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A LA CARTE
Events and what's new on the food and dining scene updated Wednesdays for the coming week.

FAST FOOD TOYS
Following are the toys being offered with children's meals at fast-food restaurants while supplies last:

Kelsey's chef gets his ducks in a row
Talk about a banner day going down the sewer -- literally.

Diets incomplete
Canadians need to eat more of some foods and less of others, suggests a nutrition report.

Local hotel, restaurant group seeks funds for smoke-ventilation project
The organization representing restaurants and hotels is trying to raise money for a research project.

Smoking bylaw alternative studied
A new air-cleaning system that promises to protect employees and patrons from smoke will be tested.

Nestle changes mind
When Nestle said it would no longer make chocolate bars in a nut-free facility, thousands protested.

Surprise frost hits berry crop
Just when it looked like it was going to be a fruitful spring, a frost killed several acres of strawberry blossoms.

Groups split on city law banning smoking
An anti-tobacco group has closed the door on negotiations with restaurants over a bylaw to ban smoking.

Fire strikes Wayside
A lunchtime blaze devastated the historic Wayside Dining Lounge.

Limit fruit juice for kids: doctors suggest
Fruit juice should not be given to infants under six months and consumption should be limited in older kids.

Ontario booze tastes improve
The bottom line of Ontario's liquor retailer is up because baby boomers have passed their Baby Duck phase.

Deadly plants sold in Perth
A B.C. nursery is trying to track down people who bought poisonous plants labelled as "tasty in soup."

Tim Hortons boosts Wendy's earnings
Led by its Tim Hortons restaurants, Wendy's International Inc. reported a 7.7-per-cent rise in profit.

Cookbook author wins international award
In the Sweet Kitchen by Toronto author Regan Daley has been named best cookbook of the year.

Ex-London couple banking on goats
Michele Laframboise and husband Terry envisioned quiet ponds and blueberry bushes.

Drink a toast to health
People who have a drink or so daily are more likely than teetotalers to survive a heart attack.

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Canada's essential guide to good wine and spirits


Cottage chef needs plan
RECIPES: Overnight French toast; Smoking red-hot ribs; Red-hot barbecue sauce

Steak, lentil dish ideal for Victoria Day holiday
RECIPES: Steak on lentil ratatouille

Mama Caranci perfects traditional meatballs
RECIPES: Mama Caranci's tomato sauce; Mama Caranci's meatballs

Mom takes the cake
RECIPES: Signature double espresso chocolate torte; Orange angel food cake with fresh berries and whipped cream; Strawberry and lemon cream roulade; Streusel spice cake

Asia inspires sweetly stylish dessert
RECIPE: Pear spring rolls with citrus dipping sauce

Chef opens kitchen door
RECIPES: Fiddlehead and scallop salad with cranberry dressing; Nova Scotia blueberry grunt with farm-fresh cream

Pizza breakfast for mom
RECIPE: Breakfast pizza

Surviving with rice
RECIPES: Smoked salmon and dill risotto; Basmati rice pilaf; Chicken, chorizo and vegetable paella; Rice pudding

Growing movement
RECIPES: Roasted vegetable sandwiches; Roasted Mediterranean vegetable salad

Low-fat Dijon lightens up creamy chicken entree
RECIPE: Chicken with grainy Dijon

Butcher has a beef
RECIPES: Steaks with berry salsa; Warm steak and berry salad; Middle Eastern steak pockets

Outta sight, outta mind.
RECIPES: Black bean soup; Lunchtime tater cakes; Poached salmon; Very berry juice; Very berry syrup; Chocolate pudding cake; Sundried tomato pesto

Nashes good sports about cookery
RECIPE: Nash family instant pizzas

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Volcano home to Sunfest chief
For Alfredo Caxaj, the London restaurant Under the Volcano provides a taste of home.

Lunch break at Chancey's a rare treat
Dining out in the middle of the day is a rare treat for London TV personality Janice Zolf.

Haylor tackles McGinnis fare
Never buy fresh lobster off the back of a pickup truck from a seller from Nebraska.

Name, doors odd but grub is great
The Little Beaver is a Komoka landmark renowned equally for its cooking and for the lineups to get a table.

Computer whiz has a byte on us
When you're just 13 years old, busy with school and your own company, doing lunch out can be tough.

Bistro's seafood hits mark
Bill Brady is an easy interview.

With the mayor at Malibu
By her own admission, London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco isn't much of a breakfast person.

Singer sings Ginger's praise
When Gary McAuley is looking for soul food and a place to eat, he thinks of Blue Ginger.

Tasting Michael's food, charm
Jim Chapman, host of CJBK-AM's Talk of the Town, likes getting personal with callers to his weekday show.

At home in Home's kitchen
Home Restaurant's door is a dozen steps away from the stove, a blessing for chef Alessandro Malnati.

Al Fredo's atmosphere, food please Young
Kate Young arrives on time for a late lunch at Al Fredo's Italian Kitchen.

La Casa second 'home' to Dagnone
True to his Italian roots, Tony Dagnone could happily eat pasta every day of the week.

La Costa decor offers refuge from winter
It's a dreary winter day on Restaurant Row and there's nothing to see out the window but mounds of dirty snow.

Fire chief prefers home-style cuisine
Dave Hodgins remembers everything he ate on his first night in London.

Tanakaya a refuge for Grand's chief
For Kelly Handerek, Tanakaya offers the perfect lunch break.

Miestro offers a marvellous menu
Don Donner of the Boys' and Girls' Club says he and his wife have their own way of ranking restaurants.

Greek cuisine hits high note with maestro
Orchestra London Pops conductor Brian Jackson first fell in love with Greek cuisine near the Aegean.

Davenport one of Garlic's converted
When it comes to food, Paul Davenport has tasted the gamut -- the good, the bad and the ugly.


Garlic's a hit on culinary stage
Garlic's is one of the restaurants I would put on the list of places that never let you down.

Lal Qila a winner in new location
Lal Qila is a familiar name to Londoners, but maybe not in this location and relatively new ownership.

Upscale Brannigan's hits mark
Liam Brannigan's is a new upscale pub located at the northeast corner of Galleria London.

Bing's offers welcome surprises
Bing's China House Dining Lounge is a large place that inside is like a Tudor building with Chinese lanterns.

Tillie's keeps guests fed, amused
Tillie's Roadhouse Bar and Grill has darts, pool, karaoke, live entertainment, and banquet facilities.

Village Cafe elevates your mood
Village Cafe is a small but admired restaurant in downtown London.

Mascot restores faith in diners
Mascot Restaurant is a long-established eating place that restores your faith in diners.

Hoo Hoo offers good food at bargain prices
The Hoo Hoo Restaurant is as old as my memory of London.

Walker's recipe survives test of time
Walker's Fish and Chips is a mainstay among London restaurants.

Menu sounds better than it tastes
Williams Coffee Pub is part of a chain and a relative newcomer to London. 

Wooly Pig great for pastry lovers
The Wooly Pig Pie and Pastry House has a funny name but the place itself deserves to be taken seriously.

Wortley Roadhouse a tradition
The Wortley Roadhouse looks like a tradition to me. 

Al Fredo's urged to try casual fare
Al Fredo's Italian Kitchen in the Covent Garden Market has an ambitious menu and an admirable wine list.

Angelo's heaven to food lovers
The newest Angelo's Bakery and Deli on Wonderland Road is a wonderful place to go if you’re a food lover.

Wok ’n Roll Plus magnificent
Wok ’n Roll has a new location and a new name, Wok ’n Roll Plus.

Cafe Milagro friendly, trendy
The Cafe Milagro is a small, charming, smoke-free place with all kinds of interesting things in it.

Lenny's serves two clienteles
Lenny's styles itself both as a cafe and a sports bar.

Buffet a bargain at Tandoori
The Golden Tandoori appears to be a newcomer, but my first visit dispelled that illusion.

China Doll stands the test of time
China Doll Restaurant is a well-established London eatery, with more than 25 years' experience.

Variety in menu surprising
Golden Angkor Restaurant is a family-owned operation, pretty and romantic inside.

Eastern ambience times two
Take Sushi is a Japanese and Korean combo with a broad, colourful menu and a lot of charm.

Tony’s Pizza a London landmark
A London landmark for panzerotti.

Sebastian's offers lots of options
Sebastian's is one of the most successful establishments in London, and a visit reminds you of why.

Diner gears hours to clientele
Bubba’s Diner is a cute, bright place, an old-fashioned diner with an eating counter and high swivel stools.

Irene's withstands test of time
The New Irene's Seafood Restaurant has a grand name for such a modest location.

Cakewalkers like sugar heaven
Cakewalkers is a marvel.

Stir-Fry Kitchen has broad menu
Stir-Fry Kitchen is a busy Chinese restaurant that does Cantonese and Szechuan variations.

La Vita lives up to ambitious plan
La Vita is a new Italian restaurant located in the heart of the city.

J. Dee's burger variations a hit
J. Dee's Market Grill is a new find, located across from Covent Garden Market.

Little Beaver worth the drive, wait
The Little Beaver is a hot spot in Komoka that lots of Londoners find is worth the trip. I'm no exception.

Taste of old London in our London
Poacher's Arms is the closest thing you'll find to an English pub this side of the pond.

Pad Thai a welcome newcomer
Pad Thai Rice Bowl does not aim at conventional notions of dining.

Atmosphere homey at Country Hearth
The Country Hearth in Komoka is so named because of a fireplace, the centrepiece of the spacious dining room.

Bradley Place White Oaks tradition
Bradley Place is a tradition for certain Londoners, those in particular who live near White Oaks mall.

TSE feeds economy of core area
The TSE, or cleverly named Talbot Street Exchange, is a casual but classy eating and meeting place.

T. J. Baxter's making big yards
T. J. Baxter's is a popular student watering hole and a rival to the Ceeps, across the street.

Home-style pizza worth the trip
Pasto's Italian Eatery advertises "simple Italian home-style cooking from traditional recipes".

Chinese food with Canadian flavour
A visit to Manchuria Garden confirms that the buffet-style is still a great draw.

Open kitchen at Andreas sets dining mood
Andreas is a clean, bright place with a great view of the bustle of Richmond Street.

Hilton matches great food with decor
The Market Cafe and the London Grill at the Hilton Hotel are sister operations that live up to our expectations.

Tableside shows highlight of Michael's
Michael's on the Thames is an old favourite haunt of Londoners looking for fancy food.

Lunch, laundry go together at cafe
The Laundry Cafe is a good idea for an eatery.

La Casa's kitchen called 'a wonder'
La Casa does a great business. One Monday at lunch, we found this out.

Fondly recalling 10 great restaurants
It seems fitting to look back over the best of the restaurants I have had the pleasure to review.

Cityview decor 'early Canadian diner'
Cityview is a diner and that should be understood at the outset.

Shanghai withstands test of time
Shanghai Restaurant is a Chinese place with lots going for it.

Richie's a great diner experience
Richie's Family Restaurant is a diner with class, if indeed such a thing can (or should) exist.

Mt. Fuji shines with great sushi
Mt. Fuji is a small plaza restaurant which struggles to maintain atmosphere in an unlikely place.

--------------------------
OUT OF TOWN RESTAURANTS:

A traditional touch at Stratford
The Festival Inn is a full-service hotel in Stratford with the large Ann Hathaway Dining Room.

A cool reaction to 'hottest place'
Hotson's Bar and Restaurant bills itself as the "hottest place in town."

Pazzo affordable Stratford dining
Pazzo Restaurant and Pizzeria is in a beautiful building on the corner of York and Ontario Streets in Stratford.

 
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Computer whiz has a byte on us

When you're just 13 years old, busy with school and your own company, doing lunch out can be tough.

For London computer whiz kid Keith Peiris, president of Cyberteks Design Ltd., the noon meal is usually sandwiches from home, eaten in his classroom at St. Bernadette school.

So it was something of a treat for both of us when we got together over a business lunch at the Dundas Street location of the Keg, one of the pint-sized CEO's favourite eateries.

Peiris had recently returned from the Team Canada trade mission to China, where he hobnobbed with Prime Minister Jean Chretien and the premiers. He was packing a briefcase filled with news clippings of stories the Chinese newspapers wrote about him during the mission.

I hadn't chatted with Peiris since before he left on the nine-day trip and was anxious to hear the details. Time -- Peiris had to get back to school and I to work -- was the key.

The Keg delivered with Swiss-watch efficiency, serving tasty fare that could pass for a light dinner, but with cafeteria-style, mid-day speed.

"To sum it up, it was very good -- almost great," my Grade 7 lunch companion proclaimed. "But you have to take into account I've been having sandwiches a long time, so this was really refreshing."

Peiris chose the teriyaki sirloin, a Keg favourite, for $13.95. I settled for the special, the $6.99 chicken caesar -- grilled chicken breast on French stick halves, with a caesar salad.

Peiris was barely into his story about a visit to an "authentic" Chinese restaurant during the trip (suffice to say, its chicken dish was different), when our meals arrived, only 20 minutes after we'd been seated.

Peiris, who designs Web pages, quickly tucked into the eight-ounce sirloin. It was served with a baked half-tomato topped by Parmesan cheese and a large, steaming baked potato with chives.

My special hit the spot, especially the thick slices of chicken and sprinkling of cheese atop the salad.

The Keg is perhaps best known for drawn-out dinners for large groups. But the Dundas Street site specializes in lunch for the business crowd, with a simplified, one-page menu.

"Business people are often in a rush," said lunch manager Kim Caverley. "They don't want to have to look at cartoons and four pages" on a menu before deciding on lunch.

With seating for 162, including semi-private areas conducive to conversation, the Keg was perfect for Peiris and I to catch up on the China trip. The service was attentive, but not intrusive. Our server knew exactly when to chime in to ask if Peiris wanted another orange juice.

Not that time-challenged diners would have time to notice, but the Keg also has an intriguing antique-themed decor featuring old black-and-white photographs on the walls and assorted bumf -- old books to a giant tuba -- from history's dustbin.

The relics made for a sharp technology contrast as my guest flicked out his miniature cell-phone with blue dayglow lighting and dialled up his dad for a ride back to school.

Lunch we managed in 75 minutes.

THE KEG

1389 Dundas St., ((519) 659-8833)

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4 p.m.-11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.)

Appetizers: $5-$10

Entrees: $5 to $20 for lunch; $10-$30 for dinner.


In Table for Two, people well-known in London are invited by Free Press writers to dine and talk about food at one of their favourite restaurants.

2001-01-04

 E-MAIL: Greg Van Moorsel


by Greg Van Moorsel, Business Editor
The London Free Press
Kim Caverley, lunch manager at the Keg on Dundas Street in London, serves young computer entrepreneur Keith Peiris a steak and baked potato. Peiris recently returned from a trade mission to China. — -- Susan Bradnam, LFP


 


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