This is a sad post to write. You see that absolutely delectable looking waffle down there?! Less than a week after I indulged, Settlement Co. changed their menu and removed the fabulous beast that was the Conquerer from their waffle line up. This was incredibly disappointing to discover. Never mind that the menu on their website still hasn’t been updated to reflect this change (and it happened a few weeks ago now…) or the fact that it was not replaced with any other sufficiently savoury option. I have heard that the culprit is a new chef in charge of the menu, and I don’t know if the old chef is still around to provide the recipe to bring it back or not. Needless to say, I am very disappointed.
However, none of this discounts the fact that the waffles you will find at Settlement Co are like no others. Their beer stout whipped cream is to-die-for (provided that is still on the menu) and their waffle batter is in a whole different league than what you’ll find being served in other breakfast joints. I have seen some waffles on the new menu that look amazing and I’m excited to try them. I just hope they aren’t too sweet for my savoury-tooth (can that be a thing now please?!).
Can’t say enough about these guys. I am in love with Jersey Mike’s! These subs are so simple it’s almost stupid how delicious they are. It’s all in their sauce, I say!
It’s probably just me, but I’m not a big fan of chicken, just chicken. Just roasted chicken with some sauce. That is still just chicken. Blah. I’m sorry, but chicken and sauce just doesn’t make a meal. That just makes chicken! Sure, there are some side dishes available, but even they were blah. Needless to say, I knew going into this one that I probably wasn’t going to be thrilled with it. I bring you: Nando’s. (They don’t even have their website up to date with all of their locations…another indicator that I probably wouldn’t get very excited over this one.)
I don’t really like ripping into restaurants when I have a less-than-desirable experience, so I’ll try to keep this short.
– I don’t like the set up of this place. You get seated with a menu, but have to go right back to the doorway to place your order (and bring back your menu) and pay. Then you go and collect your own utensils, napkins and extra sauces. It’s strange and does not have an organic flow to it. It’s like they want to present the appearance of being a proper dining establishment, but want to put forth the absolute minimum in effort. And with the limited menu options (chicken, more chicken, or even more chicken) they’d be better off putting a menu board above their till and not bothering to seat you at all – just do it yourself after you’ve finished the ordering process. All of these factors made it feel awkward when the ‘waitresses’ repeatedly came to check-in and see how our meals were. Their involvement seemed out of place and was more of a bother than anything else.
– Do I have to talk about the food?! It’s basically just different amounts of chicken and then you choose your sauce. I tried to order the Peri-Peri Chicken Caesar wrap in hopes of getting something that would more closely resemble a meal and not just a pile of chicken on a plate, but even the wrap was disappointing. Just lettuce, Caesar dressing, the sauced-up chicken and the wrap. The corn also left more to be desired. It was plain, grilled corn-on-the-cob. Maybe I’m too picky, but if you’re really honest, do either of those plates actually look appetizing to you?!
Below you’ll see a double order of California rolls, to-go, from Nara Sushi. I wish I could rave about them. I’ve been dying to rave about sushi since the loss of my beloved Niko Niko. I would love to be able to say I’ve found something that comes remotely close in comparison. But, sadly, nothing ever does. I am always left hoping that the next place I try will be better. The void that Niko Niko left is proving impossible to fill. Do you have any idea how unsatisfying it is to try to satiate a craving but to never be able to? I promise you, it’s a terrible feeling. It is a hunger that never, ever ceases. But, I digress…
Anytime I get a cold I crave a spicy California roll and some miso soup. They are simple for my stomach and help sweat those colds out! I now make my own miso soup at home, but still have to buy the California rolls (there’s no way I’d attempt making them myself when I’m sick!). I also have my own sriracha (because who needs, or wants, all that mayo?!) so I spice them up myself. These rolls where basically the same as everywhere else. Nothing to write home about. On to the next one next time…!
1- The location is terrible and Bao Sandwich Bar does absolutely nothing to help you find them. All of their available information (websites, social media…) simply state their mailing address – as if they are in a normal location at a simple street address. They aren’t. And the fact that they neglect mentioning this anywhere makes me want to refuse to go back again – if you want my business you need to make an effort to help me locate your business when it is this difficult to find (especially when it would be extremely easy to provide helpful directions). I would explain to you where they are, but the fact that they’ve put zero effort into doing that themselves leaves me unwilling to do it for them. Good luck! Took us about 10 mins to find them (in the wonderfully cold and messy Canadian winter weather) – even after asking another business in the area for help. And I do feel it’s worth mentioning, simply because it is so ridiculously redundant, that the one place that they indicate anything about their whereabouts is on the receipt – something you only obtain after you’ve already found them. Seriously face-palming here people!!
EDIT: Upon really searching their website on a desktop computer I managed to find this, in small print, below the map image: “From 62 Balsam St. turn right onto Larch St. and right into the Sage3 Condo parking lot.” This is still not as obvious as it should be. Especially not when there is a text section called “Our Location, Address” and this is not included there. Tsk tsk!
2- The food is actually good enough, and probably even more importantly in their favour – unique enough, that I am likely to visit again. I had the Chicken Katsu Bao and, I’ll admit, the finicky foodie in me was a little nervous! The steamed buns are certainly not like anything else I’ve had, and I was worried about how I would react to the texture. I am happy to report that it went down with very little effort, perhaps even a little enthusiasm! It really was delicious! I’ve heard that I also need to try the Beef Bao. My friend’s 5 Spice Belly Bao though – you couldn’t even pay me to try that one! Sorry! The spring rolls were decent too. The “triple cooked fries” were not noticeably different than other fries.
(Because the honey drips down your arms, if you’re not careful!)
I’m just going to add my other Famoso Instagram posts to this post as I go, unless I have something new to add. But I frequently eat the same thing – because I LOVE IT!!
The Cavoletti is my favourite pizza. Other favorites: the tomato bisque, the prosciutto mozza balls (pictured here) and the gorgonzola walnut salad.
I would like to expand a little on this one. Abe Erb in Waterloo has always left me feeling that there is a little more to be desired. Maybe I’m old fashioned (ok, yes, I am old fashioned), but these long, shared tables just aren’t my thing. I truly do not appreciate going out for dinner with a friend (during which we intend to speak to one another) and finding myself at a group table with strangers next to me practically sitting on my lap! This dinner was uncomfortable on many levels. We couldn’t converse, even at an atypically low volume, without multiple people hearing us (whether they wanted to or not). Eating food was difficult – there was barely any room to move an arm to get food to one’s mouth! Grabbing your drink? Are you sure that isn’t your neighbour’s dining mate’s?! Don’t even bother trying to adjust your feet…and good luck when you need to get your jacket back on!
I generally try not to speak ill of the places I visit, but in this case the discomfort was entirely avoidable, so I feel I must! It is -13 (feels like -22) out there. It’s snowy. This is Canada!! If you don’t want to give us breathing room in the summer, I still won’t like it, but I might be a little more forgiving. In this weather though, it’s unacceptable. The table we were at had 6 pairs of chairs set along it. One pair remained unoccupied as there was simply no way anyone else could fit. Problem is – they still left the chairs there, occupying valuable dining real estate!! An intelligent, and considerate, move would be to remove at least one set (though better would be two sets) of chairs during the winter to allow some room for guests and their winter garb.
This was my third, and likely final, visit to this establishment.