Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Takeout Tuesday - Mr. Jerk

Mr. Jerk  
1166 Morningside Ave  
Toronto, ON 
M1B 3A4 
416-724-9239 

It's time to spice up your life! Mr. Jerk offers amazing Jamaican food at amazing prices. It's located in a plaza near Sheppard and Morningside. If this is what's on your mind for lunch, go early. The line up gets very long, very quickly at lunch time! 

My co-workers have been there many times and urged me to go there to pick up lunch. When you hear your co-workers moaning about how good their lunch is, it MUST be good. 

As I've mentioned in other posts, I'm not a spicy gal...well, I wasn't until today. I'm hooked. I went with the Chicken Roti and my co-worker picked up the Curry Goat. Just thinking of the smell of these dishes is making my mouth water. Did I mention the portions are HUGE? For a reasonable price, you can have luncfor a few days.  

Upon entering, you are immediately hungry. The smell of the slow cooked food has you instantly scouring the menu for your meal. The ladies there are fantastic. They are working hard to get you in and out as soon as possible. They are not new to the rush. The cooks in the back have fresh food ready to replace the empty trays and keep the people fed! 

The Chicken Roti was to die for. There were large pieces of slow cooked, perfectly seasoned chicken with curry potatoes wrapped in a warm roti. The spice was perfect; spicy and flavourful and not so hot that a wuss, like me, couldn't enjoy it.(Yes, I was sweating, but I was feeling no pain!) I ate as much as I could, maybe 1/3 of it and it still lasted for 2 more meals. My boyfriend was ecstatic when I brought the leftovers home to share. My co-worker's Curry Goat was tender and juicy; smothered in the same seasonings. Wow. It was piled high on a serious bed of rice with curry potatoes. We could barely close the containers. 

Mr. Jerk is perfect for lunch or supper. A hearty meal that will keep you satisfied. 

I can't wait to go back! 





Mr. Jerk on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Toronto's Festival of Beer - You Know You Want It

Toronto's Festival of Beer 
July 25-27, 2014 
Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place 

It's almost that magical time of year! It's The Festival of Beer! A 20 year long celebration of those delicious brews. Since it's a big anniversary, you know it's going to be good. 

This year there will be over 300 brands from 60 different brewers on site. Now THAT is selection. Not to mention there will be wine AND ciders. If you can't find something you enjoy, you're crazy!  

Can't make a decision? They knew you might have some trouble. The people of the Beer Festival created trails throughout the weekend for your tasting pleasure. They've got trails for Ladies, Ciders, Gluten-Free and the EXTREME Beer Trail. Check one out! Try something new. You might find a new favourite! 

For those that are thirsty for knowledge(pun intended!), there are the Brewmaster Sessions. You can attend sessions to learn anything from creating your own beer to the different flavours and colours of beer. There are tastings, beer pouring competitions and you can meet the 3 Brewers! There is a lot more to this than just drinking beer. It's an ART! 

So, we've got decisions to make: What to drink...What to learn...and we're not done yet! Why bee in Bandshell Park if there was nothing on stage?! K-OS, The Trews, The Planet Smashers, Matthew Good AND Wide Mouth Mason are there to make this one hell of a party! 

Did you really think I'd forget the mention food? Really? The food is located in the Beerlicious Grilling Experience tent. How can you NOT want to go? The word 'Beerlicious' is enough to get me in line. Everything from sweet to savourytthere will be plenty of eats to pair with your favourite brew on a summer day. Not to mention the food vendors outside the tent! Toronto favourites, such as Smoke's Poutinerie and Rock Lobster are just a FEW of the food vendors exhibiting at this year's festival.  

This is a summer festival not to miss. We spent ALL winter indoors, get out there and enjoy! Check out their website for more details. There's beer, music and food. What more could you ask for? Get your tickets now! 

Lisa


Saturday, 5 July 2014

Edmonton Visit! The Next Act Pub!

The Next Act Pub 
8224 104 St NW 
Edmonton, AB T6E 4E6 (780) 433-9345 
So, I ended up in Edmonton for a weekend to attend a wedding. I can't let this blogging opportunity pass me by! My brother picked us up at the airport and we headed to our hotel. My brother lives in Calgary, so he wasn't familiar with Edmonton. I used my trusty list of restaurant recommendations from the super awesome Yelp community and off we went.  

Feeling lunchy and casual, we dropped into The Next Act. It has a small patio and lots of seating inside. It was bright and had friendly staff. My dad was there so, you know it's going to be an adventure for the staff. Heehee 

We ordered drinks and their beer selection was great! It had, not only local and imported brews, but brews from across Canada! I get so tempted when I see my fav's, but I went with the local Yellowhead lager. MmmmMmmm. Although, I realized quickly that being insanely hungry, awake since 5am and flying with no food was a bad idea. I was glad the service was quick or I would've been a little tipsy! It wasn't even noon there! 

The Pulled Pork Sandwich was chosen by 3 out of 5 of my group. My man got the Steak Sandwich and I chose The Critic Burger(No, I was not trying to be ironic). The house side salad was a hit. The dressing went perfectly with the leafy greens and strawberries. The fries were also fantastic....especially with their pesto sauce. Mmmmm. Everyone who chose the pork thought it was ok, no complaints. My man's steak sandwich was exactly that, a full steak on a bun. I guess we're used to steak sandwiches being smaller, more sandwichy. He had to eat it with a knife and fork! My Critic Burger was messy and so worth it. Smoked cheddar, caramelized onions, BBQ sauce and bacon was a winning combination. If you're going to the Next Act, go with a burger! They're fantastic. So beefy, so juicy, so yum. 

A great first impression of Edmonton's food scene so far!  



The Next Act on Urbanspoon

Friday, 27 June 2014

1847 - My Excuse to Visit Brooklin

1847 Wine & Beer Bistro 
45 Baldwin St 
Brooklin, ON 
L1M1A2 

It was time for a meal with my cousin, who is always willing to hit a new spot. She had been to 1847 before and recommended we go. Off to Brooklin, I drove by it 3 times. *facepalm* Their Twitter feed said that the week after my visit, they had a new awning installed making it more visible. Glad to hear it! 

It used to be the home of a bank, complete with a vault, now set up as a party room. The décor has an expensive pub feel. All of the furniture is dark wood accompanied by high ceilings and large windows that let in lots of natural light. The atmosphere is cozy and comfortable. They also have a patio. The tables were a little close together if you were sitting at a table for 2. The bar is stocked with a great variety of beer and wines, including brews from the local brewers, 5 Paddles. 

1847 is known for sourcing locally. I'm not just talking about food! Local musicians frequently play here. Anything from blues to rock can be heard. The menu changes as the seasons change. They source locally and seasonally to ensure the freshest ingredients. This is not your common pub! 

Feeling the need for apps, she chose the Local Green Salad and I picked the Goat Cheese. The salad was fresh and crisp topped with radish, cucumber and cherry tomatoes and smothered in a sherry vinaigrette. Meant to be a starter salad, it was a decent size! The pistachio goat cheese was warm and rich. Whenever I've had goat cheese, it's always come with some sort of bread; I expected it, even though the description didn't say it. This dish made me rethink appetizers, goat cheese doesn't NEED bread. The local beets with walnut apple slaw was delicious. I never thought of putting all of those foods on one plate! A pleasant surprise! 

As for the main dishes, she had the Roasted Chicken with Butternut Squash Risotto and I had the Pork Tenderloin. The roasted chicken was so tender and juicy, it almost fell off the bone. It was atop a pile of creamy butternut squash risotto. It's official, butternut squash is amazing in everything! My pork medallions were savoury and perfectly cooked. The potato pancakes that came with it, weren't like I'm used to. They were breaded. I'm not sure if that's normal, but the jus from the pork made the breading soggy. I was sad. I love potato pancakes! The roasted vegetables smothered in the jus disappeared rather quickly. Yummy. 

The table next to us had an issue with one of their meals and the server took care of it in a very professional manner. He made sure that it was corrected and that they were pleased. It's nice to see how restaurants handle kitchen or service issues and they did well. Except one thing. Since our server was busy handling the next table's issue, he just brought us the bill without offering us anything else. We wanted dessert! We even snagged some dessert menus! Oh well, will save room for the next visit! 

Yes, there WILL be a next visit, even if I have no other reason to be in Brooklin. :D 

It's a delightful place with great staff and chefs. Check it out! Farm to Table ALL THE WAY!  



1847 Wine & Beer Bistro on Urbanspoon

Friday, 13 June 2014

Harpo's - The Not-So Hidden Gem

Harpo's 
44 Stevenson Rd S 
Oshawa, ON 
L1J2K6 
905-436-2977 

My Nan didn't feel like cooking one rare evening and insisted she take my father and myself out for dinner. Having not planned this in advance, we didn't know where to go when my dad suggested Harpo's.  

Harpo's has 2 levels, the main floor has booths and large tables for groups. The lower level is at the front with all of the large windows. It's nice and bright! Since Nan wasn't a fan of stairs we opted for a booth on the main floor. Our server warned us that 2 large groups were coming in shortly, but that was alright. The booths were HUGE and very cozy. It was like sitting on a high-backed couch. We could not see other customers in the booths beside us. It made it private and acted as a sound barrier. The décor was very elegant. I definitely felt under-dressed. It was supposed to be a casual meal dangit! 

Our server had her hands full. We arrived shortly before the 2 large groups, but the service didn't lapse; our orders were there in a timely fashion.  

Harpo's has a fabulous $30 Feature Menu. Most of their dishes range from $20-$30, so why not? It includes an appetizer, main and dessert. My dad and I opted for the Feature Menu. We started off with Bruschetta and the Daily Soup, Onion and Parmesan. My dad loved the soup. It was like French Onion without the bread and cheese; a nice, light app! The bruschetta was on crisp French loaf and topped with the classic diced tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese combo. Yum!  


Onto the mains. My grandmother went with Chicken Linguine. It was piled high and topped with large pieces of chicken in a garlic tomato sauce. The size of that dish had doggy bag written all over it. She couldn't believe how much chicken there was! My dad went with the Peppercorn Steak. Season and cooked to order, there was not a morsel left on his plate. I chose the Fresh Atlantic Salmon. It was flaky and seasoned with a lemon base, I would order it again. Not to mention it was served on a plate shaped like a fish. :D 


There's always room for dessert. We went with the Cherry Cheesecake and the Strawberries Romanoff. The cheesecake was light and the cherries were tart; a great finish to a savoury meal. I want to make Strawberries Romanoff at home. It was delightful. Then again, eating anything out of a martini glass instantly makes it fun. Strawberries, melted ice cream, cinnamon and toasted almonds in a martini glass = win. 

I understand why there were so many large groups there! It's a great place with good service and a good atmosphere. I'd go there for my next special occasion! 






Harpo's on Urbanspoon