Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Big Chill, Little Italy/ Portugal Village

THE BIG CHILL
367 Manning Ave 
Toronto, Ontario
M6G 2V6, Canada
$
Desserts - Cash only - Open 12~12AM

Two ever visits from this place, and the same flavour ordered up on both occasions. I have never been to an ice cream parlour before I stepped into the whimsical entry of The Big Chill. Nothing like I would have thought that would come out of in the pages of Archie's Comics, An unevenly lit space, mis-matched props, and an extensive menu for the sweet tooth. The many, out of the usual Waffle cone, is their Ice Cream Sandwiches, Roll Cakes, Cake Pops, Banana Splits, and of course, they got you, my lactose-intolerant (dietary or not) folks, Non-dairy and Sherbert Ice Cream!

The Big Chill is a dandy go-to after a meal in the area, open until 11PM, this is easily an after-dinner spot. Grab a cone (cash only), and if the weather persists, take a walk around the area. College Street is such a nice area to walk along. 

They crispiest Waffle Cone that I've come across, these have definitely been freshly made. They also provide you with the delightful (free) option of a dollop of Whipped Cream on top, and of course, a tasty mini Oreo for a friend.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Panagio's Breakfast & Lunch, Scarborough

PANAGIO'S BREAKFAST & LUNCH
1928 McCowan Road
Scarborough, Ontario
M1S 4K1, Canada
Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch - Open til' 9PM - Patio
$$


A Monday morning, and a round two of our attempt to Wonderland, the clouds have finally cleared and we were seated for breakfast at Panagio's Breakfast & Lunch. Briskly being seated, we were excited! Peeping at other fellow diner's meals, the portions definitely seemed to be value for money. I am hardly in any other place than downtown, so I always find it a peculiar sight to spot restaurants, practically deserted just off the highway. Panagio's is many of these few in Scarborough, You're able to squint a railway and a Canadian Tire in the distance, as well as an abandoned Staples.

Lettieri Espresso Cafe, Yorkvile

LETTIERI ESPRESSO BAR & CAFE
94 Cumberland St
Toronto, Ontario
M5R 1A3, Canada
Cafe - Quick service
$$


It has been since an unfortunate event in December that I was no longer to enjoy life (food) to the fullest - chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, rice paper rolls, spring rolls, peaches, crackers, apples, sushi, biscuits, pork rolls... especially beer were dropped out of my thoughts. This list could actually go on forever. I couldn't properly dine with somebody without awkwardly chewing on items off my fork, asking for a fork and knife when I had, (stupidly and) absentmindedly ordered a Burger, and making a fool of myself, peeling apart my saucy Chicken Wings at a danky pub, sipping a gorgeous pint of Dieu Du Ciel through a straw... and once that piece of Pulled Pork strings on to pull down a side of my dentures, then seeing the look of complete utter shock on my fellow diner's face, yup, that was a completely different story.

A long [insert a ridiculous amount of heart-felt adjectives here] process, and here we were, finally, in the month of July, gazing into my elevator reflection. I was ready to conquer the world. My first step? Finding the nearest sandwich shop and snatching up a tasty one to happily and proudly nibble on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bang Bang Ice Cream, Ossington Strip

BANG BANG ICE CREAM
93A Ossington Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M6J 2Z2, Canada
Desserts - Not open Mondays - Closes 11pm - Vegan/Diary-free options
$$


The almighty caterer and bakery, Bakerbots Baking has opened up another store, specifically for their infamous Ice Cream Sandwiches, sharing the same street, Ossington Avenue. Hooray for Bang Bang Ice Cream. Do check out my review on their flagship bakery, here! I was ecstatic to hear that Bang Bang Ice Cream was a gracious 2-minute walk from my door step. Four simple and oddly shaped and sized benches and seats lay scattered in-front of the two wide open doors. You'll even spot the lovely Archie Andrews, welcoming you into the shop. Across the walls, behind the counter, you'll see paint tin sized tins lined along a simple free-hanging wooden shelf, each are labelled to show the flavours that this lovely place offers. Non-dairy items are also available to welcome all - of the dairy sort, there is Nocciola, London Fog, Bellwood Stout, Fresh Mint, PB Jelly and Orange Cardamon, just to give you a gist of what's in store.

A chiller stands, open to access and view, filled with tubs of Ice Cream that they have available for immediate purchase. Plain ol' black and white printed A4 sheets also line parts of the wall to show pricing and other beverages and ice cream sandwiches that you wouldn't suspect to be found in here - options to an Ice Cream Sandwich of an Hong Kong Egg Waffle, French Macaron, Lemon Meringue, Profiterole and good ol' Half or Full-sized cookies to wrap around your chosen Ice Cream. These Cookie options are also viewable from the class counter, and are well-descripted with Ice Cream pairings. The few of the cookies available, include: The Everything, RoCocoa Dark Sable, Birthday, Oatmeal, Captain Peanut and Gingerrrrrr - just from the names alone, you can figure out what you could expect.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Davanti Enoteca, Near North Side, Chicago

DAVANTI ENOTECA
30 E Hubbard St 
Chicago, IL 
60611 United States
Italian - Communal Dining - Date Night - Free WiFi
$$
For our first night in Chicago, my sister couldn't have chosen a more perfect place. The seating areas were ridiculous! I love how suitably heighted the ceilings were, and the way they made use of the space. Located in Near North Side, Davanti Enoteca was both cozy, and provided a very nice family-diner feel. I immediately felt at home as we were quickly seated upon reservation and slipped into our booth, We started off with a Pinot Grigio, and excitedly wandered our eyes up and down the Dinner Menu. Reading the menu, it feels like you were at a completely foreign restaurant, words are just thrown at you. I've learnt that evening that "Vasi", meaning, "Mini Mason Jars" is my favorite Italian word. You'll see exactly why in a bit! A pointer is to keep a look out for the English translation or glossary somewhere about the page and you'll be fine.

Simply, Italian food with a modern twist - Davanti Enoteca is all about communal dining, which means, smaller dishes, but more dishes to taste and share around! Be prepared to order for 1.5x the amount of people you're dining with.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Xoco, Northside, Chicago

 Starting off Chicago with a hell of a lot of good eats, thanks to my incredibly familiar Chicago-loving Sister. My biggest trouble with visiting a new city has always been relying - a tedious amount - on Yelp, then ending up with a dish infront of me that was way below the hype! My biggest key in life, is not to expect too much, but Yelp twists these expectations for me way beyond my ideal. Big examples, are extended to (of course) my soiled trips around the U.S. Xoco is one of Rick Bayless' three beautiful restaurants, situated on the single strip in Chicago on North Clark St. Xoco focuses on a good ol' spot for Takeaway, Breakie, Lunch, and Late Night options, filling the menu with a heap of Street Food - both sweet and savoury - by the dish!

The first bite to invite my descent into falling in love with Chicago, Xoco was definitely the right place. Bold flavours ooze into your mind as you go over the menu - Chipotle Catfish, Iced Mint Chocolate, Wood-roasted Suckling Pig..... Holy moly. This was just too much for me to imagine, we went with a few good intros. Being sick for the first week in Chicago, we stayed clear of anything fried, which was a pity since we really wanted to have a go at a good platter of their House-made and Fried Tortillas and Guac.

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