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Niagara restaurant reccomendations


torakris
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There is a decent place on the lower hill. Quite large with a huge wrap around, open balcony. I can never remember the name and I'm sure it's changed more than a few times. It's in Victoria Park on the niagara parkway. It's decent at best but the view is worth it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On the way to Niagara just before St. Catherines, is a place called The LakeHouse. You can see it from the highway, on your left. I think you take the Jordan exit, but I'm not positive. Disclaimer, it's owned by a friend of mine, but the food is really really good. And it has a lovely patio overlooking the lake, if the weather is nice.

edited to add link: Lake House

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I had to ask around, but I did eliminate the folks who thought that Kelsey's was a good place to eat.

Recommendations in Niagara Falls - Carpaccio's - Italian - beside Blockbuster on Lundy's Lane.

St Catherines - Wildfire on Ontario Street - steaks and such - apparently excellent.

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  • 1 month later...
I had to ask around, but I did eliminate the folks who thought that Kelsey's was a good place to eat.

Recommendations in Niagara Falls - Carpaccio's - Italian - beside Blockbuster on Lundy's Lane.

St Catherines - Wildfire on Ontario Street - steaks and such - apparently excellent.

Ok, why did I never see this? I just got a notice that someone responded. Weird. Anyway, we ended up at Lina Linguini's in St. Kits. It was ok, maybe 2 steps above East Side Mario's( gag)

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  • 2 months later...

We'll be visiting a number of cities - very briefly - this weekend (Oct 5-7): Welland, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Guelph, Kitchener/Waterloo, maybe Cambridge. Depending on what time of day we hit said places, we'll be looking for great food - breakfast, lunch or dinner - and great coffee. They don't have to be particularly expensive - just really good. Any suggestions for our whirlwind tour?

We'd also love to meet some Canadians or American expats from the region - whether in person or online - who could tell us why we should or should not move to that region!

Lonnie

Syracuse, NY

"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers." --James Thurber

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Lonnie,

Over the summer, my husband and I did a trip around Lake Ontario. We spent a night in Jordan Station, and greatly enjoyed visiting the Upper Canada Cheese Company and the Cave Spring winery.

I'm afraid we won't be of much help with respect to restaurants, since we were camping and cooking our own.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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If you're looking for really top-notch food, make sure to hit the restaurants at Cave Spring and Vineland Estates wineries. I'm reasonably new to the region myself, but can definitely recommend La Cucina in Guelph for well-executed regional Italian food. The best coffee in Guelph seems to come from local roaster Planet Bean. I don't know whether it's world-class, but the lattes I've had there have been among the best in my limited experience.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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this probably won't fit with the brief nature of your visits, but I posted a review (several years old) of Verses in Kitchener here. I have no idea if it's even still around. And I've heard very good things about Langdon Hall in Cambridge.

I really liked the all-day breakfasts at Cedar Barn, just north of Waterloo. Google says they're at 1217 Lobsinger Line in St. Jacobs. Try the farmer's sausage.

it's honestly nothing special, but I always found myself going back to the pasta at Salute (21 King St. N. Waterloo) for lunch.

Bhima's Warung (262 King St. N. Waterloo) does Asian fusion that for once doesn't suck, but I don't love it either. A lot of people I know like it, but part of that is, IMO, because it's the only thing of its kind in Waterloo -- if you're travelling from someplace else it's probably not worth a stop.

can't help on the coffee front, sorry.

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We'll be visiting a number of cities - very briefly - this weekend (Oct 5-7): Welland, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Guelph, Kitchener/Waterloo, maybe Cambridge. Depending on what time of day we hit said places, we'll be looking for great food - breakfast, lunch or dinner - and great coffee. They don't have to be particularly expensive - just really good.  Any suggestions for our whirlwind tour?

We'd also love to meet some Canadians or American expats from the region - whether in person or online - who could tell us why we should or should not move to that region!

Lonnie

Syracuse, NY

I'm sorry, I didn't see this till just now. In St. Catherines, or rather just off the highway before St. Catherines, the Lakeview restaurant is well worth a visit. In terms of moving to that area, or to Niagara, you'd have access to some great wineries.

Welland is a pretty town, (my ex brother in law lives there) but I'm not sure it offers much in terms of culinary wows, including restaurants and grocery shopping.

Kitchener/Wateloo/guleph on the other hand, opens up far more possibilities in terms of availability of farmers markets and local produce and handcrafts. Plus, Kitchener has one of the best Octoberfests going. :biggrin: Guelph is a lovely city to live in. Big enough for a city, but not so much of a big city feel. A short drive away is the Kitchener's farmer's market, or St. Jacobs markets both of which sell fabulous local produce and other merchandise including some wonderful handmade linens and quilts. Either Niagara or Guelph offer easy access to Toronto where you have the opportunity to buy more ethnic ingredients, but it all depends on what you're looking for! Certainly house prices will be cheaper in the Waterloo region as compared to the Niagara on the lake region.

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, we made our whirlwind trip of the region and it was a great deal of fun. We spent the first night in Niagara Falls. Our lodging was near the restaurant where hubby's boss took us to dinner. Funny, we never did get to see the falls! We took off for St. Catharaines the next morning but it was raining a lot so we didn't get to walk around much. Enjoyed the farmers' market but couldn't find good coffee. We drove through the countryside, passed the area advertising the "Ball's Falls Festival" - gosh, too bad we didn't have time to go to it! Finally stopped in Cambridge where we did have a great cup of coffee made with beans roasted in Guelph at Planet Bean.

We stayed one night Guelph at Sugarbush B&B - a superior room, great hosts, delicious breakfast and a fabulous rate. Our room here. I had eggs and potatoes and peameal bacon. The potatoes were fresh out of their garden, the bacon was really superb. Even the coffee was very good. We had had dinner the night before at Diana Downtown, one of the few appetizing looking restaurants open that night (is Saturday night always that dead in Guelph?) We enjoyed our meal a great deal. Only a week later and I cannot remember for the life of me what I had. Except for the kulfi, which was so good it brought tears to my eyes. We both were trying to place a certain aromatic flavor when I spied its source - a tiny strand of saffron (more later).

Planet Bean, alas, is closed on Sundays, but we did find the Red Brick Cafe where we were served excellent coffee.

Essentially we fell in love with Guelph and look forward to returning. There seemed to be plenty of places worth trying, they have a great university, and only an hour away there's Toronto. What's not to love?

Okay - back to saffron. I texted Scott, our son who's on CIA externship, about the delightful surprise in the kulfi. We talked later about it, and here's his take on saffon:

Mom: Did you get my text message about the saffon in the kulfi?

Scott: I don’t like saffron!

Mom: You’re kidding! Why not?

Scott: I’ve had saffron in everything from amuses to desserts – it tastes like rubber bands to me.

Mom: When did you ever eat rubber bands?

Scott: Remember the jar we had in the kitchen at Dad’s? It had coins and paper clips and rubber bands and all sorts of other shit. I chewed a rubber band from there once. It was awful. I think saffron tastes like that. People are putting saffron in everything, it’s ridiculous, using this much of something that’s worth more than gold per ounce. It’s like truffle oil, they’re putting it in everything. You shouldn’t be able to taste it; it should be just the barest hint of it, not a real taste. I’ve had saffron in soup, in paella, in chocolate truffles, in chocolate mousse with vanilla saffron mousse in the middle. It’s too much. If you’re making a gallon of soup, people put a whole teaspoon of saffron in it. At the CIA, all this stuff is available, so they put too much in. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. Saffron soup with saffron pasta and saffron braised greens and saffron wine and saffron chocolate mousse and saffron mignardises. It’s ridiculous.

Mom: When Dave and I had it in the kulfi, we could barely taste it. We were both thinking, “What is that taste?” We didn't even say it out loud, it was so subtle. It was more like just an aroma. We couldn’t place it. Finally I happened to spy one little strand of it and I knew exactly what it was.

Scott: That’s the way it should be. It should leave doubt in your mind as to what it is. It should be a mystery flavor.

So... what's your take on saffron? And should we move to Guelph?

Lonnie

"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers." --James Thurber

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