June 23, 2024

It was really hard to top a evening out at Tops Restaurant in Galt

Back again in the ’50s and ’60s, Peter’s, Diana’s and Tops had been our favorite downtown places

Back in the ’50s and ’60s, Peter’s, Diana’s and Tops were our favourite downtown spots.

Everyone I understood again then frequented these dining places. 

Mindy’s Diner was across from the hearth hall on Dickson Street before it was acquired and renamed Peter’s Cafe.

It was a really popular place to have breakfast, lunch or supper, all served from a property-design menu.

Proprietor Jim Peter built up a significant following and needed more room so he moved it to a Drinking water Avenue North area right up until the mid ’60s when he sold the restaurant to George Annis.

It soon got a new look and a new name, becoming Tops Cafe Steakhouse & Tavern.


It was our happy place, a spot to have a fun night time out with pals while listening to the newest tunes on the table jukebox and sharing gravy-topped fries and a soda fountain cherry Coke. We’d often be there prior to and after the movies or the YWCA Saturday evening dances.

A great deal of teens bought their first hospitality work as wait staff or, like myself, as a section-time dishwasher, at these dining establishments.

Tops was easily the most popular. It was later bought to the three Kannelis brothers who owned and operated the cafe until eventually 1985, when fire broke out and destroyed the constructing.

Mike Kannelis also opened Golf’s Steak Property on Lancaster Avenue in Bridgeport. Nick Kannelis went to Talbotville and opened the Wayside Eating Lounge until he bought it and retired. The other brother had a restaurant known as the Derby in Preston, throughout from the Queens Hotel. I remember it as a favourite for breakfast.

Right now, these family members nevertheless have siblings, grandchildren and cousins functioning Waterloo region eateries.

As Hespeler Road became the city’s Golden Mile, downtown lost many family members restaurant businesses.

The development was warm sandwiches for lunch and dinner fare. We all loved sizzling beef, turkey, hamburger or liver and onions served with mashed potatoes and smothered in bone inventory gravy.

I cherished the corn beef Reuben, or the chef’s meat cheese and marinara sauce baked lasagna with caesar salad.

One particular of my favourites was the French onion soup that was correctly ready continually in all these eateries. 

Listed here is a uncomplicated recipe to make this culinary favourite.

Photograph by Sheri Silver on Unsplash

Tacky baked French onion soup

Nothing warms the soul like a piping scorching baked bowl of onion soup.

I use some superior beef stock and heaps of sweet onions.

3 large sweet onions peeled

⅓ cup unsalted butter

½ teaspoon brown sugar optional

8 cups beef broth 64 oz

⅓ cup dry white wine

3 sprigs clean thyme or ½ teaspoon dry

1 bay leaf

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon dry sherry optional

1 baguette

3 cups gruyere cheese

6 tablespoons refreshing parmesan cheese


Slice onions a quarter-inch thick. Saute onions, stirring often, in excess of small warmth in melted butter (with sugar if using) until eventually golden, about 30-45 minutes.

Increase beef broth, wine, thyme, bay leaf, black pepper, Worcestershire, dry sherry. Deliver to a boil, lessen heat and simmer for 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and thyme (if fresh) and discard.

Meanwhile, slice bread and brush with olive oil. Broil 2 minutes for each facet or right up until golden. 

Ladle soup into ceramic bowls. Increase 2 slices of bread to every bowl. Divide cheeses over bowls and broil right until golden and bubbly.


Choose sweet Vidalia, Walla Walla onions or yellow onions for this recipe. Sweeter varieties of onions may perhaps not require the sugar.

Onions will reduce down to a smaller amount but you’ll will need a huge pan or dutch oven to begin.

Cook dinner the onions really slowly but surely, this step should really just take 30-40 minutes at a low temperature. This is exactly where the taste comes from.

For white wine decide on a chardonnay, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc. You can depart the wine out but it is recommended for the ideal flavor.

Leftover chunks of dry bread will perform nicely as the bread in this recipe as well.

Area the bowls on a baking sheet, this would make them less difficult to transfer in and out of the oven.

French onion soup freezes fantastically for fast planning when necessary. 

Chef Wayne Conrad Serbu writes monthly for CambridgeToday. The previous govt chef also shares recipes and reminiscences from his far more than 5 decades in the hospitality industry on his web site, the kitchenman.