Mondello Ristorante

Located along the downtown stretch of Streetsville, Mondello Ristorante specializes in Italian cuisine, as the name suggests. It’s quite easy to find and there’s also a small parking lot right beside the building for convenience.

We went early on a Saturday evening. There were a few tables occupied but by 6pm the dining room was full. Friendly servers and a nice atmosphere but became quite noisy once the dining room was full.

We were there as part of a large group celebrating a birthday milestone. Service was pretty good at being consistent across the table. Appetizers were ordered and evenly dispersed. Our main courses were delivered to everyone within a couple of minutes. The last two guests were a few minutes behind the rest of the table but all in all, not bad.

Appetizers included Bruschetta, Arancini and Charcuterie Board for Two. Everything was delicious. I, personally enjoyed the meats that were part of the Charcuterie board. I am not certain exactly what they were but seemed to include prosciutto and a couple types of salami.

I chose the Tuscan Pizza. This pizza featured roasted chicken, prosciutto, roasted red peppers, basil pesto, caramelized shallots, Asiago, baby arugula, tomato and mozzarella. Delicious pizza.

While quite delicious, it did have a lot of toppings for what is supposed to be an Italian pizza. While Italian regions differ in styles, they’re all usually simple. The crust was also average. I found the pizza at Goodfellas to be much better in comparison for authenticity. Mondello has too much toppings and cheese for an authentic Italian pizza. But the thin crust was nice and again, it was delicious. By North American standards it was far better than any of the pizza chain places.

Pricing was a little steep at $26 for this personal sized pizza (roughly 12″). We found the menu in general was on the high side. For this price range, Goodfellas Pizza would be a better choice.

I sampled Deniz’ Mushroom Risotto. Wonderful flavours but quite salty. This would have been excellent with a little less salt. At $22 this was also a bit pricey. They did use a bit of truffle oil which is expensive but the ingredients in generally were low in cost.

A few other guests had the salmon with honey mustard sauce. Everyone found it delicious and were quite happy with their choices.

All in all this was an enjoyable meal. Modern atmosphere and very friendly service. A latte was accidentally knocked over at our table. Servers were quick to bring serviettes to soak up the spill and offered a refill. Very nice. Delicious food in general. I’m probably a bit tougher on judging pizza due to having enjoyed some very good pizza at a couple other places. But this was still very delicious and better than any pizza chain but in line with other local Italian restaurants. Would I return? Probably. But I would try something else.

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Good Fellas Pizza

After seeing our old TD branch close and be transformed into a restaurant, we were eager to try this new place. We tried Good Fellas Pizza on a busy Saturday evening. We arrived a little after 5pm without reservations and were seated right away but the place quickly filled up. All stone work and brick inside, the atmosphere is set to be Gangster themed. We were seated right by the window and with no window coverings the setting sun was quite warm on us. But with the place quickly filled up we hoped for a quick sunset or clouds for relief.

I ordered a house draft lager called “Oro”. Very smooth and mild, served in a tall chilled Pilsner this was very delicious and refreshing. Our server informed us the beer is made for them by a micro brewery in Brock, Ontario.

We ordered calamari appetizer. Over all was very good. Very tender and crispy batter. But at almost $20, the portion was small and overpriced. The curly cuts were a bit difficult to eat in one bite so needed to cut them down. Would have been nicer to have the pieces bite size and ready to eat. However, full marks on cooking the calamari just right.

We ordered the Romana (family sized) Capriccoisa pizza. Served on a large wooden block with scissors, this wood fired oven baked pizza was delicious. It did not taste like a restaurant pizza. It tasted like someone’s Italian grandma just cooked this for you, the good old fashioned way. Everything was nicely prepared. The cheese was an amount just right. Unlike most Canadian pizzas the cheese was not like a layer of rubber. Thin crust and with san marzano tomato sauce this was one of the best pizzas I’ve had.

For dessert I ordered a decaf espresso and Deniz a decaf latte. We also shared a tiramisu dessert. Was very light tasting and went well with the espresso.

To summarize, on the upside this was one of the best pizza’s I have tasted. Servers were friendly. Cool gangster atmosphere. But on the things I did not enjoy so much was the loud interior. With all the hard surfaces, voices and sounds tend to bounce around. We found it hard to converse. Having blinds or some sort of window coverings would have been nice. The sunset on us was quite harsh. I would have preferred the pizza to be pre-cut. Having to cut such nice pizza with scissors kind of took away from being so impressed by the quality of the pizza.

Would we return? Certainly. But our dinner just for the two of us with one alcoholic beverage (beer) our bill came to $90 plus tip. Kind of steep for a pizza dinner. The pizza would have served three but would have been a stretch to serve four people. At $38 for the pizza it’s on the upper side of pricing. But for a special occasion or a special treat once or twice per year this would be fine.

Golden Fish & Chips

Located along the downtown strip in Georgetown, Golden Fish & Chips have been operating for over 25 years. The place itself is not modern by any means but it has a nice old cottage like feel. Their fish is their success story. We have eaten here many times including bringing out of town guests there too. Their halibut and chips are the best in the Greater Toronto Area. It may not look like the prettiest plate but it is one of the tastiest.

What I like best is the thin crispy batter. It is not thick and spongy like some other places. The thin crispy batter compliments the fish nicely. Their fries are less impressive but the fish is so delicious that the fries end up being decent.

Friendly servers, quick service and a cottage like atmosphere make this a great place to enjoy one of the best fish and chips around. Prices are very reasonable. Please note they do not accept credit cards but do accept debit in addition to good ol’ cash.

John’s Family Restaurant

We have been to John’s Family Restaurant several times now for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located in the north west area of Brampton, John’s is a comfortable place to eat with friendly service and affordable pricing.

Our favourite there is the souvlaki. Outside of Greektown, this is the best place! Whether it be the chicken or pork souvlaki, the meat is tender and nicely cooked on the skewer. Delicious flavour. Served with Greek salad, rice and potatoes. This is a HUGE meal!!! I always leave with a take out box.

If you like calamari, this is also one of the best places. The calamari is nice and tender with crispy batter. Served with a leafy greens salad and balsamic dressing. Absolutely delicious!!

If you’re going for breakfast, a favourite of mine is a western omelet. Nice fluffy eggs with lots of ham, peppers and onion. Accompanied with home fries. Again, this is HUGE! It’s a big breakfast to say the least.

Whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, John’s is a great affordable place with good service.

Konjiki Ramen Toronto

Konjiki Ramen has two locations, Toronto and Tokyo. In Toronto they are located near Yonge and Sheppard. In Tokyo they have a new location in Shinjuku.

Typically, I am more of a sushi and sashimi person but on this occasion we thought we would try ramen. Our search found Konjiki with good reviews. They do not take reservations so we chose a late lunch on a Friday. We read it is quite common to have long line ups out the door and down the side walk. We were prepared but arrived at a good time as the end of the line was just inside the doors. On this day we were seated just 30 minutes after arriving. Not bad for this venue.

I selected the original shoyu tonkotsu Ramen, served with chashu pork, pickled ginger, takana pickles, braised bamboo shoots and spring onions. Delicious! The chashu pork was tender. The ramen broth thick and tasty. The ginger added a refreshing flavour and the takana pickles provided a nice contrast of flavour.

The atmosphere is busy and the seating is tight. But service is friendly and you are not left waiting very long. Food delivery is pretty quick. Over all they cycle through a lot of customers pretty efficiently.

This was our only visit but we were very impressed. I’d like to return and try another type. Perhaps the shio clam broth ramen.

Heaven on 7

Located in Rockwood, it is about an hour north west of Toronto and situated in between Guelph and Acton. We have enjoyed many meals here and every time has been a great experience. A renovated house it is a small venue, and like going to a friends house. Always friendly service and delicious food.

Recently, we enjoyed the fish and chips there for lunch. Cod fish served with shoe string style fries, homemade tarter sauce and some salad greens. Crispy fish batter and crispy fries. Both were very delicious!

We returned a few weeks later with the intent of enjoying the fish and chips again but they had just run out. Our server recommended their burger. We took her up on the recommendation and as before we were not disappointed. This homemade burger served on a focaccia bun made at a local bakery ranked as being in the top two or three burgers I have ever had. Served with an onion halo, lettuce, tomato and pickle this was outstanding.

They have a website with menu. Always friendly and courteous, Heaven on 7 is a great intimate place to enjoy a meal with friendly service.

Reds

While wandering around Square One Shopping Centre we stumbled across this interesting red brick faced restaurant. After taking a look at their menu we decided to give them a try. We were not familiar with Reds prior to this visit so this would be a completely new experience.

They advertise themselves on their website as having a scratch kitchen, meaning they make everything from scratch.

Service was pretty good overall. Our server was attentive and courteous. The food took a little bit of time but if it’s for the reason that they are making things from scratch then I can accept that. It wasn’t horribly long but we arrived at 1:30pm after the lunch time rush. I had expected a little faster but again, was not that bad.

We started with calamari. Tender pieces but the batter was not overly crispy. Good taste though.

We ordered a Reds Burger. A homemade style burger served with lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickle on a baked potato bun made in-house in their bakery. Very delicious and one of the better burgers I have had. The taste and texture of a homemade burger is much better than any pre-fabricated burger. I chose sweet potato fries. These were delicious. Also made from scratch with pieces of skin on them and cooked to a nice crispness.

After this delicious meal there was absolutely no room for dessert. But we did take an Apple pie to go. To be honest, it wasn’t as good as I was expecting. The pie crust was a bit too doughy.

But the over all experience at Reds was very enjoyable. Their homemade burger made all the difference. Like making your own burger. Service was good overall and reasonably priced.

We plan to visit again.