Wednesday, July 28, 2010

George's Very Fancy Timbits

After drooling over Toronto Life's two page spread on the city's best gourmet doughnuts, I had an immediate craving, and an immediate mission. I was going to be in the Yonge and Dundas area for a movie screening, so I settled on George (Queen Street East between Church & Jarvis), whose timbit style doughnuts, filled with warm chocolate, sounded amazing. When we got there, the maitre d seemed extremely bewildered that we only dropped in for 'the doughnuts we saw in Toronto Life.' She also didn't really know what we were talking about and showed us a jelly doughnut option on the dinner dessert menu. After sitting down, a more knowledgeable gentleman asked if we wanted the beignets with chocolate. I nodded furiously and he mentioned the dish is usually just on their lunch menu, but could easily make them. Points for George.

Not long after, four small doughnuts came to the table and we were warned about the chocolate filling, and how it's been known to cause accidents. So we cut into them slowly and watched the oozing begin. They also came with a delicious sweet and sugary jam type dipping sauce. Definitely worth my $8 dollars (a little more with tip).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Origin, Again

Third time at Origin and once again impressed. I actually wasn't even planning on taking pictures but it sorta happened. They've updated the menu since I was there last, adding burgers (which I'll try next time), and a banana cream pie (which I fell in love with). The calamari was even better this time and same with the black cod. Would it be over kill to go back tomorrow!?


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Colourful Cake

My friend Paul Fung snapped this picture of a cake made by Wanda's Pie in the Sky during pride. Not sure how it tasted but it looks pretty spectacular. That's 7 layers people!

The Keg

The Keg's been around for a while. They know what they're doing and know how to cook a good steak. They also know how to keep patrons happy with baskets of warm bread and cheesy appetizers and sides - like the garlic baked shrimp and chipotle mac & cheese. I checked out one of their newer locations at York and Adelaide, which was so spacious and luxurious, I felt like I was in a New York hotel (plus, the finical district always makes me feel like I'm in New York).

We enjoyed everything and although I wanted a filet and also a huge a** lobster, I settled for a sirloin with lobster on top. Definitely not enough lobster for my liking but, it was satisfying for the reasonable price of $23.00. With locations scattered across Toronto including a fairly new one at Yonge and Eglinton and of course the 'haunted' keg mansion on Jarvis, there's sure to be one nearby when you're craving some beef.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Insomnia

Located directly on Bloor Street West in the heart of the annex, Insomnia is one of the best brunches in Toronto. First, there's those home fries, smothered in an addictive rich BBQ sauce. They feel wrong, but are so right. There's also the friendly staff, fun menu and very reasonable prices. It's a must try and on the subway line, so no excuses.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

DB Bistro Moderne

Dining at DB Bistro in Vancouver last month, I learned a valuable lesson: if you're not exactly sure what something is, ask before ordering.

Dragging a few work friends to the Canadian outpost of famed New York chef Daniel Boulud's bistro, I made a slight mistake. After reading 'duck pate en croute' (???) I envisioned a rich pate spread on a crispy piece of bread - sort of like this one at Local Kitchen in Toronto. I was wrong. It was actually this...

And I was not feeling it. What I learned after is that chef Boulud is famous for his terrines and that people adore them. Sadly, I'm not one. It wasn't entirely inedible, in fact I ate the whole thing. I was too embarrassed not to, especially with my work peeps watching me go into foodie mode. The part that was actually the duck pate was the best, obviously.

For my main I ordered the famous burger stuffed with braised short ribs. Intense. And so big, I couldn't eat it with my hands. It had to be cut up.

They also have the piggy burger with pulled pork on top. I tried that last November in New York. A little less intense, yet intense enough to brag about ordering it. Worth checking out if you're in Vancouver but the location may not be ideal as it's not right downtown.

Vancouver

The mountains, the water, the fresh crisp air, the food, the shopping - Vancouver has a lot to offer. Below are some photos I took on a recent visit.


Granville Island Public Market

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Counter

The Counter, housed in Toronto's new Thompson Hotel, is the first out of its three restaurants to open. The 24 hour (!!!!!) diner, with its entrance on Bathurst, is still flying a bit under the radar - which is a good thing. Or, everyone is just going at 3am, drunk, looking for some unhealthy yet delicious post bar eats. And that's just what I got (minus the drunk part) dropping in recently for post work eats.

The space is modern, but also tries to give off a bit of a throwback feel. The booths are comfortable and spacious, and the restaurant is actually quite large. There's an entire section with the bar and TV screens that I didn't notice until leaving. And yes the food may be pretty unhealthy, but that's why you're at a diner to begin with, so suck it up!

Had to try the double mac & cheese and the loaded poutine with smoked meat. Jeff took another route - wanting to be healthy at first, but then caving for the po'boy sandwich (with fried shrimps). The bread was a letdown for Jeff - too soft. The mac and cheese on the other hand was pretty much perfect. Perfect amount of breadcrumbs, perfect amount of cheese, perfect amount of truffle flavour and the perfect size. I couldn't finish it, even with Jeff's help, but if a number of people are sharing it, perfect. If I were to add something - I would say bits of bacon or prosciutto. It came with some sort of prosciutto chip, but it was kinda awkward to eat. The smoked meat was a nice addition to the poutine. The American owner of the Thompson came by our table to see how our meal was and commented on how we all love our poutine in Canada. Yes, we do!

Oh, and also impressive was the chilled glass for my beer. I was planning on just chugging from the bottle but come on, a chilled glass, I can work with that!

P.S. Jeff wasn't doing photos.