The "M" Page
Last updated: 2000.10.29
McGinnis Frontrow Restaurant
160 University Avenue West, Waterloo, 886-6490.
Visited: Wednesday, June 7, 7pm.
Tasted by: Nora, Annette, Kathryn, David, Dennis.
The wait staff were very friendly. It was "Weird Wednesday" night and they all wore weird headgear/hair.
This a sports bar. The special of the night was hot dog and fries for $2. Toppings extra. Fortunately, they do have a regular menu. Nora & Annette tried the hamburgers and were stuffed. I tried the fish and chips. Not bad, but the beer batter they used was a trifle on the thick side.
The bill for the 5 of us before tip was $55. This is an average sports bar with okay food.
8 William Street East, Waterloo, 885-4390.
Visited: Wednesday, July 26, 7pm.
Tasted by: Bryan, Gina, Dennis, Michael, Nora, Katharine, Annette, David, (Tasmin).
An upscale burger joint with vegetarian options. Prices and taste to match. Enjoyed by 7 adults.
Tasmin objected to something and dragged her dad away before we got his opinion. He later said that the french onion soup was good, but the rest of his order was on the average side.
Approximately $130 for 8 people ($16/each) with tax and tip.
Marj's Country Kitchen
Visited: Saturday, August 26, 3:50pm.
Tasted by: David, Annette, Bryan, Gina, Nora, Dennis, (Tasmin).
Alma is about a 25-30 minute drive from the north end of Waterloo. Is Marj's Country Kitchen worth the drive to Alma? The short answer is no.
The highlights were the desserts (which rated a very good) and the milkshakes (so solid, David & Annette ate part of their milkshake with a spoon).
Bryan had the fish & chips which he rated as boring.
Three of us had the turkey special and one of us the beef special. The specials consisted of: your choice of beverage (coffee, tea, pop); your choice of juice (tomato, apple, orange); your choice of potato (mashed, baked or fries); coleslaw; vegetables (carrot & pea mix); meat (turkey with stuffing or beef and horseradish); and gravy. All for $8.95 (or just under $12 with tax and tip).
I had the beef special. The best part of it was the mashed potatoes, the worst part was the tasteless, rather dry beef (as if it was a lunch time leftover).
So, great value for the quantity of food, but not for the quality (the desserts and milkshakes being the exception). This is a restaurant I'd be willing to drop into if I was in the area, but's not one I'd go out of my way to visit. If I had to pick a country restaurant to travel to, it would be Anna Mae's at Millbank.
Marni's Pub & Eatery
373 Bridge Street West (between University & Lexington), Waterloo, 725-4611.
Visited: Wednesday, August 2, 7pm.
Tasted by: Nora, Dennis, Annette, David, (Tasmin).
A pub style restaurant located in a small strip mall. One half of Marni's is devoted to the bar area and the rest to sit down eating. Complete with dart boards and TV's. The bar area eventually accumulated a couple of smokers, but fortunately the ash didn't drift our way.
Wednesday was wing night. Nora ordered cajun wings which she found meaty, with a "not drippy" sauce, but not as spicy as she prefers. David ordered the medium wings. Again quite meaty, but Annette and David rated them as mild not medium. Overall opinion on the wings was better than average, but could be spicier (your mileage may vary).
Both Annette and Dennis went for the other special which was a BLT (Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato) sandwich. A bit heavy on the mayo otherwise okay. Annette went with the default piping-hot fresh-cut fries, while Dennis opted to fork out another 90 cents for the soup of the day substitute. This was an excellent homemade chicken vegetable creation.
Other items sampled were cheese sticks (nicely battered and crisp) and poutine (not bad [well maybe for the health], but not great either). Annette attempted to order the "Fudgy Ice Cream Pie" for dessert, but it was out of stock.
While the beer selection on tap was small, both David and Nora felt their brews were "good abstract beer".
Service was excellent (admittedly they weren't very busy when we arrived). I got the impression our server was also acting as cook. Most of the food items arrived at the table in slightly too hot condition to immediately start eating.
Cost was $48 before tip for the four of us (Tasmin is still relying on her mother to filter her food choices).
This is a neighbourhood pub. Limited selections in the food and beer department, but what they have is good. Unfortunately, also includes the possibility of a whiff of smoke. It's not a restaurant to go out of your way to visit, but it's not one to avoid either.
139 Father David Bauer Drive, Waterloo, 888-9007.
(not directly on FDB Drive, but in a retirement village
behind the Rec Centre, follow road back, u-shaped court on left)
Visited: Friday, September 29, 7pm.
Tasted by: Dennis, Lisa, Jonathan, Annette, Nora, David, (Tasmin)
For a restaurant with a captive audience (it's the centre of a retirement village) the food is amazingly good.
The bread provided to the table was sunflower seed bread (a touch of something different). Annette, Nora and David were pleased with their salads. Lisa had the lemon trout which she gave two thumbs up. Ocean perch was the choice of Nora (very good) and Jonathan (good except for the mixed vegetables). David had the chicken parmesan (a bit greasy, but not bad). Annette and Dennis were very pleased with their roast beef dinners. The beef was nicely spiced and the Yorkshire pudding was outstanding (and I'm not a fan of Yorkshire pudding). A number of us followed this up with dessert (most YPDC dinners we don't bother, but these looked too good to pass by). All were rated as delicious (and for $3-4, very reasonably priced).
Cost for the 6 of us (with dessert) was just under $100 with tax.
Mei King Restaurant
82 Margaret Avenue (at Victoria), Kitchener, 743-6431.
Visited: Wednesday, June 21, 2000, 7pm.
Tasted by: Dennis, Jonathan, Deborah, David, Annette (and Orville), Michael, Nora.
This is a Chinese-Canadian restaurant located next to the Margaret Street railway bridge. Chopsticks available on request.
Nora rated her hot & sour soup as a nice balance between hot & sour, while David considered his to be too much on the sour side. The springrolls were rated as tasty.
Some of the dishes we shared were:
164 Victoria Street North, Kitchener, 578-9189.
Visited: Wednesday, September 13, 7pm.
Tasted by: Nora, Dennis, Annette, (Tasmin).
The speciality is schnitzel, with almost half the menu items having it listed. Served in a restaurant with that home grown look (the furnishings, not the food). Closes most nights at 9pm, so don't come too late.
Nora had the ribs. She was quite pleased with them. The home fries were also very good (the rest of us agreed). The real bacon in the caesar salad also met with her approval.
Annette had a rib and schnitzel combo meal. The ribs met with her one armed approval (the other arm was Tasmin approved), as did the home fries.
Dennis had a schnitzel and perogue combo meal. The perogues were a nice blend of taste with sour cream in the lead.
All the meals came with choice of soup or salad, choice of potato (home fries is our recommendation), vegetable of the day or coleslaw or pickled cabbage. All our meals came with a slice of watermelon (a nice touch).
Most of the adult meals are in the $11 to $15 range. You get a lot of food for the money. Both Annette and Nora took home "doggie bags".
A qualified recommendation. This is the place to stop if you like ribs, or perogues, or simply to stuff yourself. For schnitzel, your better bet is Little Linwood.
465 Phillip Street (at Albert), Waterloo, 888-7460.
Visited: Wednesday, August 16, 7pm.
Tasted by: Dennis, Katharine, Annette, David, (Tasmin).
Ming's is a small chinese restaurant located in the mall at Phillip & Albert. It's knife & fork style restaurant (chopsticks on request).
The dishes we tried were:
Zesty Beef, which consisted of beef, tangerine peel, hot pepper sauce and broccoli. Well received.
Cantonese Chow Mein, a very good blend of meat & vegetables.
Beef & Broccoli, below average.
Vegetable fried rice, David thought the oil was old, I thought it was okay.
An egg roll, a Montreal roll (an egg roll with shrimp), and a springroll (packed with veggies, but greasy) were also tried.
The cost for the 4 of us with tax and tip was $40. This is another "local restaurant", one I'd have no objection eating at if I was in the area, but not one I'd go out of my way to visit.
170 University Avenue West, Waterloo, 747-4400.
Visited: Wednesday, August 30, 7pm.
Tasted by: Lisa, Michael, Nora, Jonathan, Annette, Dennis.
Considering this was a Wednesday night, it was very busy. It took a few minutes before we could be seated.
Annette and Dennis split a small pizza (with chicken, tomato, red pepper, Bermuda onion and mozzarella cheese) ($6.79). Surprisingly, rather bland, there was some much cheese it tended to overpower the other ingredients.
We also split a starter platter ($12.95). This is a good choice for two people as most of the items were paired up (the rolls & squid being the exceptions). It includes a chicken roll (tasty), vegetable roll (different), two types of quesailla (black bean & vegetable/cheese) (both fairly good), vegetables in shrimp rice wrap (which neither Annette or Dennis appreciated) and a large mound of squid rings (tender, lightly battered, a bit bland unless you dipped in one of the sauces). The platter is a good way to try things.
I believe everyone else had the bowl of salad and bowl of stir fry combo. The salad bowl is selected via the usual salad bar method. The stir fry is similar. You select the vegetables, meats, spices and oil from a wide choice of raw materials. Your bowl of stuff is then cooked in front of your eyes on a large circular grill. Back to the table where you can either eat it from the bowl, or using provided wraps create something more hand holdable. Taste will vary. Jonathan thought the sauces were a bit too oily, otherwise no complaints.
If you're very hungry "The Feast" for $14.93 allows unlimited bowls.
Our group fled when they started delivering ice cream birthday cakes (and song) to several of the tables.
For the 6 of us the bill came to $83 before tip. If you're in the mood for stir fry and don't want to do it yourself, this is a good place to go. I'd avoid the pizza. A qualified recommendation.