Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar

We were craving red meat, so we headed to The Keg for their classic Sirloin and Prime Rib.
12 oz Grilled Top Sirloin
12oz. Grilled Top Sirloin with vegetables and roasted garlic mashed potatoes
It was a little pinker than medium rare, but I guess it might have been hard to gauge when something that round and thick is the perfect temperature. A sirloin is a tougher cut than the New York striploin that I usually order and this was a huge chunk of meat. The mashed potatoes had the skin still in the mix (which I wasn't a fan of). It was adequate, but not particularly enjoyable.

12 oz Prime Rib
12 oz. Prime Rib with a twice baked potato, crispy onions, horseradish and au jus on the side
The prime rib was delicious! Tender and juicy and I loved the au jus and crispy onions. The twice baked potato is definitely my favourite accompaniment.

Billie Miner cake
Billy Miner Pie
Amazing mocha ice cream cake on a chocolate crumble crust with caramel and fudge drizzled on top and finished off with almonds! Wow - it plainly requires more than one person to finish such a crazy huge slice of ice cream cake (it's almost a meal in itself). Bonus: you get a free slice of this on your birthday!

Overall: It's the Keg - their specialty is affordable red meat. Enough said.
Dessert was pretty spectacular too.

Banu

Mmmm it's been so long since I've had Iranian food! I couldn't wait to try Banu.
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Ideally, it would have been better to come for dinner than lunch since they have more variety and menu choices at night, but given some time constraints and scheduling problems - we went for lunch:
Lunch Menu

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Koobideh Loghmeh (grilled ground Angus sirloin, roasted tomato, fresh herbs and scallions wrapped in lavash bread) with a non-alcoholic Sekanjebin drink
The drink was really delicious and the wrap was nice as well.

Stew
Khoresht Gheymeh (Iranian stew served with saffron basmati rice)
The stew was full of flavour and very hearty and the fragrant basmati rice was a great complement to the stew. The only downside was the small portion size - otherwise it would have been amazing!

Overall: Yummy Iranian food at Banu, but it was definitely on the pricier side considering the portions and pricing. I thought it was a decent experience - service was fast and friendly and the decor was lovely.

Banu on Urbanspoon

Friday, 28 March 2014

Lisa Marie

I've been meaning to try Lisa Marie after I tried Fidel Gastro's tacos 
Lisa Marie

Mmm bar snacks...
Lisa Marie Menu

Eggplant Meatballs
Eggplant Meatballs
The meatballs were actually really well done. I loved the crunchy texture of the deep fried eggplant and goat cheese balls with the viscous jalapeno mint jelly.

Pad Thai fries
Pad Thai Fries
I didn't really get the Pad Thai feel from the plate of crispy fries (except maybe the lime and a little seasoning).

Creole Poutine
Creole Poutine: Tempura fried sweet potatoes with Louisiana Trinity Sauce topped with whole prawns, parmigiano cheese and brown butter.
Definitely a different take on poutine: it had the basic requirements of potato, cheese and sauce (?) - but it wasn't fries, cheese curds or gravy. I can't say I particularly enjoyed it, but the fried sweet potatoes were interesting and the tomato paste was nice.

Fritas
Philly Cheesesteak Tostada
This tostada with the grilled sirloin, onions and cheese was amazing! So delicious! It was a little hard to share, but we managed...the crispy tostada shell + the piled on toppings were great!

Bulgolgi Ravioli
Bulgolgi Ravioli
The fried ravioli with the bulgoli beef inside was kind of interesting, but it wasn't really a favourite around the table.

Snow crab pogo
Snow Crab Corn Dogs
Really different and cool! The chili ketchup was pretty neat too!

Turkey Wings
Two Turkey Wings
Honey garlic wing on the top and pretzel covered mustard wing on the bottom. An curious combination of flavours that actually worked out okay. They were massive turkey wings - I didn't anticipate this! (obviously I forgot how big turkeys can get.)

Moroccan Short rib
Moroccan Short Rib
Tender fall-off-the-bone meat..mmm

Korean burger
Korean Fritas
A burger in a fried bun (?) with kimchi pickles and garlic yogurt. I actually thought it was supposed to be a burger, but it was more of a doughy wrap around an oblong chunk of burger with a slight Korean flair.

Deep fried pizza
Deep Fried Pizza - Smoked Duck
It reminded me of Peking Duck on a crispy pancake rather than a pizza.

Overall: An interesting experience - a lot of fusion food and crazy combinations of cultures and flavours. I thought it was hit and miss with the plates, but it was a lot of fun trying everything! It can definitely add up to a pricey meal with the small dishes. Also, it can get pretty loud inside with the music and the food took a while to come out.

Lisa Marie on Urbanspoon

Friday, 21 March 2014

Table 17

I rarely make my way to Riverdale/Leslieville for dinner; but I've heard that there are a lot of trendy and interesting restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Table 17

Table 17 Menu  Olive oil and bread
The menu and some bread with olive oil
Oh man, that is some crazy good olive oil...YUM!
Hot balls
Hot Balls
Top down: (1) Arancino - mushroom & Fontina stuffed risotto and a mint sauce, (2) Goat cheese – with wildflower honey, (3) Arancino - spiced lamb stuffed risotto with marinara sauce
I thought these resemble the suppli we had in Rome, but they weren't. They're definitely arancini though with a crispy fried outer shell and warm risotto inside. However, I wasn't blown away by the flavours of the balls (there wasn't enough lamb, the goat cheese was way too pungent and the mushroom and fontina was a little bland), but I liked the pairings with the sauces.

Thai Braised Pork Belly
Thai Braised Yorkshire Pork Belly
The pork belly was okay, maybe not as tender as I would have liked, but I definitely think the Thai aspect of the dish missed the mark. I love lemongrass, but I was disappointed that it was more of an afterthought/supplementary flavour rather than a real Thai style pork belly dish.

Pacific Cod
Pacific Cod
An interesting dish - the crispy and flaky cod was placed on top of a bed of braised white beans and kale with some chorizo thrown into the mix. The fish was nice, but the whole dish wasn't anything particularly special. I noticed that both dishes had a lot of sauce, but the main protein was almost separate from the sauce (and so it didn't really absorb the flavours). It really was like having a dish and then a side rather than an integrated plate.

Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Tartlette
Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Tartlette
OMG! This was amazing! If there's one thing I'll come back to Table 17 for - it's anything that they make with their olive oil! The tart was so delicious with thick rich dark chocolate inside a crumbly tart shell and the fantastic sauce on the side! Yum!
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky Toffee Pudding
The pudding was mushy rather than sticky. It was okay, but definitely nowhere near as great as the tartlette.

Overall: The restaurant was nice, service was prompt and the olive oil was addictive. If you have the chance to come here - definitely order the items with olive oil! It's amazing what a quality olive oil can do.


Table 17 on Urbanspoon

The Rebel House

I was meeting up with a friend for lunch in the Rosedale area and I wanted somewhere with good food and healthy options. Luckily, I did some research and found The Rebel House.

Smoked salmon pasta
Daily pasta was a penne tossed with Atlantic Smoked Salmon, Rapini, Red Onion, Zucchini and Asparagus in a Creamy Basil Sauce $14.95
This dish was all kinds of awesome! I loved that there was so much salmon and smoked salmon. They definitely didn't skimp on the fish and everything was tossed with their delicious sauce. Yummy! 

Grilled Chicken Salad 
Daily salad was Grilled Chicken, Green Beans, Red Onion, Tomato, Cucumber and Aged Cheddar on Baby Spinach with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette $13.95
What a huge salad and there was so much chicken! It's such a nice change from those downtown salad restaurants where they grill one chicken breast and charge you an extra $5 for it. The vinaigrette was lovely and the salad ingredients were all fresh and appetizing. It was quite a filling salad.

Overall: Great meal at the Rebel House! The service was fast, the food was good and the prices were reasonable. I like that the menu changes quite a bit, it definitely keeps things interesting.