Uber Cool Taxi Service

In the past, whenever I hailed a cab in Toronto, I would be constantly rejected for not going a far enough distance. For example, none would take me from Sound Academy (most inconvenient location ever) to Union Station. However, recently I decided to try the new Uber Taxi service and I think it may solve all my taxi problems.

The service operates with a smartphone app. It pinpoints your locations as well as how far away the closest cars are. Once you hit the big green button you get a text and a cab instantly heads to you and your phone keeps track of it’s location. They’ll call you once they are outside. The cars are black and sleek and makes me feel like I have a million dollars. There are two types of cars you can choose from; a normal black car and an SUV.

Another neat feature about Uber Taxi service is the payment is done through the app with a credit card. There is no worry about having cash at hand, and they don’t need to know how much you tip. The service fee (of $8) is a little bit more than the normal $4 you pay to get in regular cabs, but at the end of the ride you don’t have to add tip (and there’s no option to even if you wanted). There is a minimum charge of $15, but at least that means they will take you anywhere no matter the distance.

I love that Uber has considered business through an app. It’s innovated and smart, and I’ll definitely be riding them again! It’s still in testing in Toronto but the other cab companies can learn a thing or two from their business model.

Unappetizing Food Photos

I don’t know what it is about Jack Astors, but every time I attempt to take a photo of my meal, it ends up looking like slop. I’m not saying that the food there is slop, just the food isn’t too photogenic. For instance here is a photo of my half eaten scrumptious red velvet cake:

It was delicious, there was nothing inherently wrong with it, but no matter how hard I tried the photo I took turned out horrible. It looked like the mud pies you make as a child. It wasn’t even something I could instagram prettier. I didn’t┬áthink that could happen.

On another occasion I tried the Lamb Skewers entree. It came with hummus bread and a mini salad. This was the photo:

You might say “well hummus always looks like slop” but I had blogged about the hummus at By the Way Cafe previously and it didn’t look a thing like that. Not to mention the skewers look a bit like penis on sticks. Again, it wasn’t that bad of a meal just not very photogenic.

Have you ever run into a situation where you couldn’t show your delicious meal to your friends on Facebook because the photos were just horrible? I’d love to know!

Pacman, Spaghetti, Logos and Dexter Board Games

Since the discovery of Snakes and Lattes, I fell in love with it and want to go all the time. They have so many board games that I can never get, well bored.

We saw another table playing the Pacman board game. The great thing about this place is that you can see so many interesting games going on at different tables. We politely asked for the game after they were done. The board looked exactly like a level of the video game. There were plastic “Pacman” pieces in different colours and 2 ghosts.

The way the game worked was there were 2 different coloured dice. One moved your Pacman across the board and you ate the marbles that were along the path. The other dice moved the ghosts in any direction you wanted. Ghosts were used to send your opponents back to start and steal their marbles. There were also coloured marbles that allowed your Pacman to eat the ghosts along the path. They effectively integrated the classic parts of the video game into a board game!

I was looking for some ridiculous looking games and one of them was Ready! Set! Spaghetti!. The goal of this game was to roll the dice and remove ingredients on the board so that your spaghetti could be perfectly curled up in your spoon. It was a silly but fun idea for a game.

We also dove into the Logos Board Game. The interesting thing about this is I watch a lot of TV but I actually sucked at this game whereas my boyfriend who doesn’t watch TV knew way more about random companies and their products. I guess he is way more affected by marketing than I am. This game isn’t actually too exciting otherwise though.

I didn’t even remember to take a picture of it

If you’ve ever played Clue, we found a Dexter board game which was like the opposite of clue. The objective was to get all the weapons, find the suspect, kill him and head to the marina. We kind of changed the rules a bit or it would have taken hours to play. Despite this, it was a decent effort to turn the idea of a TV show into a board game.

The majority of the games we played so far have been short length games, but we’ll definitely be back again and I’ll share all my board game adventures with you.

What strange games have you played? What are your favourites? I’d love to know!

Healthy Eating at By the Way Cafe

A few weeks ago, my stomach was a little iffy so I opted to find something healthier (that wasn’t burgers) to eat. From random window browsing, we made our way to the By The Way Cafe located in the Annex. I had walked past it a million times in the past but never wandered inside. The restaurant is really bright and has a homie feeling even though they do consider themselves a fine dining restaurant. I was actually quite surprised to find that it served middle-eastern cuisine. I always thought that it served sandwiches or generic coffee shop food because of it’s name.

We ordered light, mainly because we wanted an excuse to get froyo after. We opted for the combination platter which contained hummus, tabuleh, babaganough and Israeli salad. We also had the spicy and crunchy calamari which lived up to it’s name. Ok, I admit the calamari is not considered “healthy”, but whatever it was delicious.

The platter was basically like bread and dip but it was flavorful and we finished every drop of it. It’s a tiny bit pricey though ($12) for how much there is. There’s definitely a ton of choices on the menu for those who choose not to eat meat (never) including a vegetarian lasagna. At least I’ve finally eaten something besides sushi in the Annex!

By the Way Cafe on Urbanspoon

Missed Connection at Edgefest

Edgefest 2012
On Saturday, I went to Edgefest at Downsview Park. The weather was 30 something degrees, but your touch hit the mark.

I met you next to a super delicious stand, that sold me this sandwich of pemeal bacon:

You were pale, yellow and cold. Your flavour was bold. We met 3 times that day. What the hell am I talking about? It was a $6 lemonade.

I blame the poem above on the 37 degrees weather Toronto’s experiencing today. It made me miss this delicious (but super over priced) lemonade. I don’t have any pictures of it. I also have no idea if the vendors have a store outside of Edgefest, but if anybody knows I’d love for you to help me solve this missed connection!

Snakes and Lattes- A Board Game Cafe

Located at 600 Bloor Street West, Snakes and Lattes has become one of my favourite new discoveries. Simply put, it’s a board game cafe. A place where you can have a drink and play a game with your friends.

The place is only a few years old, but already they’ve expanded into the building next door. For now, only one side is liquor licensed so if you’re looking for some drunk board game times ask specifically for that side. When you walk in the place its usually full of people playing games of all types. I saw some pretty complicated boards with islands and giraffes.

The atmosphere is friendly and inviting. There are a couple of walls lined up with thousands of board games. According to their site they have over 2208 games. There are even really limited edition versions of the board games that you can’t even buy any more. I got really nostalgic when I visited the shelves. I love Jenga and I found the Mario version (which I later ended up buying).

I was there for a birthday party and we asked for game suggestions. The staff is pretty knowledgeable about all the games and will teach you how to play if you’re too lazy to read the instructions. We discovered a game called Cards Against Humanity which is a hilarious and dirty minded version of Apples to Apples. Definitely a great one to try if you’re there to drink.

I wish I lived beside this place, because I want try all the board games. It’s a great place to kill time and hang out with friends. For only a $5 per person charge, you can sit in the cafe all day. There is also food and drinks available so you won’t starve if you really do decide to stay the day. It’s also a great place to try out new board games before you buy them. They have a bunch of new games on site that you can purchase if you do become attached to one.

I definitely will be back to play some more games soon!

What Sisters Are For

Today is my little sister’s 22nd birthday. I remember like it was yesterday when we used to pile all our stuffed animals and jump in them. I can’t believe that I have known a single a person for 22 years but I am grateful to have.

Here are some reasons why sisters are awesome:

  • they’ll pick you up at 3am in the morning
  • you can steal their candy
  • someone to put the blame on
  • someone to be retarded with
  • laughing at things that nobody else understands
  • teaming up against parents
  • someone to steal clothes from
  • they listen to you when no one else will


Interesting Burgers at the Yellow Griffin

I learned about the Yellow Griffin from their tempting ads mentioning their huge variety of burgers that they’ve had up occasionally in subway stations for the past couple of years. Last week, I finally decided to visit the joint. It’s a pub style joint, but there’s always a top floor where you can book parties. Their menu has an offering of over 35 styles of burgers which you can get with beef, chicken, lamb, bison, veggie, turkey or even salmon patties.

I ordered the New Mexican with a regular burger patty. On top of it sat guacamole, santa fe salsa, tobasco sauce, diced sweet potatoes, peanut butter, chopped coriander. I thought I’d try something other than the heart-attack inducing burgers I usually order. I chose sweet potato fries as my side.

The patty was pretty huge. The burger had a lot of flavour. The peanut butter blended really well with everything else, which was surprising because I thought it would be really strange. It was also texturely interesting with the sweet potatoes (that were almost like a mash) and the salsa. The fries were crunchy and addictive.

Nash ordered the Hold the Port, which had a giant portebello mushroom and blue cheese. These 2 ingredients both have strong flavour on their own but together they marry so well. I stole a bite and I tasted the mushroom first, but when my tongue finally touched the blue cheese it was awesome. His onion rings were also delicious, kind of wish there were more of them (it didn’t come with that many) that I could steal.

Service there was slightly awkward, but we both enjoyed our food and will definitely be back to try the other burgers!

Yellow Griffin Pub on Urbanspoon

5 Ridiculous Was to Reduce Tears When Cutting An Onion

Are you one of those people who cry when cutting an onion? I am when the purple ones are involved. I decided to google up ways to lessen the tears when chopping onions and this is some of what I found.

1. Cut onion over an open flame.

2. Chill your onion in a freezer.

3. Wear gas tight goggles or a mask

4. Stick your tongue out

5. Whistle

These all are seemingly ridiculous. I’d like to know if you’ve tried any of these and if they work!

Dear People In Crowded Parking Lots

For Canada’s day I participated in the act of firework watching. We didn’t go right into the heart of city hall but watched close-by on the porches of a nearby movie theater.

It was a lovely night. That was until we had to leave the underground parking lot of Square One along with 10,000 others. It was chaos, and to everyone there (and in future crowded parking lots) I want to say the following:

  • Unless a)your house is on fire, b)someone is dying or c)both you aren’t entitled to get out of the parking lot any faster than anybody else
  • Just because your soccer(/sports) team lost (Italy) that day, it doesn’t mean you can take it out on other drivers by yelling freakishly out your car window
  • Don’t signal until you fully decide what direction you are going to turn.
  • Road markings indeed point in the right direction. Don’t imagine your own.
  • Unless suicide is your intention, don’t get up and walk around in the mob of cars.
  • Tailgating while you are stuck on a slope is a bad idea.
  • Circling around a parking lot with one exit won’t get you anywhere.
  • Just because I’m a cute little Asian girl doesn’t mean I’ll let you cut me off.