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Category Archives: Fooding

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.

 

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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]

 

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.

 
 
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