RSS

Category Archives: Diary of A Tourist: in Her Own Hometown

It’s All Day Breakfast So It’s OK

After a long Thanksgiving weekend followed by a week of both being sick we were finally ready to get back into fooding- just maybe not at 100%. Emma’s Country Kitchen had been voted best all day breakfast. We decided to go on a Saturday and not get there for open. The thinking was that it’s all day breakfast, so why get there for open? Surely it would not be as busy around lunch time. It was. Thankfully they had a system wherein you left your cellphone number and they called when your table was ready.

We walked maybe one block from there and decided to go to a pub for a drink. It was afternoon so it was ok. What I had not anticipated was that having a drink on an empty stomach after taking DayQuil, ~might~ not be the best idea. I did avoid being embarrassed at the bar by ordering the pinot noir cider, rather than the Shinny pinot noir cider. I had thought it said Skinny and I was not about to call it that. Little did I know it was a double typo. Turns out it was Shiny. I would have looked like a fool.

Earlier while we were waiting to get put our names down on the list we had glanced over the menu. As soon as we sat down at the counter at Emma’s Country Kitchen we knew what we wanted to order. I had been thinking about it the whole time that we were at the pub. I was super excited about the pumpkin spice pancakes. Even moreso when I ordered them and the guy said they have walnuts in them! The pancakes lived up to my dreams, they were so delicious, easily some of the best pancakes I have ever had.

 

Advertisements
 

Cappuccino Eh?

Best cappuccino had recently been updated. In all honesty I could not remember the previous best, nor for that fact could I remember the last time I even had a cappuccino. It’s not my favourite espresso based drink. I always feel like I am getting ripped off with the milk foam, I prefer a latte with steamed milk. From my day’s working as a barista the one thing that has stuck with me is that you can judge a cappuccino before you even have a sip: the cup should be light, after all it’s mostly milk foam with espresso and just a bit of steamed milk. So I was taught. *runs away and Googles cappuccino* Ok, yes I have not been misled.

Brent says we had been to de Mello Palheta Coffee Roasters before. I just shrugged, I had no idea if we had or hadn’t. My memory is terrible. Only once we got there did I get a faint familiarity. For some reason on a Wednesday at 11am the place was packed. There was nowhere to sit so we got our drinks to go. The cups were heavy. That was a strike against it being the best cappuccino. But they redeemed themselves with really (I mean really!) good espresso. Brent, the non-coffee-drinker, had his as is, aka with no sugar. That is how good the espresso was. So if you are not a stickler for the cappuccino being exactly perfectly proportioned milk foam to milk, then really, it was the best. The chocolate chip cookie was also excellent.

 

Poke Bowl

I was excited to try a poke bowl, from the best place in the city: Poke Guys. It sounded like a more manageable sushi burrito. Plus the honey ginger and crab slaw one sounded amazing. What we did not realize was that you don’t just order the bowl, it’s like Subway in that you choose toppings and sauce. I was holding a table so Brent ordered for me- we had not coordinated, he just guessed what I would like. He ordered a mayo sauce for mine. At first it was great, I was loving every bite of my bowl. I liked the fish, the edamame beans were great and the seaweed was awesome. But soon it became stomach churning. You see, the crab coleslaw also had mayo in it. And soon I felt like all I was eating was mayo. I ate around it, focusing on the fish, beans and seaweed but soon all I had was crab slaw and mayo on top of rice. It was still really good and I would happily go back there again. Just with less mayo sauces.

 

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]

 

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.

 
 
%d bloggers like this: