Living in Toronto for 15 years (!!) as I have, I’ve become extremely familiar with Niagara Falls. Once viewed in almost awesome wonder when I used to visit Canada as a tourist (yes, those days definitely existed), this large waterfall has now become slightly less of a natural wonder and more of a getaway spot for me, and I suspect many Torontonians. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still a wonderful sight to behold and I’m lucky to be living relatively close to such a natural wonder. It’s just that these days the trips there are more about chilling out, hanging out with friends and family, or just checking out what new crazy stuff the Clifton Hill tourist area has to offer and less about going on the Maid of the Mist ride.
The positive point of becoming more and more “used” to Niagara is that it frees up time for me to go exploring other things that overseas tourists may not have time to (as they obviously have to spend time to ogle at the Falls themselves). And one of those results was the discovery of Falls Manor. An old-school, old-fashioned (just like how Ontarians love their EVERYthing) restaurant that is always full of patrons, with a little motel at the back that nobody really cares about. Everyone and their mother comes to Falls Manor for their famous broasted chicken (a fancy name for how they fry ’em), including people like my brother who has in the past driven here just to get said chicken.
We as a family have been frequenting this joint for around 15 years now, and since it is a rule for every Torontonian to bring any guests from outside Ontario to see Niagara Falls, we have have brought a LOT of people here. Hell it sometimes feels that we’ve brought half the people from Jakarta to go eat this chicken. And that is why, even though their chicken is very good, on this trip we decided to eat everything BUT the chicken. Here’s the review that resulted from that visit (just as a side note – their broasted chicken is indeed delicious but nothing to really write home about. I never got what the crazy big deal is. We just brought people here out of habit, truthfully) …
As they had an all-day breakfast menu ready, WW got the Eggs Benedict while my mom had the scrambled eggs. My dad always goes for their liver (and this time was no different), while I had the Hungarian steak, which I’ve always felt should have more prominence on their menu. The restaurant was busy with patrons lining up the door, and the whole place seriously had a feel of a German beer hall with too many people. There were so many people you’d think One Direction was performing or something (ha! that’s one reference that will NEVER go old). As such, the food was a little slow to come out, though the service was polite enough, if a little harried.
The Eggs Benedict was, put simply, mediocre. It didn’t look bad, and in fact when it first came out I remarked on how vibrantly yellow they looked like. The problem was, unfortunately, the flavour. As in, there was almost none of it. The whole thing came with peameal bacon which would normally be salty enough to compensate for the plainness of the eggs, but in this case the bacon was bland (can you imagine that?) and forgettable. The Hollandaise also lacked the depth of richness that is normally characteristic of this sauce. The whole thing felt like a bland symphony of cholesterol-increasing madness. The texture was all good, and everything felt quite fresh, but if I’m going to have a heart attack on a plate, you should at least make it tasty.
The scrambled eggs were decent but not completely impressive either. It was stuffed full of peppers and onions, but was a bit small for its $7 price tag. The homefries were much tastier than most (same thing with the Eggs Benedict) as it actually had seasoning, but overall the dish felt underwhelming. To be fair though, I’ve very rarely found scrambled eggs that knocked my socks off and, as such, I’ve never been a big fan of this dish in general. So truthfully, you could present me with 100 different takes on scrambled eggs and I’d probably say 95 of them to be meh at best. I’m definitely biased, but hey whatever, it’s my review.
The liver, on the other hand, was excellent. I couldn’t exactly remember what it was called but there’s really only one liver dish on the menu. It didn’t have a very…uh….”liver-y” smell that sometimes puts me off the dish, and it was seasoned to perfection. The little bed of onions on top of it provided a great contrast in both texture and taste to the more steak-like liver, and all I have to say is that it was delicious. If you are even a little bit of a fan of this dish, you MUST try Falls Manor’s version of it. And even if you’re not a big fan but are curious, order it anyway. You won’t be disappointed. Make sure you order the gravy to complement your mashed potato side, and you’re good to go. Deliciousness all around.
The Hungarian steak was also satisfying. I kind of stumbled upon this little-known item on the menu a few years ago when I wanted a change from downing buckets of chicken, and has since then become my number one go-to food to order whenever I wanted something that didn’t use to have feathers in this restaurant. The steak itself was very tender a well-marinated. The combination of herbs and spices used in the steak gave it a nice flavour, while ridiculous amounts of cheese on top made the whole thing an exercise in extravagance. The only thing I would’ve done to improve the whole meal would be to provide some au jus on the side, but then again I’ve been accused of loving sauce the way smokers love tobacco, so maybe that’s just me. Highly satisfying though.
So would I recommend Falls Manor? The answer is yes, but with asterisk. Come for the fact that it’s a homey, comfortable, well-known restaurant spot. Come to try their broasted chickens. And certainly come for the liver. But if you’re expecting anything uber-unique, or a high calibre of taste sensation that would justify the line-ups, then this ain’t the place for you. A fun place to go to, for sure. But not an unmissable place by any stretch of the imagination. If you happen to be at Niagara Falls, you probably should stop by. But I would never dream of being one of those that would drive 100+ kms just to get their chicken.
–Final verdict: Boleh Makan!
7104 Lundy’s Lane
Niagara Falls, ON L2G 1W2