Strip Mall Gems is a series of Eating Niagara, my column that runs in the St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review and Welland Tribune.
It’s wise to listen to your lawyer. Wiser, still, if he happens to be a friend with impeccable taste in food. I couldn’t help but think I was being led astray, though, when Ross Macfarlane, lawyer, friend and bon vivant, suggested I meet him for lunch at Don Marco’s Italian Eatery in Welland. And I wasn’t sure whether to blame him or my GPS while driving through a residential neighbourhood in Welland’s east end, past a high school, an elementary school, and brown-brick bungalow after brown-brick bungalow. Where the heck was I going? That’s when Don Marco’s appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, in a small plaza, neighbouring a convenience store at Wellington and Lincoln streets. If the eggplant Parmesan was as good as Ross promised, I had arrived at the epitome of a strip mall gem: that place you’d never know existed until driving past en route to somewhere else, then making note to stop in someday. Read the rest of the story