Places to eat – Espanola, Ontario

Hong Kong Restaurant – I decided not to eat in the Pinewood Motor Inn’s dining room because it was packed and I didn’t want to wait. Am I ever glad that I walked down the street to this place.

Hong Kong Restaurant

The Hong Kong Restaurant in Espanola, Ontario isn't to be missed if you have some time for plenty of fresh, hot buffet food on your way to the ferry terminal 90 minutes down the road.

I found this little gem just a short walk away on the opposite side of the street. At first I was put off by the few occupied seats, but having walked past a motorcycle in the parking lot buoyed my spirits. After I sat down, others showed up. Obviously, the locals were aware of this place.

I told the waitress I’d be trying the buffet, but I was disappointed when I saw that there was very little food in the warming trays. No sooner had I walked up to the display when the chef walked out, surveyed the room, checked the food trays, and began bringing out fresh, hot goodies. A veritable delight awaited me. He did the same thing several times, ensuring that newcomers all had as much as was needed, fresh and hot.

Three plates later and I waddled back to my room, having been sated by some of the freshest, hottest and most abundant food I had ever eaten in a Chinese restaurant.

If you’re passing through Espanola on your way to the South Baymouth ferry terminal on Manitoulan Island, don’t miss this little gem. Don’t be disappointed when you walk up to the buffet and can’t see much food. It will be coming right up, fresh and hot.

The ferry terminal is about another 90 minutes down the road if the swing bridge is in use. If you’re on a motorcycle, no reservation is required. Added bonus: you’re sent to the front of the line, where you’ll be first on, and, obviously, first off.

Chi-Cheemaun ferry South Baymouth/Tobermory

On a motorcycle? No reservation required. You're first on/first off, since this thing can load/unload from either end. If you're in a cage, you'll need a reservation.

New York Burgers

New York Burgers, Winnipeg

Update June 2011: I stopped in at lunchtime while I was on a ride. Lo and behold, Onof just happened to be on the premises, so we had a bit of a chat. No shirts though. He doesn’t keep them on-site. The burgers are as good as ever, and the parking lot is still full.

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No, not the Big Apple.

It’s in Winnipeg. At the end of Weston Street where it meets Notre Dame.

Fifteen years ago, it was a pretty good spot for a burger at lunch – hold the chili for me, thanks. A good bun, fresh ingredients and a clean building.

It still is.

A bit of trivia: The two young guys who first went into the business had their original location near a high school. It wasn’t long before their young age and the local color got the better of them, so they sold the place and relocated to where they are now. Added bonus: they got to keep more cash in their pockets.

One of the partners sold out, and Onof became the sole owner. He’s a pretty good guy, but he’s only there during lunch. Stop by and say hello for me, and see if he has any shirts yet.

The Burger Scoop redux

Looking a little the worse for wear is the sign announcing The Burger Scoop, previously covered in this post. Don’t despair, however; the burgers are as good as ever.

The Burger Scoop, Ignace, Ontario

The Burger Scoop, Ignace, Ontario

Again I just had to stop here, park out front, enter and order the Bistro burger and strawberry milkshake. I was warned that I might find the Bistro a tad on the spicy side, but I told the woman that I liked it that way. Since I’ve spent a lot of time on the Baja, spicy doesn’t bother me in the least.

The Bistro wasn’t as spicy as I would have liked, but I’m certain the locals find it just a little on the hot side. As far as I’m concerned, there weren’t enough jalapenos on it, but that’s only my opinion.

As always–and yes, one more time–The Burger Scoop is a place not to be missed on Highway 17 in Ignace, Ontario.

Oh, and they’ve added a Robin’s Donuts franchise to the mix to catch those early-morning highway high-milers with coffee and donuts or muffins.

Don’t expect burgers for breakfast though. The restaurant doesn’t open for lunch until 11 a.m.

Places to eat – Vancouver, Canada

Hue Cafe, Richmond, Vancouver

Huê Café – Richmond, British Columbia

Hours: 10 to 8, 11 to 6 on Sunday

Updated July 26, 2009: I’m back here again, and still not disappointed in the food or the friendliness of the owner. This time I had the pho (beef noodle soup) and a Vietnamese ham baguette. The baguette is nice and crisp, and very fresh. The pho alone was filling enough, but I didn’t disappoint myself by taking the baguette to go. I ate it there, while conversing with the owner.

All of that for less than 12 dollars, not including tip. How can you beat it?

An amazing place, not to be missed in Richmond (Vancouver, British Columbia).

Pho (beef noodle soup) and a Vietnamese ham baguette.

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I found this little gem completely by accident while heading back to the Delta. The tiny cafe has eight or nine tables in a small strip mall across from the Richmond Mall on No. 3 Road. The chef is the owner, and he’s more than willing to suggest things to try from the short menu hanging on the wall.

I’ll be eating there every night for the rest of the week.

Here’s a link to some local reviews. Ignore goonboy’s, since he is so obviously confused.

Don't forget to squeeze the lime over the bowl

Now what’s not to like about that? The chicken currey with noodles was a big hit.