Sometimes, I like to tell friends stories of food destinations I want to try, one of which is the growing trend of restaurants where the dining rooms are pitch black and you eat your meal in complete darkness. This brings me to Jane Bond, an entirely vegetarian restaurant in uptown Waterloo, which I bring up because, honestly (and somewhat ironically), it’s the closest you can come to replicating this pitch black dining experience in this town.
I’ve always had an interesting range of experiences concerning Asian food, from being strangely extravagant affairs (a waiter once offered to cut up my meat into tiny bite size pieces for me), to unceremoniously boxed up in Styrofoam containers (I’m looking at you, UW Plaza). This week, I got to try Pho for the second time since my arrival in Canada three years ago; at Pho Dau Bo’s Kitchener branch (they have another one at North York).
As an international student, I admit it. I miss home cooked food. Trying to replicate my mother’s now, and failing (ever so spectacularly), I completely empathize with those individuals who seek a taste of home in a foreign environment; which brings me to East African Café in Kitchener, to try a food and culture I’ve never tasted from a place I’d never been.
When I first heard the name ‘Taco Farm’, I didn’t have the highest expectations. Picturing a disappointing fast-food joint lit by fluorescent lights, it was therefore a pleasant surprise when I saw the stylish establishment decked out in trendy street art and Spanish tiles. It also didn’t help that I was given a complimentary bowl of warm nachos with salsa as soon as I sat down. It was as if they knew I was coming. Generously seasoned with the thickness of a fortune cookie, the nachos were gone in a few bites. Cutting our losses, tacos were ordered: the Smoked Pork Belly and the Camarón, along with the famous Fried Chicken and a bowl of feature Calamari.
We live in a fast-paced, modern age, chock-full of invention and innovation. However, out of all of these age’s technologies, to this day I still find hipsters one of our generation’s more surprising developments. How on earth did a grown-ass man with a plaid shirt, beard, and glasses go from intimidating authority figure to meek Starbucks barista? It baffles me to this day, which brings me to the Yeti in downtown Kitchener, a place synonymous with the word ‘hipster’ itself.
So in my joy that the -40°c temperatures were over (for the moment) I somehow forgot that it was still January, and failed to dress for actual winter weather. Out on the hunt for my next review and freezing, I chanced upon the doors of Owl of Minerva, in our quaint-as-hell Uptown Waterloo. Aware that Owl was a chain but having never experienced a Korean restaurant before, I was willing to take on an adventure.
From the Author:
Along with being a designer/artist by day, I also love wondering what and where I'm going to eat next. I'll go out and eat with you - just don't call me a 'foodie.'