Friday, 14 August 2009

Small, Unassuming, Delicious!

The Geek and I have been discussing the classification of eating establishments. I looked up the definitions of some of these words, and this is what I found.

cafe ~ noun
1. a restaurant, often with an enclosed or outdoor section extending onto the sidewalk.
2. a restaurant, usually small and unpretentious.

diner ~ noun
1. a small, informal, and usually inexpensive restaurant.

restaurant ~noun
1. a place where meals are served to the public.

bistro ~ noun
1. a small, modest, informal, European-style restaurant serving wine.

Basically, they all mean the same thing. But not all eating establishments are created equal. We have found a few favourites among the many we have tried. Here are three of them; small, unassuming places all.

Chez Sophie: Rue Langevin and De La Cathedral.
A few years ago several couples moved to Canada from Alsace, France. One couple bought Le Croissant, a French bakery on Tache, and another couple bought Aladdin's Pizza. Aladdin's underwent several name changes in the next few years. Aladdin's Chez Sophie, Chez Sophie Aladdin's, and now just plain Chez Sophie. I suspect they did not want to lose the customers that new them as Aladdin's as they transformed themselves.

During our brief heatwave, the Geek and I had supper on Sophie's patio. She had a Chevre Salad and I had the tortellini a la creme. Both were great.

Dessert was a marvelous, refreshing, Strawberry Melba.

We have been there several times and have never been disappointed.

The Tallest Poppy: 631 Main Street. Kudos to the woman who opened her restaurant on the Main Street strip before gentrification had really started.

As her sign said, this is where the North End does meet the deep south. Items on her menu have included sandwiches with egg salad with blue cheese, pulled pork, bar-b-que chicken, and bison brisket.

The furnishings could best be described as eclectic and the decorations minimal. But the place is clean and the food is good.

Bistro 7 1/4: 725 Osborne St. S. I have been hearing good things about this place for awhile.

In most places, a seat near the kitchen is supposed to be some kind of punishment for annoying the maitre d'. Here, the Chef's table is the kitchen and as far as I am concerned, it is the best seat in the house. You are able to watch the chefs at work, and see what goes into their meal.

Mussels are the house specialty and they went through a lot in the hour we were there. The Geek plans to try those next time.

I'll do another post later about some of our other favourite places.

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