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UpdatED: Gelato

Dear reader, if you care to remember, I recently went to Ed’s Real Scoop for a scoop of the city’s best gelato. And I was not impressed. That is until I came home and Googled it and turns out they had nailed the flavour- I just was not a fan of it. I promised to go back and what better excuse to go than during the Polish Festival on Roncesvalles? This time I got two different flavours: one scoop of pistachio gelato and a scoop of the pierniki flavoured ice cream that I have raved about before (I had to! one because I knew it was good and would make a good fail-safe lest I have another gelato-disappointment and two it was Polish festival!). I regret having ever doubted Ed’s Real Scoop. The pistachio gelato was amazing and better than Dolce Gelato (the previous best).

[Insert scoop pun]

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Best of the Best of

Almost as if to make up for the previous fooding let-down, this week’s outing proved to be stellar. Tennessee Tavern had been voted best perogies and I was really psyched to go there after reading about the place online. I had really high hopes and and a very empty stomach.

Turns out I had forgotten just far Lansdowne is. For some reason I had it in my head that it was east of Dufferin and that walking there from Robarts Library after a full day of work would be a perfectly fine idea. Plus the idea of transiting at 5pm just seemed ridiculous.

Tired and exhausted we finally got there. The place was not busy at all. Despite the nice weather I did not feel like sitting on the patio. We had just spent over and hour walking mostly in the direction of the slowly setting sun. I was done being outdoors.

I have never laughed upon opening a menu. However Tennessee Tavern got me, they got me good. On the front page there was a picture of a cartoon pig holding a sign that in Polish said “eat veal.” Inside the menu had a header at the top about drinking in moderation unless you are Polish. On the menu they had to option to order a complimentary onion. It was like my dad had opened a restaurant. Right down to my main: a basket of assorted kiełbasy and kabanos.

This had not been the plan originally. We were going to split the Tennessee platter which had schnitzel, debrecyna sausage and some other stuff. However when we tried to order it we were forewarned that it was a lot of food and unless we wanted a lot of take-away we should just order the items from the platter that we wanted. Hence the basket of assorted sausages for me, and the schnitzel sandwich for Brent. I had read online that the schnitzel was not up to snuff but Brent reasoned that in the article the chef said he was working on it. So maybe it would be ok now? I was not willing to risk it. One bite and I was right. Way too much effort had been put into seasoning the breading but the schnitzel itself suffered for it. It was also enormous, comically sticking out of the sub-sandwich bun (when really it should have been in a round kaiser bun, duh). Also: why was there lettuce? Schnitzel on a bun warrants no lettuce. That was about the only ding against this place.

The perogies were amazing!!! Easily some of the best (not counting homemade) that I have ever had. We also split a soft pretzel. Also amazing. You even got to choose the type of mustard on the side. We went with grainy of course. The drink selection was also pretty good. I learned that Croatian red wine is kind of bland and Hunargian 3 year aged sour cherry brandy is really good and that Italian herb liqueur is terrible.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2017 in Adventures of Pinka!, Fooding

 

Worst Best of So Far

Whenever we plan on going out fooding we always look up the menu beforehand and decide what we are going to order. We usually try to order stuff we will both like so that we can split everything. This time however was not the case. We were going to Tabule, voted best Middle Eastern restaurant. Apparently, obviously, it only made sense for Brent to order the tabouli salad given it appeared to be the namesake of the restaurant. My first choice is never salad. ESPECIALLY when the primary ingredient is parsley. As far as I am concerned parsley is a garnish. I think Brent may have eaten more parsley in one sitting than I have in my entire Polish lifetime of eating rosuł. I knew from the start that the salad was going to be a terrible idea. I had some on half a piece of pita and even still that was more than I consume in a year (or more! who can say?).

I ordered the ground beef and lamb skewers in the hopes that the lamb would be drowned out by the beef. I was wrong. And the meat itself was kind of dry and just in general not that good. For once I was glad ot have a pike of rice on my plate to help me get it down. I kept trading bites for Brent’s falafel bites which were actually really good.

Overall dinner was quite the letdown. If we had instead only had cocktails and falafels it would have been superb.

 

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2017 in Adventures of Pinka!, Fooding, Uncategorized

 

I Placed My Full Trust In Bartender

I was skeptical about going back out again for best martini, my idea of martini involves copious amounts of fake apple flavour and zero olives. But Bar Chef had just been voted best martini and we had to go see what all the fuss was about. Really how much stock could there to be to this, can there really be that much differential between martinis? Is it not a limited medium??

We had been to Bar Chef before for fancy cocktails- and not much else, the food menu was tiny. Instead we went out to Amsterdam Brewhouse for a pre-drink dinner. Why the brewhouse you ask? Brent had a gift card. I had been listening to an episode of Stuff You Should Know about barbeque, so when my eyes landed on smoked brisket on the menu I just had to order it. Even though the first rule of smoking had been broken: upon approaching and then entering the restaurant there wasn’t even a trace of smell of cherrywood smoke, yet the menu said it was smoked on premise. Hmm.  Not being much of a beer fan I had settled on a citrus-y one, until I was told it was sold out. But we were at a brewhouse! I needed some sort of beer-drink, and they delivered: a beer sangria. It was ok but nowhere near the best I have ever had. It did get better towards the bottom as I got to the fruit and it got sweeter.

When we got to Bar Chef we were a bit confused. There was no martini on the drinks list. Brent asked the bartender who said he could make one. The catch being that Brent got to choose the vodka for the base of the drink. I noticed over the bartender’s shoulder that one of the vodkas they had was the Polish bison grass one, Zubrowka. The decision was made for Brent- it had to be Zubrowka! From that the bartender rattled off a few ingredients for the ok: fennel and chamomile. We both looked at each other after the bartender had left. What weird ingredients. It may have sounded weird but damn did it work! It really was the best martini I have ever tried. Major bonus points for no olives. I was still getting over my cold so I stuck to just nursing my drink instead of getting a second. I had ordered a drink with lavender in it and the rim was dusted in lavender sugar. I had confirmed that yes in fact, lavender can be consumed and it is quite tasty. Brent had a second drink, it had been one we both had our eye on because it had cola bitters in it. That drink won the night. I was initially going to say stole the show. But at Bar Chef that is not true. The show-stealers are the wacky drinks. The guy sitting next to us ordered a daiquiri and it was served in a coconut. We had ordered the wacky drinks last time and this time we were just after high quality artisanal cocktails.

 

You Know What Helps a Cold? Tequila!

Best margarita had recently been revoted and luckily for us (as you can gather from my many complaints) it was close by! What a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon, sipping on a nice cold margarita on a hot summer day. Except I had a cold. And the giant patio was full so we sat indoors.

I was looking forward to a nice lunch at Le Catrin becuase it was located in the Distillery District. I initially had plans to wander around the Distillery District afterwards. My body had other plans. Namely getting back home to rest. It’s too bad I was sick because they had a pretty good cocktail list and I would have liked to have tried more drinks. Brent had the regular margarita and I opted for the one with fresh berries. It’s no surprise that I won. But the second drink he ordered, with smoked honey and mezcal beat both margaritas by a long shot.

For lunch we both ordered seafood based dishes. Brent had ordered the swordfish burrito and I just had visions of a nightmarishly large monstrosity falling apart with every bite. In fact it was reasonably sized and cut in half, makign sharing all the more easier. Although I had him beat on that aspect too, as mine was by default two small tortas. We were still a bit hungry so we ordered the pork tacos to finish off our lunch. The food was delicious but did not hold a candle to Playa Cabana or Grand Electric.

 

It’s Been How Long…?

The title has a double-meaning: in that we have not been out fooding as often as usual AND best hummus got revoted which made me think…. when was the last time we had eaten best hummus? It was a long time ago. Thankfully the new winner, Fat Pasha, is much closer to our house. No complaints here, we were running out of reasonable-distance places to eat at.

I was excited to go back to Fat Pasha. As Brent read the menu to me, I stopped and gasped when he said Nutella bread pudding. My mouth started to salivate, that sounds so good I said!!! We checked my blog post from last time we went (which, going with my theme, was also quite a while ago). Turns out I have poor memory (blog justified!)- I had eaten the Nutella bread pudding and raved about how awesome it was. Hah. Great.

The menu had changed only slightly since we last went. And turns out it was again going to change in a few days. I doubt they would take hummus off the menu, but still I was secretly relieved like we had made it in the nick of time.

I was all set to order a cocktail made with rhubarb when our server mentioned a cherry sour beer. I misheard and thought there were two special beers: a sour one and a cherry one. It was so good that, quite frankly, I was ok with the inefficiency of our having the same drink. It really was that good, I guess the better selling point would have been my dislike of beer? Point made.

I was really tempted by the potato latkas, it sounded so good. And I was even more hopeful when the server said that it is her favourite dish and that the apple sauce is made in-house and is amazing. Really can’t go wrong with that.

You can go wrong- with too many potatoes. Turns out we did not do a good job of reading the menu. The crispy smashed potatoes sounded too delicious to pass up. We did not realize that latkas are primarily made of potatoes. Needless to say I have never eaten so many potatoes in my life. It did not help that Brent had ordered the lamb dish for his main. I tried a bite but it was the spiciness that got me, not my dislike of lamb.

With so many potatoes and such a giant beer I was no in shape for dessert.

Ah yes, the hummus. The hummus was delicious and definitely some of the best I have ever had. Bonus points for it being served warm and topped with chickpeas.

 

Pizza? PIZZA!!!

You know its going to be a great evening of fooding when it involves pizza. Queen Margherita Pizza had recently been voted best prix fixe menu. I’m not going to lie, I am a huge fan of prix fixe because it’s a guaranteed dessert after dinner. There’s no “I’m too full for dessert” because you paid for it. While it might sound risky, like oh no! you’re going to overeat! In this case it was brilliant because the pizza was thin crust AND pizza holds up great cold.

For my main pizza I ordered The Dominator. Both because I liked saying Dominator like the guy on The IT Crowd and because I was intrigued by the smoked mozzarella. I had not paid much attention to the other ingredients. Rapini? I’m sure that is a suitable pizza topping. I was not expecting so much of it nor was I expecting something resembling broccoli. Luckily it was easy to pick off. I may have won the appetizer round (my meatball beat Brent’s carpaccio, even though that had also been my choice). Alas, I did not last long stealing bites of Brent’s pizza. The sausage was too spicy for my poor tastebuds. I was also not a fan of the shredded parmesan cheese. I like my cheese melty.

For a whopping total of $30 each, we got an appetizer, a pizza and a dessert- each!  And the dessert was delicious. You can’t really go wrong with tiramisiu or citrus cheesecake. They definitely lived up to the title of best prix fixe menu.

 
 
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