Monsoon Lounge & Sushi crafts a wide array of artful sushi creations for diners to sample from within the eatery's lively, stylish space. Chef Meaghan Kemper's menu offers fresh maki rolls bedecked with sustenance both raw—such as the butterfish maki adorned with masago rice pearls ($10)—and cooked, such as the chicken pad thai roll, which reincarnates the popular noodle dish in circular, bite-size form, right down to the spicy peanut sauce and production numbers from The King and I ($8). House specialty rolls include the Monsoon Rainbow, a prismatic display involving crab, cucumber, asparagus, and Japanese mayo topped with tobiko, avocado, and assorted sashimi ($14). The sashimi platter, a 12-piece chef's choice selection of thinly sliced sea tasties satisfies diners with an assertive helping and handshake ($21).
The British Arms Pub replicates an English-style pub experience, with dark woods and warm hues surrounding visitors as they nosh juicy burgers handcrafted from half-pound patties. For the pub's flagship B.A. burger ($9.49), grill gurus tailor hand-formed ground beef to suit hand-sewn kaiser buns before accessorizing their creations with cheese or bacon ($0.99 each). More gussied-up variations include the swiss-and-mushroom burger ($10.99), with bacon and caramelized onions, and the Cajun BBQ burger ($10.99), which seals in taste-bud-scorching spices before tempering them with barbecue sauce, onion rings, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese. Though not included with this Groupon, diners can wash down protein patties with pints of imported brews straight from the British and Emerald Isles while keeping eyeballs occupied with the pub's flat-screen TVs and magic-lantern shows relating the Battle of Hastings.
Spice quiets stomach rumbles with traditional Indian-Nepalese dishes accompanied by a panoply of fine wines. The menu hosts a ticker-tape parade of spices, imbuing appetizers and main dishes with fiery flavour adjustable to individual taste buds. Awaken slumbering mouths with an order of vegetable samosas or a Spice salad with mango and baby spinach (both $5). A tandoori clay oven delivers deep flavours to entrees starring chicken ($16), lamb ($16), and salmon ($15), and fish and coconut linger past curfew in the goan fish curry ($16). Spice’s award-winning wines complement mealtime flavours, conversation, and tiddlywinks championships.
It's easy to identify a youngster who has recently paid a visit to BeaverTails—their chins are often covered in chocolate and their expressions are fixed with dreamy, satisfied grins. The source of these chocolaty smiles is the shop's namesake pastry, a whole-wheat pastry hand-stretched to look like a beaver tail. A marginally healthier alternative to deep-fried donuts, the pastries shallow-cook in soya or canola oil before dessert-smiths top the buttery confections in decadent toppings, such as candy, chocolate, and icing.
When it comes to other sweet treats, BeaverTails embodies a thoroughly democratic attitude. The shop lines its colourful shelves with chocolate and bottles of candy, carving out space for the self-serve frozen-yogurt station that pumps swirls of the 98% fat-free treat. Patrons may also indulge in fresh gelato or sorbet. The private party room plays host to decorating workshops that invite participants to top their own BeaverTails.
Internet Cafe connects surfers to the Web with 16 high-speed Internet workstations, wireless Internet, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff. Sign in to browse to your virtual heart’s content ($2 for 15 minutes, $3.25 for 30 minutes, $6/hour) or to challenge co-clickers to a gaming match using a LAN and a 64-bit operating system (up to $6/hour). Word-processing software aids in compiling dissertations on keyboard evolution ($6/hour), and printing services in black and white ($0.25/page) and colour ($1+/page) put philosophies to paper. Candy bars, chips, and sodas fuel mouse fingers so their wielders need not miss a single update on joystick-revivalist message boards ($1).
Jade Garden freshens plates with traditional, savoury dishes hailing from Chinese and Thai culinary conventions. Plunge a chopstick into appetites and classic peking spicy spareribs ($9) or go toe-to-toe with the vegetarian singapore rice noodles ($7). Stuffed with diced chicken and vegetables, the lettuce rolls hush maws with flavourful indulgence before they confess to harbouring shrines to Kenny G ($8). Join the crowd of millions in applauding pad thai noodles' ability to end chicken's generational feud with peanuts ($8), or tame roaming tongues with thai spicy-beef fried rice ($7). Jade Garden also nets a number of specialty seafood dishes, granting blander fish their wish to swim forever now in peace.
A Toronto institution for more than 60 years, Fran’s upholds the tradition of the original at its Barrie location, offering delicious home-style cooking, 24-hour service (on weekends), and welcoming atmosphere. With breakfast available all day, float away on a magic carpet of Fran’s pancakes ($7.99) to a syrupy nirvana. Otherwise, warm up on a cool night with homemade meat chili ($8.99), miso soup ($2.99), or a hearty charbroiled 10-ounce Angus top sirloin and potatoes dinner ($17.99). Vegetarians as well as lonely pod-less peas looking for adoptive families will appreciate the Fran’s abundance of yummy vegetarian options, including a sautéed veggie bowl ($12.99), garden burger with mushrooms ($10.99), and a plate of baked macaroni and cheese ($13.99). With a casual, family-friendly dining room on one side and a sports bar on the other, Fran’s offers something for all walks of life, be they wobbly from hunger or want of drink. On the weekends Fran’s is open 24-hours, providing ample opportunities for post-dinner treats, post-party grub, or post-Risk tournament cups of coffee.