Playa Cabana & Birthday Fun

A couple of weekends ago, I celebrated my birthday with friends on Saturday at Playa Cabana. I really didn’t want to make a big deal about it but a few of my friends asked me what I wanted to do and so it was really down to two things: try a new pizza place or a new mexican place (and by new I mean, new to me).

I was leaning more towards Mexican and remembered that a friend had suggested Playa Cabana. A few yelp reviews and a look at the menu and I wanted to try this place. I called to make reservations about a week in advance. I initially wanted this to be a lunch thing but they didn’t have an available table that seated my party so we had to go with the 6pm dinner instead. On the upside, we were given the back patio and I was glad because the inside seating is quite narrow. The place was buzzing too so I can see why reservations are a must.

We started with sharing crab & corn cakes. MMM, there was a really tasty spicy sauce it came with.

Crab & corn cakes

We also got a pitcher of Sangria and Mojito’s. It definitely felt like I was on vacation for a couple of hours.

Sangria & Mojito

As for the fish tacos, I opted for grilled and a couple of friends opted for the default fried. I did a swap so I could try the fried and you know what? I liked it more. The fish taco’s came already with a spicy sauce inside and shredded cabbage.  I didn’t think I would like the fried because I love the grilled fish at The Fish Store (which has pretty much set the standard for me for what I want my fish to taste like). Who am I kidding? I’m a sucker for deep fried stuff. I was honestly hoping my grilled was going to taste better. It was okay, but the fried was just better. Darn! I’ll know for next time.

Fish Taco’s with Fried Fish
Fish Taco’s with Grilled Fish

I liked the corn tortilla’s, they reminded me of the ones I picked up from La Tortilleria when I was missing Mexico. I don’t think I’ve shared that story yet. After feeling homesick for Mexico retreat – you know when you get back from vacation and you miss your vacation food, home, company and routine. That’s right, food and nostalgia. By eating food I enjoyed there, I could transport myself there even if just for a little while. I searched for Mexican shops in Toronto that made fresh made corn tortillas. You get to choose between white or yellow corn. When I picked mine up, they were steaming hot. The downside to that story was that I pan fried grouper for the first time ever and I ended up eating this disgustingly oily fish wrapped up in a lovely corn tortilla. I can’t remember exactly where I went wrong. I have a feeling, I was afraid the fish was going to stick (pan-frying fish makes me nervous), so I probably just kept adding oil to prevent that from happening while it was cooking. Ugh! We all have our bad cooking moments we aren’t proud of.

Anyways, back to the dinner. It was just what I wanted. A great meal in a relaxing environment with good company and tasty bites.


The next day was family celebration time. I told my family, I wanted to eat in for a change instead of eating out to celebrate (After 2 days of eating out, I missed home cooked stuff). My sister made me vietnamnese lemongrass pork chops and strawberry shortcake cupcakes for dessert. My mom prepared some steamed fish and stir-fried greens with garlic and bought some roasted chicken and duck.

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

We finished off the day with Prometheus. My family and I are Aliens fans so it was perfect!

For my birthday, I received a few surprise sweet treats. I had the first two within a couple of hours of one another, on the same day I was going to go exercise. Luckily, one of them was ice cream cake. haha

The Strawberry Almond Tart was very good. My friend surprised me at work and it caught me off guard completely. She just dropped a paper bag into my cubicle and yelled “Happy Birthday” and I was at a loss for words. I managed to say thank you and gave her a hug but nothing else was coming. LOL! And I am usually quite chatty so I know it’s just because I was in shock that someone actually came and surprised me on my birthday. How sweet and thoughtful! And she came with a treat. 🙂

My co-workers surprised me with the ice cream cake late in the afternoon – at which point I was already thinking. I think they forgot. lol! As for the vegan/GF cupcakes, my BF surprised me with them and they were super sweet. We liked the chocolate frosting more than the vanilla because it was smoother/velvety compared to the vanilla which was more grainy and OH so sweet.

Strawberry Almond Tart
Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Cake
Chocolate & Vanilla Cupcakes (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

On the evening of my birthday, a couple of friends took me out for dinner. I initially wanted meatballs from Hey Meatball because after writing that post, I really wanted to go again. LOL! We got there too late, because we got distracted by kittens on the street (The kind of cuteness that makes time stop). Who am I kidding? I stop every time I see a cat on the street. This time we were mesmerized because there was 3 kittens chasing one another (and each other’s tails) and hopping around on the lawn. One also ran into the street (my friend and I were in shock watching) while a car was coming, stopped in front of the car and luckily the car also stopped and waited for the little guy to come back to the sidewalk before driving.

We went to Hey Meatball but it was already past the closing time so we ended up a couple blocks over at Utopia instead.  It was very hot evening so we took a seat by the front where the front windows were open. I got a couple of shrimp burritos with salad and rice. It was tasty and filling (their portions are on the big side). I love the extensive menu at Utopia, it’s easy to go there and everyone can find something to eat.

Kittens Playing
Shrimp Burrito’s with rice and salad

And that’s it, birthday is behind me. Another year older and still lots to work on!  🙂

I actually woke up on my birthday thinking, I really don’t want a big cake this year. I felt lousy for thinking that too. I got a bunch of sweets but I’m glad none of them was a big heavy cake, just wasn’t feeling it this year. All in all, it was a good birthday full of evertyhing that’s important to me: time with friends and family and tasty eats.

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