Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thanks, Toronto: Part 3

I don't make a habit of going to places where Guy Fieri has been on purpose. I do love diners, however, so when Eddie and I were in DC, we found out that the diner we were in had been on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. There was a big poster on the wall. We looked it up afterwards, and what it was on the show for had nothing to do with the menu we'd seen. Basically, it was an overpriced diner.

In planning our trip, I looked up a bunch of places to eat and found that Toronto had diners, too.  Ooh, I love diner food. I love everything about a diner. The diner I found, The Lakeview Restaurant, had also been on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. What fun! The third day of our trip, we hopped in a cab and headed over to it because it was pretty much away from everything else.
We were the only ones there when we walked in. The lights didn't seem to be on. The server seated us in a tiny booth and served us water, which she spilled all over my menu, saying Oops! and giggling and then walking away. Great start to breakfast.

I ordered a decaf. It would take a few minutes because it had to be brewed. They were incredibly prepared for breakfast.

Eddie ordered a coke. They had coke but no ice. He got it anyway, and she came back with three ice cubes in the coke--I found some! she said. The coke was gross.

Eddie asked for white toast. They had no white bread.

The food took an extraordinary amount of time to arrive. Two more people had walked in, so maybe this was a crowd for them. Overall, the restaurant didn't look like it got very busy. In some places, it looked like it was falling apart.
Skimming the wet menu
There's that Guy Fieri again
The food arrived eventually as did my decaf. Eddie and I dug into our meals. I don't know if this is a Canadian thing or not, but both breakfasts we had, the one the day before and this one, came with orange slices we hadn't ordered. And the orange slices were delicious!

 I ate some eggs. I looked at Eddie. He had eaten some eggs. I asked, Do you like your eggs? He was like, Ummm... I was like, These eggs are gross. He was like, Oh, good, I didn't want to complain but they taste terrible. I don't know if they were powdered or old or the chef simply couldn't make scrambled eggs, but there was something really wrong with them. We ate as much as we could, and nibbled at the potatoes and I had some of my toast which was the best thing on the plate.

Then our side salads arrived.

Yes, you read that correctly Our salads. The server was like, These come with your meal. And she put down two small bowls of salad that we could eat at 9AM. The salad looked really good, like a salad I'd make for myself, complete with sunflower seeds. 
We did not eat the salad. We asked for the check. We left, kinda still hungry but too appalled to eat.

To burn off that large and scrumptious meal, we walked a little down the main street, passing a park and some odds and ends shops. Then a man we passed caught up with us and asked, Hey buddy you got a cigarette? Eddie said he didn't smoke, and I prayed that we wouldn't be murdered in Canada.

Then we found a cab and the driver motioned for us to get in but stayed on his cell phone so we sat and waited. We told him we wanted to go to Nathan Phillips Square. He started up the car and it chugged along. Slowly I realized that this car was going to break down. And it did. As soon as he had to come to a full stop, it turned itself off. I prayed that we wouldn't be exploded by a car in Canada.

When we approached a street I recognized, I asked Eddie if he would mind getting out there. He was like, We can keep going. The car shuddered back and forth, and I was like, Are you sure? He shrugged so I was like, Here's fine! We'll get out right here! This is far enough! Thanks so much!!

And then Eddie paid the guy in American money and he had to give us Canadian money back, and that's exactly when we realized that the exchange rate had been very beneficial for all of our cab drivers. Eddie is a rock star among taxis.

My feet hit the pavement and it was like touching down from outer space. So happy to be alive. We walked the few blocks to the square and went underground into the path to do some souvenir shopping and window shopping. Then we went to the Eaton Centre so I could find a small bag to bring with me to the baseball game later because the one I had seemed too big. The Eaton Centre is like another small village. I've been to the Mall of America, and this puts that to shame.

We made it to lunch without passing out from malnutrition without having eaten a satisfying breakfast. We found the food court, and while Eddie grabbed a burger from A&W, I had myself a fancy crepe meal.
She gave me two sets of utensils as if I was going to share these.
Since we had the game that night, we went back to the hotel to pack. We'd be leaving at 6 something the next morning. Our hotel had two sets of elevators, and I was mesmerized by this one.
It lights up so pretty!
And in case you missed it, here's the view from our room.
AND our hotel phone had a pizza button.
We packed, I set up a car for the next day to the airport, I pressed the pizza button (no, really, I did and it's just guest services--I suppose they can order you a pizza), and then we got ready for the game. But first, we checked out YouTube for Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives to look up The Lakeview Restaurant, and the segment on the show was nothing like our experience. The place had lights on and was packed with people and everyone who needed ice seemed to have it. For shame, Lakeview and Triple D, for shame!

We took a cab down, and man was there traffic. The driver explained that traffic in Toronto's downtown, especially at rush hour and on game night, was horrific. Then he gave us a grand plan of how the US and Canada should be one country, citing population and land mass and unshared holidays that could be shared. It was quite informative. When we got close to the stadium, he told us not to waste our money--we should get out and walk down the street and turn and we'd be there. That was helpful.

Once again, we walked in 80 degree weather. The stadium wasn't open just yet, but there were lines forming to go in. We stood on a line and went in pretty quickly. We found our seats easily. The positive: the Yankees were warming up on the field and we were in the third row along the first base line watching them. The negative: the dome was open (I wanted it closed) and we were in direct sun, which is great when you're not wearing jeans. The dome does not seem to open all the way, so I was still pleased by it. We waited to see if any players would come over, but they simply waved a lot.
Not wearing sunglasses
Fancy hat
This is pretty cool to see when you look up.
We found food. Eddie got chicken fingers and fries which cost about 15 bucks and then a soda that cost 5  and he got a pretzel that is half the size of a New York pretzel and that was 5, too. Ballpark prices never cease to amaze me. Seeing that I ate my weight in crepes for lunch, I got only peanuts. Another 5 bucks.

Now let's talk about these chicken fingers. They were not those frozen to fried things. They were like actual pieces of actual chicken, breaded and fried. There were two pieces, but they were large and filling. And the fries overflowed and also tasted delicious. I had a bite of each. Wow. Good food. The pretzel was fine. The peanuts were fine and I took them home with me because there were enough in the bag to last me a few days if I needed to live on peanuts.

We settled into our seats. In front of us were two couples. The girl in front of me spent a lot of time looking at herself in her cell phone by using the selfie camera mode. Then she took a selfie of herself and her boyfriend, and I could totally see I was in it, so I smiled.
See that phone? I'm in that selfie.
 The girls were decked out in NY gear and the guys wore Toronto jerseys, but the girls didn't seem to be really into the game. They were really into the alcohol though. Lots of it.

The largest man in the world sat next to me. He was just very large and wearing heavy jeans and big work boots and I was sweating for him.

Then the game began. I'm not really interested in baseball games. I do, however, like what goes on at them. Two fans competed in a tie tying competition, and the one who tied his tie the quickest won a suit. A suit! And his row got gift cards for pizza or something.

Then another guy won a lawn mower. A lawn mower!

They played a few more games, all with great prizes. And then there was singing. During the seventh inning stretch, they did Take Me Out To The Ballgame, which I sang along to. They also did some Toronto song I'd never heard before. Clearly I didn't sing along to that.

Oh! The National Anthems. I almost forgot. So before the game started, a children's choir took the field and first sang the American National Anthem. This was Memorial Day, so the announcer also said something about that. It was nice to hear. Then they sang the Canadian National Anthem.

Now this is when Eddie and I were set to shine. Before our trip, we looked up the words to the anthem. I mean, we've heard it thousands of times because we watch a lot of hockey, but we didn't know all the words. We first looked it up maybe a year or two ago after we saw a hockey game when the mic went out and the Canadian fans sang the American National Anthem. We wondered if we'd be able to do the same, so we looked up the lyrics, preparing for the day when the two of us who can barely carry a tune would save the day at a hockey game on American soil when the mic went out and we would lead the crowd in harmony. Pretty much, we were prepared for this moment.

Then the kids started singing in French.


Anyway, it was nicely done and the baseballing happened. There was a guy behind us who had some sort of odd hatred for Teixeira. Every time he came to bat, the guy would yell at him, tell him he was on steroids, call him ugly, say his wife should leave him. It was really strange, so much so that the very large man next to me wondered aloud what exactly Teixeira did to that guy. I have my own Teixeira thing. I think he has a lady butt, so when he comes up to bat, I say to myself and to Eddie, Mark Teixeira has a lady butt. My thing seems to be less confrontational.
Lady butt
Lady butt
Lady butt
We were also entertained by the mascot. I don't like adults in costume usually, but this mascot was pretty entertaining. As long as he was rows away from me, I was fine with it.
All this side entertainment proved to be the bright side of the game because the Yankees played dreadfully. Towards the end of the game, they scored one run, so I put on my rally cap, which really meant turning my hat backwards.
It didn't work, so we watched as the Yankees lost to the Blue Jays. Still, we had amazing seats.
There was a guy in that building waving a Blue Jay's flag from his balcony.

The night grew so pretty and not very dark, so we walked back to our hotel. We passed by some really fantastic street performers playing drums. We also saw the CN Tower all lit up on our way out.
As we walked, Eddie decided that we should find soft ice cream. We found a few food trucks, but none were for ice cream. Until we hit Nathan Phillips once again and found the ice cream truck. I normally do not eat ice cream, but this was too good to pass up. I wanted to feel like a baseball cliche--peanuts and ice cream and a rally cap. A perfect ending to our Toronto trip.

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