Fresh To Death Photos: Blogger’s Who Brunch II & Next Brunch Announcement

FGFS friends Ron & Amarina of Ursa Major + getting into it.

#WeBrunch is a hashtag I use often on the FGFS Instagram account, because it’s true. The majority of our contributors live in the brunch capital of the world: Toronto. We love it. Not quite breakfast (so you can still sleep in), not quite lunch (so you can still eat one later); brunch really is the perfect meal. That’s partly why we love throwing our brunch series Bloggers Who Brunch. It’s a chance for us to sit down and relax over our favourite meal with some of our favourite people. It’s also chance for us to not only make connections with bloggers outside our food writers’ circle but also with the chefs, owners, and staff at some truly great restaurants in town.

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March’s brunch took place at the Libertine where Chef Jordy made us up a spread of chicken and waffles (chicken lovingly supplied by Blue Goose Pure Foods), lobster quiche, mixed greens, bacon (like boxes of bacon), fresh fruit, and tofu scramble for those who veg. Plus, an amazing deconstructed lemon poppyseed cake to finish it off.

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Some really rad people came out and even wrote up some pieces about the brunch. These things are supposed to be fun getaways from #bloglife, but I guess you can take the girl away from the blog but you can’t take the blogger out of the girl?

We’re happy to announce that the next Bloggers Who Brunch will be happening Saturday, May 17th, once again at the Libertine. Watch this space for more details to come!

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Matt Basile is not just another Rebel without a Kitchen

For those who are familiar with the food truck scene in Canada, the name Matt Basile is one that should ring a bell. He is the owner/operator of the Fidel Gastro food truck and his most recent endeavour, a “brick and mortar with the heart of a pop up”, Lisa Marie on Queen St West.

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But in the last two years, Basile has taken on a new journey.  Thanks to the Travel + Escape Network, he now spends three months of the year on the road. His whirlwind new show, “Rebel Without a Kitchen” (airs Tuesday at 9PM ET/10PM PT) shines a spotlight on street food scenes all throughout Canada and the US.

The second season just launched a few weeks ago and I had the chance to sit down with Matt to chat about food, television, and creature comforts.  We even had time for an arm wrestling match.

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FGFS:  So how did you decide where you wanted to visit for this season of Rebel Without a Kitchen?

Matt:  The whole thing about season one was us building our business here in Toronto. What we wanted to do with season two was take what we had created and bring it to other cities and bring some of that influence to other cities and how does that reciprocate. The cities that we picked were a combination of places that we really wanted to go and that were really setting the stage for street food in North America, the cities who would let us visit and finally was there an event that we could really tap into or that made sense for us to really visit. We definitely hit some really important cities [in season two] that tell a really important food story.

FGFS: In your three-month journey, where was the most memorable and why?

Matt: Are we saying memorable or best city — because I have two for totally different reasons. I would say LA was my favourite city. It was warm and I think overall they just have everything there including an emerging restaurant scene. They are in the midst of really changing how people approach food concepts and also pushing the street food scene. There is this casual coolness with LA but it is also very business-focused as well. It has the best of all these world. I kept thinking, “You know what? I could live here.” It was very cool. It really wasn’t what I was expecting at all. The most memorable stop I would have to say was Cape Breton. From the second we got off the plane to the second we arrived in Sydney, everyone was so helpful and so lovely. Everyone loves what they produce locally there and is so proud of what they do. They are so incredibly local in what they do but are so open to worldwide culture and food. There were people at the street food event I was at from Jamaica and Pakistan and all over. The chef that I was working with was so genuine and we still text to this day. I’d have to say Philly was the biggest food surprise for me. I wasn’t expecting much from there and it was incredible. Great food scene, great bar scene, and really heavy into craft beers. The city was also very musical and historical. I wouldn’t have put those words into my preconceived notions of Philadelphia.

FGFS:  Are there any recipes or tips/tricks that you found while out on the road for Rebel without a Kitchen that you have now brought back and implemented into your own kitchen?

Matt: 100% I would say not so much recipes but more so types of cooking. So for example, our trip to New Orleans had a really big influence on our cooking. The sauces that I pushed myself to learn while in New Orleans immediately came back with us to Toronto and played a role with us in the restaurant. Same with when we went to Austin, Texas and learned the concept of BBQ. Bringing it back with Moroccan flavours (like they do there) and then making it something different here in Toronto. It was really easy to say, “Whatever dish I make in this city, I’m bringing back” but in other cases, those dishes sparked new ideas using those influences. I think specifically because I don’t have any formal training, that is how you learn — the more you eat, the more you learn.

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FGFS: You left a job in advertising to follow your dream and work in food. What made you do it since you didn’t have any formal training?

Matt: I grew up Italian, so food was always a very big part of my life. I grew up working in butcher shops to pay for school. I went to school for advertising and marketing because I loved coming up with ideas and concepts and connecting with people. I was at a point in my life where I was putting a lot of time and effort into these ideas, but I should have been doing this for myself. By process of elimination, I realized the only thing I really knew how to do was food. When I met my partner Kai, she gave me this extra push to go forward with what I wanted to do. Sometimes you need this perfect storm of the right people around you that help you believe in yourself and that help you create an extension of who you are. If you can make a living — albeit a thin one — of it, then it is something worth going for. If you can make your own job and your own path and a positive contribution, then why not?

FGFS: What prompted you to start Lisa Marie (the restaurant extension of Fidel Gastro)?

Matt: We sat down and said, “We have all this business but we aren’t capitalizing on it the right way”. So we just realized we weren’t running the business effectively and it was very fly-by-night and realized we needed to operationalize. So what that meant was: we wanted a commercial kitchen in this city. Nothing more, nothing less. We were recommended by a friend of ours that someone had a space on Queen West with a kitchen. It wasn’t until this point where it dawned on us, “Wow, are we looking to open a restaurant?”. Thanks to Kai — she handled all the negotiations — we put a bid in on our current space. Originally, our bid didn’t go through.  So we just kind of gave up and figured we would find something eventually. But the day after my grandfather’s funeral, we got a call saying we got the space. The rest is history. We didn’t have a concept, but we just knew what it would be. Keeping it on brand, we named it Lisa Marie — since the food truck’s name is “Priscilla” and Elvis is on everything. The menu is constantly changing and evolving. It’s fun and approachable food.

FGFS:  What is your idea of relaxation?

Matt: Kai and I love cooking big Italian meals for one another. We also really like going to get massages. Sometimes when we order out, we love getting Vietnamese, Korean, or Thai food and eating it in bed. This concept may or may not be called “picnic,” and may involve watching television. But so much of what we define as relaxation does not include work, as so many of our work days are 22 hours. Anything that is not work-related is relaxation.

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All photos by Rochelle Latinsky

 

Amaya Group of Restaurants take on Indian Street Food

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I am a huge Indian food fan. One of my go-to take out joints on Just-Eat.ca is Amaya Express on Ossington. So when we were invited to check out the new spring menu at Amaya the Indian Room on Bayview, I was pretty excited. This would be some OG stuff, as it is one of the original Amaya Group of Restaurant locations.

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The Amaya Group of Restaurants was founded back in 2007 by Chef Hemany Bhagwani which currently has 15 locations to date. Chef Bhagwani told us that for the new spring menu he waned to recreate the Amaya experience from start to finish with some new dishes drawing inspiration from India’s vibrant street food culture whilst dipping its toe into some molecular gastronomy.

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Chef Bhagwani started us off with a beautiful amuse bouche consisting of a Yogurt Egg filled with Pomegranate Juice. This was a light airy and simple bite that started off our meals just right.

From there, we were given another amuse bouche of sorts, which was one of their street foods inspiration dishes: Prawn Papdi Chaat with cumin and chutney. Very similar in texture to a ceviche, it was absolutely delicious and all the flavors married so well together. I could have had several more of these, if offered.

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Next up, we were served this new version of Pakoras. Now with kale and tomato chutney. Oh my glob, these were out of this world. Kind of like crispy, deep fried kale chips but little balls. Then with the chutney? Get out of here!

We were finally shown a bit of the seafood side of Amaya with some Scallops paired with pickled lemons, shallot confit and coconut snow. It was beautiful presented and a lovely light taste.

You would think that Tandoori Chicken could not be any different but this was incredible. Spicy, tender and delicious – something about it was great. Plus the foam on it that created a enhanced simple flavor.  Oh, and dem cheese balls. Need I say more?

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Back on the seafood tip, we were treated to some more Prawns (simply titled the Amaya Prawns) – which were juicy and bursting with flavour. Add a bit of beet gel to it and you have yourself a whole new dish. Plus: I am not lying that these were some of the biggest prawns I have seen in my life.

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I would have to say that my favourite dish of the evening though was the Lamb Tenderloin with the Wasabi Ice Cream on top. I was a little bit taken aback when I heard Wasabi Ice Cream but trust me: it works and with all of these flavours. I want more. Please just give me more of this dish forever and always.

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If I haven’t sold you on Amaya’s new menu or on heading to Amaya, then I don’t know what could. They have put so much heart and soul into all of their new offerings, it comes through in each of the plating’s and each of the menu offerings. All of the menu items are so innovative yet so familiar that it’s so comforting. Worth heading to the main location on Bayview! Also of note: all menu items are reasonable priced (between $12-$18) so this makes a great dinner out.

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Photos by Yuli Scheidt

Get to know: The Cutting Board at Weslodge

The Cutting BoardPhoto: The Cutting Board

Originally posted to Ama’s weekly column on Toronto Is Awesome.

It’s not hard to miss the bright yellow doors of Weslodge on King Street West with the flashy signage. I’ve always wondered what was inside those doors but never experienced it for myself.

Thankfully just the other week, I was invited to the saloon inspired restaurant to experience the launch of their meat board aptly titled, The Cutting Board.

Toronto seems to be all about shareable plates right now and well, sharing is caring. The Cutting Board consists of an impression selection of meats on meats on meats which include hen, beef, pork, lamb, and poultry. Each have been aged, smoked, marinated or slow-roasted to perfection.

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The Cutting Board has some definite hits and some misses (for sure). For starters, the hen is sous vide before being breaded and deep-fried, which makes it just crazy good. The 32-day aged ribeye? So tender that you’ll never want anything else ever again. But the lamb ribs? Such a miss as they were so dry and tough.

Does it stack up to some of the other BBQ places in the city? Absolutely, especially for the price that you’re paying. It also just depends on the type of BBQ you are looking for and the amount of meat you are looking for (example: do you want a full dish for yourself or are you into sharing). In my opinion, the Cutting Board offered more than enough food. For example, my dining partner and myself that evening didn’t finish off our portions and we were plated what would have been given to 2-people.

Available on Sunday and Mondays from 5pm onwards at $29 per person, enjoy the Cutting Board at Weslodge now.

Fit & Fat: #AdditionElleMoves

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by Jodie Layne
To hear it, it sounds like a typical Sunday morning scene: women chatter as they mill about, waiting for their yoga class to start. They stand by their mats stretched out in rows, dressed in stylish activewear as the teacher welcomes students. When everyone has arrived, she summons the group to their mats and invites them to practice. However,   this particular class – and the 27 others happening simultaneously accross Canada – was a little different. The class consisted solely of women who live in ’round bodies’ as part of Addition Elle’s #AdditionElleMoves event, Moving Together – yoga classes lead by Yoga for Round Bodies instructors. In part to celebrate thier new activewear line, Nola, and in part to make an act of self-care accessible for their clients. The class was totally free, mats and props were provided, and the atmosphere was full of both excitement and gratitude as we took to our mats.
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As someone who regularly practices yoga, I’m happy and extremely lucky to find a home studio where I feel comfortable practicing. The changerooms are filled with people of diverse body size, the mats are packed with yogis of all abilities, and I get down real hard during Kyma with folks of all ages. There’s even a teacher who has offered modifications to move ample breasts or bellies on occasion. However, I know so many people who don’t have the same experiences and who aren’t welcomed by yoga but find the classes aren’t made with them in mind.
This class was different. Our newly-certified teacher, Sara Hamel, guided us through some warmup excersises to help us enter into awareness into our bodies and be present. Giving tons of instruction and guidance, she led us through several sequences – modeling each one first. For each pose, there were several modifications offered for all levels making the class engaging and challenging for people from all levels of skill and experience. Even the little things, like adjustments of said round bodies or the names of poses that may trigger women of size(switching the name of the cat/cow sequence to cat/dog, for example) was huge – it was so obvious that we weren’t just able to do this class, but that it was created with bodies like ours in mind.
The Yoga for Round bodies movement is lead by yoga teacher and ‘owner and operator of a round body’ Tiina Veer. She created and started teaching the YFRB classes after her own unsatisfactory experiences with yoga classes, seeking relief and self-care during her career as a massage therapist. The response was incredible and since, she’s been teaching other yoga teachers to increase the availability of the classes nation-wide and offer more people with round bodies the chance to participate in yoga classes.
Hopefully, Tiina and other folks who prove that fat and active aren’t mutually exclusive things can continue to work with Additon Elle to make inclusive atmospheres and tailored fitness available and accessible.

50th Annual Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

By Megan Stulberg

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I was recently invited to spend a weekend at the farm where my best friend grew up in Elmira, Ontario. Visiting a town with a whopping population of 9,931, you’d expect a relaxing and quiet weekend in the country, no? Well, it certainly started off that way: I spent Friday evening playing with the family’s seven household pets and watching Come Dine With Me reruns. The next morning, I dragged myself out of bed at 7am and then walked around outside in the cold for the next 10 hours. And I had the best time.

The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival has been an annual event for the past 50 years. The main attraction is, of course, the maple syrup and related food vendors. The event attracts 60,000 people every year, and most can be seen walking around, munching a lamb’s leg, a stack of pancakes or something deep-fried.

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Oh, the maple syrup! It was heavenly. There was maple syrup on everything: maple lattes, maple taffy, maple kettle corn, maple syrup baked beans, maple syrup candies, and Beaver Tails with maple butter. I didn’t want to slip into a sugar coma, so I decided to limit my syrup intake. Well, I tried.

First, I decided to sink my teeth into some maple taffy. Maple taffy is made by boiling maple sap over a fire until it turns into maple syrup and then continuing to boil it until it becomes thicker. It is then poured onto snow and picked up with a stick, once partially cooled, and then served. I had to wait a solid 45 minutes for one small piece, but it was worth it to get such a decadent start to the morning.

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Next, I tried maple sugar. By “tried” I mean I sampled a small piece for free and then proceeded to buy 12 more. Maple sugar is prepared much like maple taffy, but is boiled for much longer until it solidifies. These soft and sweet candies were sold by countless vendors all over the festival, but I bought mine from a small table run by local Mennonites on the outskirts of town in front of a McDonald’s for 25 cents a piece. I also bought a few small tubs of pure maple syrup to take home for loved ones.

By midday, my friends were getting hungry so we decided to venture away from the festival for a bit in an attempt to get a healthier lunch. Luckily for us, there were tractor-pulled wagon rides available: the town’s adorable version of a free shuttle bus. This was the first — and probably last — time I rode to a fast-food restaurant sitting on a bail of hay, sandwiched in between two teenage girls in bonnets.

The festival really is an event for both the locals and the tourists.

Overall, it was an incredibly fun, family-friendly day. Sometimes I forget how Canadian I am — and then I go to something like this and have a blast. To keep updated on next year’s festival, “Like” their official page on Facebook here.

I’ll just go ahead and tempt your tastebuds with a few more photos that show off some of the many treats that were enjoyed at the Maple Syrup Festival:

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Salted soft pretzel with Dijon mustard

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Deep-fried Mars bar on a stick

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“Tornado Potato” paired with ghost pepper ketchup. Other ketchup flavours included maple and banana

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Deep-fried apple fritters

Select photos by Aine Davis

Lookin’ Good Girl – Pat that weave girl: Toronto’s own Palm Sunday hair salon & gift shop

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Palm Sunday (384 Harbord Street, Toronto) seems more like the Internet come to life and I mean that in the best way possible. Unlike any other salon and gift shop I have ever walked into, you are greeted with beautiful white washed walls with vibrant pops of neon everywhere. It seems to whisper out, “Spring Break” in that James Franco way but less obnoxious and more fabulous. This salon and gift shop works in all type of design with kitschy cool.

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Welcome to Palm Sunday, the brainchild of Kat Marcus, Ronnie Dag and Shane Lyon.

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Just having had their re-launch party over the weekend (being re-branded and re-renovated from their former space, The Saloon Salon), the dream team decided to “turn a new leaf” for the new year and bring their guests a more fun and interactive sensory space while introducing two new members (Shane Lyon and Mark Boots). In the re-brand, they decided to team up (in the gift shop) with more artists, designers and originators who dedicate themselves to craft.

I decided to chat with them prior to their relaunch to get the scoop on Palm Sunday and find out what exactly Palm Sunday means to them!

(1) Who and what is Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is a contemporary space fusing hair, fashion, art, and culture. We provide an individualized salon experience that reflects your habits and your hairstyle. Our environment is inspired by radiant beaches to reflect our sunny disposition. We are your all inclusive hair retreat!

(2) What is life like at Palm Sunday?

Life is always busy at Palm Sunday. During the day, we are a full-on hair salon! Cuts, colours, beard trims, wigs and secrets! Our gift shop brings in curious neighbours to browse and get to know us better. Sometimes people stop by to just hang out for a while in our sunny waiting area, and chat with Shane.

During the off hours, we are always collaborating with artists, musicians, designers, makeup artists and videographers on producing interesting content. Some of it serves a purpose, some is to test the waters on other fashion concepts. So far, we have started dipping into photography, wardrobe styling, set design, concept design and creative direction. It is incredible how excited it makes us to then take that energy and apply it to our lives behind the chair.

It is a really exciting time for all of us, it all feels very limitless.

(3) What made you decide to re-brand from The Saloon Salon to Palm Sunday?

Our re-branding came naturally, as we are continually evolving as people, artists and a united team. The Saloon was such a success, and we were excited to create a new endeavour, combining our love for our craft with our admiration for one another. Throughout the process, our dream concept came to life – we wanted to inspire our friends, neighbors, and clients. Our new light airy persona leads to a more relaxing, invigorating experience. We feel rejuvenated and want to share that with everyone who passes by!

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(4) Who are Kat, Shane, Ronnie and Mark? Who makes up the Palm Sunday team?!

Shane Lyon is our new salon director and co-owner. He is a math prodigy, and thrives in customer service. Your Palm Sunday visit begins and ends with Shane. As our salon director, he is in charge of keeping everything flowing. He has built strong relationships with our suppliers – on the hair side and in the gift shop. We lean pretty hard on him, we call him Papa.

Kat Marcus is a vibrant master stylist and co-owner with over ten years experience transforming the way her clients feel about the way they look. She is co-owner of Palm Sunday, and her previous salon (located here) won several awards, including the NOW Magazine readers poll for Best Salon, for two years running. Always open to evolution, she formed her dream team and has finally made the exciting salon she had always envisioned.

Ronnie Dag is a gifted master stylist and co-owner at Palm Sunday. Entrepreneurship comes naturally to Ronnie – she also has a very successful bridal business, and is incredibly innovative. She is a tastemaker, a rebel, and can only be described as a true original. She brings with her a strong styling background in music, film, fashion, and television. Her ability to deliver a vision has kept her busy for over a decade, and her infectious personality keeps her in high demand.

Mark Boots is a talented stylist with a refreshing personality. A designer by nature, Mark’s roots are in fine arts and theater. He has combined his love of hair, design and theater through his work for Mirvish, Canadian Stage, Canadian Opera Company and other theatre productions. He divides his time between the chair and the stage, and is a regular fixture at Palm Sunday.

(5) What can people expect when they sit in the chair at Palm Sunday?

People can expect their experience to be all be about them. They will always be heard, and never judged. We all work together to collaborate on the perfect look for every client, and go out of our way to make sure everyone feels included. We are upbeat, friendly, and reflect a positive, sunny disposition – you are always guaranteed a laugh with the light antics taking place throughout our day. We always listen to our clients carefully to ensure everyone has the perfect look to suit any lifestyle. We want to break free from the antiquated notion that you can’t ‘cheat on your stylist’. We don’t own you, but we will love you like we do.

(6) Who are some of your inspirations

We are inspired by everyone and everything around us. We are constantly evolving as a team and using our life experiences to help one another progress. Our clients always have amazing experiences to share that keep us intrigued and wanting to grow. We collaborate with numerous, artists, musicians, and neighbors, and outside stylists who keep our creative force forever progressing.

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(7) If you could style anyone who would it be

Kat: I would love to give Leo (Dicaprio obvs) a therapeutic scalp treatment and a line up.
Ronnie: I would love to flat iron Donatella Versace’s hair
Mark: I would travel back to 1972 to style Burt Reynolds for his infamous Cosmopolitan shoot

(8) What is your #1 tip for feeling fly?

The simple truth: “always do you.” There is nothing more fly than confidence in your individuality.

Cookbook Review – 125 Best Vegan Recipes

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Udon Noodles with Spicy Tofu and Asian Vegetables

Words by Gillian Kreft, photos by Zach Gutierrez

Cooking vegan is possibly one of the easiest (and best) ways to cook. Vegetables, beans, and sometimes a meat alternative thrown in, there aren’t many ways to make something that isn’t delicious. But occasionally, you need a little inspiration to make something that isn’t just veggies, or that can feed a large group. Enter cookbooks, they provide that little extra inspiration to make something out of your comfort zone and expand on your daily diet a little bit. Maxine Chuck & Beth Gurney’s 125 Best Vegan Recipes does just that. There are options for everything from dips, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and desert.  With plenty of side notes that offer substitutions or helpful hints; you can’t go wrong when following this book.

 

Pasta Bake – sans olives

Pasta Bake – sans olives

 

We decided to sample five dishes, all from different parts of the book so we could really see what it had to offer; Roasted Garlic and White Bean Dip, a Pasta Bake, Udon Noodles with Spicy Tofu and Asian Vegetables, Crispy Cinnamon Roll-ups, and Sticky Pecan Squares.  There are a few recipes that read more like assembly instructions rather than recipes, but every cookbook has a few of those. We tried to focus on more labor-intensive recipes (which were still really easy!) The recipes are great because they don’t take much time, and don’t call for things that most grocery stores wouldn’t have. Meaning, you could probably go into any local supermarket and find most of the ingredients needed.

 

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Roasted Garlic & White Bean Dip

 

Crispy Cinnamon Roll-ups

Crispy Cinnamon Roll-ups

 

I don’t have a lot of cookbooks but the ones that I do have, I bought because of the great reviews of them or the fact that heaven forbid, the internet goes out, I can still cook for a dinner party. Honestly, this cookbook is decent, the recipes we made were delicious and helped us stay in and cook rather than get takeout on a Friday night. But this cookbook isn’t one that offers out of the box recipes, it’s a perfect cookbook for a new vegan, a college student, or one that is looking for a cookbook to offer good, substantial cruelty free versions of what your mom used to make for dinner.

 

Sticky Pecan Squares​

Sticky Pecan Squares​

 

Most Sought After Ramen Now Has Two Locations in Hell’s Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Law and Food

Photo courtesy of Law and Food

This comes to us from our newest recruit,  Amanda Spinosa, who will be holding it down in NYC for us. 

ATTN: Stop what you’re doing right now, come to NYC and get a table at Totto Ramen. Located in Hell’s Kitchen (366 W. 52nd St) this place is basically the ramen mecca. In New York, at least. And probably the entire East Coast, that’s how good it is.
When I say ramen, the first thing that comes to mind is probably those curly, dehydrated noodles that resemble Justin Timberlake’s hair circa 1999. Nope, this is the real deal. First of all I should start by saying, when venturing to the original location, be prepared for an extensive wait. Sometimes you’ll wait for 20 minutes which is both a blessing and a rarity. I’ve heard of people waiting close to three hours for a table, but it truly is worth it. When you enter the restaurant, you realize that it’s no bigger than a walk-in closet, but that’s okay because what they lack in seating space, they make up for in flavor. Lucky for us, they’ve recently opened a second location called Totto 51 at 464 W. 51st St. which seems to draw less of a crowd. It must be because people don’t yet know about it. I’ve been there three times and been seated immediately. When you walk in door, you’re greeted by literally every waiter and waitress in the place, which is a great way to start off.  It is twice the size, but still retains the same atmosphere.
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Photo by Amanda Spinosa

You know those restaurants where you order the same thing every time because it’s perfect in every way? This is one of those places. To start off, I indulge in the char siu bun, aka steamed pork buns. Well, I used to, but I am now a vegetarian due to an intestinal condition which devastates me. Anyway, it’s a piece of barbecue pork, a sweet tartar sauce and some greens inside an airy, soft piece of steamed dough. It’s the perfect combination of salty, sweet and slightly smoky, and a perfect portion size to get you started. I feel like I actually have to restrain myself in order to not devour everyone else’s.
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Photo by Amanda Spinosa

There’s nothing worse than being really hungry and having to wait for your food. Fortunately, that’s not an issue here once you’re seated. It seems as if you order it, you blink, and all of a sudden this steaming hot bowl of ramendeliciousness is right in front of you. There are a bunch of different types to choose from, but I always go with the spicy paitan with the rayu on the side (the spicy chili oil). If you’re not down with spicy food, you can always get the regular paitan which is equally as delicious. It’s a chicken based broth with ramen noodles, green onions, bean sprouts, nori and your choice of chicken or pork, and luckily there’s vegetarian options too! To make things even better is the fact that they hand craft both their broth and their noodles. How awesome is that? It’s much simpler than many otherramen bowls I’ve encountered, and that’s what makes it so special. It doesn’t rely on being loaded up with ingredients. It leaves you feeling completely full which is great, because I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be full from a bowl of soup.
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Photo by Amanda Spinosa

They also carry hot and cold sake!
I should bring up a few final, yet important points; they only accept cash and their prices are perfect for a person on a budget, seeing as a bowl of paitan ramen is only $9.50. That’s a steal for any New Yorker.
Now for the one saddening, yet permissible factor: you’re not allowed to take home doggy bags. But who am I to blame? I wouldn’t want Plankton stealing my secret recipe either. All in all, you owe it to your belly to make a pilgrimage to this wonderful dining establishment because it’s as close to heaven on earth as you’ll ever get.

Friday Foodie Five

Every Friday we bring you our favourite foodie sights and sounds. Everything from food packaging and food inspired art, to recipes and reviews. 

 

1. Little Bits – Cauliflower Tots

tots

Tots!

 

2. Big Bits – Cantaloupe & Brie Grilled Cheese

grilledcheese

 

3. Little Bits – Gougère bits

balls

Come to me.

 

4. Sweets – Quinn Candy

candy

Gorgeous!

 

5. Big Bits - Butternut Squash and Bacon Pizza Source

pizza