I love finding out about amazing events that are coming up in the city and when they’re free – it’s even better! Next Friday night, Monster Rock Opera will be taking over Yonge-Dundas Square for another year, in a music-laser show unlike any other.
Starting at 7pm, three different music groups will take the stage in combination with lasers for a crazy experience. You can expect to hear hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today and include songs from bands like AC/DC to Taylor Swift. This 55-piece (yes! 55 piece!!) band will play an array of music we all know and love, all with classical instruments – and with lasers! I’m pretty exciting for the lasers.
So, if you’re looking for something fun and cool to do, that won’t cost you a dime – head to Yonge-Dundas Square next Friday night!
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.
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.
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?
Well, there’s another one! This city is just getting more and more breweries and it’s great! This past weekend, we visited Halo Brewery for the latest addition of Detox to Retox.
This cozy little spot is new to the Junction-ish area. With constant rotating taps, you’re likely to find something new every time you’re at Halo. They pride themselves on not having a “flagship” beer. They want their curiosity and experiments to be their flagship. We got to learn about the story behind Halo and how their fun and playful brand came to be.
As part of our flight, we tried the Magic Missile, the New Wave, the Golden Ratio and my favourite, the Tokyo Rose (which was my favourite made with rosehips). I also tried the other beers, I really enjoyed the Shapeshifter and I’m not usually a fan of sours.
If you’re looking for a quiet spot to grab some fresh beer, be sure to hit up Halo.
And want to hit up the next Detox to Retox? Get on it quick! There’s only one ticket left for Junction and a few left for Indie Ale House – hope to see you there!
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.
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).
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?
In Whitby, there’s a street in an industrial area that has not one but two great breweries on them (although, I believe that’s changing but right now it’s pretty convenient).
This week’s Thirsty Thursday is from one of those breweries, it was a beer I tried a couple of weeks ago called Home Sweet Home. It was a delicious lager with honey and vanilla and it was just divine. Five Paddles, the brewery, is known for being the more adventurous brewery on the block, constantly experimenting with different flavours and ingredients.
Typically when a brewery gets crazy with flavours, its hard to have more than one of their beers in a row, it can be interesting and delicious but it can also be too much. This beer was great and easy drinking (in that you didn’t need to stop at one) and because of that, they say it’s one that you can usually find in their fridge to pick up.
If you’re out Durham way, I would recommend checking out what’s in the fridge at Five Paddles.
Have you tried any of their beers? What were your favourites?
I had heard that Prince Edward County was a great place to try cider, but until last weekend I had never had the chance to try it. The County Cider Company was at the Toronto Cider Festival last weekend with a number of interesting ciders as well as their original. My favourite was definitely the blood orange. If you know me, you know I love blood orange (sweet water radler being high on my summertime favourites) and this cider was perfect. It was the perfect amount of sweetness and you could definitely taste the blood orange. Although it is a bit of a tease that you’re not able to get them at LCBO, it is just incentive to visit their beautiful cidery.
Did you attend the cider festival? Which was your favourite?
I can’t believe that it’s basically September. I know, we say it every year but every year I can’t believe it!
The only silver lining to summer coming to an end is that September is a pretty poppin’ month in Toronto, and usually the weather is fairly decent.
One of the awesome events in September is Toronto Beer Week (not to be confused with Toronto Craft Beer Week, which always amazingly falls around my birthday). From September 16-24, tons of awesome beer related events happening in the city. But because they know we can’t wait that long, the “kick-off” event happens next Saturday on the Toronto Craft Brew Cruise. If you missed this June’s edition where we got bendy for beer, you definitely missed out. Although there won’t be any yoga this time, it’s still going to be great. There’s two sailings, one at 2pm, and one at 7pm. I’m hoping we still have some great weather next weekend as you’ll see me on the 2pm sailing.
This three-hour tour stays within the Toronto harbour, allowing for awesome selfies along the skyline. Tickets include the tour, your mug and 4 tokens to get started. If you’re looking for a beer event that celebrates craft beers, be sure to check out the Toronto Craft Brew Cruise. Tickets always sell out, don’t miss out!
Last Friday, I went to Fresh Fridays with my boyfriend at the iYellow Wine Cave. It had been a while since I was at the cave, and I remembered why I loved it there. Funky space with wine, cheese, meat and awesome people? What’s not to love? This event was showcasing Fresh Wines, a new, local wine from the Niagara region. We sampled (ample samples, I should say) 5 of the wines from the brand. I think they are definitely perfect for the summer, they were really on the sweet side, which is perfect for a summer’s day!
The one I would like to feature this week is their Riesling-Gewurztraminer (say that three times fast), and it was a great blend. Again, something sweet for a summers day (or maybe a winter day if you really prefer ’em sweet). It was fruity and refreshing and like all of Fresh’s wines, incredibly affordable at only $12.95.
Check out any of the Fresh wines as we wrap up summer (sad) and if you’re in the city, check out the Fresh Fridays at the cave, they’re absolutely great!
So last weekend, we visited Lansdowne Brewery for the first time for Detox to Retox and it was great. It’s a bit of a hidden gem, most people walked right past it as they were coming to yoga, you wouldn’t necessarily suspect that you could get great beer in this space. But you would be mistaken! Although their space isn’t big enough to accommodate their own brewing on a large scale, they have some of their own beers and some of their favourites from around Toronto. With the exception of the beer cruise, this was the first time we sampled a variety of beers from different breweries. All the beers were really good, they even had one from Muddy York (which is a great brewery in the East end), which made me very happy.
It was another awesome event, in fact, I did yoga last night without having a beer afterwards and it just wasn’t the same! I’m looking forward to October’s event, I can’t wait to share it with all of you. See you there!
This week’s beer was my absolute favourite from the festival. If you’ve read past “thirsty thursday”, you may know that I have a thing for blueberry flavoured drinks. It’s very tough to find a good blueberry beer, sometimes you can’t really taste the blueberries, other times it doesn’t go with the beer but this one has been my favourite so far!
It is a seasonal beer so I will definitely be buying as much beer as I can drink within its 3 month shelf life (probably more than anyone should drink). It is one of my favourite beers to date, and if you’re a fan of fruit beer, I would definitely recommend picking some of these up from the beer store before they’re gone!