Mel’s Diner

20 Jan

Mel’s Diner is an iconic restaurant in the Kitchener-Waterloo region that serves good old fashion comfort food in a nostalgic setting (think the golden era of James Dean, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe). The menu has all the traditional diner items including all day breakfast, homemade burgers, lasagna, milkshakes, sandwiches and many more classics.


This is the Waterloo location (at the intersection of University and Philip Street) of Mel’s Dinner. Line ups are common during peak eating hours at Mel’s.


A classic breakfast of scrambled eggs, home fries, rye toast and sausages from Mel’s.


An interior view of Mel’s Diner (at their Waterloo location). A few years ago, this location burned down but they re-built and today, Mel’s continues its tradition of serving classic tasty diner food.


Pho Tan’s

23 Dec

Pho Tan’s (2076W 41st Ave) is a small, cozy, tasty Vietnamese Restaurant located in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC.  This place stands out amongst the abundance of food fare available in Vancouver! They offer traditional Vietnamese dishes like noodle soups, vermicelli bowls, spring rolls, and Bahn mi sandwiches as well as an assortment of bubble teas. A couple of tidbits: they only accept cash, and waiting for a table is quite common but they have takeout as an option.


Satay Chicken in Peanut Sauce and Coconut Milk with Rice Noodle Soup


Stir Fried Vegetable and Tofu on Steamed Rice


Sliced Rare Beef with Rice Noodle Soup

Tibetan Kitchen

16 Dec

An interior view of Tibetan Kitchen.

Located in Victoria, BC, Canada, menu items at Tibetan Kitchen are influenced by classic Indian and Chinese flavours. Dishes are homemade and tasty. This restaurant was also featured on an episode of “You Gotta Eat Here“.


Shepta (an Indian Chinese fusion stir fry).


Thukpa soup (homemade broth with bean noodles, veggies and your choice of protein).


Beetroot salad with spinach and a palette pleasing sauce. Served Warm.

Crafty Ramen

28 Oct

Crafty Ramen is a noodle house located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. They offer an assortment of meat and vegan noodle bowls with rich broth, flavourful toppings and homemade noodles. Their open kitchen concept allows customers to see food made to order. Crafty Ramen is a small space with a lot of energy and good local fare. Do try it!


A Chicken Tantan bowl


A vegan tofu mapo bowl

Oriental Style Salad

16 Oct


  • a handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced into semicircle shape
  • 5 medium sized tomatoes, thinly sliced into semicircle shape
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • sea salt

Ingredients for the sauce (omit the water, cilantro and green onions) can be found here.

  1. In a large salad bowl, add the onion and squeeze the juice of one lime (or a half a lime depending on how juicy it is) over the onions. Let this marinate for five to ten minutes. Typically this is the amount of time needed to cut the vegetables.
  2. Add all the vegetables to the onions and lime juice.
  3. Very sparingly sprinkle some sea salt onto the vegetables and mix well.
  4. Add sauce and serve immediately. IMG_2099

Optionally, if you are a meat lover, I find this salad goes well with a few slices of grilled beef.


Spring Roll Dipping Sauce

16 Oct


While I make this sauce fo spring rolls, it is also good for dumplings, green onion cakes, salads and so forth. Here’s how I like to make it, which makes about 3/4 cups of sauce:

  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 3tbsps cilantro, finely chopped
  • a few dashes of fish sauce and hot sauce
  • 3 to 4 tbsps of soy sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 5 tbsps of canola oil
  • water
  1. To a bowl, add the green onions and cilantro. Set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan, add the oil, garlic and ginger. Once bubbling, turn down the heat and simmer until the garlic turns a light brown (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  3. Add sugar, soy sauce and a few dashes of fish and hot sauce.
  4. Once the sugar is dissolved, add a splash of water (about 1/4 cup) to thin out the sauce.
  5. Turn the heat on high to get the sauce to a very high temperature (ie. boiling).
  6. Pour sauce into bowl with green onions and cilantro. Mix well and enjoy immediately.

Sweet and Savoury Pie Company

30 Sep

From traditional meat and sweet pies to tasty variations on old favourites like quiches, sausage rolls and shepherd’s pie to unique creations like butter chicken pies and pie brownies, this local Waterloo pie place makes an assortment of delicious sweet and savoury pies and pie-like creations. To learn more about the Sweet and Savoury Pie Company, click here.


A beef and mushroom pie made by the Sweet and Savoury Pie Company.


The inside of the Sweet and Savoury Pie Company’s Just Love Pie Cafe.


The menu options at the Sweet and Savoury Pie Company’s Just Love Pie Cafe.