Linda’s: up a notch

Linda’s, a former greasy spoon in lower Charlottetown, has cleaned up and now qualifies, I think, as a bona fide diner. They’ve renovated inside. They have a much broader menu (still focused on fried X, mind you). And they seem to have cut way back on their smoking clientele, which was what had kept me away for the last two or three years. At the corner of Queen and Water Streets in Charlottetown. Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily..

Sneakers have landed

Regular readers will recall my vain search for Simple Shoes several weeks ago in Boston followed by a suggestion from Simple HQ in California that I order from Mortts in New Hampshire. I’m happy to report that the shoes arrived in fine form this afternoon, about a week after I ordered them. They fit and they are wonderful. Thanks Mortt!. On the downside, apparently NAFTA hasn’t kicked in for shoes yet, so I had to pay a whopping 20% duty on the shoes. Sigh. I suppose I must pay penance for robbing the children of Canadian shoe workers of their morning milk.

Best Dessert in Charlottetown

Dessert is spelled with two ‘s’s, my grade 4 teacher Mr. Dykstra told us, because you would always like more, so there are more ‘s’s than in desert (which is sandy and quite unappealing as an after-dinner course). After the demise of Arbys on PEI three or four years ago, the current holder of the Best Dessert title on PEI goes to Beanz on University Avenue in Charlottetown: their cappuccino Nanaimo bars are to die for. Runner up (though it’s more a drink than a dessert, really) is the COWS mocha iced cowppuccino.

What happened at Fiddles & Vittles?

We usually make it up to Fiddles & Vittles near Cavendish at least once a year. They’ve offered good food in an interesting atmosphere and there was nothing like a bowl of their lobster chowder after a walk on Cavendish Beach on a rainy day. Alas things seem to have taken a turn for the worse: we were up [in the rain] this past Saturday and found the magic was gone. The lobster chowder was gone from the menu, there weren’t any hot rolls offered with our meal, and when we inquired, we were served a couple of crusty day-olds. The lobster “burger” was a lobster roll in sheep’s clothing, and had about twice as much celery as it should have. The french fries — breaded, which is a crime in itself — were stone cold by the time they arrived at the table. Service was slow, especially given that we were one of only two tables in the place. Granted it was during the lull between lunch and dinner that we visited, but that doesn’t seem like a valid excuse for poor service and mediocre food. I can only hope they all got up on the wrong side of the bed Saturday. Sigh.

Notes from Boston

I spent most of Tuesday this week in Boston, waiting for my flight back to Charlottetown. Monday night took me to The College Club, a relatively cheap ($80/night), but very central, clean and “dripping with history” hotel on Commonwealth Avenue just a couple of doors up from the Ritz. On Tuesday I started with a check of my email at main branch of the Boston Public Library, which offers free Internet access for 15 minutes on a first come, first served basis. Next I launched into a vain search for Simple shoes (both of the Boston outlets listed on their website no longer carried the brand). I had lunch at Chacarero, which serves a fantastic sandwich the core of which is steamed green beans. Next it was off to Filene’s Basement, then to the North End for a visit to The Nostalgia Factory and finally to a quick dinner at Legal Sea Foods near the Aquarium. What a wonderful city!

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