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Monthly Archives: May 2012

I Can Now Officially Say: I HATE BRUSSEL SPROUTS

Last night Brent and I went out in the rain to have dinner at Woodlot, best new restaurant 2010, we had been meaning to go there for a while now. To say that the restaurant is bare-bones and minimalist is an understatement to say the least. It is insanely low-key and unassuming. There is no fancy decor or loud music or pompompery. Just tables and a second floor with more tables. There is a giant table beside the kitchen that we guessed was for walk-ins without reservations, they had to suffer through sharing a table with strangers. We periodically would laugh at the people down below (we were on the second floor overlooking the first). The kitchen is not hidden somewhere in the back, a magical place behind swinging doors that you only get a glimpse of. It is right there near the doors. We could watch them put food into the giant, and I really do meant giant, (wood-fired?) oven.

We knew beforehand what we were going to order. We figured we would be in and out of there in no time. We were wrong. Apparently our order was put in just after the orders of a fairly large group. People kept showing up to apologize/tell us our food was on its way. We had ordered the pork chops and the steak and when we placed the order she said due to the nature of the food it would take a little bit longer. It took a lot longer than a little bit. At least we had a nice view to keep us occupied. We got to watch them make stuff in the kitchen as well as check in on a weird couple at the common table. They were there when we got there, they were there when we left. It was weird, they were leaning in so close to each other, must have been intense conversation. Or they are just weirdos. I say the latter. Lucky for us they ordered the treat platter for two, which did not look all that astounding and therefore not worth the wait.

The food was really good, that is except for the brussel sprouts that Brent had ordered on the side. Turns out I am not allowed to say that I do not like them if I have never tried them. So I did. I had a bite, made a face and downed a lot of water. They are awful. No amount of grilling or topping with bacon could ever save them. They taste too much… like vegetables. The steak was better than the pork-chops but only because the first bite I had of pork chop was just fat. Which was mildly jarring to say the least. There were two pieces of steak left so I had one… only it was a piece of mushroom, whihc was really unexpected and yet again, jarring.

What we realized when we left is that we are fast eaters. Not to say that we inhale our food without savouring it. Just as soon as the food arrives, any socializing ceases and we eat! Every once in a while we will give a thumbs up or make a face, but as per talking, not a heck of a whole lot. We almost always look up the menus online beforehand so when we get there we know what we want to order, lest what is on special changes that, which I don’t think it ever has. It would appear we don’t really care much about atmosphere. What matters is the food. That being said, the atmosphere at Woodlot is relaxed, but also kind of dark. Not exactly the best lighting hence the less-than-perfect (to say the least) photographs. Or maybe I was too busy eating.

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Tame Your Fears

Scary right? It is all spooky and dark and the eerie light… ooohhhh atmosphere. Nope, the above image is not the fear I am speaking of. Am I writing about the fact that it has somehow ended up that I am going to visit Detroit as part of a road-trip (it was inevitable, look how close it is!). Nope. And also Detroit does not seem so scary any more, partly because it is mostly empty and the only people there are all in Greek town which is apparently the happening place to be right now in Detroit (never, ever, thought I would be saying THAT).\

Nope I am talking about my “fear” of balloons. Not so much a fear as a hatred. I hate the suspense of “it can pop at any minute resulting in a loud *bang* sound” and I also hate the rubbery smell of them. So what to do when I got on the elevator and was face-to-face with my nemesis… a balloon in the shape of an animal! I put on a brave face and stuck it out. At the opposite corner of the elevator.

 

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Adventures of Pinka!

 

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Take it EASY

I’ve been having a rough go of it lately, to put it lightly. The combination of recently graduating and having to harass agencies to take me on as an interpreter, a death in the family and subsequently most of my family leaving to Poland because of that. Yeah, things were wearing on me.

What better pick-me-up is there than… WAFFLES!!! If waffles do not cure your blues, then I don’t know what could. And at this point I would like to say I am in no way (yet) affiliated with or paid by any Waffle Councils. Man would that be awesome though. We went to Easy because it is at the halfway point between my house and Brent’s and also we had been meaning to go there for quite a while now. Brent had the Huevos Divorciados (voted best Heuvos Rancheros in the city) and I, as mentioned, had the waffles. I was wary of ordering the house specialty because it sounded disgusting, here are just a few of the components: re-fried black beans, sunnyside-up eggs, ancho jam. Everything else in it, not so gross sounding. But how did that giant mess of food taste? Surprisingly delicious. I liked the spiciness and the overall mix of a bunch of different flavours. I may have even ingested some egg yolk and a few beans!

Given that best waffles has yet to be announced/determined on the BlogTO website I would suggest Easy as a strong contender. I was rather shocked, I admit. Why the shock? They were whole wheat waffles! And they came with blueberries! They tasted amazing, they had a slight hint of oatmeal instead of the usual sand-flavour one associates with bad whole wheat. And the fruit was not just on the side, as I pleasantly discovered, there was also fruit underneath! Made all smooshy and soft from the heat of the underside of the waffle.

 

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Dear Chicago:

This was supposed to be an angry letter to you. I was under the impression that the 26-foot tall Marilyn Monroe statue was being taken down due to the controversy and everyone being up in arms about it. The Chicago Tribune cleared this up for me: it is a traveling exhibit. It is being taken down to move to the next city, will that ever be Toronto? Dear God I hope so. I was really looking forward to taking a tacky picture with the statue and taking pictures of people gawking at it. Alas, my heart has been broken. My dreams have been crushed.

I am sorry for being mad at you Chicago, it is not your fault. Or is it? As far as I can tell, it was not meant to be moved around. Hmm.. in looking deeper into the matter, there was an American Gothic statue near the Chicago Tribune building. Having been there before, I can tell you: I did not see that. Might have been put up later. New plan: going to find that sculpture, it is by the same artist, who is now one of my new all-time favourites (J. Seward Johnson Jr).

All I want it so see a giant-sized sculpture representation of people/famous things. ACK. It seems my love affair of sculptures/giantness/tackiness and some combination of any or all of those is going to take me back to New Jersey to the Grounds For Sculpture because this place sounds absolutely amazing. Take a bunch of acres of land, plant some nice gardens and just plop down tonnes of sculptures everywhere! My love affair is also eventually taking me to Minneapolis, as I have stated many times before: I want to see that giant cherry-on-a-spoon sculpture!

Why the love affair? Why not, it’s giant things you can look at outdoors in the fresh air. Toronto was once awesome in this respect. There was one magical summer when throughout the city there were colourfully tacky fibre glass moose sprinkled throughout. There were 326, hard to find them all, but occasionally you would be walking down the street and *blam* there was a moose. Now there are only a few left here and there, mostly in front of shops or on stores roofs (it is an ugly moose, it is yellow and says DeWalt on it, lame).

Hmm.. I kind of veered away from writing about how mad I was at Chicago/about Forever Marilyn being taken down.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Adventures of Pinka!

 

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