Restaurants

People Are Still Eating!

Posted by Admin1 on June 24, 2018
Check it Out!, Restaurants, Try It! / No Comments

Hey Brucesters! Happy Pride!🌈

Today is the big day! The Boys are bottoms up! 🍑The Dykes are dancing! 💃🏻The Trans are teasing and the closet cases are up at Steamworks!🧖🏽‍♂️Hang on it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
The parade is all set. The police are playful! 👮🏻‍♂️👮🏽‍♀️The Drag Queens are raking in the tips and the Male dancers are too! It’s Pride! 💪🏻🧔🏻✌🏻

The street is packed with locals and on lookers and the Queer Ghetto is the bell of the balls!
Clearly we got the Church Street Strip under control.
However if what you need is a little Pride without the populous, just up and around the way is a gay friendly, flag flying, all day breakfast place that has the best egg dishes one queer would demand without the roar of the crowds. Don’t get me wrong. The line up for this amazing hen house is thick but there’s just that bit of breathing space one may need after a month of LGBTQ festivities! he owner is a cutie and his portions are huge! At least I thought it was. I wasn’t sure how I was going to squeeze it all in. I actually didn’t. I ended up taking a bit of it home with me and it was still quite a load. I got the big breakfast with all the trimmings. The side of pancakes was a gay bears dream. Check it out and tell ’em Bruce in the City sent you! It’s Pride and no matter what shenanigans we all get up to one things for certain, people are still eating! Eat hardy, and Swallow on!

Chew Chews Diner

186 Carlton St

5 kisses out of 5💋

B.I.T.C

Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

This article is dedicated to all my LGBTQ friends I consider family. Especially my dear friend Odalys. I could always speak my truth with you.

Bruce

A Proud Understatement!

Posted by Admin1 on June 22, 2018
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Brucesters! It’s Pride!

For the past 20 years Cafe California has played host to an annual event unlike no other. The event has brought many shapes and sizes but I still like my medium sized white ones! Don’t get me wrong, I have tons of yellow, black, and tan in array of sizes but I just keep my hands on that old reliable. Those white boxer briefs! Cafe California has been an important part of the backbone of the Church Street strip. Their underwear fashion show has brought the boys to the yard year after year. This week’s two day extravaganza stopped traffic and brought the house down. The community sadly lost an incredible drag queen, Chris Edwards, and I can’t imagine being the next female impersonator to step into Chris’s high heels. I think everyone would agree her shoes only fit one Queen, her supreme self. However I’m saying that you can’t mourn a loss forever and some brilliant Queen would have to step up to lead the pack. In sashays Sofonda Cox! A brilliantly funny female impersonator that brings it to the stage at every performance. Sofonda will be my special guest in the coming weeks to share her story with us. Today however I’m gonna focus on the boys! The underwear fashions for the show were courtesy of my favourite men’s shop in town, The Men’s Room, the prize destination for my Badass B.I.T.C Beard contest.
Jay is the new owner of Cafe California. Also, no easy understanding after the retirement of Latisha. The community loved her. People wonder in the dark corners of the gay ghetto whether this community go to would survive. After all Latisha WAS Cafe California. I always told her it should have been called Latisha’s! But then the old girl retired. I’m not sure we ever forgave her for leaving us but we understood.
So now Jay. I have to admit I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to change. I’m a loyal guy and I’m also very careful who I support in the village because it’s a sacred place to me and to many and the idea of someone running a business in the village just to empty our wallets alone doesn’t interest me at all. It’s one reason why I won’t eat at the burger shacks that have taken over. I’m not even convince they’re in it to support the community. I mean how many burgers can one homo eat. I digress. I stopped going to the cafe. I just wasn’t sure what this new owner’s motives were. What has he done to prove he is a supporter of the gay community? After a year of not eating at the Cafe I decided with a group of mates that we would attend the ever infamous Underwear Fashion show. The menu for the event was excellent. Though on revealing who I was Jay decided to offer me something special that was not on the evenings menu with some white wine. Okay, he had me at chicken souvlaki. I thought you sneaky little fellow. Tempting me with food. As if a bearded bear can be swayed by a delicious plate of Greek fare. I was still going to watch this man closely. Could I see it in his eyes? That sparkle Latisha used to have as Chris Edwards commanded the stage. It wasn’t the wine talking. He really seemed to be enjoying the sites and sounds of his business. Working the bar and being a significant presence in the restaurant. No hiding in the back like so many owners do. He was very generous all evening and made my little group of homos happy! It was there; the passion and the heart. I can honestly say I’ve been converted. I’ll always miss Latisha but I think she would be happy to see how Jay and his motley crew continue the legacy of a friend who even at this event many years later was on the lips of patrons. It was a great show. I think you got it Jay! Keep up the great work. The food was stellar. The wine divine and the laughs a dozen barrels! On a quick side note my partner said his Filet Mignon from your events menu was outstanding (though he did steal some of my chicken souvlaki).

Happy Pride

B.I.T.C

edited by Mary Ellen Monk

It’s All About The Irv

Posted by Admin1 on April 29, 2018
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Hey Brucesters!

The sun is shining! The grass is green! The maples and evergreens sway! It’s such a perfectly gay day just before the month of May! Ok, ok. I ripped that off of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas!
If only everything was perfectly perfect. Well it is getting close. John and I are all a tizzy with the prospects of him getting a new church to direct. It’s been some time since he has been full time on an organ bench and it feels like this could be the one. I know one shouldn’t count their chickens before they’re hatched but I’d really love for him to get this. He’s directed there the last two weeks and I don’t know, call me impartial, but I thought he was brilliant and the congregation is really great. We decided after his service today that we would hit a little hot spot for some much needed substance. Of course, I mean food, not like substance. John suggested this little Gastro Pub on Carlton called The Irv. Honestly, at first glance, there almost seemed a glowing Epiphany star leading us to this non-descript spot. Humble and beckoning from the outside yet so trendy on the inside and barely a seat to be had. Clearly many had followed the same star.  Jacklyne greeted us and showed us a perfectly perfect spot in the rear end of the eatery. The decor was trendy bistro chic and the tunes today were early 80’s. There was a cute couple beside us who I chatted with for a moment about it being a little on the warm side in there, but apparently the landlord went off to Greece and left the heat blasting so not their fault. Our server was really amazing and we learned that the pub was in fact a family affair. They’ve been open about four years now and their story is a very special one. I’ll let Regan tell it in his own special way.

“After losing my Dad to ALS in January of 2013, my wife Jackie and I wanted to open a place of our own to pay tribute to the man they called Irv. With the support of my mother Tina our dream became a reality. Just over a year later on March 1st 2014, we opened our doors, trying our best to provide great service, a comfortable atmosphere and delicious homemade food.”
Cheers from our family to yours,
– Regan Irvine

I never cut and paste but honestly, I couldn’t have shared that any better. What an incredible story of hope and strength, family and community! Just an extra bit of info I thought was amazing they in their first year raised over $100,000 for ALS. Visit their official website at the end of this article for more fabulous facts about this wonderful pub!

We had the eggs benedict traditional and smoked salmon. Lovely hollandaise sauce with sweet potato and traditional home fries. Super yum! I had a cider (Pommies Cider from Caledon On) which is only $5.50 a pint on a Sunday and John had the house white. Both enjoyable! We chatted over the prospects of his new post and we hoped a little and prayed a lot. I personally hope he gets the position because it would mean more reasons to visit Irvs again and again! And who knows, John may even convince me to join the choir!

www.theirv.ca

5 kisses out of 5

B.I.T.C

edited by Mary Ellen Monk

Oh bada boom, badda bing!

Posted by Admin1 on April 22, 2018
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It feels like a lifetime ago when I rented a small white house just across the parking lot from the Oshawa Centre. I had gotten a job at East Side Mario’s as a server. I must have been in my early 20’s. I don’t think since that time have I ever gotten closer to people that I worked with. We were such a group and we were all coming of age. I decided to get out my video recorder and document our lives together. There was Jay (the groups designated cute guy. He reminded us of this lead singer from a popular band of the time), Paula (the crazy blonde because everyone needs a crazy blonde), Brenda (who didn’t actually work with us but was a friend of mine I brought into the circle as the perfect party companion), Aaron (the coolest and cutest fellow who had all the girl’s hearts a flutter, who also very sadly passed away recently), Grant who was the big boss with another intimidating dude name Sean, he was the owner. I did my best to make him laugh so he didn’t seem as scary.
It was the time of our lives, or at least it was for me. I never thought I’d get the job but my interview went off like a hitch! Grant, one of the managers I mentioned asked me what type of vegetable I’d like to be and I said a carrot. He asked me why and I calmly said it seems like a vegetable that could have a lot of fun. Well, I landed the job instantly and the next few years we worked and partied together it felt like every night. Enid, by the Barenaked Ladies was top of the charts along with The Tragically Hip and some early Sarah McLaughlin. The music just seemed so great back then.
All these people I mentioned and more came to mind today when I stopped into an East Side Mario’s near Eglinton and Victoria Park. The atmosphere and food has always been really great. I was craving that amazing house salad, the soup, and that warm garlic loaf. I sat in the booth and was transported back to a time in my life that was so expressive and awakening. Creating that documentary was one of the best times in my life. Believe it or not I still have it in my personal library. I pull it out once in a while and feast on the incredible memories. My server brought me back from my memories as he said hello and introduced himself. He was Connor. He was cute. I explained I just came in for the soup and salad combo and even though I had missed the serving time of that combo he smiled as if he knew I was reliving something that needed honouring and I was really happy he did. I watched everyone scooting around. I even heard one of their popular birthday songs I did so many nights on the clock! “It’s your birthday, where are you? We’re coming over to sing to you! East side Mario’s wishes you a happy day.” Etc., etc., etc. I can’t recall the rest but we all secretly hated doing it. Except for this guy named Darcy who always seemed game to lead the call for everyone. He was a funny guy. I think I annoyed the hell out of him if I remember correctly. Connor brought my soup, salad, and home loaf to me and again threw me another “I get it” smile. He may have been a bit clairvoyant. It was as great tasting as I remembered from years ago. The garlic loaf seemed smaller but that’s probably a good thing. I mean how many carbs does a mid-lifer need? Wow, did I just say that? It’s so true. I have to start embracing that fact if I want to avoid the pending mid life crisis which so far I think I’ve evaded. Connor was the best and really made my visit down memory lane worth every bite. I’ll be back. I always return home when I need to remember who I was so many moons ago! Oh bada boom, badda bing!

B.I.T.C

This blog is dedicated to every single amazing person I met and worked with at East Side Mario’s. There are so many I couldn’t name you all. I remember you all though. And to Aaron, one of the sweetest fellows I ever knew. I wish you didn’t have to go so soon.

edited by Mary Ellen Monk

Surprise Me

Posted by Admin1 on March 11, 2018
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Before I get started I want to welcome back my wonderful editor Mary Ellen. You were missed. I hope you had an amazing trip. I was creeping your posts and it looks like you had a blast and your family too! So, yes, welcome home.
Today’s blog, I have to admit, has become one of my favourites. I was at my therapist’s office on Friday (yes, I have a therapist. I think everyone should have one) and after my hour with her I felt like I needed to take a nice long walk and mull around the get together. Toronto is a great place to roam around. It was a little cool but I had my favourite Roots sweater on and so I was ready to walk. I took a few photos along the way of Dundas Square, this cool looking condo just off Queen Street with the CN Tower in the distance, and a few other pics that I posted on my Instagram @bruceinthecity. It’s so relaxing just site seeing like a guest in this old city. It was in the middle of this stroll that I passed by an interesting looking restaurant. I had wandered into Queen Street West and this part of the city seems to have a lot of fabric places and sewing shops. It seems to be where clothing designers go to get the fabric supplies they need.
A little further west I passed by La Pallette. Oh so French. I checked out their menu which was displayed on a lectern. I peeked in the window. It had a relaxed French bistro feel to it. Maybe it was the colours? Maybe the window dressing? The sprawl of black and white photographs that seemed to be floating along the east wall? The kitchen was right out there in the open with it’s heavy metalled accessories. It felt a bit “Alice in Wonderland” to me. The bearded fellow behind the bar invited me in and to sit where I like. I chose a window seat which I actually regretted because it didn’t allow for me to admire the decor very well. The bearded fellow approached me and enthusiastically shared how the menu worked and what were some highlights and then he asked me about a beverage. I chose a Pinot Grigio. When he returned I hadn’t yet decided. I didn’t want to have to think to be honest. I looked up at his impressive beard and I just said surprise me. He looked a little surprised but I guessed that wasn’t the first time he heard a statement like that. He asked me if I had any allergies or if I was squeamish. I said no, but I lied. I was a little squeamish. After he walked away I thought okay, go big or go home. I was enjoying my pinot as I rolled around how bad could it be? The place looked pretty harmless. What could he bring me that would make me squeamish? You know when I review places, I like to be inspired. Either by the impeccable customer service or the food. Since my background deals in customer service that tends to be what affects me the greatest. But this day I just wanted to be orally satisfied beyond measure. Bring me something that would take me out of my body and spin me across the universe of flavours and savourings. I think it may have been his girth of beard that had me feeling so wide open to something perfectly new. He returned with plate in hand, placed it in front of me and began to explain the contents. It sounded like a bunch of pretty words from a bearded baritone and I was certain he said horse. Then he smiled and walked away. Did I hear him correctly? The plate looked wonderful. A lovely salad, side of fresh bread, thin fries lightly seasoned and the vinaigrette dressing was lovely. Little kisses of mustard on the plate and an egg yolk sitting on top of a lovely round of what appeared to be the “piece de resistance”, but oh my god, did he say horse? I’m certain he did. I did say surprise me, didn’t I? Okay, well I had to go for it. I wanted a brand new experience and this friendly man just put his best meat forward for me to try. I had to put it in my mouth. There was just no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I had to put it in my mouth. I’m adventurous. I can do this. I want to do it. I asked for it. I took my fork and took some yolk that burst over the top of this signature dish. I overheard reactions to him by other patrons. He’s a genius! He’s the best! He knows just what his customer needs! One woman pleaded with him to bring her back to life with the perfect drink. He did. It was called Hail Satan, some espresso based alcohol beverage! That seemed to give this woman that meg Ryan moment from When Harry Met Sally, I kid you not. This guy, whom the patrons called David, was like a local celebrity and as I placed that piece of meat into my mouth I knew I was experiencing something extraordinary. It was mouth watering and gentle as it kissed my tongue. My mind was having a moral struggle but my mouth said, “Oh yes, give me more of that outstanding piece of meat”. I found myself mixing the flavours going between the mustards and the leaf of the perfect salad and complimented by perfect thinly cut fries. The experience he gave me honestly inspired me to continue writing and to be even more brave in the future when I visit the restaurants in this amazing city and maybe once again dare to say, “surprise me”.

The actual menu items:

P.S. I would have never tried this dish on my own and I’m so thankful David shared it with me. The entire experience had me floating home recalling every moment on La Pallette.

www.lapalette.ca

6 kisses out of 5

B.I.T.C

Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

A note from Mary Ellen

I’m much more nervous than you about food. I would have heard horse and there would have been no way that it was going in my mouth. Dave on the other hand would have tried it. The man is a food connoisseur and will try anything once.
Good for you for being brave though!

ME

Shut Up and Eat With Me

Posted by Admin1 on March 04, 2018
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Brucesters!

Dang! Spring like weather arrived in Toronto for a couple of days this week and I started feeling inspired enough to get out of bed. Then the snow came. Did I mention how much I hate February?

All through February, John and I have been dealing with that flu, which literally lasts a month, that has been kicking the crap out of North America. I’m sorry, but that has government conspiracy written all over it.

Last Sunday, we went to Medieval Times for a crash and burn nightmare I’ll be sharing next Sunday. Anyway, feeling utterly beaten up by that experience, I decided we needed to treat ourselves to a quiet dinner for two; however, when John responded, “Sounds like an idea”, I knew he was really saying, “No thanks!”. After 13 years I have learned to read my guy and his responses like a book!

So, midweek, since John and I had appointments scheduled, I decided to take full advantage of the trip to see our Doctor to revisit the dinner for two possibility.

John likes having his blood work done as much as I like February and was so traumatized he demanded a treat – like any tough guy would!! Since I was wanting to go out for something to eat we agreed to make it Fran’s – for my brave little soldier – NAH!!!! for me!!! Hook, line and sinker!

OMG, we love Fran’s! It’s been around for years and is such an important treasure at College and Yonge.

It is one of the few incredible landmarks which has not been ripped down to make way for the cancer that is condos in the ever diminishing beauty that is our fair city.

Who needs 5 foot by 5 foot condos for $500 000.00 for all those lovely foreign investors to buy up just to turnover profit when instead you can have Fran’s! It is such an amazingly cool place to hang out in. It still has that Art Deco look about it. I love the marque with all its glittery wonder, like something from old New York vaudeville days.

It’s just a small chain found only in Toronto. The flagship location was opened in 1940 by G. Francis “Fran” Deck at 21 St Clair Avenue West but sadly closed in 2001. For the classical music buffs, the St. Clair Ave. Location was a regular establishment for pianist Glenn Gould.

Getting back to our meals, John had a strawberry milk shake and I chose chocolate (which is way better than strawberry in my opinion!!!). He also had the steak and eggs and I did my fav scrabbled with all the trimmings.

Fran’s was the place I chose way back when I first met John to drag him out for breakfast. The occasion was Pride and I had been partying with friends all night long, seriously, all night! And at about five in the morning we decided to throw rocks at my new boyfriend’s apartment window. I failed to remember it was a work day for him but he reluctantly dragged himself out of bed and chose to come out and dine or lose me forever. I have no doubt after thirteen years he may from time to time think “What if I had stayed in bed” Well to that I say “Shut up and eat with me!” And I’m so glad he did!

5 kisses out of 5

B.I.T.C

Guest Editor: John P. Sigerson

Spring Rollin

Posted by Admin1 on January 21, 2018
Really?, Restaurants / No Comments

This is still my favourite part of my blog. Just me getting out and trying out local spots and telling you how fabulous they are. Sometimes however, they can be not so fabulous.

When I was out this past week getting myself organized to write my first review of the year,  I decided to go to Spring Rolls by Thai Pan on the Atrium on Bay Street. It’s not really on Bay first of all, it is on Dundas. Not sure why my receipt said on Bay. Anyway, their all you can eat lunch costs $18.49. I thought a bit much; I’ve been to many sushi places and this price was a bit high for fast food sushi but I thought I’d give it a shot. Most of the time pop is part of the deal. I mean pop is so cheap, why stick it to the guest? And certainly not at $2.29. But I didn’t argue the price. The place looked nice enough so I thought why not. I needed to clean off my holiday palette with a little fresh fish. Sadly, the server was really slow and I watched people who came in after me get their food before I received my soup and a couple of dumplings. The bowl was not even half full and the dumplings were under cooked. And that I’m afraid was the highlight of the meal. There were so many obvious dishes missing that are usual items at other all you can eat sushi bars. I asked the server for sushi pizza for example, a dish that is pretty basic on many sushi buffet menus. He just shrugged and said we offer more dishes at dinner. Which, by the way, they charge over $26.00. I think it’s actually $28!! Of course don’t forget the coke at almost $2.30! It was a very disappointing meal and I’m pretty addicted to sushi, as a bud of mine joked on Tuesday. So really it has to super suck for me to complain. The other thing that really bothered me was the quality of the sushi itself. The rolls were messy and loose and the pieces of fish were shaved like they were trying to stretch it out in fear of running out. It was also embarrassing as my plates piled up on my table.  Just bad. My server tried his hand at a joke and so he gets a point for that but generally the experience sucked! Written without prejudice. Try it if you want. It is only my personal experience you know!

1 kiss out of 5

B.I.T.C

edited by Mary Ellen Monk

Bears in Habitat

Posted by Admin1 on October 29, 2017
Check it Out!, Clubs and Bars, Pubs, Restaurants / No Comments

Hey B.I.T.C readers! Wow, well Fall finally arrived in the City I think. Just in time for Halloween next week. Before I begin my little blog this week it’s been a while since I’ve had my B.I.T.C session so here are some moments to write home about.
So I was heading to The Lodge the other day, my first time checking it out. My mode of transportation in the city is either cab or TTC. This day it was the TTC. The weirdest things happen to me on the TTC. There are so many I could seriously write a separate blog just for that! I was looking all bearded and ready to hit The Lodge for the first time and I was relaxing minding my own bear business in the lower landing of the bus just below the stairs that lead to the upper level of the bus. Someone hit the bell to get off. Not unusual, however what happened next was well, asinine! A lovely voluptuous woman steps into the landing, one step away from my shoulder, again not unusual, but then proceeded to rest her ass onto my shoulder! I’m not kidding! Her bottom was so busy beautiful she seemed to have trouble keeping control of it and in standing in the landing her butt protruded out enough that it rested itself right on my shoulder blade. I was in shock. I couldn’t even speak as her bottom waited comfortably on me for it’s next stop. My god where was it going to land next??? I’ll never know.
I arrived at The Lodge not long after and I was definitely in need of a drink or tranquilizer. The Lodge is this cool little pub in the village. I’d never been but had heard a lot about it. It is above O’Grady’s another bar I like during non-Pride season. Their security during pride are always assholes so I choose not to go. So I quickly found a corner seat with a good view of the pub and it’s bears. I wanted to study these bears in their natural habitat. I wasn’t really sure whether there was a possibility of getting mauled or bitten. It was wonderfully unpretentious. The works between Twink, Jocks, Cubs and Bears can be worlds apart not unlike an episode of Degrassi High.
It’s remarkable to me how unwelcoming these neesh groups can be to each other. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns in the village. I remember when I first moved here and went to another local queer spot this very Queenly Dude actually laughed at my shoes because they weren’t designer. I was pretty soft back then and I actually sank in my seat with embarrassment. Oh, how things have change. Today I’d just B.I.T.C slap him! Verbally of course. No violence, just love. So I’m sitting there watching the bears down their beers. A very cute little cub bartender helps me decide on a beer.
I wanted to feel just like those other bears and not drink my usual wine. His name was Sam and he was very sweet. The bears played gossip chain and talked Will and Grace. Suddenly you appeared. A mature fellow with a warm and welcoming smile and offered to buy me a drink. I had received a welcome shot from the bears in the corner moments before. I felt like the bear of the ball. The music was very retro: Carpenters, Ann Murray, Joni Mitchell, Kenny Rogers. I loved it. I was literally on bear planet. I was home. It was so cozy and cute. Just like me. If you are a local bear or a bear enthusiast I highly recommend you stopping by. I recommend abstaining from feeding them unless you want them to follow you home.

5 kisses out of 5

B.I.T.C

It’s that time we all wait for…. Badass B.I.T.C Beard of the Week. This weeks Badass B.I.T.C Beard belongs to…

Rick!

“ I don’t know if there are any important facts about me at all, but I do cut hair for a living and I’m a karaoke rockstar.. but other than that I’m pretty average. Oh and I’m covered in hair from head to toe if that’s notable and relevant. LOL. All of my childhood and early 20’s I spent nearly 100 pounds overweight so even though I’m nearly 50, I still don’t necessarily see what others see. My partner is amazing, believe me I’m the lucky one. He’s a doll and one of the kindest, and thank God for my sake, one of the most understanding people ever!”

Awe!!! This dude sounds incredible right? Humble! Stunning! Taken!! Damn, eh beards? Rick you’re now entered in the year end contest! Stay cool and keep reading Bruce in the City!

B.I.T.C

Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

Bitter Sweet Summer

Posted by Admin1 on September 12, 2017
Check it Out!, Holiday Stories, Pubs, Restaurants, Try It! / No Comments

What was that anyway? Was that really summer. My ass it was! I can’t believe that it pretty much rained every God forsaken day in this bloody city. One trip to the beach this year. It couldn’t have happened however at the right time. My good buds came from New Hampshire for a little get away. Or what we Canadians refer to as The Great Escape from The Trumps! I keep asking them to move here but I guess they enjoy the torture. The summer was weird at best but as you may recall from a few blogs back I said don’t rule out summer yet! Well in one week sweep I ended up crushing months of summer fun into 120 hours. It was Summerathon!

My buds arrived last weekend on Air Canada. They upgraded to business class and said the trip was excellent. Apparently there were only two crazy Asians that refused to sit down. How fun is that. Eventually they did and the flight was zipping through the sky.

Since I am “Bruce in the City” they left it in my capable hands to show them the city. Which was actually a little stressful but I had my plans in motion. It was decided that we would surprise a predominant Music Director and Organist in the city up near St Clair York Minister Park Baptist church. Some of the very influential attend that church. It would be very indiscrete of me to name names but anyone hear of Loblaws? Needless to say they weren’t in the house but you could feel their high end aura’s none the less. William Maddox has been ministering through music for many years. I won’t say how many, that would be indiscrete also. Let’s just say it is possible The Beatles hadn’t even gotten together yet. Of course I joke but he’s definitely a sample to an already well known church ministry.

But I’m not in the business to promote local churches. I’ve been burned by too many. But as churches go that’s a pretty good one. William, or to us better known as Bill, was surprised at our arrival and that was very cool indeed. And I never combusted into a ball of flames which was a nice surprise for me too! There were so many gays in attendance I was certain there was going to be a revival. But alas God was gentlemanly to us gaggle of Gays. No wrath. At least not this evening.

Now the real church began shortly after the service was over. I took everyone to one of my favourite watering holes. Drinks all around! I can’t resist nachos with extra everything and they were fabulous! Look it up! Midtown Gastro Pub!!! It’s up St Clair and Yonge. I’m certain I’ve talked about them before. Sadly the server moved at a glacier pace so that was annoying. Especially because the night was getting on and we had other troubles to get ourselves into. Alas is was Sunday night and even in Toronto there isn’t much trouble boys can get into so it ended up being a pretty early eve.

Monday and it was all about Centerville! I hadn’t been there in years and sometimes you’ve just got to give your inner child a much needed therapy session!
It’s a bitter sweet year for Centerville. Toronto had a very strange winter and spring leaving the island flooded for most of the summer season. The island lost millions in revenue so more than just being big silly boys this was really a farewell to one of the oldest carousels. It’s leaving us for the states to help pay for the loss Centerville experienced due to the floods. We all got on and my guests and I took our last trip around the merry go round. The memories of my youth came flooding back to me and I couldn’t help but get choked up at the thought of the loss. It was still just as fun as I remembered!

There was a first for me. I went on the sky ride! Heights and a glacier pace, my two favourite things… Not! But one of my buds talked me into it and off we went. I was doing great until we started going over a river. No one told me there was going to be a river! I just looked at my buddy. He knew he was on my hit list. That little smirk came with a calm “Oh, you’ll be fine.” Fine my ass! But I was and I quickly got over the fear and felt a little sense of achievement. Who knew I’d find that at a kids theme park! You just never know when you are going to get that light bulb moment.

Then I went on this zip around dark room spinning thing and got punched in the face! Life has got that way of keeping pride in check. I went to put my arm around my partner to hold tight and then he went to return the gesture but the speed of the ride pulled his elbow into my nose. All I could say was, “Oh my, you broke my nose”. Was it broken? No, but I got my revenge on the bumper cars! Damn that ride is fun! We all targeted this really cute guy and just rammed him from every direction.

Tuesday was Kensington Market! A wonderfully bohemian part of the city where time has stood still after 1960’s. It’s rich in Hipster culture, great places to eat and close on the cheap. Tie dye is still in fashion and the scent of pot and patchouli fill the air. We decided on Amadeus, a quaint Portuguese restaurant. We had a fabulous wine called Gazella that our server Cassandra suggested. It was divine. The boys found the brand later at the LCBO and brought it over for dinner on the Friday. We had Seafood linguine, Chicken Fettuccini and Chicken Caesar. It was all really tasty. Of course a little bread to start us off is always a welcome addition. And well I got hammered on Portuguese wine! Not a bad afternoon.

I took the next day away from site seeing for self recovery while the boys went off with my partner to Casa Loma. I was beat. I just couldn’t pull myself together. They had a great time though. It’s always a place I recommend. Apparently the organ is getting taken out of there for some political reason. Not getting used? I got the down low on it but I didn’t really listen so I missed the bottom line but it’s sad it is going up the road. Two out of the three fellows are organists so that was of interest to them. I was nursing a hangover.

What better way to celebrate friends but to bring your other friends together. We met up with our city buddies on Thursday and made our way to Bumpkin’s! An incredible restaurant on Gloucester just off the village. I’ve been there a couple of times before and have never been let down. Oysters! Seafood Linguine! Chicken Parmesan! Caesar Salad! All just delicious! I again enjoyed some fabulous wine! As did the others. Then it was off to watch Sausage Party! Our first of a few sausage parties that week! Wink!

I of course put on a wonderful roast dinner Friday evening and enjoyed the company of Maddox along with our guests from across the boarder. A very nice dinner if I do say so myself.

Saturday. Our last night together. Well just say what happens in Toronto stays in Toronto but we all had a marvelous time!

We will miss you guys! Until next year!

B.I.T.C

Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

Photos by Bruce in the City

Fabulous Festivals

Posted by Admin1 on July 09, 2017
Check it Out!, Clubs and Bars, Local Talent, Restaurants / No Comments

Toronto is awesome but even more so in the summer. When festival season gets underway the city wakes up to some of the greatest public gatherings the world has to offer. Of course, I enjoy Pride but this year decided to boycott the Parade. I believe everyone who struggles as a LGBTQ person has the right to march in that parade and no political group or movement has the right to block any supporter of the community. Everyone has the right to build a bridge but never to topple one down. It’s unforgivable in my opinion. I did however attend one of the coolest parties on the strip and that is the underwear fashion show at Cafe California. Every year for the last several years they played host to The Bay men’s garments, but this year JJMelon was the company and let me tell you sexy trendy garment fashion briefs. Their models were sizzling and the host Drag Queen Sofonda Cox was a lot of fun and did a great job filling the heels of the late great Chris Edwards who died suddenly while performing in a show Sept 2016.
If you are ever around for Pride it is worth checking out Cafe California on Church to see this really fun and sassy fashion show.
There are so many more great festivals going on all the time throughout the summer. I’ll be checking out The Taste if the Danforth in a few short weeks. It’s a delectable party of incredible flavours celebrating the culture of Greece.
I’ll be blogging about that soon enough so check back every Sunday for more great happenings in my fare city.
Just a quick note to you all if you are a business in the Toronto area and would like to be featured on my blog send me an email or leave me a voicemail with your business info and I’d be happy to stop by for a Bruce in the City visit!

bruceinthecity@hotmail.com
416-393-8548

Hope to hear from you soon! I’m gearing up for the fall season and I’d love to feature you!

Bruce in the City

Editor

Mary Ellen Monk