Summer Food Adventure 2014

Last summer was probably one of the quickest Summer I've experienced. It literally flew by and I never really realized that it was over until all my school work started accumulating. Even when I moved out, and into my new residence, I felt as if it was still summer and I was attending a camp program. One of the things that I told myself in the beginning of this year was that I would explore the city of Toronto before leaving it. So I set myself to just that, one of the many ways I did do this was through exploring the wide range of cuisines available in the GTA.

Here's a recap of all the restaurants I've gone to:

Raijin Ramen
3 Gerrard Street East

A Japanese restaurant right on Yonge & Dundas and conveniently located outside of Ryerson University. I ordered a nice hot bowl of ramen, and the raging ramen poutine. I tried both of the options and I highly recommend the teriyaki ramen poutine over the butter ramen poutine. This is a perfect meal for a quick bite for lunch or even on a cold rainy day. 

Ed's Real Scoop
2224 Queen Street East

Ed's Real Scoop has been known to be the best ice cream in the city for over two years now and it is just that. You have the choice of both gelato and ice cream, it's like heaven on earth. I trekked all the way from Danforth to here and it was totally worth the walk (my friends would think otherwise). I would highly recommend getting the waffle cone as it's freshly made. This was only the regular size and it was so much for just a great price. I got the most popular flavour, roasted marshmallow and if you have a sweet tooth too, you should definitely try it. Ed's also has a second location on the west end in Leslieville if the Beaches is too far of a trip just for ice cream. Guess what, the greatest part is Ed's open all year round too!

Taste of Danforth 
Food Festival 

During August, I went to what is known as Canada's largest street festival and in my opinion, it didn't really meet the hype. However, it was still a neat experience. I tried Greek food for the first time and it was pretty delicious. I wanted in line that stretched I'm pretty sure for a good long block for this one chicken gyro and it was pretty worth it. As you can see, I have the patience for some good food. 

Poutini's House of Poutine
1112 Queen St. West

The poutine here tasted like the top notch, gourmet versions. While franchise poutine toss curds and gravy atop fries like second nature, the presentation here is delicate, ensuring each cheese curd melts away as the spoonful of gravy makes its way throughout the whole bucket. I highly recommend the works poutine, it's a great combination of all flavours together.

Bang Bang Ice cream and Bakery
93 Ossington Ave.

For almost a year now, I've been trying to find an ice cream bakery that offered the macaroon ice cream sandwich option and when I heard Bang Bang sold it there I immediately made plans to go try it out. Unfortunately, the option is such a high selling product, it sells out really early during the day. I went to Bang Bang at maybe 6:00 pm, and when I arrived there was already a line that stretched out and around the store onto the sidewalks. This store is really known for it's unique ice cream options such as this glorious Hong Kong style waffle ice cream cone I ordered. It also has this black tea ice cream with tapioca which was surprisingly super delicious. The wait for the ice cream was totally worth it, I highly recommend checking this place out. Bang Bang also has a sister ice cream and bakery named Bakerbots on Bloor Street. However, there they only offer ice cream sandwiches as an option. Nonetheless, the ice cream sandwiches there are divine.

Canada's Wonderland

Whenever I got to Canada's Wonderland, I always buy a funnel cake to share with my friends. I always thought that they only had the one original option of strawberries with whip cream, but I was wrong. This funnel cake location I went to was beside the ride Flightdeck, and it had an Oreos Cookies and Cream option and a Nutella Red Velvet option. Without a doubt, it was mouthwatering, I recommend sharing it with someone.

Uncle Betty's Diner
2590 Yonge St. 

Who doesn't like getting breakfast or brunch? Well if you don't, going to this restaurant will change your opinion for sure. Initially, I found out about this place for it is an awesome ice cream sandwich option, but I ended up eating there for brunch too. This restaurant was featured on the food network on You Gotta Eat Here, so I thought it has got to be really good. I ordered the Ultimate Grilled Cheese, and it's definitely not your Mom's homemade grill cheese. It was a sandwich that was melted with white and classic cheddar cheese, a chunk of their homemade Mac'n Cheese, and topped with Pulled Pork. 
As if that sandwich wasn't enough, I finished off with dessert and got Uncle Betty's famous donut ice cream sandwich. You can make your own ice cream sandwich combination, but I just got the original choice of Burnt Marshmallow Ice cream with Cinnamon glazed donuts, with caramel sauce and skors pieces.

Rosedale Diner
1164 Yonge St. 

Rosedale Diner was featured in the Toronto episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri indulging in the diner's duck confit poutine and Asian stick ribs. When I ate dinner there, it had a the neighbourhood diner atmosphere and it felt very welcoming. I ordered the bison burger option on the menu and it was incredibly good.  It was a make your own burger too so you order what you want for your burger and when it arrives you put it together yourself. If you don't already put french fries in your burger, you're really missing out.

Fisherman Clubhouse Lobster Restaurant
680 Silver Star Blvd.

Massive dishes of Chinese seafood was I remember for this dinner. The portions were ridiculously large and were kind of overwhelming how much food there was on the table. It was a very unique experience, and there's probably no other restaurant in the GTA like so. I'd recommend going to the restaurant just for the experience, but I feel like going once is enough.

The lobster is really good. All the seafood they offer here was fresh, and fish tanks everywhere around the walls. Before sending out the dish, they show you the live lobster they'll be using to make your entree which is pretty neat.
Home of the Brave
589 King St West

A really hip restaurant I'd say, but it wasn't really anything special in my opinion. The food wasn't out of this world and it was kind of pricey for its portions. My brother got the Fried Chicken Burger, and he enjoyed it more than I did with my Fried Chicken and Waffles dish. Overall, it was not a bad experience, but I don't think I'd go there another time. 

Banh Mi Boys
392 Queen St. West

I'm pretty positive that almost everyone knows about this Vietnamese restaurant in Toronto. With its modern twist to the traditional Vietnamese sandwiches and other selections, it's definitely a hot spot. But did you know about their secret menu option? I bet you didn't. If you've tried the Fried Chicken or Pork Loin Bao and loved it, on your next visit order the Club Bao. It's an infusion of both option and it's incredibly appetizing. 10/10 would recommend.

168 Tea Shop

For all you bubble tea lovers, the 168 Tea Shop location in Chinatown is the place to be. You can order a size L which is like an XL from other restaurants for under $5! How crazy is that? It's a crazy deal and the location opens really late too. 

Hue's Kitchen
774 Yonge St.

If you love yourself some Vietnamese food, check out Hue's Kitchen which by Yonge and Bloor. The menu has a wide selection of options and it's not limited to just Pho. If you want to expand your taste buds with Vietnamese cuisine, try this noodle bowl called Bun Bo Hue. This dish is perfect for cooler days as it's a bit spicy and it warms your belly just right up. The restaurant even has cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory on their dessert menu. I got really excited when I saw this and was pretty disappointed when I got it as it was probably in the freezer for who knows how long. So, I would not recommend the cheesecake, it's not going to take like your typical soft creamy piece of cake.

2122 Bloor St. West

This was my first experience at a Vegan restaurant and I was overwhelmed with how delicious the food really was. I always thought for some reason, vegan food would be very bland and not very exciting. However, I was totally wrong with this opinion. When I took my first bite out of my taco wrap an explosion of flavour emerged in my mouth. It was so tasty. I also got to try some Zucchini Pad Thai and it's very different from the original taste of Pad Thai. Zucchini Pad Thai is very crunchy, and overall it tasted very fresh and light. I walked by this restaurant with my friend and when we decided to eat here, I wasn't really expecting anything and it over the roof delicious.   

Glory Hole Doughnuts
1596 Queen St W

Glory Hole Doughnuts has always been a hotspot for their highly anticipated doughnuts. It was probably the best doughnuts I've ever eaten in my life. The store makes their donuts fresh every day and it closes pretty early during the day as they only sell a specific amount of goods a day. The first time I visited Glory Hole, they sold out for the day, so make sure to come extra early if you want one! I believe I got the coconut creme puff donut, but the menu changes every day so it might not be there when you visit. However, I'm sure there's another great choice for you when you go yourself too.

Grand Electric
1330 Queen St W

Hands down the best fish tacos I've had in my place. When I finally got to eat them my life felt so complete. The mixture of tanginess and crisp from the fried Baja fish is absolutely glorious. There's really not much to say, the fish tacos here are heavenly and if you want to check out any of the restaurants I've mentioned, definitely put this on the top of the list. 

Harlem Underground
745 Queen St. W

A few years back I went to California with my friends and we told ourselves that we'd visit Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, but unfortunately, we never got to try it. Instead, we settled for some chicken and waffles at iHop and it was a very sad when I came back to Toronto I told myself I'd find a restaurant that served some authentic fried chicken with waffles and I found just that. I know you probably thinking, chicken and waffles?! That sounds like the oddest combination ever! However, it actually well really well together. If you love the taste of sweet and salty, this is the dish for you. Even if you don't you should definitely try it out, explore your taste buds. You'll be in for a real treat.
The Stockyards
699 St Claire Ave. W

I discovered this restaurant from BlogTo from it's high reviews and when I went there it, unfortunately, didn't really meet my expectations. However, I've heard stories from my friends who've said they love the food there so don't just play it by one person's opinion. I got the burger there and my friend got the chicken and waffles, and both were pretty good. Although it might be a little bit on the greasy side, the portions of each are really big so it'll fill you right up. 

Restaurant Norval Pancake Factory
525 Guelph St, Halton Hills

This breakfast restaurant isn't in Toronto, but it's just north of it and it's definitely worth the drive up. The portions are massive and it will for sure fill you up for the whole day. If you are a brunch enthusiast, definitely check this place out.

Stock Restaurant Bar & Lounge

This was one of the restaurants I tried out for Summerlicious this summer and it was my first time fine dining and it was so miraculous. I was on the top floor of the Trump Hotel, and eating lunch on the patio with a rooftop view of downtown Toronto. It was probably the fanciest lunch I've had ever in my life. Unfortunately, the restaurant literally just closed down and I'm not sure why but it is now replaced with another restaurant called America Restaurant. Nonetheless, the three-course meal was scrumptious. The portions were perfectly sized, and the presentation of each dish looked like art. Even my drink had a flower in it.

SOMA Chocolatemaker
32 Tank House Ln

The cutest little store in Distillery District. The chocolate is all homemade in their on-site chocolate lab. The roasted white chocolate was really tasty and if you have a sweet tooth definitely try it out!

Asuka Japanese Restaurant
108 Yorkville Ave

This Japanese restaurant is definitely on my top list for sushi and lunch. It's perfect for a quick bite when you're spending your day in Yorkville. You should definitely check out their lunch specials, and make sure to come early or make reservations as it's a pretty busy restaurant. Make sure to try the Green Dragon roll here and the Sexy roll haha.

One Restaurant 
116 Yorkville Ave.

One Restaurant is located right under the Hazelton Hotel in Yorkville and is a perfect spot for a relaxing lunch date on the patio. This was another Summerlicious restaurant I went to for lunch. The pork loin here is so good, and the fried chicken too. Something about eating a three-course meal is so much more satisfying then devouring yourself at an all-you-can-eat buffet. The menu here can be pricey for a regular lunch date, but if you have the time check it out during Summerlicious or even Winterlicious, which is coming up. 

There's a number different restaurants I also explored, but unfortunately, I didn't capture any of it. They were all equally as delicious. Other restaurants I've gone to was Sneaky Dees, Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse, and I can't really recall any other ones...

Sneaky Dees is the most hipster restaurant I've ever been to, ever. It has graffiti plastered everything, but it's also so presentable too. They have really good Mexican food there, and great hangover food too.

Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse is another restaurant I went to during Summerlicious, and it is the best buffet I've ever been to. There was so much food I got so excited, it was so bad. I couldn't stop myself from eating...when the server came over with the huge chunk of meat on the stick, I said yes every time. I had the biggest food coma was so worth it. You should definitely try their grilled pineapple and corn bread, they're really tasty. Pro-tip: don't eat too much of their starters on the first floor and save your stomach for the good stuff. If you're a meat lover, go here the next time you're downtown. You won't regret it!

Overall, my summer was a summer compiled of good food and I don't regret any weight I gained at all. It was all worth it. (I sound like a true fast ass but it's okay).

Thank you to everyone who missioned with me to all these restaurants. You know who you are.