Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Saving Grace


Restaurant: Saving Grace
Address: 907 Dundas St. W
Phone: 416-703-7368
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 9 AM - 2:30 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM - 2:30 PM
Website: N/A


Interior



Menu



My Review

My cousin and I finally went to Saving Grace, a popular brunch place in Trinity Bellwoods. The place was packed when we arrived on a Saturday morning. I put my name down on a clipboard list of everyone who was waiting in line. We ended up waiting for around 75 minutes in order to get in. It was probably the longest I've ever waited for brunch.

Despite the long wait, the food and price was worth it. There's a standard menu and a chalkboard of their daily specials. I went for one of the specials of the day, which was the frittata. For only $12, I had a hearty brunch. I was satisfied and happy to have finally found a brunch place that was reasonably priced with a good amount of food.

If you live in Trinity Bellwoods, I highly recommend you go to Saving Grace if you haven't yet. It's a very quaint and small place (thus the long line ups) that's perfect for breakfast/brunch any day when you want to be by yourself or with a friend. I do not recommend coming in with more than 3 other friends due to the space. Saving Grace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fonda Lola

Restaurant: Fonda Lola
Address: 942 Queen St. W
Phone: 647-706-9105
Operating Hours: Mon Closed; Tues-Fri 12-2 PM, 6-9 PM; Sat 11 AM - 3:30 PM, 6-11 PM; Sun 11 AM - 3:30 PM, 5-8 PM
Website: N/A


Interior



Menu




Review

Fonda Lola is a Mexican restaurant by Trinity Bellwoods that serves a variety of tacos and magaritas. I had the pleasure of trying some of their menu items while sitting at their back patio on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. The manager recommended a couple of their best-selling items, which were the Candied Jalapeno Bacon and the Baja Fish Taco. I ended up loving both of those items! The Candied Jalapeno Bacon has a spicy kick to it, but is still manageable for people who usually avoid spicy food. I thought the Baja Fish Taco was absolutely delicious. It has a great combination of flavours that melts into your mouth. The other taco I tried was the Tacos al Pastor. I say to pass on these. The pork was not very tender and the pineapple did not make for a great combination.

I ordered one of their margaritas, the Guadalupe. It was alright, I wasn't completely wowed by the drink as it was a bit more sour than sweet. I did try the Horchata for the first time and loved it. It's non-alcoholic as well! It's a light and naturally sweet drink. I learnt that people would drink horchatas to clean their palate while eating. I highly recommend drinking this if you order some spicy food!

Fonda Lola has a great array of food, which some are hits and others are misses. The downfall is probably their price point. The portions are smaller and best if you want to eat something light to share but don't mind spending a little bit more on. Fonda Lola Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

[Event] Taste of Toronto 2017


Event: Taste of Toronto
Date(s): Garrison Common at Fort York
Location: June 15-18, 2017
Website: toronto.tastefestivals.com

I had the pleasure of going to the Taste of Toronto last month. Filled with vendors, food events, and delicious eats, Taste of Toronto is a great event for all foodies alike! There were plenty of samples to try and you get exposed to new and familiar brands. I got to cook in one of the Metro Master Classes with Ted Corrado from The Drake. These cooking classes are free to sign up and I suggest everyone to try one if they go. You should definitely check out Taste of Toronto next year if you missed this year!

Monday, June 19, 2017

[Event] The Stop's Night Market 2017


Event: The Stop's Night Market
Location: 181 Sterling Rd.
Dates: June 13-14, 2017
Website: www.nightmarket.thestop.org

The Stop's Night Market is one of the most anticipated charity events that happens annually. For $100 a ticket, you get unlimited drinks and food from restaurants such as Momofuku, Kanpai Snack Bar, Oyster Boy, and much more. This is a fundraiser for a variety of The Stop's community services, such as the food bank and community kitchen. For a few hours of delicious food and amazing music, this is a fantastic event to try out if you are a huge foodie.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tinuno

Restaurant: Tinuno
Address: 31 Howard St.
Phone: 647-343-9294
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun 9 AM - 9 PM
Website: www.tinunorestaurant.com


Review


My Order: Kamayan Feast, $15/person

Excited by StyleDemocracy's blog post, a foodie friend and I decided to catch up over this highly-anticipated Kamayan feast at Tinuno. For $15 per person, you get an array of seafood, eggplant, and pork on top of jasmine rice (all placed on top of a banana leaf) with a side of mango salad. As exciting as it was to try a Kamayan feast for the first time, the experience we had fell below our expectations.

Before going, you have to make a reservation for the Kamayan feast. So we reserved a couple of days prior and came on time. Despite having a reservation, we waited for 40 minutes for our meal. Everyone that came after us were brought their Kamayan feast right away. While waiting at our window seats, we were surrounded by 4-5 fully-grown flies. We tried to move seats but unfortunately all the other tables were reserved. One of the employees swatted the flies that were beside me but it was not great knowing that there were a couple still buzzing around. It had us questioning how hygienic the restaurant was. On top of that, food that fell on the floor at the table beside us were not swept up since we arrived until after we got our meal and the mismatched chairs in the cramp space definitely left an unfavourable first impression.

When the food finally came out, our server realized she had forgotten our mango salad. Which would have been fine, if it wasn't for the fact that everyone who were seated after us got their mango salad as an appetizer before the feast came out. We were also not given water, utensils, and napkins. We had to wait for a few minutes while munching away on the pork skewers before we could properly eat our meal.

Overall, the experience at Tinuno had my friend and I leaving in disappointment. The food was good, though I felt that it was a bit cold when it finally came out. We didn't understand why we waited as long as we did for our food, whilst other customers that came later got theirs within a reasonable time and fresh off the pan. If one aspect of the experience was below expectations, that wouldn't have been so bad. However with the accumulation of: long wait, multiple flies at our table, forgetting our mango salad, utensils, napkins, water, and unkempt restaurant, I rate Tinuno lower than I would for overall dining expectations. Tinuno Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, April 24, 2017

Livelihood Cafe


Cafe: Livelihood Cafe
Address: 254 Augusta Ave.
Phone: N/A
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 AM - 7 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM - 7 PM
Website: www.livelihoodproject.org


Interior




Menu


Drinks - Soy/Almond/Lactose-Free Options?: Yes to all three, coconut milk available for lactose-free option: $0.35
- Flavour Shot: $0.50
- Extra 'Spro Shot: $1
- Iced: $0.35
- Misto: $0.50
- Coffee beans from Planet Beans and Rufino Coffee

Food - Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Options?: Vegan and gluten-free cookies, vegetarian sandwiches available
- Baked goods are from La Bamboche



Review

Livelihood Cafe is part of a non-profit organization called the Livelihood Project. This organization help refugees develop transferable work skills and re-train people who have lost their jobs to automation. Livelihood Project also teaches digital skills to help people familiarize themselves with the constant changes in the digital world. They hire refugees from Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia to work at Livelihood Cafe. However, they are not just hiring people who are looking for a job. The organization is currently looking for the next leaders to guide their own communities in the future. Livelihood Project aims to give these refugees experience and knowledge to empower others. They want people who are passionate and inspired to make changes within the Toronto refugee community.

The Livelihood Cafe itself is located in the middle of Kensington Market. It acts as a training and meeting space for the public and headquarter for the organization's operations. It allows other non-profit organizations to come and work at the cafe as well. This is also a good space with WiFi to get your own work done if you live within the area.

If you are someone from Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan or Somalia that makes traditional baked goods from your home country, Livelihood Cafe is interested in selling your treats. If you would like to reach out to them, please visit their website.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hidden Burger

Restaurant: Hidden Burger
Address: 22 Front St. W
Phone: 416-362-7585
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 11 AM - 7 PM, Sat - Sun CLOSED


Interior



Menu



Review


My Order: Veggie Burger & SecretBurger Combination

I was invited by Hidden Burger's chef, Morgan, to review this burger joint near Union station. Tucked away in the steakhouse, The Bottom Line, Hidden Burger is not the easiest restaurant to find. Walls adorned with photos of Archie and friends, this is the place to go if you want a good ol' fashion burger. With only a limited number of items on the menu, Hidden Burger strives to do well by serving with only the freshest Canadian ingredients. They are hoping to add shakes and ice cream to the menu soon.

One of their popular feature is the SecretBurger. Every week, there is a new "secret burger" that you can order. To find out what the Secretburger is for the week, you can go onto their social media. I was able to try a combination of their Veggie Burger and SecretBurger in one. Their veggie patty was definitely delicious and I liked having it topped with that week's SecretBurger ingredients, which were: jalapenos, avocado, aioli, and cheddar. Not to mention the chef made a jalapeno aioli sauce to top it all off! The patty did fall apart quickly because it was a veggie patty instead of beef. I liked how the burger was crispy with the right amount of spicy though.

Hidden Burger also has a $10 combo deal (fries and drink included) for their Veggie or Cheeseburger. Due to the limited seating space, it wouldn't be a place for you to bring your friends to catch up at. I would recommend Hidden Burger if you work or live in the area and is craving a traditional burger for lunch or after work.


Hidden Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, February 25, 2017

[Book Review] Have Some Dim Sum by Evelyn Chau

Title: Have Some Dim Sum
Author: Evelyn Chau

Have Some Dim Sum is a guide book for people wanting to learn more about this particular Chinese cuisine. Unlike a typical cookbook, this teaches readers the different types of dim sum. Containing 20 recipes for you to try, this book is for anyone who wishes to learn more about the history of dim sum and what delicacies are offered.

I never review cookbooks because I don't cook. I prefer to go out and discover what Toronto restaurants have to offer, hence this blog. I was asked to review Have Some Dim Sum and was told that it wouldn't just be recipes. So I decided to give it a shot. [Note: I will not be giving my opinion on the recipe aspect because as I mentioned prior, I do not cook.]

This is a comprehensive guide covering all of the dim sum you could possibly encounter. Chau describes how each item is made and variations if there are any.

However, I was disappointed that not every single dim sum listed had an accompanying photo. For any that did, the photos were grouped together a few pages in. I wished that each dim sum had its own photo on the same page. That way when using it as a guide, the reader would remember which dim sum is which. Flipping back and forth from the information to the photo isn't as helpful.

I would recommend checking out this book if you have a keen interest in dim sum or is totally new to this Chinese delicacy and would like to try some eventually.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

[TNWS Feature] Sweets Canada

Company: Sweets Canada
Product Type: Gourmet chocolates made with high quality and local ingredients.
Website: www.sweetscanada.com




Review

Sweets Canada is an online retailer that sells gourmet chocolates. I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of Sweets Canada at The National's Women Show back in November. Sweets Canada aims to be a one-stop shop for a chocolate lover or if you are looking for a gift. Whether personal or corporate, these gourmet chocolates are made with precision and wrapped with care. The chocolate bars are also placed in a fabric pouch, perfect to reuse afterwards for storing or gifting small items. I was able to try an array of Sweets Canada products for this review.

I got to try three of the Gourmet Chocolate Bars and two of the Edible Flower Chocolates. Each one were unique on their own. My favourite is the Dark Chocolate Matcha Green Jasmine Powder. Being a matcha fan, this is a great blend of jasmine and matcha in chocolate. I thought the edible flower chocolates were quite unique and everyone should try it at least once. Each chocolate bar is made with high-quality and locally-sourced ingredients that you can taste.

I also got to try Q'Bites, which are snack-sized chocolate pieces. I found these to be a hit or a miss, depending on the flavour you pick up. The first one I had were the Orange Chocolate Apricots, which unfortunately was a miss for me. Mainly due to the fact that I don't like apricots anymore, making me averse to this flavour. The Milk Chocolate Malt Balls reminds me of Malteses, however a bit lighter and slightly less flavourful. I did like the Blueberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Balls and Milk Chocolate ChoChip Cookies.

I highly recommend checking out products from Sweets Canada if you have a wedding or office party coming up. These are the perfect gifts to give your favourite chocoholic.