Student Speak

Dan Wells

Dan is the contributor to the Local Cuisine section of the Student Speak blog. He is a fourth-year Communication student at UOIT and is currently set to graduate in April 2015. He likes studying and critically discussing video games, playing and learning guitar, and simply learning for its own sake. He especially enjoys the subject of dopamine.

Recent Posts

Local Cuisine Spotlight: Kip's Flamin' Burgers

Posted by Dan Wells on February 26, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Kip’s Flamin’ Burgers has been open at 1812 Simcoe Street North for about a year now, but the business actually has a 48 year history. Having originated in Scarborough, and with another location currently operational in Pickering, owner Manny Makaram is a veteran of the burger craft. Kip’s is within walking distance of UOIT’s North location – though as I write this it is -22°C outside and I am using the word ‘distance’ very liberally – and is also conveniently accessible via northbound/southbound Simcoe buses. If the prospect of a sojourn through the outside world has you shaking, though, Kip’s delivers.

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Topics: Food Reviews

Local Cuisine Spotlight: Felicio's Cake Boutique

Posted by Dan Wells on February 3, 2015 at 12:00 PM

The opening of Felicio’s Cake Boutique realized a longstanding dream of its owners and operators Alessandra and Valdir Felicio. In 2002, a decade prior, they had moved their family to Canada from Brazil. Alessandra is a math teacher by training, but acquired a love for baking at a young age – having learned at home with her parents – while Valdir’s parents were themselves bakers by trade. Felicio’s was launched with ambitions to impart a sense of Brazilian heritage to the region. To that end, everything they sell is made in-house, from scratch, with all natural ingredients – some of which are also brought in from Brazil – with no dyes, no shortening, no preservatives. And while it certainly is a tremendous cake boutique, Felicio’s is much, much more.

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Topics: Food Reviews

Local Cuisine Spotlight: Caribbean Wraps

Posted by Dan Wells on January 20, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Editor's note (10/03/15): Since this blog post was published, Caribbean Wraps no longer operates from this location. The space has reopened as a very similar establishment: Caribbean Flavah. If you simply must have Caribbean Wraps, however, don't worry: according to their Facebook page, they still cater events and parties. You may email them for more information.

There are a lot of great places to eat in downtown Oshawa. And I’m not just saying that because my writing these things relies on it being the case. I have many favourites, and I am consistently surprised at just how new some of my “favourites” turn out to be. I’ve just begun the final semester of my undergrad, and in preparing to write my next blog post it occurred to me that had I taken on all of this eating and writing (poor me) just two years ago, some of my favourite places wouldn’t have been around. Sure, there are places like The Rainbow, decades older – and still far more lively on a Sunday – than am I, but Berry Hill only opened in April 2013, and Tutto was niente until September that same year. This is kind of an exciting time for the city if you happen to be a small business, or a person who eats food. And a big part of that excitement, for me, is the newest of the new: Caribbean Wraps, which opened up shop at the very end of April 2014. That’s not even two exam periods ago.

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Topics: Food Reviews

Local Cuisine Spotlight: South Village Dining Hall

Posted by Dan Wells on December 3, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Over the past three months I have tried to spotlight some of my favourite downtown spots, and as a downtown student for the past almost-four-years I have found quite a few of these. This month, however, I took a trip up to the North location – and down memory lane to when I studied here – to check out the South Village Residence Dining Hall, where I have eaten a few hundred times before, years ago. Most students living in residence on-campus are likely familiar with the dining hall as the primary consumer of their meal plans. For off-campus housed students, or for any member of the public, the dining hall accepts cash, credit, debit, and most other forms that money can assume. It can be tricky to valuate “unlimited food and drink,” but as buffet experiences go the dining hall is on the more affordable end. Meal plans net you a preferred rate. Or, if you happen to have a friend living in residence, like I don’t, you can get in on a guest pass to sample the dining hall’s goods.

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Topics: Food Reviews

Local cuisine spotlight: Tutto Market Café

Posted by Dan Wells on November 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Editor's note (December 4, 2017): In January of 2017, Tutto Market Café announced that it was closing after 38 years of business. 

Picking up on my previous entry with what seems to be a trend in downtown Oshawa, I find myself delighted this week to highlight another very new restaurant, and one of my favourites: Tutto Market Café. Tutto, as we kids have taken to calling it, commenced operations just fourteen months ago, on September 12, 2013. Oshawa is no stranger to family-owned businesses and Tutto stands among that special crowd. Co-owned by the families Polidano (Rosaleen and Martin) and Fazio (Angela and Nicholas) – of the wall-adjacent Fazio’s Restaurant – Tutto is an inherently local establishment. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and right on Simcoe (29 Simcoe Street S, to be precise), they are always an easy stop. Their seating layout, daily specials and free WiFi help to make Tutto inviting, exciting and convenient, respectively and collectively. You are probably going to want to sit down. Oh, and a student ID saves you 10% on everything.

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Topics: Food Reviews

Local Cuisine Spotlight: Berry Hill Catering

Posted by Dan Wells on October 8, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Berry Hill Catering, a new favourite of mine in downtown Oshawa, is the focus of this month’s Local Cuisine Spotlight. And when I say “new,” I mean it; it opened its doors in April 2013.

I learned about Berry Hill last year through some classmates’ excitement over an open mic night taking place on its back patio, and I am excited to pay forward the favour that finding this place has shown itself to be. The restaurant’s weekday hours of operation span from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and a special breakfast menu is available up to 11:30 a.m., making it a great student breakfast option before and after 8 a.m. classes. Stationed at 82 King St. W., Berry Hill is just a few minutes’ walk from downtown classes and bus stops alike – some buses drive right by it on King Street, in fact.

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Topics: Food Reviews

Local cuisine spotlight: Rainbow Family Restaurant

Posted by Dan Wells on September 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Rainbow Family Restaurant sits conveniently on Simcoe Street in downtown Oshawa, where it has now for more than 56 years. Whether you’re after breakfast (any time), a sandwich, steak, salad, wraps…they’ve got you covered. Just about every Oshawa city bus drives by the blue building, and downtown students are never more than a 5-8 minute walk away from a hot breakfast, even at night (if that’s your thing). “The Rainbow” was opened in 1958 by the Givelas family – Christopher Givelas, his brothers Nick and Steve, and their father John – after moving from Greece to Canada in the early 1950s. Today, Rainbow Family Restaurant is in the hands of Chris’s son Louie Givelas (Chef Louie G), now proudly operating one of the oldest family restaurants in all of Canada.

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Topics: Food Reviews