Lucky Dip – Monday, August 15th, 2011

Dear Toronto, since I know our cultural conservatism means we only do things after they’re dead and buried in a bigger, more important city, take note – the New York Times has called for the death of pop-ups. Better get out there and set up a cupcake truck or something while we can still hold our heads high as being hipster trend followers. And since “Diner en Blanc” also appears to have jumped the shark, maybe we can have one of those now too. It’s okay, most sheep are white. [New York Times] [Village Voice: Fork in the Road]

Did you donate money to send food aid to Somalia? How would you feel knowing that aid is regularly being stolen and sold instead of going to people who are starving? [Globe and Mail]

Salad dressing on the side. Besides ruining it for everybody else by making it the norm in some restaurants, all you dieters do know that you end up with about twice as much salad dressing in a ramekin (that you usually eat all of) than if the salad was dressed in the kitchen, right? [Epicurious]

10 things to never do in a restaurant. Like change your baby’s diaper in the dining room! (Although as an allergy sufferer, if I got up every time I had to blow my nose, I might as well just have my meal delivered to the restroom. How about if I promise to do it discreetly?) [Toronto Sun]

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Lucky Dip – Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Stuff you already knew deep down but now have to accept because the New England Journal of Medicine has proven it: potatoes, potato chips, sugary drinks, and meat (processed and unprocessed) drive weight gain; fruit, vegetables, nuts, yogurt and whole grains drive weight loss. I am consoled by the lack of mention of chocolate, which I am deeming to be neutral. [The Atlantic]

Toronto school board votes to stop stocking soda pop. Now what are they gonna do about the just-as-caloric juice and chocolate milk still in their vending machines? [National Post: Posted Toronto]

Bees, please. Beekeepers dealing with phobic neighbours want the right to make honey in their own back yards. [USA Today]

Steven Davey gives Against the Grain a thumbs up for the grub and notes that, unlike other pubs in the same chain, female servers get to wear pants not ass-grabbers (aka. super-short plaid skirts). Let’s hope these trends of great food and non-misogynistic uniforms at corporately-owned pubs is something that catches on. And while I’ve never felt much love for Lake Ontario, there are plenty of places to dine with a view of the water. [NOW]

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A Summerlicious Survival Guide


It’s that time of year again. Summerlicious (July 3rd – 19th);  when diners flock to Toronto’s restaurants in search of a cheap meal, and restaurant staff groan and complain at the long hours and stiffed tips. Summer (and Winter) Licious are self-perpetuating catch-22s. Diners expect poor service and so tip poorly regardless, while servers expect poor tips and so give bad service. It’s enough to make some of us avoid the whole thing completely. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With just a few basic rules in place for both customers and restaurants, Summerlicious could be a lovely, enjoyable, even civilized event. Here’s how…

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