tasty korean noms

… can be had locally from P.A.T. Market East, at 1973 Lawrence Avenue E (near Warden). Black sesame soymilk is me. All I need now is the fabulous Korean steel chop sticks and spoon combo, and my utensil joy is complete.

i love this city

I’m sad to leave Montréal. Not just was it one of the most productive work weeks I’ve ever had (thanks to the fine folks at Hélimax), but the city is great. I’ve had some spectacular meals here – the two little bistros within walking distance of the office are fantastic; way better than the 40+ mediocre fast-food outlets near my office. One evening we went to Pintxo – nummy Basque food.

I think I’d probably eat less here, because the food is worth savouring. There’s care and love in the food here, not boil-in-the-bag slop.

salvadorean scran

All our usual restaurants were busy, so we stopped at El Pulgarcito at 1210 Kennedy Rd. I’d never had pupusas before; these little filled maize pancakes are the best. We’ll be back.

dirty harry

Went to Harry Ramsden’s in Glasgow last night for old time’s sake, and we probably won’t ever be back. The service was slow, the food so-so, and the bathrooms disgusting. It has lost its Harryness, alas.

free food from Dexit

Though I still hate Dexit, I have found a place to use the remaining balance — the Pizza Pizza at the corner of Vic Park and Sheppard. Yes, their pizza is still like damp cardboard, but they have passable salads.

They still need to work on the reliability of their terminals, and training staff. The other day they said my debit was authorised, when clearly nothing had come off the tag. They wouldn’t take the cash I offered (their screen showed a green thing), so yay Dexit, free food!

mmm, mistaan

Ritesh & Abhay introduced us to a great Indian restaurant — Mistaan, at 460 McNicoll. It’s mostly a Bengali sweet shop, but has a food counter. The chicken saag I had was great. We’ll be back.

a wee corner of Scotland at Ellesmere & McCowan

Serendipity: took a wrong turn coming out of the
federal building, and found ourselves in Scottish culinary heaven (which is not an oxymoron, I assure you). At the corner of Ellesmere & McCowan is The But ‘n’ Ben Butchers; they sell all sort of quality Scottish foods. So far, we’ve sampled and can approve their butcher’s pies, plain bread and empire biscuits. They’ve also got a supply of UK Heinz Beans, which knock the gummy North American beans into a cocked hat.
Next door but one is St Andrews Fish & Chips. They’re amazing. I think the chips (hand cut, of course) are deep fried in some unhealthy, but tasty, animal byproduct. And they have Irn Bru, too …

Chicken Payback

I had the misfortune to have a Swiss Chalet lunch near an argument. It was actually more of a harangue since it was very one-sided, and I was on the verge of getting up to tell the antagonist to shut up.

I don’t know the relationship, but it was an older guy and a younger woman, possibly his daughter. He was going on and on about how she was cutting work to go to the gym, how she was being paid for working 37.5 hours a week but was only working 35, did she feel good about stealing from the company, it didn’t matter if she got the work dones, she was paid to be there, her a manager too, etc, etc.

What was particularly pathetic was that he only ever gave her a couple of seconds to answer before launching another tirade. I think she maybe said about 10 words in a fifteen minute period.

I suspect he thought he was making a good point, but he was just coming across as a complete dork. And he was putting me off my food, too.

just yer basic yerba, mate

Scored some yerba mate for Catherine’s cousin Phil yesterday. Seems there aren’t so many South American food stores in KCMO, while there’s a strip of them on Augusta in Kensington Market.

The store at 239 Augusta had a whole yerba mate section. Since it was cheap ($2 for the half key), I got some for myself. Wonder what I’ll do with it?

Goodbye, Star Wars Tree

burnt-out mini mall, Kennedy & Eglinton
The mini-mall burned last night. Looks like the centre of the fire was the gift shop in the middle of the block. The rest of the block is pretty badly damaged, though. It looks like the place will have to be rebuilt — or replaced with a condo block, which seems to be the fate of shops in Scarborough.

I hope that noone was hurt.

So, goodbye Yoga’s, with your selection of teas and Sri Lankan groceries. Goodbye Star Milk, the mom, pop and smiley baby store with your VLT in back and dodgy videos over the drinks cooler. Goodbye Poondy Bread, purveyors of that which has paneity. Goodbye Amma, ace Sri Lankan takeout food shop, the place where I developed a taste for really spicy food.

But most of all, goodbye to the gift shop. Even though I never went in there, I’ll miss the sun-yellowed unsold toys in the window; the almost-Transformers and plastic racing cars.

One toy, unsold through two summers, perplexed me most. It was a cardboard tube wrapped in tinsel. Cardboard tags with pictures of Star Wars characters were attached to it with those nylon annoyances you get on new clothes. It resembled more a christmas decoration than a space weapon, which I think it was supposed to be. We called it the Star Wars Tree, and I’m guessing it wasn’t officially licensed from Lucasfilm.

It’s all gone now, washed away by the fire hoses.

the ruglonian conspiracy

Alex, who bags groceries at Denninger’s in Burlington commented on my Nairn’s oatcake purchase. Seems he’s from Rutherglen and environs too.

not there

Shows how out of touch with the neighbourhood we are. We were going shopping at the local Food Basics, ‘cos we were a bit late for No Frills, and we found it was closed — since June 30th …

more cheapeats joy

Looks like I’ve won a copy of the new edition of Cheapeats Toronto, thanks to publisher Alexandra Clark. Seems my re-recommendation of the Detroit got into the draw for a free copy. All your cheap eats are belong to me!

baaaaaarp!

I just ate the most amazing chicken roti from Sea Town Restaurant, on Eglinton East near Ionview. Not merely was it at least the size of my head, but it wasn’t the usual saffron-coloured Jamaican curry, but a rich dark brown. It was also extremely spicy; up there with a Madras, at least.

Ph frenzy

pho xe lua

I love Vietnamese noodle soup. I love Vietnamese “cafe sua”, or coffee with condensed milk. But what I really like is filling in the order card. Everyone gets to squabble over what they want, what size, and what it all totals to.

But the food is so good.

fishepiphany

We sampled Len Duckworth’s Fish & Chips (2638 Danforth Ave, just east of Main) tonight. Mmm. Though the halibut was not the Scottish customary haddock, it was really good. The chips were the best. I haven’t had ones this good since frequenting The Unique in Glasgow. All it needs is mushy peas, and it’d be perfect.

I was pleased to hear a few Scottish voices in the crowds. We know good food when we see it.

is this thing on, eh?

Since this is my first entry in my first blog, I think I’m supposed to quote something clever:

For imperial Britain, rapid expansion overseas was a sign not of economic strength but of underlying weaknesses at home. An empire that looked impressive and invincible on the map later proved to be remarkably fragile, shrinking much faster than it had grown. — Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, Afterword.

I’ve just re-read FFN, this time in the extended edition. It’s better the second time around. And he’s right about Conway’s burgers in Colorado Springs — they’re that good.