Thursday, 1 November 2007

Bellwood Bar & Grill

The gates of Trinity-Bellwoods Park

Sunday August 26, 2007

Restless Sunday-- phone calls made but no one is answering. Back to the Basics: a Solo Burger Quest. And where else to go on this restless Sunday but back to The Old Neighborhood? Yes, Queen Street West is calling my name. I’m not headed to any of the so-hip-it-hurts bistros or clubs-- I don’t want a burger with @#$%*@ shaved truffles on it, I just want a big ol’ honest hamburger and I know just where to get it. I call the restaurant first to make sure it’s open. This is Sunday, after all, and the long arm of The Protestant Church still reaches into many of Toronto’s nooks and crannies. The phone rings a few times-- my heart sinks-- and then a dude picks up and shouts, “BELLWOOD!” They’re open.

Outside is quiet and cool. Summer winding to a close. The streetcar trundles me uneventfully along Queen Street. A little four year old girl sits boppin’ to her ipod. Music ends and she lifts off her headphones and turns to her mother: “I want Mickey!” A crazy lady changes seats five times.

I step off the streetcar and land smack dab in the middle of Queen Street memories. I lived here for five years in a rooftop shack built atop a fabric store. Below me was an alcove where my homeless friends-- Greg, Stephanie, Punker Dave-- would gather to drink and smoke and shoot the shit. I did my drinkin’ on my rooftop deck (about the same size as my shack) with Saira, my friend and neighbor and bartender, who would knock on my door around five o’clock with a tray of martinis in her hands: “It’s cocktail hour!” Friends would drift by with more booze and the evening would slowly unwind, sun slowly setting behind the public housing across the alley. Good times!

If you’re heading West along Queen Street West, you’ll hit The Bellwood Grill right before you come to Trinity-Bellwoods park. (Hmm... makes sense.) Inside The Bellwood is strictly no frills: a long lunch counter and a few tables. Two T.V. sets blaring. I opt for the (empty) patio: four picnic tables on a concrete slab. Cinderblock wall and a sky blue fence. Birds rustle in the trees. The leaves are changing color, fading to brown. Fall nostalgia rushes in. School days long since over but the anxiety dreams return like clockwork near the end of every August. It’s usually a variation of sitting happily in High School on report card day. I get my report card and panic: there on my transcript is a class (usually math) that I didn’t know I had and therefore have never attended in my life. My mark? Zero Percent, a whopping big fat goose egg. The dream then continues with me running around freaking out trying to find the classroom and talk to the teacher and see if we can somehow straighten this whole mess out. I run through the crowded hallways and get hopelessly lost, hallways slanting downward, stairs appearing and then disappearing-- and then finally in my dream I pause and say, ‘wait a minute-- this report card must be okay because I already graduated from high school. Wait a minute! I’ve already graduated from University!” With this realization all tension dissipates and I wake up, relieved to be done my schoolin’-- or at least my formal schoolin’. If you’re lucky, you never stop learning.

On the patio: a cool breeze and darkening clouds. Can I gobble down my burger before the rain hits? It’s so quiet and peaceful here, tucked away from the steady hum and hubbub of Queen Street West. My fall nostalgia becomes tinged with loneliness: I miss my friends, I miss my wife. I’ll see them all (friends and wife) soon but as the postcard says, I wish they were here.

I just caught a whiff of grilling meat and my caveman instinct awakens-- grab my club and start swingin’, vaulting over fallen bodies to get at that sweet, sweet meat. Yep, I have done the improbable and ordered a Sixteen Ounce Burger. Many times have I passed by the chalk menu on the sidewalk outside The Bellwood and thought, ‘man... sixteen ounces. I’ll have to come back someday when I’m really, really hungry.’ Guess what? That’s right! Today is the day.

The burger arrives in all its sixteen ounce glory. Oh man it smells good and it looks good: toasted bun, huge thick patty garnished with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and mustard, the whole burger cut in half for easy handling.

THE FIRST BITE: hot and nourishing. There’s something mixed with the meat but it tastes good. Black pepper? The first half goes quickly, leaving me smacking my lips, a salty aftertaste tingling on the tongue. I breathe deep and dive back in. It’s a Beef Extravaganza!

This is one seriously beefy burger. It’s definitely about the meat. This is a take-no-prisoners burger not intended for lightweights. I stare down at the last bite sitting on the white oval diner-style plate and for a minute I think about walking away but I know I won’t. I gobble down the last huge meaty bite and then sit stunned. I should’ve brought a hammock in case I lapse into a beef coma. Yep, I’ve got Post-Meal Nap Syndrome in full effect. I want to stretch out atop the picnic table and fall asleep. I want to fall back into the straw and doze with the dogs like they did back in Medieval times.

The friendly server pops in to see how I’m doing. I crack wise about taking a nap and she laughs. “There ya go! I’ll bring you a pillow.”

All right-- gravity is pile-driving me into the ground. Better go pay and walk it off. At the counter the grillman squints at me. “What did you have?” A burger, I tell him. Fries? No fries. The grillman nods. “Five bucks.” Five bucks? FIVE BUCKS!? I hand the server a two-dollar tip. This has been the best deal so far, by far. I say goodbye to the grateful server and step back into the flow of Queen Street West: an ocean of hipsters and graffiti. Ahead of me is a cute Asian woman with a tattoo an antique gramophone on her back. It’s a sign. I walk into Rotate This, buy some albums and then head for home.


Gillian said...

AGP, I have that same dream! It's the end of the semester, I get my exam schedule and I realize there's a class on there that I didn't know I had. And it's always math.

Was talking to some Texans on the weekend so told them about your quest and asked their thoughts. They thought that beef raised in Texas may be higher quality. Definitely fresher if consumed in close proximity to where it was raised. And (here's the interesting part) that after years of cooking, Texan grills would be seasoned with the aforementioned high quality, fresh beef in a way that could never be replicated here. Don't want to dash your hopes but those Texans seemed to know their beef!

Anonymous said...

I have that dream, too, right down to the "wait a minute" realization just before waking up. %25 of the time I'm still in high school, the rest of the time I'm at library school (never Queen's).

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can shorten your links with AdFly and make cash for every visit to your shortened links.

call Girl said...

Hello guys!! I know you want to put your lips on my boobs. If you want to get masturbated by my soft hand then you can hire me easily. simple visit our websites

Call Girls in Bangalore

Call Girls in Lucknow

Call Girls in Gurgaon

Call Girls in Faridabad

Escort services in Faridabad

Escort services in Faridabad

Escort in Faridabad

Escort service in Faridabad

Anonymous said...

If you are in Jaipur and need beautiful Call Girls in Jaipur or white skin Call Girls in Jaipur then you can simply book call girls in Jaipur from one of the best escort agency named Call Girls in Jaipur. It is No.1 premier escort agency and provide both incall or outcall facility to clients.Please click on the following link to check the official websites Call Girls in Jaipur

Naincy said...

If you want to touching your lips on my internal part of body.visit my links
Call girls in Noida | Call girl in Noida | Noida Call girls | Noida Call girl | Call girls in Kolkata | Call girl in Kolkata | kolkata Call girls | kolkata Call girl | Call girls in puri | Call girl in puri | puri call girls | puri call girl | Call girls in bhubaneswar | Call girls in bhubaneswar | bhubaneswar Call girls | bhubaneswar call girl | Call girls in Cuttack | Call girl in Cuttack | Cuttack Call girls | Cuttack Call girl | Call girls in gurgaon | Call girl in gurgaon | Gurgaon Call girls | gurgaon Call girl

Ahmed Hamdy said...

يمكن استخدام منظف متعدد الأغراض لتنظيف الخزانات أيضًا ، ولكن من المهم اختبار المنظفات في مكان مخفي للتأكد من أنها لن تلحق الضرر بلمسة الخزانة. تأكد من قراءة التعليمات قبل الاستخدام ، واختبارها أولاً في بقعة مخفية.شركة تنظيف بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بالاحساء

شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء

Unknown said...

After this brings up its clients get entertained well with its premium services, the Escorts in Connaught Place is liable to increase the level of fun by its quality services dissimilar to get anywhere. So, let us forget everything and take pleasure in what you wait for a long time. Check our other Services...
Escorts in Connaught Place
Escorts in Connaught Place
Escorts in Connaught Place
Escorts in Vasant Kunj
Escorts in Vasant Kunj
Call Girls in Gurgaon

mayaescorts said...

Truly, what you are perusing is all evident. Mahipalpur escorts will get it going for you without a doubt. Our Mahipalpur female escort’s principle point is to give you an accomplice that satisfies both your sexual and feelings. One who can tune in to u and quiet you down and support you. Our organization has young ladies that no other escort specialist co-op can introduce before you. Our lovely Escorts in Mahipalpur are stunning and have delicate bodies that can retain our torment and stress from your body totally.
#mahipalpurcallgirls #Mahipapurescorts #Escortsinmahipalpur
Mahipalpur Escorts
mahipalpur call girls
Mahipalpur Escorts

Ishika Sharma said...

The Escort organizations are consistently unmistakable in serving the expert escort offers which can make our clients more joyful and diminish their depression. A large portion of individuals feels alone while having no join forces with them except for 'Best Kalkaji Escorts Agency’ in gives 100% fulfilment to the clients by causing them to appreciate each second with our hot and attractive Kalkaji Escorts Girls. The organization can furnish you with hot, provocative, little youngsters who can furnish you with unique medicines.

Ishika Sharma said...

The Best Vasant Kunj Call Girls comes in the best reach and you can peruse for the best on our official site. Pick anything you desire since this time, just you pick is significant for the hookups.

Ishika Sharma said...

Life has become pretty stressful these days and few moments of relaxation is something we all deserve. Especially for men where they have to take care of their jobs and family both, how to handle the stress. The answer to your questions is Kalkaji Escorts of our website. We have sophisticated, gorgeous and beautiful ladies experienced in sex.

Best Trending Products said...

Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitely come back to more times this year! provides a collection of the Best Sofa Products, Accessories, Reviews & Recommendations. Such as Sofa Covers, Pet Sofa Cover, Sofa Slipcover, Sofa Accessories & More. We have collected only the best sellers from amazon based on customer reviews and sales.
Best sofa Covers
Cheap sectional sofas under 500
Cheap sectional sofas under 300
Best couch for back support

Sonam Sharma said...

Need the Best Call Girls? Call For Best Service in Udaipur

Udaipur call girls
Udaipur nude females
Udaipur escorts
Sexy Udaipur call girls

Sonam Sharma said...

South ex Call Girls Beauty with Killing Looks and Physique

South ex call girls
South ex escorts
Escorts in south ex
Sexy escort in south ex

Sonam Sharma said...

Entertain Yourself With Our Vasant Kunj Call Girl

Vasant kunj call girls
Vasant kunj escorts
Sexy call girl in vasant kunj
Vasant kunj females

Babyescort said...

I Saw Your Website Carefully. Thanks For Creating Such a Kind of Informative Website. Your All Content Is Relevant To Your Subject. I Say Keep It Continue Because Your Website And Subject Is Meaningful For The Users. I Have Recommended Your Website With My Friends Also, and I am pooja escorts offering female escort service with a real girlfriend experience, Call for the best Delhi Escorts and beautiful Best escorts girl.

Best Trending Products said...

WOW, this is an amazing post, Bonsai Tree Price in India. Buy bonsai tree just 399 at products These bonsai trees best for the gift. we review the best bonsai trees for you. Bonsai tree price in India

Babyescort said...

I enjoyed reading your blog post. Your blog has nice information. I am Miss Delhi, I am Mumbai Escorts Girl. I am here to give you informative knowledge regarding my hot Escort Service in Mumbai. It is a likable thing for many men who are passionate about knowing someone. And getting information about your dream partner always makes you feel pleasure. When a man takes my service he always tries to get my advantage again. Because I am very famous in the Escorts market to satisfy anyone by their choice of work. Mumbai Escorts

john hatter said...

Hi I am Riya Negi. I am a Delhi based escort girl. I offer personal services and so do my group of girls. There are many model Escorts working for me. If you are looking specifically for young girls, I have many College Escorts.
Contact Me.
Call Girls In Delhi
Call Girls Near Me
Sexy Call Girls in Delhi
High Profile Call Girls In Delhi
Desi Call Girls In Delhi
Independent Call Girls
Model Call Girls in Delhi
Hot Call Girls in Delhi

parul said...

Looks like a haunted bungalow, but looks nice.
Escorts in punjabi bagh
dwarka Escorts
East of kailash call girls
connaught place Escorts service
munirka Call Girls

Megha Malik said...

I always say “See me once and you’ll understand”! Once we’ve met you’ll quickly be ready to visit me again, and again and again…You’re always indulging the whims of those around you, do something for YOURSELF, Indulge with me and I promise you’ll understand after we’ve met!
Escorts service Delhi

Escorts Service Delhi

Escorts Service Delhi

Escorts Service Delhi

Escorts Service Delhi

Escorts Service Delhi

I am having big smooth body parts as you are looking for and assure you to show my every beauty to you. I can make you feel fantastic. I assure you romance, pleasure and seduction. I will make your desires come true. Pick me for fun at very low rates in our Delhi Escorts agency.
Mumbai Busty Escorts
Mumbai AirHostess Escorts

Damini Roy said...

We produce all sorts of Janakpuri Call Girl, and you can, externally much of a range, pick the exact girl for you. Their body scent enjoys them the most. Their long and thick hairs talking the midsection don't arrive to be any of several escorts; now and again, it gets hard for us to discover the words for the moves of Aerocity Escorts. They resemble the flower scales which open up to break love, among others. Their capacity of luring clients is fabulous. When the client visits their room, he stays asking that the second should return over and over. Their attractive moves make the client lift out of his seat. Mahipalpur Call Girls will show her best body bends to buyers so she can support their feelings. Being a person, he loses all his capacity of control and gets pulled into Peeragarhi Escorts. The Call Girls In Peeragarhi requires them to be a candid girl at the outset; however, she will get turned on and show you her wild side sooner following fifteen minutes. The unusual voice settled on by the Cheap Delhi Escorts leaves the client horny and wild. In any case, when the vibration stops, the client gets checked as he genuinely needs to hear the groaning and the moaning sounds by the chick.
Delhi Escorts
Mahipalpur Escorts
Aerocity Escorts
Delhi Call Girls
Janakpuri Call Girls
Independent Escort in Peeragarhi
VIP Mahipalpur Escorts
Janakpuri Escorts
Peeragarhi Escorts