Cover photo by Patrick Q, used under Creative Commons license

In which brother #2 and I eat and drink our way around Toronto

Brother #2 arrived Friday night, hungry and thirsty after a week of local work. We fixed that.

Friday night we had beers and food at C’est What, along with a surprise Burlchester sighting, and a wee bit of bourbon at home after.

Saturday we started with coffee and scones at XO Bisous, did a little tasting at Left Field, had lunch at The Wren, had one more beer at The Only, saw Star Trek: Beyond (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which was crap, and finally had dinner at Triple A.

This morning we got extra-large coffees from Fahrenheit and then, after running a few errands, ate brunch at Batch. Then he was off, like he was never here except a few pounds heavier.

Come back anytime bro.


Cover photo by Patrick Q, used under Creative Commons license

Photo from BiblioArchives, used under Creative Commons license

“If Spock were here, and I were there, what would he do?” “He’d let you die.”

I really do love staying in town on May 2-4 weekend. It seems like everyone else in Toronto drives to a cottage somewhere, leaving the downtown core downright civilized for the entire weekend. You can get dinner reservations. Movies aren’t sold out (more on that in a minute). Patios have elbow room. We almost always spend this weekend in the city, and we always love it when we do.

Friday night I grabbed drinks with a few work people on the back patio at The Oxley, which was somehow all but empty. On the way home I stopped for a few more at Volo, which incredibly was not rammed full on a Friday night.

St. Lawrence Market was busy when I got there around 11 on Saturday, but nothing like it’s normal levels of craziness at that time. The Scotiabank theatre — which I’d expect to be a mad house on the opening weekend of a big movie like Star Trek: Into Darkness (imdb | rotten tomatoes) — was fairly sensible. The movie was very good too…I can’t say much without giving away important plot points, but the audience loved. It maybe wasn’t quite on the same level as its predecessor (perhaps because that one was such a surprise) but it was still highly entertaining.

Then a few flights at the Beer Academy (almost empty!), then home, then grilled steaks and a bottle of Tawse 2010 Laundry Cab Franc.

Thanks, Queen Victoria.


Photo from BiblioArchives, used under Creative Commons license

"You can whistle really loud, you know that?"

Victoria Day, shmictoria day. This was movie day. We watched four:

Star Trek (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was as good as advertised. I don’t want to say too much about the plot in case you haven’t seen it, but I like how they handled the reboot. Good action, great pacing (you basically sit down and whammo, two hours later, it all stops and you go home), funny in parts and lots of little nods to the original series, some of which I probably didn’t even get. A highly entertaining summer movie, to be certain.

The Reader (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was a bit of a disappointment. Granted, by waiting so long to see it I was already aware of the two biggest ‘surprise’ points of the film, but even so, I didn’t think it was great. I think it’s another great example of a make-up Oscar being given to an actor — Kate Winslet — who deserved to win it for a past role. OK, but not great, and certainly not good enough to make the best picture shortlist.

For some reason I recorded The Strangers (imdb | rotten tomatoes) earlier this week and we watched it today. That was a mistake. Rubbish. Sufficiently creepy for the first half, but dumb cliche and crap plot from then on. Waste of time. Avoid.

After all that violent shlock we decided to change gears and go for light and goofy. Get Smart (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was both of those. Not hilarious, but amusing here and there. Not much of a story, but you know…it’s Get Smart. I wouldn’t recommend anyone go out of their way to see this, but if you notice it’s on, there are worse things you could watch. Oh, and Anne Hathaway: hideous. I can barely stand to look at her.

And here endeth the movieathon. Tomorrow it’s back to the office, like the rest of the British empire.