Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 in review


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Richtree Eaton Centre / Pizzeria Bosco

New food court at the Queen end of the Eaton Centre

New food court at the Queen end of the Eaton Centre

First off I’ll just say I was taken completely by surprise.  Literally, I walked into the mall and the first thing I saw was a new food court that I thought was still behind the construction walls.  It was impressive, seemingly the Eaton Centre had done it again.  This one is different, as it’s a lot more technologically advanced with its own website [or app, or something like that], WiFi that actually works, computerized ordering [you can order at the counter if you want, so don’t worry] and interactive holographic mini-games on the tables, wall and floor.

There are burritos, market places, bars, deli sandwiches, asian hot bowls, sweets, burgers and pizza.  Wait a minute, aren’t most of those things in the other food court as well?  Well, I’m afraid they are, and this is where things get sticky.
happy bowl eaton centre
To be clear, I will be going back to try the Happy Bowl, as I can’t really find a counterpart of it downstairs.  The cafe was a regular cafe, just like the Second Cup and Starbucks, but in a better location.
The coffee shop - Starbucks lite

The coffee shop – Starbucks lite

 The sandwiches were big, but I didn’t consider them because I wanted something a little more filling, and burgers were very common–there’s even a burger place in the Eaton Centre, and it’s one of the best too!
I'm doubtful this will be as good Big Smoke Burger at the Dundas end of the Eaton Centre

I’m doubtful this will be as good Big Smoke Burger at the Dundas end of the Eaton Centre

 I would’ve tried the bowl or the burritos, but then I smelled the pizza.
pizza bosco
I had the one with chicken, pears, caramelized onions and pesto, while my mom had the gluten-free margarita.
my pizza

my pizza

mom's pizza

mom’s pizza

 Sounds good right?  Well, let’s do this in a way I haven’t done in a while: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  Yep, it’s one of those, and I’ll try to review both the new court and the pizzeria while keeping them separate.
the good
The Good: I like the technology: I’ve always been a bit of a techie, and have always had a soft spot for advanced countries like Japan [sadly I’m probably too claustrophobic to fit in the small, crowded environment though], but the abundance of screens and such wasn’t over whelming or confusing.
new food court eaton centre
 As I’ve said, I will be trying the bowl restaurant, and I think that’ll be the make or break for the food court.  This food court is just as green and clean as the other one, which is extremely important, and it also doesn’t waste anything dealing with any scum like McDonald’s or KFC [admittedly unlike the other food court].
mcdondals vs kfc
I was a bit disappointed about how there is the market and the sweet shop that don’t serve food you can eat in the mall, but it’s really a plus since it adds variety for grocery shoppers.  As for the pizzeria, its ingredients were fresh and it was a very good thing about how they separated the tools to avoid cross contamination.  Gluten is like an allergy to people: one little bit is enough to ruin you day [except it has to be ingested, but touching it is okay].
the bad
The Bad: Not nearly as many choices.  This food court is smaller and doesn’t have as much room to fit restaurants.  I’m mostly bringing this up because it relates to a more serious complaint.  One thing that could make this a problem if it gets too crowded but that didn’t happen at all when I was there.  No notes for the Pizzeria Bosco  just yet.
the ugly
The Ugly: The only thing that really bugs me about the food court is how a lot of the restaurants serve food that is downstairs in the old court.  Burgers, burritos, sandwiches [albeit the ones downstairs aren’t deli ones] and pizzas.  Not to mention the Big Smoke’s is so good, opening up another burger joint in the same building is like corporate suicide.  The pizza, while it was good at first, quickly became disappointing.  That might sound like it’s a little harsh calling that ugly, but it isn’t: I go to the Eaton Centre with high expectations.  I expect stuff like Villa Madina, Big Smoke’s, Amaya Express and anything else that is delicious that fills me up.  Anything average or mediocre simply won’t hold up to that, maybe by itself but not in the same mall.  And I’m frankly getting sick of things that are okay but disappointing, let me explain.
the avengers
Every summer Hollywood cranks out blockbusters, most of them are pretty bland, but suck up millions [if not billions, in the case of The Avengers, and yes, I know I’m going to Marvel Hell for saying that] of dollars that could’ve been spent so much better it makes me depressed.
world war z
 World War Z [yeah, just take down all the movies, to hell with copyrights!] came out, and fans of the book were really happy that a movie was based their favourite title–literally, the title was great but even I know it was nothing like the novel and I didn’t even read it.  It had Brad Pitt, zombies and apocalypse.  What we got was tame [not because it was PG-13, but because it tried so hard to stay that way], poorly acted–even with the brilliant actor from 12 Monkeys–CGI mess that makes re-watching Night of the Living Dead ten times more intense.

The point is, that people let it off easy because it wasn’t horrible, it was just okay: like the hundreds of ‘okay’ drivel Hollywood has released, like the thousands of ‘okay’ restaurants that detract from the real good places [and that goes from mom-and-pop places to corporate giants like McDonald’s].  Frankly I’m sick of films, eateries, novels, singers and companies that are excused for not being good or worthy of a certain standard, but are ‘okay’.  Maybe I’m just disappointed because I’m thinking of the real great food I could’ve eaten, but that’s the point.  I trashed Five Guys for the same reason, and I’ll do it to this place.  If you find Pizzeria Bosco out in the street, maybe because it’s a chain, I don’t know, than sure, go eat there if there’s nothing better.  But in the Eaton Centre?  Noooooooooooo.  Don’t even think about it.  If it’s the holidays, like it is now, than go put your ten bucks in the Salvation Army bucket, or use it for a nicer gift for a friend, or use it to buy a crap bag of chips.  Pizzeria Bosco  is by far better than a crap bag of chips, with fresh ingredients, healthy numbers and cooked on the spot, but the crap bag of chips doesn’t have higher standards to compete with, and this restaurant, unfortunately for its sorry ‘okay’ self, does.
Richtree Eaton Centre / Pizzeria Bosco 14 Queen Street West

Richtree Eaton Centre on Urbanspoon