Monday, August 11, 2014

Rasta Pasta, Kensington Market/Chinatown

RASTA PASTA
61 Kensington Avenue
Toronto, ON
M5T 2K1, Canada
Jamaican - Takeaway - No Seating
$

The outside smokey grill is the biggest attraction to Rasta Pasta, it is a brilliant unintentional advertisement, all by pure attraction by the nose - they save by sending out incredible smokey BBQ Jerk Chicken scents in all directions from the store front. Rasta Pasta only leaves room for you to Takeaway, but, for a lunch deal of $5, you will be more than happy to! Located in Kensington Market, a short walk away from the also, always packed during the lunch hour, Seven Lives.

Quick service, at an awesome price! It's a simple two step, make your order at the counter, and if your choice is Jerk Chicken, you will receive a bed of either Rice and Lentils or White Rice and Coleslaw or Steamed Veggies

Bakerbots Baking, Dovercourt

BAKERBOTS BAKING
205 Delaware Avenue
Toronto, ON
M6H 2T4, Canada
Bakery - Short hours- Cash only - Vegan/Dairy-free options
$$

 This day was all good weather, Bakerbots Baking was one of the first Ice Cream stores that I hit up once the sun came out to play. Bakerbots is located a very short walking distance from Ossington Station, just off Ossington Avenue. They cater their baked goods, most days after 3PM. I went with two of my good mates, and I happily introduced an Ice Cream Sandwich to them. We made our visit on a Wednesday afternoon, and lucky for us, the single table that they had in the shop was just cleared. There is also bench seating outside, merry places to sit and chow as well.

Although there is a short amount of pickings for pastries and other sweets (Macaroons, Cakes, Cupcakes..) on weekdays, we did not come here for either of those. The House-made Cookie ($1.50) options are plentiful, on the day I made my prance, there were Ginger Molasses, Captian Peanut, RoCocoa, The Everything, Birthday and Oatmeal. The Cookies make great pairings with their interesting assortments of rotating also, Homemade Ice Cream, these, being in Cinnamon Toast, Fresh Mint, Chocolate Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Corn-on-the-cob and Burnt Toffee. The Ice Cream Sandwiches come in half ($4) or full sizes ($7), as well as in Vegan and Dairy Free options. The Dairy-free Ice Creams are either the selection of Raspberry or Chocolate. Don't forget to ask for pairing suggestions! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

This End Up, Dufferin Grove

THIS END UP
1454 Dundas Street W
Toronto, ON
M6J 1Y6, Canada
Sandwiches - Lunch/Dinner - Bar - Cash/Debit Only
$$

We felt like nothing else but a big ol' carb-alicious sandwich from somewhere, anywhere after a lengthy 4-hour training. This End Up, a very hipster-esque Dundas West joint, was the right calling. We were seated and presented the specials on an oversized wooden cork pin-board... Very, very, hipster. I enjoyed the sight of the paintings, translating that they serve up local produce in their restaurant - a nice touch! 

Their menu was a unique one each sandwich had a twist to it - Gochuchang (Korean sauce) in a Chicken Sandwich, and slices of Pork Belly in a Beef Burger? We had to go for those. If I was here for the evening, I would have went for their drinks as well. There are various Vegetarian options available here as well, the Smoked Tofu Taco (3 for $12) and Cali-Coco BLT ($13) - with Smoked "Coconut" Bacon and Havarti sounds swell! Apart from their Sandwiches, you also have options of Baja Fish Tacos (3 for $13), Wings (1lb/$13) and Kimchili Cheese Fries ($8)... What part of this menu doesn't intrigue you???

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kitten & the Bear, Parkdale

KITTEN & THE BEAR
1574 Queen Street W
Toronto, ON
M6R 1A6, Canada
Cafe - Specialty Food

On the hunt for a sweet treat and cuppa' tea to further introduce my darling newbie Aussie sister to the city - we took a 25-minute stroll to Kitten & the Bear. Having been warned of the simple, hardly-dining shop, we entered, turning a nostalgic faux glass doorknob to be greeted by a counter a brief three meters away. The cafe, former a shop front from where customers could purchase the Kitten & the Bear's fresh, homemade jams and stocked teas from Sloanes. I am glad that they have found space to fit two tiny tables, making it a delightful spot to sit and catch up with a bud.

Kitten & the Bear is owned by a husband and wife, I admire their passion for the products that they serve, I especially love the homey feel that the place provides. They also had big baskets of both peaches and nectarines plopped in a few corners of the cafe, they all looked so succulent and had us eager to get ordering.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saving Grace, Little Italy/Portugal Village

SAVING GRACE
907 Dundas St W
Toronto, ON
M6J 1V9, Canada
Brunch/Lunch - Cafe


Constant rants of the ridiculous line-ups at Saving Grace, I'm glad that I didn't have to wait for more than ten minutes for a seat on either two visits. Having my sister visit from the land downunder for a month, we were to arrange a heck of a lot of snacks, brunches, lunches and dinners. Her ponder of what a "Hipster restaurant" is really all about, I reluctantly put Saving Grace for brunch onto the list. I was seated by an, again - different, but, fairly cold and rushed server.

Saving Grace has specials which they change up daily on a mounted blackboard - the specials range from brunch plates of Waffles with Roasted Plums, to, Quesadillas with Black Beans and Chutney. Other variables are sweets to end a meal, Sausages ($3.50) to add on and fresh Juices ($3~4.25).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Gushi, Kensington Market/Chinatown

GUSHI
707 Dundas Street W
Toronto, ON
M5T 2W6, Canada
Street Vendor - Japanese - Take Out - Snacks
$

Two months of buzzing past the same row of Market 707 Cargo Street Vendors on the 505 streetcar June 2013, I've finally made my way up here upon a mate's craving for mayo and rice (and you better bet he went for an extra drizzle of mayo). Good ol' Gushi. Their menu is mainly focused around their all-time popular Deep-fried to order, Gushi Chicken on either rice or fries ($8~9). Their Deep-fried Chicken uses no eggs or dairy in the process; dusted lightly in a potato starch for minimum oil-absorption and the ultimate crisp! A box of the deep-fried goods alone runs for $9, and a party pack runs for $25

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kekou Gelato House, Baldwin Village

KEKOU GELATO HOUSE
13 Baldwin Street
Toronto, ON
M5T 1L1, Canada
Cafe - Desserts - Take Away
$

 My love for Gelato sprouted over at Millie Creperies, but I was at a loss after being singled out by the same ol' Hazelnut or Vanilla flavour, over and over again. Although so close together, I am in-love with the surprising contrast that Chinatown, Kensington Market and Balwin Village have against eachother. My second time prancing through Baldwin Village in the daytime, it is a true delight. Introduced by a mate, Kekou Gelato is a small, darling gelato house in Baldwin Village

Kekou Gelato is a wonderful home to incredible, and very well excecuted Asian-inspired flavours. Their gelato covers a lot you can imagine - in Dairy and Dairy-free flavours. It's a great experience, and you better dive in and help yourself in sampling before committing yourself to a cup of a flavour (or two, or three).  The heaviest I'd like to note, are: 
The Vietnamese Coffee, dang, this one packs a punch, just like my good ol' Vy Vy Garden Cafe days (heh). How a Viet Coffee should be! Strong in bitterness and slightly sweetened by condensed milk.
I found great delight in the Black Sesame, Green Bean Coconut and Red Bean White Chocolate - each are equally a safe bet for anyone, they are exactly how your taste buds imagine it to be - along with being creamy and rich with flavour.
Slightly reluctant, but super curious, I went for the Spicy Mango, and man, it is pretty strong! I felt like a weakling. Legitimate Mango and Chili flavours here though, it's fantastic!
A quick whiff of the Whiskey Green Tea reminded me Karaoke - the memories of Cognac and Green Tea mixers, sticky floors and being enclosed in a large, dark room... I wouldn't be able to handle any more than a sampler of this.
What enticed me to come back the second time around was the word going around that Kekou Gelato now serves HK Milk Tea! It was just how I like my Bubble Milk Tea ☺. The Thai Iced Tea was unfortunate, it had a slighty tangy aftertaste - odd, it was the first time being disappointed in any flavour from here, hopefully they improve it! 

Even though I'm feeling bad after sampling three+ gelatos, the staff are friendly and encourage the repetitive Kekou-ritual, I feel worse when I'm to toss out five sampler spoons though, there has to be a better way!