Grey cup weekend in Toronto is a huge fan fare. But before we begin with Toronto, let’s talk about breakfast a Fritz’s Classic Grill. This is a new restaurant in the Best Western Hotel in Bells Corners. My son ordered eggs benedict and I ordered the special with poached eggs. The potatoes were nicely pan fried and tasty with a touch of herbs. My eggs were poached well; note they were done in a poacher not in boiling water. The eggs in the benedict were poached well too. Two complaints were how slow it took for our order to be served. They probably had to make the hollandaise sauce for the eggs benedict. The other complaint is that it was obvious from the taste of the hollandaise sauce that real butter was not part of the recipe. Overall breakfast was ok…nothing really outstanding except for the tasty potatoes. The pricing was very fair as I was very pleased that my son’s large chocolate milk was included with his eggs benedict (since coffee or tea were included in the price of the breakfasts).
Now for my grey cup weekend experience of music, food, and football. We parked at city hall where they had set up a zip line and mini football field of artificial turf on the ice rink. That weekend it was windy and cold. The sponsors had booths trying to promote their wares. We filled up with samples of heluva good chip dip and ruffles chips before heading to the Metro convention center on Friday evening. As we walked in the cold brisk wind towards Front Street, you pass by Starbucks, Second Cups and Tim Hortons. Never saw an interesting indie coffee shop in the 6 times we walked back and forth from city hall to Front Street. They had Front Street closed off for the weekend where there was a stage, more sponsor booths, and a selection of BBQ places selling their prize winning pulled pork and ribs. There was a Marco Angelo sausage booth that was selling sausages for 2 dollars. The sausages were good as we were going to stop for dinner on our walk to the convention center but the places we passed by were either chains (Keg) or too nice for our attire.
So the tickets for the Molson Concert series says it started at 6PM. We entered the convention center on the north entrance and had to get to the south part which was 2 escalators up, across and enclosed walkway and 4 escalators down. Each team had its own “party” room. On our way up the 2 escalators, you would go by the BC Lion room which was huge and pretty empty (they always had music whether it was a DJ or live band) and loud. I’m sure it would have been filled if the Lions had won the west.
On the floor with the Molson room was the Tigercat room next door. In the hallway were more sponsor booths…Canada Post selling stamps; Canadian mint trading loonies for Grey cup loonies and other souvenirs. The Molson room was the huge hall with a stage at the far end of the room but no band and not very many people. In the other half of the room were various football “skill” games such as how hard you can throw a football measured by km/hr; how fast you can push those blocker units; how accurate you can snap the ball; how accurate you can throw the ball. We entertained ourselves with all the games as we were there way too early…first concert with Dave Matthews didn’t start until 9:30PM and then Sam Roberts started at 11PM.
So we decided to go for a really dinner. We kept walking on Front street going west and found this place on Mercer St called Milagro. It looked like an authentic Mexican place; neither Rick or I were very hungry at the time (due to the sausages). I had a mexican mango soda and Rick had a mexican beer. The mexican soda was very interesting; not sweet at all with a very crisp fruity flavour; very refreshing. We both ordered burritos; I had the chicken and Rick had the cheese. The waitress asked if we wanted jalepenos in the burrito but we both declined as she warned me the chicken was spicy. The burrito was very spicy without the extra peppers; it wasn’t the chicken, it was the refried beans which were the best I’ve every tasted. The burrito came with a side of sauted corn in a spicy pepper sauce. The combination of sweet from the corn and spicy from the pepper very much complemented each other.
We headed back to the convention center armed with bags of a new flavour of Ruffles (more samples), bacon and sour cream. This hit the spot between concerts. It was amazing how close we were to the stage; general admission, standing room only, no seats. I was so glad we had our ear plugs as we would have been deaf after the first couple of minutes as you will see in the picture how close to the speakers and stage we were.