Our Frisco friends Isabelle and Noah were visiting the city and we wanted to do a big group brunch here in Toronto. We decided to go with The Sister for two reasons – the ability to reserve for a big group (we had 8 people sit down to brunch) and a good selection of brunch items. We couldn’ t wait to see what The Sister had in store for us…
One night, Chris, Robin and I wandered out of the Drake Hotel at midnight and we stumbled across Midpoint. While we went in for a pint, we ended up with something entirely better. We met Tocino Boys‘ John DeBlois who had a special treat for us. How about a little Filipino breakfast?
I was very lucky to spend this weekend in Montreal with Chris for their Taste Montreal event. Similar to Toronto’s Winterlicious, it offers a line up of prix fixe menus from some of Montreal’s top restaurants over 2 weeks. We had late reservations at Restaurant Le Local in Old Montreal. Even at 10:30 PM all of their tables were filled and the vibe at times was both upbeat and intimate.
Kate was our chosen host for October’s RDN and I was excited to see where she would take us next. Having been one of the original 4 people at the very FIRST Random Dinner Night back in 2006, Kate has impressed with her restaurant choices time and time again… so where the heck would she take us next?
- A period of short sleep, often 20-30 minutes in length with the purpose of refreshing or recharging prior to dancing at ‘da club’
Now I’m not sure if that’s what they mean by disco at the Lakeview Restaurant but one thing is sure: Their Disco Breakfast will keep you dancing for hours.
From it’s early beginnings along the Silk Road, Dim Sum has been a staple in Chinese Culture. Dim Sum, literally meaning “touch the heart” was originally a snack created for weary travellers.
I have a confession. I may have been holding out on you, Ottawa. I found another place that serves top notch food in your fair city over the summer that I haven’t told you about. Frankly, I am not sure why I haven’t raved about it here yet! I may have held on to this secret because … well , look at these pictures! Doesn’t it seem to good to be true?
Say hello to my new friend: The Potaco – a potato taco shell (latke style) filled with generous amounts of BBQ pulled pork, in house baked beans, cheddar and sour cream. A perfect marriage between taco and latke it was crispy, flavourful and filling.
The geniuses behind the beast above are from Murray Street. Right in Ottawa’s Byward Market, you’re only a hop, skip and a jump to great pedestrian shopping and even a farmer’s market.
Fully supporting the Ottawa locavore movement, they describe their philosophy as “a parade of muddy, plaid strewn, gumboot wearin’ farmers, whole pigs, lambs, rabbits and ducks in tow, trudging through a downtown Ottawa restaurant”. This means you’re guaranteed to get something fresh and innovative every time you go. Like Chris’ pick the Hasherole:
Served in a hot skillet, a poached egg tops a cheesy “casserole” of braised corned beef and potatoes. Don’t forget the bone marrow hollandaise!
What I love about this place is the thought they put into each and every one of their dishes. Even their charcuterie and cheese selections were colourful and divine:
We loved everything single bite! especially the smoked duck breast and the Tome de haut Richelieu cheese!
Overall we had a fantastic time at Murray Street. The food is exceptional and while some meals are heavy you can still taste that freshness that can only come from true farm-to-table. I can not wait to be back in Ottawa to eat here again.
Potaco, I’ll be back for you!
Hallowe’en weekend was off to a great start and what could make it better? Why another brunch of course! You just aren’t celebrating unless you’re having breakfast twice in one day!
We headed off to The Drake Hotel for their Zombie Brunch – their renowned breakfast menu with a little Hallowe’en twist. We arrived with zombies greeting us at the door. They were ready and eager to eat our brains serve us!
We got started with coffee and some interesting Hallowe’en drink options. How about a smokin’ caesar? (literally!)
Rachel and I decided to split their scones plate and we weren’t disappointed. They are that baby bear perfection – not too crumbly, not too dry, not too hard… just right! With a little clotted cream, they are a perfect morning start.
Until this moment, Rachel and I had been lamenting the significant lack of gourmet scones in the city. I can see why the Star rated them the best blueberry scones in Toronto. Thank you Drake Hotel for giving us hope!
A few of us decided to go with their Southern Fried Chicken on herbed Waffles. Creme fraiche, maple syrup and Niagara cherry jam add a soupçon of sweet to this meal.
Chris was inspired by Dave’s sombrero and decided to go for the Drake Rancheros.
The Drake’s version starts with 2 poached eggs blanketed by tomato braised beans, arugula and feta. It’s served with crispy tostada, salsa and sour cream. I knew it was yummy because in the blink of an eye the meal was devoured! Chris nearly licked his plate clean!
I decided to order off of the special menu and enjoyed their delicious Zombie special, the No Brainer Skillet:
Mac n’ Cheese topped with 2 poached eggs and a mix of tomato and beans. Even without the brains this was very filling!
Thank you to the Drake Hotel for providing great food, service and interesting cartoons! Can’t wait for next year’s Zombie Brunch. In the mean time, I’m sure I’ll be back for those scones!
Happy Hallowe’en Everyone!
Hallowe’en is a pretty big deal with my group of friends. Celebrating the spookiest evening of the year at my place has been a tradition that has been 4 years running now.
My festivities have a recipe for awesome. It’s not 100% mission accomplished until you have all of the following elements…
Tradition #1 Costumes!
Don’t come without a costume. A pretty simple rule and I’m slightly sad that I haven’t had the chance to enforce the “or we’ll make one for you” threat. We’re just too busy trying to outdo ourselves from the year before. This year we had a pretty great mix of people, animals, food and internet memes!
Tradition #2 The Hallowe’en Ham
I always have lots of snacks and this year I added homemade Squiggy Salsa to the feast! At midnight we bring out the amazing honey glazed ham. I’ve turned many a non-ham eating person over to the dark side with this ham – yes it’s that good! I ordered it a few days before from St. Jamestown Steak and Chops. And lucky me, I still have left overs!
Tradition #3 Haunting Fran’s
To cap off our evening we always head over to Fran’s Restaraunt. Their College St location is 24 hours which means breakfast is only a 10 minute walk away. Where else can you get a perfect eggs benedict at 3 AM in Toronto?
But is it really about convenience? What is it that really keeps me coming back to Fran’s? I think the secret must lie in their excellent home fries. They’re never cold and they have that perfect amount of crunch. This is how I know I’m home in Toronto.
I hope your Hallowe’en weekend was fabulous! And believe it or not this was just the start of my weekend fun! Up next a little brains for breakfast never hurt anyone…