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



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


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




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.

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.


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.