Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Frida Restaurant

On the channel SunTV on the Rogers Network, there is a Toronto Dining show and I was flipping channels the other day and this restaurant, Frida, caught my attention. It is Mexican food. And I love Mexican food. It was a quick clip, but I remembered and decided we'd go there last night as a family. Tuesday night, there were only 2 tables needed attention - ours, and a young couple out on a date. They have high-chairs, so it was kid-friendly. Located on 999 Eglinton Avenue West, it is between Allen Road and Bathurst Street. Kind of a strange location for an upscale Mexican restaurant, but I hope that it doesn't deter people from going. The food is impeccable. Definitely not inexpensive, on the contrary, it is pretty darn expensive for Mexican food. An appetizer runs over $10 and main courses over $20. Definitely worth it if you enjoy food, but don't expect stellar service to go along with it. Service in Toronto leaves much to be desired. When my husband ordered an espresso at the end of the meal, there was no sugar on the table or accompanying. The waiter was somewhat shocked when he asked for it. That is a given. Sugar ALWAYS accompanies coffee/tea! Water was never refilled in our glasses without us having to ask for it. To us, that is the tell tale sign of bad service in a restaurant.

Now onto their food...Their horchata ($4) and sangria by the glass ($9) are made in house and both were delicious. The guacamole appetizer ($11) was fresh and delightful. The tortilla chips could have been larger and more in quantity. I ordered the deep fried chile rellenos and Maurizio had the braised baracoa (lamb) and they were both exquisitely done. We capped the night off with a flan for dessert ($7) and a espresso for M. The bill came out to over $90 and that was before tipping.

We enjoyed our meal very much and would definitely go back - we just know what to expect from the service end of it for next time.

Cafe Jules patisserie, Toronto

For an amazing focaccia and "light" almond croissant, look no further than Cafe Jules on 617 Mount Pleasant Road, south of Eglinton. I stopped in one random late afternoon on my way home from the gym and impulsively bought the 2 above mentioned goodies and was left wanting more! The focaccia is baked with olive oil, thyme, and sea salt - the crispness the olive oil lends the bread and the softness inside - and oh, the salt bits, the saltiness is just happiness on my palate. The "light" almond croissant consists of a delicious almond paste inside a flakey buttery pastry that doesn't show it's true buttery role. It is out of this world. I thought Rahier on Bayview Avenue was good - this is even better. A focaccia loaf will run you $5.00 and a croissant nearly $3.00, I believe. Not cheap, but worth every penny.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Me Va Me

Me Va Me - never heard of it before until Miah told me about it a few weeks ago.
It is shawarma like you've never had before.
Hummus like no other.
We went there yesterday for lunch and it was fierce. Fiercely busy and delicious.
Well worth the wait - the shawarma sandwich was large; the chicken was tender, and spices including hints of cinnamon. Like the greedy pig I am, I had every topping from their choices (cole slaw, red cabbage, tomato, pickles, hot sauce, tahini, hummus, etc.) and it was not even THAT messy to eat. This is a no-frills but big bang for your buck place to eat and if you've got kids, you can easily walk to the Toys R Us located a mere steps away. Me Va Me, I will come back for you!

Tiramisu II from

Tonight, like a crazy person who's played one too many Nutcracker's, I made a tiramisu based on a recipe given to me by my sister, Carol, who found it on This recipe on that site is called "Tiramisu II" and when Carol made it here for Thanksgiving, it was just divine. My husband gobbled up all the leftover tiramisu for the next few days for breakfast. He could've easily inhaled it in one sitting. It is easy if a little time consuming, and my ladyfinger cookies drank quite a lot of the coffee/liquor combo (12 ounces worth), but the photo on your left is the finished product. The recipe is on the bottom. Enjoy!


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture.
  4. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7x11 inch dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swish by Han

On Wellington Street East tucked between the Pravda Vodka Lounge and Trevors Wine Bar, is Swish by Han - a fantastically nouveau way to eat Korean food. Shabu-shabu that they call Swish-swish. After detoxing at Body Blitz Spa first thing in the morning, I went with Sarah and Olga for a most delightful lunch. For $15, you can get your very own hot pot with it's own propane burner with lots of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, bok choy, napa cabbage, etc. in a clear broth with your choice of meat, seafood or mushroom (for vegetarians). We all ordered meat swish-swish, and it was just divine. At the end of the meal, the waiter arrived for the porridge part of the meal - with just a little broth left in the hot pot, they stirred in an egg, rice, sesame oil and green onions till it became smooth and creamy. Comfort food in a pot. I also meant to say that the Korean fried dumplings called "mandoo" we ordered as an appetizer were also to die for. All in all, I have to say, we would go here again for lunch any time! 2 thumbs up! Han is open for lunch between 12 noon and 2 pm only.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Terroni on Balmoral

We have a love/hate relationship with Terroni on Balmoral (there are 3 other Terroni's in Toronto and now Los Angeles). We love the pizza - I always get the same pizza - the Capricciosa. However, the service always leaves us angry. Our server last night was horrifically rude and as our friend Sarah put it, he was a jack-ass. To protect his identity (yeah, right), I will call him "Jonathan". Jonathan was awful, and we felt that to ask him for anything was an inconvenience to him. At the end of the meal, when we were all stuffed and wanting our bill to go home, Jonathan had to tell us that most people eat an entire pizza AND order a secondi. While he was at it, he should've told us people order ALSO a few dolci, a million bottles of vino and THEN call it a night. Our $100.00 cheque was a little too palfry for his greedy silk lined pockets, apparently. Management there - WAKE UP! The food is still great, especially the pizza, but the servers need a slap on the wrist to do what the profession calls for - serving!

PORT Restaurant in Pickering, Ontario

Located on the bay in Pickering, Ontario, is a lovely restaurant called PORT.
We went as a party of 4 and toddler for brunch this past Sunday, December 6.
3 of us ordered the Huevos Rancheros - delicious! It was an interesting compilation of crispy tortillas, refried beans, eggs (however way you wanted them), bacon, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo. Since I've been on a salsa kick lately, I opted for this Mexican influenced breakfast meal and I licked the plate clean. Roasted potatos accompanied this dish and they were perfectly cooked and plentiful. The restaurant just brought high chairs into this establishment, so our daughter christened their first high chair, making it family friendlier. On a side note - service was a little inconsistent. We all ordered water alongside another beverage and only 3 of us got a glass of water. I have a thing for removing plates from the table when all guests at the table are not finished eating. That happened here. Coffee was ordered but spoons to stir the coffee did not accompany. A man came by to ask how are meal was, and when my husband asked for some extra napkins, he hesitated and I wound up jumping in to save the day with paper towels I brought from home. He should have been instantly agreeable. Simple etiquette and techniques for wait staff should be reviewed in order for this establishment to get on my repeat performance list.

Jeanet Spa and Salon

Jeanet Spa and Salon, recommended by someone on - I was there for a pilgrimage of sorts - the much anticipated yet dreaded, bikini wax! Egads! Well...a lovely lady named Amanda performed the task with not much pomp or circumstance. She did a good job and I would go back again. Located in Yorkville at 140 Yorkville Avenue, Second Floor, it is a good price and conveniently located. Now, let's wait for the ingrowns...ok, I'll stop here. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sabores Latinos "Salsa Fresca"

For the most amazing, gloriously chunky, refreshing, and truly fresh salsa, I have found the "Salsa Fresca" by Sabores Latinos to blow me away. I went to the One of a Kind Show 2009 on Friday, Nov.27. I went again on Monday, Dec. 2. I tried the salsa both times - it left a huge impression on me and my taste buds. Having grown up in San Diego, California, (a stone's throw from Mexico), and doing my summer work in Santa Fe, New Mexico - salsa is my thing. This salsa from creators in Burlington, Ontario, sells for $5.00 a tub, and is worth every penny and then some. I ate the entire container of salsa in one sitting yesterday, it is THAT good!
Call (905) 333-5377 to get some or go to: