Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Brunch at Lola's Commissary

Went to brunch at Lola's Commissary on Church street today witih my bro. Right from the moment we walked in we were impressed by the building and decor. The exposed brick walls lined with paintings and the simply furnished open space made for an inviting place to want to sit in and relax on a slow halloween sunday.

Bro got Eggs Lola: poached eggs, ancho chicken, tortillas, avocado, la vaquita (sheep’s milk crème fraiche). Looked amazing. (and dish was scarfed down at the speed to confirm the presumption..)

I got the Egg White Frittata . filled with goat’s cheese, mushrooms, spinach, hemp pesto.the flavours were magical..

Was originally going to get the Eggsmopolitan - their version of the salmon benny - always a brunch favorite of mine, but unfortunatetely they were out of salmon today. I guess I'll have to go back verrrry soon to get my fix.
I am indeed looking forward taking a friend there for my next visit.

The menu boasts both sweet and savoury dishes as well as vegetarian options. So suitable for all tastes.

                                               Egg white frittata..with rye toast and "sexy potatoes"
                                               (mix of sweet and roasted potatoes)

Lola's Commissary
634 Church St.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lunch at Utopia Cafe

I've been to Utopia Cafe 3 times and have never been disapointed. They have a killer menu (by that i mean in quality aaand quanitity...very long) But the restaurant doesn't suffer from the usual downfalls of places offering a large menu - usually being the quality of the food!
Not only is it good, but be prepared to take half of it home as the portions are huuge...but still serve up some healthy and fresh ingredients. What I love about this place is they don't skimp on the veges and greens. I've experienced too many dinners out where the restaurant's salad is composed of a few lonely pieces of lettuce.

For this particular meal, my parents were over for a visit from Montreal, and as I know my mom loves her salads, I figured it would be a great place to take them for a nice lunch on a beautiful sunday afternoon.
My dad got a lamb and brie wrap (yes sounds quite rich...but oh so good, and just spicy enough to keep you wanting more). But to my complete shock, my father, who I have never seen leave anything on his plate, couldn't finish the decadant sandwich. This only due to the fact that it was humongous and rich enough to make up 3 meals for a regular person!
My mother got a shrimp curry salad. The dozen or so shrimp were prepared in a spicey indian rub and covered a beatiful bed of lettuce.

But I must admit I as "the winner!" (common expression my mother uses for the person who seems to have chosen the best meal out of all those at the table!)

I couldn't resist..I got the warm goat cheese and mushroom salad. I added a tender marinated chicken breast to the order and the plate was perfect in terms of flavors and texture. I- ate the whole thing! Granted I can live off salad.

So for those of you who love fresh ingredients, and a lot of them - along with friendly, no fuss service - check out Utopia.

P.S. They also have the vegetarian friendly option to subsitute any of the meat dishes with tofu! This is great news to any or my vegetarian and vegan friends! Now everyone can go out together and enjoy a top notch lunch or dinner right in the heart of the trendy College street strip.

My salad- "Objects in picture are muuuuuch larger than they appear"

Located at:

586 College St (corner Clinton St.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pho mi gia phung...on a tuesday night

With all the simple yet wonderful little vietnamese restaurants that line the streets of Gerrard St east, I decided to check this unnasuming joint in East Chinatown on a quiet Tuesday evening. Despite the fact that I may have difficulty remembering how to pronouncing the name of this restaurant,  I can assure you it remains memorable. I was immediately impressed by the warm service and passion of the servers...and then very soon found out my waitress was the daughter of the owner and that may explain quite a bit.

But seriously, I am so used to going to Hanoi 3 Seasons next door to satisfy my routine pho craving.., but this resto holds a place of sanctuary. The manager Tyler is incredibly helpful and patient (who I later found out used to actually manage Hanoi next door), as is my waitress Jenn (daughter of the owner).

I decided to order the delicious house renowned "Mi do bien" which is a bowl of mixed seafood in a light aromatic broth with egg noudles. I never realized until now how much more flavour egg noodles have compared to rice noodles. What I found original is that they serve the noodles seperate from the soup.I was told this helps keep the flavour of the egg noodles intact. Very true indeed- slightly sweet and delicious. Then I realized they bathe the noodles in a light sauce made with green onions and jus a dash of oil....perfect. So then it becomes a do it yourself. You decide how much of the noodles to add into the broth.. best is to do it a little at a time to keep flavours fresh. Genius!
So there you go...a great new twist on a usually very simple dish.The rare beef pho is also devine..and a dish they are known for!
                                                                     Mi do bien

Pho mi gia phung
Located at 598 Gerrard (corner Broadview)
416 463 6699

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The One and Only Cafe

I came to this cafe on the Danforth today as part of my Indie Cofee Passport tour.

I started off by heading there with the goal of getting some school work done. I had a beautiful soothing  rooibos loose leaf tea. The atmosphere of the place was very inviting. Lighting is always a big one for me and I felt at home welcomed here right away as the barista was very helpful and friendly.

When I was done work I realized there's actually a bar attached to the coffee house. They are actually called "The Only". So they work together. They've got a good thing going on here though because both the bar and cafe are host to some delicious and unique drinks. So at "The Only", the first thing I noticed was the very extensive collection of beer from around the world lining the backwall fridge. So many types I have never seen. I figured I just HAD to try one before I left. I mentioned I am not usually a traditional beer lover and tend to go for the fruity type. The bartender immediately suggested I try the Amsterdam "Strong Framboise beer" Sitting in at 6.5% alcohol - I guess that's what they call strong. Regardless, it was delicious and fruity, but NOT too sweet...key for me!

So all in all, I highly recommend both parts of this establishment. Start your outing at the cafe then move over to the bar for a yummy, very well priced pint or bottle of beer. Best of all, look forward to being welcomed by a friendly staff!

Amsterdam Strong Framboise beer

The One and Only Cafe
Located at 966 Danforth (neer Greenwood)