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Valley Charcoal Restaurant

5 Jun

Valley Charcoal
44 King St. W
Dundas ON, L9H 1T7
Phone #: 905-628-0020


In a world that seems so very far away, Sometime in the Mid to Late 1980’s, I first encountered and fell in love with Valley Charcoal.
I had been a sleep over at an old friends, I think I was maybe 9 years old, their parents had decided to take us out for breakfast. Their choice, you guessed it was the Valley. Back then it was at the plaza on Cootes drive, where Subway now occupies. It was greasy, rundown, and out of date, my idea of perfection, and no doubt, along with the Kreseges diner, one of the main factors of my love of diners.

The Valley moved in the 1990’s I believed, right beside the then still running Super Sub, so it always presented a debate for myself, they were both so damn good. I bet it was pretty close to 50/50 as to which I went to.

Since then, life has changed a lot. I grew up, graduated and moved out of the area, into the Downtown core of Hamilton and now Stoney Creek. But my love of the Valley always remains. So on my recent biannual visit to my parents, it was my definite dinner choice, as always it did not disappoint.

The valley cheeseburgers, $3.69+ taxes are always my go to item. IN fact with the exception of the breakfast, they are the only items I have ever tried there. Hey, why bother with anything else, when an item is so well done? They also have a decent assortment of toppings, I normally go for the Jason standard, as I do every place, mustard, mayo, pickles and hot peppers. As always the burgers were absolutely immaculate. Perfectly juicy and well topped and not overwhelming the cheese. We also opted for fries and rings, they are not great but definitely get the job done. We opted for take out, so part of the whole diner/dive experience I love is lost.

As Dundas changes further and further, becomes less familiar,
more modernized, it’s always comforting to have an old piece of my past still going and thriving. Glad to see there are still somethings I can still rely on, in this ever changing world.

Rating: 8.5 out of Ten



5 Jun

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Valentinos Place

31 May

this is a double review as was both same chain, but different locations.
824 King Street West
(905) 523-4240


2815 Barton Street East
(905) 561-3188

Years ago I fell in love with Valentinos Place. Well more correctly, the Centre Mall location, for it’s amazingly greasy pepperoni slices from heaven, and the Mountain Plaza Mall, for it’s caesar salad to die for. Unfortunately, both locations were casualities of their respective malls being torn down to become those nefarious big box stores.

So needless to say I had a void.

A few weeks ago, on a very nice mid spring day, Melissa and I ventured out to Westdale, I had an urge to go to Comic Connection, where I had not been in 16+ years. I then remembered the Westdale Valentinos, a place I always put off going to, for years on end.
The facility itself is very well maintained and has a nice, rustic and dark look to it, but being around 4pm and only 1 other table in the place taken, is a warning to me. Regardless tho, we decided on the 12 slice pepperoni pie $16.99+ taxes, 2 drinks. We were surprised when our server came to the table with some garlic bread strips, a nice free touch, and parmesan and chilies. The drinks were free refills, a nice touch, but the wait for the pizza was substantial. Maybe 30 minutes. Eventually, a steaming hot, fairly large pie arrived at our table. The topping distribution was a little sparser than I would have liked, but the pepperoni had a nice mild kind of spice to it, was nicely crispy and the cheese was decent. It was fairly greasy, but not as much as the fabled centre mall slices. All in all, I was underwhelmed. It was by no means bad, but the price was substantially more than most other local places, and was nothing special quality wise.

Rating: 6 out of Ten


Valentinos Place, Stoney Creek, is not recognized by the other locations for some reason, but I had hopes that it would not let me down on my quest for the all mighty greasy slice, of yesteryear.
We ordered for delivery. For a twelve slice, Three topping, was $21 with tax and delivery. It arrived fairly quickly. We went with Pepperoni, Mushrooms and Green pepper, a combo that normally is a good gauge of how good a place is, being so basic and all.
Sadly I was not a big fan. The green peppers were still very crunchy, actually it seemed as if they were added after cooking, I prefer the opposite. The mushrooms were fresh and decent, and pepperoni was alrite too. The reality tho, again like the other location, is that it was just mediocre really. Again, there is better places for way better prices.

Not a horrible experience, but not sure I would do it again.
Rating: 6.5 out of Ten

I’d give the Stoney Creek location a slight edge, for having a functional website, slightly better prices, and quicker service.

New zinger Doubledown, Hamilton Ontario

6 Mar


In the first non canon review on the site is a new item that I had not heard of until today,  that I had to share with everyone.  The zinger doubledown, is here., as well as the regular version again.  


I tried the zinger variety today,  $6.99+ taxes.  Was same basic make up as original version, save the chicken breasts themselves.  They were the new spicy and crispy zinger type,  now I had not like the zinger sandwich itself, but this was astoundingly good.  This version is far less greasy, and holds together better and the breast filets are far larger in size.  The zinger has a very nice crunch to it and the cayenne infused breading goes very well with the jack cheese and the colonels sauce.  Again tho the bacon is kinda a lost cause and adds nothing really but calories to the item.  


This was a very pleasant surprise, well spiced and very filling, only complaint really is price.

Rating: 8.5 out of ten

And being march I followed this up with a McD’s shamrock shake

Yummy 83 review

28 Feb

Yummy 83
301 Fruitland Road
L8E 5M1 Stoney Creek

I first have to get this out. I love internet ordering. So much so that if a company does not have it, I am likely not using them. It avoids stupid phone staff, screwed up orders and you know exact totals and what not right away. Just Eat is a great site for that, since most web site ordering places are major chains, this way Mom and Pop and even a bigger variety of cuisine are featured and able to offer.

I have had Yummy’s twice and both times was surprised in a good way. We ordered the dinner for 4, consisting of 4 egg rolls, sweet & sour chicken balls, beef chow mein, chicken with vegetable & almonds, deep fried chicken wings, deep fried breaded shrimp, chicken fried rice (large), fortune cookies, was $34.99 + taxes and $4 delivery charge. By far even with a higher delivery, best value in our area.

The food arrived very fast and I loved the packaging on the chicken and vegetables and beef chow mein, was not the annoying and messy tin foil bowls but was hard plastic bowls and covers, a lot like Swiss Chalet sends. So was no spilled items in the bag. A negative for sure was the shrimp still had tails, this is just wrong for me, but they were otherwise excellent. The sweet and sour sauce is slightly different from the average places not sure how exactly but it is great and the chicken balls are among the best I have had. The wings were good but not great, i hate egg rolls and refuse to eat them, I like the amount of greens in the chicken and vegetable and the rice was perfect, i prefer pork personally but the chicken was phenomenal.

Yummy 83 is definitely a new favorite and a needed one, with both
Amy’s and wok around both going down hill lately. If only they would make crab rangoon.

Rating 8.5 out of ten

O’Neill’s Review

11 Dec

L8H 2W3
Phone: 905-549-7066
* No current website*

O’Neill’s seems to have almost legendary status in east end. Ask anyone about it pretty much and always seems to be same thing. Always mentioned is the massive Pugger Burger and a close second is damn good milk shakes. Now years ago I had tried O’Neill’s for delivery, actually a few times but to this day I have never stopped in. Never really has occured to me to do so.

So needing a change on a rare Friday night we were both off, and facing abysmal rainy weather, Melissa and I debated what to do for dinner, of course was the old standbys, but we wanted something more. O’Neill’s came to mind. Now one major issue, is a lack of website and/or an online menu. This is 2011 people, and both or one or the other would no doubt increase sales. I found the menu for the Mountain location online, which is apparently under different ownership now, so I used it as a guideline.

Calling O’Neill’s on a Friday night was a chore of sorts, they are definitely doing fair business, it took 5 calls to get thru, all other calls prior were greeted with a voicemail asking to callback, which can be off putting and may even cause some people to go elsewhere, but I endured. I over ordered as I always seem to, and it turns out the Barton location prices are lower than the mountain, which was a pleasant surprise.

We both ordered a pugger burger, a 1 pound burger that comes with onion rings, I of course went with my usual, mustard, mayo and pickles, the burger already had bacon and cheese included. These were decent value at $7.49 each, one of the cheapest in town even. I also ordered a combo platter that had 3 pizza fingers and 3 chicken strips with fries $8.95, and a deluxe garlic bread $6.95 and of course 2 chocolate shakes. Delivery was shockingly cheap at $2.50, there are places on this block that are almost double that, and O’Neills is a good 10 minutes away from here.

Food arrived very fast considering how busy they were, maybe took a bit over 30 minutes. My burger was well cooked and well seasoned, was a little sparse on the condiments I ordered but was pretty good otherwise. It had a nice garlic taste to it and the bacon was cooked perfectly. The cheese was kind of overwhelmed by the beef, maybe ordering an extra slice could fix this. The deluxe garlic bread, a previous favorite of mine, was a letdown, on 2 reasons, First was my own fault, I had forgotten to specify I wanted hot peppers, you have to ask, and secondly and a major issue at that, it was placed in one of those styrofoam to go containers, so was a soggy soaking wet mess. I am sure last time they sent it in a foil wrap, which prevented this, it was definitely a miss for sure. The onion rings with the burger were very good, crispy and well cooked, were a perfect side. The combo platter, which we had bought for the Pizza fingers, we had loved them before, was not so good either. There was a good amount of fries, which were not in greatest form from the styrofoam container, but they were still ok, the chicken strips were a little smaller than most places, but were pretty good, the plum sauce it came with was excellent but was not enough in the container. But the main attraction, the pizza fingers were just plain awful. Way over fried and I came to realize they are the $10 a bag variety from Food Basics, which I on occasion buy and fry up myself, much better than these were. Safe to say this old favorite item has passed on for us.

My biggest surprise was the chocolate shakes, $3.95, for a really good size. I am not one for ice cream, shakes or anything the like. As well, I am not a chocolate person, but I have to say these shakes were excellent, very thick and had a very good chocolately flavor. I would definitely get them again.

O’Neill’s has definitely a sort of cult following and I can see why, The prices are very fair, food for the most part is very good and portions are huge. This isn’t gourmet or healthy but it’s plain and simple comfort food, great for a rainy day in. A website is so needed tho c’mon please??

Rating: 8.25 out of Ten


6 Dec

IN next few days will be a new review ..O’neills on Barton, which seems to be a favorite in town. Check back and thanks again