Wednesday, July 31, 2013

McLobster or McMinion?

I finally got around to trying the McLobster.  While it's new here in Ontario, it has shown it's face for over a decade in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. 

We must remember that although it's 100% Atlantic Lobster, it's still McDonald's - I had low expectations going in.  I mean how fresh could it be if it's traveling from Eastern Canada McD's style?

First impression - there's way too much lettuce. This roll suffers from a terrible lobster to lettuce ratio. That's all you really taste - lettuce and water. The lobster itself was fresher than I thought it would be given that it was from McDonald's. My roll was not drenched in "light salad dressing" which really is code for mayo.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Although, it does shout inconsistent - observe one that is drenched:

You can taste the celery and green onions but the hint of lemon was nonexistent. The bun looked toasted, but it was soft in texture. 

Overall, not a winner in my books. I've never been a fan of all these gimmicky sandwiches that McDonald's churns out - and no, the McRib is not an exception. But it is what it is. And I had to try it at least once. 

Maple Moose? More like Burnt Backyard Barbeque!

I'll give Tyler LeFrense credit... Maple Moose is a great name for a chip flavour. It's creative and uniquely Canadian.  It's definitely finalist material... 

Unfortunately, Lay's did an atrocious job translating it into reality. Maple Moose?  More like Burnt Backyard Barbeque!  I mean there's a hint of sweetness at the end of your bite - but I'm not sure if it's maple. In fact, there's not even maple on the ingredients list. 

It's definitely not a winner!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Extended Stay for the Magnum Toronto Pop-up!

Magnum Toronto
11 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M4W 1A3
Mon-Sat 12:00pm - 10pm
Sun 11am-7pm

Attention Pleasure Seekers:  The Magnum Pop-up shop, originally to be open just for the month of July, had now extended its stay until the end of August!

The secret to their success?  Being able to design your own Magnum bar from scratch!

The concept is simple - start with a bare Magnum bar - one that is either vanilla or chocolate. Then dip it in white, classic or dark chocolate, add your choice of toppings and top it off with a final drizzle of syrup!

There is a plethora of toppings to choose from - 3 categories: The Specials, Classics, and Experimentals. 

The Specials:
Goji Berries
Culinary Rose Petals
Dried Coconut
Dried Strawberries
Macadamia Nut Pieces
White Chocolate Vermicelli
Crumbled French Macaroons
Canadian Maple Fudge

The Classics:
Crushed Popcorn
Chopped Hazelnuts
Crumbled Biscuit
Chocolate Flakes
Chopped Almonds
Chocolate Rice Crispies
Toffee Bits

The Experimentals:
Popping Candy
Rock Sea Salt
Grape Nerds
Chili Flakes
Bacon Bits

Apparently, you can also ask for the "Golden Touch" and get gold flakes sprinkled on your bar along with a free bottle of gold nail polish.

The world is your oyster when it comes to customizing your $6 #MyMagnum bar!

Pictured below is a vanilla ice cream Magnum bar dipped in white chocolate and topped with macadamia nut pieces, white chocolate vermicelli, toffee bits, popping candy, grape nerds, bacon bits and milk chocolate drizzle. 

With only a few savory ingredients (rock salt, bacon bits and popcorn), it's very difficult to customize the perfect tasting bar - I'll bet that most creations end up a tad too sweet. But does anyone care?  It's a decadent work of art designed by you and for you!  Just grab a bottle of water as you devour your creation!

Get yours before the store is gone for good!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Treat Receipt is Back at Starbucks!

For hardcore Starbucks fans, this is already old news but I thought I'd mention that...

Treat Receipt is BACK!

Get any cold grande beverage for $2 after 2 p.m. with your morning receipt. 

This offer ends August 11 so make sure you take advantage of it during these warm days and long summer nights!

Here I share my favourite summer beverage: 

A Grande Iced Coffee with 2% Milk - Unsweetened (only 35 calories)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Weslodge Saloon

478 King Street West
Toronto, Ontario

Date Visited: July 17, 2013

You can’t miss the entranceway to Weslodge.  Just west of Spadina on King West, the saloon’s name is spelled out with bright lights atop glowing yellow doors.  A doorman greets you and provides you entrance into this swanky modern saloon.  Inside, the place is built with dark, wainscoted wood.  The bar takes up prime real estate and taxidermy decorates the walls.

We were a group of 12 and we were seated in a private room upstairs.  The room was underwhelming in terms of decor – at least in comparison to the main floor.  It was also located near the washrooms, a far from desirable dining experience in my mind.  The day we dined at Weslodge was one of the hottest days this summer thus far and you could feel it... INSIDE.  It was uncomfortable – the air conditioning was totally ineffective.  We knew we were in for a hot dining experience.

As a group, we got the $65 prix fixe menu.  Traditionally on this menu, everybody would share all the listed apps and dessert but select one choice of main entree.  Weslodge, however, gave us the option to split every single dish, including mains, between 2 people.  So each diner received half of the 4 apps, 3 mains, 2 sides, and dessert on the menu!
One of our apps was the salmon tartar in a crispy latke with cottage cheese and dill.  In my mind, there’s something magical about the pairing of salmon and creamy cheese.   We see it with lox (brined salmon) and cream cheese as well as raw salmon and cream cheese in certain Westernized sushi rolls (although some may find the latter appalling).  The raw salmon in this dish was fresh and not fishy.  It was a light, refreshing taste that complimented well with the cottage cheese.  The latke was the icing on the cake.  It gave each tasty bite a crispy crunch.  Accented with dill, I thought that it was a successful dish.  The only criticism I have for this dish is that the latke was a tad on the oily side.

The scotch (quail) egg with chorizo sausage, tomato jam andblack truffle was wonderfully presented.  It was an artistic feast for the eyes.  I was especially excited to taste this dish since I love any type of runny yolk.  I’ve also heard many diners rave about this one.  However, it didn’t really meet my expectations.  The quail egg was delicious, but the shell of chorizo surrounding the egg was too salty for my liking.  It ruined the dish and the jam couldn’t save it.  

The beef tender was one of the mains and it was true to its name.  It was deliciously tender – melt in your mouth and the sweet onion butter made it just that more decadent.  The beef also had great mushroom flavour infused into it.   This may have been the first time I’ve had fregola.  What I understand it is pasta from Sardinia, Italy.  It is basically rolled dough that has been toasted in the oven.  It was a hearty accompaniment to the beef.  It absorbed much of the flavour in the beef sauce but remained “al dente” and provided a nice textural difference from the rest of the dish.

The black cod dish had a lot of Asian influences – the buckwheat noodles dressed in citrus vinaigrette were refreshing.  The black cod itself was baked perfectly – it was succulent, tender and infused with delicious Asian flavours and tasted even better with the miso broccoli puree.  I love it when fish falls apart ever so gently when you tease at it with a fork.  I’m just going to say it – this black cod was prepared better than other Japanese outposts I’ve had in Toronto – namely Guu.  

There was also a fried chicken dish with biscuits.  You can’t really go wrong with fried chicken – the batter was delicious and more unique in flavour than most outposts.

Dessert was pretty standard fare – instant cake, chocolate mousse and olive oil pudding with raspberries.  

Just a note about the servers – they were friendly and attentive.  Some of them explained every dish when served while others did not – a bit of an inconsistency on Weslodge’s part.

Overall, this dining experience was a solid offering from Weslodge.  It’s got my stamp of approval and perhaps a return visit.
Weslodge on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 11, 2013

7-Eleven Day 2013!


What a beautiful sunny day to enjoy a free Slurpee on 7-11 Day!  

The location visited was at St. Clair and Dufferin (1169 St. Clair West).  Inside, they had a nice setup - cups, Slurpee straws and complimentary cream filled donuts cut up into small individual portions. I opted for a Crush Lite Grape Slurpee - which is coincidently the Slurpee they were advertising on the free Slurpee cups. 30% less calories... but still as delicious, and still very sugary.  The cup held 355ml which is more than previous incarnations - perhaps a deal was struck with Pepsi?  Whatever the case, I'm not complaining. 

 The sign out front stated free Slurpees for the first 1500 customers... so what are you waiting for?  Get yours NOW! :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Jimmy the Greek

Location:  Jimmy the Greek Yorkdale

Greek food really hits the spot when you are craving starchy carbs.  Delicious roasted potatoes and rice accompanied by a generous helping of tzatziki sauce!  I opted for roast chicken as the protein as it is generally more moist than its souvlaki counterpart - especially at fast food establishments where food sit under a lamp the whole day.