RSS

Tag Archives: Fooding

Well That Was Weird…

A while ago we had tried to go to Eative in Kensington Market but it was closed. I was not going to risk another disappointment. This time we would go there on our way to dinner, rather than after. Eative did not disappoint. I had heard that nitro ice cream was the current summer trend and I can totally see why that is. It was fun to watch them make it as the steam (smoke? I don’t know) billowed out and over the counter. It tasted amazing and the sorbet took much longer to melt (which was great given the heatwave).

For dinner we were going to Home of the Brave. I had seen it on Instagram and I had to go there. What’s not to love about American comfort food? I didn’t even know that it was run by the same guys who started La Carnita and then later Sweet Jesus. The Kentucky handshake sandwich sounded so good, fried chicken with spicy mayo! Brent warned me that it had a foot sticking out of it, I thought it would barely be peeking out and made edible. I did not expect an entire chicken leg sticking far out from my sandwich. It was hilarious and but for a brief moment unnerving. The sandwich came with a knife stabbed down into the center. Clearly this was to cut off the leg. I did try to cut some meat off, but there was barely anything and all I got was a bit of crispy skin. Brent had the ribs, they were OK but nothing outstanding. The sandwich was the clear winner of the two but the spicy coleslaw that came with the ribs was a close second. The actual real winners of the dinner were the drinks and the dessert. The Colonist cocktail was amazing and so refreshing.

There was no way we were going to pass up an ice cream concoction from Sweet Jesus. The offerings at Home of the Brave however seemed limited compared to what I remembered at Sweet Jesus. Eventually I caved to temptation and we split a marshmallow-chocolate swirl adorned with potato chips. It was wacky but oh-so-delicious and just what I needed. It was a good thing we got our ice cream at the restaurant instead of from Sweet Jesus because as we walked by the line was really long. Those suckers, they could have had an amazing cocktail while they waited for their ice cream instead of standing in line!!

 

Tags: , ,

Cats, Cathedrals and Ciders: The South of England: Day 12

Mon. May 23, 2016:
Oxford

The morning started off great, I was dunking Biscoff cookies my coffee and yelling at the TV while watching Storage Wars Texas (there was one team being really dumb). There was no point in heading out on the town as we would have to soon return to get changed for our 11:45am lunch at a two-Michelin-star restaurant, Belmond Le Manoir.

The restaurant was difficult to find, we had to get to it via windy small backroads. We were a bit late but no one seemed to care. We parked a bit far from the entrance where there were no other cars around. As we ran up to the front, the guy offered to valet the car- a bit awkward if you have already parked the car but Brent handed him the keys anyways.

The server asked us if we wanted to sit inside or outside. Outside was my immediate response. As we sat on the back lawn patio the sun started to disappear behind some clouds and it started to get cold, but at least it was not super bright out. As we were handed our menus I asked if we could be seated indoors for the meal. He seemed a bit confused, of course the meal would be served indoors. Apparently the outdoors sitting part was just to have a drink and decide on the menu. How was I supposed to know that? Turns out this is a normal thing in fancy restaurants. The sun came out and I was finally able to enjoy the patio. I was also glad that I had put on sunscreen, as it was high noon.

We decided on the 5 course tasting menu, as this was a Michelin-starred restaurant, we had to try their best. The tasting menu also had the option to swap out dishes for a small fee (which was a drop in the bucket compared the total bill).  Brent swapped out his main dish for the veal, and I swapped out my dessert for the millionaire shortbread with ice cream. It only seemed fitting. Based on the amouse bouches we ate while perusing the menu, we were in for a culinary delight. This was further confirmed when the server came by with the bread basket. At first I thought I had misheard him. Did he say there was bacon baked into one of the breads? I had not misheard him. There was bacon… baked into the bread… right into it. Every bite had either bacon or bacon-flavour in it. It was incredible and genius and why do more places not do this?!

Once again the first course was a small shot of white garlic soup that was bright green. This time it was served hot and even more delicious. The second dish was salmon with roe, which once again was amazing. I did not have a bite of Brent’s salad, no matter how fancy or good the restaurant, I will never be a salad fan. Things fell apart with the third dish. Oh they fell apart so tragically. A poached egg, that once cut into spilled yolk all over the watercress it sat atop. It was horrible and there was barely any ham. I barely got it down. The main dish, the quail, totally won it back though. We were back on track. The outstanding quail erased any memory of the poached egg-watercress disaster. The veal was good too, but not as good as the quail.

After we were finished the server came over and said something indecipherable and asked us if were ready for dessert. We said yes. Unbeknownst to us, we had said yes to the first thing he said. Before we knew it, a guy was wheeling a cart featuring a selection of cheeses on it.  Turns out we had said yes to a cheese platter. We listened to him talk about the cheese options and then had to explain that we were in fact too full for cheese. Needless to say it was super awkward. It was around this point that we started betting on when we would be done lunch. We adding to the betting, how much the bottle of still water would cost. Why do they never offer tap water??? The millionaire shortbread was amazing, way better than the default chocolate dessert. When the bill came we had to double-check that they had not charged us for the cheese. Turns out they had forgotten to charge us for me swapping out my dessert. Lunch had taken so long, almost two hours, therefore we did not have enough time to check out the hotel grounds and gardens.

We had Googled car-parks in downtown Oxford therefore we knew exactly where to go: the local skating rink. It was an easy walk to the city centre from there. For the most part we followed the signs. We passed by the Oxford Castle but there was nothing cool there to see, just some nearby restaurants and a courtyard. As we got closer to the city centre the buildings got way prettier. Brent had chosen a few random buildings on the University of Oxford campus for us to check out and as anchors on a walking route. On a whim we stopped in at the Oxford Natural History Museum. It was by donation and we only had an hour before it closed. It was a small museum and we got it done in less than an hour. It was cool to see fossils and they had on display an amazing 13-foot long jaw bone of an aquatic prehistoric animal. I had a blast laughing at the t-rex’s stumpy little arms. It gets me every time. The adjoining Pitt’s Museum was closing sooner and it seemed to be stuff similar to what we had seen in British Columbia last year, we passed on it.

As we approached the Bodleian Library we were in the heart of Oxford campus. The buildings were absolutely gorgeous and the road was cobblestones. There were no more tours of the library available for the day, the ticket office was closed. We only got to see the courtyard and the exterior.

We still had time before dinner so we stopped in at Thirsty Meeples, a board game café. It had been our plan the day before but I had not been feeling well. We had about an hour, just enough time for a quick game and a drink. We played Hive while snacking on a bowl of Haribo gummies. This time I tried the berry-flavoured Old Mout cider. We each won a round of Hive but then it was time to go. It’s too bad, as the café was awesome and I wish we could have played more games. Even more-so when we got to The Bear Inn and it turned out they had no record of our reservation. We could have stayed long at Thirsty Meeples! Curses! Ah well, it was too late for that now. The cider selection at the pub was surprisingly lacking, I had a half pint of Stowford Press. The only thing on the menu that really caught my fancy was the sausage and mash. Brent had a burger because it was a deal of the day, it came with a free pint. We were sitting in a side room off the bar with a low ceiling. The walls were decorated with glasses frames filled with pieces of peoples’ ties labelled with their occupation and the year they had visited. At the two other tables were: two old English guys, and a middle-aged American couple. It seemed like a set-up for a joke. But they were having the most boring conversation of all time, I swear at one point one of them talked about his pension. I was dying of boredom. Thankfully they left soon after, Brent had missed most of it while ordering at the bar. Now that we had peace and quiet, we could hear the idiot in the main room talking. Was I ever going to get some respite?

Our dishes arrived and it turns out I should have paid way more attention to the menu when ordering. The greens were mushy peas. The sausage turned out to be sausages with an s on the end. There were three full-size sausages atop a bed of mashed potatoes, peas on the side and the entire thing was smothered in gravy. I had to stare at it all for a second in disbelief, trying to take it all in. I was supposed to eat this entire mountain of food? All on my own? This was a single serving? For a single person? I tried the peas, they did not really taste like anything other than gravy. I had no room for peas. I had to tackle the sausages and mashed potatoes first. The potatoes were amazing, so fluffy and full of butter and gravy. I managed to rally and eat two and a half of the three sausages. Towards the end I was so full, yet I kept eating, the plate was only half empty! In the end I made a good dent in it.

On the walk back to the car we did not pass any corner stores where I could get a Cornetto ice cream cone. By the time we were by the car I was starting to feel peckish for dessert. We went back to the gas station and Waitrose express across from the hotel. This time we grabbed Hob Nob cookies because apparently that is a British thing to eat. Who can say no to cookies? We also grabbed a Yorkie chcooclate bar, and a Wispa bar. Brent also grabbed Monster Munch, which looked like lame Cheetos. At Waitrose we grabbed some drinks and the good brand Jelly Babies. I had seen the 2014 English Vintage Cider yesterday so I grabbed that and another cider to go with my Cherry Coke. We also grabbed some Krispy Kreme donuts. There was a deal if you bought 3. The caramelized Biscoff was ok, the Reese’s peanut butter one was mediocre and the chocolate topped one with custard (aka Boston Cream) was the clear winner.

Even though the “vintage” cider was Waitrose brand it was still delicious. It was the right mix of sour-beer and juice. As it turns out there are multiple types of Hob Nob cookies. The ones we grabbed were not the chocolate-covered ones that everyone is apparently crazy for. Brent was not having it, and so I had yet another package of cookies all to myself- can’t complain about that! They were kind of like oatmeal cookies and they were simply perfect for dunking in tea while watching The Leftovers.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

So Many Little Burgers…

For some reason I have never really been a fan of sliders, maybe I just never had any good ones before? I can definitely understand the appeal, they are after all a manageable size. W Burger Bar was voted best sliders and I was thrilled about going there for dinner. They have 6 different options! Which you can order as a platter!! How could they not be the best?! Variety is no substitute for quality and recipe. The sliders fell flat of my expectations by a long shot. The beef was mediocre, the kobe beef had goat cheese for some inexplicable reason, the lamb had a very strong terrible lamb flavour. The chicken had some spiciness going for it, but not much else. The winner by far was the turkey. And I don’t even like turkey burgers! Or cranberries! Yet this one was quite delicious. The pulled pork was decent but by no means outstanding. They do get props for the complimentary fudgsicle or creamsicle at the end of the meal though. I wish I had been up to trying the fishbowl cocktail, presented in an actual small fishbowl, but it seemed like way too much to drink.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Poutine For Dinner, But Dessert First

The craving for guacamole hit me out of the blue one day at work. Alas, best guacamole in the city is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. I retreated in defeat, we would have to postpone fooding. Brent then suggested best late night poutine and on the way best Chinese bakery. It is hard to say no to poutine, in fact is nearly impossible. We had not been there for years, and now they had a new location and more menu options. Yes, i was trying to justify the outing.

Best Chinese bakery was Lucullus Bakery on Elm St. near the Eaton Centre. It is a good thing this bakery is relatively new, else I would have gone broke with such an awesome bakery so close to school. We ordered a nice range: espresso napoleon, coconut bear claw and a ham & cheese croissant. All three were outstanding and this has become a new favourite of mine.

As we were walking to Poutini’s on King at Portland we passed some bars. The pople inside were cheering wildly. What? Turns out the Raptors were winning in a play-off game. There was also a baseball game on at the time. Both were home games. Oh crap we thought, downtown is going to be a zoo!! We picked up the pace and rushed to Poutini’s. Thankfully there was no one in there. Brent ordered the works (sour cream, chives, and bacon) and I ordered the bacon poutine. The guy was on auto-pilot and made both the works. I was OK with it though. It was delicious and every bite I managed to get every topping. The tiny size was still quite large and towards the end I found myself claiming defeat. Poutini’s has improved over the years. I remember my chief complaint being that it was too salty. They have since fixed that. As we stood there eating (poutine is not amenable to walking and eating) a guy came in and declared his love for Poutini’s vegan gravy. I do not remember if he stayed and ordered, I was too busy chowing down.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

4X Best?

Dr. Laffa’s had been voted best of Toronto in four different categories: best hummus, best falafel, best kosher restaurant, and best shawarma and one other either best new or cheap eats from years past. How great would it be to cross all of those off the list in one go? It would make having to take the TTC there worth it. I was secretly worried that it would be closed yet again. Thankfully it was not closed.

The food was cheap and plentiful, we ended up taking over two tables with all of our food. Turns out I am not a huge fan of falafels on their own. In the past they were always buried within a wrap with a tonne of other toppings. We ordered the falafel hummus plate- it made total sense. Alas, the hummus also fell short of my expectations. The best hummus in Toronto is still at Anataloia’s. However the shawarma was outstanding. It totally beats out any of the other shawarma’s I have had in the past. Part of it was the wrap, we had the laffa option. It was stuffed to the brim with meat and so many different veggies (I heard someone saying eggplant). It was the equivalent of a burrito, in that it was bursting at the seams with fillings. Were it not for the hours and the distance, the shawarma would be my go-to for lazy days.

 

https://plus.google.com/u/0/100997667919286652349/posts/g15AVoQPMrW?pid=6278651209507001938&oid=100997667919286652349

 

 

Tags: , , ,

Ribs and Baklava

Best Greek bakery had recently been voted on. Serano Bakery happened to sort of be on the way to best ribs at Hogtown Smoke. Sort of meaning that Brent walked to it, then met me in the subway and we headed further east to Hogtown. I was really looking forward to some Greek baked goods, I love baklava, despite how tooth-achingly sweet it is. But, no dessert before dinner.

We got to Hogtown Smoke and the place was packed. We managed to snag the last table, which we almost lost because apparently you do not wait at the entrance to be seated. Who knew. Of the three ribs on the menu, only one was actually available, the baby back ribs. So we got a tequila-infused BBQ chicken to split as well. The chicken was better than the ribs, but not as good as the chicken wings we had last time. It was really quite surprising. The ribs were meaty but that was not enough. There was not much flavour to them. Nowhere near as good as the ribs we had at Memphis BBQ. What can I say I like them super saucy.

Having only ever really eaten Greek pastries during Taste of the Danforth with no idea where they came from, I can only really agree that Serano is the best Greek bakery I have eaten at. There used to be an awesome one on the Danforth but it closed down like 8 years ago. The baklava was amazing, i did not know it was possible to have non-tooth-destroying baklava that still tastes amazing. The winner by far was the puff pastry with cream in the middle, it was sheer heaven.

 

Tags: , , ,

Burrito for the Win!!!

An afternoon outing to the pub warrants some late night burritos of course. Keep in mind that “late night” for me is like 7:30pm. Trouble is that we ate so much at the pub we were nowhere near hungry. The following day however we were both having regrets, thus our dinner plans were set: late night burritos. We would not mess it up this time by eating too much beforehand.

I could have sworn that Burrito Boyz was closer to my house. At least they had the option to order online, I could finally be as picky as I wanted. Alas, it was only for large orders. But I had already made up my mind, this was going to be the perfect burrito therefore I would be that one annoying person who does not just order everything. I slowly named off the toppings I wanted which happened to be about half, so I couldn’t even save myself with “everything except for.”

It was a long slow walk back, partly because I was hungry and partly because I was craving soda. Mostly it was because the weather forecast called fr rain so I wore rain boots with too-thick socks and now my feet were blistering and my legs were hurting.

I was wary of this burrito. Firstly there were way less options, only chicken, no other types such as baja chicken as I am used to at Fat Bastard Burrito. Secondly the toppings seemed to have been applied sparsely, I almost wanted to request more guacamole, she only gave me a small smear!! Then I took a bite. One bite and I was smitten. This was not just the best late night burrito, this was the best burrito period, in the city. The burrito sauce really made it. A new go to for us now.

 

Tags: , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: