Friday, June 12, 2015

Roadfood junkie at Shriner’s Surf and Turf Cookout

Roadfood by boat, are you kidding me? I was invited by friends to attend the 33rd annual Shriner’s Surf and Turf. Wasn’t that a party?
They sure know how to put on a fund raiser.

Who are the Shriners?
They are a group who raise money for kid’s hospitals.
The Surf and Turf was held at cottage country in the Georgian Bay area near Snugs Harbor in the District of Parry Sound. I'm really not sure if it was on the mainland or one of the 30,000 islands. Yes! You heard correct, there are 30,000 islands and maybe more, we traveled by boat to get to the party. A Shriner member donated his property for the event and a beautiful piece of property it was. It was a well planned event with a large barge docked with at least six outhouses.

We travelled to the party aboard the red Tug.

During the course of the day they had plenty to eat. Trays of smoke fish and smoked sausage were passed around continuously, along with huge veggie trays and dip. It was hard to leave room for the main event; Hips of beef and battered Pickerel along with four or five salads.
It was a great day and a good time was had by all. That is what these events are all about, good food, good times a day out with good friends.

The Shriners’
are an organization that do good work

to provide a better life for kids through medical care and hospitals. They wear those funny looking sand pail hats with a tassel and are not from the Middle East. Just a great group of guys who work hard to raise funds for less fortunate kids.

On our way out of Snug Harbor on Georgian Bay.Day started out overcast but the sun came out for a great day.

The Snug Harbor lighthouse.

The boys are arriving the party can begin.

The beef is on the barbi.

The Turf is looking good, just another hour and we can checkout the cooks results.Anyone hungry for Beef?

Pickerel is the Surf part of the hungry equation.
These boys are cooking up a batch of fried Pickerel.

It was a great couple of days in the north country.


Had a coupon for Wendy's, thought what the heck it is lunch time might as well check out another Fast food joint to see what is new. Ordered a single hot and juicy with fries and a rootbeer soda.
Well, what do you know another burger with a cold bun?  What the hay is going on? Are we in a burger revolution or is this another cost cutting feature? This has me wanting to search out more burger joints to see what they are doing to cut costs and food quality.The meat by the way was medium rare (undercooked for hamburger) and I dont remember getting Mayo on a Wendy's before. Again! I prefer Wendy's Original.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Harvey's Hamburgers

Recently, I stopped at a one time favourite hamburger drive-in Harvey's, for a good old fashion charbroiled hamburger. What I got was a precooked patty on a cold bun. It tasted nothing like the Harvey's of old. Seems very little charbroiling is taking place now days and new customers do not remember what a good hamburger tastes like. I won't waste my money at Harvey's in the future.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Roadfood Junkie visits Toasters Family Diner in Cambridge, Ont.


It had been a while since the roadfood junkies had been to Toasters in Cambridge. We had almost forgot about the place since we don’t travel the big cities often (not that Cambridge is that big)  but errant's had to be run and we were near enough to make a small detour. Cambridge does have a few noteworthy, roadfood, diners, and dives.

For good roadfood visit, Toasters Family Diner
1531 Eagle St. Cambridge, Ontario.

Located in a strip mall, 'Toasters' is a small family diner that seats perhaps 50 people and it is usually filled to capacity. Their seating consists of booths and tables in an atmosphere reminiscent of true Mom and Pop operations. The menu states they are open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A grueling schedule to say the least, but it does not seem to interfere with their quality.

I love their painted signs and the advertising of an all day breakfast on the building walls. A true roadfood feel to the eatery; there is nothing like a breakfast for lunch, or dinner, but in this diner don’t think for a second that it means light, or diet eating. Their breakfast dishes are huge, small platters of delicious home cooking.

It didn’t take long to make up my mind what to order. I was choosing the Corn beef hash and eggs at $5.99 and the other road food junkie was feeling traditional and chose 2 eggs, sausage and home fries. $4.99. Coffee was extra and the waitress kept our cups full. Seems like a while since I last seen those heavy ceramic coffee mugs that were once common in every restaurant. Toasters definitely has that diner atmosphere, all they need is a juke box to finish it off.
We were both amazed at the speed in which we received our meals.


My corn beef hash although very good, wasn’t quite what I expected. Hash browns, diced red onions and slices of corn beef...diced. The taste of the corn beef was lost to the potatoes. They certainly weren’t stingy with the hash and the eggs were over easy as ordered.

The sausage, eggs and home fries were a belly buster for my friend. Four sausage links, that looked spectacular and ample golden potatoes accompanied the eggs.

I saw a couple of other meals come out that looked like excellent hungry-man specials.
I can just visualize their liver and onion dinner ($7.99) or Ny Steak dinner ($13.99). I guess a return visit will be in the forecast.

Service was good, maybe not all warm and fuzzy but that was okay, we were new kids in town; not regulars and the waitresses concentrated on business. No time for visitations or idle chatter, when working a packed house. I would have liked to ask a few questions about the history of the place or the ethnic origin.I just never got the opportunity....maybe, next time.

 I love a good breakfast and Toasters is just the place to get a good breakfast at a reasonable cost.
 Have to make it a point to go back and try the lunch menu.

Jane’s father decided to take all the family out to a restaurant for a meal. As he’d spent quite a lot of money for the meal he said to the waiter, “Could I have a bag to take the leftovers home for the dog?” “Gosh!” exclaimed Jane, “Are we getting a dog?”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Special Dining-out Occasion with Special Friends

Pigtails and sauerkraut, Rolled Ribs stuffed with dressing, Schnitzel, sausages, pie, and draught beer the makings of, I have a dream.

Your invited out, Our Treat! was the phone message and I wasn't dreaming.
Friends Dianne and Murray were determined to take us out to a place we had never been too before.
They picked a good one. Kennedy's Country Tavern in St. Agatha, Ont. Approximately a hour plus drive from home.
I had never been to Kennedy's before, although it had been on my long list of places to try.
Sometimes, we get so entrenched in our thinking when we eat out, that we frequent the same place over and over.

It immediately had my attention when I seen pigtails on the marquee.
Seems the only place where pigtails are found on a menu is in Mennonite Country. St Agatha is Mennonite country, German food at its finest.

It has a interior that I love. Warm and friendly, good service and good fun.

Probably the stuffed rolled rib dinner is the top pick on the menu it certainly was my wife's first choice, plus our friends and by the looks of the dinner plates coming out of the kitchen, most every other diners choice.
I like to order, what I know won't be available at home, or for that matter, won't be on the menu of most other eateries.
The sauerkraut was not of the doctored up sweet kind. It had a nice tang but not overly sour. I really enjoyed it along with the good mashed potatoes and gravy.

The pigtails had a slight hint of curry, something I have never encountered before in any pigtails. My first taste, I thought, what the!!!! but, the balance of seasonings complimented the sticky gelatinous sweet meat. They were cooked to perfection.
I couln't help myself, I dived into them the second they hit the table and almost forgot a photograph.

About the only part of our dining out experience I didn't enjoy was the draught beer.
I like draught, not bottled beer, but I do not like the heavy hop, full bodied taste which is what I mistakenly ordered.
They had a long list of brews and I never chose wisely, for my taste. 
So I had to have a second brew. Same bad luck.
I need to stick to the common brands like Golden Horseshoe, Canadian or Budweiser. Hey! I never said I was a beer connoisseur.
I looked the brand up on the net when I got home and it said; a wet-hopped 'Harvest' India Pale Ale brewed with copious amounts of freshly picked Cascade and Fuggle hops from Pictou County.
It must have been those fuggles and wet hops, I never cared for.

For desert they had pie, beautiful pie and cheese cake.
The other three diners all ordered something different and I tasted them all (just a fork full).
 and it was down home goodness. My favorite would definitely have been the Pecan Pie which I rated the best Pecan I ever had.
They could give lessons to the state of Georgia, home of Jimmy Carter the Pecan King. Or was he that, Peanut King?

My wife shared her Cheese cake with Dianne for a piece of Pecan. Good choice, I got to sample both.

 Good old down home boy Murray ordered a good old down home desert of Apple pie and ice cream. Made my mouth water, so I finished my beer and tried not to be tempted.

I am not big on desert, after a pigtail dinner, I have enough calories to burn off.
Maybe I will go jogging tomorrow. Maybe I will just think about that statement for a while longer.
Damn! Those pigtails were good. I will definitely return wearing my reading glasses next time (which, I forgot)  to check out what other gourmet delights are on the menu.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I asked a cook one day, what kind of ground beef they used in their excellent hamburgers.
She said, regular ground beef because fat gave it flavor.

Okay! So I am going to reduce a few calories, risk some flavor and keep the fat monitoring police from stopping by.

Start with medium fresh ground beef.

When forming patties, handle as little as possible.

Loosely packed burgers are crisper on the outside and juicier inside.
Shape into thin patties, about 1/2 inch thick and larger than your bun. (the meat will shrink)

Season with salt & pepper and press in a bit of chopped onion on both sides.

Dress the hamburgers to your taste, mustard, relish or pickle, onion, tomato and lettuce are most common toppings.

A local hamburger stand noted for some of the best burgers around town; use to paint a little melted butter with just a hint of garlic onto the grill and grill the buns. A board was used to apply a light pressure to the buns.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Roadfood Adventures on Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Roadfood-junkie travels to the island of women, once, a quaint fishing village now a tourist destination and with good reason.

Roadfood-junkie has a love affair with Mujeres; good food, good people; good prices, and great weather
Isla Mujeres is a small island off the mainland from Cancun, a 20 minute ferry ride away. The island has excellent shopping, great restaurants and beautiful beaches. At night, while sitting on a balcony eating great road food, or enjoying the sound of the surf as it rolls on to the beach of Isla Mujeres, you can see the lights of Cancun. Very scenic, and similar to what heaven must be like.

North Beach is quite noticeable from the aerial view.

Ferry Service
Isla Ferry Service
The preferred way to get to the island is by a very efficient ferry service. Two ferry companies’ shuttle passengers back and forth, the cost is about $3.50 US and they run every 20 mins.
Isla Mujeres is only 5 miles long, running north to south and ½ mile wide, east to west. Most tourist, stay towards the north end of the island in the vicinity of north beach, and its pristine white sand beach. Downtown area is a short walk of a couple of blocks. A taxi, bus, golf cart rental or motorbike are the ways to travel to south end of the island. Buses 35cents and taxi up to $5 are reasonable with golf cart the most expensive at $55 per day. Always negotiate price before getting in a taxi, that $5 ride might only be $2. We usually stay mid island, or to the south, so we rent a golf cart for the time spent there. Thus! We call it roadfood because we motor to all the great eating restaurants that are located all over the island. Basically we eat all meals out, two meals a day is sufficient for a roadfood-junkie.

North Beach rentals
Isla North Beach
North Beach is the preferred beach for swimming and lounging in the sand. The south and east sides are a more rugged coastline of coral not really safe for swimming but very scenic and a camera buffs dream. The waters around Isla Mujeres have some of the most colorful waters of azure blues and greens around Mexico. They have some really good snorkeling at Garrafon park.
It has only been that last 3 years that any hi-rise condos started to appear. Prior to 2006 three story accommodations was all that was allowed. The change has not been for the better; prices have started to inflate and the quaintness of the island will be destroyed if allowed to continue.

Isla Garrafon a great day of snorkeling. Click to enlarge the picture & notice Cancun in the distance.
Snorkeling Garrafon
Snorkeling at Garrafon is day well spent. Builds up an appetite for some great dining out

There are so many good restaurants and roadfood stops found on this small island that a month is needed to truly visit them all. There are also two grocery stores if you prefer to do your own cooking. The biggest, the Super Express store has all you could possibly need including beer and liquor. Mirita’s Grocery is quaint, smaller and more personal.

Down town shops and restaurants are plentiful.

Down town

There is not much you can't find in the way of Mexican souvenirs.

We enjoy trying all the restaurants. There is much more than Mexican food.

French Bistro, Lobster House

One of our favorite restaurants is the French Bistro.
This is the place for excellent service and steaks.
We prefer to sit in the opening and watch the street, alive with people.

Seafood Plate at Miramar Restaurant

Another favorite meal is at the Miramar.
Here is a mixed seafood platter. Octopus, shrimp, fish fillet, rice and potato. Excellent!

The restaurant was totally destroyed in the 2006 hurricane but rebuilt better than ever.

It is located close to the Ferry docks. Interesting to watch the ferrys and people come and go.

Picus Restaurant
Picus A favorite place to kick back with your feet in the sand and watch the fisherman boats come and go while swilling back a cold Cervesa(beer) and slurping your way through a big bowl of seafood soup. Some of the best, I have had.

Filleting Barracuda
People rave about Cerviche which is nothing more than raw fish
cooked by the acid of fresh squeezed lime juice.

I will say the fish is fresh. I watched this fisherman filleting fish
right on the beach a stons throw from Picus Restaurant.

Tics & Chix on a open fire pit.

Catch of the day being barbecued over an open fire at Playa Lanchero's a great place to spend a sunny day with your feet in the sand or under the shade of a palm tree.
While awaiting your seafood surprise.
They call it Tics & chix.
They serve one of these and it is an eye-popper when you receive it hanging over the plate. Enough for a table of four.

My complaint would be, that more often than not it is over cooked and dry.

Sergio's Bar as seen from their pier. Located on
North Beach; this is the meeting place of all the regulars who claim they founded Isla MujeresIsla Mujeres Chatter Board to share their knowledge.

Do yourself a favor and order a Can do Map it is the best investment you will make, and it is your personal guide of where everything is located on the island. They are a traveling companion that you will love to travel with. Cost is $10 and comes with a money back guarantee if not satisfied, but that won’t be a problem. I love my Can-do maps.

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.
1. The Japanese eat very little fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.