Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dale's Restaurant: Late-Night Burger Joint

Tasty Tastebuds and I went out last night to shoot some pool with a couple of friends (the bike courier and the commercial insurance saleswoman). We won three games to one. Duffy's Tavern on Bloor, near Lansdowne, was the perfect location for our quiet Saturday night hangout (still a wee bit hungover from a late-night birthday party the night before).

Pool cost only a loonie, and pitchers (choice of blond or red) $12.00. Sure, the pool tables were slightly warped, and the washrooms a little dive-like, but the place was perfect for not having to yell-at-the-top-of-your-lungs conversation. Occasionally, the whole place would scarily quake, as the nearby subway rumbled by. And the place was empty save for a few old guys at the bar. So perfect for a peaceful hangout on a hungover Saturday night.

On our way home, shortly after midnight, we stopped into Dale's Restaurant, located at 1285 Bloor Street West, for a burger. Between Tasty Tastebuds and I, we had only $7.50. Not much to feed two. Burgers at Dale's were only $3.00, so we had a budget enough for one each, plus tax, plus tip.

Dale's Restaurant is a late-night mom and pop shop, open until 1:00 am every night. They also sell alcohol, and that's what most (if not all) of the other patrons were there to consume. Old men sipping on beer in booths, watching infomercials on the TV on the wall in the corner. The washrooms were total dumps -- no toilet paper or soap -- but I'd still go back to try out a milkshake any day. I liked the sketchy, depressed atmosphere of the joint, and sensed that it's the kind of diner that's been around since before I was born. Tasty Tastebuds even gives their burger a generous five stars out of five rating (I give them a big zero on their washrooms downstairs).

Dale's burgers were big and flat, with a sesame seed bun and lots of mustard, a slice of tomato and fresh onion. A late-night treat to see us home, to bed, to sleep.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This is the first installment of Freaking Out Over Dinner: A Guide to Eating in Toronto (and Elsewhere) brought to you by two fine and hungry folks living in Parkdale. This blog is dedicated to eating out and cooking at home, all for the love of food!

This lazy Sunday afternoon, Tasty Tasebuds and I, Captain Hunger, ventured outdoors for a breakfast brunch in our 'hood. First, we checked out Mitzi's Cafe, on Sorauren Avenue, but the place was packed, and several groups were already waiting in line ahead of us. So we decided to take a walk and see what other breakfast joints could be found around the corner.

We soon came upon the Stavros Family Restaurant, located at 1582 Queen Street West, where several diners could be seen poking at homefries and puddles of ketchup through the big street-front windows. I ordered a greek omelette, and Tasty Tastebuds, over easy eggs and sausages. The meals came with homefries, toast, and coffee or tea. The service was swift, and the portions were huge, but the food was nothing spectacular. The potatoes were fairly bland, the bread was store-bought, and my greek omelette saw no traces of tomato or green pepper. However, the price was right ($15 including tip fed us both for the entire afternoon) so if you're looking for a cheap, greasy and filling breakfast, then Stavros Family Restaurant is the place to go when Mitzi's Cafe seems too chic, busy or expensive.