Julianna Yu's Blog


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Introducing Fitset, Toronto’s Fitness Pass

Quad Spinning East

Photo courtesy of Fitset.Taken at Quad

In January, I was asked to be a Brand Ambassador for Fitset – Toronto’s Fitness Pass. It kind of made my day. I remember the subway ride into work that day (before I got asked) reflecting on what I wanted to do this year and one of the main things was to seek out activities that will help me grow. So, when I got asked later that day… It felt like magic. 🙂 I have been a supporter since the start and am over the top excited about trying out different types of workouts and getting involved with spreading the word about Fitset.

It’s easy for us to stick to what we know when it comes to fitness – big gyms and whatever our current routine is. I am currently a member of a gym (made use of my corporate discount) but I am also a studio pass owner of a Yyoga and Studio Lagree. Although I enjoy having access to all three, there’s a part of me that always wants to do and seek out other activities to shake up my routine and get me out of my comfort zone.  If you’re like me, Fitset can help you reset your current routine by getting you to go out and try new workouts, which can only be good. Maybe you’ll find another workout (or workouts) that are complimentary to the one (or ones) you currently participate in. Maybe you’ll realize, what has been missing in your routine all along. And maybe you’ll meet people with similar interests and make new friends while you’re at it.

Moksha Yoga  (5 of 18)

Photo courtesy of Fitset.Taken at Moksha Yoga.

 
Fitset’s mission is to make fitness more accessible and to make fitness more exciting for those living in the city. They want to get Torontonians moving while having fun and living an active and healthy life. There are tons of fitness options in our city and Fitset has hand picked the best speciality studios.

In this way, we can try out studios without the pressure of having to commit to a membership or studio specific class pass. It’s kind like dating before committing to someone exclusively. I like the sound of that and I cannot be the only one.
There’s an indoor surfboard class, boxing, Muay Thai, spinning, obstacle training to name a few.

Photo courtesy of Fitset.

Photo courtesy of Fitset.Taken at Krudar Muay Thai. 

The Fitset pass allows you up to three workouts per month at each of their specialty studios. Have fun finding your ideal workout routine without worrying about committing to a studio exclusively. If your needs change and you need to cancel, you can do so at anytime and there are no hidden fees.

Whatever your reason is for joining

  • a NY goal to be more active
  • wanting to break up your current routine (all the time),
  • get out of your comfort zone (heck yes!),
  • meet other people (always),
  • get out of the house (off the couch)
  • explore the city in a whole new way (you can workout in a neighborhood you might not otherwise find yourself in and try a new restaurant or coffee shop while you’re at it.
  • wanting to try a fitness style you haven’t tried before
  • revisit something you tried in the past – some things are worth a second try.

To purchase the Fitset pass or get more info.
https://fitset.ca

Connect with Fitset

  • Fitset on FB: Fitsetpass
  • Fitset on Instagram and Twitter: @Fitsetpass
  • Fitset Blog aka “Fitfeed”:
    https://fitset.ca/blog/

What are your favourite fitness activities? How do you keep fitness fun?

Please share your workouts and how you keep them interesting. 🙂


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Fitset Studio Partner: Big Hit Studios

Have you heard the exciting news about Fitset and their UNLIMITED MONTHLY FITNESS pass? They are currently in Montreal and Toronto. If you missed my last post about Fitset and my ambassador role start here

After 3 weeks of rest (no exercise whatsoever), coupled with long days at work and missing being active, it felt great knowing that I was about to get back into the groove of things again. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling heavy, lethargic and fatigued because since I got back from vacation in late December, I haven’t been as active as I was in November prior to going. The result of this is a break in routines – not eating at regular times, not snacking well, not having restful sleep (worrying about my mental to-do list), and not exercising on a regular basis.  One thing I know for sure, when I’m active a few times a week, it helps my mood, I sleep better and eat well.

A close friend of mine and her friend were excited about trying out studios in the city with Fitset, after I had dinner at her place one night and told them about it as well as my ambassador role. They both hadn’t ever taken classes from fitness studios before so they were intrigued by it and motivated to explore along with me.

Meet the B.O.B. I can't wait to beat you up. :)

Dear B.O.B. I wish I could beat you up daily. 🙂

The first studio we tried out was Big Hit Studios. They offer cardio boxing and kick boxing classes. I got there about 10 minutes before the 11am class started and was greeted by Adam. He helped me register for the class and gave me a tour of the space. When I walked in, I was surprised to see all the B.O.B’s in the classroom about ten it looked like. I had a very full week and I was soo excited to be able to kick and punch something without worrying about hurting anyone (myself included).

After I got changed, I noticed four to five more people had made it into the classroom and then my two friends joined. It was a good sized class. The room was quiet. The other students sat on the ground quietly with gloves and water next to them. Perhaps, they were getting themselves mentally ready for the cardio boxing that was about to ensue.

The Sunday morning 11am class was called the “Beating The Weekend Cleanse” and is described as an “All round kick ass boxing with the majority of moves based on intensely beating the B.O.B. Body weight exercises, waking up all the muscles, incorporated throughout.” It sounded perfect to me. Class description says it all. I wanted to wake up everything in my body and being able to beat up B.O.B. appealed to me.

After a few minutes, Adam turned on music, which wasn’t too loud so we could still hear him without him having to shout and we started our warm up and all the pre-workout nerves I was having slipped to the background.

Within five minutes into this workout I felt my heart racing and I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. I could feel my breakfast jumping around inside of me and regretted the decision to eat 10 wonton’s for breakfast. They were delicious in the moment but will not make this mistake again.

photo 2

Workout essentials: water bottle and sweat towel.

Adam was a great instructor. He was consistent about doing a quick demonstration (repeating it at least twice) and then very quickly moving around the room to observe us, give us pointers on technique and reminding us to breathe. I liked that his moves were not complicated and were one to three steps at a time. For example: Lift your right leg up knee bent 90 degrees and kick out while jumping on your left leg. Do not put your right leg down.

He made sure to walk around the room for every move and side we were working on. This made me feel I was in good hands. He saw that I was drinking water often and reminded me the filtered water was behind me if I needed more.

He never raised his voice (he told me later it’s just not his style), instead he would ask us questions: “Are you getting tired yet?” throughout. I wanted to say yes every time, and I remember wondering if the words made it out of my mouth or whether they were stuck in my throat which felt like it was dry even though I was drinking constantly.

"It's You VS You" - YESSS!  Adam, my friends and I.

“It’s You VS You” – YESSS! Soo true. 🙂
Adam, my friends and I.

We all had plenty of room to drop and do many rounds of squats, pushups, burpees, mountain climbers which was mixed in after rounds of beating up BOB. This is why I love group classes, I always end up doing wayy more in a group setting then I would on my own. Feeling the energy of everyone else in the room working hard motivates you to keep going as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed punching BOB in the chest and abs, pounding my fists into his shoulders and kneeing him in the stomach. My favourite punch was probably the uppercut. I felt the hardest kick for me is the side kick. When I first did it, I was hitting BOB with my ankle, Adam was very quick to catch that, he corrected me after my first kick and reminded me to use my shin. This became my favourite kick after that because I felt stable and firm in my standing leg.

If you’re looking for a way to get the stresses of your week out or maybe you just want to get your heart rate up.  This would be my kind heart racing cardio and maybe it could work for you too. Give it a try!

What kind of cardio activities do you enjoy? Have you tried cardio boxing or kick boxing? Let’s get the conversation going. 

Check the Fitset site regularly as they are constantly adding new studios and workouts. 


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Halloween at The ROM

Last friday was Halloween and this year I was invited to go to Friday Night Live at the ROM. Being at the Musuem at night with food vendors, drinks, people in costumes, live music and exhibits to explore sounded like a fun way to spend Halloween. Although most Halloweens I’m good with just watching a scary movie and staying in.

Friday Night at the R.O.M: Boo!

Friday Night at the R.O.M: Boo!

We spent a good chunk of our evening getting ready and trying not to rush ourselves because we both had long weeks and felt like we needed to just slow down before heading out again. It was the weekend after all and didn’t want to stress ourselves out with trying to get there early. We got there for the last 2 hours or so. If you’re planning on going, I would recommend going earlier so you can check out all the different rooms and levels.

IMG_5934

A good friend had asked me a few weeks earlier and I didn’t figure out my costume until 2 days before. A costume wasn’t necessary but I figured it was Halloween, so I might as well wear something I might not otherwise wear for the fun of it. My only two criteria was I wanted to feel comfortable and I wanted items I could use again. My 80’s inspired aerobic costume came about while tossing around ideas with a friend one day and getting lots of great advice from a sales associate. I decided not to do the headband because although classic it would probably bug me. So, I opted for a scrunchie and high side ponytail instead.

Close up of my makeup. My favourite feature is the eyes. I used a new bright blue eyeshadow my friend got as a gift from Sephora because my regular makeup was too plain for this costume and just put it on real thick.

Close up of my makeup. My favourite feature to dress up is the eyes. I used a new bright blue eyeshadow my friend got as a gift from Sephora because my regular makeup was too plain for this costume and just put it on real thick.

 

One sided high ponytail with a scrunchie. Do you remember wearing scrunchies? ;p

One sided high ponytail with a scrunchie. Do you remember wearing scrunchies? ;p

 

White leotard was a last minute change in decision right before I paid. I was suppose to go with grey but then I looked at the grey bodysuit and thought it just seemed kind of plain in contrast to the other colours. And yes, I was also self conscious because white makes us look bigger right? eeeek.

White leotard was a last minute change in decision right before I paid. I was suppose to go with grey but then I looked at the grey bodysuit and thought it just seemed kind of plain in contrast to the other colours. And yes, I was also self conscious because white makes us look bigger right? yeeeek. After weeks of snacking on chocolate and chips and working at a desk for long hours, the last thing I probably thought I would feel confident in was white. But for some reason, once I got my costume on, I felt pretty super. My incredible tight jeans I wore that day probably made this costume feel soooo much better. 🙂

Me.n.u Food Truck station

Me.n.u Food Truck station

There were many wonderful creative costumes which made the night feel even more magical. Lots of Mario and Luigi’s, little red riding hoods, Chung Li, Cops and Swat agents and lots of more.  We both felt inspired by the sea of costumes we saw and want to prepare earlier for next year’s Halloween festivities.

There were hot foods stations catered by food vendors. Naturally, that was highest on my list along with exploring as many rooms as we could. The first vendor we saw was selling fried chicken on a stick but after I got the R.O.M. food/drink tickets, we went to the bar first and then I saw ME.N.U food station so I wanted to try their food too because I remember reading about them before. It was delicious! The combination of the soft roti with crunchy cabbage, onions and pulled pork. They had me at roti and pulled pork…MMM. I want to try more of their foods next time. Check them out, they run a food truck in Toronto. 🙂

This was Me.n.u Food Truck's pulled pork roti.

This was ME.N.U Food Truck’s pulled pork roti.

Dance floor

Dance area on main floor. Love the lighting.

IMG_5925

What did you do for Halloween? What did you dress up as? Any scary movies?


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Lagree Fitness at Studio Lagree

Journey to Lagree

I am a big fan of the TV show Suits. So much so, my daily ritual included listening to music playlists on YouTube from the first two seasons. Yep, that kind of dedicated fan. This past summer, I watched a Shape Magazine interview with Meghan Markle, who plays Rachel, the paralegal on Suits. If you’ve seen the show, you can’t help but adore Rachel. I’m envious of her stylish wardrobe and all those pencil skirts she looks absolutely stunning in. Naturally, I was wondering what she did to stay fit. She runs, does Tracy Anderson workouts and yoga but when she’s in LA, she goes to Pilates Platinum. When I searched for Pilates Platinum online, I learned that it utilizes the Megaformer, a machine designed by Sebastien Lagree.

When Lagree designed the megaformer he took the reformer from pilates and changed it up so 1000’s of exercises can be performed on it. He wanted to help people make the most out of their time so they could achieve more in 40-50 minutes without having to do separate workouts for cardio, strength training, and body conditioning. There is no need to have any pilates experience and is accommodating for different levels of fitness. It is very low impact so it’s good if you have any joint pains. It sounded good to me!

After reading about the Megaformer and testimonials, I searched for Megaformer classes in Toronto and found Studio LagreeWoohoo!!  I read reviews of the Lagree workout and decided to take the summer to revisit Mat Pilates before I tried out the Megaformer, even though it wasn’t a pre-requisite, I wasn’t ready yet to take the plunge. Prior to this, I had taken Pilates on a drop-in basis for 2 years in my early 20’s. Yep, I’m at the age where I can say that now.

I spent most of the summer doing independent workouts at the gym using free weights and body weight exercises and mixing it up yoga and mat pilates classes. I enjoyed the variety at first but knew I wanted something more challenging and structured.

My First Class at Studio Lagree

In the last week of August, after a Saturday where I did 2 pilates classes back to back (2 hours), I wasn’t feeling satisfied with how I spent that time and I decided I needed to just try Lagree.  So, I signed up for a first timer’s special – a one week unlimited class pass and went to four classes that week.

I took this picture before my first class at Lagree. Those machines were definitely intimidating to me from afar.

I took this picture before my first class at Lagree. Those machines were definitely intimidating to me from afar.

I was nervous about being on a machine. When I’m at the gym, I don’t gravitate towards machines at all (cardio included). I prefer body weight exercises and props AND if possible an instructor. I’m also afraid of heights and one of my fears, was of losing my balance and falling off the machine, or feeling like the machine is really far away from the ground. Luckily, when I got on the machine and got to stand next to one, this fear quickly went away. I’m not THAT high off the ground. *phew* So, if I do fall, it won’t be that far. HA!

I went to my first class on my own. I got to the studio early, purchased some toe socks, which felt weird (it’s the fabric BETWEEN my toes thing) but so did my Five Fingers toe shoes when I first put them on. Once you start exercising though, you don’t notice them at all.

My first pair of Half Toe Bella Toe Tox.

My first pair of Half Toe Bella Toe Tox.

I got to chatting with the gentlemen at the front desk when I was signing into class. He told me about how he use to be a former football player and has lost 65lbs since February. His face lit up as he was talking about the workout and how it achieves long lean muscles. He reminded me that everyone was really friendly there so to not hesitate at all about asking questions. I couldn’t help but smile and nod. I later learned the gentlemen I spoke with, Carm, was also one of the owners of the club.

My first class started off with plank to pike which totally set the stage for the intense workout ahead.  The instructor reminded us to go slowly with each move taking four seconds to go out and four seconds to go in and reminding us when to breathe in and out. This was very helpful & important because I often get that mixed up.

I liked that the class had a variety of moves that we would only do for about 30 secs or so. It sounds like a very short amount of time but it feels painfully longer when you are moving slowly.  I was very focused throughout and didn’t take many breaks because I didn’t want to miss out on anything.

When we were working on our inner thigh muscles, my glutes started to shake uncontrollably. I don’t believe this has ever happened to me in any other class, where I can’t actually control the shaking. This was hilarious, I couldn’t help but look at my reflection. In my sister’s first class with me, she noticed my shaking and said “you had stripper butt”. Bahaha!

I was completely drenched after my first class. It felt sort of neat to be as sweaty as in a hot yoga class but without a heated room. I felt sore after my first class and every day that first week but really happy. I could feel muscles in my glutes I hadn’t ever felt before. The class lived up to my expectations and I thought “YESSS, this is it! This was what I was looking for.”

Post First Class at Lagree. Notice how drenched my shirt is.

After my first Class at Lagree. Sweaty Mess. Happy.

Lagree is my Zen Space

I’ve been going to Studio Lagree about 2-3 times a week (other than a few weeks due to set backs – colds/schedule conflicts/injuries) since that very first class. When I rave to my friends about it, I usually say “It feels like I’m slowly tearing myself a new body from the inside out.. and that’s a good thing”. Basically, I might not see the physical changes on the outside right away but the inside, I can feel that there’s changes happening. 🙂

After my intial weeks at Studio Lagree I found my sleep to be more restful, I’d wake up with more energy and my abdominal muscles, obliques, inner thigh and glute muscles were sore unlike any other exercise I’ve ever done.  I’ve lost some pounds, gotten some compliments from others about me leaning out. But like most things, I know I would see more physical changes if I was more consistent about my diet + my fitness regimen. Since starting Lagree, I haven’t been to any mat pilates classes or to the gym to do independent workouts, my schedule’s been more hectic than ever. So, it’s saved me time! I enjoy the variety in classes, that regardless of how often I go during the week, no two classes are the same and I feel challenged throughout class.

Every class is different and the weights can be adjusted based on your preference (more or less resistance) depending on if you are facing the front or the back of the machine (moving with the weight vs pulling the weight). The instructors I’ve had have all been great. They’ve been consistent about reminding us about correct form, keeping us focused and letting us know how to modify an exercise. Most of my classes have been with Leila, who’s encouraging, funny, friendly and always finding ways to keep us feeling challenged.

I’ve been going to Lagree a bit over 6 months now. I get pretty bummed when I can’t make it to class. Lagree is my zen space. When I go there, I feel like I leave everything behind and when I come out, I have more clarity. My mind rarely wanders in class. When you’re executing plank, spider, teasers, bear, newspaper, catfish, mermaid and the like, all you can do is focus on stabilizing your core and trying to maintain good form as you move slowly. I usually leave feeling refreshed and calm, ready to tackle my day. 🙂

Are you interested in trying Lagree? If you haven’t yet, what are you waiting for? What’s your current favourite way to exercise? What do you look for in a exercise class? Let’s chat it up.


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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