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Thirsty Travellers

South of Temperance @highlandertn posted a helpful matrix showing foot travel time between theatres for TIFF11.

As someone who is not getting any younger and needs a little pick me up between films I will share my short list of places to stop for a beer, between theatres. These are not places to see and be seen, but you can get served, get a seat and take a moment to reflect on your most recent film. Please add time to order, drink  and pay to recommended travel times.

AMC to Ryerson – The Imperial Pub at 54 Dundas Street East, just east of Victoria. Go upstairs, get a bottle of 50, play some foosball and bring your own hand sanitizer to the bathroom. It’s a bit sketchy but there is plenty of seating upstairs and occasionally hot popcorn.

Ryerson to Isabel Bader – 7 West on 7 Charles Street just west of Yonge. They are open 24 hours and you can get a bite before or after your midnight madness movie.

Anything at AGO – Village Idiot Pub at 127 Mc Caul Street. So many beers. Seating can get a bit tight, but the selection is worth the lack of personal space.

Isabel Bader to Scotiabank, Lightbox, Princess of Wales (POW) or Roy Thompson Hall (RTH) – The Charlotte Room at 19 Charlotte Street. Tiny streetlet between Spadina and Peter.  High quality pool tables, fantastic staff, and the best nachos you will ever have. You can get half beef, half chicken ALL delicious. They are closed on Sundays.

Lightbox (or POW or RTH) to Scotiabank – Town Crier Pub at 114 John Street. So much delicious beer. If you want something shandy-esque and light for daytime drinking try the Stiegl Radler – Grapefruit beer. For reals. We all miss Smokeless Joe’s, but this place has more comfortable and plentiful seating.

Honorable mention - South of Temperance - 20 Adelaide Street West. If you head south on Yonge from AMC and hang a right at Adelaide you can’t miss it. Yes, it’s full of bankers. Yes, the very competent wait staff wear tiny outfits forcing them to do a pseudo bunny dip for the low patio tables but you can get sun in during the day in the middle of the financial district. They have tasty beers on tap, a fruity white wine sangria, yummy brunch and delicious fish tacos. If you want to sit on the patio on a weekday  you need to reserve or get there by 11:30 AM, but it’s pretty fantastic. Allegedly they will be closed for part or all of a day/night early in the fest for the Alliance party, but the rest of the time they will be open for business. Sun-soaked, beer-flavoured business.

Stay thirsty my friends.

Canteen – Didn’t Suck

CanteenOk, it was lovely, such a lovely experience in fact that I may be willing to forgo my informal ban on solids at the O & B family of restos.

I had a bad experience. Moving on.

I thought that the last thing the overcrowded strip between Simcoe and Peter on King needed was another place to eat, which may still be true – but what we didn’t have in that strip was enough seating where you could eat like a civilized person without having to wait for service. If you try to go to one of the sit down restaurants you better have at least a 2-3 hour gap between films. If you go to one of the more casual spots you don’t have the same selection, they usually aren’t licensed. One of the only places with lots of seating is z-teca – and no matter how far away from the kitchen you sit you will leave smelling like grilled meat and cilantro.

Canteen had welcoming, efficient staff (I hope they still do come September 20th, but if anything can beat the nice out of you it’s festival goers sans caffeine – just ask the kids at Scotiabank). The bacon butty I had for breakfast after the pickup was divine. Of course adding bacon – back or any other format – automatically kicks up the awesome factor on a meal, but this was just the perfect little smackerel of something to have with a bottomless cup of coffee, all for under $8 (not including tip). The next day I went for one of the lunch sandwiches – a chicken club (yes again with the bacon) and it was equally yummy. The salads I bought for a healthy, tiny friend were according to her, great, and she consumed her mixed green salad and italian couscous with much enthusiasm.

The salads were a bit of a higher price point, but since I will be sticking mainly to foodstuffs that include bacon in one format or another I’m not too concerned.

No more creamy goodness

The gelato place in the Toronto Life Centre closed. I’m taking a moment to remember the good times. http://inatiff.com/food/creamy-goodness/

Creamy goodness

You know, I wrote the title for this post, then had a moment where I felt bad for someone who may end up at this page after googling for ‘creamy goodness’.

Then I googled the phrase, and I didn’t see anything that porny at the top of the result set. Sometimes I underestimate the internet. I should probably try to learn a lesson from this.

So, gelato. I frakking love it. Part of me thinks this is because the creamy texture actually allows me to consume it in even greater quantities than regular ice cream. I have a new trainer at my gym because there is a new gelateria at Toronto Life Square, Vici Gelateria & Café.

It’s not cheap, but I don’t care, this stuff is yummy and I plan to have a different flavour every day of the festival. Or maybe just have the stracciatella 20 times.

Creamy goodness

Creamy goodness

My stracciatella

My stracciatella

Yes I know the festival is only 10 days. I ate gelato twice the day I took these pictures. Stop judging me.