Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grand Opening Date of Poutineville Set!

Get ready for the whirlwind of #Poutineville, #PVToronto, #PVAnnex and #TeamPV hashtags in anticipation of Poutineville's grand opening on August 13 in Toronto's Annex!  

We'll see you there!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

La Viena

The first time I tried La Viena was probably almost 10 years ago before I lived in Calgary. It completely blows my mind that not only has this restaurant lasted that long (there's a lot of turn around in Calgary) but also the food has been consistently the same after all these years.

I know I say it a lot but Italian "is one of my favourite cuisines" and the reason I love La Viena is because their dishes are a bit different from your average spaghetti and meatballs.  The owner and head chef at La Viena is Vietnamese and she brings a certain unico taste to her Italian dishes. La Vienna offers 35 different pastas, 35!!!! At least that's how many I counted  - there could be more. In addition to these 35 pasta dishes, there is pizza, seafood, specialty dishes, appetizers and so much more!! I've yet to try all the dishes but I'm determined!

The most well known dish at La Viena is actually not a pasta but the Lobster Bisque, a perfect blend of cream lobster goodness -- definitely the best I've tried in the city. Other notable appys are the Snails in Garlic Butter, Congac and Wine Sauce -- I drool just thinking of them. Unfortunately there is no picture as I hoovered them down as soon as they were set on the table. So take it from me you must order them, they are so tasty you don't even remember you are eating snails!! And don't forget to save some of your bread so you can dip it into the yummy wine sauce.

Onto the mains!! After our bellies were warmed with snails and lobster bisque, we moved on to our pasta dishes. I ordered the Penne Hawaii -- spicy Italian sausage, pineapples and chicken in a tomato sauce, while my other half ordered the Shrimp Gnocchi -- baby shrimp, baby scallops and peas in a cream sauce.

The servings are huge! We always forget how big they are and end up ordering our own dishes. My man is a trooper and finishes his plate every time but I always end up packing a large portion away for next day's lunch -- where it is equally as delicious.

Penne Hawaii
Seafood Gnocchi
Needless to say, we are always too full to try any desserts but we can't help but hop over to Amato Gelato. I know, I know. How?! How can I even think to eat gelato when I am stuff to the brim with all that carby goodness? Honestly, I don't know. But I'm sure glad I can :)

Today we had Black Forest and Pistachio / Hazelnut -- that's right, he got two scoups. O.O

La Viena on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 21, 2014

Out of this World Drinks at Museum Tavern

Museum Tavern (@MuseumTavern) is an ode to the great American bar with its 25 foot copper bar, penny-tiled floors, and antique gaslight chandeliers.  It serves a wide assortment of spirits, craft beers, wines and single malt scotches.  Without a doubt, it's the perfect destination for a night of drinking with friends, family or co-workers.

On my last visit, I ordered The Walking Dead, one of their signature cocktails, based solely on its name.  It came in a pretty cool looking Tiki-inspired vessel with a pineapple speared by a cocktail umbrella on top.  Immediately, I thought this was their take on a Mai Tai.  Looking at the ingredients, it had all the beginnings of one - rum and orgeat syrup.  But it didn't have some of the classic Mai Tai ingredients such as lime and orange curacao.  Instead, it had citrus notes from the grapefruit and other tropical notes in the mix such as coconut and passionfruit.  It also has the the infamous, once banned, high proof absinthe to give it an added kick.  In my opinion, it's tasty but a bit on the sweet side... but to each their own.

The Walking Dead

Bacardi Superior rum, Appleton Estate V/X rum, Lucid absinthe, coconut-orgeat cordial, passionfruit syrup, grapefruit, Angostura bitters.
Museum Tavern on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Poutine Greatness at The Blue Truck on Campus

Hi fellow foodies!  Today I'd like to share a guest post by TL about the Blue Truck on Campus.  Provide us your comments and perhaps you will see more from TL!  Enjoy!

Welcome to this guest post on Urban Foodie. I've seen Urban Foodie expand with new bloggers, highlighting some of the great food that’s out there for us to experience. While we'd all love to sit down and have a proper meal, sometimes just ain’t nobody got time for dat. Today, I bring you a place near and dear to my heart that I run to when all I need is a quick bite: D&M Catering, otherwise, known as The Blue Truck on Campus.

I won’t go into very short history of Toronto’s food truck scene but D&M was one of the first. Located at 50 St George Street in front of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Building, it’s one of the many food trucks that can be found on the University of Toronto Campus.

It’s certainly no specialty food truck, selling your usual menu of burgers, hot dogs, and fries. But their poutine is what I compare all my other poutines to. What makes it so great? They use the proper fries: not the dinky slender McCain frozen fries but fresh cut slices of potato. Their fries aren't soaking with oil, but are fried fresh right in front of you. Despite being smothered in gravy afterwards, they somehow maintain a slight crisp to them. They use the proper cheese: not packaged shredded marbled cheddar but proper curds that squeak against your teeth as you chew. And the gravy. Yes, it comes out of a can but it has the right flavours to blend the cheese and potato together as opposed to overpowering it like some establishments. It has the right consistency, not too watered down or nor too chunky. I can’t stress how important it is to have the right consistency, something only years of practice can perfect. The gravy’s hot enough to slightly melt the curds but not burning hot as to turn your curds into complete goo or prevent you from wolfing down this mountain of deliciousness. Starting at $4 for a small, you certainly won't find a better deal in town.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Update: Poutineville Toronto Slated to Open in the Annex Late July

UPDATE:  Click here to see the official grand opening date!

The Current Storefront of the Much Anticipated Poutineville (2014/07/09)
Urban Foodie originally broke the news here first that a Poutineville (@PoutineVille) would be opening in Toronto's Annex on Brunswick Avenue.  The original time frame for Poutineville to open its doors was as early as June.  Now in July, this poutine shrine is still tight lipped on a firm date for their grand opening.  However, they revealed on July 4th that they will be opening "in the next couple of weeks" in the comments section of a timeline photo on their Facebook page.  This should place the opening sometime in late July.  Urban Foodie will be following this story closely and will post any updates as soon as possible!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Maisonette's Delicious Ice Pops at the Distillery District

  • True to its name, Maisonette (12 Tank House Lane, Toronto, ON;; @maisonettegiftsis literally a small space within one of the historic buildings at the Distillery District.  

What got my attention was a sign hanging from their only window shouting out an alluring message - handmade ice pops!  They have a wide assortment of flavours such as grapefruit, watermelon, cucumber, white nectarine, and mojito.  They also have cream based frozen bars.

The white nectarine ice pop contained yogurt and it tasted like something you would get at Yogen Fruz.  The minty mojito ice pop had a nice tartness to it and had a great lime flavour.

Looking around, Maisonette also sells locally owned and locally made products such as jams, honeys, maple syrups and short breads.  In addition, they have a whole display dedicated to luxurious loose leaf teas and items from Laura Slack, a Toronto based artisan chocolatier.  Maisonette has the chocolate artists's signature Dulce de Leche skull too!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Koreana BBQ Restaurant

One of my favourite Korean BBQ places is Koreana located in the South of Calgary.  Why do I like this place so much? The layout of the restaurant!! It's wide open with lots of ventilation and has private dinning areas seperated by screen doors. The first time I ate here was for my niece's bday and they were able to accomodate our family of 50 but also keep the party private with these versitle screen doors. So this place is great for large parties.

So now the the ambiant is taken care of, how is the food??? Superb! Tonight was a day of celebration since mama Pineapple has decided to move to Calgary. We decided to take her out for one of her favourite cuisines. We ordered the following.....

Budae Jiigae (Army Soup)

Yummy Side Dishes
Stone Rice Bowl (Bibimbap)

Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)
Beef Bulgogi
Stir Fried Potatoe Noodles (Japchae)

The food was excellent!!! The only thing I did not like was the cheese in the Budae Jiigae, but that was my own fault. If you are like me and are not a fan then remember to ask your server for no cheese. I mean I like cheese just as much as the next person but not in my soup.

The only down side is I would say Koreana is one of the pricer Korean BBQs since they do not offer all you can eat. We have tried a number of dishes on their menu and have been satisfied everytime. The only questionable items would be the Chinese and Japanese sections on their menu. Yes, this Korean restaurant serves Chinese and Japanese food, I would not call it authentic so I would not suggest ordering those items. If Chinese and Japanese is what you crave then stay tuned.... The Pineapple Princess is on it!!!!

Koreana BBQ Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Beat the Heat with the Refreshingly Icy Mool Naengmyun at Cho Sun Ok

Cho Sun Ok Korean Restaurant
7353 Yonge Street
Thornhill, ON L3T 2B3

Date visited:  July 5, 2014

Side Dishes that accompany your Meal

I can't imagine a more perfect place to eat than Cho Sun Ok on a sweltering day in Toronto. Why?  Because their signature dish Mool Naengmyun literally transports you to the heart of Alaska!

Cold, chewy and thin arrowroot noodles are served in a wondrously icy broth.  The broth itself is so complex and delicious.  It's sweet yet tangy and it has a deep beef flavour.  The homemade red pepper sauce gives it a subtle kick and the sesame seeds and oil give it an astounding aroma!  Still, the coolest thing about this slushy broth - if your not careful - is that it can give you brain freeze!  It's such a strangely unique concept (at least to me) that is fully thought out... I mean, the Mool Naengmyun is served in a stainless steel bowl so that the broth stays chilled while you consume it.

Along with a boiled egg, the Mool Naengmyun is also served with notoriously refreshing and crunchy ingredients such as slivers of cucumber, pickled daikon, and a slice of pear.  What an awesome combination of ingredients to give a contrast to those chewy noodles!  It's a true winner to help you stay as cool as a cucumber (I know, I couldn't resist).

I didn't want to end this post without saying that Cho Sun Ok is not afraid of heating things up either.  Cho Sun Ok is home to one of my favourite incarnations of Gemja Tang, commonly known as pork bone soup.  The pork neck meat is just so tender that it is easily coaxed off their bones - fall off the bone if you will.  You roughly get four hunks of meat in a well developed broth with potatoes and onions.  But it's the generous garnishing of perilla seeds and green onions that really take the cake for me.  It makes for such an aromatic soup!  I highly recommended!

Cho Sun Ok on Urbanspoon