With the holidays come a lot of opportunities to stuff ones face with reckless abandon to the point of illness. Illness combined with many a social calling and the subsequent food coma laziness has led to another one of my occasional compilation posts! Yay! Who doesn’t like reading about something I ate a month ago? Good times.
I happened to have been at SOMA over the Christmas break and the Mayan hot chocolate had given my wallet a wallop, a wallop it could barely withstand after Christmas shopping. Unfortunately I had to decline getting the best chocolate in the city to go with the best hot chocolate in the city. Also it would have been total overkill and I doubt that enjoyable. As luck would have it, Brent got a SOMA chocolate for Christmas from his aunt, and being the nice guy that he is he saved it for us to share, only after threatening to eat it himself. Verdict? Amazing. I am not a fan of dark chocolate… that us, unless it is from SOMA. It was weird because it had chunks of sea salt and honeyed pumpkin seeds, but weird in a good way. A nice alternative to the same-old same-old of nuts being the crunch in your chocolate. Would I ever eat it again? But of course! I just would not pay. That is some damn expensive chocolate. And there is no picture of it because I ate it without even thinking.
Best Chicken Burger:
This one is best so far in my opinion, because apparently that category has not been announced yet. DIBS. Big Smoke Burger (formerly Craft Burger) does chicken burgers right. What do I mean by right? I mean grilled. I mean not breaded. I mean little else on top of my burger other than some seasonings. I want it to taste like chicken. Big Smoke achieves this with high accolades, delicious. I even ate lettuce, lettuce that was not shredded into tiny indiscernible bits that I cannot taste. And we just so happened to enjoy our lunch in the new Eaton Centre food court, which is not all that special. We got our burgers on plastic plates rather than in a paper bag but it is nothing to crow about.
I cannot say I have the best memories of this late lunch, actually more of a dinner, at Nazareth. For one, I was on the cusp of having a horrid cold kick in so my head felt all funny. And for two, I had not eaten lunch anticipating eating with Brent, having totally forgotten that the Ethiopian place opens after 4pm. At what time, we are still not sure. The week before we had walked by it and it was closed (so we had Best Schnitzel, see previous post) and on our way back (after 4pm) we saw that it was open. So that was really all we had to go on as we headed out. Thank God it was open. But, it was also full. We had to stand around by the entrance because we couldn’t sit at the bar thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Jerk. What did they do to earn such unfortunate names? They sat at the two middle bar stools, leaving one on each end alone. Just perfect for other pairs, getting to shout at each other across another couple. Eventually a table cleared out and we just sat down, it did not look like anyone from the restaurant was going to seat us. Except we were seated beside a loud TV and from the other side of the bar there was odd music playing. Add in my exhaustion from the cold and not having eaten in 5 hours and we did not exactly have world-class dinner conversation. We had already decided well ahead of time what to order, the vegetarian platter on a recommendation from my sister, on the pretext that you got to try more food.
The food arrived maybe 20-30 minutes later and it was enormous. The plate was the size of the entire table top and featured the pancake-bread on one side and the food (rows of chickpeas, something and something) and then a lettuce garnish. We also each got a pancake-bread on the side. The food was barely set down before us and already it was a giant mess of eating. I think this has to have been one of the most fun foods to eat ever. You rip off a piece of bread and use it to scoop up some food and chow down.
The only complaint I have is that the spiced tea was not available and my back-up choice, Ethiopian coffee was either not on the menu or it was the $10 “specialty coffee” which is ridiculous. Especially given that with tip the meal cost $12. It was more than enough food for both of us. And I would post the picture I took, alas there is nothing to see. It was dark in the restaurant. So here is a picture someone else took, it says it is from the same place, but our plate was a different colour.
This one was unintentional. We set out to go to Bakerbots (Best new bakery 2011) and One Love (Best something or other, I cannot find it) and we made it about 2 blocks before deciding it was too cold to be outside. We caved and instead ate at our “cold weather pick” (there are a few places a few blocks from Brent’s house for these kinds of days) which was Portuguese food. Bairrada Churrasqueira was delicious. And not just because I was so insanely happy to be inside out of the cold. The food portions were really huge, too huge in fact for me to even finish. It was the rice that was overkill. But the chicken? It was so tasty! It was on a skewer with onions (blech) and red peppers (which soaked up some chicken flavour) and had a nice crispy outside along the edges from the grill. And I also had to steal a bite of Brent’s BBQ chicken. I did not know chicken could possibly be made to taste this good, you think it can only go so far, but this place outdid that.
Not the best crepes, but a good crepe nonetheless. We went back to Yellow Cup Cafe (apparently my love of crepes is genetic, I get it from my dad) to celebrate my dad’s birthday. Last time we had gone there was for Father’s Day when I tackled the mammoth fruit crepe that came with 5 (at least) servings of fruit. This time I narrowed things down a bit. I opted for the apples & cinnamon crepe. But I caved and did not ask for it to be sans whipped cream and ice cream. Only a poor choice in hindsight when I tried to work out later and was too full. The apples were poached and sprinkled with cinnamon, it was amazing. Hell, I could have eaten the apples on their own like that.
A review on the new Bulk Barn downtown! It is finally here! 10 years of complaining but finally, and then once PINK in the Eaton Centre opens I will never have to leave the downtown core ever again.