Critic’s criteria, Belgians champion “Veggie-Dags,” Chili’s comes to Canada

Critic’s criteria, Belgians champion “Veggie-Dags,” Chili’s comes to Canada

Manifest destination: another American chain restaurant opens its doors in the GTA (Photo by Andrew Phelan)

• Last Thursday marked the opening of Canada’s first Chili’s Grill and Bar (think generic family dining covered in Velveeta Pepper Jack). Located at Vaughan’s Colossus Centre, the Dallas-based chain plans to open four more restaurants in the GTA in the next five years. []

Star critic Corey Mintz reveals how he hears about new restaurants (he found Odd Fellows while riding his bike and chefs told him about Black Hoof) and what criteria a restaurant must meet to be one of the 50 places he reviews each year. Not having a red-headed clown as a mascot is one of them. [Toronto Star]

• A Belgian city is encouraging residents not to eat meat every Thursday in an effort to combat animal cruelty, global warming and obesity. Dubbed “Donderdag-Veggie Dag,” the project has sparked interest in a few Dutch towns and even a community in Canada. [Sydney Morning Herald]

• OpenTable, the on-line restaurant reservation service, joined Nasdaq last week with shares rising from $20 to $32 on the first day of trading. With such registered clients as Canoe, Splendio, Nota Bene and 10,000 others worldwide, investors are likely hoping that one day they’ll be able to afford to eat at these establishments. [CBC]

• A recently opened Asian-fusion restaurant in London’s Soho district has a touch-screen tabletop on which customers can order their food, customize the appearance of the dining surface and look at subway maps. [Inamo]