Monday, July 29, 2013

Deville Dinerbar

It took lots of convincing to get me to go to Deville's. Why? Well I had just eaten lunch and I was full. But you know what, I decided to go and take a couple bites off of Isa's and my bro's gf's meal. And am I ever happy I did!

Deville Dinerbar is located on Stanley a tad north of Ste-Catherine. It's funny because as we were eating on their terrasse, I turned around I noticed we were in my friend Cat's old OLD apartment's  courtyard (from about 13 years ago!). Funny. Anyhoot, this place is quite large, for downtown at least, with at least 40 seats on the terrasse and at least 100 and then some inside. 

Now, this place looks like a fancy diner, I loves it: marble tables, fancy lamps and cool banquettes. It has a very nice feel to it. It's very chic and fancy yet feels homy. I still felt underdressed as I usually do...

This restaurant serves lunch between 11 and 4. They have a HUGE menu. A tad too huge but hey, they have good stuff on there so I don't mind so much. They also have a lunch only menu on a separate sheet.

Marshmallow milkshake
Let's talk food! Ah, food. Isa started off with her fave thang: milkshake. But this time, she had a toasted marshmallow milkshake with whipped cream. WHAAATTT? Wow! The whole thing wasn't heavy at all, the marshmallows were well charred and sticky and the milkshake itself was tasty and oh-so-good.

Peach mojito
Since it was Havana Night Drinks on Thursday (they have themes everyday!), I could have either a rum and coke OR a mojito. And the mojito of the day was a peach mojito! WHAT? It was great. Tasted like peach, maybe a bit like peach iced tea at some point but as someone that never drinks iced tea, it was still A-MA-ZING! It tasted smooth. You know what I mean?

Ahi tuna tacos
Sorry, got sidetracked there.... NOW let,s talk actual food, not drinks. Isa had the ahi tuna tacos. The first words out of my mouth were 'holy bejesus'. So this was supposed to be an appetizer. On se calme. It was a full meal. Whatever, I could have eaten 10 of those babies. Fried wonton shells with asian slaw, ahi tuna (sushi grade no less) and a little wasabi lime aioli to top it off. It can get messy with those crunchy wonton shells but it's freaking worth it! There's 3 pieces of tuna per taco... and this for about 15$ (ish) for the whole plate. I thought that was well worth it. The aioli added a great flavour to the whole thang but without it, it was pretty much just as good. Man was it ever good! Sorry, having somewhat of a foodgasm here.

Chicken, avocado, corn and goat cheese salad
Well I have to say that after eating those absolutely wonderful tacos, this salad didn't really compare. It was still good though: the goat cheese felt nice and silky, the chicken was moist and well seasoned with the great addition of corn and some crunchy almonds.

As for the service, it was great and steady throughout our meal. She managed to sell us drinks that we hadn't set out to buy at first. She answered our questions and was smiling every time she came to see us. She also came to check if everything was fine mid-meal, which is very important in my book! Oh she also gave us quite some time to look at the menu (as mentioned, it was quite extensive).

And now, the scores!

Service: 9,5 She was very attentive to our needs
Food: This is a 3 parter. Drinks: 9,5   Salad: 8   Tuna tacos: 9,7 :p

Loved my first experience there! I will go back and have 3 orders of those tacos please :)

ps: You can order one of their 'fishbowls' for 15 $ and 7 shots of booze in there :p
Deville Dinerbar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu

Oooof, what a mouthful: that name is way too long. But it doesn't matter here because the food is wonderful. This place of about 60 seats is located in Koreatown right at the corner of Bloor Street W and Clinton. 

I gotta say that the air cobditionning was very welcomed because it was one of those extra hot days when you think you're going to dsie.

hahaha! I'd like it white please.
As soon as we got in, someone was there to guide us to our table and to give us a menu. What's fun is that you can choose the level of spiciness (I love how the least spicy is called 'white'). 

I had the Bibimbap. Oh how lovely it was. You just have to mix the egg into everything and it adds just the level of moisture you need. There's also a hot-ish sauce made with miso that was wonderful in there. I gotta say that the meat was a tad dry but as mentioned above, just adding the egg and the sauce made it way better.

We were also sharing the sides that came with our meals. I think this was my favourite part. Kimchi that was very spicy but oh so good, the sesame marinated bean sprouts were still crunchy and tasty. The beans on the right were not my fave thing: they were too sweet. I am now obsessed with fermented food. I want to have this every day.

All of this plus a simple miso soup cost under 10$! Hey, another reason why I should go back!

Now, let's talk service. Granted we weren't that many in the restaurant, but it was really efficient. Menus, cold water (lord knows we needed that!), and were food were all brought to us in a timely fashion.

And now, the scores!

Food:  8.5
Service: 9

I would go back again in a heartbeat. If you are in Toronto and find yourself in Koreatown, go get yourself some kimchi! On top of it, I think this restaurant has one of the highest score on urbanspoon!

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I was invited to another restaurant opening a couple weeks ago because well, that's what's happening now! And it's great! I'm really happy that my blog is getting recognition in the restaurant world :) Yay!!!

Anyhoot, this is a restaurant that's been opened for about one month and they had their official opening a couple weekends ago. I went with my friend Lea this time.

This indian restaurant is located about a 5 minute walk from Place St-Henri metro on Notre-Dame. It has about 60 seats plus about 20 downstairs. It has a modern style with cool paintings on the ceiling. You can tell they put a lot of hard work into making it the place that it is now. It has a good vibe going on and seems like a very chill place. The music was just loud enough (we could still hear each other talk). Oh and at some point, the belly dancers came out ! To add to the fun, they had henna in the basement!

Cajun Caesar and Mango Mojito
They have very original cocktails at Rasoi, so we decided that we absolutely had to have one! I had the Cajun Bloody Caesar: clamato, vodka, piece of bacon (wow!) and a green bean. What an insteresting mix! The green bean was very spicy but very enjoyable, and the bacon was, well, bacon! Mmmmmm! The only thing that I thought was unfortunate was that the drink itself did not taste like bacon OR green bean. 

Fish pakora with yogourt sauce
Let's talk food! We chose to share an entrée and share two mains. For the entrée, we had the fish pakora. It was really hot when it got to our table which is always appreciated! It had a really great and tasty blend of spices but a tad too much batter and not enough actual fish. The fish that WAS present though was very moist. No one likes dry fish! It also had a great yogourt based sauce to counter act the spiciness of it all. 

As for the main, we decided to have the less pricy mango, ahi tuna and sesame salad and the papaya and shrimp salad. To our dismay, there was no more tuna :( You'd think that on the official opening night, they would stock up, no? Anyway, they replaced the tuna with the shrimp---it was kind of weird how the waitress just brought us this 'new' salad without even checking with us if it was OK beforehand. Anyway, she told us it would be on the house so the fact that she didn't 'warn' us in advance kinda went away :)

Alright, let's get to the judgin'! The [green]papaya salad was largely underseasoned. Sad but true. On top of it, unfortunately, you could barely taste the papaya. The shrimp though, we're heavenly. HEAVENLY! Couldn't get enough of them. They were cooked perfectly, big like I like 'em and had this thick sauce that tasted of butter and coconut! We asked the waitress what was in that lovely sauce but apparently, the chef wanted to keep that a secret. Hey, I don't blame him/her!

Now, the mango salad with grilled shrimp. Again, even if the mango was very good and very present, the rest was very much underseasoned :/ The shrimp were really great and the vinaigrette on the salad tasted of fresh oranges (it also had orange wedges in there)!

Let's talk about the service! We had a warm welcome as soon as we got into the restaurant: 'Miss Prévost, please follow us to this table...'. I love hearing that! As soon as we sat down, we had water, which as you guys know by now, is super duper important to me. And for the rest of the evening, the water service was amazing. The waitress was very nice and friendly and took the time to go ask the chef if she was lacking answers to our questions. It did take a while to get our food though, and when we got it, as previously explained, it was lacking the most important thing: TUNA. All in all, she seemed a tad nervous and there were many people there for the opening so I don't blame her.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7 The shrimp were amazing but the salad itself was tasteless
Service: 7,5

I would go back to this restaurant for sure. No doubt about it. And I'd order the freaking tuna.

Rasoi on Urbanspoon

The Drake Hotel

A couple of days ago, Sylvia and I wanted to get some breakfast so we decided to go to The Drake Hotel on Queen Street West (close to my fave part of town when I was in high school!). The place itself has limited seats inside (about 20 ish) and a big terasse with about 50 seats. There's no air conditioning inside so sitting outside was our best bet.

At first, we came in and WE had to go see the waitress to get a table when usually, you know, they'd come to see US. I didn't think that was too cool. I am a firm believer that when you enter a restaurant, someone should welcome you and bring you to a table. Not tell you to just take whatever table. On top of it, they didn't even come to the door. Grrrr.

Anyhoot, we sat down and the waitress came to serve us water. She was a tad rude and, well, she didn't laugh at my jokes (I am VERY funny, might I add) so we thought she kinda sucked. At first.
We got the menu but before we ordered food, we ordered some drinks. Refreshing drinks. I had the raspberry lemonade with mint and Sylvia had the mint lemonade. They arrived really quickly and were very, well, refreshing. So good. I wanted to chug it but thought it would be best to keep some for my plate! If you go there, trust me, have a freaking lemonade! They have many on the menu.

And now, ze food! Sylvia had a bagel with lots of smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers. She defines it as 'meh, nothing special'. I had the biggest breakfast on the menu to absorb all the alcohol I had ingested the night before. Therefore, I had the 'Drake breakfast', which was basically 3 eggs, bacon, apple and sage sausage, home fries and marble rye. Overall, I'd have to say that the food itself was quite a disapointment: the potatoes lacked moistness, the eggs were not seasoned at all, the bread, although original, didn't taste much and the sausage was tastier than most things on the plate but a tad dry.OH, and the bacon was too hard. And the bread, while being somewhat special, was lacking in flavor :(
The Drake Breakfast
The service was good, but weird. At first, she seemed mean but then I guess she warmed up to us (who wouldn't!). She was quite efficient and she offered us water every time our glasses were. empty.

And now, the scores!

Food: 5,5 I'm sorry but the best thing we had was the lemonade.
Service: 7 Rough start but got better.

I would NOT go back there for breakfast but as Sylvia tells me, they have good happenings on their patio in the evening time! Maybe I'd go back for that :)

The Drake Hotel on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The County General

After getting up super early to be at Ontario Place for Sylvia's bf, Morton's triathlon, we needed something to eat that would hit the spot. On the way home, we passed by The County General and thought that perhaps this could be the spot. 


As soon as we got in, we were seated at one of the 5 (or 6) 2 person tables. There are also about 10 seats at the bar and 6 or 7 outside. As luck would have it, they had room for the three of us. Half an hour before we finished our meal, a line started to form. 

It was quite a modern looking restaurant, with chic lines and lots of wood. The music included 90s classics such as Postal Service and Radiohead. Oh, the memories! It was a great ambiance overall with the music and the chatter around us. Not too loud but loud enough.

Bloody ceasar

They have great drinks so I started with a mimosa which was, well, a mimosa. Nothing special, you know, orange juice and bubbly. Seeing as it was freaking 12$, I would have liked something more...exceptional. No? Isn't 12 bucks a bit steep for a mimosa? On our way to this resto, we saw a place that was advertising 4$ mimosas and 4$ bloody ceasars. Pff. Then I had the bloody ceasar and THAT was dsamn good: a very spicy rim with paprika and other spices and the whole thang just had this incredible taste to it. It was spicy but not too spicy and tasted like celery and loveliness (that's right). Needless to say I really liked it.

Let's get down to the food! Sylvia and I ordered the fried chicken (do you not KNOW me?) and Morton ordered the Croque Madame which was HUGE (well, he burned QUITE a lot of calories this morning so he probably could have eaten two!)! Fried chicken is apparently their specialty. They change the menu a lot but that item never changes. They served this in a milk bun which was soft and airy with an avocado chutney spread. I wouldn't call that a chutney; actually you didn't really taste it until you really looked for it. There was also coriander which added to the mix of flavors in a great way and pickled red onion which completed the sandwich. The onion was great but hey, I'm biased because I'm an onion freak. Now, the chicken. YUM-MY! In Sylvia's words, it was much lighter than she had thought and I agree. It was well seasoned and moist. Just the way you like yo chicken! 
Fried chicken
Morton had the Croque Madame and for him, the highlight was the pickled tongue. The rest was really good too and filling. Perfect for after a race but maybe a tad too much for a 'normal' person.
Croque Madame
Now, you could choose between fries and salad. Sylvia had the salad and in her words, it was not exciting. The fries were good, although some were not crispy enough and they were tiny. Tiny little fries. Kinda hard to dip them into anything without putting your fingers in there. Meh. Speaking of dipping, the plate came with their homemade smoky ketchup, made with hints of cinnamon and paprika. Delicious.

As for the service, it was OK: we got water 2 seconds after sitting down but it took the waitress more than 10 minutes before getting our order. Also, it feels like it took a while before we got our food, but then again, maybe it's because we were so hungry.

And now, the scores!

Food: Morton gives his tongue :) an 8.5, and for the chicken, it's an average of 7,75

I would totally go back. They have interesting ideas and I think it's fun that they change the menu!

The County General on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lobster Shack

Ourrr, like the pirate would say (on the left)
I loooooves me some food truck action. And this is just what I got @ the event 'Big on Bloor' in T.O. this week! I actually haven't eaten at any food truck in MTL since it started (I know, OH the humanity!) so I was quite excited to see the Lobster Shack!

I was walking down Bloor Street West with my friend A. and I saw this marvellous looking counter thingy (ok, it wasn't really in food truck format...) with a lobster...and I was sold. So the lobster roll or 'guedille' as we call it in french, came with chips (ruffles) and a slice of pickle. The whole thing cost 10$ which I thought was quite a good deal!

First off, the guy told me they put a LOT of lobster in there and he was right! It was overflowin' with the stuff! YUM!!!! OK, SO... it was lobster that tasted like it was mixed with crab... hum. I wanted a lobster roll. The lobster itself was a tad overcooked so it was a bit squishy :( Still good, of course!!! Alright, so the mayo was a bit too present but the taste in general was very good. It tasted like... well... a mix of lobster and crab :) The chips... I didn't touch much because I didn't buy the roll for the chips AND I found 2, yes TWO hairs in there. Beurk. What was really good was the mix of the pickle and a piece of the lobster roll. What a good bite!

The service, if I'd call it that, was great. The guy was happy, friendly and talkative. Nice.

And now, the scores!

Food: Would have said 7,5 but because of the hair, a disapointing 6,5
Service: 8

Very nice to try, don't know if I'd put that much mayo (or hairs) in it next time. 

Banh Mi Boys

I've been meaning to try Banh Mi Boys for a long time and heard so many good things about it! I totally had to take advantage of the fact that I am finally in Toronto!!

The line!
The kitchen

A short bikeride from my friend S's house, the restaurant is located on Queen corner of Spadina. It's a tiny place, with about 14 seats that are obviously full come lunch time, so get ready to take it to go. We ended up eating it in the shade in a ghetto park we used to go to when we were in high school (ah, the memories!). 

They sell tacos and banh mi with lots of nice sides like kimchi fries, tofu fries, jicama papaya salad and sweet potato fries. OH, they also sell duck confit salad! Yum!

Beef cheek banh mi with onion churtney
Anyhoot, we both had the braised beef cheek banh mi. A-MA-ZING! It came with onion chutney and the usual banh mi trimmings such as cucumber, pickled carrot and cilantro. Mmmm, I started eating banh mi recently (I know, I know...) and this is the best one yet. First of all, they toast the bread right when you order it so it's still nice and warm when you get it. Also, the addition of the cilantro is just mmm, a burst of flavor! The beef was very tender and melted in your mouth but lacked maybe a tad in the seasoning department. The onion chutney was very good and added a little sweet side to the sandwich! If, or should I say when I go back, I totally want to order the kimchi fries! YUM!

As for the service (obviously we're talking counter service here), it is very efficient. You get there, you wait in line, when it's your turn to talk to the very happy looking/smiling girl, you tell her what you want. Then, she asks your name and you wait again--we waited about 10 to 15 minutes in the first line and about 10 minutes in the other. Then someone at the counter asks you if you want hot sauce in there and to what degree. You tell them if it's to eat there (fat chance) or to go and BAM, you leave with a beautiful banh mi.

I must warn you though: beware when you eat the sandwich because mine ended up leaking hot sauce onto my pants and then it was sticky and, well, uncomfortable and narsty. Also, be ready to pay a bit more then you do at other places (mine cost 5,99$). It's totally worth it and I think the fact that they serve original banh mi (five spice pork belly, duck confit, kalbi beef, etc) makes up for it.

And now, the scores!

Food: an average of 8,25
Service: well, I'd say a 9 but let's face it, it's very limited service!

Go there. That's all I have to say. They have original banh mi and I'll just keep going back until I've had all of them. And I live in MTL so that's saying a LOT!

Banh Mi Boys on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 15, 2013


I was a tad disapointed when my dad suggested we eat in PVM today. I would have rather been able to write a review on a real restaurant. Anyway, I told him I felt like eating sushi. Before he responded, I said 'but not Sushi Shop'. Having worked there for 2 years really turned me off sushi for a long time and REALLY turned me off Sushi Shop... I will NEVER go back there!

Anyhoot, I said ok to Sushiman. I shouldn't have. OK, I didn't bother taking pictures because, well, I didn't think I was going to write about Sushiman. But I just gotta. Don't worry, this'll be short and sweet.

SO, first off, the rolls were not well rolled. Shiz fell from everywhere and it was just unpleasant to try and eat them. Then, the tempura was weird, like too hard. That's never pleasant. Also, the rice was hard, as if they'd been made the day before (and btw, there's no date on the sticker which means, yes, they probably WERE made the day before). And to top it off, there was an overabundance of peppers. First off, I'm not a big fan of sushi with red peppers in it. But I'm certainly not a fan of sushi with a shit load of peppers.

Food: a generous 5

Don't go there... you'll be disapointed. Actually, pff, what the hell, go to Sushi Shop instead :p

Sushiman on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I had a brunch date with a friend I hadn't seen in years (she lived in Colombia) and her man and as soon as I mentioned Byblos, one of the few Persian restaurants in town, they were in. I was way in too: I had been there maybe 5 or 6 years ago and had loved it. Just the neighbourhood, so nice and vibrant, is totally inviting! I love it!
Anyhoot, so we met at the restaurant at around 11:30--a very busy brunch hour in the Plateau. And it was...very...VERY busy. It is a nice resto, around 70 to 80 seats ish, with big windows. Lots of light coming in (lovin it!). Oh but it could have used a bit more A/C (with that damn heat!!!). What's cute though is that there's a little kids' corner with toys and there are books you can read during your meal :)

 We sat down and got our menus.  25 (yes, 25) minutes later, the waitress, who seemed to be the [impolite] owner, came by, finally, to take our order. Seriously, you own a restaurant, you obviously want people to come back, no? Well then, don't be rude! It also took about 20 minutes after we ordered to get food. Actually, I got MY food but my fellow eaters had to wait an extra 10 minutes for their plates. When I asked the waitress, she said that this happened because both dishes were coming from different areas of the kitchen. I get it, just hold off on serving my food until theirs is ready, no? YES!

Feta, nuts, mix of herbs (dill, coriander, parsley, mint, etc)

 Anyhoot, I had the feta, halva, pain sucré, olives, herbs and nuts plate. It was really delicious. Nothing bad to say about this at all. The feta was fresh and the herbs as well. The halva added a nice little sweet note to it all (halva: the primary ingredients are butter and sugar and it also has pistachios in there).  I made myself a nice little sandwich with the pita bread and all the ingredients on my plate including the halva and it was a little sweet thing made out of heaven. Heaven I tell you! And heaven for cheap---it cost me 12,50$ with taxes and tip!
Perfect sandwich: pita, basil, walnut, halva and feta
Oh and you had a choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate, which was nice... you never have the hot choco in there! Much appreciated by someone like me who hates coffee :) Oh and it had cardamome in it which is always nice and tasty!
Cardamome infused hot chocolate
They brought us a basket with three kinds of bread: pita, poppyseed (still nice and warm!)and another one with sesame seeds. It kind of sucked that the waitress didn't seem to want to explain to us what these unknown breads were (and asking was just impossible: she was there aaaaaaand oops, she was already gone).

And now, the service. The service was really not up to par. I was seriously disapointed. I KNOW this place gets busy but hey, hire more people. That's it that's all!!! The wait before giving our orders and before getting our plates was way too long, the waitress did not seem very enthused to be there and was quite rude, the owner didn't seem to really care that we were there, and the water did not run freely as it should. I should ALWAYS have at least half a glass of water! Especially in this heat. The waitress was nice though when we asked (again) for our beverages: she got them to our table right away. To top it off, we wait and wait for the bill and then we ask someone who tells us we have to pay at the counter. Maybe she could have told us before? We can't guess it and it's not the norm so please tell us so we don't lose our time waiting around. Needless to say I did not leave 15% tip. I was quite angry at some point. I'm a very nice person... but when I get in these situations, my face gets a bit red and I start swearing... :p

Cute little view from our table
 And now, the scores!

Food: Really good! I give it an 8
Service: Meh. I give it a 5. And that's generous...

All in all, it IS a good place to try. Service needs to get better though. Food is really good so I would hate not to go back only because the service sucked!

Byblos Le Petit Cafe on Urbanspoon