High school was the most exciting time of my life and one of my fondest memories is winning the School Spirit Award at Central High School of Commerce.
In high school, I acted in my first play, made new friends, and discovered Marty. However, the most important part of school was meeting my best friend Julius Ciss. I had never met anyone like him. He was talented and funny and most of all, he liked me forever, an entire lifetime.
McSorley's Saloon And Grill, at 1544 Bayview Ave., is owned
by two such life-long friends who met in high school, John Anderson and Simon Hanion.
Toronto Life magazine voted McSorley's best family restaurant, and you can see why. The food is unique, high on flavour and low on cost. The menu is enormous.
We started with the egg rolls, a good choice. Then we had the tequila poppers, fried jalapenos stuffed with cheese and served with ranch dressing. The squid'amari is delicious and I ate every last one. The baked beans here know the meaning of liberation. They will never know life in a can.
The salads at McSorley's are exciting. Traditional plates, like My Big Fat Greek Salad and the Chicken Caesar salad are highlights, but there are other options for the more experimental. The peppered steak Greek Salad is not to be missed.
After the salads I was ready for some sandwiches, like their open-faced chicken sandwich with homemade gravy. Another winner is their meatloaf sandwich. This is the real thing, partner. Macaroni and cheese is a favourite, too, and McSorley's even has 21 TVs to sit in front of while eating this tasty comfort food.
McSorley's staff smokes the ribs and chicken. I almost wanted to stand on the table and scream, "these are good, very good," but instead I just ate another.
When you talk to John and Simon you realize McSorley's is where their friendship has taken them on their incredible journey. Now there is a new place on Queen Street, across from Citytv, called Stan's gourmet burgers. John and Simon's friendship is so strong you get the sense they can do anything.
As for me, I speak to Julius once in awhile. When we speak, we are telling each other our dreams. I was going to be a world-famous actor and writer. He was going to change the world with his illustrations. I am still acting and writing. He is one of the finest teachers at the Ontario College Of Art. But most of all, he is Julius, my best friend forever. And maybe even after that.