It’s hard to know where to look first upon walking into one of Jungle Jim’s two-dozen locations. Nearly every inch of wall space overflows with such safari-themed accoutrements as palm fronts, bamboo poles, colored lights, and a tiki bar. Although the restaurant aims to transport families to an exotic tropical wonderland, the huge menu is stuffed with familiar favorites designed to appeal to nearly every kind of diner. Chicken panini wraps and zesty buffalo wings swing quickly from the kitchen, but for more ceremonious occasions there are also a number of upscale, steakhouse-style options. A favorite is the St. Louis-style Rhino Ribs, a heft half-rack made sticky with honey garlic or barbecue sauce. Alongside such decadence, the special Slim Jim menu showcases entrees with 550 calories or fewer, such as pan-seared tiger shrimp and grilled chicken salad. Kids can dig into smaller portions on their own menu—which, once they’ve decided between alfredo pasta and animal-shaped chicken nuggets, they can fold into a tiki-style mask.
Through the steam rising off slabs of all-you-can-eat garlic home loaf, families all across Canada sit down to feast on East Side Mario's heaping plates of classic Italian fare. The chain's chefs ladle spicy arrabbiata, rich alfredo, and meaty bolognese sauces across foundations of toothsome De Cecco pasta, which they import from Italy to ensure each entree has an authentic jet-lagged flavour. They also slide cheesy baked pastas and hand-pressed pizzas into ovens, toast up loaded sandwiches, and dress crisp salads in their signature dressing.East Side Mario's strives to make every meal a pleasant, relaxing experience. It helps eliminate potential ordering jitters by designating vegetarian and spicy items on the menu for diners with dietary restrictions, and taps into guests' joy reserves with a selection of signature cocktails, spiked lemonades, and ice-cream shakes.