The "B" Page
Last updated: 2003.1.14
Baker's Cove Family Seafood Restaurant
355 Erb West, Waterloo. 746-2530
Visited: Friday, March 13, 1998
As usual, the food here is excellent. It's been about a year since I
last visited this place. The only thing that's changed is their menu.
They've added stir fry and pasta dishes to their seafood menu. Their
menu caters to healthy appetites, the smaller/senior appetites and
children's appetites. They also have a meal deal which for an
additional $5.00 you can have an appetizer, a dessert and a beverage
with your main course.
There's always one featured fish of the day, this time it was Hake for $10.95. It came with several options from two different categories: A -- soup of the day, house salad, or coleslaw; B -- fries, rice, coleslaw or vegetable of the day. You could select one from each category or two from category B. Most of their entrees provide this option, except where noted.
I ordered the small portion of silver jacket fish with fries and coleslaw ($7.95), a chocolate shake ($3.25), and key lime pie ($3.25) and shared an assorted appetizer platter consisting of breaded clams, breaded shrimp, breaded calamari, breaded zucchini, and breaded mushrooms with several sauces for $11.95. With tax and tip, my portion of the meal was around $25.00.
The silver jacket could be prepared lightly battered or with Cajun seasonings. I chose the lightly battered version. It was very nice and tender (once it arrived -- they'd forgotten my order). It was worth the wait though. One of the fellow club members had some Cajun sauce leftover from their dish. I asked if I could use it. Boy, did my meal taste even better. Mmm, mmm. What a nice bonus.
In general, I do recommend this restaurant. I also highly recommend making reservations. The place was packed at 7:00 p.m. and people were lining up at the door. According to the staff, clients were sharing their tables with other patrons.
Kids will love this place. They have a big treasure chest at the cash register where they can select a toy to keep. They also have games at the table for grown ups to play with while they wait for their meals.
Dennis: I had fish (2 big pieces of cod) and chips (fresh & hot) with coleslaw (so-so) & lemon slice. Very filling. I also shared an assorted appetizer platter with some tasty seafood items. My meal was $12 including tax & tip. Definitely a family restaurant. Busy, but the Friday line-ups disappear around 7:30pm.
70 Bridgeport Road East, Waterloo.
Visited: Saturday, March 21, 1998
Nov/98 Update: The Bakeworks in Waterloo has gone out of business.
Bakeworks is mostly a bagel. They also have a small selection desserts (cookies, 'sin'-namon buns, and dessert bars). They sell themselves as a place that does not use dairy products or eggs in their bagels, except where noted. Although the place is relatively small (in comparison to Williams), they still had a variety of items on their menu. There were too many choices: one had to decide what kind of bagel they want from a selection of over 10 types, then you had to decide what you want on it (vegetarian/egg/meat/type of cream cheese/etc). To confuse things even more, they also had bundles. Bundles consist of something on a bagel, soup or salad, and a beverage. I had Bundle #3 which consisted of half a vegetarian pizza bagel, choice of salad (I had a Caesar) and a Coke product for 4:49 + taxes. For dessert I had a 'sin'-namon bun. The pizza bagel was tasty. Their Caesar salad lacked punch. It could have used more garlic, cheese, etc. The only good thing I can say about the salad was that it was fresh. The cinnamon roll was excellent. It was also very, very sticky. Overall, this restaurant is a great place for lunches or light snacks.
Bamboo Hut Sports Bar & Grill
20 Cedar Street North, Kitchener.
Visited: Thursday, April 2, 1998 (13)
Second look: Saturday, February 27, 1999 (60*)
Fall/2002 update: Building has been torn down.
July/1999 Update: Replaced by Sunrise Delight. (Source: June 30/99 issue of The Record)
The building the Bamboo Hut Sports Bar and Grill is in is divided into two parts: the restaurant is located upstairs and the bar part is located on the main floor.
We were expecting this place to be a bit of a dive. To our surprise, the restaurant was nicely decorated (wicker chairs, Caribbean artwork, the tables were properly with flowers at each table, etc). I was fairly impressed.
Shortly after arriving, the bar part started up. We could hear and feel the music from downstairs. They truly like their bass cranked up. We were the only people in the restaurant.
Their Menu (Caribbean-style) consisted of Curry Goat, Curry Chicken, Jerk Chicken, Oxtail, Ackee and dumplings, spicy chicken wings ($0.35 each), fried dumplings, plantains, fried rice, rice and peas, etc.
Their entrees were $6.99 which included soup, choice of fried rice or rice and peas or plain rice, and choice of house salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, or potato salad.
You gotta like a place that warns you that their meals are large and do not recommend ordering appetizers. They were right.
We started with an appetizer of 6 pieces of wings. These were very good. There was an undertone of tabasco sauce, but there was something else. I would definitely go back for their wings.
For my main course, I ordered the oxtail with soup, house salad and fried rice. The soup was a beef and bean soup with dumplings. Each dish was served in individual bowls. The soup was excellent. The oxtail was nicely spiced but a bit greasy. The fried rice contained peas, red peppers, and pieces of chicken, which helped to cool the mouth due to the spices in the oxtail.
The staff were very friendly and courteous. They even checked with us to see if the bottle of beer was cold enough to our liking, since they had just put them in the cooler that afternoon.
Overall, I would definitely return to this place to try their other dishes, especially their chicken wings and their jerk chicken.
We had probably the best wings in the KW area. Large, juicy, and reasonably spicy (there wasn't a big difference between the medium and hot, and we were too wimpy to order the suicide wings -- we just got the sauce on the side). Paul had the jerk chicken, which was quite nice.
Bamboo Hut has changed since we were last there. They no longer have menus and offer a very limited selection of things like jerk chicken, rice, wings, and a couple of Jamaican curry dishes. If you want specialties like akee and salt fish, you have to phone them and order ahead.
95 Queen Street South, Kitchener. 745-4451
Visited: Thursday, April 9, 1998
Open for lunch 11:30am-2pm, Tuesday to Friday. Open for dinner 5-10pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Reservations recommended.
Barrels is a quaint little restaurant specializing in Thai
and Portuguese foods.
I shared the following appetizers: Spring Rolls (4 pieces), ground pork and mushroom with a peanut sauce for dipping ($5.50) and Stuffed Calamari (5 pieces), was so good that I can't remember what the stuffing was other than pork. It came with a peanut sauce for dipping ($5.95). My main course was Grilled Siam Beef with six grilled shrimps, vegetables, and steamed rice ($17.95).
The staff was very friendly and helpful, especially in selecting a bottle of red wine. Their price list for wines were between $17.00 and $56.00. I don't remember the wine that was selected other than the price (about $17.00). As a non-wine drinker, I really enjoyed this particular wine.
The food was excellent! This is one place I'd like to repeat again soon.
Memories of: Inhaling small loaves of bread;
Springrolls with spicy peanut sauce;
A tasty salad with vinegar dressing (distracted by a few salty spots);
Mee grog (spelling?) which consisted of vegetables, chicken,
on crunchy noodles with a lightly spiced sauce. Scrumptious.
All for just $22 (tax & tip included).
Service was very good. The restaurant was small and nicely decorated. Reservations are recommended. Our group of 6 spent $184 including tax and tip (ranging from $22 to $42 each).
Worth every penny. On my recommended list.
Bloopers Grill & Bar
1375 Weber Street East, Kitchener.
Visited: Thursday, April 16, 1998
Update: This was originally Rita's Eatery. In the summer of 1998, Rita Wideman said "It blooped." and converted the place back into Rita's Eatery.
A very crusty small bun came for those having a main meal (tasty once you got it open). I had the soup of the day (potato, thick & delicious). For the main course I selected fish & chips. This consisted of 5oz of fish in batter (slightly overcooked) with lemon slice, a tasty baked potato with sour cream (instead of fries), and an average side dish of coleslaw. My meal was in the $14-15 range.
Service was sporadic. Decor was an interesting collection of memorabilia with a silent TV displaying Golf tips on one wall. Reasonably well lit. Background music was a bit too loud, it tended to intrude from time to time.
An average restaurant. I might go back to try the potato skins, but otherwise have no great desire to revisit. There are better places to go in the same price range.
Benjamin's Restaurant & Inn
17 King Street, St. Jacobs. 664-3731
Take King Street or the Expressway north from Waterloo to St. Jacobs.
Visited: Thursday, April 23, 1998
The restaurant/inn (the inn has 9 rooms it rents out) is
in a building built in 1852. The restaurant decor reflects
that era (complete with fireplace). However, cost of a meal
would be the equivalent of a month's wages in the 1850's.
Cost for 12 was $408 with tax & tip.
The main dining room was a bit noisy until about 9pm when the room started to empty out. It made conversation a bit of a challenge at times.
The complementary buns were (at least the one I had) a bit undercooked with a slight doughy consistency. Served with herb butter.
I had the soup of the day: cream of mushroom & celery. Closer to cream of celery with some mushrooms. An okay soup. $3.25 For the main course I had the striploin steak. After some consultation with the waiter I ordered it well done. What I got was well done on one end, medium rare at the other end. Not what I ordered but still quite tasty. Good potatoes, but the vegetables were a bit undercooked for my taste. Wasn't sure what to do with the grass/grain sprouts that decorated the meal. They were a bit tasteless.... $19.
Summary: A (very) special occasion restaurant. I won't be back soon (unless I win their dinner for 2 contest).
Big John's Submarines
699 Belmont Avenue West, Kitchener. 578-7900
Visited: Sunday, May 3, 1998, 5:30pm
Big John's Submarine has been around since 1970.
This is the only sub shop I know of that has a take out menu
listing 52 varieties of submarines -- 17 all time favourites;
6 Big John's special subs; 12 supreme subs, 7 club subs, 6
vegetarian subs; and 4 kid's subs. Needless to say, you can
have a different sub each week.
Any of their subs can be prepared as salads. They also have macaroni salad, potato salad, Kentucky Style coleslaw, soup of the day, assorted beverages (pop, juices, coffee, cappuccinos, teas, etc.) and assorted desserts.
Since seating is limited, five of the dinner club members ordered takeout and went to my house (and David's) for a small party. I had the grilled chicken club on white bread (they ran out of whole wheat). The sub contained grilled chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, onions and Russian dressing (recommended heated). Due to a temporary diet restriction, I omitted the onions and dressing. The sub was quite tasty, however, the sub would definitely better with the onions and Russian dressing. Pricing was: Large = $6.50, Small = $4.25
I would definitely return to this place to try another variety of sub.
Seating would have been adequate for our group of five (since
there was no one else there to occupy the 5 stools), but we went
for the takeout option.
There was a wide range of choice. There were the usual type subs, subs for vegetarians (it was observed that the cajun sub was very good at raising a sweat), subs for kids (such as the Elvis sub -- peanut butter, marshmallows & grape jelly, which is best served heated), or you could convert any sub on the menu into a salad. Soup was available as well as an interesting selection of drinks and desserts.
Our meals were in the $4-7 range. They were consumed around the big table at Annette & David's place.
I had the daily special which was roast chicken and swiss cheese. All subs come with special sauce, lettuce, onion and tomato and your choice of white or brown bun (except when they run out of brown buns). I skipped on the onion. I had it heated which was a bit of a mistake, because it made it harder to keep the contents inside the bun. Otherwise, I quite enjoyed it.
I'd recommend Big John's as one of the better sub places in town. They do deliver, if you don't feel like visiting (free over $20, otherwise $3).
Black Forest Inn
1872 Sawmill Road, Conestoga. 664-2223
Visited: Thursday, May 7, 1998
The Black Forest Inn is located on the main street in Conestoga,
a small village about 3 miles from Waterloo (by the fall it'll
probably be 2 miles from Waterloo). It's set up along the lines of
(what I imagine to be) a German beer hall. You can get a meal for
under $20 without much difficulty. Our party of 4 had a bill of $66
before tip. On the weekend they have live entertainment events
which can be a bit more expensive.
Food was rather average. Not too much to complain about, but not much to praise either. As you might gather from the name of the restaurant it specializes in German-Canadian food selections.
One of the items I had were potato pancakes, $2.25. They were different from others I've had. Slightly sour taste, with perhaps more egg than usual. Didn't taste like potatoes, although I could tell that they were there. Served with sour cream and applesauce. Quite delicious with apple sauce.
For my main course I had their Canadian Schnitzel. It had schnitzel (somewhat dry) stuffed with broccoli & cheese (bland); too much corn (alternatives were cabbage or sauerkraut); and delicious home cut fries (alternative was mashed). The dish was decorated with a large green leaf (bitter aftertaste), an orange slice (tasty) and half a cherry tomato (edible). $11.95
If you're not sure what to try, they have platters for two or more people, which allow a good selection.
Not a restaurant I'd recommend, unless you're looking for some German cuisine or one of their live entertainment events catches your fancy.
David Brown and I shared the Black Forest Inn Platter for two.
It contained: wiener schnitzel, Octoberfest sausage, BBQ
ribs, sauerkraut, red cabbage, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes,
and corn. You also had a choice of house salad or Caesar salad
or goulash soup and dinner rolls. You get all this food for $25.95.
It was a quaint place. The service was adequate and the food was adequate. David and I both had the goulash soup. The soup was thick and dark and more of a stew consistency than soup consistency. The BBQ ribs were tasty, the schnitzel was huge and dry (needed a sauce of some sort), Octoberfest sausage was Octoberfest sausage. The red cabbage wasn't too bad, the sauerkraut... Let's just say it's an acquired taste that I have yet to acquire. I'll keep trying...but after 14 years of trying to acquire the taste for it, I should give up and just say I hate sauerkraut and never try this evil vegetable again.
Okay, enough about sauerkraut... On a general note, I don't think I'll be returning to this restaurant.
The Blue Moon
Snyders Road, Petersburg. 634-5421
Located at the main intersection in Petersburg. Take Highland Road west (becomes Snyders Road) or take the Expressway west and exit right on to Waterloo Region Road 12.
Visited: Wednesday, May 14, 1998
The Blue Moon is located in the small hamlet of Petersburg about
5 minutes west of Kitchener on the old highway 7&8. It's located
at the main crossroads (okay, only crossroads) and has been there
since 1848. An old style country pub. The tables we were seated
at were a bit on the small side for placing the food that we
ordered. The table tops took me back to my youth since I don't
think they've made that particular style since the early 1960's.
We had 2 hosts; one waitress handled the drinks, the other took care of the food.
To get things started five of us shared a platter of chicken wings (so-so), pork wings (ribs in sauce, not bad), meat balls, battered mushrooms (so-so), battered potato wedges (quite hot in temperature, mildly spiced), onion rings (enjoyable) and 4 types of dipping sauce. $18.25
We also had a large order of garlic bread with cheese. Quite tasty. But considering the amount of cheese, at $8.95 it was overpriced.
I had the fish & chip dinner for the main course. It came with 2 pieces of battered cod (very tasty), ordinary straight cut fries, coleslaw (too sauerkrautish for my taste), a slice of lemon and a slice of cantaloupe (an interesting and tasty touch). $5.95
Our party of 6 had a bill of $67. Reasonable pub fare, particularly if you want to take a drive in the countryside.
20 Hobson Street, Cambridge. 621-4183
Visited: Friday, May 29, 1998
"Excellent." "Stunningly good."
So stunning, that no one remembered to write a review.
183 King Street East, Kitchener. 744-3431
Visited: Saturday, June 6, 1998
Open 7am-3pm weekdays, 6am-3pm Saturday and 8am-3pm Sunday.
We'll be a little bit different this week. The restaurant is The Brunch. It serves burgers, sandwiches, other light lunches, and breakfasts. Since it isn't open late in the evenings, we're going for lunch on Saturday.
Britannia Fine Cuisine
1 Moyer Place (Market Village), Kitchener
Visited: Thursday, June 11, 1998
Elvis has left the building and Brittania's Fine Cuisine has closed. Source: kw.eats newsgroup
The Britannia serves Jamaican food with an upscale twist.
The Britannia was a wake-up to jaded taste buds. The chicken and
pork jerks, though not so fiery as the Bamboo Hut, were still
very spicy, and plentiful. The curry goat was very fine, and
the octopus was of such an overwhelming nature that it had to
be eaten over two meals. (The last member of the party ordered
a smoked chicken and pesto fettucini, which was quite nice,
but not spicy at all).
The atmosphere was laid back and friendly, and the chef came to chat with us for a time. Overall: recommended.
The entire time we were there, Elvis did not leave the building.
Boomer's Basement Bar & Restaurant
15 Scott Street (near Market Square), Kitchener. 579-2380
Visited: Thursday, June 18, 1998
Nora (as told to Dennis):
Nora's kindest comment: "It has atmosphere."
The beer special was an overpriced disappointment (a bucket of half-sized bottles). The food she had didn't match her preferences; but other people at the table were quite happy with their selections.
262 King Street North (near University), Waterloo. 747-0722
Visited: Friday, June 26, 1998
In a word: fantastic. Their beer list alone was stunning,
containing at least four beers I haven't tried yet, including
selections from Japan, India, Thailand, and Africa. Impressive.
The food selection is eclectic. Though everything has a south-east Asian orientation (pun unintended), the chef has put his own spin on things. We ordered an appetizer sampler (which can be had as a meal on its own). It contained a spicy fruit salad, stunningly good squid rings, oysters, and other items. The fried items were very lightly fried, crispy, and not greasy, unlike typical appetizer platters.
The main courses were again excellent. The grilled tuna was very lightly grilled, so you sushi fans would swoon over it. The seasoning used for the grilling emphasised the taste of the tuna beautifully. The pork ribs, seasoned with hoisin sauce and cherries were meaty and cooked to perfection. The monkfish tail was also stunning, matched by the muscovy duck. Each dish came with various noodles and veggies, delicious on their own.
The atmosphere was relaxed, and the room was surrounded by SE Asia artifacts. Even the bathrooms had mood lighting.
I've used a lot of superlatives in this review, however Bhima's was one of the best restaurants we've been to on this tour. Although pricy (typical dishes range from $18 - $26), the food was plentiful and extremely tasty. As soon as I get that second mortgage on the house, I'm going back.
51 King North, Waterloo. 884-9297
Visited: Saturday, February 20, 1999
Bella Nina has taken the place of Hodson & Company, a late,
lamented, tenant of the address that once held the late, lamented, China
Kitchen, and a late, unlamented Mexican place. Nina of Bella Nina was also
the Nina of Villa Nina (still in business but under different ownership)
and Casa Nina.
Nina has an Eastern European background, which shows up on the menu in the form of raznici (skewered meats, one of my favourites when I lived in Slovakia), and cepavici (grilled ground meat). The rest of the menu is a mishmash of Mediterranean and Caribbean influenced dishes with cutesy or weird names (e.g. "Rasta Pasta", "Nord et Sud").
Bella Nina is very pretty inside, with lots of colour, pictures, and plants, a far cry from the muted tones of Hodson & Company, and the industrial cardboard boxes everywhere look of China Kitchen.
I ordered the grilled tuna special. Although I specifically requested the tuna very rare (and the waiter nodded sagely and told me my wishes would be granted, though perhaps not in those words), it was well cooked. I should hasten to say that despite this, the tuna was not dried out, and remained very tasty. There was a goodly amount of tuna, and it was well-complimented by the sauteed peppers and fennel. Thus, though not as mouth-watering as the similar tuna dish at Bhima's, it was still very nice.
Jonathan's gnocchi (50% tomato sauce, and 50% pesto) was very nice, though not spectacular. Gina's Jerk Chicken with pasta eventually proved to be too spicy even for her, and she was forced to take half of it home. Annette's Jerk Squid was excellent, the squid very tender and spicy.
The only drawback to Bella Nina was the price. It's the kind of place that puts bottled water on the table, and double digit figures on all the entrees and many of the appetizers. A typical meal was $14.95, which I find too high even for good pasta. The tuna special was $22.95, not unusual for a fish special at some places, but that was for the entree alone. No soup or salad came with it. I've paid these prices at Langdon Hall, but there you are paying for the atmosphere as well. Bella Nina's is certainly nice, but not in that league.
For me, then, thumbs up on the food, thumbs down on the price.