It might not be outwardly obvious, especially given that based on the archive the real start date is later, BUT it has almost been a year of fooding! It all started on beautiful Saturday afternoon, sometime in May or June. I was over at Brent’s house and we went out for lunch. He suggested an obscurely named place called Clafouti, but I was too hungry to argue. Why this random obscure place I had never heard of? Why, because I was told that they had the best croissant in the city. I am not going to lie to you, I am not a huge fan of croissants. half the time they are stale and the flakiness gets messy. As well, sometimes there is a funny aftertaste. Thankfully Clafouti also sold paninis, to be specific, a butter chicken panini. It was good that I actually let out a string of expletives while we walked back through Trinity Bellwoods park. To put that in perspective: almost a year has passed and I have only sworn (in a good way) about two others times. And the croissant? It was so soft and buttery and utterly delicious, almost makes me want to eat croissants all the time. Given that we did not go when they opened, we did not have a chance to try the chocolate croissant which apparently is to die for, so they say.
So what has come of this past year of fooding? I can safely say I have eaten my way through quite a fair share of the animal kingdom, from the semi-normal (elk, buffalo) to the just-plain-weird (kangaroo, jellyfish) as well as eating parts of animals I would have never dreamed of such as gonads (sea urchin) and tongues (beef). I have also (and if you know me, you will know who unthinkable and out of character this is) eaten my fair share of…. VEGGIES! I am nowhere near being someone who claims to like veggies however. Sometimes I ingested them simply because the sandwich/burger was so damn good I could not waste any time picking out the tomatoes (Burger Priest, The Fish Store). Other times it was a surprise that I, on several occasions, enjoyed ingesting them. I say them, I really just mean baby spinach. So far only in soup form (beef miso soup from Ravi Soups) and grilled into a steak & cheese panini (Panera Bread).
It was not all fun & games, there was some learning as well. Such as finding out at Black Hoof that brioche is not in fact a type of cheese, it is a bread. And sweet breads, are not bread at all. Why the confusing names?! I also learned that my pancreas can take quite the beating, especially in autumn when I took it upon myself (with the excuse of it being for a book project) to try and eat as many of the cupcakes on offer in the city as possible. I stopped at around 12 because it is a pain in the wallet.
Over the summer I also went deep-fried crazy. And not just because the CNE had so many (seemingly) great things on offer (NOTE: I am still mad as hell about the nanaimo bars debacle). I taste-tested deep-fried: Oreos, Pop-Tarts, and brownie batter. As if that were not enough, I also went on a deep-fried food spree in Cleveland, OH (as if there is anything else to do in that ghost-town) and indulged in deep-fried funnel fries, a Twinkie and cookie dough. The clear winners are the Oreos and the cookie dough. Is it something about cookies and there components that makes them so successful in the deep-frier? I really don’t know. I have been trying to hunt down Thunderin’ Thelma (Caplansky’s awesome food truck) because I heard rumour that they have… *drum roll*… a deep-fried Cadbury Creme Egg!! I thought those were good in McFlurries (until they took them away a few years ago, except now I heard that they are back again)… but deep-fried?! As a back-up, lest my heart be broken again, I have managed to find a bar on College St. that serves deep-fried Mars bars.
All this fooding also came in handy at the buffets while I was in Las Vegas, which brought me to my greatest realization (or one of I spose) from fooding: buffets are awesome. Where else can you try lots of different foods without going broke and being taken out of the restaurant on a stretcher whilst in a food coma? Tapas restaurants. Those two ideas are the best thing anyone has ever come up with.
In closing, I will get you Grand Electric. You have evaded me for long enough. Wednesday will be my third (!!!) attempt to stuff my face full of your delicious tacos. I had been wanting to go there ever since it was voted Best Restaurant of 2011 and then had a glowing review in The Toronto Star. But top it off with the recently added Best Fish Tacos and Best Mexican Restaurant?! Not having been able to go there yet, just makes me want to go all the more. I will be writing about piles of tacos, margaritas and a dessert served in a mason jar come Thursday… Goddammit, I mean Friday. Thursday I have actually managed to wrangle some people to go with me to eat at The Gallery Grill in Hart House. Why has it been so hard to go eat there? Because their hours are from 11:30-1:30… that is why.
I am so hungry now…