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Sunday Pleasures

What better way to spend your Sunday? Enjoyed a few weeks ago with girlfriends; it was an afternoon filled with the loveliest company,  life musings, piano playing, and far too much gossip.

A simple spread: parmigiano reggiano, cantenaar, grapes, fig jam, grainy mustard, cornichons, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, olives, cherries, peppers, garlic hummus, roasted tomatoes w. buffala mozza & basil on a fresh baguette.

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12 minutes flat

Grilled salmon w. zucchini & mushrooms in a black bean sauce

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Torito

Sharing good food with friends. The best. 

Sharing good food with a friend you haven’t seen in 3.5 years…even better. 

But of course, not completely out of touch. Impossible not to know a snippet of their life, if that news feed algorithm or semi-stalking works as it should. Wait. The algorithm, not the stalking. 

Anyway, instead of the “i can’t believe how much time has flown by” conversation starter, we dive right into the good stuff. 

Our passions. 

Well, you all know mine. 

His? Ideas. Opportunities. Action. 

Plate after plate, story after story – the combination was heady. TJ, you’re heady. Or bait. Enjoy either reference. 

The setting: Torito. Kensington. Tapas bar. 

photo cred: ACRiley.com

 

  

Stand-out dishes: 

White bass ceviche with corn & yam
(tender chunks of white bass in insanely good cilantro-citrusy juices…the love only grows stronger) 

white bass ceviche

 

Shrimps al ajillo
(succulent & saucy… yep, my greatest description yet) 

shrimps al ajillo

 

  

Honourabe mentions: 

churros w. dulce de leche
(“like beaver tail, but 100 times better!” “wait, like those cinnamon sticks from taco bell but 1,000 better!” - ok, NOT our greatest descriptions) 

churros w. dulce de leche

 

Piquillo peppers stuffed w/ salted cod & tapanade sauce
(would not have ordered…but ohh, the power of reviews. now, you go & try!) 

Grilled flatiron steak, gallega chips & fried egg
(medium rare) 

Roasted quail, pomegranate glaze & sweet squash
(too salty for my taste, but mixed w/ glaze & squash and it redeems) 

  

It pains, but easily forgettable: 

Crab croquettes w/parsley aioli 

crab croquettes w/ parsley aioli

 

Braised beef tongue & cheek
(tongue & cheek. cute eh? not so much on the tongue action. PASS. 
won’t even attempt to describe texture. never again.)
 

braised beef tongue & cheek

 

  

Until next time: 

Andalusian spinach & chickpeas stew
Chilean tripe stew 

Yes, we ate our way through half the menu. But, these two stews warrant a visit back. Along with a repeat performance of the ceviche & churros.  

  

fyi: all food photo cred goes to TJ & his MannLanders wit. 

http://www.toritorestaurant.com/
276 Augusta Ave
416.961.7373

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A day’s worth of food

Home-made & delicious. Mama would be so proud.    

vanilla yogurt, muesli, strawberries

 

spinach salad with tomatoes, snap peas, corn, raisins

 

Singapore Laksa (leftovers!)

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Singapore Laksa

Favourite hobby halted.
- gasp - 

Cooking dinner this eve.
- even bigger gasp! - 

Pains me to admit, but it’s been weeks. Weeks! I know, shame. 

Fully-stocked fridge. Equilibrium restored. What to make? 

Searched for recipes online, flipped through a few cookbooks, peeked in the cupboards… and there, two yukon gold potatoes about to sprout their own, made the decision. 

Potatoes. Curry. Noodles. Prawns. Spice paste. Singapore Laksa! 

Well…my version of Singapore Laksa. 

I don’t follow recipes well. And ultimately, throw what I like into a pot…and taste-test until satisfied. 

Also, too impatient to snap pics as I go. So, here’s one at the beginning – garlic & onion. big mound of it. love my garlic. 

 

Roommate comes home to find soundtrack of Glee blaring (don’t judge), kitchen a complete disaster (organized chaos), slight burning smell (yep, burned bottom of one pot) & one happy asian slicing & dicing to add to simmering pot of…. yum!

Bless her heart, not even a toe into the kitchen. Probably too scared. 

Instead…..wait for it…… 

She starts cleaning. 

<pause> 

Yep, what my lovely roommate does to unwind after a hard day at work. Give her a cloth, some Windex & she’ll attack your hard surfaces as well. Pretty freakin’ amazing. 

20 min later – after vacuuming has finished, but before mopping of the floor commences – I’m spooning spicy coconut curry broth over noodles…dinner is ready! 

Singapore Laksa

 

  

Verdict? Ooo, so good… x 2. 

Ingredients: 

8-10 frozen prawns
2 stalks of celery
1 half-ripe tomato
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small white onion (or red onion)
2 yukon gold potatoes
8-12 mushrooms
1/2 can of coconut milk
1 can of chicken broth
1 ‘Singapore Laksa’ spice paste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Half a package of rice vermicelli noodles (cooked according to instructions) 

Directions:
(follow at your own discretion) 

Heat oil in saucepan. Sauté 1/2 the mound of onion & garlic;
Throw in prawns. Cook at medium heat until pink & ready. Set aside. 

In pot: (in no particular order…someone is cringing right about now) 

Add remaining onion & garlic, potatoes, spice paste – stir fry until fragrant;
Add coconut milk & stock to spice paste (before pot starts to burn);
Add celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, shrimp; stir well & bring to a boil;
Simmer on low heat for 10-15 min (make sure potatoes are done);
Serve piping hot over cooked noodles;
Garnish with beansprouts / thai basil (or sadly, nothing in our case – next time) 

And enjoy! 

Singapore Laksa

 

fyi: leftovers with steamed rice tomorrow…come drop by.

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sunday mornings

omelette + paper = perfectly content

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The things we do for food. 

Including wait outside in -18C weather. 

Yep, that’s right. Hesitated for half a second. But, N & I are like-minded…and stubborn as anything. 

And her reaction to the french toast…EPIC. Worth it. If only we had a video camera, I’d replay over & over again. Warmed my frozen little toes right up. 

latte bowls

 

Menu was smaller than expected, with daily specials written in chalk on the blackboard. Debated the omelette of the day (chorizo, asiago, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions), but ended up getting one of their signatures, which immediately caught my eye when we finally squeezed ourselves in 20 min later. 

The croque madam: lightly toasted brioche layered with ham & gruyere, topped with an over easy egg, sliced baquette and fresh greens… ahhh, why people rave about this place. 

croque madam

 

For dessert, snuck in a few bites of the thick french toast. Sweet deliciousness. Could not get over how GOOD it was…and I don’t even like french toast. Honestly, if we could’ve captured that first moment. 

french toast

 

According to the couple sitting next to us, the quiche was the best quiche he had ever had. Wow. Ok, already planning next visit. 

And though there was a line-up, we weren’t rushed out. In fact, we were offered a platter of decadent-looking cakes & tarts. Twice. Declined once, almost accepted the second. 

Final sips of our latte bowls, happily stuffed – we wandered outside both wanting to explore the neighbourhood… stopped. looked at each other. realized it was still -18C & said “are we crazy?!” 

Charming & tiny – seating less than 30 ppl - this Leslieville brunch spot is a clear favourite. Couldn’t even tell you when a good time would be to go. Ask the morning people. 

fyi: cash only 

http://bonjourbrioche.com/
812 Queen Street E.  
416.406.1250
Open: Tues-Sun (8am-4pm)

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Quick snaps part deux

3 times this week already. Same fish, different place(s). 

I sound distinterested. But you know better, right? 

Snaps from yesterday: Sushi Xtra 

salmon lover combo

 

maki mono set D

 

 
Sushi Xtra
423 Queen Street W.
416.599.2688 

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Cava

O & K’s mantra of the night –  

“Don’t be deceived. We’ll eat our weight’s worth…and more.”  

Forget the set-up, no time to mince words. It’s late & won’t be able to sleep until posted. Remember? Save draft mode doesn’t exist. Must share experience now…and plus, body is still recovering from the onslaught it just received.  

photo cred: spotlighttoronto

 

So, why didn’t we stop after the 6th dish? Because, we’re gluttonous souls.   

3.5 hours, 8 dishes, 4 glasses of vino later… INCROYABLE.  

Service? Fantastic. Say hi to Kyle if you go. Ms. Le & Mr. Dey sent you.   

   

Stand-out dishes:   

Jamón iberico
(as my Dove chocolate wrapper instructed ‘ignore the price tag’, so we did. oh YES.
proscuitto has nothing on you.)
   

jamón iberico

 

Pinchos of gamay-poached foie gras with prune plum chutney
(jaws dropped. pause. best EVER. period.) 

Smoked kingfish ceviche with a friseé salad
(yes! ceviche-streak is going strong) 

kingfish ceviche

 

Eggplant with queso fresco, honey and tomatillo sauce
(surprise “wow” dish of the night)  

eggplant

 

Honourable mentions:   

Torta of duck breast & anchovy
(first taste & “Oooo, so good” of the night)  

Forty-eight hour beef cheek with white pureé & chimchurri
(just slather & let melt)  

48 hour beef cheek

 

Braised oxtail tamal with pasilla chile sauce 
(10 pts for presentation)   

braised oxtail

 

It pains, but easily forgettable:   

Chickpea morcilla
(“if this was our least favourite, I can handle it.”)   

   

Until next time:
Pinchos of avocado & wild salmon machaca
Four oysters on the half shell with tomatillo salsa
Cauliflower & chickpea tagine with medjool dates & spanish saffron
Octopus anticucho with lentils & romesco
Clams with chorizo & fresh bay leaves
Quail & porkbelly a la plancha with calabacitas   

   

fyi: all food photo cred goes to O.Dey & his far-superior mobile device.  

http://www.cavarestaurant.ca
1560 Yonge Street
416.979.9918

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