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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Toronto :: Arisu & Chodang, I miss Korean food!

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I’ve started to precursor my posts with the city, because it’s pretty unclear nowadays where I am writing from and/or about! I’ve been in serious Korean food withdrawal, so it was on my must-eat list for my last visit to YYZ.
Despite my plans to hit a new bibimbap joint on the north end of town (I’ve been anticipating that visit for awhile now!) the driver of our crew’s stomach rumbled too aggressively for him to patiently drive 20 minutes to our planned spot. Instead, he insisted we try a “really good new restaurant!” in Koreatown. Bah.

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Verdict:
Skip.
Meal: Lunch
Location: 584 Bloor Street West

I’ve already written about Chodang, but this picture is too delicious not to share:
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Love.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Calgary :: Vero Bistro in Kensington

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A sunny Calgary afternoon with good company, glasses of champagne, and great food on a patio – I’m really loving weekends in Calgary! We slept in (correction – I slept in as my friends kindly let me snore away) and we wandered down Kensington for breakfast (sorry guys! haha).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Toronto :: Guu Izakaya

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I’m no stranger to Guu – while the crowds flock to the new location on Bloor, I’d like to think of this as a golden opportunity to avoid the queue! Oddly, not one but two people sent me a message this week asking me why I haven’t hit Guu yet – while a frequent visitor, I am simply horridly behind on my blogging…

The most pleasant part of this dinner that made it memorable was the sheer excitement of my friend – his first izakaya experience and he loved every moment :-).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Morning Freakout

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Nooooo!!!

But to cheer me up, I found a happy little note on the bottom of my bowl…
Ah Salad Creations. I love their servers – I only wish that I discovered that they had a frequent customer card beforehand – it took over 10 visits for one of their cashiers to tip me off! Either way, since my stops in YYZ are so brief…I like going here for my fresh vegetable fix.

(NB: This is a post that I wrote ages ago but forgot to publish >___<. Pretty sure that the sign is gone!)

Salad Creations on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 25, 2011

Port Douglas :: Jellyfish, Sharks, Ice Cream in the Great Barrier Reef

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I had a fantastic time in Port Douglas. While I did not explore the town very much, it was the perfect jumping point to Cape Tribulation and exploring the Great Barrier Reef.

Travelling alone has its perks – I found that I was much braver and willing to try new things. I didn’t have to ask for permission to do anything, I just did it. I could change my plans on a whim, merge with random groups, and spend a day doing absolutely nothing if I wanted to. This day, I felt like swimming in the Great Barrier Reef...so I did!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Marche Marketplace :: Quick Downtown Brekkie

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Hello hello hello. Enjoying a quick stint in YYZ – good music, fun festivals, and great company. Short stays mean little time for cooking and lots of people to see!

I’ve been popping into Marche for breakfast dates in the downtown core. While I usually stick to a basic plate of eggs and toast, sometimes I am a little indulgent and enjoy a fruity crepe, and some apple-slaw with yogurt. And a fruit juice. Yum. There’s not much to comment with respect to service, as it’s mostly self serve and people are generally friendly and efficient.

As it caters to the financial district, it’s on the higher end with respect to price but it’s served quite well for a safe, quick breakfast spot as it has heaps of variety, fresh options and great for a quick bite that needs little thought. Recommend for breakfast – I’ve been here for lunch, and I’m less impressed as it gets quite crowded and there are better, tastier options in the area at that time.

Unless if you’re on a budget, Marche is a good default breakfast choice with enough variety that you can make it a regular spot and won’t have to worry about picky companions. It gets a lot of hate - but really if you want a quick spot that will serve many people this will do. If you're looking for a nice experience with great food that you can enjoy while sitting down - go somewhere else with that budget!

I've been on quite an adventure this year - yes, my blog is incredibly behind but I really can't wait to share some stories :-). I'll get back to writing soon!

Marche on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Calgary :: Yee-Haw~! Stampede!

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I had a fantastic weekend in Calgary! After years of hearing about this Canadian rodeo, I finally got a chance to experience it! Calgary is usually a somewhat quiet city – the downtown core clears by 6pm as many retreat to suburbia. Then bam out come the cowboy hats, jeans, line dancing, and 11AM brews that don’t stop until 3AM.
I went to the Stampede Grounds 3 times – phew! The first was to watch the Grandstand show. I am not sure how to describe it. Think: Cirque du Soleil + Sexy Golden Horses + Ritalin. There was so much going on, I am not sure if it was sensory overload or just a really darn good show.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Toronto :: T&T Waterfront Night Market

It's that time of year again...the T&T Waterfront Night Market will be held for its second run tomorrow for four days!

I find that night markets (or any food festival, really) are really only good with a crowd of fun people. With so many vendors, the ups and downs can really vary! So if you're planning on heading there, grab some friends, stay away from the tongue skewers, and fan out to efficiently tackle the lines :-)

I hope that this year, they are a bit better organized with their shuttle buses - it was a bit of a gong show last year.

Last year's visit pushed our food-ADD to the max - om nom nom!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Toronto :: Sen5es Bakery & Restaurant

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After a night of Men Without Hats and kabobs, I started this day with a sunny brunch with C and ended it with a fantastic BBQ with the family.

Sen5es Sen5es Restaurant and Bakery
Verdict: Tasty, neat, but service needs a bit of improvement
Price: $50 + tt
Location: Wellington St.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Creamy Vegetable Stew...à la Erin :: Slow Cooker


A week to go before a trip, I realized that I had to eat through my fridge. I had a plethora of fresh fruit and vegetables. So, I pulled out everything that I knew I wouldn't be snacking on:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Toronto :: Woodlot

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Stopped by Woodlot, one of the newer restaurants in Little Italy. It’s beautiful space – love the atmosphere. The food itself is well executed – while not fancy or particularly imaginative it’s simple, well-done, and a safe choice for a group of people with a variety of tastes. While it won’t ‘wow’ you, the pleasant service and inviting restaurant certainly makes for a pleasant evening! I’d return for a drink at the bar alone.
Ugh. Need a new camera!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Zealand :: Mount Doom!

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One of the most rewarding day-hikes in my experience, New Zealand’s Tongariro Crossing (aka Mount Doom) had a ridiculously fantastic range of landscapes to enjoy. Volcanic rocks and ash, lush vegetation, sulphuric lakes, forests…such a great day. It starts off quite easy – a wooden footpath, little cascading waterfalls, and bushy little plants…the beginning of a photographer’s dream :-)
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Zealand :: SYD WEL

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This is one special omelette.
Verdict: Avoid Pacific Blue at all costs
Price: 3 missed flights.
Location: Sydney International
Careful: Below the cut is a lot of bitchin’. Eff Pacific Blue. In summary:
1. Their staff was rude and unable to find a simple, quick solution
2. C and I missed our flight, he missed a second and could not get onto a third. Fail fail fail.
3. We lost 2 days of travel. Burn.
4. I’ll never fly any airline associated with Pacific Blue.