RSS

A Whole Month Has Passed?!

A Whole Month Has Passed?!

Somsun Superstar: voted best new cheap eats 2019. Bosnian sandwiches. I had no idea this was a thing. Now I know. The bread was delicious, but that’s about all I can say. I was decidedly not a fan of the meat. In both the classic which had very little toppings, and Brent’s sandwich- it was a tiny bit better but still not enough.

Labora: Toronto Life Top 100 restaurants. So much food! So much more than we had expected! The paella was great and we only ate half. Can’t go wrong with shishito peppers but I still maintain that my sesame-soy ones are better. Steak sandwich was the clear winner though. The sweet potato bites were awful and pushed to the side. Too crispy and kind of tasteless?

Le Petit Dejeuner: voted best waffles. I was skeptical for many reasons. Waffles from a non-waffle-specialty place? No crazy options to pick from? Combined with it being delivery, I had my sights set on the challah toast croque monsieur and the waffles were just an afterthought. I was wrong to doubt. The waffles were perfect, so buttermilk-y and they didn’t even need anything more than maple syrup. But that croque monsieur, *drools*, it stole the show. It also set the day up weird because we ate so early.

Union: Toronto Life Top 100 restaurants. The polenta was not what I expected. Not even close. I was expecting something with the consistency of mashed potatoes, with tomatoes on the side. This was a spongey brick. And with so much food, it got pushed to the side. Duck fat toast was amazing. The ribs were sticky and delicious and just fell off the bone. Brent preferred the burger, I preferred the ribs so it was an easy swap after we each stole bites. The mashed potatoes (that we didn’t order?) were not good, too lumpy. And besides, we had a giant pile of fries to tackle. Fries do not hold up well cold. That had become our new criteria when we got too much food: triage it by preference and how well it holds up cold.

Friday Roots: I must have seen this one on Instagram or a Toronto Life article or who knows. My notes only say: fried chicken. I was intrigued by the sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I was picturing whipped potatoes with a sweet marshmallow crust. Not potatoes soaked in molasses with overcooked marshmallows sprinkled over sweet potato chunks. Pass. As usual, I was not a fan of the  burger. Burgers are a hard thing to pull off. The fried chicken was good, nice and meaty. But some bites were so, so, SO greasy. The biscuit was a bit soft and doughy for my non-biscuit-liking (I’m just not a fan in general).

Sushi Masaki Saito: this one had been on my list for a long time, Michelin-starred chef known for aged sushi. Yes please! Except, it was $500/plate. Maybe no. That is until I saw an Instagram post that due to the pandemic they were switching to delivery. They had a chef’s special, a selection of 8-10 mini-dishes for a measly $200. Yes please! Day saved! It took me over 10 minutes just to get through. Then the earliest I could order for was the following week. That is ok, at least I was in. Our dinner arrived in a cute little bamboo box lined with banana leaves. One look inside and I knew we were in for a treat. The mackerel was actually good!! Who knew that was possible?! The octopus was amazing. I liked chomping on the ginger. Everything was really good….but still not as good as some of the other places we’ve been to, even this year alone.

Rol San: voted best late-night Chinese food. Turns out my memory is terrible. We had eaten here before and we were not impressed. Nothing, not even when I bit into the fried octopus, no trigger due to my again not being impressed. It was chewy. I did like the nutty flavour. But fried food shouldn’t be so chewy. The congee was just awful. I mean we had to try it, it was from the 1001 Foods book. But now that I know, I am ok forever. Shellfish (in this case it was oysters) in black bean sauce were delicious. I particularly liked ripping them out of their shells. It was oddly satisfying. The hot & sour soup (also from the book)- not good. It was weirdly sweet, but like sweet-sweet not the kind of sweet that goes with savoury. The Singapore noodles were good. I really just kept going back for those and alternating the oysters and the orange chicken (that was actually more of a ginger chicken really).

Finishing off April: sourdough discard pizza from scratch?

 

March Digest: More Pizza?

March Digest: More Pizza?

Day 12 (Mar 25): Our first choice for fooding-from-home fell through. Choice #2 was too far to deliver… and on we went down the list, too far, doesn’t deliver etc. Until we got to ramen. Pass, just had ramen plus how would it hold up for delivery? Up next was Fourth Man in the Fire, the new(ish) pizza place from the folks behind Burgers Priest. I could eat pizza. Even though we had it a few days ago. Pizza is always good.

I had high hopes for this pizza. The pizza itself was pretty good… until you got to the crust. The crust was bland and heavily dependent on the (really good!) garlic dipping sauce. The garlic sticks, oh deargod, what a travesty. They should just be called boring-breadsticks. There wasn’t a trace of garlic on them. Vampire sticks morelike. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough garlic dipping sauce, we needed it all for the crust.

The pizza was alright but with a bad crust and atrocious breadsticks, not great.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 27, 2020 in Fooding, Fooding From Home, Uncategorized

 

That Time

We were both really excited for dinner at La Banane. It was #7 on Toronto Life’s Top 100 and it was also on Canada’s Best 100 at #16. Dinner was off to a great start. Duck fat pretzels with mustard? Yes please! (I am so looking for a recipe now so I can eat these all day every day). I was all ready to get the pate as my appetizer but when I heard that the special of the day came with a rhubarb compote (my current obsession, I had $10 worth of rhubarb in my purse) I was all for it. Who could resist that with slice of brioche and foie gras?! The slices were very thick but very light. The foie gras was good. But the real standout was the compote. It paired so unbelievably well, it brought the dish up a notch. Which it kind of needed? It was a tad underwhelming. Brent had gotten a salt fish cake with celeriac and something else because it was in the 1001 foods book. It all paired really well, like a fish cake with coleslaw and tartar all in one bite. But it was not outstanding. We had come here looking for wow. So far only the rhubarb compote, pretzels and cocktails were at that level.

Brent had ordered the fish which was baked in a super salty bread. They presented it to him, a whole fish braided in bread. Then promptly took it away to carve it up and make it easy to eat. Twice they warned not to eat the bread. Of course he had a bite. It was indeed salty, I took his word for it. Meanwhile I devoured crab with cheese and crumbs, conveniently crammed back into the crab shell. The main course was definitely very pretty looking. The crab was so good, but in between I needed bites of something less heavy. The potatoes aligot were as amazing as expected, the cheese was so thoroughly blended into the mashed potatoes that it just stretched. I never imagined getting to twirl my fork through mashed potatoes a-la spaghetti noodles but there you go. It is possible. I actually resorted to eating the salad on the side. The fish dish was also heavy thanks to a white sauce with butter and yuzu. The yuzu really made the sauce outstanding. Both dishes were great. But we were way too stuffed for a gimmicky $50 dessert (a chocolate egg full of truffles) and nothing else really stood out.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Fooding From Home!- Amuse Bouche Edition: March Digest

Fooding From Home!- Amuse Bouche Edition: March Digest

March is more a mini-digest (haha!) as this all set off on *spooky!* Friday the 13th

Day 4 (Mar. 17): I refused to wear green. The 1000 Foods Book is playing a bigger role in our fooding now, as I am in need of some kitchen-time (I actually love baking and cooking and without work I have less excuses for whipping something up). Random number led us to Italian sandwiches with sauerkraut and crumbly pork sausages. And then we ate those for dinner for like the next three days. Not a good start to a prolonged period of social-isolation, I had to stop eating sauerkraut.

Day 8 (Mar. 21): Descendants Detroit Style Pizza. Goddamn they make a good pizza pie! This is what pizza should be, this is what I had been wanting out of a deep-dish pizza (sorry Chicago, YOU SUCK!). I have never had a more harmonious slice of pizza, everything on it paired so well. Who knew a dollop of basil (and other herb?) butter could work so well! *applause* I am tempted to say this is the best pizza in the city, it definitely beat out Maker Pizza my previous #1. But then again that’s not a bad thing, to have a rotation of really good pizzas available to me based on what I am in the mood for. I love this.

 

Ramen-Related Post of Sorts?

Ramen-Related Post of Sorts?

Things have gone off the rails. I barely remember enough about our last fooding outing (March 5) when we went to Konjiki Ramen. We had to make up for our last ramen dinner, which proved that in fact there is ~such~ a thing as bad ramen (who knew!). And I thought I was having a bad day then, a subway closure due to an injury, with my phone dying I had to hope I could add debit to my Lyft account as my credit card had been compromised. I was grumpy, an understatement. All that dissolved as soon as I had my first warm spoonful of ramen. Flavourful and with good noodles, it soothed my soul. One dish had a quail (?) egg in it, the very same one we had tried at Auberge du Pommier. Chopsticks are not the best tool for eating a soft boiled egg, even if it is breaded. We ate some really good fried chicken as well and chatted about soon(ish) being able to start the house-looking-at-process. Little did we know. It seems like a million years ago.

Writing a full post just isn’t the same, part of the fooding experience is the outing itself, the people around us, the drinks, the service, the restaurant itself. (Like the lady complaining about having to crouch down while on safari because giraffes were passing by- WHO COMPLAINS ABOUT THAT?! – or the many awkward dates we’ve been privvy to.

Instead, I present to you sole reader, Fooding From Home!- Amuse Bouche Edition. The first thing I am doing once this is over is getting a haircut. Second thing is having a drink on a patio.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 25, 2020 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 

Just Gonna Wipe The Dust Off This One

Just Gonna Wipe The Dust Off This One

I was super excited about our dinner plans at Auberge du Pommier- I love French food and I’ve been reading a lot of Peter Mayle books recently. We had gone down the list of Top 10 restaurants on the Toronto Life list, having to jump down to the next one after a series of been-there/it’s-closed-now. We passed over at least five entries on the list before we got to Auberge du Pommier.

They had me at the wine list. One look and I was smitten. The only trouble was: I can only drink so much wine! Brent’s first choice, the only beer on the list from France, was all sold out. Thankfully I had a shortlist of wines to try. To start, I had a glass of Syrrah and Brent had a Bordeaux. Both were lovely wines.

The amuse bouche really helped set the scene: we were in for a great dinner (as if that wasn’t already evinced by the great wines). We split the boar pastrami appetizer. I did not know that eggs could possibly taste so good, but the onsen egg under all the pastrami and mushrooms was otherworldly. It melted in your mouth and paired perfectly with everything.

When the artfully plated mains arrived I was a bit skeptical: it looked like stereotypical French fancy cuisine: sparse. It must have just been giant plates because I was pretty full after. Brent had the coq au vin which was incredible (even if the accouterments were less than, who wants to eat chicken fat??). The sturgeon was so delicious and amazingly meaty. I especially liked the bites with roe. The accouterments were better, a Hollandaise croquette? Yes please!

Brent had scoped out the cheese selection beforehand and noticed that some of the cheeses on offer were from the 1001 Foods book. I was all for it so long as it was cows milk. In order of best to worst we had: laguiole, brie de meaux and fourme d’ambert. By worst I mean: the best blue cheese I’ve ever had, I’m just not really a fan. It was much improved with a dollop of honey or yuzu marmalade.

As if that wasn’t enough food, we also split a peach souffle with Earl Grey creme anglais. It was fine, again, I am just not a fan of souffle. I did like the subtle peach flavour. And you know ti was made right because of the long wait.

 

*an old post I forgot in my Drafts folder, incredibly this is from the end of February 2020, a month ago and before everything went off the rails

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 25, 2020 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 

At Least The View Was Nice?

Broadview Hotel was voted best rooftop patio. I didn’t doubt that, I just doubted going there at the end of February. Winter and patios do not equate in my mind. And is it a patio if it’s an enclosed space?

I’ll give them this much: the patio had a great view of the city to the west, the sun was just finishing setting, it all looked very picturesque. The bar itself also had a nice cozy ambiance like a ski cabin. All well and good- but I was here for food.

We split an order of the fondue, which came with two glasses of Jacob’s Creek double barrel, the barrel part giving the distinct impression of whisky moreso than wine. It worked out for me that I prefer wine to whisky. It did kind of overlap with my second drink, the mulled wine but that’s ok. Overall, the drinks were great. The food not so much. The cheese part of the fondue was great, I liked that. BUT you need something good to dip in it, and quite frankly a giant pile of ever-so-slightly stale baguette just doesn’t cut it. On the menu it warned that the fondue takes 20 minutes. Perfect we thought, we can eat the potato rosti while we wait. Except the fondue came out before the rosti. I would rather have waited while they cut the baguette freshly (instead of, as I suspect, they had a giant pile of precut chunks). Soon the rosti came out and I switched to that for a change of pace. One bite and I was right back to the bread. Rosti is apparently just another word for hash browns. No thank you and no amount of smoked salmon will make me like it. I was disappointed. Maybe dessert would save the day? There was no question between “smores” and maple creme brulee. Why were smores in quotations? I kind of wish I had found out. Instead we had a not-so-great “maple” creme brulee. I say “maple” because it barely tasted of maple. They did a rush job torching the top. Parts were burnt and other parts were not fully crystallized.

Not great. But I will be stealing their mulled wine recipe. What a genius idea to add apple cider!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 23, 2020 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 
 
%d bloggers like this: