Month: September 2014

September 26-28: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

Happy Friday! I didn’t get a Thirsty Thursday up yesterday, work has been a bit crazy for me. I hope you all had a fantastic week, here’s some ideas for the weekend – it’s going to be beautiful, so get out and enjoy it!

Do: Hugh’s Room is hosting the Underground Railroad Music Festival Sunday, beginning at 1pm. There will be a variety of artists at this blues event, tickets can be reserved in advance for $27.50 or are available at the door for $30.

See: I hate to admit it but regular season baseball ends this weekend, which is really the end of summer for me. There is still a series against Baltimore, which probably won’t go so well for us but it’s “fan appreciation weekend” and they usually give out a ton of stuff at the games tomorrow and Sunday. I’ll be rounding out the season with my 13th game, I don’t know whether that’s something I should be excited or worried about.

Eat/Drink: Evergreen Brickworks is hosting a Rodeo and BBQ event tomorrow, a fundraiser in support of greener and healthier cities. There will be food, drinks and activities you’d expect at a rodeo, like a mechanical bull. Tickets are on sale online today until 5pm and some will be available at the door. The event is $150 and starts at 7pm.

 

crazy read: five days at memorial

I don’t know if I would normally refer to a book as crazy but I don’t really know how else to describe this one.

Five Days at Memorial follows the story of one hospital in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The story begins in the days before the storm, based on true events and also explains the history of hurricanes in New Orleans. The author prefaces the story with an explanation of how she gathered the information and how she tried to keep the story as accurate as possible, based on the memories of people at the hospital. The story also follows the aftermath following the storm and how the decisions made during the emergencies changed lives forever.

The book was around 300 pages once the notes were removed. I found the story challenging to read because it changes in time occassionally and there are so many people to keep track of. The story documents the experiences of doctors, nurses, patients and their families as well as other volunteers. In addition to the people in the hospital, the story also tells the story from the point of view of lawyers, police officers, politicians and other people in the city. The book is extremely intense, sometimes horrific and not a light afternoon beach read but it is an interesting, important story that people should not completely ignore for fear of repeating mistakes.

Have you read Five Days at Memorial?

September 19-21: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

Happy Friday people! We made it. I don’t know about you, but this week was a dragger. Good thing there’s a ton going on to move on from this week.

Do: The Junction Music Festival is this Saturday, along Dundas West at Keele. There is 5 outdoor stages and 30 participating venues. Best of all, this festival is free. Their website has details about the bands playing and special events happening throughout the day.

See: JFL42 kicked off last night, and there are plenty of comedians to see over the next week and a bit. I’ll be attending at least 4 shows (hopefully more, but we’ll see how the week goes). You can still get tickets for some headliners, passes for smaller shows and some shows you can pay at the door. I had a great time last year and can’t wait for this festival.

Eat: The Food Truck Festival Ontario will be at Ontario Place on Sunday. Tickets are still available for $10 and there will be over a dozen food trucks and a few beer vendors. So go eat wayyyy too much on what will hopefully turn into a sunny Sunday afternoon. 

Drink: Toronto Beer Week began last Thursday and continues over this weekend. Is it longer than a week? Maybe. Am I complaining? Absolutely not. There’s lots of events, parties and tap takeovers happening until Sunday. You may even see me at the Toronto Beer Run – obviously not running but there!

 

**Side note: Fall is also the time when it seems like everyone you know is participating in some sort of run, last weekend I did the Terry Fox “run” and on October 5th, I’ll be doing the Run for the Cure. I’d be extremely grateful if you sponsored my participation in this amazing event! Every dollar definitely counts!

thirsty thursday: solstice d’ete

I finally got to BarVolo this week, hard to believe I had never been there. I always have such a hard time picking beers in the places with pages of beer menus but when I saw a beer they posted on instagram, I knew my decision was going to be easier.

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This is Dieu Du Ciel’s Solstice D’Ete, a sour raspberry wheat, they also have a cherry version. I tried really hard to get the colour in the photo but the photo can’t do the bright red justice. It was sour and tasted of raspberry and wasn’t too heavy. They have limited quantities of both beers, so they’re expected to go quick. The bottle was $12, so more than the average beer but it was a nice treat, I don’t see me drinking them every weekend.

 

dining out: wvrst

This past weekend I went to Wvrst for a friend’s birthday. It was my second time at the restaurant but I hadn’t been for a few months. When I try to describe Wvrst to other people, I describe it as a beer hall/sausage restaurant where you can basically pick your animal. While that is an over simplification (particularly since you can get vegetarian and even vegan sausages), I think it’s the best way to describe it. I think it’s also worth noting that the vegetarian at the table really enjoyed his sausage.

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My friend and I each got a sausage and we shared a large duck fat fries. That came with two dipping sauces, I got the garlic and chive and she got a spicier one. I had the Berkshire (on the right) which is a honey/garlic sausage. You can get your choice of toppings but since I don’t like to ruin a good thing with vegetables, I opted for just yellow mustard. The sausage was really good and you could tell the buns were fresh. The fries were absolutely delicious, we may have ordered seconds.

The food seen here plus two beers came to just under $40. Wvrst has a great selection of beers and ciders including rotating casks and seasonal specials. The only thing I can note is that this place gets really busy. We had a reservation but because they were over-capacity, many in our group had to wait in line outside the restaurant, before waiting in a pretty slow line to order food. As the evening went on, the line up inside seemed to die down, but as I left at 10pm, there was still people trying to get in. The restaurant is set up with communal bench seating so get ready to know your neighbours. My suggestion is go early and with your patience but I think the food is worth it.

Have you been to Wvrst? Which did you try?

Wvrst on Urbanspoon

five reasons to come to ‘hope and the city’

Last year, I shared with you a great event in support of women’s cancers in Markham called Hope and The City. In honour of the 5th anniversary of this spectacular event, here are 5 reasons you should go to this year’s Hope and the City on October 23rd.

1. The Pampering Stations: As they say “treat yo self” and with good reason. If you purchase your ticket before September 26th, you get a free pampering service and you can buy more the evening of. Pampering stations in the past have included make-up, massages and henna applications.

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2. Firefighters: This is pretty self explanatory. Local firefighters support this event every year, and let’s be honest, they look good doing it. Come out and see the firefighters.

3. Delicious food: Every year, local restaurants and caterers present delicious samples to the group of ladies. You can expect delicious hors d’oeuvres, snacks and sweets to sample throughout the evening.

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4. The Celebrities: So maybe these celebrities won’t be here in the flesh but there will be some great replicas the evening of in the awesome photo booth. Bring your girlfriends out and get your photos taken with Sean Connery, George Clooney or Shemar Moore (or all three, no judgement). You may never get the chance again!

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5. The Cause: Of course this evening of fun, pampering, laughter and happiness with your best girlfriends is also for a great cause. The money raised from this event is solely for women’s cancer research through the Canadian Cancer Society.

These five reasons are just a peak of the fun night you can expect at Hope and the City at Angus Glen. Tickets for the event are $50 and as mentioned, if you’re one of the first 50 people to buy your ticket before next Friday, you receive a free pampering sessions at the event. Do you have a business and want to participate on a larger scale? Feel free to send me an email or leave your details in the comments.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

 

get your beerworking on!

It’s Toronto Beer Week and there’s a ton of activities happening throughout the city, and some of them could actually do you some good. Beerworking in coming back again next Wednesday and you could win two tickets to this awesome event. I’ve shared with you, my experiences at Beerworking and now it’s your to see what all the fuss is about.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also purchase tickets to beerworking for $30 which includes entrance, 2 beers plus samples, beer education with the wonderful Crystal Luxmore, plus of course, perfectly organized networking.

Good luck!

September 12-14: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week despite what appears to be the beginning of chillier weather. It’s Toronto Beer Week so there is so much going on in the city this weekend. Here’s some ideas in case you are still trying to make plans.

Do: C’est What is continuing their annual tradition with their Festival of Craft Breweries tonight. The event starts at 5pm and is free to get in and most samplse are a $1. I went to this event last year and really enjoyed it because it’s warm inside and they give you a sheet to keep track of your beers, very helpful at a festival. 

See: This one is kind of a “see”, it might be a bit of stretch but it sounds like a lot of fun. Sunday starting at 11am, you can compete in the 5th and final edition of the Toronto Beer Quest. You can register for this event until tomorrow at noon, it’s $20 per person and

Eat: Sunday night at Two Bite Saloon, you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat pig roast as part of Toronto Beer Week. You get all-you-can-eat pig, beans and corn and a pint of beer all of $30.

Drink: This one is literally impossible to pick this weekend with so much going on in the city. The Toronto Beer Week site has some awesome events going on and restaurants participating. You can also find them on twitter with the hashtag #TBW14. Get out in the city and enjoy some beer!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

thirsty thursday: iced tea lemonade

A couple of weeks ago, Aroma introduced “Spiked Signatures”, a line of drinks of their drinks spiked often with your choice of liquor. It was a warm day while at the Shops of Don Mills so I decided to get the Iced Tea Lemonade.

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spiked signatures

And it was as delicious as it looked. I got mine with vodka, you had the option of rum as well. I love the way they layer it and once I mixed it up, it tasted like a lemonade with a hint of tea, definitely couldn’t taste the vodka in it. There’s about 6 drinks to choose from on the Spiked Signatures menu and are available at most stand-alone Aromas (I had to ask for the menu when I went in). It’s a fun way to mix up your cafe experience.

Have you tried any of the “Spiked Signatures”?

dining out: itamae sushi

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve really been trying to make food at home, it’s not always perfect but I’m really trying. However, I’ve decided that sushi is probably just one of those things I will always eat in a restaurant, despite the lovely Girls on Bloor tutorial, I just love the variety of all-you-can-eat-sushi.

My friend and I wanted to try a new place, so after a bit of yelping and urbanspooning, we found Itamae Sushi on Don Mills, just south of Eglinton. Only issue is, they don’t have a website so we couldn’t really figure out the price or what their menu was like but we decided to be adventurous and head down to check it out. We went on a Sunday evening and the price was $20.99 for dinner, which is pretty reasonable. I actually like Sunday evening dinner out because otherwise it can feel like your weekend ends at 3pm if you’re home all evening.

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This location, like Sushi Kiku in Markham had the ipads, which I like to keep track of what you’ve ordered and what you’ve received, particularly helpful in larger groups. They had a decent selection and had a few rolls I haven’t seen anywhere else. I always want the rolls with the crispy tempura in them but don’t like the spicy mayo and this place had options. They were also pretty accommodating when we asked for something left out of one of the rolls.

crunchy, not spicy!
crunchy, not spicy!

The place was nice, and fairly big. It was pretty busy for a Sunday night but we didn’t wait long for a table. I will definitely be going back to Itamae the next time I’m craving all-you-can-eat sushi (so really that could be anytime). I know that they don’t always have the same selection as a regular all-you-can-eat place but I usually end up spending more than the cost of all-you-can-eat so that’s usually my preferred way of eating sushi.

Have you been to Itamae? What’s your go-to AYCE sushi place?

 

 

Itamae Sushi on Urbanspoon