Amsterdam BrewHouse: The new hot spot on the water

Amsterdam BrewHouse

When I heard about the newly opened Amsterdam BrewHouse opening up by my work on Queens Quay, I knew I’d be making a trip their quickly – two days later, in fact.

While they’re still working on the final touches throughout much of the second level to get it ready in time for the official July 1 launch, it’s still a fully functioning restaurant with many different kinds of seats to choose from. Given the nice weather me and my buddy of course opted for the patio – one of many. We were hoping for the lakeside seats, but were taken to the west side of the building, which faced the Marine Unit of the Toronto Police – still great seats.

The BrewHouse has two separate paper menus – one with its beer selection, the other with food (and more drinks). On the flip side of the drink menu we decided to go with the beer flight, which let us sample four different kinds of beer four the cost of a pint ($8). This is a good option if you like to try new beers but don’t want to take the chance on getting a gross pint.

Amsterdam BrewHouse BeerWhen it came to the food, I was a bit indecisive. There wasn’t a tonne of options, but much of the menu looked either interesting (duck grilled cheese) or traditionally a good choice (burgers, pizza). The food is a couple dollars pricier for most of the menu items, compared to most bars, but everything is made fresh, seasonal and local, and generally much better prepared than your typical pub. That being said, I felt cheap and got the crispy fish tacos, which still ran $13 even though it’s listed as an appetizer. It came with three tacos and because I wasn’t terribly hungry, were definitely filling enough, and certainly tasty.

Amsterdam BrewHouse Fish TacosAfter grabbing another pint we paid up and moved to the south side patio because the Muskoka chairs they have were too inviting. The service on that side was nearly non-existent, so we ended up grabbing a pint on our own at the bar after a while. All that was made up by the view:

Amsterdam BrewHouse ViewOverall I really liked the Amsterdam BrewHouse and plan on making a few trips this summer. Because it’s new, I expected any number of issues, so on that front I’m forgiving. While the food pricing is a bit much, the food is unique enough and I’m always up for trying new things so I’d like to sample many more items off that menu.

Have you made it out there yet? What did you think?

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Breakfast at Cora’s

I’m a huge Cora‘s fan and many may have seen my tweets about the progress of the new Scarborough franchise’s construction. The first time I noticed it was when I was at Starbucks with my nephew and saw the familiar Cora sunshine logo in the window (Twitpic). After that I paid close attention each morning on my way into work since my bus passed by the plaza.

One day I noticed the sign had gone up on the restaurant, so I tweeted about that. With the help my friend Coleman (@ColeYeung) I found out it was opening on September 7, which ended with us planning our outing on Saturday with May (@aMAYzin). I can’t speak for them, but I had a great time. My usual meal, the Crepomelette was perfection on a plate, I got to spend time with two really cool people and last but not least, got to use Facetime on my iPhone 4 for the first time ever (albeit across the table with May).

Fast forward to Sunday morning and I’m back yet again, this time with my girlfriend. I promised I’d take her on a date for her first Scarborough Cora’s experience, so before heading down to the TIFF block party, we grabbed some food. I moved away from my delicious Crepomelette and had the Cora’s Special, which was filling but not the same. One added bonus to the breakfast was my new Foursquare Mayor title, but I’m not sure how long that will last, to be honest.

Long story short, it was a Cora’s-filled (and filling) fun time. If you haven’t been, go! Just go early or else you’ll have to deal with lineups.

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