Tag Archives: restaurants

They Call Me “Typhoid Wendy”…

It’s the story of my life…just when I get to love something, it gets taken away…I’m the kiss of death!

This weekend, one of my favourite live music venues is closing after eight years: The Blue Olive in Saint John, New Brunswick.  The owners have decided to put a new restaurant in the space.  We loved going to shows there because there are very few places for people like us in the city…when I say “people like us,” I mean folks who like to be home by 11 after enjoying a fine evening of entertainment accompanied by a couple of drinks (maximum).  I also enjoy exiting with most of my hearing, unlike other venues populated by somewhat younger patrons, where the thumping of the bass remains in your head like a piledriver until the next morning.  The entertainers who performed at Blue Olive were high-quality acts and reasonably-priced for those of us who have hungry teenagers to feed.  The Blue Olive helped fill the void left by the closures of venues such as Tapps, Melvin’s and Sessions Café, other places I used to hang out in before…it’s all my fault!

Jim and I had one of our first dates there...we saw Lenny Gallant...

Bands have broken up shortly after I’ve discovered them: Madrigal, Modabo, and Vetch…all fine regional acts from the late 90’s and early 2000’s which are now defunct, thanks to my adoration!

Oh, Modabo...Where are you now?

I’ve also been the cause of many restaurant closures in Saint John…sometimes the restaurant didn’t close…they just took my favourite thing off their menu!  Do you remember Wendy’s beautiful thick Chicken Wraps from the late ’90’s?  Gone.  I must have bounced too many chunks of chicken off of Hope’s head as she slept in her Snuggli while I ate lunch there on Saturdays!  Also gone from Wendy’s are their wonderful Spinach Salad and the Mandarin Chicken Salad…why?  I liked them…it’s all my fault!  When was the last time you saw the Mushroom Swiss Burger on their menu?  I killed that one too!  You’d think I’d get special consideration since they named the restaurant after me (sorry…that’s a lie…but Dave Thomas, the guy who started Wendy’s, is a fellow Ohioan)!  I dare not try their Natural-Cut Fries with Sea Salt…

My restaurant let me down...

Every Tuesday at the Saint John City Market, I used to go to Yogel’s for vegetable pie.  One day, they told me they didn’t make it any more…”not enough demand.”  Apparently, a customer travelling on a bus every week from the West Side to get their pie wasn’t enough.  I never ate there again, and sure enough, they closed within six months! 

Other eatery demises I caused were Keystone Kelly’s (club sandwich with sweet potato fries), Boilerworks (California pizza), Café Soha (Flipwiches), D’Amico (spinach salad, thin crust pizza and amaretto chocolate mousse cakes), Ming’s (Chinese food), and Barton’s (chicken burger platter).  I hope nobody finds out I like the spinach salad at Urban Deli or the chicken pesto pizza at Pomodori!  Oh, no…now I’ve done it!

I love their chicken pesto pizza...I mean, it's okay...

 

It happens with TV programs too!  I’ve lost track of the number of sitcoms I’ve killed.  Jenna Elfman rebounded from the end of Dharma and Greg to star in Accidentally on Purpose (cancelled after one season).  David Hyde Pierce of Frasier was a cast member on The Powers That Be, a satire about the First Family in the early ’90’s which had only a 20-episode run.  Before he hit it big in Modern Family, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell) was in a smart, funny sitcom called The Class, another one-season wonder.  His “sister” in Modern Family, Julie Bowen, appeared in Ed, one of my favourite defunct dramedies.  [whispering] I love Modern Family!

Jesse and Julie in a scene from "Modern Family"...re-enacting a childhood ice skating routine...

They’ve cancelled dramas I love from every setting…Cop shows: The Commish, The DistrictThird Watch  and Hill Street Blues…War shows: China Beach and Tour of Duty…Hospital shows: Chicago Hope, St. Elsewhere…School shows: The Education of Max Bickford, and Boston Public.  Even my favourite soap opera, Another World, was cancelled!  I love Kyle Chandler…he’s survived two dramas I loved: Homefront, and Early Edition.  I’m afraid to watch him in Friday Night Lights!

Kyle Chandler...I hope he doesn't strike out a third time...

So, to all the fans of the above places, bands, foods, and TV shows, I extend my humble apologies…maybe if I pretend not to care, the things I like will stick around a little longer!

DisclaimerThis is a satirical piece.  I’m pretty sure I’m not responsible for any of these things disappearing.  But I would be really happy to have some of them back!

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Eating Around New Brunswick…

Anybody who has ever read this blog knows that I love to eat, so I thought I would share some of the special places we’ve found to eat in New Brunswick.

When driving up to Moncton for the Book Sale last night, we stopped for supper at a little place in Sussex we’d never tried before: The Broadway Café at 73 Queen Street (http://www.broadwaycafe.ca/). 

The café only has a few tables, but the atmosphere is cosy and inviting – the booths are made of light-coloured wood with rounded corners.  Since we arrived at 4:30, it was too early for the supper menu, so we ordered from the lunch selections.  We both opted for sandwiches – Jim got the smoked meat, and I had smoked chicken.  The sandwiches were served on beautiful homemade multigrain bread with cucumber and tomatoes (Jim’s had dill pickles slices on top too).  Instead of fries, there was a lovely side salad made with a variety of greens, and slivered carrots.  The dressing was pleasantly garlicky and tasted homemade as well.  If we’d had more time, we probably would have had dessert, but we were on a schedule.  We had water to drink (although the café is licensed)…with tax and tip included, two of us had a nice meal for $20!  We agreed that the Broadway will be added to our list of favourite restaurants!

Our favourite place in St. Martins is Fiori’s, the restaurant at Salmon River Bed and Breakfast (http://www.salmonriverbandb.com/) …it is on the main drag and only open March to November.  The dining area is small, but cosy.  The walls are covered with local art, and there are shelves around the room with lots of books (St. Martins is a “Booktown”).  The owners are Mike and Barb Fiori, transplants from Colorado.  Mike, a retired police officer, does the cooking, while Barb serves the meals.  Barb makes wicked desserts, which she delights in telling customers are calorie-free because they’re homemade!  The carrot cake is to die for, chock-full of walnuts and raisins – we split a piece because the serving is so large!  My usual choice for the main course is the Grilled Chicken Breast Platter…I choose fries instead of chips as a side.  There is also a small salad with raspberry vinaigrette.  Last time we went, Jim had the Fiesta Platter, a Mexican-inspired combo of a taco, a burrito and a tostada.  He enjoys spicy stuff more than I do!  Fiori’s is also licensed if you’d like to have a glass of wine or a beer.  With drinks and dessert, a meal for two comes in at around $35.

My favourite lunch place in Saint John is currently the Urban Deli at 68 King St. (http://urbandeli.ca/).  I love a good spinach salad, and the Urban makes the best one I’ve had in a while!  It has grilled portabella mushrooms, feta cheese, tomato, smoked meat bits, and egg, all drizzled with an amazing maple vinaigrette!  It is well worth the $10 it costs.  The service is excellent at the Urban.  It is recommended that you get there slightly before noon if you want to get a table!  They also have great soups and sandwiches, some served on Montreal-style bagels.  The Urban has a good selection of wines and beers on tap.

Our favourite pizza place is Pomodori at 83 Hampton Road in Rothesay (http://www.pomodori.com/Pomodori/Home.html).  The restaurant cooks all its pizza in a wood-fired oven, and all ingredients are as local and organic as possible.  Two types of pizza are offered: Pomadoro (tomato) and Bianca (white) – prices range from $8 to $13 each depending on toppings.  We usually get one of each and share them.  For the red: the Con Carne with Italian sausage, bacon and pepperoni.  For the white: the Chicken Pesto with feta and homemade pesto.  These are traditional Italian thin crust pizzas – the dough does not overpower the taste of the toppings.  For dessert, there’s homemade gelato and/or biscotti, which you can chase with a shot of espresso if you like.  Pomodori is also licensed with many local offerings on the beer list – the fittings aren’t fancy – wine is served in juice glasses.  While you eat, there is a large screen on the wall with a slide slow running – sometimes local photos, sometimes info on local food.  A few months ago, Pomodori introduced a rewards program for regulars like us, Casa di Pomodori – you get a reward for every four pizzas you buy.  Jim and I will celebrate our 2nd Anniversary at Pomodori on Sunday night – I’m going to try their Spinach Salad – they put spiced pecans in theirs!  Yummy…can’t wait!

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