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Stupid Burger

A co-worker was recently talking about black garlic and I was like wait, what?! you can get that at a fancy grocery store? (we both said Pusateri’s at the same time after he couldn’t remember the name). I thought it was a seasonal and artisinal thing that you needed to know how to find. This changed everything. I was certain it would be in the 1000 foods book, plus we live downtown so how hard could it be to find?!

Turns out it was harder to find than one would imagine. Pusateri’s did not appear to have it, I asked two employees. I tried calling Whole Foods but no answer so I had to walk over. I collected employees like a katamari rolling through the store. In total I had three people walking me around the store, interviewing me about this black garlic and trying to get more details. In the end we found it in pouches by the regular garlic.

My plan was all set: I would attempt to make the black garlic burger from an episode Bob’s Burgers. The episode made a lot more sense now, trying to chop up the black garlic I could understand why Gene was able to just smoosh it. It was also quite sticky and it did indeed taste like licorice (as the 1000 foods book stated). I mixed it with mayonnaise to make a black garlic aoili.

In the end we had mammoth burgers that had the perfect amount of everything –including mouthfeel– even if the brioche bun started to disintegrate from the grease. And what burger is complete without a homemade pickle and some BBQ kettle chips accouterments?

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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in 1001 Foods, Fooding, Uncategorized

 

What a Knockout!

We had not gone for best splurge sushi because for the longest time it was a place out in Etobicoke and we just never got around to going that far (if only it had worked out while we were both still living there).

But now we finally had our chance: it had been revoted to Yasu, conveniently located at Spadina and Harbord and we had the perfect excuse: my birthday.

We somehow managed to get a reservation for that same week. I say somehow because in total there were about 16 spots for dinner. That’s how fancy it was. A small intimate setting, wherein we could watch the chefs as they prepared everything. It was amazing to watch their knife and sashimi preparation skills, knowing I could never in a million years do any of that.

Given that we were about to eat some damn fresh sushi in a damn fancy restaurant, it made sense to do the accompanying sake tasting menu. 5 sakes, chosen by the chef, 2ozs each. Brent tried a sip of each one, we made observations as we sipped and ate. It was a lot of fun and easily one of our most memorable (not just because of the whopping price tag) and delicious dinners of all time. The BC oyster just melted in my mouth. The rice was cooked in such a way that elevated it above regular rice and if rice were regularly like that I may enjoy it more. The eel was amazing. The smoked bonito tasted like kabanos. The mackerel, while good, I am still not a fan of. I even faced down my old nemesis: sea urchin. A small smidge of it atop a sashimi is way better than just sea urchin as the main. It turns out that when freshly ground, wasabi is actually delicious.

All the sakes were delicious, alas they were hard to find on the LCBO website later on, some were rare and very expensive. But now I would be open to alternating a nice bottle of sake with the port wine in my usual rotation of evening sips.

The fish cheesecake was a bit odd, but not bad. I am not even sure that it was fish cheesecake, it may have been something-that-sounds-like-fish cheesecake and the fishy flavour was just because we had eaten copious amounts of it and forgotten to finish it off with ginger. Who can say. The black sesame ice cream tasted exactly as promised, and it was delicious.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 

Bamboozled Again

It had been so long since I had written my list, I could scarcely remember why Trattoria Nervosa was on my list. We later figured out that it’s a highly regarded restaurant with a (somewhat?) known chef? Something along those lines anyways. It also turns out that Brent has had some business lunches there before. Regardless, our Friday night plans had been made.

I had misread the menu, assuming that they had multiple house specials, when clearly it was daily specials. Oops.

We started with a plate of Asiago “al forno” aka a sizzling hot skillet of melted cheese with pieces of bread to dip in it aka HEAVEN. I was floored by the dish as soon as I laid eyes upon it. Then I immediately proceeded to burn my knuckle and my fingertip while trying to eat too-hot-cheese.

I had gone with a last minute change-up and ordered the pizza instead of the blackened cod. Then I changed my pizza at the last second. Originally I was going to get the prosciutto and arugula one but I kept having flashbacks to the last time I ordered that elsewhere and ended up with a salad pizza. I ordered the one with sausage and rapini. Rapini sounded like kale or arugula. I was ok with that. I was also ok with this being a white pizza, sans tomato sauce. I preferred dipping it in their (highly?) touted house-made olive oil.

I was not expecting a pizza piled high with what appeared to be (and turns out was closely related to) broccoli. But still, I gave it a try and had a bite. Bleh. Brent looked at me like, duh, it’s related to broccoli to which I was like why didn’t you warn me?! He claims he did, but all he warned me of was the chances of getting another pizza salad.

It was really hard to rank the dishes after the clear winner: the cheese. The crust on my pizza was excellent, the mushroom risotto from Brent’s dish was also excellent, but the meat was subpar and the sausage on my pizza was similarly blah. I did enjoy the artisinal gin & tonic. It was good… for a gin & tonic. I am still not a fan.

It was also boiling hot in the restaurant and I was coming down with a headache that was threatening to become a migraine.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 

Scaramouche, Scaramouche, Do The Food-Ango

I was excited for our dinner at Scaramouche, and not just because we could sing at each other about it. I was looking forward to the coconut cream pie, which according to Rick Mercer, was epic.

I met Brent at a corner, surrounded by old condo buildings. I was very confused. He also looked confused. But clearly we had both gotten to the same place, the restaurant had to be here somewhere? Turns out it was in the condo building. It was odd. It reminded me of a hotel restaurant.

The view overlooked the Rosedale valley… and were it not for a building blocking our way, we could easily have thrown things at our friend’s apartment building. We walked right by it on our way home.

To start Brent ordered the daily special, a foie gras terrine and I ordered the buffalo mozzarella. Turns out I got swindled. I was expecting cheese, not cheese hidden under a salad. For the main I continued my Quebec-sourced food and ordered the pork. It was delicious, but oh man the mushroom pasta was a clear knockout.

Also a knockout was the coconut pie, even though it was a giant slice. Clearly, another case of “if they’re sharing it we should serve a larger portion.”

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 

So That’s a Category?

Turns out BlogTO was not content with having a best bakery and a best cafe category, they had to go and add best bakery-cafe. It was a bit confusing when we first got to Sud Forno. There was a sign saying line-up here for paninis but there were no paninis and no employees. It was a cafeteria set-up, wherein you order your food then grab a table. We went in further and found the paninis but still no employees. We wound our way around the counter to the other side to the baked goods and the register.

In addition to a best-of, we also got to cross some of the 1001 foods off our list: prosciutto, mortadella, torta caprese, and sfogiatelle.

The sandwiches were everything you could ask for: fresh delicious bread, great cheese, amazing meat and lettuce (on the mortadella) and baby spinach (on the prosciutto). So simple yet so damn delicious. The cannoli was subpar, the sfogiatelle was an odd pastry filled with a not-sweet-enough cheese. The real winner was the torta caprese: a chocolate cake made with almond flour. So moist, fluffy yet just the right dense, and so chocolatey- all without being heavy.

I’d go back any day for the sandwich. It was a sandwich. Not a panini. They didn’t warm it up.

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TACOS!

It had been so long since I had written my fooding list, I could not for the life of me remember why El Cabalito was listed. The tacos? The tequila? Who can say. After watching Croatia defeat England in World Cup we headed over, a little earlier than our reservation but the place was empty so it didn’t matter.

I went in there with the intention of getting a margarita but who can say no to a mezcal mule?! I ended up having a second drink anyways so I got my margarita fix. Both were delicious. We ordered a plate of nachos with pulled pork and some tacos. Soon after we devoured our chicken and fish tacos we realized we needed more. The taco orders were singles and even with the nachos we needed more food. We ordered the beef brisket, pulled pork and shrimp ones. While Brent and Andrew said the beef one was the best and the chicken one of the worst, I disagreed, stating that it was the reverse in fact. It was clearly: chicken, shrimp, pork, fish, beef. Luckily we left just enough room for a churros ice cream sandwich. I mistakenly tried to eat it with a fork. The drinks were strong and we had arrived at dinner coming from a bar. It was not my fault. The ice cream sandwich was epic.

 

Can’t Say No To That Plan

What plan was it I couldn’t say no to? Walking to Dufferin Mall = exercise and an excuse to stop at Baker Bots for an ice cream sandwich (aka still the best one in the city, no matter what you say, better than Bang Bang!). From there dipping south to Brazil Bakery for the best custard tart in the city… meaning we got to walk back home via anything-but-Bloor. It was the perfect plan. All the moreso given how long it took us to get out of the house, because the bakery is open until midnight.

On the way we passed by a bar advertising two delicious sounding beers: a blueberry sour and a grape vidal sour. We pondered it as we walked to the bakery. How could we say no to that? It was settled. We would stop and have a break, seeing as we were so fast at Dufferin Mall we didn’t really get a break. While we were sitting at The Mutt, resting our barking dogs, we perused the menu. There was a plum sour that just sounded amazing. In fact I took so long drinking my blueberry sour, even with Brent taking the last quarter, that he had time to order the plum sour which was the clear winner of the three.

The custard tart was good. Can’t really go wrong with one. The tart part was a bit tough and chewy but the filling was good. This story turned out to be more about the beer than the tart.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2018 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 
 
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