Harbord Fish & Chips

Dating someone who grew up in the city has many benefits, one of them being knowing alleyways that allow you to slink and sneak throughout the city in significantly less time. Through a series of alleyways we travel through the Annex in about 5 minutes. There is beautiful graffiti, Juliette balconies and modern architecture. In the spring I want to walk through these alleys and photograph their simplicity.

Every time we are snaking through these alleys we pass Harbord Fish and Chips, a little hole in the wall place that looks like nothing special but its looks are deceiving. GC had been there years ago and every time we pass it, he suggests we give it a try but we had never gone until a few weeks ago. It was a gorgeous winter day – ridiculously warm and I wanted to enjoy some patio time. Unfortunately most restaurants don’t expect patio weather in January so the picnic tables outside Harbord Fish and Chips seemed like the perfect spot to enjoy some food.

IMG_3215 IMG_3216This beautiful, crispy flaky deliciousness was created by the most adorable older couple in a room that was no bigger than a small closet. The fish was fruity, flaky and fresh. The batter was salty, crispy and was perfectly greasy. The fries were some of the best fries I have had in the city. They tasted like potatoes, earthy and rich, with the perfect crisp and salt dusted on them.

This was a lot of food for me to handle and I definitely regret ordering this much. I later felt ill but I think that was my own gluttony rather than the food itself because GC was fine. If you are looking for perfect fish and chips, do not be put off by the simplicity and worn out sign, it has delicious and authentic fish and chips.

Happy munching!

Rainbow Roll Sushi

I have a very sentimental connection to sushi. When I was in undergrad, GC and I would go at least once a week to the various sushi restaurants along Bloor between Brunswick and Bathurst. I had very specific orders for each restaurant, crafted after years of ordering. In October, I tried Kanji for the first time and fell in love. Since going there for New Year’s Eve I have vowed to not eat sub-par sushi, it’s just not worth it. Despite all of that, this post is about the sushi at Joey’s.

The expansion of Yorkdale brought a new Joey’s location. Although Joey’s is a chain and chains should never be featured on food blogs, I really enjoy this restaurant and their food is presented simply, but aesthetically. We went a couple of weeks ago because I had forgotten to take the meat out of the freezer so cooking at home was not an option.

We started with the Rainbow Roll – tuna, salmon, crab, avocado & sriracha aioli.

IMG_3225Despite my sushi pretensions we ordered this sushi and it was good. It was comparable to your low budget sushi found at Sushi on Bloor or other sushi place but it tasted fresher and as if the fish was higher quality. The rolls were tightly packed, they did not buckle under the squeeze of chopsticks. The avocado was fresh and ripe but still slightly hard, just how I like my avocado in my sushi. I loved the sriracha aioli. Sriracha is something I have recently tried and love. This aioli was the perfect balance of creamy, salty and spicy.  All topped of with a hint of woody, nuttiness of sesame and poppy seeds. Mega yums.

I would not say this is the best sushi I have ever have, it is obviously not but it is comparable to what you would find at your bargain sushi restaurants. If you love sushi, but just want it as an appetizer to a very different type of meal, I would suggest a visit to Joey’s. To finish off our meal I ordered the fish tacos (of course) and GC ordered French Dip Sandwich.

Happy munching!

The Rosedale Diner

The last meal eaten out of 2012 at a restaurant we had not been to yet – The Rosedale Diner. Part of my New Year’s resolution is to eat out less in attempt to save money and lose a little bit of weight so unfortunately there will be less restaurant posts BUT more recipes!

The Rosedale Diner was chosen for brunch on Boxing Day for its location and because it was one of the restaurants Guy Fieri visited on his Toronto vist for Triple D. It is a small diner that is crammed, busy and noisy – you would accept nothing less from a true diner. The food is not your typical greasy spoon dive food, it is healthy and fresh.

We started off with the calamari.

IMG_3170Crispy, tender and not chewy, this was perfectly cooked calamari. I wasn’t crazy about the sauce drizzled on top – it claimed to be a lemon caper aioli but it was slightly spicy with no citrus tang. I prefer my calamari to be dipped and in a citrus sauce of some sort.

GC ordered the egg’s Benedict.

IMG_3171A great but simple egg’s Benedict. It is hard to add anything new to this dish because it is so legendary to brunch and that’s fine. The hollandaise sauce, the mark of a good Benedict, was sweet, tangy, rich and creamy, it perfectly rounded out the dish.

I ordered the Crab and Salmon Burger.

IMG_3172 IMG_3173Creamy, sweet but savoury, and with great hints of dill – delicious! I loved that this burger came in a pita rather than a burger bun and that it was simply dressed with lettuce, tomato and onion. It was very light, but filling and satisfying.

This is a great little diner and I will definitely be returning for the Poutine au Canard, or duck confit poutine – so much for losing a little weight…

Happy munching!

Christmas Baking 2012

I know this is a bit late but I did a lot of baking for Christmas. My baking started with baking for my friend Derek’s family and pretty much ended there. I had plans on doing much more but after baking 7 different types of cookies/bars I thought it would be a bit excessive to do more.

There are too many recipes to share, if anything sounds appealing to you, just ask for the recipe. Almost everything is from Better Homes & Gardens. Next year, if you don’t already do this, I would suggest you pick up their annual cookies and bars holiday magazine.

My favourite cookie I made was the Mexican snicker doodle cookie. I will be sharing this recipe in a few weeks as I will be making them again for a taco party.

Happy munching!

IMG_3163Left: Ginger Cranberry White Chocolate Blondies
Right: Sugar Cookies with Christmas Sprinkles

IMG_3164

Top: Lime Meringue Wreaths and Shortbread Thumbprint Salted Caramel cookies
Bottom: Gingerbread cookies and Chocolate Spice Shortbread Cookies

IMG_3166Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

IMG_3167Cherry Chocolate Cookies (made by my mom) and Mexican Chocolate Snicker doodles

 

Lakeview Diner

Two weeks ago we went for brunch with our friends Nick and Rachel to the Lakeview Diner.

The Lakeview Diner is a Toronto institution – it has been at the same location since 1932 and is legend to people west of Bathurst in Toronto. Guy Fieri recently visited for his Toronto edition of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives which further peaked my interest in this diner.

The Lakeview Diner has a great Art Deco aesthetic utilizing accents of chrome, steel and extensive use of the sharp, industrial fonts associated with the movement. The restaurant is huge, but despite that we had to wait about 15 minutes to get a table for brunch on a Sunday morning. If you are tyring to go for brunch in Toronto on the weekend, be prepared to wait. Unlike other restaurants though, there was a seating area for waiting and the staff continued to check on us and reassure us that they hadn’t forgotten about us. We were seated at a roomy booth near the back of the restaurant with an interesting print done by a local artist entitled, “Peeping Tom.” If you don’t like naked women with your food, don’t look at the walls.

Four people, four different breakfasts. Unfortunately, because my computer decided to have an aneurysm there are no photos to accompany these descriptions so you will just have to use your imagination OR visit the restaurant yourself – which I suggest!

I ordered the Freedom Toast – Egg dipped baguette stuffed with peameal bacon, Brie  and Havarti. Served with Organic ‘Quebecois’ Maple Syrup. This was good but not the best Monte Cristo I have ever had. And that’s what it was, a Monte Cristo, just dressed up under a fancier name. Brie and Havarti do not have strong enough flavours and are too creamy to stand up to the heartiness of peameal bacon. Overall this was tasty but not my favourite. My favourite part of the breakfast was actually these potato chips that they make in house. They are thinly sliced potatoes that have been quickly fried to a crisp. Yums!

GC ordered the Country Benny – Two medium poached eggs, corn flake chicken and country sausage gravy over waffles. GC loved this! The corn flake crust gave the chicken a slight sweetness which complimented the rich, fattiness of the sausage gravy. The eggs were oozy and a gorgeous, rich yellow gold colour. The waffle was fluffy and airy, the perfect base to hold all this dish together.

Rachel ordered the The Ossing ton Massive  – Three Eggs any style (she got poached) with maple sausage, strip bacon, peameal and toast. My favourite thing was they asked her if she wanted whole wheat or rye, or one of each. I think that is amazing because sometimes you want rye for jam and whole wheat for your eggs. My tip for this breakfast: the smallest person at the table should probably NOT order this meal because it is exactly what it claims, MASSIVE. It is massive but it is delicious and filling,.

And lastly, but not least, Nick ordered the Philly Cheesesteak Benny – two medium poached eggs over baguette with shaved sirloin, sauteed bell pepper, maple caramelized onion and Hollandaise sauce. Nick didn’t love this – he said the steak was not seasoned enough. The point of Philly Cheesesteak is to let the steak stand on its own, and be flavoured by the toppings. This meal was lacking the cheese that traditionally pulls together the entire “sandwich.” The Philly Cheesesteak is an emerging trend on the Toronto food scene so we will have to check out some sandwich shops in 2013.

This is an excellent restaurant for brunch. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which suits all breakfast type – early risers and the lazybones who crawl out of bed at noon. I want to go back to this restaurant and try some of their other dishes and their extensive list of cocktails.

Happy munching!