Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Top Hat Café

Let it be known far and wide that the Top Hat Café at Trent Bingo Palace in Toronto serves fries and gravy that are a gateway to hedonistic bliss.  Did I win at Bingo?  No!  Do I care?  No!  The whole evening was worth it for those unbelievable fries.

You can see the Top Hat Café here in all its glamorous glory: sneeze-guard, stacks of styrofoam cups, and the Special of the Day whiteboard.  Don't tell me that's not classy.  Their logo is a top hat.  What could be classier than that?

The purple bingo ladies agree.  You can see them above, enjoying a sandwich.  They are wearing matching purple shirts and all-purple accessories.  Their dabbers are purple.  I don't know if you can make it out, but the lady facing the camera is wearing reading glasses with lavender-tinted lenses.  I thought that was pretty cool.

Contrast this with The Pickle Barrel, a restaurant with several locations in the Toronto area.  When I was a kid there was only one location. It was a homey diner that specialized in smoked meat deli sandwiches and chicken soup with matzoh balls.  Now, after some serious re-branding, they've gone all fancy schmancy.

Don't get me wrong - I like The Pickel Barrel.  I've had some very good meals there.  But tonight I ate at the Yonge and Eglinton location, and my meal was so lacklustre that it almost wasn't worth the effort of chewing and swallowing.

I ordered a burger with fries, gravy, and coleslaw.  The only thing on my plate that had any taste to it at all was the coleslaw.  The burger was completely bland until I spiced it up with a pickle and condiments.  The fries were limp and pulpy.  Even the gravy was lukewarm and lumpy.  Ken ordered chicken wings, and he too was completely unimpressed with his food.  Come on, Pickle Barrel.  Kick it up a notch!

I also have to mention that I saw a grown man behaving like a child today.  I'll let you be the judge of whether or not this was a good thing.  He was with his nine-year-old niece at the playground - I know this because his sister-in-law was sitting next to me on a park bench and we got to chatting.

The man sat himself down on a swing and pumped as hard as he could until he couldn't swing any higher.  Then he started yelling to get his niece's attention.  "JULIE!  JULIE LOOKOUT, I'M COMING TO GET YOU!"  Then (and here I should mention that he looked to be around 50 years old and not super-fit) at the peak of a swing he jumped off.  I missed the jump, but my attention was caught by the dust-cloud he raised when he fell hard on the sandy ground.  Ken and I winced together, but he rolled out of it and was off chasing his niece in a flash, with a huge grin on his face.

I had to laugh.  I mean, the enthusiasm of this guy.  He wasn't too cool for school, that's for darn sure.  He was having way more fun than any of the other adults in the playground.

When Ken I and got up to leave he was on the teeter totter with his niece, yelling "TEETER TOTTER TEETER TOTTER!"  He didn't show any signs of being developmentally delayed, if that's what you're thinking.  He was a fully functioning grown man enjoying himself in a way that pushed the boundaries of social acceptability, but was generally speaking harmless.  I just hope he's not too sore tomorrow.


DarcKnyt said...

So, do the purple ladies go out of their way to match for any particular reason? Are they ever there as the red ladies, or green ladies, and does the purple-tinted spectacles ever become another color?

This is an interesting pair, to be sure. And I'm so sorry about your burger; as a genuine burger lover, I can tell you how much I'd hate to have one like that. Bummer.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Awww... when my niece was really little she would play on the Teeter Totter and proudly yell, "Teeter Totter" on the way up and down. :-)

Jameil said...

There is nothing like a magnificent fry!!!!! Bad ones are so disappointing. The uncle is awesome! And definitely going to be feeling his awesome this morning. LOL

Lynn said...

Love those purple Bingo ladies. :)

Good for that man for having such a good time.

Granny Annie said...

When company comes we can drive some short distances to fairly fancy restaurants but the visitors prefer our one local cafe Lorene's. It is much like your Top Hat Cafe and we see lots of folks with matching outfits on their way too or from the casinos. Lorene's onion rings are to die for.

It is a good thing you verified that the loony on the playground was with another adult family member or I would be suggesting you call the cops. Maybe it was "fun" but maybe it was.......

G. B. Miller said...

Sometimes as an adult, ya just gotta have fun, no matter how dopey you wind up looking...

Jenski said...

Glad there are bingo halls with yummy food in contrast to that other bingo story of yours!

DarcsFalcon said...

Oooh, yummy fries! You made my mouth water!

Purple Bingo Ladies - that sounds like a great name for a band. :D

I'm with Grannie Annie on the guy in the park. Being a mom, I guess we get a little nervous about grown men acting like children around our children and wanting to be so close like that. I suppose we're all Nervous Nellies now-a-days and it's hard for us to remember that some families are just closer than typical and in a good way. :)

wigsf3 said...

The pickle barrel (still convinced its secretly a gay bar) used to serve steak cut French fries. Now they serve shoe string just like everywhere else. Boo pickle barrel, boo.

Tracy Moore said...

This whole post is just fun! The purple ladies are awesome lol. Nothing like a good plate of fries and gravy. I think I would have to go to the bingo hall just for the yumminess and people watching.

The guy at the playground...I think that's really cool. I wouldn't be jumping off the swing like that, but only because I would be too afraid of the aftermath to my body. But all the other stuff, swinging and the teeter totter thing...yelling and all...count me in! That is my brand of goofy. Thanks for the smiles reading this.

LL Cool Joe said...

Wow what an inspired logo! A Top Hat. :D

I've never heard of Teeter Totter. I'm not a fan of loudness, you know, people in parks, or the bus, or in shops, well anywhere, that find it necessary to let everyone around them into their conversation. "Oh look at me having so much fun!"

I know I'm just a miserable git really. :D

Sparkling Red said...

DarcKnyt: You know, I'm really not sure. I've only been to that bingo hall twice, and I don't remember them being there the first time. I'll have to go back to find out.

Ron: I hope that your niece has nothing else in common with Uncle Weirdo.

Jameil: If I had a video camera on me I'm sure I could have submitted footage of his antics to Advil or Tylenol to use in a cautionary TV ad.

Lynn: He's not going to have any regrets on his deathbed. He was carpe-ing the diem like there was no tomorrow. (Is that redundant?)

Granny Annie: So matching outfits are a "thing", are they? Interesting. Maybe I'll try to coordinate with my bingo friends next time we go.

G.B. Miller: I heartily agree.

Jenski: Indeed. Now I wouldn't claim that this food would make you "healthy" per se, but at least I wasn't so worried about getting food poisoning.

DarcsFalcon: I am definitely going to name my band "Purple Bingo Ladies". I'll dedicate our first album to you. ;-)

wigsf: I am a fan of their early bird breakfast special. It's hard to go too far wrong with bacon, eggs, and toast. But otherwise, yes, I boo them.

Tracy: There's a special kind of people to watch at bingo. Very special. I say that in the most affectionate way possible.

LL Cool J: Perhaps you know it as a seesaw.
Oh sure, you are ever so miserable!