Posts Tagged ‘Restaurants’


As much as I like to cook, I must admit that I also like to eat out. There’s always a new restaurant that I want to check out, or a a restaurant that I pass by a gazillion times but I’ve never stepped inside.

Lately I’ve managed to check out the following restaurants/cafes. If I’m blogging about it – then this means that I will be going back.

1 .Tiffin Box (938 Bathurst St)  This restaurant has been around for a few years and is in that category of “I pass by it a gazillion times but I’ve never been in”. I ordered a vegetarian Thali platter for $9.95 and loved every mouthful. Plus it’s owned by the loveliest couple that have been in the restaurant industry for decades. Please note; closed Monday and Tuesday

The platter consisted of a choice of 2 vegetable dishes with dhal, basmati rice, raita and salad. YUM.

2. Almond Butterfly Cafe and BakeShop  (100 Harbord St.) Again, this is in the same category as Tiffin Box. I pass by it ALL the time but have never gone in. This cinnamon bun was gluten free (but there’s plenty of vegan options too) and it was delicious. Really delicious. 3. Pi Co – This is the type of place where you can get a “good pizza’ but don’t want to sit down and be served. Know what I mean? (FYI – otherwise knows as QSR – Quick Service Restaurant). I liked this pizza so much that I went back a week later.  Not to mention I liked the price point too! PS. there’s two locations: 1200 Bay St and 2177 Bay St. According to their websites there’s more locations opening soon!!4. The Drake Commissary: (128a Sterling Rd, Toronto) I’ve been for a quick coffee but finally made it back for brunch. We were so impressed that once again, we went back a week later  for dinner!

This smoked cured and potted fish platter is described as: House cured fish, octopus terrine with nori moroccan olive tapenade, smoked mackerel, roast beet and horseradish dill crema, smoked salmon and caper cream cheese. Served with amazing sourdough bread.

5. Craque de Creme (1360 Bathurst St). This lovely cafe serves unbelievable creme brûlée, waffles (that aren’t your typical waffles) and ice cream too. What a great concept and what a skilled chef!

There’s a few more restaurants that are on my radar too! So stay tuned. In the meantime, I will be eating at home and have every intention of trying some new recipes too!

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Recipe for Change is an event that supports FoodShareTO’s innovative school food programs that excite the next generation of healthy eaters, growers, and sharers. Clearly this is something that interests me!

It’s a PARTY you don’t want to miss. With 30 chefs reflecting Toronto’s diverse food scene, 2 craft brewers, and 4 wineries, February 25th, 2016 will be the most deliciously fun night of the year!

There’s a few reasons I like this event so much.

1. You will meet friendly chefs!

foodshare - chefs

2. There’s something for everyone. i.e lots of vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options.

foodshare - veg

3. The environment!

foodshare - room

The event takes place at the St. Lawrence Market South Building, 130 Esplanade, Toronto on Thursday February 25th from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Of course, I will be there and I hope that will be there too. I promise you that you won’t leave hungry plus you will be supporting an important cause!

Online tickets for the public are available here:

Hashtag: #RFC16

Twitter: @FoodShareTO

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Pinch me…I’m heading to Israel and Italy. I’m super excited to be going to both countries.  I’ve been to Israel (infact, I went to University there) but I’ve never been to Italy. Plus I have a 8 hour layover in Amsterdam and used my time wisely to roam around the city.

amsterdam - trees

Here’s what I’m bringing to Israel:

1. I’m going to be wearing these super comfortable and super light weight KEEN Shoes called UNEEK. I’m crazy about the design of these shoes too. Created from two cords and a sole, UNEEK offers an entirely new approach to footwear construction. I have no doubt in my mind, that I will be purchasing another pair in black.


2. David’s Tea: These make the perfect gifts to bring to Israel, as they are easy to pack and unique.

trip - tea

Here’s what I will be doing in Israel…

a) hanging with family members and friends.

b) visiting the beach

c) and eating. (no big surprise, right?)

Sadly this is not a touring trip but it’s still going to be a great trip.

In Italy – I will be visiting Rome and Florence and Venice too!!. I will be so busy that I think I might need a vacation when I get back.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

a) my Italian friends could not help me with restaurant suggestions as they always stay with family members.

b) my Italian friends consistently told me: “Don’t worry – you can eat anywhere. The food is amazing EVERYWHERE”.

c)  I found out that my friends have a love/hate relationship with cities like Rome or Venice. Either they loved those cities or they said they were”too touristy”. Time will tell, how I will feel.

d) My friends highly recommended me to purchase leather products but to make sure they were made in Italy and not elsewhere #greatadvice

e) Book as much as possible in advance…ie train tickets, museum passes etc.

If you have any suggestions where to eat in Florence, Venice or Rome…BRING IT ON. I’m seeking the best coffee, best gelato, best food markets etc.

As for accommodations: I will be happily using Airbnb throughout most of my trip. I had a great experience using them in Barcelona in 2013 and look forward to my using them in Jerusalem and Rome and Venice too!!

Promise to keep you posted regarding my travels!!

Cheers for now.


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Last week, I went to 3 new restaurants in 4 nights. Im paying for it this week and will be eating a lot of Kale Salad this week!! However my week is nothing compared to a food writer I know that often goes to 3 or 4 media events each night!!

Here’s what kept me busy last week:

a) CC Lounge: This is a prohibition era-inspired cocktail bar and supper club that is in a stunning Ontario Heritage Building. CC Lounge is a 4,000-square foot lounge which is draped in crystals, velvet and gold and features private booths made of hundred-year-old whisky barrels, a custom 10-foot-tall birdcage for showcasing dancers and North America’s first whisky tasting tunnel housing over 100 varieties of whisky.

This is how I was greeted!! Talk about making a statement.

restaurants - cage

The cocktails and the whiskey tunnel, were impressive but for some reason that night I focussed on the food!!

restaurants - cc

b) Borealia: This restaurant has a menu that draws inspiration from historic foods of the natives, early settlers and subsequent immigrant groups who arrived in the 18th and 19th century. The media dinner was nothing short of outstanding. I would run back for the pine scented smoked mussels in a heart beat. Not to mention the whelk was another one of my favourite dishes. They are opened Tuesday to Sunday from 530 pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

restaurants - borealia

c) BarFish: This is a swanky bar at Blowfish King Street West which features cocktails, sake, and some pretty fabulous sushi. Sadly I didn’t capture the space as it was kind of dark but I did manage to get a few photos of the specatacular sushi thanks to @foodsisterhood that provided me some light with her iPhone!

restaurants - barfish

For more information:

CC Lounge: Front St E, Facebook: Twitter: CC_Lounge

Borealia: 59 Ossington,  Facebook:  Twitter: @BorealiaTO

BarFish: 668 King St. West Facebook: Twitter: #BarFish

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Well I’ve been to Ottawa a few times since the Fall and of course with each visit there’s some new discoveries! Here we go…

a) Equator Coffee (412 Churchill)  just opened last week so it was the ideal place to meet my Ottawa Food Blogger friend.   I have no doubt that the neighborhood is going to embrace this coffee shop even though there’s no shortage of coffee shops in the area! (which I found out from my other Ottawa Food Blogger Friend). In my opinion..the more the merrier.

ottawa - equator (right)b) The Bacon Factory Burger Emporium: (154 O’Connor) Well any restaurant that has the word “bacon” in it – has my full attention. My mom and I happily split the burger that had the most amount of bacon in it. Hee Hee. PS this restaurant could have been a bar as it was full of guys. (see photo on far right)

ottawa- burger

c) Red Door Provisions: (117 Beechwood) Oh what a quaint place. My mom ordered the scones which were light and fluffy and I HAD to order the pickled sriracha egg. I’m a total sucker for something different.

ottawa - equator

d) Ace Mercado: (121 Clarence) This new tequila bar that recently opened in the Byward Market is super cool.  The branding of this restaurant/bar is genius. You can tell that a lot of thought went into opening this restaurant.  If you are looking for a cool space to have a drink or for dinner, then this is your place.

ottawa - ace

d) Grounded Kitchen & Coffeehouse:  (100 Gloucester) Discovered them on Twitter (big surprise) and was happy to receive my first coffee on the house because I followed them on Twitter. I love when a restaurant “gets” social media.

ottawa - grounded

e) Holland’s Cakes and Shakes:  (100 Armstrong) Can you say “Red Licorice Milkshake?”. OMG.  Their sandwiches and pastries looked delicious but as always there’s only so much I can eat!! Will have to return one day soon.

ottawa - holland's

As always I love visiting Ottawa. I can’t wait to visit again and find out what else has opened up!


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I’ve just returned from my 7th visit to Las Vegas with my mom. Our trip includes a lot of suntanning (with sunscreen) and eating. Naturally I did a lot of research before our vacation started and made a point of researching restaurants that were OFF the strip. You see, a few years ago we learned that there’s some amazing food to be found that’s NOT on the Strip. Here’s a list of the restaurants that we enjoyed that were just a short cab ride away from our hotel.

1. Night #1: Hot N Juicy Crawfish – we discovered this restaurant a few years ago and even though we try not to go back to the same restaurant twice….we decided that we HAD to go back to this restaurant. The seafood is beyond fresh and we love how your meal arrives to your table in a steaming hot plastic bag. Naturally plastic bibs and even plastic gloves are given out to guests. Not to mention…a roll of paper towels are on your table  as well.

Top Left: The meal arrives. See how happy we are? Top Right: What our table looks like AFTER our meal. Bottom: Love the fact that they have been on The Cooking Channel.

Notice what we are holding in our hands? That's our dinner!!

Notice what we are holding in our hands? That’s our dinner!!

2. Night #2: Chada Thai & Wine. I discovered this restaurant after posting on Chowhound. I then read enough fabulous reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon to know that we would definitely  be dining a this restaurant. We were NOT disappointed at all. I asked our amazing waiter (Bank) to assist us with selecting 4 dishes and he delivered 4 perfect items. The food was fresh, flavorful and light. My mom and I were beyond happy.

Top Right: Pad Hed (Shitake and Shimeji mushrooms stir fried with brussels sprouts and lotus root). Bottom Left: Yum Kai Nok Kata (Fried Quail eggs topped with dry shrimp, cilantro, onion. Spicy lime dressing). Bottom Right: Pla Nua Tod (crispy beef tossed with rice powder, spicy tamarind sauce, onion and mint, served with fresh cabbage).

Not kidding: I would order all of these dishes again in a heart beat.

vegas - chada

Save room for dessert!

chada - dessert


Night #3: In – N – Out Burger. I don’t know where to start to describe this burger. Let’s just say it’s perfect and this restaurant makes me happy (just like the song…sorry, couldn’t resist). In-N-Out Burger has never chnaged their menu and there is a reason why they haven’t changed it. THERE IS NO NEED. Sadly I forgot to order the Animal Style French Fries which is on a “secret menu” and was kicking myself. #nexttime.

vegas - innout2

I also discovered a restaurant called Eat which is only open from 8 to 3 during the week and on weekends from 8 to 2 pm. The reviews I read were outstanding so off we went on a cloudy day for lunch. Even though I love sitting in the sun, I was thrilled that we had this day to discover this restaurant and go shopping!!

Top Right: Cinnamon Biscuits with warm strawberry compote Bottom Left: Green Chili Chicken Posole Bottom Right:Truffled Egg Sandwich.

vegas - eat

On our last night: We celebrated the end of another mother/daughter Vegas trip with our usual jello shots from Fat Tuesday & Chippery inside Caesars Palace. We’ve been going to this little gem of a spot for 6 years to enjoy this $2 treat. LOL.

vegas - jelloshotAs you can see, I had another amazing trip with my mom and would like to thank her for this perfect birthday gift. I’m so lucky have a mom who also loves to travel, sit in the sun and eat good food. I’m already looking forward to spending my birthday with her next year in Vegas!!

For more information:

Hot ‘N Juicy Crawfish 4810 Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas,  702 891 8889

Chada Thai and Wine  3400 S Jones Blvd. Las Vegas, 702 641 1345 (reservations recommended)

In-N-Out Burger (2 locations in Las Vegas)…4888 Dean Martin Drive or 2900 W. Sahara Ave.

Eat 707 Carson St. Las Vegas (702) 534 1515

Fat Tuesday & Chippery: Forum Shops at  Caesars Palace, 3500 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas.


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I absolutely adore Thai food but for some reason I don’t seem to go out for it a lot. I guess one could say that I’m “selective” when it comes to eating Thai food.  Therefore, I was thrilled to have received an invitation to attend an invitation only gala reception at Linda Modern Thai, who was receiving a special designation called “Thai Select”.

I started off my meal with these delicious appetizers. To be honest…I could eat these appetizers all night and be very happy. This type of dish represents exactly what I’m looking for when dining in a Thai restaurant. Not to mention, it’s the perfect meal for someone who is eating low carb!!

My favourite dish!!

My favourite dish!!

I then enjoyed every drop of my Tom Yum Soup with Mushrooms. This is a classic Thai soup made with homemade stock, enoki, beech and maitake mushrooms. I love this flavorful soup and felt compelled to order it, even though I could have ordered a Mango Salad or the Thai Lobster Bisque!!

The meal continued with a few more tasty dishes: Crispy Beef Panang (my favourite), Red Snapper with Rustic Chili Sauce (amazing execution) Stewed Duck with Chestnuts, Pineapple Yellow Curry, and Royal Pad Thai. There was no shortage of food at this event!!

thai - four dishes

I not only only enjoyed my meal but also learned something interesting from Mr Ben Heller who works for the Thai Consulate General. I learned that in Thailand – forks are used as a serving utensil and only the spoon is used as an eating utensil.  One won’t see chopstick or knives!

thai - fork:spoon

I also learned that Linda Modern Thai is one of a handful of Thai restaurants that have received the Thai Select designation. This internationally recognized designation is a mark of certification that guarantees the authenticity of a Thai restaurant and food products that have been prepared with ingredients and spices in the traditional style of Thai cooking.  Linda Modern Thai is the first Canadian recipient of the Thai Select Premium Designation. Congratulations!!

For more information:

Linda Modern Thai, 11 Karl Fraser Road (Shops at Don Mills) 416-642-3866

Twitter: @LindaModernThai

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I think I found out about Aborigens by googling these three key words “food tour Barcelona” and then of course I connected with them via twitter and email. I’ve now completed several food tours (two in New York), one in Israel and one in Barcelona. Each one offered me a unique experience.

Aborigens is run by three partners and one of those partners was the tour for the evening. We met at 545 pm and I swear the tour ended at 11: 45 pm even though it was suppose to be a FOUR hour tour. Our group was so dynamic and friendly that we kept shmoozing and eating and shmoozing and drinking. The fact that Alex didn’t mind, said volumes about their service.

Here’s a photo of our lovely group: there was a mother/son visiting from NY, a couple from South Africa, a mother/daughter from outside Philadelphia, a young women from Australia and moi.

food tour - group1

Our evening included SIX restaurants and at each restaurant we ate and DRANK. There was no shortage of food or booze. I can assure you that NO one left hungry. In fact I didn’t eat anything the next day till 330 pm.  (not even a coffee).

I took lots of photos and arranged them into a few collages to make it easier to show you exactly how much we ate and drank!! This is just a SAMPLE of what we ate. There was more but as always …I don’t want to bore you.

food tour - collage one And then we visited another restaurant and ate some more…..

food tour - collage 2 Plus we walked to another restaurant (that we would have never discovered on our own)

food tour - collage 4We are now getting full. ..but we manage!

food tour - collage 5

What made this food tour so memorable?

-the group itself was super fun.

-our tour guide Alex was accommodating, friendly and knowledgeable. He let the group have fun and we did!!

-the restaurants that were selected were NOT touristy at ALL. Very local. Very Authentic.

-I could have never done this by myself. Its a great way to try a lot of restaurants in a short period of time.

For more information:

Aborigens Food Tours  – please check out their website for further information about their tours and other services they offer to chefs or visiting food industry professionals.

Twitter: @aborigensBCN


The list of restaurants we visited included: Moritz, Koska Taverna, Els Sortidors Del Parlament, Gran Bodega Elkano, Amigo Cascaries, Rosal 34. However please note that the restaurant and what was served might change from tour to tour.


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As you know, I keep visiting Ottawa on a regular basis to visit my parents. On my last visit to Ottawa over the holidays, I asked my twitter friends “what’s new in Ottawa” and with their help I was able to check out two new restaurants: Illume Espresso bar and Union 613. Plus I went to visit Golden Palace , which has been a staple in Ottawa for over 40 years.

My mom and I went for dinner at Union 613 the night that  I arrived….., but only after I read every blog post possible on Urbanspoon.  Reading these blog posts certainly helped me figure out what to order. (Does anyone else do this – or just me?).

We shared the following items:

  • Fried Green Tomatoes, Boston Bibb, pimento cheese, pickled onions, bacon and black pepper ranch dressing

Yummy chunks of perfectly fried green tomatoes

  • Eggplant and Tomato Casserole, herbed clarmell chevre, garlic crumbs
  • Cheddar & Roasted Garlic Hominy Grits
  • Cornbread & Bourbon Brown Butter
  • Dessert: Pretzel Beignet, lime glaze, dark chocolate, acorn creek chili
We loved the atmosphere, the service (Ilana was an amazing waitress) and the food. We were oohing and aahhhing over everything. I should point out that even though I grew up in Ottawa….I had  NEVER been to a restaurant on that “Somerset” strip. (weird eh?). Thanks to Union 613…. that has all changed.
The next morning, we headed to the west end to check out Illume Coffee.
The space is really quite modern and not at all what I was expecting. (but in a good way). Our orders were taken by a friendly young staff member and before you knew it, our lattes were gone. No one was complaining!! All three of us, had nothing but good things to say about our lattes.
We also ordered a few baked goods to enjoy and those were demolished too.
I’m sure this espresso bar will be welcomed by the community and by Ottawa coffee lovers.
I also went to pick up EIPC egg rolls from from Golden Palace. Seriously. These egg rolls are not to be missed. On a Sunday, you can find a line up full of people taking these EPIC egg rolls back to Toronto.

Absolutely DA best egg rolls

Once again, I had a great trip to Ottawa.  By the way, now would be an ideal time to start planning a trip for Winterlude which takes place Feb 1-Feb 18, 2013. (hint)
I know I hope to be there!!
For More Info:
Illume Espresso Bar 1433 Wellingston St. W Unit 111
Union 613  315 Somerset St W. (613) 231 1010
Golden Palace 2195 Carling Avenue (613) 820-8444



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Dear Restaurant Owners:

I have been involved with social media now for the last three years and have always been an advocate that restaurants should be using twitter and facebook.

I know for a fact that when restaurants engage with me, I will most certainly  be “checking out” that their restaurant to show some “love” right back at them. Case in point: Table 17. They engaged with me so much, that I organized TWO tweet ups there.

I’m a little slow with “liking” restaurants on facebook but lately have gotten up to speed. (what took me so long?). One weekend, I saw THREE  facebook updates that interested me:

a) Butter Avenue posted: Matcha Latte is now available.

Perfect for a Winter Day

b) LaBamboche posted: Here’s a photo of our bacon and blood orange macaron

c) SmashCake Desserts: She posted on twitter about her frozen peanut butter cheesecake cookies. I was so intrigued that I ordered 4 of them in a heartbeat. I would have never heard of this young entrepreneur based in Toronto had I not seen her tweet.

Guess who went running to both restaurants? ME. That’s right. What I’m trying to say is: Facebook and Twitter really work. There is a ROI – it’s hard to tell because not everyone announces that they came to your restaurant cause they saw your post but it DEFINETELY works.

However you have to use it and manage it. You can’t just post or tweet and not check in for a week. This defeats the purpose.

It also defeats the purpose if your staff do not know that the restaurant is on twitter and what the twitter username is – this actually drives me crazy. I can’t spread the love about your restaurant on twitter if none of  your staff know the twitter username!

Ok – enough said. I think you get it.

PS. Would love to know from anyone else who has made purchases as a result of facebook or twitter.

For more info:

Butter Avenue 3467 Yonge St. (647) 341 8686 Twitter: @butteravenue Facebook:

LaBamboche:  1712 Avenue Road & 4 Manor Rd Twitter: @labambocheTO Facebook:

SmashCake Desserts: Twitter @SmashCake_TO Facebook:   Tel: (905 616 2480).


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