Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Queen Margherita Pizza

This bustling and buzzed about Napoletana pizza place on Queen Street East has reason to celebrate, it really is that good. First of all, Queen Margherita takes reservations, trumping its West side competitor Libretto. When you first walk in, the front area looks small, but don't let that fool you. Just upstairs is a huge seating area with large glass windows, rustic wooden tables and a view of the pizza oven in the back.

It's always nice when a bread basket comes to the table, especially if you're starving, but knowing what was ahead, the basket did not get used. The pizza menu is exciting but they also offer a great deal. For $25 you get an appetizer, any pizza on the menu (some of which go up to $18) and a dessert. What I heard going in was that the pizzas are huge, so my friend Jeff and I decided to split the fixed price. To start we got the ceaser salad, which tasted like your average ceaser, but I found it to be a little small to split. It would have been easy to devour the whole thing. For our pizza we ordered the mezza luna - half margherita and half calzone stuffed with ricotta. The pizza actually came before we finished the salad, which made us feel a bit rushed, and left the pizza to cool off too much. But for this round, it was the perfect sharing size. If you wanted to get your own and don't finish it, they are happy to pack it up. Lots of people were leaving with pizza boxes. I also liked how the crust was a tad thicker and didn't fall apart like at some thin crust pizza places. It had just the right amount of tomato sauce, fior di latte and basil. My one complaint is that our knives weren't sharp enough and it was a bit of a struggle cutting the pizza. There's also hot sauce on the table, that the waitress warned was incredibly spicy. Jeff said it wasn't bad, I had no interest in trying it. The desserts are simple. We got the caramelized bananas with vanilla ice cream. And even though it was small, in the end, it was nice not feeling like we were going to explode from over eating.
Can't wait to go back and do it all over again.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Canteen, Take 2

Back to Canteen, but for brunch this time. The pulled pork eggs benny sounded too good not to try right away. The poached eggs with potato beef hash also sounded amazing, but sadly they had just run out of the hash :(

The eggs were cooked perfectly - fluffy and just the right amount of runny. The pork was tender and very flavourful. The eggs and pork sat atop of an english muffin that got deliciously soggy. And even though all of that was perfect, and looked clean and simple, the plate did feel a little empty with out any sides. The beef hash was also available as a side, which we tried to order, but no luck. Instead, we got something called a 'bacon butty' (and also random because I ordered a 'butty' at Morning Glory yesterday). This 'butty' was simple - Canadian back bacon with maple mayonnaise. It was actually the perfect little snack to finish off breakfast (especially with the lack of a side).

We only had to wait about 10 minutes for a table, and were seated by the window facing King Street. Their patio is also a great spot to people watch. Go before it closes for winter. Also they seem to have their 'to go' game on, as a huge line formed in the restaurant, with people walking away with sandwiches they were wolfing down.

Next up, Luma!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Morning Glory

Food & Co. hits the East side for Saturday brunch at Morning Glory. This King Street spot is small, yet quaint, and I'm happy to report at 12pm, it was a very short wait. The service at times was shoddy, and I'm pretty sure the hipster waiter was hungover, but he got the job done. The multiple sandwich options on the menu intrigued me more than anything else. I went for the breakfast butty, which consisted of scrambled eggs, tomato, mayo and bacon on a soft bun. Plus I ordered the potato rosti as a side. Who doesn't love a good rosti!? Also pictured, the waffles with apples. Be sure to try their homemade ketchup - which looks more like bbq sauce, and tastes like it too. Brunch for two for 20 bucks, fine by me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Canteen

In celebration of the Toronto International Film Festival ending ;) here are some shots from Canteen, the new Oliver & Bonacini restaurant, located in the bottom of TIFF's new home - the Bell Lightbox at King and John. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it's just nice to have a new spot in that area, because there isn't much else. It also looks like a cafeteria, fun.
The portions are small but the prices reflect that, so order a few extra things.
Pictured below is the french onion soup, chicken liver parfait, mac & cheese with smoked ham, and the al parma pizza. The mac & cheese at The Counter is better (and much larger), but I liked the smoked ham mixed into this version. We finished dinner off with a gateau basque, which I had no clue what it was, but there seemed to be fruit and custard inside. It was devoured quickly. Click here to check out the breakfast menu. I'm already eyeing the eggs benedict with pulled pork.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

La Bettola

La Bettola is Terroni's cool new restaurant on Victoria just south of Queen. I wanted to post these shots a while ago but my actual day job got in the way!

We tried the caprese salad, the deep fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta, the deep fried rice cones with mozzarella, gnocchi with tomato sauce and friend eggplant, and handmade agnolotti stuffed with braised beef in a butter, sage and parmigiano sauce. And for dessert the traditional sicilian cannoli with ricotta and nutella fritters.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wanda's Waffles

Yonge Street may not be the best smelling Street in Toronto, but, around the intersections of Yonge and Gloucester and Yonge and Gould, the strong wafting scent of sweetness can't be missed. Open 'till late for all you bar goers, Wanda's Waffles hit the spot. Top your fresh warm waffle with ice cream and chocolate or fruit and you're good to go.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wish

Sweet little spot on Charles Street, just east of Yonge. Wish has an adorable/rustic/wooden/ white patio, that I've wanted to take advantage of for a long time. Brunch seemed like the best idea to try out first. Big fluffy pieces of challah french toast with caramelized banana, and poached eggs resting on top of a delicious thick piece of peameal bacon, filled us up pretty quick. But it was the broiled grapefruit that caught my eye on the menu, and then again with my camera. I'd noticed broiled grapefruit on a menu in L.A. but never got to try it, so when I saw it on Wish's menu, it was a no brainer. It's almost like breakfast dessert, with raw sugar bruleed on top. Makes eating a grapefruit that much easier.

The only downside about the place was on a busy Sunday morning, they only had one (very friendly) waitress working both inside and on the patio. We were patient.