Friday, July 5, 2013

Alice Fazooli's

The other day I met up with my childhood friend over dinner. Our first stop was Starbucks, where I spotted this cute mug where you can write messages on it.

She had a green tea frap and me a caramel macchiato. I didn't express it to be this large because I thought it was a expresso. There was a generous drizzling of caramel over the foam.

We took our drinks and went over to Alice Fazooli's, similar to Applebee's but Canadian. We were seated in the outside patio. I really liked their country-style wooden hand-crafted tables and rocker chairs. We grabbed seating on the high tables beside the entrance to the inside of the restaurant. (The inside of the restaurant is huge btw, there were only a handful of people inside)

This also gave us a good view of our high school sweet-heart classmates who we spotted a couple tables down. (The benefits of living in a small town).

We chatted for a bit before perusing the menu. Hubby was a bit hungry but me not so much. So we decided to split two dishes - butternut squash ravioli and a spinach and cheese dip. We were going to get the grilled calamari but it was rubbery as the waitress said. I appreciated her honesty.

It was pretty cool how the back of their paper-thin menu was on a Vogue Magazine cover reprint.

The bread came first, wrapped in a black napkin with a side of seasoned olive oil. It was the warmest, softest bread I've ever had at a restaurant, and the olive oil was nice and seasoned, making it at once flavorful and moist. 

I couldn't figure out what kind of bread this is. Do you know?

While waiting for the rest of our food, I checked out their wood coal-burning oven that they kept outside to keep the smoke out.

The waitress was pretty nice, checking up on us now and then. When our food came, she divided our ravioli in two dishes for easy sharing, which confused my friend who wondered why there were two dishes.

The cheese and spinach dip looked pretty cheesy but a little drippy compared to the one I had at Applebee's last year.

The butternut squash ravioli was really nice. It was sweet and creamy, and not overwhelmingly so. It was also seasoned with herbs and peppers, which gave it a nice salty counterbalance.

The spinach dip was surprisingly good, despite its drippy appearance. The crusty bread it came with though was not that great, because it was awfully hard to bite into without chipping a tooth or two.


Here's another look at the sweet butternut squash ravioli, before it was all gone. 

Hubby really liked the spinach dip, so much so that she smothered it onto her ravioli. I thought it tasted better on the bread than on the crust.

All gone. One sidenote - in the middle of our meal, our waitress told us that her manager that we weren't allowed to have the Starbucks cups in their restaurant, because it was advertising for another company. We both have never heard of this before, but we obediently followed by dumping our drinks into their cups.

In the end the tab came out to $33, which was pretty cheap compared to NY standards. I was going to give $40 flat but my friend was surprised that we were going to tip that much. I told her this is how we normally tip in the US but she insisted that there was a higher tax rate here, so we should only tip $5.

It was an enjoyable meal despite the Starbucks incident, and the waitress was pretty nice to us despite of it.

Afterwards we took a walk to City Hall. My how Mississauga has changed in these couple of years. I liked the letter sprayed fountain with random letters (or is it?) scattered all over the cement.

Here's the City Hall which was chosen out of an international architecture competition. Guess what it's supposed to look like:

...a futuristic barn. With the round thing being the place where you keep the wheat and all. Sigh ><

But it has gotten a lot more neighborhood-friendly since I lived there, with a huge outdoor fountain (in the wintertime it converts to an outdoor skating rink) where kids splashing water everywhere.

We also spotted a massive outdoor stage where people were rocking it to aerobic dance. Here's a look:

And there was a rock concert at the next outdoor amphitheatre a couple steps over. And there was a skatepark beside that!

My how times have changed. Hubby and I sat at a nearby bench outside to chat for a while, to reminisce the bygone days of our childhood. It was a lovely evening in Mississauga.

**** (4/5)

Alice Fazooli's
209 Rathburn Rd W, Mississauga, ON L5B 4E5

Reservations not necessary - lots of seating inside

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