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What A Day!

The plan was to go out to the best new brunch place of 2014, Maha’s Restaurant on a Saturday morning, without setting an alarm clock. It was out in the east end, we figured it would be fine.

Brent told me it was just off of Danforth and not too far. Turns out it was all the way over at Greenwood! He had assumed that Greenwood was close (think Pape) because of Greenwood Smokehouse. I was still recovering from a nasty cold and this was the first time I had walked further than to and from the subway. Not great.

We got to Maha’s just past noon… and the place was packed. There was no room to even enter. We decided to reverse our plans and go to Pilot Coffee Roasters, best new cafe 2014 first. After struggling to find it (it was down an alleyway/street) we found it was closed. They are not open weekends, and only open until 3pm on weekdays. Peeking in through the window, it looked like an amazing place. It had a bar you could sit at and sip different coffees. It looked like my idea of heaven.

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Two doors down we found Brent’s idea of heaven: a pop-up shop of Left Field Brewery. We sat around for a bit on muskoka chairs while Brent sipped his beers.

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Back at Maha’s we were able to get in through the door this time. We decided we might as well wait it out, the food around us looked delicious and tempting. After about 30 minutes of being in the way we were seated. The honey cardamom latte was worth the wait alone. It was amazing! Not too sweet and just a little bit spicy. It was the perfect pick-me-up, which I was in need of. I ordered the chicken sandwich, not exactly brunch-y but the menu said it was amazing, so I put my trust in them. The menu did not lie. The sandwich was outstanding!!! I devoured it, save for a few last bites. Brent had ordered a more traditional Egyptian dish, eggs and chickpeas on flatbread. It too was an amazing dish, although I had to eat carefully to avoid the egg yolk.

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On our way home we stopped in at Von Doughnuts   , because it is nearly impossible to walk by there and not stop. In honour of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day we had the Innis & Gunn glazed donut. It was the best donut I have had in the city. Not overly sweet, the whisky glaze complemented the yeast donut. Von Doughnuts just keeps getting better and better.

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Veggie Burger

We usually tend to go out on Wednesday nights, its conveniently in the middle of the week and hence not too busy. Not much will keep us from going out… not even an extreme cold weather alert. We bundled up in layers upon layers topped with scarves wrapped around our faces and braved the Canadian cold. All in the name of going out for… best veggie burgers. There is more to it than that. You see, I have passed this BBQ joint on the Danforth a few times before, and it smelled to high heaven of slow-cooked meat. I had been wanting to go there for a while, and now we had even more reason! If it had been a vegetarian restaurant I would have said let’s go on the weekend when it’s not as cold. But the promise of going to Greenwood Smokehouse (even though it is not near Greenwood, it is nearer to Pape subway station, odd) was enough to get me out from under my blanket cocoon (I had been snuggled up warm and watching, ok binge-watching, Revenge).

It was a pretty quick decision what we were getting as our other dish: ribs of course! As soon as we walked in, we were hit with the warm inviting smell of barbecued meat. It was intoxicating and just what we needed after a grueling 40 minute walk in -16C weather (made all the colder with the damn windchill). I had my heart set on ordering a smoked lemonade with Four Roses bourbon, alas they were all sold out of the smoked lemonade (to this day I am still curious about what it tastes like, so I guess I will just have to go back there again). I settled for a bourbon sour and migawd it was delicious.

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After we placed our order we were sitting and talking when Brent realized, the kitchen staff (not hidden off somewhere, but upfront in the restaurant) were bemused by the veggie burger order. I laughed at Brent, at the predicament of going to a smoked-meat bbq restaurant and ordering a veggie burger. I joked that he should have ordered a side bowl of meat. The veggie burger was delicious, it was a patty made up of ground mushrooms (as opposed to tofu, which I doubt I will ever end up liking) and topped with pineapple avocado salsa. We had decided on a half rack of ribs, and if we were still hungry then we could just order more food. Thank goodness we only got the half rack, it was enormous. And not just enormous in terms of ribs-enormous (i.e.: giant bones), no, the bones were relatively few and small. There was so much meat on those bones, it was unbelievable. I have never had such meat-y ribs in my life! It made up for the glaze being average.

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Even though I was fairly stuffed, I could not turn down a chance to eat: deep-dish pecan bourbon pie. It was amazing, I did not know that pecan pie (of which I already had a high opinion, it being my go-to pie) could taste that much more delicious!! The only downside was that I was way too full to go a few doors down to Von Doughnuts  for a secondary dessert (something whihc is not completely unheard of).

 

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