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Gradifying Grows! & Some Musings on the Importance of a Local Watering Hole

Good news!

Congratulations to Amanda Tracey (PhD candidate, Biology) and Rachel Wayne (PhD candidate, Clinical Psychology) who are joining Atif and me* in bringing you experiences, events, and advice from our slices of grad life at Queen’s. We’re thrilled to have these two fine bloggers on board. So look forward to hearing more from Amanda and Rachel soon, and don’t forget that we’re always open to guest posts any time of the year. Just write us at gradify@queensu.ca

*I almost wrote “Atif and I” but I remembered someone once saying “uh oh…my friends can’t join I, now can they? They would join me.”

Now, the watering hole in question in today’s title is really about bottomless cups of black coffee, and the musings are from a Gradifying favourite, Elias Da Silva-Powell, who, it turns out, is shortly moving on to some big and bright things outside of Queen’s. So he won’t be joining our team, but he does have some good advice for those of you looking to bond with your city. Read on.

Peter’s Place: A Place for All by Elias Da Silva-Powell

If Cheers taught us anything, it’s that there’s no feeling quite like being a ‘regular’ at a local venue.

While few people can expect a chorus of greeting upon walking into their favourite watering hole/coffee shop/restaurant, some businesses keep you coming back on a regular basis until you’ve worn a furrow right down the middle of their welcome mat.

Kingston has a wealth of businesses serving up quality food and drink, and everyone has a soft spot for one or two in particular. While I can’t claim to have dined everywhere, one spot in Kingston has been a stand-out favourite of mine since my first visit several years ago, and I’ve been singing its praises ever since.

If you haven’t considered Peter’s Place (34 Princess Street) I’m thrilled to provide a quick run-down of the reasons this local gem deserves serious consideration as your go-to spot in Kingston.

The location

Located at the foot of Princess Street just steps from Market Square, Peter’s Place is in a great spot for anyone looking to grab a bite after a stroll down the main drag or a walk by the water. If you need a break from the campus grind, it’s within walking distance of main campus, and the trek will help you build up an appetite.

The restaurant interior is clean and tidy, and the ambiance fits just about any occasion short of a very romantic dinner. I’ve eaten at Peter’s Place after a night of carousing with friends, as a quick lunch to break up a long library session and even had a (somewhat) professional dinner or two within its unassuming interior.

The service

Peter’s Place isn’t big, but it’s often packed and generally busy, particularly on weekend mornings. Despite having a large crowd to serve, the restaurant staff is always friendly and courteous, even when a large table splits one bill across multiple credit cards or dawdles trying to figure out an order.

If you can’t snag a table right away, it’s worth the wait, as the food is prepared fast and served promptly. In nearly five years of dining at Peter’s Place, I can’t recall one instance where I’ve had to wait more than a brief interval for a table or an order—a rare quality in a restaurant.

The price

When you find yourself dining out too often, you’ll usually notice a stinging sensation in the wallet-region, particularly if you like to dine out with a friend or partner.

One of the most evident advantages of dining at Peter’s Place is its affordable fare, as two can enjoy a plentiful dinner for under $25, and a hearty breakfast or lunch for one is generally around $10 (including the tip)!

The restaurant’s coffee deserves particular mention here, as it’s not only hot, strong and fresh, but is a pocket-friendly $1.50 and the cups are bottomless.

The food

I’m usually wary of restaurants that try to cater to every market—the more a restaurant tries to offer, the less impressive each dish is likely to be.

Peter’s Place effectively shatters that rule of thumb by offering a diverse menu which rarely fails to impress. Their breakfast menu is straightforward and to the point, offering all the firstmeal favourites: breakfast meats, toast and eggs in unadulterated or omelette form.

The lunch/dinner menu has something for everyone, boasting an impressive list of entrees. Of particular note is the breast of chicken dinner ($9.99), which includes a garden salad, rice, vegetables, and potatoes —a substantial meal at any time of day.

Don’t let the long list of diner classics deter you from stopping by for a lighter meal, as the salads at Peter’s Place are far from an afterthought. Special mention is due to the country style salad ($8.95), which tops fresh lettuce with old cheddar cheese, boiled egg and your choice of turkey or ham—an excellent choice for someone with their eye on a healthy diet.

The daily specials are an ever-changing roster of the fresh and delicious, and this author endorses the recurring steak special (with vegetables, potatoes, rice, shrimp, garden salad and a bun) with absolute certainty.

The verdict

Restaurants everywhere can boast great food, student-friendly prices and welcoming service. However, it’s a rare venue that can lay claim to all three, and Peter’s Place is (in the opinion of yours truly) a solid finisher in every race.

I don’t want you to take my word for it. Go and find out for yourself just how great dining at Peter’s Place can be. Don’t be surprised if this restaurant quickly becomes your favourite place too.

Open daily at 7:30AM. Peter’s Place closes at 7PM Monday-Friday, 3PM Saturday and 2PM Sunday.

 (Disclosure: the author is in no way affiliated with Peter’s Place, with the exception of his regular presence there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He is not yet greeted by name, but the staff remember that he takes his coffee black, and that’s good enough for him).


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