Noodle-ee Goodness at Kinton

Last month, Meghan told me about an interesting outing she’d been on with a friend. They’d gone to the TIFF Cinema to see the 1985 Japanese film Tampopo, which has recently been fully restored.

This comedy is described as, “The tale of an enigmatic band of ramen ronin who guide the widow of a noodle shop owner on her quest for the perfect recipe. Sweet, sexy, surreal, and mouthwatering, Tampopo remains one of the most delectable examples of food on film.” I’m sorry I missed it at the theatre but will be keeping my eyes out for another chance.

Clearly, the lushly visual movie is the catalyst for a ramen craving, so as a cross-promotion, the audience was offered a discount on a meal at a nearby ramen bar following the movie.

The bowl of delicious Japanese noodle soup Meghan described having had at Kinton Ramen stuck with me, and I wanted to try it myself. She liked the place so much that she gladly agreed to go a second time within a month, and we made a date for Sunday evening.

If you’ve been on Queen Street West near Spadina lately, you’ve probably seen the big metal sculpture of the pig that’s outside this busy place, located at 402 Queen West between Cameron and Spadina.

I arrived moments before Meghan did, to a welcoming chorus of greetings from the staff, and was shown to a couple of wooden stools at one end of a communal table.

We had a mug of Sapporo beer while deciding what to eat.

I went for the spicy jalapeno chicken soup, choosing thin noodles over thick, and Meghan had the special called “Shio Ontama Ramen”. We also had a side of gyoza to share.

^ A good look at those delectable homemade noodles. ^

The food was totally delicious and the service friendly. While everything was done very efficiently, with the aim to please diners who are in a hurry, we were in no way rushed. We had plenty of time for another beer and a good catch up.

There’s no doubt we’ll be going back!

Thanks for reading,
xo loulou

Posted in Queen Street West, Restaurants of Toronto | Tagged | 2 Comments

Subway Station Art Installation : Tribute to Honest Ed’s at Bathurst Stop

As mentioned in my previous post, Andrea and I checked out an art installation while we were out on Saturday. This is what we saw : the signs at Bathurst Subway Station temporarily given the look and feel of the iconic signs that once graced the walls and displays at Honest Ed’s Department Store.

After running for 68 years, Honest Ed’s, located kitty corner from the station, on the south-eastern corner of Bloor Street West and Bathurst Street, closed down for good on December 31, 2016.

That whole block is undergoing major change (as discussed in this post from when I was there in the summer), so Honest Ed’s will be demolished soon.

Personally, while I understand that it was time for this change to happen, I have a soft-spot for the old place, and felt a pang of sorrow as I rode by it in the streetcar on Saturday, seeing it with its windows all papered over.

^ All closed up and ready to go. ^

I wrote a dedicated story about this fun and economical store back in 2012, when it was very much still in business, so if you’d like to see what it was all about, including pictures of the inside, you can find that here.

Here are a few of photos from that post to give you some context for this art installation, showing samples of the hand-painted signs that were throughout the huge, multi-level store. The often-humorous signs were very much a part of the place. There’s a good 5 minute video all about them and the artists who created them here – Honest Ed’s Sign Painters, if you’d like to know more about the history there.

^ These three photos taken in September, 2012 ^

As a tribute to its “forever” neighbour — the store had already been there for 17 years when Bathurst Station was built in 1966 — it got a make-over.

To quote this Toronto Star article about the switch-up, “The idea for the subway makeover came to TTC deputy CEO and chief customer officer, Chris Upfold, about a year ago. Upfold lives in the area and uses the station regularly.

‘We just wanted to pay tribute to the store and the Mirvish family,’ said Upfold. ‘I think that people recognize the role that a store like Honest Ed’s plays in Toronto. Everyone at some stage has been in there . . . it’s a great opportunity to show how proud we are.'”

Up near the toll booth there are a bunch of the puny-statements that Honest Ed’s was known for, incorporating different stations on Toronto’s subway network …

^ By chance, I happened to get a photo of this saying, as it hung in the store in 2012. ^

The signs were scheduled to have been taken down on the day the store closed on the last day of 2016, but they were still in place when I was there on the 7th of January, so maybe you still have a chance to see them for yourself in real-life. You can see most of them from inside the station, so no need for a second fare payment.

Thanks very much for reading. I hope you have a great weekend,
xo loulou

Posted in Art, Poetry and Theatre, Streets of Toronto | Tagged | 3 Comments