Thursday, June 30, 2011

Toronto: Trevor Kitchen and Bar II

consistently great
If I write about you twice.  I might really love you.  But who knows, really, I mean I have commitment problems.  But let's just say I do and keep it simple.

Trevor.  One of the few places I eat at consistently.  Why?  It's definitely not their toilets (stinkymagoo).  It's everything else.  I love it.  It's always good.  So I'm telling you again.  Pay attention.

It doesn't matter when I go to Trevor - weekend, weekday, holiday, winter, summer, three years ago, a month a go, or two days in a row.  It is always good.  That is pretty darn special.

This is what I had yesterday:

Ahi Tuna Niçoise - Think deconstructed...
Note that the tomato sauce ruined it for me.
This is what Cracker had:

Slow roasted pork belly...*%&#@@#
And I could eat that octopus all day and all night
I almost licked Cracker's plate...

Cracker won.  Not that it was a competition.  We finished dinner with tea for her and dessert for me.  It deserved a double Celine chest pump.  Mmmm....peanut butter chantilly...I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER (but not jelly, in case you were wondering).

Sh*t, can I get another with a side of the pork crackelin.  THAT would be soooo dirrrtyyy.  Food for thought.

Trevor Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Toronto: Windsor Arms High Tea To Go

life's adjustments
Aerie and I were long overdue for a date...well, at least I thought so.  She and I are very different but the things we both like, we REALLY like.  For example, Windsor Arms' high tea.  Cheers to our snobbery.

We couldn't bother to actually go to Windsor, so we decided to get comfy and cozy and set up our own tea room.  I called the hotel and placed an order for pick-up.  Voila - high-tea-to-go at $18 per person.

Now if only they delivered...

The only caveat is that you do not (yes, not) get the devon cream (nor the tea - that I knew).  But seriously, no cream?  Are you kidding me?  Scones without cream is like food without salt.  Like, seriously, shame on them.  I had to dish out $15 for the whole jar.  It was worth it.  We ate half the jar.  C'est la vie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Toronto: Tequila Bookworm

hotties in hipsterville
:Queen West:

Miss Laylay's
Grilled cheese sans avocado

Once upon a time there was a cafe called Tequila Bookworm.  She was rundown and smelled a bit stale - but loved by her patrons.  She served a yummy bagel (Montreal ones of course) with smoked salmon and capers and the most heavenly homemade waffles.  She was down-to-earth and welcomed everyone. 

She became a place I could turn to in hard times.  Where I could sit and cram for hours over cups of coffee.  She was a great girl.

Then I finished school and we sort of drifted apart.  Because you know, people change.

But some old flames never really go out. (One of my dearest friends recently pointed that out...but I digress...yet again). 

A few of my fellow divas and I decided to get together and we headed to Tequila.  She welcomed me back with open arms.  There was no awkward reunion.  Just back to the old routine.  She was different though...all grown up.  She also got a face lift and some new shiny baubles, including a rooftop patio.


So we ladies decided to pay hommage to the sun and get a little Vitamin D fix. We drank sangria ($5 a glass!) and ate, oh did we eat:

Roasted red peppers, goat cheese and walnuts

Miss A's
Smoked salmon benedict with gazpacho - mmm, cold soup
Miss Joy's
Grilled cheese with avocado

And so, everyone lived happily ever after.

The End.

P.S. People always ask me by what I mean by 'diva'.  Well, if I'm referring to my sister I'd say "a diva is a female version of a hustler"...cuz boy can she can reign in the men.  But generally speaking, divas comes in all shapes and sizes and almost never share similar interests.  They do, however, have one thing in common: They don't take sh*t from anyone.  They make dumb (by dumb I mean insecure) people feel little, and stupid (by stupid I mean crazy) people feel dumb.  Oh yes, life is always about coming full circle.

Tequila Bookworm on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Support. It's what nations are built on.

Year One.

Happy anniversary to me, myself and I!!! J’aime ma vie!

It's been a year since I started this blog...and I would like to thank all the strangers who have passed through, even just once.

I recently gave more thought to sharing this hobby of mine with my entire social network. While it would definitely increase traffic, I will continue as is...for now.

Over the past year, however, I have, in fact, shared this with trusted friends and family; I quickly learned the difference between real and feigned support. How? I put Easter eggs in my's like Lost, only no one cares.

In celebration of graceful glutton’s one year anniversary, I want to give a special cuddly shout-out to those real supporters...
My sister's bark is so much worse than her bite.
She's all ruff....ruff and no chomp.
My sister. You're special. Wish you would smile more and scowl less.  

My sister and her girls.
© some Victoria Secret article
My sister's girls. She tells me you visit my "secret blog". To that I say...f*ck ya. Vancity girls are the classiest. I salute you.

Crackers aren't just great...they're amajing!
Saltine aka Cracker. You will always be more than a friend to me. Miss you, especially when bad tv is on.

Aerie.  There have been sour spots, but I will always love my lemon because I know you support anything I do.  Even if I were to run off and join the circus to play and eat bananas with a monkey.

Smart @ss
©Jimmy Neutron
Jimmy. Our circle of overlap is tiny, but you still manage to know everyone. Stop socializing. Actually don't…I kinda need you to keep taking people to places I recommend. 

Everyone should have one friend with whom you are transparent.
My BFF and his lady. I get random visits from south of the equator. I assume that's you two. It better be. 

Gerberas are happiness, just like them.
The three wonders. To the three women who always raise the bar of my moral conscience and good heart. I don’t see you often, but your presence is always remembered.  I know for one of you “secrets” are hard to keep so thank you for guarding mine but still visiting.

To my followers...heaps of thanks…you don't even know me but you like my blubberings. They like you too.

And everyone else. Hearts.

100 views a day.

Year Three.

Two more years have passed and I'm still blogging.  The biggest success to date is my average daily page views of 100.  That may not seem like a lot compared to other food blogs - but it is for one that is neither advertised nor advanced through social media.  I've also somehow managed to rise the charts and am proud of how consistently I was in Urbanspoon's top 10 for Toronto and Montreal.  Even if I drop (which I have in Montreal), I appreciate every achievement.  

Another happy thought has been all the positive feedback I've gotten from the Yelp Community.  I've been nominated several times by fellow Yelpers to join the Elite team.  I've declined the offers because I am still not prepared to share so openly.  I still find blogging a personal exercise, in that the anonymity I get from my personal network is a welcome escape.  

To everyone who continues to support me, especially with my recent move out west, thank you.

Stay fat and roll on.  Besos,

graceful glutton

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Toronto: Bier Markt

mmmm, beer
:King West:

Bier Markt is really a pub – like all the others in Toronto. It’s just under the guise of a little pomp marketing. Because gawd forbid we call it beer market.

Because it thinks itself more fancy, it costs more. The menu is full of European food from schnitzel to a chartucherie plate, and mussels and poutine to an 80 dollar steak (wtf?). While I find their menu reads like it was conceived while the owner and chefs had a serious case of the munchies, I've always liked what I've ordered  (less it’s marked up cost).

Take last Friday night. An old bud was in town so we took to their patio. I had the mussels ($13 for half a pound. Pricey considering you can get a full pound for $15 in Montreal) and a side of fries. I really enjoy their fries (of course, I've never met a fry I didn't like).  Bier's is extra fancy, because it comes with three dipping sauces. I Iove to dip. Dipping is sexy.

Now to the obvious....bier market has a lot of beer – pages and pages of it. I had a Friuli. Friuli is also sexy.

The retail space on the patio is scarce because it’s a fantastic location. On a completely unrelated personal note…I’m amazed I’m still sitting on patios. My allergies are monstrous right now. They’re like a bitch in heat. Seriously. Achoo…sniffle…achoo…sniffle…achoo, achoo! What? It’s just allergies. Claritin got that from me.

Yes. Allergies are sexy too.

Have a sexy humpday.


Bier Markt - King West on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 6, 2011

Toronto: Milestone's Grill & Bar

better than firkin worse than CC
It was super hot yesterday, was it  not?  I played patio chairs.  Between 1 and 9 I hit three patios.  Patio two was the Milestones at Yonge-Dundas square. 
And so, another chain is on my happy(ra)dar for five (and only five) reasons:

1.  It originated on the west coast.  Of course...all amazing things do (and then they come to Toronto and drop the bar - a little, not completely.)
2.  They USED to have the best calamari.  It's now just okay.  It USED to be lightly battered meaty strips of calamari with andouille sausage.  They've since seemed to cut corners:

3.  Good patio.

4.  Top Chef Canada menu items. (I love Top Chef...I love Canada, therefore, I love Top Chef Canada)

5.  Bellinis.  So yummy.  Before you know it, down three and down you go.

I should have started with number 5 - and cut the rest.  Because realistically, it's reason enough.


Milestone's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Toronto: The Fish Store & Sandwiches

fresh fish with phresh friend
:Little Italy:
I don't know why this photo won't upload right way up.
But soup is soup, no matter which way you look at it. 

I love it when friends tell me where to eat.  It's usually the other way around, but take it from me - you can always learn from those around you, whether it's food, fashion, or life.  That's right, I'm deep - I have many layers much like an onion :)

An old friend, let's make him the Jimmy Neutron to my Cindy Vortex?  She's one of my many alter-egos.  Yes, that works.  See Jimmy is one of those brainiac friends - the kind who espouse world facts and know all the nuances of politics and culture...blah blah.  He will always be my intellectual rival because no one makes my brain work harder. 

He and I go way back, circa 2000?!?  A month or so ago he told me about this mom-and-pop fish store owned by a Korean family (WE LOVE KOREAN PEOPLE).  It's nothing fancy, just fresh fish sandwiches.  Gasp, why have I never heard of this.  Probably because I have tunnel vision.  But that's why I have such an eclectic group of friends.  They remind me that I don't, in fact, know everything.  It still comes as a matter how many times I get schooled.

A couple days ago Jimmy and I took a nice walk along College to The Fish Store.  It has limited (and I mean limited) seating.  It's a cute patio and we got there in time to grab a seat.  Jimmy was not exaggerating when he said fresh fish.  It's set up like a mini fish market.  You pick your fish they make your dish.  Hey hey, that should be there tagline.  I decided on the bass, Jimmy had the halibut.

I tried the Manhattan clam chowder too.  It was good but I would rather have two sandwiches and skip the soup.  You live and learn right. 

Say hello to my little sandwich:

Buttery bass
Say hello to Jimmy's:

Simple concept, really, really good.  I was impressed.  And it takes a lot to impress a gal like me.

For old times sake Jimmy and I walked back to the Annex to grab dessert and coffee at Future's.  Still one of my favourite patios, probably because you can still smoke on it.  Jimmy's shaking his head right now and to him I say, shake away - at least my vice doesn't drive people to tears.
Fish Store on Urbanspoon

Toronto: ZAZA

 za za za zoom

Sick of Starbucks?  NEVER!!  But sometimes I want a really, really, really good Americano. 

This garage style coffee shop is one of the better places to get coffee in Toronto.  Authentic Italian style espresso. 

It's one of those not so hidden secrets of the city for people who just know.  Being in the know, I thought I'd share. 
I'm going now to get a double's one of those Mondays.

ZAZA Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon