I was at a business conference in Niagara Falls this weekend and was able to bring the family. After a couple of days of buffet food I decided to skip the lunch on Sunday and take the gang into Niagara-on-the-Lake as we going through there anyway. The hotel buffet, while provided gratis by my employer, was inoffensive if bland, so why not a special treat to cap of the weekend on Dad, eh?
We decided to go to a restaurant friendly to kids that we had eaten at a couple of time before over the years, Estria. Oh, God, what a mistake.
I'm not sure what happened to the kitchen, but the food that came out had been put through a de-flavourizing machine. Soups from cans (lentil soup and veg soup are the same thing apparently, chicken from pouches, dry turkey...All we ordered were two clubs, and two chicken pitas; the 10 year old had the fries and the rest subed in soup for a $2.00 a piece extra charge. The wife had a glass of wine ($9.00 and small!) and the boys and I all had Shirley Temples which turned out to be near $4.00 a pop; who knew 7-UP, orange juice and grenadine could be so expensive--had Warren Buffer cornered the syrup market?
For all this dry toast and spongey pita eating the bill came out to $85.00...'Incroyable', as the French might say. So like a good Canadian I paid the bill, quitely fumed but only dropped half of the 15% I usually do (more if the food's great). The service was fine so the barb was aimed at the kitchen. And the place was full folks.
So those with families, look around a bit more if find yourself if this admittedly Twilight Zone tourist trap (cue spooky music here)...The place looks pretty but hides terrible secrets. If you have any alternatives in this locale I'd like to know about them. Diner beware.
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