Lucky Dip – Friday, March 16th, 2012

In Toronto:

After 20 years in business, Alice Fazooli’s has closed their downtown location on Adelaide Street West. Locations in Mississauga, Oakville, Vaughan and Richmond Hill continue to operate.

Pizza e Pazzi has had a soft opening at their second St. Clair location at 671 St. Clair Avenue West. Official grand opening takes place on March 29th.

Sandwich and cocktail shop This End Up (1454 Dundas Street West) is planning on opening their doors to the public as of noon today, but as of late last night, the DineSafe inspector hadn’t shown up. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details on when they’ll be ready to go.

The Hot ‘n’ Dog (216 Close Avenue) is doing so well that they’ve now added hamburgers, pizza and ice cream to their menu. All available with any of the 80+ toppings.

Roncesvalles is getting meatballs. Chef Rod Bowers’ Hey Meatball will be opening a location at 91 Roncesvalles Avenue in May.

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Lucky Dip – Friday, October 28th, 2011

Remember that nice lady on your street who always made the awesome candy apples every Halloween? She wouldn’t hurt you with poison or razorblades. Why trick or treating for homemade goodies isn’t all that scary. [Globe and Mail]

What the candy you give out for Halloween says about you. [My Food Looks Funny]

Tipping part 2, when to be generous. [Inside Toronto: Menumental]

Dear restaurant-goers – if you can’t afford to order a drink other than the free tap water, please stay home. [Nation’s Restaurant News]

Chef Matt Kantor did a Tribute to El Bulli dinner 3 nights this week at The Cookbook Store; Jennifer Bain recaps the 23-course meal. (I hope to have my own recap up this weekend.) [Toronto Star]

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Lucky Dip – Monday, October 24th, 2011

One of the reasons I hate weddings is that the whole thing is a laundry list of things you have to do to keep other people happy. In Chinese culture, this also occurs, only it has some horrid environmental results – as in,  “Oh, grandma will be disappointed if there’s no shark fin.” So this week we urge Toronto city council to just say no to shark fin, and urge brides and grooms to be to question stupid wedding traditions that you do just to keep Grandma happy. [Globe and Mail]

Oh, I want to go to this – the Experimental Food Society Spectacular – where you can see a Dodo cake, an eagle made of sugar and a bum sandwich. [Daily Mail]

Meatballs – there’s a creative process at work. [National Post]

Tipping in restaurants – Eric Vellend offers part 1 of a guide. [Inside Toronto: Menumental]

Tootsie rolls vs. molasses candy? Well, Tootise rolls, duh. But both pull my crowns off so I eschew the chews. [Globe and Mail]

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Helpful Dining Tips for ‘Licious

A few days ago, someone over on a LiveJournal community posted about a server they knew who got stiffed on a tip during Summerlicious.

Summerlicious, for those of you not familiar with it, is a two-week long event where participating Toronto restaurants offer a three-course prix-fixe menu at a significantly reduced price. It’s typically a loss-leader, where the restaurant makes money off of beverages, and hopes that their food is so good it will encourage the cheap-ass Summerlicious diners to come back at full price.

Now because Summerlicious diners have a reputation for being cheap-asses, they tend to get poor to bad service, especially when the restaurant is still offering their regular full menu. And as many people pointed out to the poster on the Toronto community… a lot of Summerlicious diners leave crappy tips not because they’re cheap, but because the server anticipated they would be cheap and gave them crappy service.

Greg and I are not normally cheap-ass diners. Nor are we poor tippers. Today, however, we left an 81 cent tip on a $41 bill, because we suffered through one of the crappiest meals we have ever experienced.

I’m not going to give a play-by-play, but rather some basic commonsense tips for both restaurants and diners.

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