Sunday, 30 August 2015

Dairy Queen - Newmarket

Kincardine is actually rather pretty too! 
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The town and the marina
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Beach in Kincardine (unfortunately the water was rather chilly - we did go swimming for a bit though!)

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Deluxe Cheeseburger meal deal with burger and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Smash Blizzard
I've been wanting to try the $6 meal deal at Dairy Queen for a LONG time! I finally got the chance on our way home from Kincardine & Tobermory. 
After a 2.5 hour car ride, the ice cream was a welcome treat and of course, I had to upsize it to a blizzard with peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter and choco chunks blended with vanilla soft serve. Yum! I was more in this for the blizzard than the burger and it was totally worth it. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Fish & Chip Place - Tobermory

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Singing Sands Beach and the Path to the Grotto
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Halfway Rock Point and the Grotto
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We grabbed lunch at the "home of the Tobermory Fish Taco" restaurant Fish & Chip Place.
Instead of sitting down, we decided to go around the back and do take-out:
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Fish Taco
The description said "crispy bits served on a soft tortilla with shredded cabbage, tangy white sauce, salsa and garnished with a lime" for $5.95
This was a rather large fish taco...it was more like a wrap, but with tiny pieces of crunchy batter (and a little fish) and some thrown together cabbage and store-bought salsa. Also, there was no heat to the taco - so there really wasn't a point in the lime wedge. What a huge disappointment. 


Peninsula Supply Ice Cream Parlour - Tobermory

Picturesque Tobermory! 
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Tobermory's Little Tug Harbour and the beach near Halfway Log Dump
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On the shores of Georgian Bay
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White beach near Halfway Log Dump and Little Cove
Absolutely stunning and only 5 hours from Toronto! :)

Tobermory is busiest from May - October (and all the stores operate based on that schedule too) - so it can get pretty crowded here on the weekend:
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The Peninsula Supply Ice Cream Parlour is one of two ice cream places in town.

Their specialty is the Bruce Wheel with your choice of two cookies and a scoop of ice cream in the middle:
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Double chocolate cookie and chocolate chip cookie with salted caramel cashew toffee ice cream sandwiched in the middle.
Pretty good - it would have been even more amazing if the cookies were fresh from the oven (but then again the ice cream would melt immediately).  The ice cream was really good! Definitely an interesting flavour and really yummy with just the right level of sweetness from the salted caramel and toffee and it was offset with the salty cashews and less sweetened vanilla ice cream.
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Side view
It was a little messy to eat, but really delightful overall! (The chocolate chip cookie was better than the double chocolate).

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White chocolate macadamia nut cookie and chocolate chip cookie with ice cream.

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Chocolate chip cookie and double chocolate cookie with skor ice cream

Overall: Great place for an ice cream sandwich! Tobermory does become a bit of a tourist trap in the summer, but this would be one place I'd gladly come back to! The ice cream and cookies were great! 

Friday, 28 August 2015

Paramount @ Yorkville

Paramount recently opened up a location in Yorkville (close to my work!).  I was pretty excited to try it and my coworker recommended I try the Fattoush salad (but I was really craving shawarma), so I decided to get the best of both worlds:
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Chicken & Beef Shawarma and Fattoush Salad on the side instead of the usual rice and potatoes
The beef and chicken shawarma were really good! There's a reason why this is one of the most popular Middle Eastern chain restaurants.  I prefer the chicken shawarma over the beef because it was juicier and more tender. I'm also super happy I got the Fattoush salad with romaine lettuce, cucumber, mixed peppers, red radishes, tomato and the crispy fried pita pieces with vinaigrette dressing.  The salad was delicious and super filling - the fried pita pieces made it pretty unique - a nice texture element and the garlic sauce and tahini made everything better. 

Overall: Great meal and good value for money at Paramount! Huge, filling and delicious portions. 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Beer Bistro

August 27, 2015
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Belgian Frites $6
Beer Bistro has some of the best fries in Toronto (and I'm not a big fan of fries - but these are delicious!).  The frites are blanched in beef & duck fat and served in a nice cone with house made mayo and smoked ketchup.  The blanching in fat really helps the flavour since they're pretty strong tasting by themselves. However, with the slight tangy and sweet mayo, they're so much better - the mayo balances the fries somehow.

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Provençal mussels with fresh herbs, tomato, lemon zest and spiced ale
I feel like the last time we were here, the food was much better. The one thing that didn't change is the warm sourdough bread and dipping it in the provencal broth to make it tastier!

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Spicy Red Thai with coconut chili broth, maudite, lemongrass, sweet peppers, lime leaf & cilantro
I've definitely had a better version of this before and this one was rather disappointing - the Spicy Red Thai broth wasn't that great with the sourdough bread either (it was a little too spicy for the doughy bread).  Also the size of the mussels:
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We asked the manager about them and he said that these were the sizes provided but that they made sure that they gave us a pound of mussels each.  I thought this was a bit of a rip off and it kinda put a damper on the whole meal. I mean - they were the size of a small lemon! Granted it was probably because they were seasonal, but yikes! So mediocre. 

May 2, 2014
When given the choice between a glass of wine or a pint of beer, I will definitely admit that I"m a beer drinker rather than a wine connoisseur. And while in the past I wasn't a big fan of beer flavoured food, I have a much better appreciation for it now after eating at the Beer Bistro.
Beer Bistro

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Poached Pear Pizza with caramelized leeks, l'ermite blue cheese and parmesan cream sauce
The flatbread pizza crust was thin and crispy with large chunks of softened poached pear on top and a nice cheesy sauce. It worked really well together.

Coq au biere
Coq au Biere: Maredsous braised chicken, woodland mushrooms, tarragon, creme fraiche dumpling
I really enjoyed the beer spin on the coq au vin - it's such a classic French dish with a twist. The chicken was tender and delicious and really absorbed the flavours well as did the dumplings from the earthy mushrooms, salty bacon and slightly sour beer.

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Belgian White Mussels: Blanche de Chambly, garlic, parsley, lemon, cream
You can never go wrong with mussels & beer and the Belgian White mussels are definitely a classic at Beer Bistro. They're succulent, tasty and there's just something about the sweet mussels and sour beer combination that's makes it so delicious. 

Overall: A great beer-centric meal at Beer Bistro. I love the beer selection here and it's classier and nicer than Bier Markt down the street at the Esplanade. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Cora’s @ York Mills

I'm usually not a brunch person, but a friend was in town from Ottawa and wanted to go to Cora's before heading downtown to catch her Porter flight.
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Mango Banana and Strawberry Banana Smoothies
The mango banana smoothie didn't really have a mango taste - it was predominantly banana. The strawberry banana was much better, but it would have been better if it had a stronger fruit flavor.

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Burrito Crepe with eggs, black bean, red & green peppers, onions, cheddar cheese and sour cream and salsa on the side and potatoes.

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Sunshine Panini-Crepe with eggs, ham, cheddar cheese and hollandaise sauce on top and fruit salad and toast on the side.

The panini crepe was okay, but I found it a little bland in flavour compared to the burrito crepe.  We preferred the burrito crepe with its stronger flavours (and delicious mix of peppers, onions, cheese and beans). Although, it would have been nice if there was some more depth of flavour like a hint of heat or something with the burrito.

Overall: I had no idea it was so popular on the weekends here.  The food was okay (I'm not a big fan of brunch and although there were tons of options - I didn't see anything that stood out to me).  The service was a little slow - which probably accounts for the long line-ups.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Pho Con Bo

August 22, 2015
Downsview has a large population of Vietnamese people, so it's no surprise that some of the best Vietnamese food in Toronto can be found here.  My favourite pho place is Pho Con Bo on Wilson south of Jane Street. The area is a little sketchy, but the cheap and delicious pho is well worth it. 
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The Menu!
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Pho dac biet with rare beef, well done flank, brisket, soft tendon, beef tripe and beef balls in rice noodle soup
This was the large bowl and it came with so much meat and noodles! It may seem like a simple noodle soup, but something about it just makes it taste so good!  When you've tried a bowl here, it's really difficult going back to other pho places. 

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con tam svon nuong - grilled pork chop with steamed rice
The grilled pork chop was juicy and tasty with a hint of lemongrass and some fish sauce that you could pour over it on the side.  However, I kind of wish it had something else to balance it out like more cucumbers or something to give it more of a freshness. 

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Bún thịt nướng nem nvong cha gio - vermicelli  with grilled pork and grilled meatballs and spring rolls
Another one of my favourite dishes here! It's a cold vermicelli dish with meat and spring rolls mixed in and a fish sauce that you can pour on top to tie the dish all together.  By the way - the spring rolls are fantastic here as is the grilled meat and when combined with everything in the nvong - AMAZING! 

Overall: One of my favourite Vietnamense places in Toronto! It's consistently delicious and cheap with huge portions, great flavours and quick service.

April 22, 2012
Hidden in a tiny corner mall is Pho Con Bo, a popular Vietnamese restaurant in the Downsview area. 
In my opinion, it's the best pho place in Toronto - it's cheap, delicious and quick.




#25: Rare beef, well done flank and beef balls rice noodle soup (Large size) for $6.50

What makes the pho so good here is the soup base. They make the best soup broth of any Vietnamese place I've ever had! Delicious! Sadly there wasn't a lot of noodles, but there was more than enough rare and well done beef to make up for it.

#112: Grilled Chicken and Grilled Pork with steamed rice $6.75

What really makes a simple dish like grilled chicken and pork with rice different in Vietnamese cuisine is the fish sauce. It adds a sweet and tangy flavour that goes great with any simple dish. The meat was perfectly grilled and when mixed with the fish sauce and rice: amazing!

#57: Vermicelli with grilled pork and spring rolls $6.75

The perfect fish sauce is critical when you order Vietnamese Nuong. The meat, vegetables and spring roll are placed on a bed of cold vermicelli and you mix the fish sauce with all the ingredients to make nuong. When you do it right, it's a great blend of flavours, textures and yumminess in your mouth. Pho Con Bo makes a great nuong with really fresh ingredients and it usually comes with a crispy spring roll (the Vietnamese make the best spring rolls ever!). One of my favourite items on the menu.

Overall: Super affordable, great portions, quick service and really delicious food - you definitely get your value for money here.

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