Category: eat

brunchin’: emma’s country kitchen

I had heard so much about Emma’s Country Kitchen but never made it out there because I don’t usually have the patience for brunch, too many lines, and people with nowhere to stand but a couple of weeks ago we were up early on a rainy Saturday so I thought we’d try our luck. The wait was about 40 minutes, so we went and grabbed a coffee across the street, stopped in at the butcher and they called us in about the time they have estimated.

The first thing I noticed was the donuts, they have about 4 different flavours to choose from and our hostess told us that they sell out, they make them fresh everyday and when they’re gone, they’re gone. So, of course we had to start with a donut appetizer.

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We got the one with toffee on top, I love sponge candy and this donut was so good. We shared one but I could have very easily just had multiple donuts for breakfast, it was so good.

For our main, we had just the classic breakfast. It was tasty but similar to what you’d have at any brunch place. I did see a lot of people getting their pancakes, they looked good but not what I was looking for.

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I don’t know that I would wait in line for breakfast again but I would definitely pop in to grab donuts, it looked like you could pick them up at the counter. They were definitely worth it, particularly as the weather gets nicer and I spend more time walking in that neighbourhood.

Have you been to Emma’s Country Kitchen? What did you think?

penny candy jams

I love being able to share local companies with you and I am so happy I found this one this past weekend. We stopped in at the Honest Ed’s market for the closing weekend.

I had already bought brie to put out for my brunch this weekend and saw Penny Candy Jam and knew I had to have one to serve with it. The Jam Man had 8 kinds of jams and I was overwhelmed with the selection, so I asked which one paired best with brie. He suggested a couple and I loved the Blackberry <3s Sage.

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I served it this morning with the brie and it was sooooo good, it was fruity and not too sweet and paired perfectly with the creamy brie. You can purchase the jams online or at markets throughout the city. Penny Candy Jam is definitely worth checking it out.

dining out: town crier

Friday night, I joined some friends at a cozy pub on John St, which is one of my friend’s favourite spots. We grabbed apps and dinner and a couple of drinks. As an app, we shared the short ribs and calamari, which I was too excited to eat that I forgot to get a photo. The short ribs were really good, the calamari was not fried so if you prefer it grilled, I’d recommend it. I’m not usually a huge fan of short ribs but the sauce on these were really, really good. You can also get the short ribs on a flatbread, which my friend had and really enjoyed.

For dinner, I had the mussels on my friend’s recommendation. The Town Crier has a variety of mussel options, I went more traditional.

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It’s very hard to see the light garlic sauce on the mussels, I pulled the mussels out and dumped the fries into the delicious buttery sauce. The mussels were very fresh and the fries were definitely hand cut. I really enjoyed my pub night out with the ladies, the pub was a buzz on a Friday night – a great way to get the weekend started. If you’re looking for traditional german pub food, check out the town crier on John!

fun new desserts

Hope you all had a great weekend. This weekend, I ate a lot… resolutions-smesolutions! So, I’ll be sharing lots of that over the next few posts!

I went to a fun place for dessert this week for someone’s birthday for shaved ice. The last time I had shaved ice, it was more like a snow cone, it was nothing like what I had this week. At Cups, near Yonge and Steeles, you can get shaved ice with a variety of toppings, I chose one that I couldn’t pronounce and I couldn’t be happier.

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This shaved ice was topped with mochi, condensed milk and soy powder and it was so good! It was also super messy but totally worth it. My friends tried other options included fruits and matcha, the fruits and toppings were overflowing, the one I got was a small, the larger sizes are definitely big enough for at least two people. If you’re looking for something that isn’t too sweet but super delicious, I would definitely recommend Cups.

dining out: wafels and more

I’m excited to share this new restaurant with you that I went to a cuuple of weeks ago on their opening weekend – Wafels and More in Kensington Market – a neighbourhood I’m not in often enough.

Wafels and More are authentic Belgium waffles, and they have so many types. They also offer sweet and savoury waffles so you could essentially have waffles for dinner and I think that’s amazing. As you walk up to Wafels and More, you can smell fresh waffles being made.

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I had the “brussels” with strawberries and whipped cream and it was light and fluffy. It was delicious but I got a little jealous of my boyfriend, I think he made the better choice.

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He got the Speculoos Bomb on a liege waffle. The liege waffle was smaller but sweeter and my favourite of the two waffles. And for those who don’t know, speculoos is a cookie from Europe – I had never heard of it and I was really missing out because his waffle had a speculoos butter on it. When I go back, I’ll definitely be getting that one! They also have smaller liege waffles that come with different options, which is better if you want to take them away with you.

Next time you’re in Kensington Market, be sure to stop by and get some authentic Belgium waffles!

dining out: hoke poke

So, my new favourite meal to get when I’m out are Poke bowls. For ages, the only place in the GTA to get them was Hamilton (I’ve never been there, I’ve just heard they’re the original). I’ve tried a couple in the city and this week I went to Hoke Poke – great name, I know.

Hoke Poke is just outside of Yorkville, and based on their hours, they cater to a work-lunch time crowd, they close at 7 and aren’t open on the weekend.

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My boyfriend is not about that raw fish life, which is sad, but I understand but I only started eating it a couple of years ago. He got chicken, tofu, veggies and black rice – the only rice they have, very similar to brown rice.

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One of the best things about this poke place is that in the regular size, you get two proteins. I’m excited that I don’t have to pick between salmon and tuna.

We both got the regular size, which looked about the same as other places I’ve been but I found they weren’t as full as other places. I could have eaten a large where as at other places a regular or small is more than enough for me. However, the fish was a great quality, the toppings were good and it satisfied my random craving for poke.

If you’re in the ‘hood, I’d recommend checking out Hoke Poke for a quick bite.

Have you tried poke bowls? What do you think?

dining out: flock

I went last night to a new-ish chicken place near U of T. Flock has multiple locations and when my friend suggested it, she likened it to a healthier Swiss Chalet.

I went with a couple of girlfriends and we ate family style. We shared a half chicken, two large salad, sweet potatoes and desserts. The chicken was on the smaller side but it was delicious, it came with a jerk sauce that no one at my table enjoyed, we all ate the chicken on it’s own. We got the full size salads and they were ample, my favourite was the one with pomegranates and beets. I didn’t love the dressing on the other salad, but it did have a bit of coconut in it which isn’t really my thing.

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The sweet potatoes were nice, in a lime chili salt that wasn’t too spicy. They had some other sides that sounded great but we decided that might be getting ridiculous (also, I saw the dessert menu and knew I’d be getting something).

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I was afraid of getting the key lime pie to myself because it said it had a coconut crust so I got the brownie sundae instead and I must say, instant regret. While my dessert was fine, it wasn’t great. The brownies weren’t warm and the ice cream was pretty bland. The key lime pie however, is one of the best key lime pie slices I’ve ever had. You couldn’t really taste the coconut in the crust, which was great for me, others may prefer coconut. If you’re going to get dessert, I would suggest skipping the brownie, unless you’re obsessed with salted caramel and go for the pie.

It was a nice place and I felt like I ate a little healthier than if I had gone to another restaurant (of course, until the brownie but it’s basically why I didn’t get mac and cheese). The prices were pretty average, for my meal plus one of the desserts and no drinks, my bill came to $27 after tax and tip.

Have you been to Flock? What did you think?

dining out: b. good

My boyfriend and I are trying to eat a little better (ok, its mostly him, I mean, I did have Sweet Jesus for dinner last week). We were in the Queen and Bathurst area for an event and trying to find something half-way healthy to eat and we stumbled upon b-good.

B-good has a bit of an eclectic menu, they have burgers, soups, salads and grain bowls. My boyfriend and I each had a grain bowl, which was actually more kale than grains.

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I had the toasted almond and ginger but held the mint. I was a little worried when I saw all those veggies but the sauce was quite tasty and I enjoyed the bowl. You can’t see the huge amount of kale under the veggies but there was lots of it. I was full half way through and would have been quite happy if they had a smaller portion.

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My boyfriend got the local apple and bacon but held the avocado, I think because he knew I would want to try and I can’t eat the avo. The bacon was the thickest bacon I had ever seen, the picture does not do it justice. He added chicken, which I regret not doing, not because it really needed it but because it was super delicious. They had a sign on the wall that told you where all the meats and produce came from that was being served that day. They also had a fancy kind of pop, which had a blueberry soda – I was so excited. It was a little sweet so I mixed it with the raspberry seltzer – honestly, it would have been perfect with vodka 😉

I’d recommend b.good if you’re looking for a healthy dish, they have a number of locations throughout the city and Oakville.

Have you been to b.good? What did you get?

best part of being a grown up

I think the best part of being a grown up is that you can have whatever you’d like for dinner, and one day last week I chose ice cream. I finally made it to Sweet Jesus, it was freezing cold, snowing and there was still a line!

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I had the campfire smores – it was soft serve, burnt marshmallows, chocolate sauce and graham crackers. It was so good. It was worth every single calorie! They have about half a dozen different types of ice cream cones, and they all sound delicious. My friend had cookies-cookies-cookies and cream which is exactly what you think it is. It was really good but I think I’d have my campfire smores again.

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My friend had the marshmallow latte, which honestly, was a full dessert. I don’t think you could go wrong with anything at Sweet Jesus. They are definitely decadent desserts and drinks and a special treat. But be prepared to wait, there’s even a line in the snow!

Have you been to Sweet Jesus? What’s your favourite?

dining out: the baro

Last night, I checked out this neat salad place at Queen and Spadina. Only open since February, The Baro is redefining the chopped salad.

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this is about half of the toppings you can choose from

At The Baro, you can build your own salad or you can choose from a menu of salads. I went with the baby spinach walnut and I added dried cranberries and chicken. Once you’ve picked everything, they throw it on the board and chop it up for you using a mezzaluna (super fancy knife), to your liking (there’s actually a chopped scale). My boyfriend went for the nicoise, a salad that has me until the olives.

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I chatted with one of the owners, Bill – who was super friendly and very patient as I mulled over my salad options. He told me that him and the co-owner John built the restaurant themselves. Which is crazy! The space is fun and open, which bench and bar seating to enjoy your salad. Most of the people in there last night appeared to be coming from or heading to the gym (or they just love their yoga pants – no judgement).

Bill also told me that they are obsessed with fresh. Everything to the best of their abilities is sourced locally and they make all their dressings and juices in house. And they are also obsessed with being sustainable. All of their utensils, bowls, cups and napkins are biodegradable. Nothing goes in the garbage, it either goes in the compost or in the recycling bin.img_20160309_183330.jpg

The best part about the chopped salad is every bite has some toppings. The best part of the salad is never the lettuce, so its perfect for me as a person that would actually just eat a salad of cheese and nuts (I don’t think that’s a salad anymore).

If you’re looking for something healthy in the Queen and Spadina area, which might be a great thing because there is so many yummy dessert places there – definitely check out The Baro.

Have you been to The Baro? What did you think?