Category: Food

Epic Brunch at the Royal York

Treat yourself to some truly epic brunch at Epic Restaurant, located inside the Fairmont Royal York hotel. This brunch will set you back $29.00, but it’s all you can eat, and trust me- it’s delicious.

The Epic brunch is all you can eat, and features assorted cereals, pastries, various breads, fruits an omelet station and various hot dishes. Some of the hot dishes were pork sausage, maple smoked bacon, chicken apple sausage, fresh Ontario scrambled eggs, eggs benny, braised Ontario mushrooms, tomato au gratin, breakfast potatoes and banana strawberry waffles.

The breakfast potatoes were perfectly crisp, the bacon was thick and non-greasy, and the omelet was perfect! Brunch also comes with fresh orange juice, coffee and tea. As a bonus, the pastries, including croissants and danishes) are flaky and delicious. A pet peeve of mine is when the pastries in buffets are dry and tasteless. None of that here! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to brunch more!

Coach House Shortbread


Coach House Shortbread is another Toronto staple for delicious shortbread! Coach house shortbread was founded in 1986 (it’s as old as me!) and was founded by Carl Stryg.
Coach shortbread can usually be found at gourmet food stores like the One of a Kind Show.

This time of year, you can actually visit the Coach house shop yourself! I stopped by last week and it was busy. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have single cookies for sale (like Mary’s!) but they had lots of samples available.


Coach house makes savoury and sweet shortbread. The shortbread is good, but it’s light and airy. I wish it were a little richer and heavier. One of my favourites that I tried was the Cheddar and Chipotle shortbread. This was described as, “A perfect pairing of flavours, with the tang of 7-year-old Canadian cheddar registering first, followed by the smoky heat of chipotle peppers, which lingers beautifully on the tongue.” It was delicious! My favourite sweet shortbread was the Dark Chocolate and Fleur de Sel. It was sweet with just the right amount of salty.


Coach House packaged their shortbread in a unique way. The shortbread are bundled into a cardboard roll, packaged into colour coded paper and tied at the ends with ribbon. I love it! A small is $9.00, and a large is $11.00. Coach House shortbread is located at 235 Carlaw Ave. They are open until the end of December, and will then re-open for Easter.

Mary MacLeod Shortbread

Shortbread is my favourite kind of cookie. Period.
Christmas is when shortbread gets to shine! You can find shortbread in pretty much every food store in the city.

Toronto has a couple of shops dedicated to shortbread. One of my favourite shops is Mary MacLeod Shortbread.
Mary MacLeod Shortbread is located on 639 Queen Street East.

The first time I visited this shop, I was taking the streetcar, and it was getting pretty late into the day. I called them to find out what time they were closing, and although they were closing within 5 minutes, they waited for me! As if that didn’t make my day already, when I stepped in they offered me my choice of shortbread! That might have been the moment I fell in love with this store.

Mary’s has been around since 1981, and the shortbread is handmade in small batches. When I walk into the shop this time, I am offered a cookie (yay!) and select a Cranberry Almond shortbread cookie. It’s good, studded with almonds and cranberry, but not my favourite. My favourite is the plain shortbread, and the chocolate crunch. Mmmm. I love these cookies, because they are heavy and taste like real butter. Shortbread is not meant to be light! Another favourite of mine are the butterscotch fingers. These moist cookies offer the same rich shortbread taste, but with a chewy twist of butterscotch!

Mary’s also sells shortbread in many different forms. You can buy a single shortbread cookie from the glass display case, or pick up some of the prepackaged sets. The packaged sets feature festive shapes, and my favourite were the snowmen shaped shortbread. Mary’s is open daily. Stop by to pick up a last minute gift!

So into Cupcakes

I’m so into cupcakes. Are you? I bet you are. So into Cupcakes is a new cupcake shop in Scarborough! They just opened this weekend, and I stopped by to give their cupcakes a try. The has a very modern, white design. The main feature of the store is the glass display case filled with cupcakes. So into cupcakes makes about 10 different kinds of cupcakes. A regular sized cupcake is $2.50, and a mini cupcake is $1.50. The cashier was very friendly, but the owner had left for the day. The cupcakes that day were red velvet, vanilla, chocolate, mocha and peppermint. Yum! They had salted caramel before, but it was sold out. This cupcake store has decent hours, (11am -7pm.) so it’s great if you need to grab cupcakes in a hurry or get an after work snack.

I picked out a vanilla, coconut and mini red velvet cupcake. The coconut cupcake was topped with shredded coconut, and had a light coconut taste. I noticed immediately that the icing was very light…for all of the cupcakes. It’s not that they didn’t put enough icing, it’s more like the icing is very airy and subtle. It probably doesn’t have a lot of sugar, which can be a good thing. However, I like my cupcakes sweet! (But not Prairie Girl Cupcakes sweet.)

The cake was moist and fresh. I like these cupcakes, but I wish that they were a bit more decadent and flavorful.

The best of the lot was the mini red velvet. The icing was still light, but the touch of cream cheese in the icing gave it body. Also, the cake was delicious! I’m very excited that I have a cupcake shop so close to home, and I plan to go back there to try chocolate cupcakes next time!


So into Cupcakes
Monday to Friday – 11 am to 7 pm
Saturday & Sunday – 11 am to 4 pm

2060 Ellesmere Road, Unit 10
Toronto, ON M1H 2V6
416-438-9292

 

Dinner at Goody’s Diner

Ahh. Goody’s diner. I expected big things, and they did not disappoint. Goody’s Diner, located at 133 Manville Rd in Scarborough. We visited this retro diner on a Friday night, and it was pretty busy! The decor was casual, with red chairs and a view into the kitchen.

The host was very friendly, and told us all about their specialty- burgers. (duh.) Each 8 oz sirloin burger is hand formed and mixed with a special blend of spices. The special burger of the night was the Sicilian, topped with caramelized onion, jalapenos, cheese sticks, salami and tomato. I had the more restrained classic Goody’s burger with peameal bacon, jalapeno, cheese, mushrooms, havarti, caramelized onion and tomato.


When the burger arrived it was massive. I literally could not get it to fit inside my mouth! It was was good though. Now, I don’t know if you know, but I’m actually a picky eater. Even though I am a foodie there are some foods I really just don’t like. As I was eating my burger I noticed two things. 1. There seemed to be some sort of creamed corn spread on my burger, and I didn’t like it because it was quite sweet. 2. My burger was pink in the middle. Like, really pink. Like, a tad uncooked pink.


Meanwhile, my boyfriend (who I think I’ll refer to as the boy from now on.) really enjoyed his burger. He declared it the best burger he’d ever had and won’t stop talking about going back. His sweet potato fries were delicious. My shoestring fries were also good. Goody’s diner has tons of unique burgers (including one on a pretzel bun!) The verdict? I definitely plan on going back, but will ask for my burger to be well done. I still get pretty hungry thinking about their burgers!

Dinner at Bannock

Bannock is an Oliver & Bonacini Restaurant that opened this fall with at Bay & Queen St. They offer Canadian comfort food with a twist, from the to go counter or for a sit down meal. I headed here with a friend last week.

The decor is rustic chic, with wooden chairs and paper menus laid out as place mats. My favourite part of the room is the interesting light figure that is hung over a group dining table.

The menu features it’s namesake, bannock. Bannock is a “round flatbread traditionally cooked on a griddle or stone; brought to Canada through Scottish explorers and traders; adapted by indigenous people and settlers.” They offer bannock with different toppings on them, such as the Veggie Bannock ($12) that is topped with portobello mushrooms, marinated peppers and dubiously named “comfort cream”.

However, my friend and I both opted to have something else. I <i>love</i> chicken pot pie, so I had the Arcadian Court Chicken Pot Pie served with the One and Only Mashed Potatoes. ($16)

It was delicious. The crust was flaky and good, and the chicken was piping hot, tender and filling. My only tiny problem with it was that it only had crust on the bottom. I especially enjoy crust, so I like it when pies have crust on the bottom and the top.

It was served with rich, creamy mashed Yukon gold potatoes and gravy. It was really good! The only thing is that it was really filling. I couldn’t finish my potatoes. The pie itself would have been enough, maybe it should come with a lighter side.

Across the table, my dining companion was having the opposite problem. She had ordered Pickerel Tacos with Cucumber Apple Salad ($13). It was served in steamed buns and with caviar tartar.

We were expecting the tacos to be a bit bigger for a dinner portion, but they were a bit on a small side. She enjoyed her tacos though, said it was surprisingly spicy, but in a good way. The salad was unique, fresh and tart.

Bannock is a nice place to take a date or a friend! The food is fresh and well prepared. The to-go counter has coffee, tea, breakfast wraps, sandwiches and traditional tourtiere.

Bannock
401 Bay St., Toronto, M5H 2Y4
Tel: 416.861.6996

Brunch at MoRoCo Chocolat

MoRoCo Cholat is one of my favourite places to have brunch in the city! It’s elegant,  beautifully ornate and sells delectable macarons. It’s an excellent place for high tea and dessert. MoRoCo has three seatings. Brunch on weekends, afternoon tea and dinner. This weekend I stopped by for brunch with a friend.

We shared a pot of Swiss Schoko tea ($10) that was served with a yummy strawberry macaron. Swiss Schoko tea was a “Ceylon black tea layered with chocolate pieces, vanilla, almond and calendula.” It was delicious, and the chocolate taste was very pleasant.

For my meal, I chose the Savoury Crepes ($17) with chicken and mushroom in a white cream sauce. It was delicious! And surprisingly filling. I also ordered a side of homefries ($6) but I didn’t end up finishing them! I’ve also had the breakfast pastry basket in the past, and it’s filled with warm breads and pastries. A good choice for only $11.

My friend had the Blackstone Eggs Benedict ($19). It was her first time having eggs benedict (I’m not a fan) and she really enjoyed them. She especially liked the capers.

In addition to the restaurant, there is also a shop attached to the store. MoRoCo makes their own chocolates and macarons. They have cookies, sweets and more for sale. I especially liked these boyfriend chocolate treats!

MoRoCo Chocolat

99 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5R 3K3
416.961.2202

A Word to the Wise: MoRoCo can be a fantastic place, but it also has it’s downfalls. It’s not the best for groups, because they don’t do separate bills. Also, they automatically add a 18.5% tip to all bills. The service varies, and I usually have to beg them to bring us sugar and milk for our tea.

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