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by Claire Hill

Hard Times has a challenge for those of your who are hungry. This is not a dare for people like me, whose eyes are always bigger than their stomach, but for those who are serious eaters. Try their 70-ounce steak dinner, with salad, vegetable, potato, and dessert; and if you enjoy it all, it is yours, free. Are you like me, thinking---"oh, yeah, I am sure I could pollish it all off?" Well, bring them in for this dynamite offer.


This isn't the only entree that is big--all the portions are hefty. The baby back ribs were extending beyond the platter, and like the menu stated, these were tender enough to eat with a fork. But with the accompanying "Wet Ones." dig in with your hands and fingers, and really enjoy.

The tangy barbecue sauce is also lathered on their chicken, or you can feast on a combo of chicken and ribs.

Since you are in the Falls, the honeymoon capital, of course Hard Times has a honeymoon special. Begin with a Caesar salad (their dressing is just delicious--the hearty Italian bread ensures you can soak up any dressing remaining in the bowl) or with salad bar--ideal for letting you produce your creation. Then a sizeable charbroiled sirloin is served on a platter for two surrounded by fresh mushrooms, baked potato, vegetables, and is carved by the chef. A peppercorn sauce is served on the side for added flavour.

If seafood is what you are craving, then order the famous house gourmet special for two or more people--you will truly get your seafood fill. Start with shrimp cocktail, clams casino, and escargot, followed by Caesar salad or salad bar, broiled lobster tail, crab legs, shrimp, fried shrimp, sole, scallops, and dessert

of the day. What more can you ask for, except maybe seafood in the dessert?

Though I have been talking a lot about the food, bare with me a little longer. The menu is large at Hard Times so there is a lot to go over. Prime rib is slowly roasted in a special oven for 24 hours to ensure delicious flavour, and is available to a queen's or king's cut. Or (I think this is a great idea) a hungry man's cut, where you tell them how big you want it. Isn't that wonderful?

Hard Times is filled with great ideas. There are the full-course dinners, where you choose a dish from each heading appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts. The meal includes potato, vegetables of the day, and fresh bread and butter.

Chicken can be enjoyed in a variety of ways too; naturalle; Miami---topped with mushrooms, baby shrimp and garlic butter; and Mexicana---topped with Monterey Jack cheese and hot salsa sauce.

Late night is great to spend at Hard Times. Clubs, burgers, finger foods, soups and salads are all available. And a children's menu will keep any munchkin happy: hot dogs, burgers, fish and chips, grilled cheese, shrimp baskets, and child-sized steak.


Hard Times is open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner. Portions are plentiful and the prices are moderate. This attractive, casual restaurant is filled with oak, brass, and greenery. In the middle of the restaurant, as a conversation piece, is a large "boat." Check Hard Times out today, and if you do finish that steak dinner, let me know. Located at 5759 Victoria Ave. at the top of Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Canada, (905)374-3650.

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