Tag Archives: Restaurants

How Starbucks Became my “Third Place”

Starbucks Secret Menu

When it comes to my caffeine fix, I will admit that I love Tim Hortons and always go there for my morning coffee. The coffee tastes great and I find it less expensive than many coffee shops.

That said, in more recent times, my visits to Starbucks have become more regular, since my wife and daughter enjoy a number of their drinks, including their “Secret Frappuccino Menu”. In addition, over the last few months, my daughter has asked me to take her to the local Starbucks so she can sip on a beverage and relax in the “big cozy chairs” after a day of skating or other fun activities.

Since I began sharing these experiences with my daughter, I have started to appreciate the Starbucks experience even more. Currently, I frequent my local Starbucks to catch up with friends, have informal business meetings, or get work done without the distractions encountered at my home or office. In fact, between the big cozy chairs, the free Wi-Fi, and some nice music playing, I’m wondering if I really need an office anymore!

During a recent visit, I was surprised to observe how many of the customers at the Bathurst and Joicey location were regulars. What was even more surprising, is how the employees knew many of these people by name, regardless of whether they were a manager, full-time or part-time employee. In addition to the personal touch, I also like how this location usually has seats available. Whether it’s the big cozy chairs, a table for two, or space at the communal desk, they have room for everyone!

I remember Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks saying that his goal was to have Starbucks be the “Third Place” in our lives…home being the first, work second and Starbucks third. Given my recent experiences, I see what he means, and I think that he might have succeeded.

So if you have some time to kill, want to catch up with friends, relax with a book, do some work, or just sip on a tasty drink, check out your local Starbucks.

Starbucks
1-800-782-7282
www.starbucks.ca

 

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Games Night—Stay Latte!

Several weeks ago, as the weather turned colder, my family introduced me to great place for food and fun, located in downtown Toronto.

Snakes and Lattes (S&L) is Toronto’s original board game café where you can dine and play games for as little or as much time as you would like.  With over 1,000 games to choose from, there truly is something for everyone!  S&L now has two downtown locations.  The original location first opened on Bloor Street in 2010, and after much success, they opened their second location on College Street in 2015.

Both locations offer guests a dining experience, however, Bloor Street is more of a cafe, while the College Street location has more food and beverage options.  Of course, the food is almost secondary, to the main reason for going to Snakes and Lattes…..to play games.  In fact, if you enjoy any of the games that you play, they also have an area of the store where you can purchase games (I believe they are the only place in the city to buy the popular game, Cards Against Humanity).

The staff are well educated and can suggest age appropriate games for your group and give you details on how to play each game.  This is pretty impressive given the number of games S&L offers.  The games are divided into zones like card games, strategy, fantasy and more.  Some of the games are ones you have probably never heard of but they do indeed exist!

Snakes and Lattes does not take reservations so it is good to get there early, but if there is a wait, they will take down your number and text you when a table is available.  Even if you have to wait, it is definitely worth it!  S&L provides a fun evening out where you and your friends or family can partake in something a bit different than just going out for dinner or drinks.  It’s an especially enjoyable place to go during the cold winter months.  

Don’t be surprised if you get hit by the bug and end up buying a game you played that night….it’s happened to us more than once.  Alternatively, you can also purchase games from their website.

Now back to Monopoly……

Snakes and Latte’s
647-342-9229
www.snakesandlattes.com

 

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Top 5 Unique Dining Experiences in Toronto

What makes Toronto great is that tourists and Torontonians alike get to truly explore the city through its unique culinary concoctions. Since we all know that great food should always come with great memories, we present our top 5 unique dining experiences in Toronto!

1. O.Noir: Test your heightened senses when you enter the pitch-black dining hall of this restaurant! Run by a team of visually-impaired wait staff, this restaurant gives its customers insight on what it’s like to be blind.

2. 360 Restaurant: Get a breathtaking view of the city when you dine from high above at the CN Tower, and enjoy some unforgettable cuisine by an award-winning team led by Chef de Cuisine John Morris and Food and Beverage Director Peter George.

3. Mysteriously Yours: A fan of dinner theatre, comedy, and murder mysteries? This restaurant consists of a hilariously fun and interactive performance that involves the audience members themselves! At the end of a performance, the audience gets a chance to solve a murder mystery and win prizes.

4. Rawlicious: From thirst-quenching watermelon salads, to beautifully made vegetable spring rolls, Rawlicious serves platters of super healthy and nutritious food. This restaurant has a clear conscience when it comes to eating – there is no wheat, meat, dairy, and refined sugar in anything that they serve their customers!

5. Medieval Times: Knights, horses, armor, weapons, and a castle. At Medieval Times, you don’t enjoy a mere dinner, but a feast while watching an epic battle of steel and steed! Be in awe as the stone walls of this 11th century castle come to life right before your eyes.

 

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Top 5 Must-Attend July Events in Toronto

School is out, and the summer is here! How will you be enjoying the next few months? Whether it’s spending time with your kids, or taking a tour of the city, our list will provide some fun ideas. This week, we are presenting fellow Torontonians our pick of the top 5 must-attend July events!

1. Matilda The Musical: Starting July 5th, experience this musical hosted by Mirvish Productions that features a fascinating story about a girl armed with a vivid imagination. Be inspired by how Matilda dares to challenge fate and forge her own path. Being the winner of over 50 international awards, this musical is a must-see.

2. Summerlicious: Running between July 8th to 24th, this prix fixe food event is something that should not be missed by anyone. For the next few mouth-watering weeks, you can enjoy great food and drinks, take part of a photography contest, and even experience three-course menus at over 220 restaurants in Toronto!

3. Honda Indy Toronto: Between July 15th and 17th, race through all that Honda has to offer you. From a world of automobiles, motorcycles, power products, and even racing simulators, to live entertainment, driver autograph sessions, and interactive exhibits, what this event has to offer is off the beaten track!

4. Cirque du Soleil – Luzia: Starting July 29th, you can experience a dream-like performance that takes you to an imaginary Mexico. Explore and test your senses as you become enveloped in beautiful acts inspired by the combination of “light” (luz) and “rain” (lluvia).

5. VELD Music Festival: Between July 30th and 31st, be electrified with this showcase of over 30 internationally acclaimed EDM acts. Love electronic music by The Chainsmokers, DeadMau5, Flume, and DVBBS? The VELD Music Festival will feature them along with many other artists!

 

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Top 5 Rooftop Patios in Toronto

Here is another one of our “Top Lists”! Summer is almost here, and the desire to catch up with friends has never been greater. When you are in the company of an amazing friend, a must-have is a restaurant that is just as amazing. Toronto is famous for its many restaurants – from board game cafés such as Snakes and Lattes to pitch-black dining rooms at the O.Noir. However, it is Toronto’s rooftop patios that are on our radar this week. They do not only offer amazing food, but also allow you to fully enjoy the summer sun. Here is our pick of Toronto’s top 5 rooftop patios:

1. Paupers Pub: Located at 539 Bloor Street West, this rooftop patio is in the heart of the Toronto Annex. It is the perfect place to try out the pub’s delicious beverages menu on a Friday night or the weekend. From non-alcoholic drinks to draughts, to tallboys, Paupers Pub has a beverage for everyone.

2. Madison Avenue Pub: This pub is located at 14 Madison Avenue, and it is home to not only a lovely rooftop patio, but the home of fantastic food and live music. This pub also has a distinct British flair. The decorated walls, brass fittings, and comfortable booths make for a memorable experience.

3. The Flight Deck: Part of The Pilot and located at 22 Cumberland Street, the Flight Deck is the restaurant’s recipe for success. You would not only get to bask in the sunlight, enjoy the cool breeze, have some cold drinks, and make new friends, but also enjoy how it is away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s streets.

4. Sky Yard: Located at 1150 Queen Street West is the Drake Hotel’s roof top patio. The Sky Yard is truly a hidden gem in Toronto, as it is decorated with a very modern aesthetic, and has speedy and friendly customer service.

5. Jazz Bistro: If you and your friends love jazz music, then this rooftop patio located at 251 Victoria Street is the place to be on a hot summer’s day. Its unique atmosphere, coupled with a seasonal cocktail menu, give it a well-deserved place in our top 5 picks. The knowledgeable staff members are a fantastic bonus.

Other worthy mentions include Jack Astor’s and Milestones, both of which have locations in downtown Toronto and are always ready to provide stellar customer service.

 

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