Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Senator Restaurant is a Classic for a Reason

The Senator Restaurant in downtown Toronto

Hello there! My name is Clare Jenkins and I am one of the new interns at SQM Inc.  This week, I am taking over David Lipton’s Blog, SQM Picks.

A few weeks ago, my friend and I were debating where we could go for a good breakfast in the downtown core.  We were pretty hungry, so I suggested eating at The Senator Restaurant. For transparency purposes, I am an employee of The Senator Restaurant but have never eaten breakfast there until this day.

The Senator Restaurant is a cool, old school diner, that makes you feel like you are being transported back in time as you walk through the entrance. It is the oldest standing restaurant in Toronto and it is nestled next to the Jazz bistro and situated across the street from the Ed Mirvish Theatre on the corner of Victoria and Dundas.

There is no question as to why The Senator has been around for so long! The Senator welcomes all guests and has an old fashioned charm resembling the diners of the 1940’s. Guests enjoy the welcoming atmosphere, comfortable seating, tasty food, and the quick and friendly service.

The dinner menu provides guests with an array of old-fashioned comfort food including: classic meatloaf, chicken pot pie, liver and onions, and burgers. My favourite items on the dinner menu are the macaroni and cheese and the roasted beet salad with citrus dressing.

Considering I had never eaten breakfast at the Senator, I asked our server what he would recommend and Alan suggested I try the eggs Benedict with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Since I’m a sucker for seafood, I opted for their smoked salmon Benedict. The best part? They smoke the stuff in-house! My benny was served on a homemade biscuit with runny poached eggs and a tangy, yet buttery and smooth hollandaise sauce that made me forget all the times I promised myself my summer body was the most important thing.

The Senator is a fantastic place to take the entire family. The meals leave you feeling warm and satisfied and can be modified for children and adults. If you plan to go in the evening, make sure you book a reservation, since they get really busy catering to theatre goers, students, families, and their regulars of twenty plus years.  If you do have to wait, make sure you check out some of their original menus, which list steak at 99 cents! Tasty food, fast service and an old school charm, definitely makes this place worth the wait.

The Senator Restaurant
(416) 364-7517


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Thai It Once And You’ll Be Sure To Thai It Again!

Photograph of Thai food from Nana & Khao San Road

I work in the restaurant industry and like to consider myself a foodie since I get to eat out a lot.  One of the things I have lamented in more recent times is that there is nothing different out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve eaten tasty food at lots of establishments but nothing has really excited me in a long time. That was, until I came across Nana and rediscovered Khao San Road.

Both Khao San Road and Nana are owned by Monte Wan. Monte is pleasant, down to earth, and can always be found helping staff and engaging with customers. During my dining experiences at both restaurants, Monty usually makes an appearance. The first time I met Monte, I thought he was a friendly fellow customer asking us how our meal was. To my surprise, I discovered the man holding a beer and checking in on our table was in fact the owner. Now, whenever I go to either restaurant, Monte personally welcomes me back.

The food at each location is truly special. Both restaurants serve traditional Thai food with a twist and the cuisine always blows me away! Not to sound like a food critic, but the flavour profiles in the food are seriously incomparable.  I’ve tried many of their signature dishes including the Bangkok-style Pad Thai, the Red/Yellow Curry, and the fresh rolls and to this day, I have never been disappointed.

The menus are easy to read and affordable. One other thing to note about the menus – while they are somewhat different at each restaurant, certain menu items at Khao San Road are available at Nana during different times of the week. The restaurants ambiance transports guests to Bangkok’s entertainment district through good music and décor.

Finally, I have to mention the great service.  The staff are always pleasant to deal with, very knowledgeable, highly accommodating, and willing to take the time to suggest items on the menu.

While I have been to Khao San Road’s new location, the last time I ate at Nana was when the Tragically Hip played their last concert in Kingston. I was out for dinner with some friends and was a little disappointed I was going to miss the show (after all, the whole country shut down that evening!) but about 10-15 minutes before the concert, the staff lowered a screen behind the bar and streamed the whole show for all of the customers to enjoy. It really created a nice community feeling with the other customers at the restaurant and everyone left happy.

If you’re ever looking for a great meal, love Thai food and want to try something a little different, check out these two amazing restaurants. You won’t leave hungry, but you will leave happy.

647-352-5773 x 2

Khao San Road
647-352-5773 x 1



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Driving Success with Excellent Customer Service

Maple Nissan Dealership Photograph

For many years, both my wife and I have been driving Nissan vehicles, and I’ve been very happy with them. In fact, I’ve been so happy that I bought out both leases and kept the cars longer then I might normally have.

Several years ago, I went to Maple Nissan in Vaughan, since I had an issue with the tire pressure sensor in one of my vehicles. I rarely contact the dealerships as I have a few trusted mechanics that I go to for all my work, but for something like this, I did my research, and learned that it’s better to have the actual Nissan factory product, which is significantly pricier than after market products.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, and the tire pressure sensor came on again. After checking the pressure in the tires and discovering they were all fine, I thought, there is a good chance that this was a problem with the sensor. Since the initial repair was done less then two years ago, and was somewhat expensive, I decided to follow up with the dealership. I called them up and introduced myself to the Service Manager, Matthew Grieco, and told him that I used to deal with one of his colleagues who no longer works there. I explained the issue to Matthew and told him I was a bit upset since it wasn’t too long ago that I fixed the sensors for the first time.

Matthew told me to come over to the dealership so they could make sure that this was in fact an issue with the sensor and have a look at what they could do about it. We then arranged a specific time and I headed to Maple Nissan.

As soon as I arrived at Maple Nissan, Matthew was there to greet me and had one of his mechanics take a look at the vehicle. After about 15 minutes, Matthew told me that they were reprogramming some of the sensors and this should take care of the issue. While I was glad that the problem seemed relatively minor, I was prepared for a hefty ding of a diagnostics fee (anyone who’s been to a dealer knows the feeling of receiving the dreaded bill at the end all too well). However, Matthew told me it was no problem and not to worry about a charge. Matthew said he was glad to take care of the problem and apologized for the inconvenience.

In a day and age when most automotive dealerships are making money off of service, Matthew could have easily charged me for diagnosing the problem but he took care of it, and kept me very pleased. Since then, I have told a few friends how great the service is at Maple Nissan. At Maple Nissan they stand behind their product and provide excellent customer service. It goes without saying, if I ever need to buy another Nissan, I’ll go back to them.

Maple Nissan
(905) 417-7211


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