Roast ‘N Toast Family Diner

My favorite memories of breakfast are when I ate at my grandparent’s house, where almost every meal was cooked in bacon grease or lard, on the stovetop in an old cast iron skillet. Bad for you, some would say, but my Pepe lived to 84. And he smoked. One of his specialties was something you rarely see in a restaurant these days – corned beef hash. I love the stuff.

I discovered a place called the MCM Restaurant many years ago, while working the Drouillard/Walker Road beat with an old war horse we affectionately called Hammer. At 2005 Ottawa Street, across from Juniper Books, it was a typical diner that served the type of good meals you’d get at home, for reasonable prices. I loved going there for breakfast, cooked on a grill that was directly behind the counter.

At some time in the not too distant past, the MCM closed and was replaced by Roast ‘N Toast. I smiled when I walked in the front door and recognized the same old bar stools at the counter, and cozy atmosphere of days past. The smell of bacon frying on the grill gives me great great pleasure, but when I saw corned beef hash on the menu I was ecstatic. It wasn’t quite the same as grandpa’s, probably because the grease wasn’t a month old.

Roast ‘N Toast is my kind of diner – they serve breakfast all day. Who says you can’t have bacon and eggs for lunch? My new favorite there is the Meat Lovers Skillet, piled high with ham, sausage and hamburger meat, eggs, cheese, and home fries. It easily fills me up, leaving no room for their sinful homemade butter tarts that stare at you from behind the counter.

The restaurant has suffered through Covid like the rest of us, but they added unique wooden partitions for privacy and social distancing. They also added outdoor seating. Each and every time I’ve been to Roast ‘N Toast, my meal has been perfectly cooked and delivered to my table by courteous and friendly staff who aren’t afraid to tweak your order to your liking. And if you’re a reader, be sure to keep your receipt for a 15% discount across the street at Juniper Books.

A Monte Christo special that I’ll be trying to order next time I’m there.

Shadow of the Sun

Shadow of the Sun
by Marney Blom (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Nov 02, 2021 

A gift from my wife, I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book since I’ve read a few stories and seen many movies about POW camps during the war, and didn’t expect this tale to be any different. But the one big difference was that the protagonist was a preacher, who expected God to take care of him and watch over his family.

I had to skip the quotes from the holy bible, and even the love notes he wrote to his wife while imprisoned – they were of no use to me – I got the picture. But don’t get me wrong, this book was very well thought out and written by the grand daughter of the missionaries.

If you want to learn how average folk were ripped from their homes, imprisoned, tortured and treated worse than caged animals by Japanese soldiers, then this book is for you. I did enjoy references to the Burma railway and bridge over the River Kwai since I’ve seen the movie and travelled in the area.

The Last Duel

New movies are finally gracing the big screens again, and the cast and director of this film looked impressive. With all the hype about medieval television shows and movies, and the action-packed trailer, we went for it. Our first disappointment was with the uncomfortable old-style seats – how spoiled we’ve become with the more comfy recliners.

The Last Duel is set in France (although you’d never know it by the dialogue presented) in the 12th century, where armor-clad knights on horseback fought for king and country. The story is about two squires, Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), who become friends but then drift apart when one is favored by the king’s cousin (Ben Affleck), more than the other.

Things get worse when Le Gris allegedly rapes Carrouges’ wife (Jodie Comer) and she makes the decision to speak out. The movie goes above and beyond in explaining the repercussions of such a choice in chaotic medieval times. As a result of the allegation, Carrouges challenges Le Gris to a duel to death.

The movie is split into three chapters, each told by one of the main characters. This is where the film gets disjointed and a bit boring, forcing viewers to watch the same scenes over, and then over again. Although the trailer leads one to believe this is a Ridley Scott action-packed thriller, it is not the case. The movie opens and finishes with plenty of bloody battling but everything in between is quite slow.

Although Cathryn and I felt the acting was superb and the cinematography was excellent in this flick, we thought it fell short of being a blockbuster. She gave it a 7 and I a 6 out of 10.

Put This Book Site On Your Radar

Have you ever gone to the books store to look for you favorite author, spotted what you think is their latest work and purchased a copy, only to find out later that it’s not the latest or the cover has been changed and the book re-issued? I have. Even when you look inside the cover and try to decipher the publication dates, it can still be confusing.

Booksradar.com has come to our rescue. The website was created specifically to clear up any confusion you might have when searching for a particular book by a certain author. Authors or book titles can be easily searched by name, title or genre. If you search an author, say Dan Brown, his book titles are shown by series and publication dates.

Popular authors like Lee Child, Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, John Sanford, Nicholas Sparks, and now myself, Edmond Gagnon, are easily searchable, with direct links to their websites. Check it out now.

Chapter Two Brewing Company

Craft beer and brew pubs are all the rage these days, and if you haven’t been to Chapter Two Brewing Company in Windsor, you don’t know what you’re missing. They always have at least six craft beers on tap, that include a lager, cream ale, amber, and a seasonal that are served fresh and cold.

Their kitchen has grown and it’s menu has evolved since I’ve been visiting the local watering hole on Edna Street at Walker Road, just south of Wyandotte, in Walkerville. They now serve apps and wraps, with burgers, pulled pork, poutine, calamari, and some of the best chicken wings in town.

The burgers are great. Currently, they offer 2 for 1 wings on Wednesdays – the biggest jumbo wings you’ll find in Windsor – and I’ve tried them everywhere. They’re plump and juicy and crispy, with lots of sauces or rubs to choose from. I have difficulty finishing the 2 pounds so if you’re not a big eater, consider sharing the special.

Chapter Two has both indoor and patio seating available and you can purchase their beer to go.

No Time to Die

After over a year of pandemic-related delays, the latest installment in the James Bond 007series has finally hit the big screens. This movie is Daniel Craig’s last fling as the British Agent who’s licensed to kill. The movie starts with Bond living out his retirement in Jamaica, but he’s soon drawn back into service by his old friend Felix Leiter, of the CIA.

The explosive action starts within the first ten minutes, with Bond almost blown up, and then getting into the type of wild and crazy chase scene that 007 fans have come to love. And the action never really stops after that, with lots of fights, more chase scenes and explosions, and a new villain.

James has grown older and a bit tired of saving the world, but as usual he stops at nothing to complete his mission. He only beds one woman in this story, the same one he tried to settle down with, but left behind after he felt betrayed by her. She shows up later in the story with a little surprise.

Ernst Blofeld and Spectre are still a formidable force for evil, but Rami Malek’s Lyutsifer Safin has his own plans for taking over the world. The movie runs 2hours and 43 minutes and may have you fidgeting in your seat, but there’s no time to fall asleep.

The cinematography, film locations, and action scenes were second to none, as per usual in a 007 movie. Although I guessed what was coming at the end, the music and actors played heavy on my emotions. All I can say is that the conclusion was a surprise, and a shock to some viewers around us.

Cathryn hated the ending and refused to rate the movie, but I know she enjoyed the majority of it. I thought it was excellent, and a must-see to any James Bond fan. 10 out of 10 from me. Having said that, I can’t say I agree with those who want the next 007 to be a female.

The Black Ice – A Bosch Novel

The Black Ice (Harry Bosch, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #2)
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Oct 08, 2021 


For me, reading a Harry Bosch novel is like inviting an old friend to dinner and catching up over beers. The Black Ice is the 2nd installment in Michael Connelly’s Bosch series, published back in 1993, but recently re-released as a paperback.

Whether it’s an old book or a new one, I can’t get enough of Harry Bosch. There’s still a few stories I haven’t read yet, but the television series has filled in a lot of the blanks. I think I’ve seen each episode at least five times now.

The Black Ice is a good story, about a Robbery/Homicide case that should have been assigned to Bosch, but he inserts himself into it anyway. The plot moves well and kept me interested throughout. And, if you’re a really sharp detective, you might pick up on a couple clues as to the major twist at the end.

I’ve rated this book five stars because it lacks nothing and is a great read.

Fair Warning – Michael Connelly

Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #33)
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Oct 03, 2021 


Something tells me that Michael Connelly enjoys writing novels like Fair Warning, reliving his past as an investigative journalist, something we don’t see much of these days.
Jack McEvoy is likeable character who tells us a great crime story about an elusive serial killer who keeps reporters and police stumped while his list of victims grows longer.
The plot has good momentum and held my interest throughout the book.
Although in my opinion it’s not as good as a Bosch novel, I definitely recommend you add this Connelly book to your reading list.

Breakfast at Jim’s Sub Shop – Kingsville

Cathryn thought it was too nice a day to be inside and suggested we needed to go for a ride somewhere. I took that as a reason to go out for breakfast, but we didn’t discuss where we wanted to eat until we got in the car. After a great recommendation from my brother, we decided a drive to Kingsville was in order so we could try Jim’s Sub Shop.

Don’t be fooled by the name. Jim makes submarine sandwiches, just like the kind we used to feast on after a night out drinking, and not like those fake Subway things. But I digress…let me get back to breakfast, Jim’s specialty Eggs Benny’s and the thick and juicy peameal bacon he likes to brag about.

Having realized I left my Covid vaccination papers, government issued ID, and my phone with the backup vax info, next of kin, and favorite cat photos in the car, Cathryn saved me the pain of hobbling on my gimp knee and volunteered to retrieve all the documents necessary to cross the Berlin Wall.

A man behind the counter, who was wearing an apron and later identified as Jim, kindly accepted me as his prisoner and agreed to hold me in Covid jail until my wife returned with my paperwork. Our documents were presented and I was released from custody. The décor was nothing fancy, but clean and comfortable. They also have patio seating outback.

We were lucky enough to have the restaurant owner, Jim, come to our table for our order, and to share his sense of humor. A patient man, he stood by as Cathryn’s customized an order of his Eggs Benedict Florentine. I was torn between the cheeseburger and hookee omelet, something Jim created using seasoned shaved beef. I chose the cheeseburger and he said it came with all the fixins.

Jim wasn’t kidding about the mustard, ketchup and pickles that made my omelet look more like a pizza. I’m not into the yellow condiment, but the eggs and other cheeseburger goodies were piping hot and delicious. It came with real home fries, done on the grill. Cathryn got the Eggs Benny Florentine, with peameal thick as a steak, extra large eggs and homemade hollandaise sauce sprinkled with real bacon bits. Hers looked like it belonged on the cover of a food magazine.

To our delight, both our meals were served hot off the grill, and stayed that way until we finished them. Service was quick, friendly and efficient. Prices for breakfast were in the $7 to $15 range, depending on what you order. And besides subs, they do burgers and sell specialty Greek foods like humus and fattoush.

Jim’s is located on Kingsville’s main strip, between Vern’s and The Grove. Cathryn and I were both filled up by our meals and are happy to recommend Jim’s for breakfast. I give them a 9 and she a 10 out of 10.

Downtown Windsor Farmers Market

The fresh local produce of summer is wearing thin and now is the time to visit the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market to cash in on those end of the season deals. If you haven’t been downtown to check out the market this season, here’s what your missing: fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh-cut flowers and potted plants, homemade baked goods, fresh-made perogies and sausages, kettle corn, craft beer, coffee, hand-made crafts, t-shirts, jewelry, books, and much more.

The Downtown Market sets up on Pelissier Street, between Wyandotte and Park, every Saturday, from 8am to 1pm. There are anywhere from 80 to 100 vendors throughout the season, which runs from May 1st to December 12th. During inclement weather vendors move into the lower level of the Pelissier parking garage.

Come visit next Saturday and support a talented group of local authors who write in genres that include women’s empowerment, self-help, crime fiction, travel, paranormal, horror, children’s, mathmatics, and military, along with a collection of colorful book marks.

Here’s your chance to speak with a local author, and get a personally autographed copy of their book. Please come and visit and support local.