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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!!

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Breakfast For Dinner

Once again, a week later we found ourselves walking through Little Portugal as everyone celebrated another EuroCup win. I was still hurting from the previous week’s loss.We were on our way to The Lakeview, recently voted best late night breakfast. I was looking forward to having a good breakfast meal for dinner. Along the way however we made a pit stop at Bitondo’s, which at some point had been best pizza. Nostalgia washed over us and before I knew it I was watching Brent devour a slice of pizza the size of his head… this on our way to dinner at a place that has huge portion sizes.

I could not for the life of me find a mimosa on the menu, but what I got was way better. Heritage Cider by West Ave, with a tall glass of ice was just what I needed after that long walk in the heat. They had changed their menu since we last went. Brunch was now available all the time. Brent ordered a giant stack of pancakes but nothing on the mains list caught my eye. I ordered off the sides menu: a waffle and some maple sausages. Even still the portions were quite generous. The waffles hit the spot and were better than Starving Artist, alas they did not (nor will any ever?) hold a candle to the beauts I was eating in Belgium. I half-regretted getting the maple sausages, they were only ok. However that regret did not set int until later. As we were walking along College and reminiscing some more, I noticed Menchie’s. It was over 30C outside, hell yeah I was getting some frozen yogurt. About halfway through my dessert-topped dessert I was feeling regret. I was so full. Why did I get those sausages?! We still had a ways to go, as we were being rerouted at Bathurst and College due to construction, we had to walk half a block to get around it. Our night was not over.

Since we heard that Bar Volo would be closing we have made an effort to finish the night there every time we go out fooding. Staring at the giant chalkboard of beers and ciders it dawned on me: West Ave. brewery (cidery?) based in Hamilton is one of my new favourites. On the board was the Heritage cider I had at dinner. Turns out West Ave. made the cherry cider (cherriosity) I liked so much last time, or two times ago, who can remember? I was torn between the West Ave cider from a cask and the Revel Cardinal cider with citra hops and hibiscus. I went with the latter both because I was intrigued and because the West Ave cask was described as bittersweet. And I was way (way!) too full for a second round. Besides, I will no doubt be returning within a few days as the farewell tour continues.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2016 in Adventures of Pinka!, Fooding

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

 

 

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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.

 

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Dear Birds: Ssshh!!

Auntie’s & Uncle’s had recently been voted best french toast in the city, just in time too as we were running out of places within a walkable range. Unluckily because Auntie’s & Uncle’s opens at 9am and you have to be there at least 15 minutes early else you will have a long wait for a table. I had no trouble waking up early, as the birds outside my window decided to chirp incessantly and loudly around 7:30 in the morning. Granted it was just before I was supposed to wake up anyways, still I was annoyed. I got ready and proceeded to have a mini nap on the couch until it was time to leave.

We got to Auntie’s & Uncle’s and already there was one group ahead of us. We promptly took our place in line behind them, at least we had benches to sit on. No sooner were we seated, more people started showing up. By the time we were seated they were full and telling people they would have to wait. It made me secretly feel really good. I was unsure about what to order, having had the waffles last time and really being in the mood for greasy or meaty (otherwise the obvious choice is a croque monsieur). I lucked out, they had blueberry pancakes on special and in the last few years I have managed to quash my blueberry aversion*.

The french toast and pancakes both had little pats of butter on top slowly melting, making for some extra delicious top bites. The french toast, while delicious, was not as good as at School (thus that one is still the contender for best french toast in my books). The pancakes were crammed full of blueberries, each bite was so bursting with them. We looked up my post from last time to determine what I had ordered. The post mentions peeling airplane wallpaper and Bob Dylan playing over the speakers, both are still true.

Up next we walked over to Neo Coffee, down the street from my original alma-mater (and interestingly, fun fact, the birth place of the original of this blog) George Brown College**. Neo Coffee had been voted best new cafe of 2015. I was immediately smitten, they had a punny chalkboard sign outside. I cannot for the life of me remember the joke. The coffee was delicious and I was impressed with the selection. They had bagged coffee from many city roasters. Going along the shelf I rexognized most of them. I pointed out to Brent that this was my equivalent of his favourite beers and breweries. He did not seem to understand, (jokingly? I hope) saying that all coffee is the same. The roll cake was as good as a strawberry roll cake can possibly get, so moist and fluffy and not overly sweet. If this place had been open while I was at George Brown I could definitely see myself spending at least one day a week here.

 

*As a child I ate a whole plate of blueberry-filled perogies, a Polish delicacy I am told, afterwards I took a look in the mirror and to my horror discovered my mouth, tongue and lips were all tinged a horrible blue. Only a few years ago did I start sneaking blueberries in here and there to the point that now I can eat a blueberry yogurt- happily.

**Please don’t do the math of how long it has been.

 

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