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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Poutine For Dinner, But Dessert First

The craving for guacamole hit me out of the blue one day at work. Alas, best guacamole in the city is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. I retreated in defeat, we would have to postpone fooding. Brent then suggested best late night poutine and on the way best Chinese bakery. It is hard to say no to poutine, in fact is nearly impossible. We had not been there for years, and now they had a new location and more menu options. Yes, i was trying to justify the outing.

Best Chinese bakery was Lucullus Bakery on Elm St. near the Eaton Centre. It is a good thing this bakery is relatively new, else I would have gone broke with such an awesome bakery so close to school. We ordered a nice range: espresso napoleon, coconut bear claw and a ham & cheese croissant. All three were outstanding and this has become a new favourite of mine.

As we were walking to Poutini’s on King at Portland we passed some bars. The pople inside were cheering wildly. What? Turns out the Raptors were winning in a play-off game. There was also a baseball game on at the time. Both were home games. Oh crap we thought, downtown is going to be a zoo!! We picked up the pace and rushed to Poutini’s. Thankfully there was no one in there. Brent ordered the works (sour cream, chives, and bacon) and I ordered the bacon poutine. The guy was on auto-pilot and made both the works. I was OK with it though. It was delicious and every bite I managed to get every topping. The tiny size was still quite large and towards the end I found myself claiming defeat. Poutini’s has improved over the years. I remember my chief complaint being that it was too salty. They have since fixed that. As we stood there eating (poutine is not amenable to walking and eating) a guy came in and declared his love for Poutini’s vegan gravy. I do not remember if he stayed and ordered, I was too busy chowing down.

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4X Best?

Dr. Laffa’s had been voted best of Toronto in four different categories: best hummus, best falafel, best kosher restaurant, and best shawarma and one other either best new or cheap eats from years past. How great would it be to cross all of those off the list in one go? It would make having to take the TTC there worth it. I was secretly worried that it would be closed yet again. Thankfully it was not closed.

The food was cheap and plentiful, we ended up taking over two tables with all of our food. Turns out I am not a huge fan of falafels on their own. In the past they were always buried within a wrap with a tonne of other toppings. We ordered the falafel hummus plate- it made total sense. Alas, the hummus also fell short of my expectations. The best hummus in Toronto is still at Anataloia’s. However the shawarma was outstanding. It totally beats out any of the other shawarma’s I have had in the past. Part of it was the wrap, we had the laffa option. It was stuffed to the brim with meat and so many different veggies (I heard someone saying eggplant). It was the equivalent of a burrito, in that it was bursting at the seams with fillings. Were it not for the hours and the distance, the shawarma would be my go-to for lazy days.

 

 

 

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Ribs and Baklava

Best Greek bakery had recently been voted on. Serano Bakery happened to sort of be on the way to best ribs at Hogtown Smoke. Sort of meaning that Brent walked to it, then met me in the subway and we headed further east to Hogtown. I was really looking forward to some Greek baked goods, I love baklava, despite how tooth-achingly sweet it is. But, no dessert before dinner.

We got to Hogtown Smoke and the place was packed. We managed to snag the last table, which we almost lost because apparently you do not wait at the entrance to be seated. Who knew. Of the three ribs on the menu, only one was actually available, the baby back ribs. So we got a tequila-infused BBQ chicken to split as well. The chicken was better than the ribs, but not as good as the chicken wings we had last time. It was really quite surprising. The ribs were meaty but that was not enough. There was not much flavour to them. Nowhere near as good as the ribs we had at Memphis BBQ. What can I say I like them super saucy.

Having only ever really eaten Greek pastries during Taste of the Danforth with no idea where they came from, I can only really agree that Serano is the best Greek bakery I have eaten at. There used to be an awesome one on the Danforth but it closed down like 8 years ago. The baklava was amazing, i did not know it was possible to have non-tooth-destroying baklava that still tastes amazing. The winner by far was the puff pastry with cream in the middle, it was sheer heaven.

 

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Coffee Break

It’s well into the end of the semester here and oh man is it a struggle. That’s why when Brent suggested an afternoon coffee date at Clockwork Coffee, best pour over coffee, I did not even hesitate. A break from my 16 page essay*?! Heck yes!! Plus coffee fuels me, bonus. We had been meaning to go here for a while, it is around the corner from the King Edward Hotel after all- but it’s not open on weekends.

A pour over coffee makes one feel so fancy. Rather than coffee poured from a large pot that has been sitting there for god only know’s how long, you get a freshly made individual cup. Yes, it takes a bit more time. But the barista was awesome and we had a really nice conversation. I found out that they are newly included on this year’s Indie Coffee Passport (which made me wish I had the time for it). If I lived/worked nearby this would totally be a regular haunt for me, hands-down. We had ordered a regular pour over and a specialty pour over. Both were absolutely delicious, as one would expect with high quality coffee, duh. I’m starting to think that maybe I should have bought some for brewing at home. OR I now have the perfect excuse to go back. Lord knows I need another break**.

Side note: as I was ordering Brent pointed out what was playing over the speakers. It was Josh and Chuck doing an ad for their podcast Stuff You Should Know. I freaked mildly, migawd, this place was amazing. Good coffee, awesome service AND Josh & Chuck on the sound system?! Alas, it was only an ad not an episode.

* later that day, fueled by coffee and ready to work, I double-checked the assignment guidelines and discovered it is in fact a 14-16 page essay
** I’m only at page 11, hence the sigh.

 

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Saturday Afternoon Tea

In anticipation of our upcoming trip to England I was thrilled with the idea of going out for afternoon tea. The King Edward Hotel had been voted best afternoon tea, what better excuse to get our practice in? I set my expectations accordingly and joked about buying a tea gown and a fancy hat. The only complaint I had was that the only way to get a reservation was by calling. Boo to that!! Who makes phone calls anymore?!

It worked out that the walk to the King Edward took us near the best new bakery of 2015, Roselle Desserts, of course we had to go there first. The turtles tart did not disappoint, it was delicious- so long as you took tiny bites- otherwise the caramel would overwhelm. The chocolate eclair was a bit tough to eat with a fork, I wish we had gotten it to go so I could eat it like a hot dog or pizza i.e.: without a fork. The coconut crisp cookies were also delicious. The only flop was the double-chocolate sea salt cookie. It was too rich and too salty. Then again, who am I to say? I don’t really like chocolate cookies all that much (I know, *gasp*).

The chairs were fancy and when we sat down we were presented with two chests with tea samples for us to sniff. Brent ordered the second flush darjeeling (such a weird name) and I ordered a cream rooibos on our server’s suggestion. I was not disappointed, migawd the tea was good. Both were good. Alas, it was hard to swap teas halfway as our table was full what with two teapots, two tea cups and each a plate of sandwiches. Top it off with a tiered tray of scones and jams? The sandwiches were underwhelming and I am still not a fan of scones. The strawberry preserves were good though. Really, only the tea was a stand-out. That and maybe they won because they also serve alcoholic tea drinks? I was too full to try one. Full of mediocre sandwiches.

Verdict? Not as good as the Windsor Arms. Which is now somehow #10 on the list?! Maybe the list is in reverse order.

 
 
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