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Posts Tagged ‘leslieville’

Today was a good day. And today, also consisted of two slices of pizza, two cheeseburgers & fries.

Wow. Slightly embarrassed.

Balancing act flew out the window, didn’t it? Daily scoffs at M & K may need to cease for a while. In hindsight, not so brilliant. At the time, quite… like this one:

After a fantastically good client preso, J & I were riding a high and decided to celebrate with burgers. And not just any burgers.

Burger’s Priest burgers.

So, there’s been great hoopla & debate over the best burger joint in the city. Will neither confirm or deny, but when a convoy of cars from Church & Bloor make the trek (and I mean, trek) over to the eastest end of Queen & Coxwell for lunch… you know it’s something serious. Crazy agency folks.

Would defend, compare and throw opinions around, but 6hrs later, still in a slight food coma and can only focus on one thing at a time. So, singularly-focused this post will be.

P.s – will never forgive you guys for not telling me that day. So, this convoy comes back and they rave. Rave about the patties. Rave about the ground beef. Rave about the patty to bun ratio. Rave about how good it is. Rave about how they can’t describe why it’s so good. Rave about possible best burger in the city.

Colour me green.

So, I make them promise to take me the following week.

When that day came, so much anticipation from so much internal hype. And let me tell you… hype FULLY justified. Not disappointed. In the least. Raved to friends, strangers, anyone who would listen. And 6 weeks later, 2nd trek was made.

The patties! So fresh. Grounded daily, never frozen. You see ‘em grilling, and your tastebuds start to salivate. Buns are buns are buns, but something happens when they meet freshly grilled ground beef. Chemistry! The combination of incredibly soft patties, slightly charred, flanked by two unassuming buns and fixings, if you so desire… kinda fantastic.

This eve, honed in on the Combo (cheeseburger, fries & drink) and threw in an extra cheeseburger for the road.

Listen, I’m a fat kid at heart. But, not that fat.

These burgers are not large. In fact, quite small. However, may have to retract claim after tonight. Deceivingly small. Having eaten two cheeseburgers and 1/4 of the fries (ok fine, 1/2)… not so brilliant on my part. Regrets? Never. You eat, enjoy & digest… yep. Sorry Ma, most unladylike post.

As for the pizza, no good story. It was there for taking. So, I ate it.

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Our first experience sans photos. Our second experience avec photos.

This wknd, a girlfriend asked if we enjoyed Ruby Watchco just as much the 2nd time round, and I belatedly realized with some chagrin that I had never posted our fabulous dinner from July.

Blasphemy!

Let’s fix that, shall we?

So, we were celebrating sweet A‘s birthday, and on the menu for the eve was Ruby’s BBQ chicken dinner. Now, if I may be completely frank, chicken doesn’t excite (ever). Perhaps to see what it’s been stuffed with, but given the amount of time I devote to a menu…barely a cursory glance. 2%, if that, to le insignificant poulet. Judge away. I judge your chicken with my snobbery.

Wish I could say that night was different. And I can’t, so I won’t.

Instead, will focus on what was underneath…and O MY, did it ever make up for its nonexcitingness.

Coffee porter braised beef brisket hash.

Yes. Sounds pretty freakin’ good, right? Forget the chicken, we were all digging for the braised beef. Dig dig dig.

ruby watchco: feast

Stand-outs: Warm and unbelievably fresh, you bet your pretty little smile those chive buttermilk biscuits taste just as good as they look.

…and even better with their to-die-for house churned butter.

ruby watchco: cheddar chive buttermilk biscuits

Now, honourable mention goes to the grilled corn with honey smoked paprika butter. Boiled, cooked in milk, finished off on the grill and smeared with that crazy good butter. Sweet corn on a summer’s day is the best, isn’t it? Too bad it’s no longer summer.

Right then, moving along!

It pains, but forgettable dishes of the night included the creamy cilantro lime napa slaw + summer bean salad.

The slaw was far too creamy, and absolutely unfair, but slaw triggers salivation over Susur’s singaporean version. The bean salad had a nice crunch from the yellow and green beans. Nice, like, your first blind date nice. Never again, nice.

ruby watchco: feast II

Cheese plate! So, I’m a stinky hard cheese kinda girl.

The riopelle was soft, brie-like, a triple cream cheese from Quebec…quite nice & smeared exceptionally well. Talk to the other ladies, they’ll give you a more eloquent orgasmic reaction.

ruby watchco: le riopelle de l'isle

Mmm, warm & peachy crumble.

More crumble & a stronger hit of cinnamon would have been just what autumn ordered.

ruby watchco: ontario peach crumble

Now, don’t worry we’re ending on a high note. Like you guys were even concerned ;)

Pavlova. My new FAVOURITE dessert.

Meringue-based, light, delicate and velvety with a spongey-crunchy shell; texture is fantastically good. Berries were bittersweet, but fork kept returning to the plate…for more pavlova…like it had a mind of its own. Hmm.

ruby watchco: pavlova w/ blackberries

ruby watchco

Ultimately, enjoyed the food more the first time around – however dessert redeemed itself tenfold, remember our le-gourmand-style-hard-rock cookies?! Service was just as lovely, we toasted the day A was born & happily stuffed our faces like the little piggies we were and enjoyed every minute of it.

Now, it’s been months and we need to find ourselves another pavlova.

http://rubywatchco.ca/
730 Queen St. East
416.465.0100

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I had beyond high expectations.

My own silly fault… waited months to try. So, the anticipation builds and builds…and when the eve finally arrived, giddy as a schoolgirl. Thankfully, I was in good company. Me & my three best ladies. All giddy together.

Cute, I know. Go ahead, gag a little.

While you’re doing that, keep reading.

….BOOK A RESERVATION!

Premature you may think, since I haven’t described anything, but nauseating giddiness.

So, imagine this: Chef Lynn Crawford has invited you over for dinner. And she has crafted a menu just for the evening. Paying homage to fresh, local ingredients, a four-course culinary feast is being whipped up in the back kitchen. For you. Served family-styles, in heavy, red casserole dishes, think home cooking at its best. Yes, help yourself. And be generous…there’s enough for everybody ;)

During our mains, I was animatedly sharing – something fascinating, I’m sure – paused, glanced down and realized that we had devoured…everything. Every dish, every plate, licked clean. Spotless. Clearly, the girls were just pretending to be engaged. They didn’t give a sh*t. All they cared about was the food.

And what better compliment is there? None.

photo cred: ruby watchco

Overwhelming consensus. Exceptionally good food. Matched by equally impressive service. Rarely will I comment, unless it was abominable or outstanding…and it was wonderful. Ever walk in a restaurant to encounter that refined-perky-nose-in-air judgement? The worst. Not the case with Ruby.

Our hostess was charming, and our server was lovely and attentive…didn’t miss a detail…and if a crumb was left behind, discreetly taken care of by co-owner Joey Skeir seconds later. Atmosphere? Engaging, charged and lively. We had a bloody great time. Best experience in a while.

Sidebar: Unfortunately, my kick ass camera isn’t a robot who tells me how to properly adjust for low mood lighting. The shots don’t do it justice. So, I’d rather not. Use your imagination & tastebuds ;)

——–

Our menu for the eve:

ONTARIO ASPARAGUS & HARICOT VERT PANZELLA SALAD
Heirloom Tomatoes, Halloumi Cheese Croutons, Creemore Radishes, Rose Bella Cerignola Olive Vinaigrette

{we were fighting over those croutons)

GREY WEST PREMIUM TRI-TIP STEAK WITH GREEN GARLIC BUTTER
Button Mushroom & Boston Lettuce with Blue Cheese Dressing, Smashed Thompson Farm’s Yukon Gold Potatoes, Darling Honey Glazed Carrots

{um. steak. medium-rare. good. that’s all.
reduced to one word sentences good.
blue cheese. not a fan…still not a fan. and salad was salt-y. pourquoi? je ne sais pas.
best smashed potatoes you’ll ever taste. true story.}

GLENGARRY FINE CHEESE’S BIG BROTHER
Spiced Mixed Nuts & Homemade Orange Marmalade

{who loves cheese? we do! forget the nuts & marma. vino was perfect with it}

RUBY’S CHOCOLATE CHIP SLIDERS
Ed’s Real Scoop Stracciatella Gelato

{ok. our only disappointment. not rave-worthy.  expected a warm, gooey mess. minutes out of oven mess. we got hard la-gourmand-style-cookie-muffins that just confused us. we couldn’t break into it. do we pick it up? eat it with our hands? throw it back in the oven? what to do?!}

photo cred: youngstreetmedia (head chef lora kirk, owner chef lynn crawford)

FYI: The menu changes every night, every week. If you’re an obsessive planner – or simply curious – you’ll be able to see the week’s menu on their site. Other option: opt in & get daily menu e-mails. My personal choice of food porn, every morning.

The vibe in the back is slightly different from the front; a little closer to the heart of the action. Plus, all the better to admire the Ruby Watch Co. sign, which is by far, the most arresting fixture in the restaurant. That, or Chef Lynn, herself.

So if she’s inviting you over for dinner, you can’t turn her down. Nor, would you want to ;)

http://rubywatchco.ca/
730 Queen St. East
416.465.0100

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Lady Marmalade

Best brunch in the city? Ongoing debate.

Best eggs benny in the city? Lady Marmalade.

Not a huge waffle, pancake or french toast kinda girl. Give me a good omelette or benny any day. So, this 30-min-wait-Leslieville-hot-spot already has that going for them. No, impartiality doesn’t exist here.

7 featured bennies on the menu. Ranging from brie, avocado & bacon (which L got, minus the bacon) to fresh tomato & pesto, everything is made fresh and to order.

After much debate, decided on the cheddar, bacon & mango. Attempted a bacon-avocado swap, but no substitutions allowed. My 2 cents: avocado should just be a given. Or a staple, like ketchup.

Served on charmingly mismatched plates & cutlery, our bennies come smothered in a creamy lemony hollandaise, with a side of greens & potatoes. With that first bite… yes! Love a good benny. 1 down, 6 to go.

T ordered the “kung foo”: organic tofu scramble with shitakes, bokchoy, spinach, scallions, sesame, served with basmati brown rice, toast & a salad. Unique for a brunch menu, yes. Enjoyed, yes.

Other stand-outs with rave reviews – the huevos rancheritos &/or huevos migas. Just another reason to come back ;)

fyi: cash only

http://www.ladymarmalade.ca
898 Queen St. E
647.351.7645

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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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