Sargent Taco Shop – Tam’s Pho


Generally I do reviews of restaurants separately, but today I’m doing a review of both Sargent Taco Shop and Tam’s Pho. While the cuisine is different, and one is trying to replicate a distinctive vibe, they have a couple of things in common that make for a good review.

Tam's Pho water.

A glass of lemon water from Tam’s Pho.

The first is that they are both small establishments. Sargent Taco has one table and a few stools, but advertises itself as a take-out restaurant. Tam’s Pho has a little more seating space, but also does a lot of take-out business. The second is that they are both located on busy main streets. Sargent Taco not surprisingly is on Sargent Avenue, and Tam’s Pho is on Portage Avenue. The third is that they are both on the lower end of the scale as far as price is considered. You can get a good meal, cheaply at either restaurant. The fourth is that while the cuisine is different both serve really good food.

Quick and Easy to Go

My friend David Driedger, who I had visited The Mami Project with, had put a post on Facebook that his favourite Mexican restaurant was reopening. He didn’t give a location, but as I was walking down Sargent one evening, I saw The Sargent Taco shop was open and figured it must be the place. Continue reading

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Beaurivage Bistro – Saint B Hotel


Beaurivage Bistro & Cafe

Regular hours 8am – 2pm Monday to Saturday. Open evenings by pre-arrangement(see bottom of review).

Writing a blog, I often wonder if I’m connecting with my readers. Sure, view counts say something, but I’m not always sure if people are actually reading. Of course, the longer I write the more little indications I get that people are in fact paying attention.

Beaurivage table cloth

A cross section of one of the Beaurivage table clothes.

One of the ways this happens is that friends and colleagues start recommending places that I should visit. A few weeks back I was at a dinner put on by Emmanuel Sudanese Mission, one of the two Sudanese parishes in our diocese. The parish was established ten years ago, and the Sudanese community there wanted to show their appreciation by putting on a dinner.

While there, one of my colleagues, Rev Dr. Jane Barter, told me about Beaurivage, a restaurant she had recently visited with her partner Glen. She was enthusiastic about here experience and so I made a note to check it out when I had a chance. Having visited, I can say Jane’s enthusiasm is more than warranted. Continue reading

Donuts, Coffee, Beer N Chips


Despite the title making it seem like I may have some sort of culinary death wish, it’s simply a description of my day Saturday. I was up early and headed out to Fools + Horses. Fool + Horses is my favourite writing spot, and I was there to chronicle my experiences on the first day of ManyFest.

As I was getting ready in the morning I checked Facebook and saw a post from my friend Kent Dueck. It seemed he was involved in some kind of mini doughnut kind of truck. I hadn’t seen the truck on Friday, so as I was making my along Broadway towards Fools + Horses I kept my eyes open for the truck.

Sure enough as I walked by I saw Kent outside of the truck with a big broom and water. He was giving the truck a good washing down to make sure it was nice and bright looking for when the customers appeared.

Happy Doughnut

Caramel and Almond Mini donuts from Happy Donuts and Lemonade.

Donuts for Breakfast

I was able to get my post completed just after Manyfest opened at 11 o’clock. So, as I wandered my way down to the main Food Truck area, I stopped off at Happy Donuts and Lemonade, where Kent and Sandy were kind enough to treat me to a tray of the Caramel and Almond Donuts, as well as a taste of the single serve of the Coconut Dream and the Donutella. Continue reading

Meltdown Grilled Cheese, Tia Maria’s Taqueria


It’s the second weekend of September and that means it’s time for Manyfest. Manyfest means it’s time for Food Truck Wars. This year there are 52 trucks entered. Although it may surprise some people, I won’t be trying them all. Instead I’m focusing on trucks like Meltdown Grilled Cheese and Tia Maria’s Taqueria, neither of which I’ve tried before.

The Meltdown menu

The menu sign for The Meltdown Gourmet Grilled Cheese.

To attempt to cover several trucks over the course of the weekend will require eating of epic, heroic, or simply foolish proportions. Fortunately, I’m on the scene with more stomach than sense. Continue reading

Underdogs Sports Bar – NFL Opener


The Sports Bar is an interesting type of place. On game day it’s a hive of activity. Fans fixated on the screens hanging all over the walls, cheering, booing, or groaning as they follow along with their favourite teams. Other times, when there’s nothing of significance happening in the sports world, they can be almost tomb like. I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum when visiting Underdogs Sports Bar on Portage Avenue.

Underdogs sign

I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two groups. After all one group is incredibly childish, and the other is simply under the legal drinking age.

Underdogs in the Afternoon

My first visit to Underdogs came after I had been at a clergy gathering at St. Andrew’s Woodhaven. I wandered down Portage Avenue afterwards trying to decide where I wanted to stop for supper. I passed by a few options, a couple of which were closed and ended up at Underdogs. I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long for my meal, because there were only about four other people in a space that holds a couple of hundred. (kinda of like some Anglican Churches on a Sunday morning). Continue reading