Category Archives: Fooding

How Can Cake Betray Me So?!

I must admit, I was super psyched at the prospect of getting a cake from Bake Shoppe and devouring it for no reason other than it being voted the best cake. I’ve had their baked goods before and their cupcakes (from when they were still called Wedding Cake Shoppe). My excitement only grew when I saw that the vanilla buttercream cake was plastered with little rainbow sprinkles.

I was supposed to sit through an entire dinner at Bar Isabel with this cake, awaiting my bites, just siting beside me? Oh boy, I had my work cut out for me. I (half) joked about Ubering home after dinner.

Bar Isabel had been voted best bone marrow. Not exactly a foodstuff that is at the forefront of my mind nor something I would actively seek out. We’ve had it multiple times in the past and yes it was delicious. But what makes bone marrow delicious is moreso the seasonings and all of the accouterments. Not the  bone marrow itself.

Bar Isabel was busy, as would be expected. But the service was exceptionally slow. Oddly though it did not bother me too much, as the drink service was not as slow. By the time I had finished my first drink our server was back to take our food order. And an order for a second round of drinks. I had enough time to really thoroughly read over the drinks menu. I settled on drink #1 being a house cocktail, drink #2 being a seasonal (in this case winter) cocktail and if there was time drink #3 would be a featured sherry. It made perfect sense. I was initially tempted by a fruity sour beer but when I had Brent look up the label for me I recognized it as one I’d had before.

We started out with the cheese and meat plate. The winner of the four was clearly the manchego cheese. We were voraciously hungry, and needless to say the dish did not last very long. Nor did my drink. By the time our server came around to clear the plates I ordered a glass of the sherry, making that drink #3 when only one of the three dishes we had ordered came out.

The bone marrow was alright but nowhere near the calibre of what we had at Pinky’s Ca Phe or at Ici Bistro. Towards the end it just became too much for my poor recovering teeth, having to chomp through all that sourdough bread. I was about ready to give up on Bar Isabel when our final dish, the pork jowl came out. Sweetmotherofgod, it was up there as one of the top pork dishes I have ever had. It was spicy and so flavourful and moist and perfectly seasoned. Everything about it was outstanding, so much so that I claimed as taking both first and second place- it was that good.

We transited home as it was getting late (dinner took longer than expected) and it was awkward to carry a cake so far. Yet all along the way I got so many compliments on our pretty cake. I bit into it with very high expectations- which promptly crashed down around me. Yes there were speckles of real vanilla. But that’s about where the positive aspects end. The cake itself was dense which did not pair well with the oh-so-heavy buttercream. How could anyone think that was better than Bakerbots?! I am bewildered.


Propeller Coffee: Take Two

What better outing for fooding a week after dental surgery than going out for coffee. This time around before heading to Propeller Coffee, best coffee, we grabbed cash first, just in case. I was nowhere near 100% great so we transited out there this time.

I decided to go with a fancy pour-over coffee because Brent ordered a latte. That way we had two different drinks.  While we waited we chowed down on a brownie topped with coffee-flavoured soft stuff (cream cheese possibly? I forget) and chocolate chips. I had to take tiny little pieces of it, hacking with my fork, and picking out the chocolate chips. It took me forever and I soon gave up. It felt so futile. It was delicious just too hard for me to eat.

When I ordered a pour-over coffee I had assumed they would do the pouring. Instead I was handed a carafe of brewed coffee and a mug. So this is how it was going to be, eh? I felt a little ridiculous as no one else around me had their own personal carafe of coffee. I looked like a severe caffeine addict. All in all, both drinks were delicious.




I had been starting to go stir-crazy, it had been a week and a half of eating nothing but soup and I had only recently graduated to eating KD*, I was desperate for solid food when one day it hit me: French toast! I could make French toast for breakfast on the weekend!! I immediately sent off an excited (read: typo-filled) text about my (epic!) plans to my fiance. I started salivating at just the sheer thought of solid(ish) food. The response I got back was: why don’t we go out for brunch.

I spent the next fifteen minutes browsing the menu of The Green Wood when my eyes landed on the mother of all sentences: “cinnamon swirled brioche soaked in vanilla custard.” Needless to say, that is all I thought about for the rest of the day.

I was so psyched about our fooding outing to best new brunch of 2017. We were worried about it being busy, even though Google said max. 15 minutes wait, we still went for soon after open. We were worried for nothing, it was not busy. I was hungry for solid food, so it only made sense to order a side of Mennonite sausage. I don’t remember the last time a strawberry tasted that good. It was delicious French toast, alas I was not 100% and I had to forfeit the second half. It was a giant portion to boot. The (ever-so-slight) downside to no wait is that we were out of there way before 11am, meaning nomosas instead of mimosas.


*We’ll leave it here at the bottom as a footnote and not a part of the main post. Soft food because I had gum graft surgery.


Pinky’s Sounds Like Pinka’s

Pinky’s Ca Phe was voted best new restaurant 2017, and what do you know, they happen to be around the corner from Birreria Volo. We got there soon after open and were seated in the front room. I should mention that it is really easy to walk right by this place as it is a house. It was cold in the front room and not much room to sit. The food and drinks more than made up for that though. The restaurant did not have an online menu so I had to make do with what I read in reviews. And that pretty much swayed all of my choices. Even my drink choice. I had to go with the well-reviewed signature cocktail: the Pink Lady. Was it as delicious as I had anticipated? Yup. That goes for all of the dishes we ordered and then some. The ceviche was other-worldly. Even if it proved hard to eat. It was hard to scoop up enough ceviche with the taro root chips and towards the end we were scooping massive amounts onto small pieces of chips. It was only around the third course that we noticed the nearby chopsticks. Oops. This was a tapas restaurant so of course we ordered a few dishes. The second dish was the beef marrow, which was beef with cilantro and red onions with a beef marrow sauce. It was served in a hollowed out half bone. It was incredible, beating out the first dish by barely a smidge. Alas, they can’t all be greats. The third dish, their take on the roast beef sandwich with dip paled in comparison to the other two. It was tasty yes, but only if you really dipped the sandwich in the sauce. Otherwise the beef lacked seasoning (which makes sense, the sauce gives the seasoning). It was a good sandwich, don’t get me wrong but compared to the other two dishes it just did not stack up.


And what better way to cap off the night than at Birreria Volo, which just so happened to be right around the corner. Turns out Tuesday nights are the best day to go as they have a deal on Canadian beers. I was not having it, as soon as I saw they had Cantillon rose on tap my choice was set. We ended up splitting a second glass of it, its so damn good. It was worth every penny. I ordered a cider after that, the Cantillon after all was just 3oz and Brent had tried a bit of it. Luckily the cider was available as 5oz, I was dreading 10oz a bit as I was not anticipating drinking a lot that night. Especially given I had that cocktail earlier with dinner as well.


Worth The Short Walk

Nothing helps after a night of drinking more than a  brisk walk in the biting cold to get a cup of coffee. It helps that best new cafe of 2017, Strange Love, is a few blocks away from our house. While I waited for the barista to make my cappuccino I noticed a few handy things on the wall. The first one made me mad. Why had I not noticed the sign with seasonal drinks?! Augh! Then I noticed the accolades the barista had won at barista-ing competitions. And finally I noticed a sign about some fancy-shmancy fandangled way of processing the water used for the coffee. Whatever they did to that water, sweetmotherofgod everyone has to adopt it.  Brent had just ordered a drip coffee and there was no milk left at the condiments bar so he had it black. I looked at him skeptically- he is not a coffee drinker. I surmised this could only end badly, I had a sip to at least ascertain how badly. Turns out not badly at all. It was damn delicious. Which is more than I can say for the mediocre croissant. I had one bite and gave up on it, so not good. I could see myself going here regularly for a cup of coffee. Maybe next time I will pay more attention and note the seasonal offerings.


New Year, New Best Of’s

A new year means new best of’s, replenshing our stock of closer-by places and saving us from trudging afar. Best new bakery of 2017 was Butter Baker, and oh how convenient, it was at Bay and Dundas. Did it live up to the crowning title? Yup. It was damn delicious. We covered the gamut and got a pork bun, lemon meringue croissant, a slice of smores cake and a matcha and strawberry danish. While they were known for their cake, I found it lackluster and a paltry last place. Nowhere near as good as the danish or the pork bun. The lemon meringue was delicious (it was marshmallowy!), but I’ve had better croissants.

We devoured the croissant and bun in the bakery, standing at a small table by the door, crumbs just flying everywhere as we people watched the street. I imagine people walking by saw us and were like damn that must be a good bakery.

Having refuelled, we continued on our way back to our old neighbourhood. Best new bar, Mahjong, was a stones throw from Trinity Bellwoods park. I was not quite sure how to feel about a “secret” bar given how awkward it was trying to find the one in Kensington market. Brent ended up walking right past the place. I seriously thought he was joking. Once inside we grabbed a table and settled in. The place was not that busy (yet- by the end of the night it was crammed). We ordered a drink each, deciding to wait until the next round, by which time hopefully our friend would have arrived, before ordering food.

The first drink I had consisted of salted watermelon and soju. Oddly it was too heavy on the watermelon flavour. Our friend still had not arrived so we put off ordering food, instead going for round two. This time I had a cocktail with mezcal, tequila and ginger. It was way better than the first one, by far. We took a break from drinking, we hadn’t really had a proper meal yet. The braised beef and noodles absolutely hit the spot, even if it was hard to eat with chopsticks, especially towards the end. Having eaten, we were safe to return to drinking. Cocktail #3 had sake, soju, rosemary, lime and peychaud. It was now in second place, losing only to the ginger cocktail. Our friend had arrived at some point during round #3 and it would have been round to only stay for one round and so round four commenced soon enough. Besides there was really only one other cocktail on the fine menu that had caught my eye, the salty bar. It was the third best, losing only to the terrible watermelon one. It was a nice bar, good cocktails, but it’s too far to be a regular haunt.


Pizza! Delivery!

What’s one to do during a polar vortex cold snap when it’s time for the weekly fooding date? How about best pizza delivery? That plan only works if you are in the delivery range, which up until it was recently revoted, we were not. Now we were! Rejoice! We had been to Maker Pizza before, on my recommendation from an Instagram post but I had failed to write about it. I did take a picture of it and form that we figured out what we had ordered last time to avoid any repeats. This time we ordered two pizzas, one white and one red. The red was aptly called Dr Pepperoni. That alone was enough to endear it to my heart forever. That first bite cemented my love affair. The one with pork on it was also delicious but it did not stand a chance against a pepperoni pizza with a great name. My only beef is why did they cut the pizza into four giant slices instead of six or eight more manageable ones?

A great start to a new year of fooding.

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