Monday, 16 February 2015

Go For Thai - No Really, Go!

Go For Thai 
1525 Dundas St E 
Whitby, ON 
L1N2K6 
905-666-8788 
Want great Thai food on a budget? Keep reading.  

Go For Thai is a great spot for lunch or dinner. Prices are fantastic and the portions are healthy. When you enter, you are greeted by the very friendly staff. The d├ęcor is simple and sleek, nothing tacky in here. The booths are so cozy, but there are only a few!  

The menu offers a lot of choice. Soups and salads all the way to veggie and satays; you have a lot to choose from. We started with the Go For Thai's House Platter. It had everything. It came with calamari, spicy satay skewers, golden baskets and spring rolls. It's a big ol' plate of flavours; spicy and savoury. Yum! A great choice if no one can decide on an app. 


Now for the main courses. We chose Sweet & Sour Fish, Pad Thai, Cantonese Chow Mein and steamed rice on the side. The fish had a light batter and a light taste; my boyfriend would even eat it and he is not a seafood guy. The chow mein wasn't what I expected. I expected it to be like the Chinese variety. This had a fantastic Thai twist. They definitely didn't try to duplicate the Chinese version, they made it theirs and they made it good. The Pad Thai was also not your everyday Pad Thai, sweet and citrus made this dish stand on it's own. 


The server might have been the owner. He thanked us for coming, gave us take out menus and told us about the daily specials for eat in and takeout. He was very gracious and said he hoped we'd come back. 

I've been here a few times for dinner and lunch. They are so consistent, it's crazy. Sometimes the service can be a little slow, but you soon forget once the food arrives. Fresh and fantastic!

The lunch specials are under $10 and you don't leave hungry. Great deals! 

Highly recommended for Thai in Whitby! 

Lisa







Go For Thai on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Bindia Indian Bistro

Bindia Indian Bistro 
16 Market St 
Toronto, ON M5E 
(416)  863-0000

After a long day of volunteer work, my mom and I were starving we walked down the street to Bindia. Located near St. Lawrence Market is a brightly coloured bistro with ambient lighting and an inspired menu.

Butter Chicken, Curry Chicken and fresh naan were in order. The presentation was great and made for easy sharing. The Butter Chicken was creamy and had just the right amount of spice. Paired with the naan, I was in my glory. My mom's Curry Chicken was hotter than she expected, but the seasoning was delightful. So savoury! If you're wondering, we both needed water and extra napkins....that's how we roll.  


After all that savoury goodness, it was time for dessert. We tried the Gajrela(Indian Carrot Cake) and Kulfi(Indian ice cream flavoured with cardamom). Neither was what we expected. As you can see, the carrot cake was not a cake. It had cashews, carrot puree and nuts. That is one heavy cake! It kept you trying to figure out what is in it. It has so many different textures and layers; I'd absolutely order it again. The Kulfi was not as enjoyable. It looked like ice cream, it was cold like ice cream, but it was not ice cream. The presentation was great, but the texture of it was strange. Flavoured with cardamom, it didn't have much flavour. I do realize I'm used to the sugary variety, but after such a savoury meal, something a sweet should've stood out. The carrot cake is the way to go. 


The service there was good and the food was fresh. When we were puzzled by the carrot cake, our server was very knowledgeable(probably a common inquiry) and was able to solve some of the mystery. Plates were cleared quickly and our water glasses were (thankfully) kept full. The pricing was higher than we're used to, but from Durham Region and expect most restaurants in Toronto to be higher anyway.  

I wonder what other gems are around the St. Lawrence! 

Lisa







Bindia on Urbanspoon

Monday, 9 February 2015

Vacation Blog! Hotel Playa Coco, Cayo Coco, Cuba!

Hotel Playa Coco 
Cayo Coco, Cuba 
January 25-February 1, 2015 

Needing a break from winter, we booked last minute(1 week prior) and off we went! 

Check in went smoothly. We were in the green building(#3) by the lobby. The balcony faced inward, not to the ocean. The closest to the beach are the pink and yellow buildings. Room was exactly as all the pictures you've seen. You're not going to be in there much anyway! I've seen complaints about water pressure, etc. We were on the 3rd floor and had great water pressure, but the hot water wasn't overly hot. Big deal. Other buildings were fine or had pressure issues. It's a big resort, meh. I've seen a lot of complaints online about the rooms are from people that spend too much time in them. Find an ant? Kill it and move on, people! 

The grounds and public areas were all undergoing improvements, but were not disruptive. You didn't really notice unless you saw the workers doing it. All public areas were very clean and service was great. 

Enough of that. FOOD TIME! 

TIP: Bring your own ketchup/spices/sauces, if you're picky! 



Buffet 

The buffet room was HUGE. A ton of seating indoors and some outdoors with high, high ceilings.  

The buffet itself is not as huge. One side had hot foods, salads/cheese/deli and dessert was at the end. For your protein portion of your meal, your best bet is to wait in line at the grill tops or the pasta station. Ideally, go during off-peak times; the wait can be long. 

I wish the lines for the grill top were more organized. You just end up standing in the middle of an aisle and you may not know which line you are in. Either way, the cooks there are great. English is pretty good and they are good at what they do. 

The pasta station was not great. They use the same utensils for everything and don't cook your veggies all the way through. They just heat them up, so beware unless you enjoy raw onions. 

The flambe station was awesome! Banana, papaya, pear heated in syrup and set on fire. Yes, yes and yes. I was there almost everyday. 

At breakfast, there is a smoothie station. Recommended. They also have fresh juices on the buffet too. Mango juice was to die for. Disappointed I didn't see an actual mango there! 

Desserts were better than expected. I thought it would be similar to our Chinese buffet desserts, but they were way better. As a chocoholic, it was enough to cover the craving. 

Beer Garden & Ice Cream Shop 

Tired of the buffet? Here's your spot. If you don't eat the Fish & Chips, you are missing out. The fish is super fresh and the batter is fabulous. The portions here are smaller, but you can always order more! The fries at this resort are pretty good and come with everything you order at the Beer Garden. I never saw a menu there, but the server can list what they offer.  

The hamburgers are not made with beef, but sausage. It reminds me off the sausage patty on a Breakfast Sandwich at Tim's or a Sausage McMuffin. It's not as salty, but salty enough. I don't usually eat hotdogs, but they were good. The grilled ham and cheese sandwich was another go-to for my man. Any of these with friends and ketchup is a good snack(or meal, if you order more than 1).  

It's open 24hrs, so if you've had a few too many Cuba Libre, head over! 

The ice cream shop is a nice touch. A small, air conditioned building right beside the Beer Garden, it has 4 tables and 4-5 flavours with toppings. The ice cream isn't as sweet as we're used to, but it's still refreshing! 

Beach Eats 

The food choices at the beach were the best. There is a beach grill that shares a hut with the beach bar. When it gets close to 1pm, LINE UP! It's freshly grilled in the beach restaurant and brought to the grill hut. It's hot and ready and fantastic. I've missed BBQ a lot this winter and this was giving me my fix.  

The beach restaurant has a small buffet that is usually vegetarian; salad, fries, rice, pasta, etc. If you want meat, you can get it from the beach grill or order something off the menu. They have similar offerings as the Beer Garden, but slightly larger menu. 

This was a great option for lunch if you are getting tired of the main buffet. 


Now for the A La Carte..... 

Italian 

Much better than my previous "Italian Food in Cuba" experiences. We were happy with it and left satisfied. 

We started with the minestrone soup. It's probably the best minestrone I've had anywhere. Packed with fresh vegetables, it wasn't just in an ordinary broth; veggies were pureed in the broth giving it a delightful texture. 


As the main, I had the lasagna and my guy had steak. The lasagna was not like lasagna at home. It was everything that goes in lasagna, but in a pile. The portion wasn't very big either(there's always the buffet!). It was ok. Cheesy, meaty(pork sausage) and saucy. My man said the steak was good, but he couldn't eat all of it because it had a lot of gristle. 

We both ordered the Tiramisu and were pleasantly surprised. It was pretty good! Served in a bowl made of sugar, it was beautifully presented and tasted close to what restaurants serve at home. 

Service was fantastic. The A/C was blasting and our server gave his uniform vest a woman that was freezing. Aww. I would've loved to go again to try more; I  heard the seafood pizza was good! 

Japanese 

Try to make this reservation early because this dinner takes at least 1.5hrs. I like that if you don't have 8 in your party, you are seated with other guests. It makes it fun! You never know what will happen when the chef pulls you to the flat top to show your skills. Some chefs were more entertaining than others. Our reservation was at 9pm, so we were the last table for our chef, so he kept it to the point; only making us flip food in the air to catch it on a fork. 


They cooked chicken, beef, fresh fish and shrimp with the veggie fried rice. It was pretty good. The portions were huge! No one left hungry! 

Seafood 

If you're there a week, you get 2 a la carte reservations, so we didn't get the go to the seafood restaurant....my man is not a seafood person, but we heard there were non-seafood choices, like steak.  

Everyone we spoke to said the seafood was amazing; they couldn't get enough lobster and if you're really nice, they might give you another lobster! This one doesn't have it's own space, so it could be on the beach or by the pool or at the beach buffet. 

If only we got 3 dinners! BOO! 

Excursions 

On a budget? Take the bus around the island. It's 5 CUC for a day pass. ASK THE FRONT DESK FOR THE SCHEDULE. There are 2 schedules, one to go to the market and another to go to Playa Pilar. We got on the 10:40am bus to the market, but we didn't get back until 4:30pm. If you want to spend the day at the beach, get on the first bus of the day. There is a restaurant there and you pay 2 CUC for a beach chair. The bus comes every 2 hours. So, if you go to the market, you are stuck there for 2 hours. At least there's beer! 

Got some CUC to spend? We went on the Cigar, Sugar & Rum tour to Moron. The name is deceiving because at the end they just give you a cigar and a bottle of rum. It's the only time they appeared on the tour. It was a good tour though! 2 stops for shopping, boat ride on a lake through mangroves, horse buggy ride, sugar mill, train ride through the sugar cane fields, buffet lunch and a crocodile farm. I held a baby croc!!!! Great day! 

Not a bad vacation away from the snow, I only wish the weather had co-operated! 

Lisa