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Dot's Back Inn: a hidden treasure
Dot's Back Inn is a cozy restaurant in an out-of-the-way part of town. I only heard of it when I read where it got a visit from "Food Network" star Guy Fieri as he was filming his programme "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." It really takes some doing to find it. On turning off the main drag (West Laburnum Avenue), you pass through several blocks of residential area and begin to wonder if your G.P.S. needs reprogramming when you come across this small cluster of shops and restaurants. That would normally be alarming, but this was intended to be just a neighbourhood dive like this. I was really impressed on entering this restaurant for its small and cozy feel. It had frames of sepia-toned newspaper articles and a picture of Franklin Delano Roosevelt over the bar. It has a tin ceiling which saved it from burning down completely in a December, 2001 fire. The small and cozy nature of the place extends to the loo, which is so small you have to leave it to change your mind. The non-smoking section is caught in the crossfire between the smoking section and the bar. In addition, the music is so loud you have to shout over it to be heard. The waitress we had was friendly and had all the inside scoop on which food was the best on the menu. The food was a little slow to arrive. In general, it has a comfortable neighbourhood aura and a fun decor.
HOURS: Monday to Saturday: 9 am-past midnight; Never on Sunday
Favorite Dish: I had the chicken Mac Arthur which consists of sauteed strips of chicken breast, artichokes, garlic, onion, wine, and pasta baked with feta cheese. The side dish I chose was black beans and rice. The chef did let me know that he ran out of artichokes beforehand, but that never should have happened. Even without the artichokes, the chicken dish tasted pretty good. The portions were big enough that I didn't leave the restaurant hungry, but I was hungry before bedtime. In general, it was above average, but it could have been better.
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