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Category Archives: Out of town – Ontario

Love travel? Love avocados?

Avocado salad

Avocado salad

This is a really unique contest, from Avocados From Mexico – if you live in Ontario or the Atlantic Provinces of Canada (specific, huh?) and love avocados,  you can enter a contest to win travel vouchers. The contest closes on September 30th though, so there’s not much time!

To enter – visit http://missavacado.ca/contest/ and fill out the ballot including why you love avocados from Mexico.

Contest rules are here: http://missavacado.ca/contest/contest-rules/ 

Since I live in Alberta, I’m not eligible, but I could definitely use a travel voucher – my next trip (to Vancouver) is already booked, but I’m hoping to travel again somewhere in February… somewhere warm… somewhere known for great food.. 🙂

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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Out of town - Ontario

 

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La Merceria

Another place Connie and I visited while in Toronto in February was La Merceria. It was Sunday, and we were flying home that evening, so we were wandering down around Queen Street, suitcases in tow. Since our hotel didn’t have a restaurant or cafe, we were on the lookout. A sign on the main street directed us a street up, where there was a vintage-feel diner, and beside it, a cute little cafe.  The cafe looked incredibly small when we first popped in – with only three tables visible.  Since we had our luggage, we picked the closest one that had a small amount of room out of the way from regular foot traffic, and parked our bags.

Cafe and shop in Toronto

Cafe and shop in Toronto

I headed up to the counter first and picked out a tasty Argentinean-style ham and cheese sandwich-like-thing (I forget the name of it) along with a bottled water, and also got a cup of the lemon water on the counter.  When my order was placed, I sat down so Connie could place her order.  Our dishes both came with a little dish of olives (yum!) and I thought mine was delicious!  (Sorry, we were so famished that I didn’t get a photo!)

Cafe and shop in Toronto

Cafe and shop in Toronto

When I went to use the restroom though, I discovered how deep the shop was – and that there are little pods of seating throughout the back as well – although it looks very small from the front- there is actually a nice amount of seating scattered throughout the space. This strikes me as a great place to come with a small group – since the little scattered pods allow you to sit with a small group, without bumping elbows with other patrons there too.

The shop also had a delicious array of home ware and bath ware which was tempting… if we didn’t have to think of how to pack things for our flight home!  (Especially those adorable mugs with squirrel’s tails!) The decor is beautiful, clean, kitchy, inspiring, and quirky.  Think Etsy meets Pintrest meets an Apple store. We also were amused to hear Spanish, French, and English during our short visit in this tiny shop. A Toronto Blogger wanted to keep this place a secret – but photos show how much the interior has changed since he or she posted to when we visited.

So, Calgary readers – have you found a place like this in Calgary? Let us know about it in the comments below! (Oh, and if you know the name of the Argentinean sandwich thing!)

La Merceria
506 Adelaide St W
Toronto, ON
(416) 848-0057

La Merceria on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Out of town - Ontario

 

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Sushi: Kuni Sushi Ya Toronto

While in Toronto in February, our hotel front desk clerk suggested “Sushi Hiro” and described the location on Baldwin Street now occupied by Kuni Sushi Ya, which I can only imagine was confusion his part. Still, we were pretty happy with Kuni Sushi Ya, and I took a few photos to share with other sushi lovers!

(Yes, this is another scheduled post… I have so many things to write about and so many great places and things to share!)

Interior of Kuni Sushi Ya (iPhone photo)

Interior of Kuni Sushi Ya (iPhone photo)

The outside is fairly easy to miss, but the interior is spacious and well-decorated, with discreet lighting that changes colour (which is kind of interesting, and kind of funny.. it means each of my photos might have a certain different light cast upon them. While we were there the roads were still very bad due to snow, so the restaurant was largely empty, though a few other customers came in while we were there. There was very little staff as well, but they were prompt and attentive.

gyoza (iPhone Photo)

gyoza (iPhone Photo)

We went for the All You Can Eat (AYCE) sushi, and decided to split a few rolls so we could try a little more. We started out with an order of gyoza that came with sauce already drizzled over it.  They were a little over cooked, but alright.  I wouldn’t order them again – not that I imagine I’ll be in Toronto looking for sushi anytime soon again!

A selection of choices (iPhone Photo)

A selection of choices (iPhone Photo)

We shared a mushroom roll – we had tried this ages ago at a place in Calgary and really liked it – but I found this a little tough and chewy. I think that I like the flavour more than the texture – though the mushroom might be really nice with something else (if a little more tender).

We also shared a Fuji Mountain roll – this is a spicy tuna and tempura bits roll with white tuna on top. The spicy tuna was fantastic, but I really didn’t like the white tuna at all.

Also pictured above is the sashimi we ordered – one piece each of tuna and salmon, and Connie ordered two pieces of mackerel as well. The salmon was good, but we both agreed that we really didn’t like the white tuna at all. I had this earlier at Gallery Sushi (see previous post) and didn’t actually know what it was – but it was strange and we weren’t too fond of it.

Pretty roll (iPhone Photo)

Pretty roll (iPhone Photo)

Finally, from our AYCE sushi roll selections, we had a Shichimi Maki roll – this was spicy tuna, avocado, tempura bits, wasabi tobiko, and spicy sauce. I don’t really love the tempura bits, and thought this could have had much more tobiko in it, but it was certainly pretty and tasty!

Ice cream for dessert (iPhone Photo)

Ice cream for dessert (iPhone Photo)

Our AYCE meal also came with ice cream – I chose ginger while Connie had mango and green tea. It was lovely, with little chunks of real ginger, but I really like an AYCE menu that includes dessert!

Kuni Sushi Ya menu (iPhone photo)

Kuni Sushi Ya menu (iPhone photo)

I also took a few photos of the menu. The regular menu is above showing the regular (not the AYCE) prices.

Kuni Sushi Ya menu (iPhone photo)

Kuni Sushi Ya menu (iPhone photo)

Many selections on the All You Can Eat menu above and below. (Aka the Buffet Menu)

My experience here was wonderful, apart from one small issue – the washrooms are in the basement (accessible only through a narrow stairwell – not suitable for anyone with issues with stairs) and it was FREEZING. I couldn’t believe how cold it was down there!

Kuni Sushi Ya menu (iPhone photo)

Kuni Sushi Ya menu (iPhone photo)

Kuni Sushi Ya
(416) 260-3188
20 Baldwin St
Toronto, ON
Kuni Sushi Ya on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Out of town - Ontario, Sushi

 

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Sushi: Gallery Sushi in Toronto

In February, I headed to Toronto (for a concert by Battle Metal band Turisas from Finland!) and after getting off my airport shuttle and heading to the hotel, I popped into a little sushi place for a late lunch.

Gallery Sushi was empty when I went in, and although that might otherwise discourage me, it was during a crazy snow day, and the streets were far less busy than normal, so an empty resturaunt wasn’t a worry.

Although the sign outside said that the All You Can Eat (for 18$) started at 4pm, I wasn’t offered an AYCE menu – but decided rather than asking about it, I really wanted a bento box instead.

Bento Box from Gallery Sushi in Toronto (iPhone photo)

Bento Box from Gallery Sushi in Toronto (iPhone photo)

I really loved the sushi and sashimi bento box that I ordered.  Along with tea, the bento came to just over $15.00, and included a salad, miso soup, fantastic noodles, rice, a california roll, four pieces of nigiri sushi and eight pieces of sashimi. I didn’t like the white tuna much, but the rest was quite good, and the noodles were excellent – I’d really like to try them again!  (A glassy kind of noodle with slivers of green and red pepper.)

If only I knew what those noodles were called!  If you know, let me know in the comments below, so I can order them again!

Gallery Sushi
275 Dundas W, Toronto, ON
Phone:(416) 597-2580
Gallery Sushi on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Out of town - Ontario, Sushi

 

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