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Good Eats Review: Marianne’s

I had one of those mornings yesterday where I didn’t have time to grab breakfast. While running an errand in the Hospital District, I found myself standing outside of Mount Sinai. With that annoying question of ” What should I eat?”… Before I could finish that thought, I saw a hot dog vendor and noticed an extensive menu board.

Marianne’s

Marianne’s Menu Board. The LOVE PLATE is on the bottom right.

I walked closer to read it from top to bottom. I narrowed down my choices between a peameal bacon sandwich, pulled pork sandwich, sausage or a Love Plate…. Well, Love Plate wins! -> what a name! haha 🙂
Check it! It was mad delicious…

Love Plate: Jerk Chicken Sausage, Elk Sausage, Onions, Roasted Sweet Potatoe and Sour Cream.

I wish it was double it’s size. Mainly because, I didn’t eat breakfast so I was playing catch up with my meals. It never really works out (How did I do that in highschool and university? crazy.) Overall, it is a great spot to grab a quick bite on the go. A nice alternative for those of us that don’t always want to have bread with our meal.
Anyways, check our Marianne’s for Regular sausages, wild game meat sausages (elk, bison). She has regular baked potato or sweet potato to choose from as well as a few sauces: wasabi, apple cinnamon and cranberry lemon. I got the cranberry lemon.
To read more about Marianne, check out this Toronto Star article and all the rave reviews on Yelp.
What delicious meals have you had on the street? I would love to hear from you and learn about great places to try in the city.
Have a great weekend!
– Julie


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Good Eats Review: Merryberry Cafe & Bistro

A few weeks ago, a friend from SF was visiting and a long time friend recommended we try out her friends restaurant in Cabbagetown. Merryberry Cafe & Bistro. It sounded cute. I looked it up online and found the website to be fun and unlike anything I’ve ever seen for a restaurant. I noticed their very extensive drink menu. But didn’t really look too closely at everything else because I didn’t have time that day.

Merryberry Cafe & Bistro Menu

We went for a late lunch on a Saturday a few weekends ago. The decor was colourful and playful. We oohed and aahed over the non-uniform wall paper cutouts. How bold, how daring, I thought to myself. Bold and daring to cut uneven bits of wall paper and not commit to one pattern. And it totally works! The colourful pillows that lined the booth seats really set the mood. Naturally, I went for the booth seats. They always seem cozier. My friend even pointed out how some of the pillows had pockets. Lol! You can tuck a magazine or loose papers inside (like the ones on the back of an airplane seat. 😉

Merryberry Cafe & Bistro: Window

This place had lots of textures and colours and contrast for our senses to absorb that I really had trouble focusing. Lol! I was so excited! If I could have picked out multiple careers to have interior design would probably be one if them. I had to take a few pictures right after I ordered. My visitor even pointed out that he liked the pattern on the wall paper closest to us.., I had to touch it. It felt good to feel the grooves under my fingers.

Beautiful colourful space

You probably know by now that I’m pretty crazy about food but decor excites me too. You can have great food and crappy decor which will attract people that are all about food. But Bad food and nice decor just doesn’t work for me. This place was great food and great decor! A real gem.

Tokyo Fog Tea: Green tea (by Kusmi Tea) with steamed milk and vanilla syrup. This was delicious. Not too milky, not too sweet. I’m also totally loving the green tiles on the table.

I don’t normally have caffeine because I found after reintroducing it during my hypoallergenic diet, I get headaches, even with Green tea and yes, that is annoying. Occasionally, I just drink it anyways and bare with the headache because I do enjoy it. They have a lot of drink options, so next time I’ll have to try something else.

Side Greens. Had this to go with my burger.

Provencal Salmon Burger: Salmon & Roasted Red Pepper

My friend ordered the above and he said it was tasty. I spent a while deciding between the salmon and the veal. I decided on veal (pictured below) in the end because it had bacon and smokey ketchup. Love smokey. 🙂

Smokey The Burger: Veal Burger with Cheese, BLT & Smoky House Ketchup

It has been a while since I’ve had a burger. It was incredible! I LOVE bacon and especially loved the smokey ketchup.

Magic Quinoa Salad: Organic Quinoa with Grapes, Smoked Salmon and Pine Nuts

My friend ordered the above and said she loves it because of the variety of textures and flavours. Those little orange matchsticks in the centre are sweet potatoes!

Chicken Pot Pie & Salad

My other friend had the chicken pot pie and loved it. Actually, we all loved our meals. Everything was wonderful.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

The pie was the perfect ending to a delicious brunch. We loved the strawberry rhubarb and had to fight the urge to order more slices.

White walls adorned with non-uniformly cut wall paper pieces.

In the above photo, notice the cute stencils on the chairs and the branches on the wall? *gush* Also, the colourful pillow in the back with the pocket holding a magazine? Yup! Those are all pillows that line the booth seats.

Merryberry Cafe & Bistro: The Exterior.

I wish I had a cafe like this in my neighbourhood to tuck away in for a bite. It seems like a great place for people of all ages. And it was filled with people of all ages. It felt very comfortable like you were at someone else’s house.

Have you been to Merryberry before? What are your favourite casual cafes and brunch spots? What draws you to places? The food or the decor or both? Please share in the comments.

Julie


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Toronto Food Truck’s at TIFF 2012

From September 7 – 17, 2012 hungry TIFF goers, foodies, food truck lovers/fans can gather in front of Bloor Cinema as there will be a rotating schedule of three food trucks everyday from 7pm – 12am.

My sister sent me this article on Thursday and we made plans to go yesterday. I was excited to see what the Toronto Food Trucks were cooking up. Other than eating chinese food from the Chinese Food truck in front of Robarts and the poutine from the Blue truck outside of City Hall and well ice cream trucks, I haven’t attended any of the Toronto Food Truck events or gone out of my way to hunt one down.

The night before I read this article appropriately titled “Enjoy The Last of Lobster Roll Season” (was this a sign? Ack! I’ll take it!) which only confirmed my choice that this was the time to try the lobster roll. LOL!

When we arrived the first truck – Buster’s Sea Cove had no line. YAY! I’ve had Buster’s Sea Cove fried fish sandwiches from St. Lawrence Market so I knew their food was going to be good. We decided to bypass the fish tacos and shrimp tacos (both of which I was really tempted to get, but wanted to hold back for the Food Dudes).

Buster’s Sea Cove Food Truck

Maine Lobster Roll. We ate half the sandwiches before taking this shot because snapping a shot before we ate slipped our minds. We were obviously hungry.

We tried the Maine Lobster Roll from Buster’s Sea Cove. It was tasty and the bread was buttered and toasted but the lobster filling was cold. It was our fault though because in the excitement of there being no line (we were also hungry.. lol!), we forgot to ask if it was cold or hot & buttered kind… and it was cold. We both prefer sandwiches that are hot (yes, even the fillings). So, next time, I’ll hold back if the lobster roll isn’t the hot & buttered type. I’m sure the shrimp tacos and the fish tacos are mad delicious but I’ll have to try that another time.

Buster’s Sea Cove Menu

Buster’s Sea Cove

When we were waiting for our lobster roll, I ran over to The Food Dudes to take a glimpse of their menu. Their line was starting to grow longer and I took a peak inside their really well lit truck. I noticed the team was huddled together. The same way that I’ve seen football teams huddle together. Anyways, I thought it was really beautiful for them to physically come together and have a huddle before things got crazy. And crazy it got.

Food Dudes

After we placed our orders, this truck had the biggest crowd of people. I really liked how the lady that was taking our orders interacted with customers. She was enthousiastic and charming even with all orders she had to take and the big crowd that had formed. Even though I couldn’t hear all of the conversation that was going on between her and the woman ahead of me, it seemed like the woman ahead of me was a fan. They ended up shaking hands before she took my order. How often do you see that? ^^ LOL! It was really something.

Food connects us all. ❤

Food Dudes Menu

The Food Dudes menu sounded delicious.

They had two small high tables out big enough to hold the forks, chopsticks, and napkins. Gosh, these wooden high tables were beautiful. The edges were tree bark. You’ll catch a glimpse in the photo below. OK, back to the food. Everything was fried. *gulp*

We decided on Mac & Cheese balls off the bat. Then debated about the Sambo’s. I wanted the Captain Crunch Cod taco’s for sure, but we were torn between the veal meatballs or the pork shoulder. We decided in the end on the pork shoulder because when it comes to a steamed bun versus a cheddar jalapeno buttered biscuit… Well, buttered biscuit wins. I was worried the steamed bun could be sort of plain or worse, soggy.

Mac & Cheese Balls. Holy Moly.

The breading was light and did a great job of holding together the mac & cheese inside. The macaroni was chewy, the cheese inside was tasty as well. The sauces on the outside are pesto and tomato – My FAVE combination. Well done Food Dudes!

Captain Crunch Cod Fish Taco’s

I really liked the Captain Crunch breading. I don’t even remember if I’ve ever had the cereal. But man, do you make a good breading. LOL! I really liked the soft shell taco’s because they didn’t have a strong starchy taste, they were a good complement to the orange sauce. I really enjoyed the flavour/texture combination here. The crunchy slaw, the bits of scallion combined with the mystery (I couldn’t figure out what this was but it was sweet) orange coloured sauce and the sour cream and the crunchy taco’s. STELLAR.

Another shot of the Captain Crunch Cod Fish Taco’s on the beautiful wooden high table.

BBQ Pork Shoulder on a beautiful wooden high table.

Above is the picture that shows more of the wooden high table I raved about earlier. Isn’t it just lovely?

BBQ Pork Shoulder on Cheddar Jalapeno Biscuit. Oh my!

The pulled pork (pork shoulder sambo) was our last order. Using a biscuit instead of just a kaiser or ciabatta as I’ve had in the past, was genius. The biscuit was able to absorb the pork sauce drippings but not fall apart as you ate it. At the same time, if you got a bite with less pork, the biscuit was flavourful enough to hold it’s own. The combination was really delicious. The pulled pork was sweet but more acidic than I’ve had in the past. They were quite generous with the amount of pork they gave and I had trouble finishing. At first glance I thought the tempura bits and the smokey garlic mayo were enoki mushrooms. haha

I was extremely happy with the Food Dudes. Everything was piping hot and flavourful.

After all those fried goodies though, I was feeling pretty heavy. I was also surprised that I got full so fast. I was hoping my sister and I would still have enough of an appetite to try something off the last truck. But nope! I guess we just can’t gorge like we used to. I do eat pretty healthy most of the time so when I have fried foods, I really notice the difference but I also appreciate it more when I do indulge because it isn’t a regular thing.

Here’s the schedule of trucks so you can plan your visit accordingly.

If you make it out to try the Toronto Food Trucks during TIFF for the remaining days Sept 9-16, let me know what you try and what you think in the comments.

Otherwise, check out Toronto Food Trucks to keep up to date on where our food trucks are and special events.

What are your favourite food truck or street eats?

Hope you have a good rest of the weekend!

– Julie


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New York City Trip: The Food

This is the last of a series of posts on my recent trip to New York the weekend of July 20, 2012. Just joining us? start here. Read the first post but not the previous one? read this.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that food is pretty big for me. If you haven’t eaten yet, this post might make you hungry because it’s full of pictures. It’s making me hungry and I can’t do anything about it because none of these restaurants and food vendors are in Toronto.

Before leaving for New York we had already decided we were going to share food as much as we could so we could eat more. Thinking ahead. 🙂 We forgot this idea sometimes and other times we knowingly dismissed it because we were far too hungry to share. I wanted to eat lots of things: fish taco’s, pizza, cabbage rolls, blintzes, schnitzel, perogies, dumplings, house made noodles, ramen, onigiri, okonomiyaki and if we had time some baked goods from Babycakes.

Famous Original Ray’s Pizza

That first day, after dropping off our belongings in our hotel room it was around 5:30pm and we were exhausted, still wanted ramen but knew we needed to eat something close and quick. We went outside and spotted a Ray’s Pizza. My sister told me she remembered a Seinfeld episode where Kramer was lost at First and First and makes a collect call to Jerry for help. Jerry asked him where he was and he said he was near a Ray’s Pizza and Jerry asked if it was Famous Ray’s or Original Ray’s. Kramer’s panicked voice on the collect call was HILARIOUS.

Ray’s Pizza

We should’ve shared, but when we entered and the aroma of baked pizza hit my nostrils, I felt like I hadn’t eaten in days and sharing was the last thing I wanted to do. We were both in agreement. One of my favourite foods is pizza, I could eat it everyday and not get sick of it but I don’t because I know I shouldn’t (I’m such an adult! LOL!). Other than the apple I ate in the cab ride to the airport and the whole wheat digestive cookie I had on the plane ride there, my belly was empty.

Ray’s Pizza: Pepperoni, Sausage & Ham

Damn this pie was good. It was thin, the bottom of the pie was crunchy as you ate it and it wasn’t burned. They also had a good amount of sauce and variety. I saw pizza with pasta on it! But I opted for a sausage/pepperoni kinda pie because that’s what I was in the mood for.  The pizza was wonderful, I wanted to buy a whole pizza to go to the room and just eat until I passed out. I told her we should save that grand idea for another night. After all, it was our first night in New York. LOL!

Oh! Taisho (East Village).

After having Ray’s Pizza, we took the subway to the East Village. I had read about Oh! Taisho On Yelp just a couple days before we left so the name kind of stuck in my head. When we landed all we wanted was Ramen and although I couldn’t remember if this place specialized in it (and as it turns out it didn’t, but it was on the menu), but whatever, it was Japanese and I wanted some okonomiyaki (my first) and some takoyaki as well.

Oh! Taisho

As expected, it was a popular place, the line up went outside and I was told it would be a 20 minute wait for 2. We’ll take it. Thank goodness for the pizza. I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if we hadn’t had that first. We would probably be frustrated.

Luckily in about 5-7 mins we were called to the bar. NICE! I loved that I got a great view of the cooks in action including making yaki onigiri (grilled rice ball).

Pork Ramen

Okonomyaki

Takoyaki

Yaki onigiri with salmon filling

The meal

We really enjoyed this meal. We definitely ordered more than we could handle but we made sure we ate as much of everything as we could. The ramen was my favourite because I really enjoyed the pork broth. Also, since it was the first thing I wanted to eat when we landed, it was very satisfying. I realize I prefer regular onigiri to grilled version and after eating takoyaki and okonomyaki, I got sick of the sauce pretty fast (the same). So, next time, I’ll order one or the other, but not both.

Shake Shack

A friend raved about how tasty the burgers were at Shake Shack, so I was excited to try it out. I really enjoyed the space. There was a lot of seating, a water station (self serve), a drink line up and a food line up. The table tops are made from bowling alleys in Brooklyn. I liked the soft bun and fresh lettuce inside. The meat is ground fresh everyday and from what I read, from some good quality beef (hormone and anti-biotic free angus beef) too.  The fries (one of my favourite junkie foods), were sort of dry, but I have a weak spot for potato-ey things and things that are deep fried. So, I ate it anyways. ^^ The burger was very satisfying and even with the fries it didn’t leave me feeling heavy or lethargic.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack Meal

Shake Shack: Close up of burger

Xi’an Famous Foods

I remember reading about Xi’an Famous Foods before New York and being lured in by their photos of hand-ripped noodles. We were both really excited to try this place because we love noodles. We decided on one spicy pork and one spicy beef noodle soups. It was really tempting to just order a dry noodle but we learned from the past few meals that we couldn’t eat as much as we would like to.

Xi’an Famous Foods: Our Noodles

Spicy Pork Noodle Soup

Handpulled noodles – These were soo long, it was hard for me to see where they ended.

The small place was full (with a line that went all the way out the door) so we got ours to go and ate it in the hotel room. YUM! It was very satisfying and made me want more Chinese food. The noodles tasted soo chewy and fresh. I also couldn’t get over how long the noodles were. Highly recommended.

China Village Restaurant

After visiting the brooklyn bridge and making our way to Chinatown, we were too tired to wander, so we picked this restaurant from the NYC visitor guide we found in our hotel room.

Egg Drop Chicken Soup

Stir Fried Garlic with Gai Lan (chinese broccolli)

Chicken Fried Rice

We ate really late but it was a very satisfying and simple meal. Exactly what I needed. Some soup, some fried rice and my garlic gai lan GREENS! This meal satisfied my Chinese greens craving.  🙂

Bian Dang

I read about this food truck before we got to NYC and although it had mixed reviews on Yelp. I wanted to give it a chance in case the bad reviews were perhaps from people who just weren’t accustomed to the taste of Taiwanese cooking. I was wrong. Man, I was wrong.

Bian Dang

Bian Dang Meals. Fish cake on the left and pork chops on the right.

The portion was huge! Three fried pork chops on top of rice with a pork sauce. My issue was that I couldn’t taste any seasonings on the pork chop it just tasted oily. And it was quite fatty. I ate about three bites and tossed it out. The pork sauce was very bland too. What a waste. My sister was disappointed with hers too. Her fishcake was too starchy and not enough fish. We have both tasted better in Taiwan which probably makes us more critical of this food.

Rickshaw Dumplings

After doing some shopping damage in Times Square, we stumbled upon the Rickshaw Dumplings stand. We had been planning on going to their food truck location (talked about it everyday but never made it in time) but found it in Times Square. I remember reading online they were known for their Thai Basil Chicken dumpling so I ordered that and my sister got the pork and chive.

Rickshaw Dumplings

Rickshaw Dumplings

We shared a few pieces between us at the hotel room so it had cooled down. And maybe because it was cool, it didn’t taste that good to me. The stuffing was so, so and the sauce was okay. It made me miss my own shrimp and pork dumplings. If I get the chance to try it again, I’ll definitely just scarf it down at the stand. The only reason we didn’t was because our hands were full of bags. Although by the sound of these reviews, the dumplings are normally lukewarm. That’s just terrible.

Nuchas

We spotted Nuchas in Timesquare after Rickshaw dumplings and thought we’d pick up to try as a snack.

Nuchas

What is it about something wrapped in dough that makes me go crazy? I think it’s that in one bite, I am getting all kinds of tastes and textures. There’s something about biting into a baked doughy pastry and tasting the filling inside that is pure comfort and flavour country. It’s fun to eat too because no utensils are needed. I got to say, I haven’t had a whole bunch of empanadas before so I don’t have much to compare these with. We had them after they had cooled down a bit in our hotel room and they were packing with flavour! These were incredible!

Nuchas: Empanadas

Ukrainian East Village Restaurant

This one sort of disappointment both my sister and I. It had rave reviews on Yelp so we were excited to indulge in pure comfort (potatoes and meat) type of food.  Going in our four wants were: schnitzel, blintzes, perogies and cabbage rolls. I went in expecting this meal to be a lot like the Polish comfort food I love in Toronto. It wasn’t. Boy, I should’ve done some more research. I wanted perogies that were lightly pan fried and ours might’ve been shallow fried because it was more fried/crisp than I would’ve preferred. There was a misunderstanding on my part where I asked for a plate with mixed fillings – I wanted a mixture of cheese and potato for the plate and we got a plate that was half cheese and half potato. It was still perogies (one of my faves), so I ate as many as I could as fast as I could because I didn’t want them to get cold before my main came out.

Ukrainian East Village: Perogies

Then my main came… and my heart sunk. It was covered in a mushroom cream sauce that was sort of bland. I was expecting a tomato based sauce and I can only have so much cream sauce before I get sick of it. I could only finish a few bites of cabbage roll because I knew I needed to save room for the blintzes.

Ukrainian East Village: Cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes on the side.

They were probably the best part of the meal. These are like pan fried crispy rolls of pancake filled with cheese, blueberries and strawberries. Yum!

Blintzes

Fillings in the blintzes: strawberries, blueberries and cheese.

Stage Deli

I have a confession. I have never had a reuben. GASP! I know right? I know… So I was told that this was something I should eat in NYC. I really wanted to. Why is it that when you are in search of a Deli you can’t find one? And then when you are finally at one, you realize they don’t offer reuben’s in the morning? LOL!?

Stage Deli

Stage Deli was recommended by my sister’s bf. It had a real old deli feel to it – like it had been around for ages, like the waitstaff might’ve been working there for a long time, it hadn’t changed much but not trying to be anything than what it is. Love that. I just read that it’s been around for 70 years! haha They got to be doing something right. It was our last day. *Sniff* or we were hoping this was our last day because otherwise we were going to have to find another hotel that afternoon. As it turned out later that afternoon, we got final confirmation that it was our last day and my passport was ready.

Stage Deli: Photo Wall

We shared a pastrami/egg sandwich. They folded the egg with the meat inside thing here (I saw this at another cafe when I ordered an egg/bacon sandwich). Details. It’s about the details.

Pastrami Egg Sandwich on a Soft Bun

Potato Pancake with apple sauce and sour cream on the side

I wanted something “light” so I picked the potato pancake. hahaha. My appetite was still pretty small. We were both anxious about whether this was going to be our last day. It was also too “fried” for my liking. I guess I compare everything to M’s grandma’s cooking and I was expecting something soft and lightly pan fried. I ate it anyways with sour cream and then with apple sauce.

Thai Street Food by Tuk Tuk Boy

After we got my emergency passport from the consulate, my sister booked our flights home for that night and we went outside to look for a quick bite to eat.  It was around 4pm and I was mad hungry because we spent the past few hours in the consulate and our last meal was breakfast at Stage Deli. Luckily, there were food trucks and vendors right outside the consulate so we didn’t have to go far. We decided on some chicken pad thai.

Thai Street Food Vendor

Chicken Pad Thai

We wanted this just to tie us over until we could find something else so we shared. It was a little drier than the pad thai’s that I’m use to but it was quite tasty and did the trick.

There was soo many more restaurants, street food vendors and food trucks on my list that I hope to hit up the next time I’m in NYC. Next time, I want to make sure I get more ramen, some fish taco’s, some baked sweets and a reuben. I’m also missing Ray’s Pizza, thank goodness I don’t live in New York or else it would take more willpower to not eat regularly. 🙂

What are your favourite NYC eats? 

Did you enjoy this post/series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Other posts in this series:

New York: The First 6 Hours.

New York City: Activities & Sights


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Good Eats Review: Queen Schnitzel

A few weeks ago, on a blazing hot summer work day. My co-worker and I went to Schnitzel Queen and it completely lived up to the great reviews on Yelp.

Schnitzel Queen

It was not as small as I imagined. I guess I was imagining something about half of it’s size. It is tiny but I didn’t mind as I was planning on getting takeaway. Also, it was air-conditioned which was a sweet relief after being outside with the sun beating down on us.

Inside of Schnitzel Queen

Upon entering, my senses were overloaded with the deliciousness that is the schnitzel. I knew this was going to be a life changing lunch! Perhaps it was odours lingering from the hot oil – they fry them fresh. Yum!

My co-worker friend and I took our time scanning both the menu and the posted specials. It was pretty hard to decide. I knew I wanted a sandwich because I heard their portions were huge and couldn’t imagine scarfing down a plateful of food. In the end, we decided maybe we should share a sandwich – The King Schnitzel. haha I wish I had a picture of us from that day. Two petite girls, huge smiles, chatting excitedly about toppings.

King Schnitzel

After we placed the order with the wife, my friend told her that we have been planning to come here for months. I joined the conversation (thinking I was so glad I came with this girl, because I know I probably would’ve been to shy to shared that but I was glad she did). I said that I had read awesome reviews on yelp and I knew I had to come because I love a good schnitzel.

Menu

By the time we ordered, 3 patrons had left so there were enough seats for us to eat. The wife asked us to stay and eat. But we declined because we didn’t have enough time to stay.

Her husband was frying our schnitzels and when he came out to greet us he said that “We are only open for you” – hahaha That’s sweet. He saw that I had my phone so he said “Are you going to write  a review?” He used hand gestures of someone typing on their phone.  I said “OH yes! I’ve read great reviews on Yelp and I’m going to post about this on my blog”.

His wife said “First, you have to try it!” I said “Right! I’m sure I’ll love it” haha And I LOOOVED it!

When we got back to the office, another 30 mins later. Mad strolling in this kind of heat. We managed to take some pictures before we devoured it. Taking food photos fast is a skill I’m working on. Trying to capture the food in the best angle/light (without annoying the people you are eating with) and quickly devouring it while it’s hot.

King Schnitzel

My conclusion? The best PORK Schnitzel I’ve ever had. I haven’t had that many. But I’ve had ones that were very fatty, dry, where the batter separated from the pork. This pork was so moist (they must’ve tenderized it like crazy), lean and the batter was light, it held on to the pork and the toppings (aside from the processed cheese which I could personally do without).  We had caramelized onions (TONS! yum!), bacon, sauerkraut (best one yet – not too sour, not sweet, just right), with tomatoes and a big thing of curly green leaf lettuce on a soft bun.

My half of the King Schnitzel

I’ll admit the sandwich looks ridiculous. The meat is much bigger than the bun. I ate it with a knife and fork. HAHA

And by the time I finished my half, I didn’t feel heavy, just satisfied. 🙂

Can’t wait to go back. Definitely returning, I have to try their potato salad and I’d like a platter next time.

Where are your favourite schnitzel places? Have you been to Queen Schnitzel? What are your favourite toppings for schnitzel sandwiches? 


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Steamed Brown Sugar Buns

Last week, I had a day off in light of Independence Day (Wednesday). I ended up staying up really late on Tuesday night and found that Wednesday morning, I was feeling sluggish because of the hot humid weather. After my breakfast smoothie (around 11am), I wanted something small to eat for lunch. I opened the freezer and found these buns. I had purchased these with hopes of steaming them the week I bought it. Then weeks went by and I forgot all about it.

Brown Sugar Swirl Steam Buns. The package says “Preservative Free” and “MSG Added”. I’m hoping the “added” is a mistake in translation…

These were delicious! They aren’t stuffed with anything. And aren’t as sweet as most baked goods are. These are imported from Taiwan and taste just like the Taiwanese steamed sweet buns we would buy from street food vendors in Kaohsiung. We ate them almost everyday when we last visited there. Nothing beats freshly steamed! Oh how I miss street food in Kaohsiung. I’ll be posting another time with pics of some good eats I had during my last visit.

Brown Sugar Swirl Steam Buns

These did the trick. I had two of them and they pretty much tied me over until dinner.

What are your favourite steamed buns?

I also love two steamed buns you can find at Dim Sum: the yellow custard ones and the lotus paste ones. MMM.

Have a wonderful Monday!


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Evergreen Brick Works Farmer’s Market

This weekend was a scorcher!! How did you spend it? I spent mine connecting with a couple of friends on saturday and taking it easy most of sunday because I woke up feeling really lightheaded and dizzy. I don’t think I did a good job with liquids yesterday – lots of strolling and chatting but probably not a lot of drinking. I had lots of fluids today to make up for it and stayed in bed for a good chunk of my sunday.

Early saturday morning, I got up around 7am and met up with a friend around 8:30am so we could head out to Evergreen Brickwork’s Farmer’s Market. I’ve heard great things about it and I’m so glad I was able to go this saturday. I was particularly excited because it was my friend’s first time going to a farmer’s market and I was glad to be part of this initial experience. It was a really hot day so we started off with some freshly squeezed juices (ginger, apple, carrot, beet) while we took our time to browse the vendors.

I snatched up some kale and swiss chard from Sosnicki Organics and some magenta lettuce from Everdale Farm. My plan is to use the kale in either in smoothies or stir fries and the magenta lettuce in salads.

There was a lot of vendors to see and a wide variety of produce and products for sale: including kale, chard, lettuce, cucumbers, garlic oil, fresh flowers, lavendar, ice pops, snow cones, mustard, blueberries, currants, radishes, beets, garlic,strawberries, strawberry tarts, cheese, sausages, fish, mushrooms, pies, baked breads, beauty products and much more.

Evergreen Brick Works

Evergreen Brick Works

Evergreen Brick Works

Evergreen Brick Works

Ali’s Catering: Baked goods

There were lots of prepared foods too. Ali’s catering has lots of interesting goodies. Pictured above to the left is a beet baguette. If you are gluten free, dairy free or vegan, she has some baked bread loaves (or mini loaves) that should accomodate your diet. When I was doing my elimination diet, I would regularly go to Dufferin Grove Farmer’s Market or The Stop’s Farmer’s Market at Wychwood Barn’s just to pick up a half or full quinoa loaf (when I couldn’t yet have wheat).

EBW Farmer’s Market

Fresh Lavendar

I settled on some Belgium waffles by The Waffle Bar because I’ve never had them before. I’ve seen them in the frozen aisle at my neighborhood grocery store, but they just don’t look as appetizing to me as FRESH belgium waffles. I noticed little spots of white in the batter. I asked the vendor that was making them what the little spots of white was and whether it was white chocolate. He told me that it was pulled sugar imported from Belgium. First time I ever heard of pulled sugar, interesting. Note: You’ll notice in the bottom left of the photo below the balls of batter on the blue lid with the pulled sugar waiting to go into the waffle maker.

The Waffle Bar: Belgium waffles being made

Belgium Waffles with whipped cream and local strawberries

Belgium Waffles with whipped cream and local strawberries

After biting into these, I was certain I’ve never had these before. These had a texture that was chewy like a baguette and not like the pancake batter-like ones we have at dessert places. I thought it was interesting having the little bits of crunchy pulled sugar. I’m not sure if I needed it, but I didn’t mind it. I really enjoyed the local strawberries, the whipped cream, icing sugar on top.

After something sweet, I wanted something savoury. We had seen burritos, grilled cheese sandwiches and empanada’s. But I had seen people wandering around with interesting looking dumplings so I wanted to find this vendor.

My Little Dumplings

My Little Dumplings: Jerk Chicken Dumplings

We found My Little Dumplings which rotates global flavoured dumplings every week. This week it was Morrocan Chickpea, Jerk Chicken or Arctic Chard. All sounded good but we decided in the end on Jerk Chicken dumplings. I can’t help it, I love jerk chicken.

I asked the vendor (I found out today, when I looked up their website, I was speaking directly to the Chef Bashir), what goes into their dumpling skin and how do they prepare the dumpling. He told me that they use ground organic wheat flour and seasoned the flour with spices. The result of seasoning it with spices changes the colour of the skin. SOO COOL!!  I also found out these little guys (at least the ones I ordered) were steamed. One of the other dumplings had black sesame in the skin – I thought the little black specked pattern looked familiar!

When we bit into these tiny morsels we were both exclaiming with how flavourful and moist these were. We were both surprised that the chicken wasn’t ground chicken but diced pieces of chicken covered in spices.

I had a great time at Evergreen Brick Works and can’t wait to go back. Try to make it out to Evergreen Brick Work’s one saturday morning if only just to check out the lovely farmer’s market and the food vendors. BTW, there’s lots more to do there, check out their site, fun for everyone!

How was your weekend?