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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Brioche Is A Type of Cheese*

Yesterday we went out to celebrate Brent’s promotion. No one else had wanted to join us for the best charcueterie, I really don’t know why. What’s not to like? House-cured meats sounds amazing. We headed out early anticipating a line-up of other hungry foodies and were a bit surprised to find that we were the first ones there, so we walked past and staked out a spot in front of a church, paranoidly eying Black Hoof. And then two more people showed up and sat down on the seats provided out front. Suffice to say we were no longer the first ones in line. Ah well, we did not end up looking like complete and total losers, so it’s all good. It was funny watching them look inside to see if it was open yet. One of the waitresses kept unlocking the inner door for a guy who kept running across the street to what I can only assume was their original location from which they recently moved but have not transferred all the amenities? In any case, she kept locking the door after he came back as if we would just all barge in, demanding food. In the end it was a good thing we came early, the place quickly filled up. Also being there right after opening meant we got prompt and courteous service. The food arrived really quickly, in total the ordeal took less than an hour, my kind of dining. We ordered the plate of house-cured meats and the tongue on brioche. Neither of us knew what brioche was and Brent hazarded a guess that it was a type of cheese. We had this idea that it was going to be tongue (gross-sounding) on stinky cheese (possibly even worse).

When the dish arrived we were pleasantly surprised. *Brioche is a type of bread. The tongue was not as my mom had served it to me, grey slices with the taste buds still visible. Oh no, this more-so resembled deli-sliced ham. Looking at it, you would have never guessed it was tongue. Or tasting it. It just tasted like ham with a slight spicy tinge of a zing to it, but that may have been the mayonnaisey-horse radishy sauce on top of it.  When we first placed our order she tried to up-sell us bread, pickles and/or olives. Ha to that, with our order of tongue on brioche we got bread and there were pickles on the side! And no olives! Perfect way to beat the system. Unintentionally happenstance, but still. And so it turns out my mom was now right twice, about cow tongue and tripe soup.

The night was still young. This was just the start. Back at the house we reconvened and met up with Scott and Paul who were joining in the festivities. We hung out at the house for a bit (who goes out at 7pm? No one). After a heated episode of Jeopardy! I loaded up some trivia questions and took over for Alex Trebek after the episode ended. Except these questions were at times rather obscure or no longer valid (saying that the Queen cannot vote?). All riled up on trivia we headed out in search of a secret bar, voted best bar of 2011 (but how can that be if it is secret?!). We walked up to College and in that one block walk we lost Braedean and Paul. One block. So we hopped in a cab and headed to Kensington. We got off at a random street and headed down some dark small streets, took a wrong turn and ended up at Spadina. All the while making jokes about this not being a real bar, just a utility closet.

I mean come on, when the instructions say go in the mall and look for a door with a red light above it, that is the bar? It sounded like an inside joke being perpetuated by other people who fell victim to this joke. “Yeah, this bar is *so cool*” WINK. As we walked down a lone sketch (sort of smelly) hallway, having made our way off Spadina back into Kensington, I thought I saw a guy who looked like Paul walk into the “bar” just ahead of us. No one heard me.

We slowly approached, still thinking it was some horrid joke. There is a small window in the door and we peeked in and went inside. The first thing you see is a small stall selling what appears to be food. Sketchy looking food. The bar itself is very low-key and non-descript, I guess that is the theme. A real hole-in-the-wall bar. The music was being spun by a guy with a Mac book behind the bar. And somehow, at 9:30pm, in the no man’s land: the place was packed. It turned out that Braedean and Paul had gone back to Google the place. It was them I saw going in, and we met them at the bar. No bar trip is complete without a visit to the secret (and just as low-key) patio. Along the way we managed to pick up a new member to the group (in my head I see us a giant Katamari rolling through). It was some weird guy who loved the Maple Leafs. At the time I thought he was a security guard, but I was later informed that he was some random guy. In retrospect I am pretty sure he was trying to get Scott’s number. It being January in Canada, our patio plans quickly fell through and we ran back inside. Inside, where it was even more packed. As we looked around it dawned on us… this might have been a gay bar.

Brent and I bailed on going to some place called either Dance Cave or DanceScape and instead went looking for One Love to get some best of vegetarian. Shockingly, it was closed. SO instead we headed over to Smoke’s Poutinerie for some damn good poutine. But also kind of weird. It never occurred to me to put butter chicken on top of fries and gravy and cheese curds. It was pretty good in small doses, but eating the whole thing? Too much. We also wrote down Kyle’s phone number on the chalkboard. It was funny.

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Top Reasons Why I “Love” Baseball

You might be asking yourself, why on God’s green earth I have been to so many baseball games, and will attend an additional more baseball games this road-trip season. So I give you, my all-time best reasons why:

  1. The fights. You would think I have mistaken baseball for hockey here, but nope. I have seen my fair share of coaches getting all up in the refs face, taking their hat off so that they can get even closer to his face as they yell (and presumably spit).
  2. The booing. Nothing makes a game more fun than watching the stadium erupt in angry boos. Best combo so far has been the Phillies fans booing the SF Giants guy-with-ridiculous-beard-who-is-just-plain-nuts. Never have I ever heard so much yelling, some people even stood up so that they would seem louder. Entertaining as hell.
  3. The food. I think this is at least half the reason that we go to these games. Why else would we have gone to Baltimore? To enjoy the wonderful city? Lordie, no. We went so that we could eat at Boog’s. How good was the food? Amazing, so totally worth melting in the sun while munching on ice chips and periodically having to un-stick my thighs from the plastic seat (it made a horrible noise for those of you who were wondering). In Ohio, another city we only visited for the food, I got to stuff my face full of fried food. How was the baseball game you ask? I have no idea, the deep-fried cookie dough however was out of this world.
  4. The animals. No, I do not mean the baseball players. I mean the seagulls/pigeons/squirrels (this last one I only saw on TV). They gave me something to watch when I got bored, basically whenever there was no fight on the field. Or dancing mascots.
  5. The mascots. Phillies Phanatic, you’ve won my heart.
  6. Lesser mascots. In Ohio, I got to watch a giant ketchup, mustard and some other super slow condiment race around the diamond (it was really down to just the ketchup and mustard).
  7. The free stuff. So far, not so great but I anticipate better this year. Last year there was free ice in Baltimore (tropical heat wave pushed the temperature into the high 40s… Celsius, you yank). In Philadelphia the Phanatic rode around on a truck outfitted with a cannon that shot… HOT DOGS!!! INTO THE CROWD!!! I am still really mad that I did not get one. This year so far that I know of is: t-shirt and soft cooler. I had better get at least one.
  8. The drunks. Both a good thing and a bad thing. They can be very entertaining, like that dad who traded off with his kids. At the start of the game, the kids were loud and yelling and slowly they got tired… and he got drunker and louder. It was nice. Sometimes it can go very very wrong, such as that drunk chick behind us in (of all places) Baltimore, “I’m going to die of sun cancer” and “Hey, hey Toronto guy, turn your [Blue Jay’s] hat inside out!” are just some of the wonderful things we got to hear her yell in her awful voice.
  9. The wave!! So much fun, even moreso because it irritates certain people. Not fun when your thighs are stuck to the chair though, then it is just painful as hell. Damn heatwave.
  10. The things from that song/culture: eating Cracker Jacks (which I managed to wolf down before the game even started), eating peanuts and throwing shells all over the floor (as me and my sister did, I am pretty sure that is the sole reason we went to the game) and eventually I will have a “beer at a baseball game” and complete my list of basebally-things-to-do.
  11. And the clothes. I have an affinity for those shirts with the 3/4 length sleeves in a different colour.
  12. Getting to freely yell stuff, if I so choose.

    LOVE ❤

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

News!

I promise to never ever hand-write another blog post until I have at least fully figured out how to use my tablet. Yay for no more carpal tunnel!!!

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Adventures of Pinka!

 

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Can’t Talk… Eating

With the holidays come a lot of opportunities to stuff ones face with reckless abandon to the point of illness. Illness combined with many a social calling and the subsequent food coma laziness has led to another one of my occasional compilation posts! Yay! Who doesn’t like reading about something I ate a month ago? Good times.

Best Chocolate:

I happened to have been at SOMA over the Christmas break and the Mayan hot chocolate had given my wallet a wallop, a wallop it could barely withstand after Christmas shopping. Unfortunately I had to decline getting the best chocolate in the city to go with the best hot chocolate in the city. Also it would have been total overkill and I doubt that enjoyable. As luck would have it, Brent got a SOMA chocolate for Christmas from his aunt, and being the nice guy that he is he saved it for us to share, only after threatening to eat it himself. Verdict? Amazing. I am not a fan of dark chocolate… that us, unless it is from SOMA. It was weird because it had chunks of sea salt and honeyed pumpkin seeds, but weird in a good way. A nice alternative to the same-old same-old of nuts being the crunch in your chocolate. Would I ever eat it again? But of course! I just would not pay. That is some damn expensive chocolate. And there is no picture of it because I ate it without even thinking.

Best Chicken Burger:

This one is best so far in my opinion, because apparently that category has not been announced yet. DIBS. Big Smoke Burger (formerly Craft Burger) does chicken burgers right. What do I mean by right? I mean grilled. I mean not breaded. I mean little else on top of my burger other than some seasonings. I want it to taste like chicken. Big Smoke achieves this with high accolades, delicious. I even ate lettuce, lettuce that was not shredded into tiny indiscernible bits that I cannot taste. And we just so happened to enjoy our lunch in the new Eaton Centre food court, which is not all that special. We got our burgers on plastic plates rather than in a paper bag but it is nothing to crow about.

Best Ethiopian:

I cannot say I have the best memories of this late lunch, actually more of a dinner, at Nazareth. For one, I was on the cusp of having a horrid cold kick in so my head felt all funny. And for two, I had not eaten lunch anticipating eating with Brent, having totally forgotten that the Ethiopian place opens after 4pm. At what time, we are still not sure. The week before we had walked by it and it was closed (so we had Best Schnitzel, see previous post) and on our way back (after 4pm) we saw that it was open. So that was really all we had to go on as we headed out. Thank God it was open. But, it was also full. We had to stand around by the entrance because we couldn’t sit at the bar thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Jerk. What did they do to earn such unfortunate names? They sat at the two middle bar stools, leaving one on each end alone. Just perfect for other pairs, getting to shout at each other across another couple. Eventually a table cleared out and we just sat down, it did not look like anyone from the restaurant was going to seat us. Except we were seated beside a loud TV and from the other side of the bar there was odd music playing. Add in my exhaustion from the cold and not having eaten in 5 hours and we did not exactly have world-class dinner conversation. We had already decided well ahead of time what to order, the vegetarian platter on a recommendation from my sister, on the pretext that you got to try more food.

The food arrived maybe 20-30 minutes later and it was enormous. The plate was the size of the entire table top and featured the pancake-bread on one side and the food (rows of chickpeas, something and something) and then a lettuce garnish. We also each got a pancake-bread on the side. The food was barely set down before us and already it was a giant mess of eating. I think this has to have been one of the most fun foods to eat ever. You rip off a piece of bread and use it to scoop up some food and chow down.

The only complaint I have is that the spiced tea was not available and my back-up choice, Ethiopian coffee was either not on the menu or it was the $10 “specialty coffee” which is ridiculous. Especially given that with tip the meal cost $12. It was more than enough food for both of us. And I would post the picture I took, alas there is nothing to see. It was dark in the restaurant. So here is a picture someone else took, it says it is from the same place, but our plate was a different colour.

Best Portugeuse:

This one was unintentional. We set out to go to Bakerbots (Best new bakery 2011) and One Love (Best something or other, I cannot find it) and we made it about 2 blocks before deciding it was too cold to be outside. We caved and instead ate at our “cold weather pick” (there are a few places a few blocks from Brent’s house for these kinds of days) which was Portuguese food. Bairrada Churrasqueira was delicious. And not just because I was so insanely happy to be inside out of the cold. The food portions were really huge, too huge in fact for me to even finish. It was the rice that was overkill. But the chicken? It was so tasty! It was on a skewer with onions (blech) and red peppers (which soaked up some chicken flavour) and had a nice crispy outside along the edges from the grill. And I also had to steal a bite of Brent’s BBQ chicken. I did not know chicken could possibly be made to taste this good, you think it can only go so far, but this place outdid that.

Crepes:

Not the best crepes, but a good crepe nonetheless. We went back to Yellow Cup Cafe (apparently my love of crepes is genetic, I get it from my dad) to celebrate my dad’s birthday. Last time we had gone there was for Father’s Day when I tackled the mammoth fruit crepe that came with 5 (at least) servings of fruit. This time I narrowed things down a bit. I opted for the apples & cinnamon crepe. But I caved and did not ask for it to be sans whipped cream and ice cream. Only a poor choice in hindsight when I tried to work out later and was too full. The apples were poached and sprinkled with cinnamon, it was amazing. Hell, I could have eaten the apples on their own like that.

**COMING SOON:

A review on the new Bulk Barn downtown! It is finally here! 10 years of complaining but finally, and then once PINK in the Eaton Centre opens I will never have to leave the downtown core ever again.

 

 

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That is Disgusting

I caught a glimpse of an article in The Star yesterday and I could not look away I simply HAD to read it. And then I regretted it.  A lot.

A man claimed to have found a mouse in his Mountain Dew. The PepsiCo company retorted that there is no way that could be true because in fact, the Mountain Dew would have dissolved the mouse. I don’t know about you but that sounds INFINITELY worse to me. If it is in fact true, think of all the possible dissolved mice that have been ingested. I think it makes the company look much worse if there drink is able to do that a mouse, imagine what it would (does?) do to your innards whence ingested. Gnarly. I was never much a fan of Mountain Dew, but this is the nail in the lid of the coffin. Gross.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in News

 

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How Cute!


Sadly I could not find these in store 😦

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Cupcake Saga

 

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