• [Giveaway] Duff + Ted's Up In Smoke Extravaganza

    Enter for a chance to win 1 of 5 Grill Pro Traditional Horizontal Offset Smokers! Click on the link in red for more details on how to enter to win one. Good luck everyone!

  • [Food Post] Bar Isabel

    Bar Isabel is a popular restaurant known for their Spanish-influenced tapas dishes. Its location on College and Ossington is easily accessible, and there's a paid parking lot nearby.

  • [Food Post] Trattoria Mercatto

    Trattoria Mercatto is a casual-fare Italian restaurant located inside of the Eaton's Center on the second floor of the mall. I was invited to attend the "Antipasti With Us" event in late August along with several local food bloggers.

  • [App/Tech] Tab Payments

    Tab is a recent Toronto startup that aims to make dining out seamlessly easy. They have partnered up with several restaurants where customers can pay their bills with the Tab app; eliminating the use of a physical credit card, or cash.

  • [Food Post] Jacobs and Co.

    Jacobs and Co. Steakhouse has a very sizable steak selection which are visibly displayed in a glass container at the front. The glass contains dry-aged beef with information tags on them (name, date, etc ...) for customers to choose from.

  • [Food Post] Sake Bar Kushi

    We were provided with a few items from their regular menu and June specials menu. Not only do they serve kushi (skewered poultry and non-poultry), but they also offer a great variety of tapas styled dishes that are meant to be shared

  • [Travel] Satsuki and Mei's House from Totoro

    My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 animated production written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It's a childhood favorite of many people and I have seen many shops dedicated to selling Totoro merchandise while in Japan.

  • [Food Post] Canoe Restaurant + Bar

    Canoe is one of Toronto's critically acclaimed restaurants offering upscale Canadian cuisine. It is located on the 54th floor of Toronto Dominion Bank Towers in the financial district. As it is relatively high up; its beautifully designed dining room offers a spectacular view of the city's skyline.

  • [Food Post] Au Pied de Cochon

    One of the great appeals of the restaurant is their extensive menu. The menu at Au Pied de Cochon offers concoction of dishes that entails the uses of animal parts that are not always found in other restaurants.

  • [Travel] Day #15 in Japan [Koyasan]

    A shukubo is an accommodation that allows you to stay in a Japanese temple or shrine for the night, and enables you to experience the culture. You are given your own personal room, and there are multiple washroom facilities throughout the temple.

Pusateri's Fine Foods

0 comments
Pusateri's Fine Foods is a premium grocery retailer with three store locations in the GTA. We were unable to cook Christmas dinner last year (2014), so we decided to have it catered instead. I came across Pusateri's Fine Foods' Christmas menu on the whim while researching companies that catered Christmas dinners.


We opted for the Classic Holiday Dinner Package ($200), which serves 8 people. I chose the following items:

Appertizer: Baby Spinach and Arugula Salad with Cranberries, Maple Roasted Pecans, Chevre and Black Fig Dressing

Main: 10 lb Whole Herb Roasted Turkey with Traditional Bread Stuffing, Pusateri’s Cranberry Sauce and Turkey Gravy

Sides: Creamy Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes, Herb Roasted Heirloom Carrots, and Brussel Sprouts with Caramelized Apples

Dessert: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Tart


All of us were pleasantly surprised and pleased with the turkey. Despite reheating it twice, the turkey was not dry, and delicious. Additionally, both the creamy roasted garlic whipped potatoes, and baby spinach and arugula salad, were a hit as well. John opted to make his own stuffing though using Stovetop instead of using the traditional bread stuffing that came with the catered meal. I have always liked his stuffing, so there was no complaint on my end.

Cooking would have been a lot cheaper, but this was a very last minute decision so it was fine. I actually called them on the 22nd (which was the deadline for the pre-orders), so we came pretty close to not having a traditional Christmas dinner.

I opted to pick-up since there was a Pusateri's Fine Foods nearby. Pusateri's Fine Foods was busy enough on the day of the 24th (pick up), but they didn't seem to be understaffed at all. The items were supposed to be all packed and ready to go by noon. Unfortunately, it wasn't, and I was left disappointed with the service. It took a while until someone actually noticed me, and then it took another 40 minutes for them to get my order ready.


Address: 57 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON, M5R 2B1

Pusateri's on Urbanspoon

Read More »

Jade Dim Sum

0 comments
Jade Dim Sum is a small dim sum restaurant offering fast and affordable dim sum in Mississauga. My significant other, J, recently purchased a home in Mississauga, and I have been spending some time up there lately. The location of the home is a lot closer to his workplace (about a 10 minute drive), so he prefers to stay up there on the weekdays. However, we will mainly be staying downtown on the weekends (Friday through Sunday), but will occasionally go up there as well. So, we have been randomly picking restaurants to eat at whenever we're up in Mississauga together.

About two weeks ago, we were craving for some dim sum, and did a random online search. We stumbled upon Jade Dim Sum, and decided to give it a try. Jade Dim Sum does not offer traditional cart services, as they use the pen/paper method. The restaurant was only half full around 11 am, but it quickly picked up once it was lunch time at 12:30 pm (we were leaving). 


We started off with the garlic baby bok choy, which honestly looked underwhelming when it arrived to the table. However, the dish was rather tasty and flavorful. The prices for their vegetables was a little high, but their dim sum dishes were very reasonable in price. The dim sum was good, and comparable to the ones that I have had in downtown Toronto. My personal favorites were the shrimp dumpling (ha gow), shrimp rice flour roll, and the garlic baby bok choy. Personally, I'd skip the fried shrimp triangle as it was overly crispy with a lot of residual oil.

Overall, I'd say that Jade Dim Sum is a good standard choice for dim sum, and I'd return again in the future.

garlic baby bok choy ($9.95)
beef rice flour roll ($2.20)
shrimp rice flour roll ($2.20)
preserved egg and pork congee ($2.20)
shrimp dumpling (ha gow) ($2.20)
pork shrimp (sui mai) ($2.20)
fried shrimp triangle ($2.20)
steamed Shanghai dumpling ($2.70)
spare rib with black bean sauce ($2.20)
Address: 2280 Dixie Rd, Mississauga, ON, L4Y 1Z4

Jade Dim Sum on Urbanspoon

Read More »

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu

0 comments
Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu is a very budget friendly Korean restaurant. Their menu is limited with only 10 dishes and 6 of them are variations of soon tofu which they specialize in. 


 We were greeted by a friendly waitress, and given the menu. We both knew what we wanted, so we got our order in pretty quickly. Before our meal arrived, we were given four small dishes of bachan (kimchi, bean sprout, radish kimchi and beans).


Instead of soon tofu, I opted for the broiled BBQ (beef) with hot stone pot rice ($10.62). The dish arrived on a sizzling hot plate, and accompanied with a bowl of freshly made purple rice. This was a solid dish as the portion was generous, and I really enjoyed the flavorful beef. 


John got the kimchi soon tofu (pork) with hot stone pot rice ($7.97). You get to choose the spice level for the soon tofu from the following selection: extra spicy, regular spicy, medium, mild and white.


Overall, this is good comfort food for the cold weather that we're currently experiencing.

Address: 3085 Hurontario St, Mississauga, ON, L5A 4K9

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu on Urbanspoon

Read More »

Sukho Thai

0 comments
There are currently three Sukho Thai locations in downtown Toronto. This review is based on my visit to their original location on Parliament Street. Although, you can read my review of their Wellington location here. I haven't seen a friend of mine in a while, and he suggested checking out Sukho Thai on Parliament. I am a fan of Thai food, so I didn't object to the suggestion. I enjoyed my meal at their second location, so I came in with the anticipation that the Pad Thai here would be similar in terms of flavor profile and presentation. 


The original location was fairly unassuming from the outside, and situated on a pretty busy block. The restaurant space was a lot smaller than I expected, but it looked cozy. My friend and I arrived around 6 pm on a Thursday night, and it wasn't too busy. A few tables were occupied, and most of the foot traffic going in and out were takeouts. We left before the dinner rush, but I have heard that it does get really busy.


 Sukho Thai's menu offers traditional and authentic Thai cuisine at decent prices.


As per usual, I opted for the Sukhothai Pad Thai ($13) - stir fried rice noodles in a light tamarind-based sauce with chicken, beef, tofu. I chose the shrimp option for an additional $1. The way that they plated the Pad Thai made the portion looked small, but I was wrong as it was more than enough. The Pad Thai was hot and full of flavorful. As I have mentioned in my previous review, they use tamarind so the color of the sauce isn't bright red (no ketchup here). The spice level was just the right amount giving it a slight kick without being overbearingly hot. However, if you like your noodles extra spicy then I'd suggest getting "Thai spicy".


My friend, Tim, got the Sukhothai Pad Thai ($13) - stir fried rice noodles in a light tamarind-based sauce with tofu.

Address: 274 Parliament Street, Suite A, Toronto, ON, M5A 3A4

Sukho Thai on Urbanspoon

Read More »

[Mini Review] Pizzas Party Post

0 comments
Over the past few weeks, I have been craving for some pizzas. As a result of my cravings, I ordered pizzas from a few places for delivery or pick-up.

Ciccios Pizza Pasta


Ciccio's Pizza and Pasta is a small family-owned Italian restaurant on Dundas Street W. There's a small counter top inside of the restaurant where you can sit, but a majority of their business comes from pick-up and delivery. J lives rather close by, so this place is pretty much our go-to pizza joint. Most often, we ordered delivery as finding parking on his street can be quite difficult after 10 pm. Delivery costs $1.95, and they're usually pretty good with not exceeding 45 minutes.

Our favorite pizza from here is the 14" Ciccio's Special ($16.50) - pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, sliced tomatoes, bacon, double cheese. What I like about Ciccio's is their consistency in the quality of their pizzas, and it's very filling (8 slices). The pizza itself is pretty well crafted, has a crispy crust, generous amount of toppings, and well-priced.

Ciccio's Pizza & Pasta on Urbanspoon

Costco


My local Costco food court is always packed with hungry consumers. A popular item on the menu is their pizza slice which you can also order a whole pie. Costco's pizza is very cost-effective, as a slice is only $1.99 and a whole pizza is a very affordable $9.99. I opted to order a whole pizza for my family one night, and got it cooked (you also have the option of buying it frozen). The pizza was large and more than enough for 4 people. It was perfectly crisp, cheesy, and contained a very good amount of pepperoni per slice. They definitely do not skimp out on the pepperoni.

Costco Food Court on Urbanspoon

Panago




Panago is a Canadian pizza chain with several locations in Toronto. Panago offer regular, thin, multigrain and gluten-free crusts, a variety of sauces, cheeses and toppings. However, the chain has been a hit and miss for me. At times, the pizza can be absolutely tasty, and other times, it arrives with barely any toppings on the pizza. About three weeks ago, I got the walk-in special which was a medium pepperoni pizza ($9.99). I was happy this time as the pizza was delicious and I loved the gooey cheese.


Panago Pizza on Urbanspoon

Pizza Nova


This location in Little Italy is probably one of my favorite Pizza Nova locations. I usually get their medium walk-in special for $8.49 (you can upgrade to a large for an additional $2). The pizza here is very consistent, and the service is friendly.

Pizza Nova on Urbanspoon

Read More »

A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro

0 comments
A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro celebrates Winterlicious with a great menu, and Valentine’s Day with two great events!

 Address: A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro, 3rd Floor, Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON, M5S 2C7


Toronto, Ontario – The A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro will be participating in Winterlicious from January 30, 2015-February 12, 2015 offering an $18.00 lunch prix fixe menu.

Some highlights of the Winterlicious Menu include Chef Jonathan Leblanc’s House-Made Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Leaf and Maple Syrup Drizzle, and Poulet Chasseur, a substantial chicken stew with mushrooms, baby potatoes, and tomato ragout. 

The Bistro is also featuring some items unique to the Winterlicious Menu: a vegetarian Mediterranean plate appetizer with warm olives and hummus served with pita bread, and Banana Bread served with Chantilly Cream and fresh strawberries for dessert.

This Winterlicious Menu is an excellent way to try some of our most popular dishes. In addition, A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro will be running its regular lunch and brunch menus during Winterlicious.

On Friday, February 13, the A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro will be hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Mixer featuring a live DJ spinning anything BUT love songs. The event will run from 4:00pm to 8:00pm, and be an excellent way to meet new people. Bring a significant or insignificant other, friends or frienemies, or join us solo to meet a potential Anti-Valentine! Drink specials and the regular dinner menu will be available.

Saturday, 14 February, A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro serves its regular brunch menu, but will feature Valentine’s Day specials, as well as the Mignardises …for Two!

A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro is open Saturday to Thursday from 11am-3pm and Fridays from 11am-8pm. Please call 416-586-8086 for reservations.

à la Carte at the Gardiner | 111 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON, M5S 2C7 | TEL: (416) 506-4945.

Read More »

Chatime

0 comments
Chatime is a Taiwanese franchise bbt chain, and has over 800 stores worldwide. The company opened their first location in Toronto back in 2011, and that spot today is still very popular. Chatime has an extensive menu with lots of different drinks; signature milk tea, fresh tea, mousse, tea latte, QQ jelly drinks, smoothies, and more. It may not be the cheapest place for a cup of bubble tea, as it's a little more than $5 for a drink. However, I'd say that the quality of the products are definitely not lacking and the drinks are good. Customers are able to customize their order(s) to their liking as they're able to choose both the amount of sugar, and ice they want. The toppings are an extra charge (price varies) but they have a good selection of toppings from pearl, grass jelly, coconut jelly, red bean, aloe vera, rainbow jelly, pudding and malt. 

One of my favorite drinks has to be their Chatime Roasted Milk Tea (large is $4.70) with grass jelly. The drink itself is flavorful without being overwhelming strong. I often opt for the chewy tapioca balls, but I have come to like grass jelly quite a bit. I have been to both downtown locations, and I prefer the Annex one over the Dundas location. The one on Dundas (near Chinatown) is always bustling with customers, sometimes it's even through the door. The Annex location has much shorter lines, and the space has more seating.


Chatime Bubble Tea on Urbanspoon

For those who like collecting points and rewards cards; Chatime has their very own loyalty program. They have partnered up with Vicinity Rewards Program and you can pick up the card at any Chatime locations. For every drink that you purchase at a participating Chatime location, you would get 1 point. For every 10 points earned, you can redeem for one free regular sized drink with one complimentary topping.

Chatime Annex on Urbanspoon

I met up with a friend for dinner last week, and we ended up going to Chatime afterwards. The North York location looked a lot more hip compared to their downtown counterparts. Despite the cold weather, there were quite a few patrons sitting around and enjoying their drinks. Since that day was an extreme cold alert, I didn't want to drink anything cold. So I opted for the warm version of the Roasted Milk Tea (large is $4.70). The warm version was decent, but I prefer the one with ice a lot more.
 

Chatime North York on Urbanspoon

Read More »

Boneyard Grill

1 comments
Boneyard Grill is a casual BBQ restaurant on Avenue Road; nearby Shoppers Drug Mart and Pusateri's Fine Foods. The new space has less seating than their original location, but the restaurant retains its family style seating. I attended the opening of Boneyard Grill's second location a couple of months ago. They treated a handful of bloggers to a variety of menu items that night.

Boneyard Grill offers the same standard BBQ fare as other similar restaurants serving BBQ and bar food. However, there were two items that stood out to me that I really liked a lot. First off, their coconut shrimp was absolutely delicious. The jumbo sized shrimp was covered in crispy coconut shavings, and served with the tangy and sweet mango and plum dipping sauce. This was probably one of the best coconut shrimps that I have had in a while. Secondly, I really liked the ribs that were available at Boneyard Grill. They were seriously tender, and the meat just fell off the bone. I'd say that judging from the quality and flavor of the ribs; they are worth the re-visit for me. A ½ rack is $18.95 and the full rack is $26.95. All of their ribs and combos are served with coleslaw, and one choice of either fries, signature sauteed vegetables or onion straws.

In addition to ribs, their menu offers a large variety of starters, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and wings. I love chicken wings a lot so I wanted to try the wings. I was not displeased with the flavor of the wings, as I thought that they were decent. However, there was nothing about them that would differentiate them from other establishments offering wings. One of the last items served was the pulled pork sliders, which I tried as well. Since the one on the menu is a full sandwich, I am not too sure of the amount of meat stuffed between the bun. However, there was plenty of pulled pork stuffed into the sliders that were available that night. Overall, this is a good place to check out if you're craving some BBQ. 







Classic Burger - We get it! You like the simple things in life! No problem. Our no fuss Classic burger is perfectly simple and serviced with lettuce, tomato, pickles and red onion ($11.95). This was just a sampler; the burger described on the menu is much larger.



Pulled Pork Sandwich - Open wide! Slow roasted pulled pork tossed in our signature Louisiana style house made BBQ sauce, stacked with our crunchy onion straws ($11.95). This was served as sliders; the sandwich described on the menu is much large in size.


Coconut Shrimps - Delicious lightly coated shavings of coconut, on scrumptious jumbo shrimps, served with a mango and plum dipping sauce ($9.95). 


Boneyard Baby Back Ribs - Our famous finger-licking, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs, baseted in our signature Boneyyard sauce. A 1/2 rack is $18.95 and the full rack is $26.95. 


Chicken Wings - Sometimes plump is perfect! Hot, BBQ, or Honey Garlic Sauce ($9.95)


Sweet Potato Fries ($4.95)

Address: 1554 Ave Rd Toronto, ON, M5M

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Boneyard Grill on Urbanspoon


Boneyard Grill on Urbanspoon

Read More »