Tuesday, 29 January 2013



111 Dupont Street
toronto, Ont

Ambiance: 2. 5 / 4
Service: 2 / 4 
Food: 2 . 75 / 4
Price: $$

I have been wanting to go to Playa Cabana for quite some time now.  Without reservations or willingness to wait in line for large periods of time, Playa has become a hard place to get into.  This dim-lit Mexican restaurant is nestled into a small house on Dupont, away from all of the hustle and  bustle of downtown toronto.  The space is small, so it is more suitable for parties of 2-4; if you have a larger group try and make some reservations long in advance, for they only do 3 sittings per night. I went with three other Mexican food lovers, so we decided to get a range of menu items and share in order to get the most out of our time there. 

We started off with a pitcher of MARGARITAS which was a must as you can't have a Mexican meal without some tequila.  They were pretty strong and quite reasonably priced. 

I was most excited to try the CUBETA DE CAMARON.  What can be better than a bucket of shrimp? The bucket was filled with a full pound of shrimp tossed in an arbol-garlic butter, Cancun style. The shrimp were so delicious and grilled to a nice pink.  The spicy garlic butter and lime sauce had us licking our fingers and fighting over the last one.

VF and DF demanded that we get the CEVICHE OF THE DAY.  Their aunt makes the most amazing ceviche, and now they want to try it every where they go in hopes it's just as tasty.  The lime- and-chili marinated seafood was mixed with red onion and avocado, all of which was paired with the Playa's famous homemade chips. The crispy chips were hot, salty and  very tasty, but the ceviche was quite watery and messy and thus hard to keep on the chip.  It reminded us more of a fish salsa then a seafood ceviche.

After we saw a table order the  interesting corn dish, we too were inspired to try the ELOTES A LA PARRILLA.  The grilled corn-on-the-cob was rubbed in chili pequin, lime, and queso fresco/anejo.  The crumbly queso melted onto the corn causing a taste sensation like no other.

After we finished our appetizers we began waiting for our mains, and we realized we forgot to order the true staple of any Mexican meal: the guac.  We flagged down our waitress and asked if we can add it in last minute.  The GUACA FRESCA was made to order in a lava rock molcajete.  We opted for the mild, as the other items we had ordered all seemed to be very spicy.  It was so fresh and tasty, it disappeared in seconds.

The first of our mains were the SPICY MOLE ENMOLADAS  which were stuffed with ancho-braised steak barbacoa folded in to baked corn tortillas and toped with their 27 chiles-and-nuts mole and creme.   This came paired with their tasty rice and black beans.  Not all of us were a huge fan of the creme, but the barbacoa was so tasty and tender, we could not stop raving about it. 

We also went for the most popular taco option; the TACOS AL PASTOR.  Adobo-marinated pork was roasted on a trompo  and served with fresh tacho shells and pineapple.  We added the rice and pinto beans, which were so yummy and great to fold right into the tacos themselves. 

The veggie PLAYA BURRITO was wrapped with melted oaxacan cheese, rice, beans, fresh guac, pico de gallo, crema and covered half in a green tomatillo sauce and  half in a red tomato sauce.  It was incredibly huge -  one of the biggest burritos I have seen.

Would we go back? Yes!

Cubeta de Camaron

Playa Cabana on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 23 January 2013



820 St. Clair Ave
Toronto, ON
(416) 656 4817


Service: 3 / 4
Ambiance: 3 . 75  / 4
Food: 3 . 75 / 4
Price: $$

Stazione Central  is a cute little train station-themed Italian restaurant tucked away on St Clair West. This glamorous venue is decorated with vintage street light posts and tin-roof paneling. My dad, who has become a full-out foodie, discovered this gem and organized a family night out so that we could all experience the fabulous journey of food that Stazione provides. The menu is comprised of  is casual comfort items with an Italian touch; there is sure to be something to intrigue any diner.

We started off with a CAPRESE SALAD. Large beef steak tomato slices were topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, a light vinaigrette and a chick pea puree.  Although this dish seemed simple, it was packed full of flavour and was quickly devoured by us all. 

 We also ordered the ITALIAN SAUSAGE  from the Daily Specials menu.  The sausage was served with pork belly, chickpeas and sautéed rapinni.  The sausage reminded me of a breakfast sausage, but nicely complemented the lightly-charred vegetables.  This plate mixed ingredients that I would never have imagine together, but now can't imagine separately.  All the elements on this plate created a level of flavour that would impress any meat or veggie lover.

The COZZE was also a daily special, although I think it should be made a permanent fixture on the menu.  It has been such a long time since I have had such a wonderful bowl of mussels.  We ate every bite with a smile, and asked for about three refills of bread to make sure we could get every morsel of sauce left behind.

 The SAUSAGE-STUFFED CALAMARI AND SHRIMP sounded too delicious to pass up.  The seafood was served smothered in a smokey tomato sauce with green olives, anchovies and capers.  The sauce nicely balanced the acidity of the lemon and tomato, and with the saltiness of the capers and green olives.

 When my dad came to Stazione earlier in the month, he had a pasta dish that he loved. However, this time we tried the PORK BELLY PASTA. The very al dente pasta was covered in a rich tomato sauce with fresh peas and chunks fresh ricotta.  It was quite tasty, but nothing to rave about in comparison to the other dishes of the night.

Last but not least came the BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIBS.  Though the ribs were slow-cooked until they had fallen off the bone. They were served without the bone ( unfortunately I like to see the bone in). The meat was finised with some of the the natural jus splashed on top.  The dish came with their famous thick-cut home made fries.  The men at the table were all over this dish. 

Would we go back? Yes, absolutely! 

The Cozze

  Stazione on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 19 January 2013



515 Jarvis St.
Toronto ON
(416) 964 6609
Ambiance: 3 / 4
Food: 3 / 4
Service: 3 / 4
Price: $$

The other night AM and I met up with my family for our annual Men Pick Dinner Night, and once again we found ourselves at The Keg. Not a big surprise, as all the men in our family love meat and potatoes. At The Keg you are guaranteed a constantly good meal. The steaks are always cooked the way you like them and the price is quite reasonable for a steak house. It makes us wonder why people bother going to these fancy steak houses when  The Keg serves up the same quality but for a better price.

the night we went happened to be the restaurant's annual Lobsterfest. My mom was very happy about this, for she is not the biggest meat eater. The menu offered a fresh 2 POUND LOBSTER TAIL which, on  most occasions, my cost-conscience mom would never dream of ordering. However, after all the men egged her on and offered to share with her, she went for it. I was a bit skeptical because when lobsters get so large they usually become quite chewy, but to my surprise, it was tender and full of flavour.

AM went for his standard dish, the PRIM RIB. The tender, juicy meat was served with a baked potato and the famous Keg frizzled onions.

A few of us opted for the FILET WITH BLUE CHEESE and smoked bacon. The blue cheese was mixed into their garlic mash potatoes, and then grilled on top of the steak.  The blue cheese is wonderful partner to the tender, seasoned steak.

To end off our night we all shared the BILLY MINER PIE, which is really more of a large slab of Mocha ice cream on a chocolate crust drizzled with fudge, caramel and sliced almonds. I'm not the biggest fan of desserts, but this was pretty tasty if you like coffee-flavoured ice cream.

Would we go back? Next time the boys get to decide where we go for dinner im sure we will be at the Keg

we were all very impressed by the 2lbs lobster tail

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar - Mansion on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 15 January 2013



325 Roncesvalles Ave. Toronto 


Ambiance: 3 / 4
Service: 3 / 4
Food: 3 / 4
Price: $$$

We decided to head to the Roncesvalles area to grab a bite to eat.   When we saw the bright neon lights of the Hopgood's Foodliner sign, we knew we would have to give this eatery a try.  A restaurant with such an eye-catching sign is sure to have bold food and interesting menu options.  The food was daring and offered something unique comparable to nothing else I've seen in Toronto.  Chef Geoff Hopgood provides a decomposed east coast twist on Canadian comfort food.  

When the SURF AND TURF arrived, we realized just how different Foodliner was going to be.  The cold lobster salad was served over shredded lettuce and topped with pickles.  Where's the turf, you ask? Well, that's a large piece of puffed beef tendon.  The crispy tendon acted as the cracker for this simple yet fresh creamy lobster salad. Would we have ordered this if we knew it would really be a small portion of lobster salad? Probably not.

They kept the ED'S STYLE FRIED CLAMS simple, just the way they should be.  They were lightly battered and fried until they were fully cooked but stopped before they became chewy and dry. These clams were spot on: so fresh and tasty you feel like you are seaside as you eat them.

I really love anything pickled, so the  PICKLED CAPE BRETON SHRIMP were calling my name. We have never had pickled shrimp before, and since it was a night of firsts we decided to give them a try. The shrimp were lightly pickled and cooked only to a nice pink, allowing them to remain tender. The dill garnish was a nice addition to the the otherwise traditional tasting brine mixture. 

Lastly, we ordered the SIDE STRIPE SHRIMP AND TOASTED GRITS. The shrimp came hidden under the salty fish broth and creamy grits. The flavours were very tasty together,  however we found the grits to be quite gritty, not the optimal texture  for grits.

Would we go back?  Well......  We found this to be a solid place with generally pleasing food.  Worth recommending, but we wouldn't rush back.
Ed's Style Fried Clams

Hopgood's Foodliner on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 8 January 2013



11 Karl Fraser Rd
NorthYork, ON

Service: 3 / 4
Ambiance: 3 / 4
Food: 3 / 4

The other night I met up with TM, of my favourite teacher friends for a long overdue catch-up date. We decided to meet up at Linda, which is the sister restaurant to the well know Salad King. The food is quite tasty, although it is a little pricy for a Thai restaurant.

We shared the VEGETABLE SPRING ROLLS. They were crispy, hot and packed full of veggies. Nothing out of the ordinary but still yummy.

I ordered the CRISPY BEEF PANANG CURRY. The tender brisket, which was wrapped in a flakey, crispy crust, was unlike any Thai curry I have ever had before.  It was a rich, creamy curry made from peanuts, coconut milk and their house made Panang curry paste. The tasty curry was served along side fresh, steamed rice. The portion was very large, resulting in a large portion left-over for lunch the following day. Although the dish was very delicious, it was a little too creamy and rich to eat often.

TM ordered the BANGKOK STIR FRY.The dish of bean vermicelli, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, onions, bean sprouts, peanuts and tofu came covered in a light egg blanket.  Although she enjoyed every bite, she manage to save some for her lunch the following day as well.

Would We go back? Most likely

Crispy Beef Panang Curry

Linda Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


558 college St, Toronto
9360 Bathurst St, Toronto
1604 Bayview Ave, Toronto


Service: 2 . 5 / 4
Ambiance 2 / 4
Food: 2 . 5 / 4
Price: $$

Every once in a while I have a huge craving for wings, whenever this happens I always make sure to fulfill this need with a trip to Duffs Famous Wings.   If you're looking for a good night to try Duff's go on a Tuesday for their wing and drink special.However, pretty much whenever you go you are guaranteed large saucy wings delivered quickly and for a reasonable price.

All wing orders come with some fresh CELERY AND CREAMY DILL or blue cheese dressing. I always choose the creamy dill, it also acts as an excellent dipping sauce for the spicy wings.

AM loves MOZZARELLA STICKS and says that Duff's consistently has the best.  They always come hot and oozing with melted cheese.

I can never decide between the spicy BBQ or the MEDIUM WINGS: both are delicious but most often I end up with the more traditional medium sauce. Howerver, if you are ever looking for a new flavour give the spicy BBQ a try.  I would not recommend the Armageddon sauce it is way way to hot... maybe if you go with a group of friends you can order ten just to give one a try for the fun of it.

Would I go back ? Yes

Duff's Famous Wings on Urbanspoon Duff's Famous Wings on Urbanspoon Duff's Famous Wings on Urbanspoon