Games People Play

With the breathtaking vistas of the Falls being completely ensconced by fog, we turned to the other, tackier side of the area, the tourist traps! I had no idea that this section of town existed. What an interesting juxtaposition of (supposed) natural beauty and commerce.

I guess I have to believe it.

Feels like we’re back in Salem.


If you like to talk to tomatoes…🎶

There’s always a Rainforest Café

None of the previous attractions pulled us in. We needed to find an appropriate place to regroup.

Found it!

The place was cool and empty.

The goods, brewing.

You know you’re in Canada when there’s a curling match on the telly.

Because this place was a micro brewery, the selection was slim and sadly, not very good.

I believe this was a Brown Ale. Meh.

Didn’t dampen our spirits. Cheers!

We got a few apps for the table. Everything was served in abundance, and pretty tasty. I was uncharacteristically still not hungry yet. Stupid stomach.

tortilla chips & guac hand mashed avocado, fresh lime, cilantro, garlic and green chillies served with pico de gallo

The person who was in charge of “hand smashing” the guac must need to work on his upper body strength. The avocados were practically still whole, not that we were complaining!

warm soft pretzels seasoned rock salt pretzel with BEERDEVIL IPA cheese sauce or 3 cheese pretzel with house-made marinara sauce

charcuterie board cured meats, toasted crostini, raw & pickled vegetables with a sage white bean spread

We waited out the downpours for another beer and headed back to Toronto proper.

Au Revior!

Matt spotted a couple record shops in town so we went about exploring.

Poor pooch.

I believe the boy found a record or two.

When I was researching for this trip I found a travel show hosted by Anthony Bourdain wherein here spends thirty-six hours in a city. Yes, it was Toronto. He stopped into a little Japanese knife shop that supplied blades which even the chef himself said were way out of his league. I thought Matt, who has outpaced me by a mile in cookery, would enjoy a look see.

Tosho Knife in Toronto.

Amazing collections.

More detail oriented tools.

Baby’s first chef knife.

Matt did not come away with a new knife, but did buy a sharpening stone and a stone to maintain your sharpening stone. He’s practicing.

We had designs on seeing some live music, but that wouldn’t be happening for a few more hours. Food was already taken care of so we were at a bit of a loss. Matt did what any young millennial would do, he took it to Reddit. A quick inquiry yielded a peculiar result, a coffee shop / bar which hosts board games.

Snakes and Lattes

This place was fascinating. Let me set the table: this was a Tuesday night and the place was jam packed. Every seat was full. They also charged a $6.00 cover charge just to get in. I balked but the gang wanted to go for it.

Packed to the gills.

A huge plus was that they had my very favorite beer on draft, and dirt cheap! Well, it is a Canadian Brewery so I guess it just a domestic beer here.

Unibroue fin du Monde

Here’s how it works. There is a game master that will come around to your table, ask you a few questions about what you’re into and then he selects a few games that may fit the bill.

Our game master giving us an overview of his selections.

You can also just pick and choose on your own. Our first choice was a dice game Matt had played before.

This was fun and fast. I can’t remember the rules now.

This one had a pretty board. It was more of a strategy game.

The winner of the night was a word game called Code Names. We could have played it all night.

Code Name laid out to play.

There was a lot of serious thinkin’ going on here.

We had such a great experience, Matt wanted to go back the next night. We never did, but we did buy the game to play at home. We’ve bullied some friends into playing with us. I was simply floored by this business. How remarkable, in the middle of a work week, to have a full house of young people playing analogue games together in real life! There were no groups of people staring at  phones and ignoring each other. Everyone was chatting and having a real, interactive, good old fashioned time.

Our  bellies were starting to rumble to we decided to forgo the music idea and get some food. When in Canada, you must have poutine. The thing is, most poutineries (I made that up) are walk up stands with no seats, from what I could tell. I wanted to sit somewhere and be cozy. I found a cool looking Irish bar instead.

Flynn’s Temple Bar


My family did not agree with my comfort over quality strategy. They thought the poutine was decidedly average and being chilly and rained on is always worth it for good poutine. I guess I have to agree. We would have amazing poutine before this trip was through.

So-so fries, curds and gravy.

Not pictured were the chicken wings Matt ordered. They were tossed with Chef Patrick’s hot sauce, sounds tasty enough but guys, they were served with maple ranch dipping sauce!!! Maple ranch??? I cannot recall tasting anything as disagreeable as this sauce. Absolutely gross. Canadians, keep your maple syrup on your pancakes and we’ll keep our ranch on our salads down here in America.  We don’t need to mingle.

Meg got herself a nice wedge of bread pudding to finish up. I may have stolen a forkful.

And that was a wrap for today. Honestly we could have drank beer and played board games without flying five hundred miles to Toronto, but this trip was really all about spending time together, and at home there are always too many distractions. I’m sticking with that.

Up Next: The weather continues to be a jerk. 

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