Category: eat

dining out: the tavern by trevor

A few weeks ago, I was heading to a show at the Rivoli and my friends and I were in search of a place to have dinner. They spotted a sign that said “$5 drinks” so The Tavern by Trevor won. They had a few beers on special, as well as well drinks and a few wines. I went with Amsterdam blondes (one of my favs).

Do you ever go to a restaurant and collectively decide with all of your friends that you should just get one of everything? And agree to share everything you get? We had to do that. My friends got the pulled pork poutine and my other friend got the grilled cheese sandwich. I got the chicken and sausage gumbo. They were all really delicious. My gumbo came with a gigantic piece of corn bread, which I’m not complaining about, just wasn’t expecting. Although it didn’t look like a ton of food when I got it, it was really filling, I guess the corn bread played a role in that. I was also really happy that it wasn’t really spicy, people who love spice wouldn’t have found it spicy at all but I don’t like a ton of spice so it was perfect.

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We also had dessert, we considered getting both but decided to share the apple crumble but with the vanilla ice cream instead of the maple and it was great too. I would definitely recommend the tavern by trevor and with great drink specials, there’s no excuse not to check it out!

Have you been to the tavern? What did you have?

behaving gentlemanly at the gentlemen’s expo

This past weekend was the 3rd annual Gentlemen’s Expo. I’ve been to a number of expos designed for women, so I was excited to see what the gentlemen’s version would entail.

I headed down at noon at Saturday, bought some drink tickets and hit the floor with my boyfriend. I quickly realized there was a lot of drinks that I was going to want to try, including craft beers (and not so craft but still delicious beers), whiskeys and wines. I promise that those will be showing up in Thirsty Thursdays over the next couple of weeks.

It’s no secret that I love “shopping local”. I love seeing what people in this city are doing and this was a great expo to learn about local merchants including “steak” jerky, an all-beef, nitrate-free jerky from table mountain curing company and thank you toronto, with sweet hats and cute dog leashes. I loved the opportunity to speak with the owners and operators of so many great places in the city.

There were lots of options for maintaining a beard, staying dapper and well lubricated. There were a number of presentations on the main stage (most, I unfortunately missed just based on timing) but they included drink pairing guides, hypnosis and concerts. My favourite part of course was the variety of drinks, as much as I love my beer festivals, it was great to be able to sample so many different brands of beers and other drinks that I’m not familiar with. As I said, check back over the next few weeks to see all the great stuff I tried.

I had a great time at The Gentlemen’s Expo, I would recommend checking it out next if you’re looking for a fun day out, there is plenty for the ladies (I may have started my Christmas shopping) as there is for the gentlemen!

Have you been to the The Gentlemen’s Expo? What was your favourite part?

hidden gems in toronto: the upper beach

I’m always surprised when I find neighbourhoods in the city that not only have I not been to, I’ve never heard of. This city never ceases to amaze me. I was invited to check out the Upper Beach by the people at Streetcar Developments, among building condos, you may know Streetcar Developments as the developers that bought Jilly’s at Broadview and Queen.

If you’re like me, and have never heard of the “upper beach”, it’s basically the area halfway between Main Station and the Beach. It’s a 10 minute walk to the Danforth and to the Beach and an adorable neighbourhood where people seem to know each other and cute shops. We started the evening at our “hosts” – Streetcar Development. The Southwood condos. They told us a little history of the neighbourhood and sent us on our way to our first stop, the Yellow House Gallery – a space that is half gallery, half framing shop. The curator and owner hosts monthly exhibitions, the next one beginning on September 10th “BODY.FORM.COLOUR.” and you can easily go to the opening night and support emerging artists.

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Our next stop was the Art of Cheese, owned and operated the “grand fromage” Bill Miller. He has a huge selection of cheese, which we were able to sample with some local red wines. If you can dream it as a cheese, Bill’s store probably has it. We also got to take home some cheese which was perfect on my balcony with more wine (of course).

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Our next stop was an adorable gift shop, where I totally stocked up on greeting cards – there was two walls of them. TWO! And the good ones, I hate terrible cards. I should have just bought all of them that day. The store was Collected Joy, which is owned by Sharon Smyl – a former marketing director who quit her job to open her shop. Ask Sharon about any item in her store and she can tell you the story of how it was created and who it was created by. She wanted a store that would be fun to shop in, and she was successful in creating a warm inviting space that you can easily get lost in and find gifts for even the hardest of people.

By this time, we needed a snack. We stopped in at the Stone Pizza and split a few pizzas. This restaurant prides itself on having the freshest ingredients – they don’t even have a freezer on site. The restaurant is mostly designed for take out or delivery, but there are picnic benches outside, as long as the weather keeps holding up.

Of course, that was just a snack so we headed over The Beech Tree, owned by Robert Maxwell, who like Sharon, quit his desk job to open a restaurant. They pride themselves on making everything for the restaurant, including their own juices and infusing their own liquors. I was driving so I didn’t have any drinks here but I want to go back and try their strawberry old fashioned – seems so strange but the potential to be delicious. My favourite food we had was definitely the gnocchi in a sweet corn puree, feta and fennel bread crumble. I can’t wait to go back and eat a whole thing of that to myself.

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We were now supposed to go through the Glen Stewart Ravine, but it was getting dark so we walked through the beautiful gorgeous houses. IT was one of those neighbourhoods you can drive around and pick your favourite houses (I can’t be the only one that does that…) We ended up closer to the beach, at Queen St where were met by Sanna’s Famacia‘s bike. Like a “dickey dees” bike, Steve Sanna rides around his handmade smoothes, freezies and juices. While we were standing there chatting with him, the fire department drove by, we thought they were slowing down to tell us we needed to move but they were stopping to say hi to Steve, it really showed the community spirit of the neighbourhood.

I had a great time thanks to The Southwood by Streetcar Developments in the upper beach – a neighbourhood worth exploring. What are your favourite “hidden gems” in the city? I’d love to check more out!

dining out: chachos mexican food

Tucked in behind Yonge and Davisville is a small Mexican restaurant. Chachos Mexican Food is on Merton, just east of Yonge. I went for dinner there with my boyfriend a few weeks ago, he had been before and really liked it, we were in the neighbourhood so we decided to stop in for dinner.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to eat at Mexican restaurants because I hate cilantro and I can’t eat avocado – it’s exhausting to say the least but I do enjoy it. We started with nachos as an appetizer. They were big, definitely more than enough for two of us. And they were delicious. You could tell that they made the chips on site, these definitely weren’t any tostitos (not hating, just saying).

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So, I totally thought I took a picture of our main, but I can’t seem to find it. We got the Parrillada Para Dos, which was a big skillet of steak, chorizo, pork and marinated chicken. It came with tortillas, potatoes and salad. We also added the cheese and guacamole (not for me of course). It was really good, we were definitely full after the meal and skipped dessert. The service was really great too, I would definitely go back. And good news for people in the area, you can order them through tasteaway (which often has discount codes and points deals). It’s not the cheapest Mexican (although, I find a lot of Mexican places in the city are on the more expensive side).

If you’re in the area and looking for some authentic mexican, definitely give chachos a try!

Click to add a blog post for Chacho's on Zomato

 

dining out: the pomegranate

I mentioned that the Lovely Lindsey is eating her way through Toronto, and occassionally, I get to try out new restaurants on her journey. A few weeks ago, a few bloggers headed to The Pomegranate on College, near Bathurst for Persian food. I’ve never really had Persian food, and I’ve definitely never been to a Persian restaurant. As always, I checked the menu before going and was excited.

We started with a couple of apps, a yogurt spinach dip (spinach borani), an eggplant dip (mirza qasemi) and grape leaves stuffed with rice (dolmeh). They were all delicious but I surprised myself and the eggplant dip was actually my favourite. It was a warm dip, that was tasty and garlicky. The bread it came with was also nice and doughy, just how I like it.

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My main was fesenjaan, which is described as a walnut stew with pomegranate, you have the option of chicken or lamb, I went with the chicken. It was served with a salad (which was just a salad, I didn’t eat much of it because you don’t win friends with salad), a tomato cucumber salad, and rice. I threw most of the stew on the rice and ate it like that and really enjoyed it. I would definitely go back and try it – I’m not sure what the blend of flavours were but it was mild and delicious.

wpid-img_20150708_191606.jpgI would recommend this place if you’re looking for something different, I find that I usually end up eating the same kinds of cuisine all the time so it was nice to branch out – especially when it is so good.

Have you tried The Pomegranate? What did you think?

Click to add a blog post for The Pomegranate Restaurant on Zomato

contest: wines of argentina

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying this warm day. I know that Tuesday’s can be tough, still so many days from the weekend but I’ve got something that I think will cheer everyone up! A contest! Who doesn’t like winning?

Next Wednesday, July 29th the Consulate General of Argentina and Wines of Argentina invite you to experience Wines of Argentina. This event will feature over 20 wines from Argentina, a delicious “asado-style” BBQ and live music from Bellosound.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t want to wait to see if you win the contest? Wines of Argentina has offered $5 off to Twenty-Something in Toronto readers using promo code 20SOM5. Good luck!

eat brunch: against the grain

I have been meaning to get to against the grain for months (possibly years) since it has been open in leaside. Last weekend was my birthday but I was also going to a wedding later in the day so I needed a brunch place that wasn’t super crazy and close to home.

They took a reservation for us on a sunday, it wasn’t super busy when we arrived though (I’ve also heard that there’s a blogTO all about places that take reservations for lunch, so I must try to find that). I may have enjoyed a cocktail or two the evening before so I wasn’t really feeling a sweet breakfast, I wanted some bacon – and sausage… hey! it was my birthday!

Even though I kept my breakfast pretty basic, something I could have gotten just about anywhere, I was really excited about the $4 mimosas. I may have had two, because again it was my birthday. They also had a huge make-your-own-caesar bar. I hate caesars (I know, I know) so this didn’t interest me but if you were a caesar fan, this would definitely be worth checking out. I wanted to like caesars just so I could use the bar.

I also got dessert, not something I would normally do for brunch but again it was my birthday (and yes, I used that excuse a lot that day). Besides the cheap mimosas, the dessert was my favourite part. I really only got it because I saw a couple of different people (mostly children) celebrating birthdays and they all kept getting donut holes but I read the description for their bread pudding and knew I had to get it. Plus, it was complimentary for my birthday. It was so delicious, totally worth it even though I was so full.

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It felt like a grown up dessert. Their bread pudding is the bread part (is that what it’s called?), with caramel, raspberries and vanilla ice cream.

Have you been to against the grain? What did you think?

 

bang bang ice cream

With a name like that, why not make it the blog post’s title? I went here last week after going to a show at Comedy Bar. Basically, I saw “Ossington” and figured, I needed to try out this place I keep seeing on instagram and have heard about from a few friends.

We went at about 8:30pm on a Sunday so they were starting to run out of things but the line up was still out the door. I knew I wanted an ice cream sandwich, which is a good thing because they were out of the puffy waffles (puffles). They had almost two dozen ice cream flavours to choose from. I had the birthday cookie, a sugar-lemon cookie with key lime ice cream. It was so good! I’m very glad that I don’t live too close to this place. I got the half cookie – that’s right, half cookie and it was more than enough.

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Everyone I went with got different flavours but honestly, I was so excited about mine, I didn’t even try anybody else’s. I would highly recommend this place, the ice cream and cookies are delicious. I’d probably suggest going when it’s a little cold out because I can’t even imagine how insane this place will be in the summer.

Have you tried Bang Bang? What did you try?

Bang Bang Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

eating all the things at bareburger

Last week I had the chance to try Bareburger at a private tasting. I hadn’t heard of the restaurant before, the first Canadian location of a New York chain. We had a chance to meet the franchisee and the owner of the original locations, as well as some of the suppliers and the executive chef. The team was really down to earth, answering any questions about their message and their food. They were happy to share their Bareburger story. The restaurant is decorated using beautiful reclaimed wood, it has a casual vibe to it.

Bareburger prides itself on using the fresh and organic ingredients. We had the meal “family style” although that’s not how they usually serve it so the portions may look a little crazy in the pictures. Upon arrival, we had some iced tea and lemonade, I’d highly recommend the white peach – black tea raspberry. We started with the sweet potato fries and onion rings with more sauces than I knew what to do with. These were probably the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had in my life. Definitely one of my favourite items. I got through them so quickly, I just have a picture of the sauces.

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Next we had two salad, their Cali Fresh and the Guapo Chop  (they added fried chicken). I just had the Cali Fresh because avocado makes me itchy but everyone at the table was raving about it. I think it’s definitely something that if you like guacamole/avocado you would really enjoy. The Cali Fresh was an interesting (and delicious) salad with cauliflower hummus and red quinoa.

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Next it was time for the poutine, which they added brisket too. It was really good. The gravy was very light, almost more like an au jus rather than a heavy beef gravy. It was tasty – I ate a lot of it.

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Next it was time for the “burgers”. The first one was one of their vegetarian option, the farmstead. It was a sweet potato, wild rice and hummus wrapped in a collard green. Turns out, I’m not a fan of collard green but the filling was delicious. It is vegan and gluten free.

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We also tried the ‘standard’, the ‘blue elk’ and the ‘el matador’ (which I skipped again because of the avocado). I was also too full by this point to take any photos. I’m sorry. I may have also had ice cream sandwiches on my minds. The standard burger was really good, very meaty with a great sauce and the blue elk was interesting. It was the first time I had elk, much lighter than I would have expected.

We finished the evening off with two desserts (totally necessary). We had chocolate milkshakes and ice cream sandwiches. I love ice cream sandwiches so regardless of being so full, I had to try at least one. We didn’t know what each of them were – I picked up what looked like a snickerdoodle and took a bite. And the ice cream? It was roasted marshmallow – not just marshmallow but ROASTED marshmallow. I don’t know what sorcery he used to make it but it was so good.

I really enjoyed my evening at Bareburger. The food was really good and the service was great.

Have you been to Bareburger? What did you have?

Bareburger on Urbanspoon
 

dining out: sushi legend

It’s pretty well known that I love my all-you-can-eat sushi places. I found a new one near my house, how it existed without me knowing, I’m not sure but I checked it out recently with my partner-in-crime and sushi-buddy.

Sushi Legend is at Leslie and Finch and of course, is all you can eat. We were warmly welcomed when we got to the restaurant. It was a weeknight and the restaurant was pretty busy but we didn’t need to wait for a table. They had a pretty extensive menu (although it was missing my fav, the shrimp tempura hand roll). The food came out really quickly and the servers were easy to track down to order more, not always the case at all all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants.

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They also have the biggest eggplant dish I’ve ever seen. I really enjoyed my meal and will likely come back, although it was pricier than most all-you-can-eat sushi places for a weeknight it was $24.99 before tax and tip. I would probably come back here if I needed to go to a place near my place.

Have you tried sushi legend?

Sushi Legend on Urbanspoon