and the hungry Joe, consisting of eggs (any style), home fries, toast and your choice of chicken bacon or sausages. I opted for the chicken bacon, scrambled eggs and brown toast.

The eggs are served (seemingly) void of salt or pepper, which allows one to alter them as they deem fit. They’re a single entity, protected by a cocoon like outer layer which shields an inner almost runny center. The eggs are my least favourite part of the meal, but regardless they’re not bad, and a decent portion is served.

The home fries aren’t the conventional multiple bite size breakfast add-on you may expect, but a cross section of a single potato boiled and pan seared. The home fry (there really only is one) has a perfect consistency, and gives to my forks demands with the slightest push-back.

The toast is imported all the way from Cobs Bread (a street car’s length away from Average Joe’s) daily, 2 portions are provided and are cut in thick slices. For whatever reason, this seemingly trivial technique makes the bread taste infinitely times better (don’t forget to ask for jam!).

A roasted globe tomato rounds off the meal, adding some lycopene and colour to the dish. What can I say, it’s a tomato.

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Hungry Joe.

The restroom(s)

The washroom is located outside of the restaurant in an adjacent parking garage. Once ushered in the general direction of my destination, I was confronted with the choice of 4 identical grey doors. I tried all 4, and after 6 minutes entered the surprisingly airy loo. Overall, pretty utilitarian and not too shabby in terms of cleanliness. I felt quite comfortable within its confines, but doubt it would be suitable for anyone unwilling to; say – share deodorant with a stranger.

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Washroom located in a Green P parking garage.

Side notes

My partner and I dined close to noon on a Sunday; providing ample time for hipsters, recovering from a Pabst Blue Ribbon fueled night of listening to Norwegian avant-garde dance music, to invade the space. The tiny place was busy, yet I was offered a refill on my coffee twice.

Average Joe’s

161 Baldwin St. (Kensington Market)

Meal: 7.5/10                                                                                     Accessible Entrance: Yes

Bang for buck: 8/10                                                                     Accessible Restroom: Yes

Restroom: 5/10