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.




For Christmas I got Brent a list-book of must-try foods. It only made sense as it combined our two loves: food and travel. Plus living in Toronto it would be more than easy to knock off items from the list. It’s the book I had been sneaking peeks of before we flew down to Austin, Texas. The last thing I wanted was for him to open the present a few weeks later only for us to realize we had just been there, we just missed (insert food). It would be too painful.

I’ve always loved being in the kitchen. Ok, lie. I’ve loved being in the kitchen since moving out. So when Brent gingerly suggested we cook/bake whatever items from the book were doable, my eyes lit up. And then I looked at him. Like really looked at him: you, want to cook??? Challenge accepted.

And so we found ourselves one Saturday evening, bumping elbows in our tiny kitchen while saying to each other- in terrible British accents- bangers and mash. Yup, item one in the book, which is divided by country, was bangers and mash. Something I had not eaten since we visited England in 2016.

We splurged and went to a fancy butcher. The plan had been to go to Cumbrae’s but oohh-noo they just had to go and close the Church St. location. Off to the place by Summerhill LCBO- which I later found out is called Oliffe’s. The only directions I gave to Brent was that it was near Nadege on the way to the LCBO.

Everything went off without a hitch. We had a delicious (romantic? nah, almost, but not quite) dinner. It was a lot of fun to cook together. So much so that neither of us noticed how smoky the house had gotten from all the frying. Hey, in our defense, neither did the smoke detector.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 23, 2018 in 1001 Foods, Uncategorized



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.


Hot Springs Weekender: Day 3

Sun. Jan. 14, 2018:
White Sulphur Springs, WV to Charlotte, NC to Toronto:

I woke up at 9am and assumed that Brent was just hiding in the bathroom, so as not to disturb me while I slept. I had heard him rustling about earlier. Except once I woke up I realized he had gone running, duh. I was excited to head to the upper lobby for morning coffee except when I looked at the schedule to confirm I realized, to my horror, that coffee was only served from 6-9am. Who does that?! Who serves coffee so early and stops so short?! Accordingly, the line at the café was long. I was in a rush, I had left the hotel room at the start of a commercial break during yet another SYTTD marathon. I got a caramel latte and a glazed donut and rushed back to the room. I was fairly certain I had seen that episode before anyways. The next one was also old but I was 75% sure I had not seen it before. The old episodes really make me appreciate how much better the show has gotten.

When Brent got back we still had 45 minutes before checkout, enough time for a game of bowling. The scoring mechanism was broken so we kept track on a website appropriately called Bowling Genius. Brent was up first and he started off the game with a strike, setting the bar pretty high. Except that was his only strike. In addition to my only strike I got one spare. The score was 73-62, I won by a margin.

We checked out and went to the café to watch a cooking demonstration. The lady was good at her job, stealthily doing sales pitches as she prepped. At the end we each got to have a slice of spinach-artichoke dip bruschetta (with real parmesan) and I really did learn something. I need new kitchen gadgets. She convinced me I need a microplaner and soft cutting boards. When we handed in our valet ticket we were told it was going to be a 40-minute wait. I wish the people at check-out had said something. It was ok, as we still had a lot of time. I was just in withdrawal from watching SYTTD.

On the drive we passed by a Wendy’s just down the street from the hotel. We stopped for an early lunch, not knowing if we would be passing anything else easy on the way to the airport. It was a scenic drive to the airport. Every time I saw a road sign for a Chick-Fil-A I would briefly get excited for fooding options and immediately remember that it was Sunday and it was closed. I momentarily fell asleep during the podcast Origins about Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm but I immediately woke up as soon as commercials started.

We stopped at the Circle K gas station. While Brent tried to pump the gas I went inside in search of snacks. I found a plethora of goodies: Butterfinger crisp (the most delicious version of a Butterfinger in existence), Hershey Gold which was a weird peanut butter flavoured chocolate with pretzels in it (the cashier was way too excited about it, it was not that good), caramel M&Ms, spicy sweet chili heat Doritos and stale Halloween Cauldron Skittles (they were only 40 cents! What a deal!). We ended up having to go to a gas station across the street because this one required a zip code.

By the time we got to the airport I was a little bit hungry but not enough for a full meal. My bag had been pulled aside for inspection, I guessed correctly that it was the bags of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee I had stashed at the bottom. Not sure why, but they did swab them. From memory I led us to the Carolina Brewing Co. pub because we could not find it on the map. I had a glass of Alamos Malbec, assuming it was a Texas wine. It was not, it was a not-so-great California wine. Or maybe it was the stale Skittles I was munching on that affected the taste. On the way back to our gate I grabbed an Auntie Anne’s garlic parmesan pretzel, it seemed like just the right snack to tide me over for the rest of the day. Somewhere between sitting in the lounge and boarding the plane I lost my bag of caramel M&Ms. Our flight arrived 25 minutes early in Toronto.

%d bloggers like this: