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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eating dinner and finding a good restaurant while travelling can be a challenge, but thankfully the internet and sites with reviews like Trip Advisor, take away some of the guesswork. If you’re old school, like Cathryn and I, you talk to real people who live in the area and ask them for recommendations or advice.
This type of interpersonal communication paid off for us while dining at the Part II Bistro in Downtown Goderich. We asked our waiter, who was local, to recommend something in the area that was a good place for breakfast. He suggested West Street Willy’s, that was only a hop, skip and a jump away, just off the town square. We’d read great dinner reviews for the restaurant but it was closed that night.
Taking the advice we’d received, we stopped for breakfast at Willy’s before heading further north. The patio out front looked inviting but the weather was a tad cool that morning, and it was that time of season for those pesky bees.
The interior décor was nothing fancy, kind of a cross between small town diner and a cozy dining room in a country home. The breakfast menu was daunting – two pages full of creative dishes – everything from peanut butter, bananas and bacon on French Toast, to Eggs Benny and something called Pete’s Big Mess. The latter caught my eye first, but I opted for the Morning After Poutine. My mess contained crispy home fries, bacon, sausage, peameal, onions, tomatoes, cheese curds, chipotle and hollandaise, topped with two eggs the way you like them.
More concerned about her cholesterol, Cathryn ordered the West Street Benny – grilled, marinated portabella mushrooms and spinach, topped with the usual Benny goodies. Hers was $13 and mine was $15, both large portions and filling. Service was excellent and our waitress was friendlier than your local Avon lady. My only complaint is that we couldn’t stay for dinner.
If your not satisfied with our recommendation of this restaurant, perhaps you’ll take the advice from the TV show, You’ve Gotta Eat Here, who featured Willy’s about three years ago.
Cathryn and I both loved West Street Willy’s Eatery and give it a 10 out of 10.
On our recent Tobermory trip, for a change of scenery, Cathryn and I decided to take the back roads up north – getting off the highway when we could, and following Lake Huron’s eastern shoreline. Knowing the six hour ride would take us longer, we booked a room in Goderich to make it a two-day trip. On the first day we stopped in Grand Bend to stretch our legs and see what is new. The beach resort town was bustling, with plenty of new places to get your favorite junk food, and a complete makeover of the old Colonial Hotel is in progress.
Cathryn barely remembered being to Goderich years ago, so we drove down to the waterfront and along the public beach. The old CPR Train Station has been meticulously restored and relocated there and converted into a restaurant. New since my last visit is a wooden boardwalk with exercise stations, running the full 1.5 km length of the beach.
For dinner we sought out the Part II Bistro, on the main square – more like an octagon loop that surrounds the court house, with a half dozen streets as spokes, radiating from the center. It was Tuesday, and to our disappointment many restaurants in town were closed for the night. Part II Bistro was open and had rave reviews so that’s where we went. They have a beautiful patio out front that offers a great view of the town square, but the weather and seasonal bees had us reserve a table inside.
I can best describe the décor as eclectic, with tables partitioned for privacy and Covid reasons. They had a nice selection of local craft beers and a descent wine list. We sampled both. A picture of our appetizer wouldn’t do it justice – look up Gnudi on their menu – ricotta, parmesan and garlic formed into soft pillows, with a semolina flower crust set on a slowly simmered IPA, basil tomato reduction. Yes, it was a savory and delicious as it sounds.
Cathryn saw a lamb shank on the menu so there was no decision for her. I was torn between the Sacchietti Pasta and the Greek chicken, but was in need of a good carb fix and chose the latter. Stuffed egg pasta filled with mushrooms and black truffles, tossed with sundried tomatoes, artichokes, woodland mushrooms, spinach, onions and garlic. Finished with cream and herbed infused olive oil and topped with parmesan cheese. OMG! Need I say more? The little pasta pouches made for the best I’ve ever had.
The Lamb Shank was braised perfectly in Moroccan influences of cumin, cinnamon and cardamom, set on Israeli couscous with ratatouille vegetables, topped with it’s own braising reduction. Cathryn barely had to coax the meat off the bone, which I secretly think she wanted to suck on.
Dessert was mostly for me, she only wanted a bite. I selected the peanut butter chocolate cheesecake, of course. The picture tells the story, and it tasted even better than it looks.
Service was just a tad slow, but like everywhere else these days the restaurant is having difficulty in finding wait staff. They did a great job with what they had and Cathryn and I eagerly give Part II Bistro a 10 out of 10.
If you haven’t snagged a copy of my latest novel in the Norm Strom Crime Series, Trafficking Chen, check out these reviews and see what you’re missing. The book is available locally at Storytellers Book Store in Windsor and River Book Shop in Amherstburg or come see me at the Downtown Windsor Market on September 11th or 25th. You can also purchase the book online at your favorite retail site.
“Trafficking Chen is a story that dares you to turn the page – but you can’t look away from this engaging narrative of dark events that are written from a whiskey-tinged razor-sharp voice of experience. Real cops, real victims, real bad guys intertwined in a race that will keep you powering through.” Kay T.
“Part detective novel, part thriller, Trafficking Chen with its overlapping plots, Strom’s humor, and satisfying conclusion will leave new fans seeking out previous mysteries for future reading!” John Schlarbaum, Author of “Abandoned – A Jennifer Malone Mystery”
“Another fabulous read! Get working on your next one. I always look forward to reading Edmond Gagnon’s books. Dawn St. Louis
“Just finished Trafficking Chen and I personally think this book is Gagnon’s best writing so far. An interesting and chilling story on trafficking, while turning each page.” Beverly Miller
“This book was insane and an eye opener to what can happen under everyone’s noses and you would have no clue!! I highly recommend this book!!!” Emily Conran
Find out what RESPECT really means to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The movie tells her life story from the time she was a little girl singing in her father’s church, until she becomes an international star. If you’re a music lover or a fan of Aretha you won’t want to miss this movie. My first surprise in the flick was learning the extent of talent in her family, from her mother to her sisters.
Her over-bearing father, a Baptist Minister, plays a huge role in Aretha’s life, and is socially connected to important people like Doctor Martin Luther King. Franklin comes of age in an era when blacks have taken to the streets in a quest for equality. Many of Aretha’s singing engagements were in church or to raise money for the movement.
As with many other celebrities, Miss Franklin is haunted by demons from her childhood and continual conflict with her father. Her choice in men only exacerbates her problems, to the point where it all becomes too much and she breaks down. The church and gospel music re-inspire her and she becomes the music icon we all know.
Jennifer Hudson plays Aretha in the movie and delivers one of the best performances of her career. Respect is not a movie you really need to see on the big screen, but the soundtrack is awesome and will surely have you tapping your foot. Cathryn even got up and danced in the isle to one song. We were the only ones in the theater.
We both enjoyed the movie. I gave it a 9 and she a 10 out of 10.