Aug
19

I recently visited Montreal from Aug 3 to Aug 10. What a treat for both my tummy and my eyes! I’m actually going to dedicate TWO blog posts to the “food” part of my trip. Does that give you an indication of how much food I ate? LOL

Here’s a list  of restaurants that I tried.  Sadly I didn’t make it to Joe Beef as they were closed. Sniff.

Garde Manger:  What did we order? The lobster poutine, Foie Gras with brioche and a blueberry sauce, and the Walleye. We sat at the bar in the back and loved both our food and the cool yet casual vibe of this restaurant. PS almost went back another night for the Foie Gras dish – it was that good.

montreal - garde a manger

Au Pied Du Cochon; This is my 3rd time to this restaurant in the past 7 years and I keep ordering the same thing! Foie Gras Poutine and Cromesquis Foie Gras (basically deep fried squares and when you pop them into your mouth – foie gros oozes into your mouth). This visit I felt like I need to add some vegetables to balance the meal and it didn’t disappoint.

montreal - aupied du cochon

L’Gros Luxe: Noticed that they had a poutine sandwich on the menu AND deep fried avocado. Didn’t take me long to add L’Gros Luxe  to the list of restaurants I wanted to check out. There’s a reason why they just opened their second location…great food, great prices and friendly staff.

montreal - lgros luxe

Olive & Gourmando: This restaurant seems to be packed ALL the time. I went an hour before closing and it was still full of customers (minus the line ups). It was a good strategy not to go for breakfast or lunch seeing as I’m not fond of line ups. The waitress told me that #24 on the menu is a popular salad so I ordered it. It was SO pretty and SO tasty. Just what I needed. I can see why this is a popular spot for tourists and for locals.

montreal - olive

Brit & Chips; One night I was looking for a casual restaurant that wasn’t far from Old Montreal and this restaurant fit the bill. Just perfect.

fishandchips

Ceviches: Oh what a treat to discover this restaurant. Love. Love. Love this restaurant. Again – another casual restaurant and exactly what I was looking for. I wish there was a restaurant like this in Toronto!

ceviches

 

Just so you know – I followed three blogs that were instrumental in helping me decide which restaurants to go to!

1. www.mtlblog.com

2.www.willtravelforfood.com

3. www.shutupandeat.ca

For more information:

Garde Manger 408 Rue St. Francois Xavier, Montreal (514) 678 5044

Au Pied Du Cochon 36 Avenue Duluth Est, Montréal  (514) 281-1114

L’Gros Luxe  3807 St-André  514-447-2227 OR 150 Bernard Ouest  Mile End 514-507-8883

Olive & Gourmando 351 Rue Saint Paul Ouest (514) 350-1083

Ceviches 152 Rue Napoléon, Montréal (514) 419-6391

Brit & Chips 433 Rue McGill (514) 840 1001 or 5536 Cote-des-Neiges, Montreal (514) 737-9555

 

 

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Aug
15

The other night I was on twitter (for a change) and I noticed a lot of buzz about @Poutineville. Naturally I wanted to check it out seeing as I just returned from Montreal and wanted to continue my “Poutine Crawl”!!

I had no idea that Poutineville has 3 locations in Montreal, cause I would have visited them on my recent visit!! However I’m thrilled to announce that they just opened in the Annex and will soon be opening a location in Quebec City too!

The space is super cool and much larger than I thought! It really is a full service sit down restaurant with 130 seats (including the terrace) and a full menu

poutineville - space

As for the menu – you get to choose the the potato (4 varieties), cheese (10 varieties), vegetable (13 varieties) meat (14 varieties), and your sauce (6 varieties)! EVERYONE WILL BE HAPPY!! There’s even an option to select ” all-you-can-eat”.

And if you are looking for a salad – they have a few varieties on the menu as well. Trust me – there’s something for everyone!

menu2

I am well aware that poutine is not the prettiest dish to photograph so please excuse the less-than-glamourous-photos. But trust me they all tasted fantastic…each and every combo!

poutineville - samples

Wishing Costa (on the left) and his staff all the very best in Toronto!

poutineville - owner

PS I have a friend visiting from California next week and think this would be a fun place to visit with an out of towner! Oh how I love introducing friends to the novel restaurants here in Toronto!

For more information:

Poutineville 296 Brunswick (647) 349 2345

Twitter:  @poutineville

Instagram: @poutineville

Disclosure: I was compensated for my meal however all my opinions are my own.

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Aug
13

I love the CNE. What’s not to like? There’s plenty of entertainment, rides, the Canadian International Air Show and FOOD. For me…it’s all about the food and this year my taste buds were introduced to the following.

1. Chocolate Fried Chicken with Chocolate Ketchup. This is NOT to be missed and can be found Coco’s Fried Chicken

cne - chicken

2.The Chunky Elvis…  A Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Cheddar Cheese, Peanut Butter, Sliced Bananas and bacon. Again – NOT to me missed. Brought to you by: Chunky Cheese Cafe and Espresso Bar

cne - grilledcheese

3. The Thanksgiving Waffle. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to sample it but I will be returning the CNE and #itsonmylist. Brought to you by: Fran’s Restaurant. 

cne - waffle

4. Bao with Nutella, Graham Crumbs, Marshmallow whip and Condensed Milk. If you like something sweet – this is for you! What a combo! Brought to you by: Far East Taco

cne - bao

5. The Crow Bar….A croissant with a chocolate bar inside. What will they think of next? Brought to you by: Hula Girl Espresso

Clearly I didn’t need lunch after this media preview!

This year the CNE runs from Aug 15 to Sept 1st at the Toronto Exhibition Place.

Twitter: @LetsGoTotheEx

Facebook: Www.Facebook.com/theEx

Instagram: LetsGoToTheEx

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Aug
11

Dear Readers…


Dear Readers…

I hope this blog post finds you well and enjoying your summer. I’ve had a SUPER busy sumer. In fact it’s been so busy that I haven’t blogged for an entire month. This is the first time I’ve taken a “blogging break” since 2009….when I first started to blog.

Heres’3 reasons why I took a “Blog Break”:

a) I went to my boyfriends’ cottage from July 12 to July 27 and for some reason Rogers (my internet provider) doesn’t work up there. A neighbour suggested that I buy a Bell  pay-as-you-go-package and indeed it worked. YAY. I used it to work and occasionally update facebook and to reply to emails. However I have to admit – I just wanted to sit on the dock and do NOTHING (which is what I did).

cottage-sunset1

b) I’m moving which means I’m drowning in boxes. It’s insane…. I have-so-much-stuff. I’m moving to a rental condo that is several hundred dollars cheaper and has 8 amenities. At the moment I live in an apartment with ZERO amenities and when my rent went up – I decided it was time to move. Despite the fact that I’m stressed with the move, I’m thrilled that I get to redecorate using CIL Paints. (stay tuned for a blog post)

CILpaint

c) I went to a family reunion in Ottawa from Aug 1-3. This meant I had ZERO time to blog. All we did was TALK and EAT. Repeat.

family

d) I also went to Montreal from Aug 3 to 13. See what I mean? I’ve been BUSY. I’ve never spent so much time in Montreal and can’t stop snapping photos ..this city is SO beautiful. (stay tuned for several blog posts..LOL).

montrealI look forward to sharing lots of summer adventures with you – starting NOW. It feels good to be back on track blogging again.

Cheers,

Vicky

 

 

 

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Jul
11

I know..I know….I’ve posted three restaurant reviews in a row. I promise next week there will be NO restaurant reviews K? However bear with me for my last restaurant review K? I attended a media event for Portland Variety and they really nailed it with some spectacular presentation and flavours. Not to mention…they serve coffee that is WICKED.

Ok let’s start from the beginning.

The front of the restaurant serves breakfast (coffee and pastries etc) …take out lunches (sandwiches etc) and after work there is this INCREDIBLE spread of  tapas.  I mean INCREDIBLE…with incredible prices too. There’s also dinner!!

portland - spread

Now let’s talk about the food that is served during dinner. Top Left:  Chickpeas in a creamy sauce, Top Right: Smoked Octopus, Iberico Chorizo, Smoked Tomato, Olive Oil, Lemon. Bottom Left: Crispy Pork Rinds that I wrapped up and put in my purse (no joke).  Bottom RIght: House Made Ricotta with Honey, Hazelnuts and Pear

I’m in love with all the sauces. I could marry them!

portland - food

I didn’t taste any of these cocktails but I sure did want to take a photo of them. One drink was prettier than the next drink!

portland - drinks

Naturally I didn’t have any battery left to take photos of the desserts but I beg of you to try to beignets. (I haven’t begged before but seriously – Im begging you this time).

As for the coffee. It’s not to be missed. Milton (one of the co-owners) made me a spectacular Americano. It was so good that I had one at the beginning of my meal and one at the end of my meal. This is NOT something I do on a usual basis – especially at night.

portland - coffee

ps..Notice how gorgeous the machine is? Well, there’s only 2 in Toronto and he spent a week in Delaware learning how use it!

Congratulations to Portland Variety. I can’t wait to return.

For more information:

Porland Variety  587 King St. W, Toronto (416) 368 5151

Twitter: @PortlandVariety

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Jul
09

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to a media event at Mata Petisco Bar and I have to be honest…I didn’t reply in a timely fashion as I wasn’t sure if I was going to like South American Cuisine. At the last minute, I quickly replied “Can you please squeeze me in?”. I’m ever so grateful that I changed my mind.

The restaurant is located at 1690 Queen St. West and just opened recently. (errr…in time for the World Cup).

Here’s what I inhaled!

Top photo: Cheese Bread and Lobster Pastel; Bottom Right: Corvina Ceviche with Maple Candied Sweet Potato, Celery & Lime Marinate & Fresh Cilantro.  Bottom Left: Smoky Crispy Chicken Hearts w/Cauliflower Puree & Ancho Chili Oil.

mata - 1The meal continued….

Top left photo: Grilled Octopus w/Hearts of Palm Puree, Raspberry & Balsamic Reduction & Taro Root Crisps, Bottom Left: Beef Cheek Poutine w/Casava Frites, Fresh Curds & Scallions. Right Photo: Picanha Sliders w/ Cachaca Carmelized Onions, House Made Catupiry Cheese & Malagueta Pepper Aioli.

mata 2

I was enamoured by these small jars of HOT sauce which I put on everything…ok not everything but close to it.

sauce

If you asked me to nail down my fav dishes…here ya go: a) the crispy chicken hearts, the grilled octopus and the beef cheek poutine. Yum..Yum..and more Yum.

Hope you get a chance to check out this restaurant soon.

For more information.

Mata Petisco Bar….1690 Queen St. West, Toronto (647) 691 0234

Hours: Tuesday to Thursday 5 pm to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 5 pm to 11 pm

Twitter: @MatabarTO

 

 

 

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Jul
07

I swear it’s been 15 years since I’ve visited a Mandarin Restaurant. So when I received an invitation to check out their “Celebrate Canada Menu” …I quickly replied that indeed I was interested.  Not only did I want to visit their buffet again but I was also interested  in helping them celebrate their 35th Anniversary!

mandarin - canada

I chose a location that’s close to where I live and decided that it would be IDEAL to bike over there to help eliminate some of the calories I was about to consume. What a smart move!!

mandarin - bike

The buffet is much larger than I remember and there truly is something for EVERYONE. I can see why this is a popular restaurant for families with kids and for large group celebrations. I bet it would be hard to find a 10 year old that DIDN’T like going to celebrate their birthday at the Mandarin!

The service was efficient and we both noticed how polite our waiters were (shout out to Richard and Tom).

mandarin - 1

Round #2 to the buffet look liked this.

mandarin 2

Round #3 to the buffet looked like this.

mandarin 3

I swear I ate everything except for one vegetable side dish that didn’t agree with my palate.

Believe it or not I made room for dessert. I could not resist my favorite desserts…a nanaimo bar, creme brulee and a rocky road square.

mandarin - dessert

Needless to say we left the Mandarin and happily got on our bikes in an effort to burn some of the calories we consumed.!!

For more information:

Mandarin Restaurant – to find a location near you please click here.

Twitter: @ Eatmandarin

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/mandarinrestaurant

 

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Jul
04

Cravings….


Sometimes I’ll have a salad or a great kale stir fry and even though I’m full…I will be craving something “extra”. Do you know what I  mean?

Here’s my list of how I satisfy those cravings:

-grab a bowl of cereal (I generally have 6 boxes in my kitchen even though I live in an apartment with my daughter part time). These days Multi-Grain Cheerios + Ancient Grains with 5 Whole Grains has my attention seeing as there’s the bonus of ancient grains (Kamut, Spelt and Wheat).

 

7223030_GM_Cheerios

-grab a packet of seaweed

-grab a frozen choc chip cookie from my freezer

-find a piece of chocolate and dip it into peanut butter

However the other day, I was happily clicking my way thru Pinterest and discovered a recipe with Cheerios that only requires 4 ingredients to make. I love these types of recipes …especially in the summer when I rarely turn on the oven.

I grabbed the Cheerios and within no time at all – I had a sweet, crunchy snack to add to my list when Im craving something “extra”.

RECIPE FOR 4 INGREDIENT  CHEERIO SNACK BARS (taken from My Little Celebration)

INGREDIENTS

2-3 cups of Cheerios….try using the new Multi-Grain Cheerios + Ancient Grains

1/4 cup peanut butter (I used Kraft Natural..Crunchy)

1/4 cup sugar (Im going to try and reduce this next time)

1/4 cup honey (I used agave)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small saucepan, melt the sugar and the honey – over medium heat.

2. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and continue to stir

3. Add the cheerios

4. I had these cute little pans to put it in….but you could put it in a small loaf pan, a small dish…anything really.

pan

5. Pop it into the fridge for an hour and then cut up into squares!

final

I have no doubt that I can add these snacks into my freezer so that they are handy!!

Before you start making these amazing snacks, I’d love to talk more about Ancient Grains. I’d love to know….

A) How do you incorporate ancient grains into your lifestyle? (cereal, in your bread, muffins, etc)

B)  What’s your favourite ancient grain? (spelt, whole wheat, kamut,)

Look forward to hearing from you….

PS This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are my own.

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Jul
02

I drove into Ottawa on Saturday at 7 pm and left on Monday at 8 am. This means that I had a lot to do in a short period of time. Guess what? Mission Accomplished. I checked out 4 new places. Here’s what I discovered:

a) Bread by Us…this new bakery is only 6 months old and is already a hit in the neighbourhood.  I had a lovely chat with the owners and enjoyed my coffee with a white chocolate strawberry scone . Next time, I really need to buy a loaf of bread.  Kind of kicking myself that I walked away empty handed.

bread

b) La Trappe a Fromage: I have NO idea why I’ve never been to this store before. It’s only a 15 min drive from downtown Ottawa and WELL WORTH THE DRIVE. There’s a massive variety of Quebec beer and a massive variety of Quebec cheese too. This is now going to be a store that I’m going to visit on a more regular basis.

beerandcheese

c) Beyond the Pale Brewing Company:  I drove by this place in the morning but it was closed and then returned in the afternoon. I’m so glad that I did. What a discovery. I had 3 samples and then chose one to bring back to Toronto. This little brewery is soon to be expanding as there’s a HUGE demand for their beer. Very happy for them.

beyondthepale

c) Salt.…this restaurant only opened 2 weeks ago! I’m not sure what I should write about first…the space or the food. Both are outstanding. In fact I can’t think of a restaurant in Ottawa that has paid this much attention to the space! The owners wanted to create a restaurant that is open late at night (i.e the kitchen is open till 2am) and where live music is played. As for the food – everything is made in house (the jam, the mustard, etc) and both dishes that we had were well executed and plated to perfection.

salt - food

For more information

Bread By Us: 1065 Wellington St. W, Ottawa (613) 422 5300 Twitter: @BreadByUs

Beyond the Pale Brewing Company: 5 Hamilton Ave. N, Ottawa, (613) 695 2991 Twitter: @BeyondThePale

La Trappe a Fromage: several locations…I went to 114 Blvd Saint-Raymond, Gatineau Quebec

Salt 345 Preston St. Ottawa  (613) 695 5755. Twitter: @SaltOttawa

 

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Jun
29

Thought I might share a few things to do on Canada Day.

1) Get up at 9am and take advantage of this $49 deal that’s been offered by HotelTonight!

HotelTonight logo_whiteHere’s more info:  To show their love for Canada, HotelTonight, (a last minute hotel booking app) has announced a special Canada Day promotion for Toronto, Ottaw, and Vancouver. For only $49 – on JULY 1st ONLY.

Participating hotels:

Toronto: Thompson Hotel, Gladstone Hotel, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Pantages Hotel.

Montreal: Hotel Chez Swann, Hotel St-Paul, St. Martin Hotel Particulier.

Ottawa: the Lord Elgin Hotel, among others.

Vancouver:  Hotel Le Soleil, Granville Island Hotel, Moda Hotel.

There are some more details you should know!!

  • Rooms are limited to first come, first served and the $49 rate is only applicable for a July 1 stay. 
  • $49 deals will go live at 9 a.m. local time in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. 
  • Look for deals in each destination marked “CANADA DAY.”
  • HotelTonight will have great deals all day, but the $49 rooms and limited. If you see one you like, GRAB IT!

2) Go Strawberry Picking….This is one of my favorite activities and the perfect activity for Canada Day.  My go-to- farm is Whittamores. (8100 Steeles Ave E, Markham). Here’s what I have learned over the years: wear sunscreen, hat, bring water, FLAT containers, and wear black clothes!

strawberry2

3) Visit an outdoor hotel pool – this is such a treat! I recently spent the day at the Sheraton Toronto Outdoor Pool (123 Queen St. W) and when I say “spent the day” …I mean it. I was there from 11 am to 8 pm.  Please note there is a fantastic fitness centre so you can bring your gym cloths and squeeze in a workout in between suntanning!

pool

4) Visit one of the many conservation areas we are lucky to live near…Mountsberg, Crawford Lake, Kelso. My fav this time of year is Kelso because of the beach.

kelso

5) Just chill and relax! Nothing wrong with that, right?

Happy Canada Day!

 

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