Brunch @ Orchard

IMG_3560

We recently hit up Orchard while we were looking for somewhere to brunch. Their selections are homely and simple.

IMG_3562

I ordered the Orchard Classix, which as the name describes, classic staples like bacon, eggs, toast and fries. It wasn’t particularly exciting but I guess that’s my fault for ordering it! I wish the fries had a bit more spice or even salt though.

IMG_3563

Nash had the Sweet Stuffed French Toast with strawberry and vanilla compote and vanilla cream. This was delicious but the portion could’ve been a bit bigger for the price.

We haven’t tried their other stuff yet but I think they are probably more known for their beverages and events.

Orchard Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Playa Cabana Cantina

Today for lunch we randomly strolled the Junction area for something to eat. We ended up picking Cantina, part of the Playa Cabana family of restaurants.
DSCF3527
I ordered the Chile Rellenos which were Poblano chiles, Oaxacan cheese, seared in a rice flour batter with salsa roja, queso, crema, rice and black beans. The fried chillies were crunchy and delicious, the heat offset by the light Oaxacan cheese. The black beans and salsa were super flavourful too.

DSCF3528
Nash ordered the steak cantina style burritos with guacomole, salsa verde, queso, crema, rice, and beans.

DSCF3525
To wash it down, I ordered a sangria because it’s appropriate for every meal!

DSCF3526
Nash had the Dark and Handsome.

DSCF3524
It does match him right?

Anyways, we super enjoyed all the food we ate and were super stuffed. Despite it being a Saturday, it wasn’t too hard to get a table around lunch time.

Cantina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nordic Brunch @ Karelia Kitchen

IMG_1102
This morning I had brunch with friends at nearby Scandinavian restaurant Karelia Kitchen. I ordered the Potato Pancake $14 which had hot smoked trout, beet and horseradish cured gravlax, and a poached duck egg. There was also a strawberry and a yellow berry. Everything on the plate was super fresh and delicious.
IMG_1103I also added a side of smoked strip and loin bacon. The portion was a lot bigger than I expected! The bacon was brunchy and had just the right amount of salt.

IMG_1100We all drank coffee with our meal. Milk and sugar came in shot glasses which I thought was funny.
IMG_1104
I couldn’t resist the desserts in the display so I chose the oreo cheesecake topped with berries which I believe were freeze dried and added a nice crunch.

I’m excited to discover a new spot in my neighbourhood to indulge in weekend brunch!
Karelia Kitchen on Urbanspoon

So.. I Tried the McLobster

mclobster
I was spoiled with lobster last week at Rock Lobster, so I thought I’d give the McLobster a try for fun. At $6.95 it wouldn’t be too bad of a price if it happened to be sub-par, right?

Except it was pretty un-lobstery. All I could taste was celery, chives and salt. I could see lobster (sort of) but it was covered in a thick salad dressing. It reminded me of a saltier version of a crab meat salad. I do question if it has imitation crab meat, but I failed to find the ingredients listed online. I thought legally they were required to do so, just in case someone has allergies.

Anyways, I also found myself quite thirsty after the roll. I ate that thing at 6. It’s now midnight and I still want to drink my sink.

I think I’ll redeem lobster again by going back to Rock Lobster and having their rolls.

Spoonful Buffet

spoon1 This year for my sister’s birthday dinner we celebrated at Brampton’s Spoonful, a buffet owned by Imperial Buffet.

There was a huge selection of food including a raw seafood bar, dessert tables, soft-serve ice cream, made to order pasta and kalbi ribs. The food was decent but occasionally I’d pick up something pretty and find there was too much wasabi in it.

The best part was definitely the dessert tables. There was a donut fryer, cakes, cupcakes, brownies, a chocolate fountain and more. If you’re looking for something slightly more up-scale than Mandarin, Spoonful is a good place to go.


Spoonful By Imperial Buffet on Urbanspoon

Musicophilia- Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks


Musicophilia a book by neurologist Oliver Sacks had been a compulsive buy a year ago. Anything to do with music and the brain I find fascinating but a busy schedule had turned me away from a book that was 424 pages long and what I presumed would be written in flourished language.

I was surprised to find that it was written in a very easily digestible manner and extraordinarily fascinating. Sacks explored in great detail people’s mental afflictions and the heartbreaking affect music had on these people. I thought it was extremely spell-bounding how those who couldn’t even add 5 + 3 were exceptionally musical.

Musicophilia has 4 different sections full of their own emotionally drenched stories:
1. Haunted By Music– those that have very little control over the music in their lives.
2. A Range of Musicality– exceptionally musical people despite other impairments.
3. Memory, Movement and Music– music inducing memory and movement.
4. Emotion, Identity and Music– those that hardly know who they are but connect with music.

I have the “Revised and Expanded” edition so there are footnotes as long as half the page. They often include updates on his patients as well as easy to understand definitions of medical afflictions and terminology that the reader may not have known. Those who have a passion for psychology or cognitive science may find this book mesmerizing. There are plenty of examples that demonstrate the thought-provoking and mysterious powers of music. I don’t want to reveal too much in case you plan to read this book. One thing of note is that it is sub-titled Tales of Music and the Brain so expect it to be very anecdotal and not necessarily filled with tons of scientific analysis as one would presume in a cognitive science book.

Musicophilia really made me wish I had seriously considered pursuing (or perhaps continuing studies for) a degree in Music Therapy.

Mexican Food at La Revolucion

Last week we dropped by La Revolucion at the corner of Keele and Dundas in the Junction. The place is very modestly decorated and I didn’t know at the time, but there is also a back room that holds live shows sometimes.

I ordered the Chicken mole enchiladas. Usually I’d be turned off by brown mush on my food (and I was totally hesitant), but when I tasted it, it was quite the experience in my mouth. Traditionally mole has around 20 different spices and I definitely tasted a variety in these enchiladas. I gobbled it all up.

Nash had the taquitos which were brighter in colour (more appetizing looking). They were crunchy and delicious.

Maybe we’re just giant eaters but I kind of wish there were bigger portions. I guess we were supposed to order more than just one dish each. The food is fresh and delicious but a tiny bit pricey if you’re on a budget!

La Revolucion on Urbanspoon

JPod – Douglas Coupland


Recently I read Douglas Coupland’s JPod and thought that it would be more appropriately titled “I FUCKIN’ HATE DOUGLAS COUPLAND!!!”.

The reason for this is he writes himself in as one of the book’s most annoying characters. He makes references to himself at the beginning and then appears at very odd moments during the book. The plot in the 3rd part of the book revolves around the main character’s (Ethan) friends and family talking about this secret project with Coupland that is completely confidential. Ethan is left out of this investment until the very end. When you find out what it is (an electronic globe of some sort), it is an underwhelming end to the book. What does a globe have to do with a group of people who code and create video games?

This book left me a bit conflicted. While it was a very and fun read, the plot left me underwhelmed and disliking the author. I’m not sure if that was Coupland’s intention, but if it was than he was successful. It was really fun to follow jPod’s office antics. The characters themselves were all damaged and unique in their own special way. The things that happened were extreme and took really unexpected turns. Some things were blown out of proportion though and in some ways I wish the story was more believable. Maybe he was aiming for that “WTF” factor but it resulted in the book having very little substance.

Ethan’s mother runs a marijuana grow-op and gets herself into trouble with men (and women) who fall in love with her. His father is a wannabe actor who has an affair with Ethan’s schoolmates. His brother sells sketchy real estate. They all become friends with an Asian mobster kingpin in charge of human trafficking. Entertaining, but bizarre. I just wish the end had more meaning or point to it. In the end I was left unsatisfied.

The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly

At first glance, The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly entices you with it’s beautiful golden cover and a leaflet that describes adventure. It appears to be a beautiful little fairy tale for children. However it is anything but that.

The book isn’t really geared towards children as there is plenty of violence and gore. In addition, the first half of the book I found really hard to get through because David, our hero, spends most of it mourning over the loss of his mother.

The book also ruins some classic fairytales by twisting them in morbid ways. There’s the Crooked Man who is a parody of Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood who had sex with a wolf and basically created the twisted “Loups”, a very obese Snow White and a few others.

This all just to teach a little boy that he should not hate his stepmother or be jealous of his step brother. It’s definitely a tale for adults who grew up on fairy tales and maybe explored the realms of Brother’s Grimm. It definitely wasn’t one of those you can’t put down type of books. Major plot holes were resolved in a quick manner towards the very end. In the end I was left unsatisfied.

Bacon Donuts and Pulled Pork Slider From Caplansky’s

The last time I visited Caplansky’s I tried the bbq brisket slider and the smoked meat slider. I encountered the truck again at Hard Fest , so I decided to try the bacon donuts and the pulled pork slider.
20120805-223034.jpg
The donuts were like timbits stuffed with bacon and glazed with maple. They were soft and warm and a strangely delicious mixture of savoury and sweet. It was like a mini bacon and maple pancake breakfast in one bite.

The pulled pork slider was mini but packed full of meat and coleslaw. It was a bit messy to eat but I ate any droppings with the stick that came with my donuts. It was yummy and if they didn’t cost like $4 each, I probably would have had 5 of them.

So far, I’ve been satisfied with everything I’ve eaten at the Caplansky’s Food Truck. Perhaps I should go check out the actual restaurant!