Thursday, December 30, 2010

Toronto Haunts

We just got back from a trip to Toronto to visit family and some old favorite food haunts that I thought I'd share. Like this perfectly... well... just perfect... end to a visit to my brother-in-law's and hanging out with his cool daughter. It was just a very short walk around the corner to one of my all time favorite Toronto simple pleasures - Churrasco Villa Portuguese-style Fire Grilled Piri Piri Chicken and even though I was fuller than full I had to have a traditional Portuguese custard tart. Just looking at the photo has me wanting to go back and learn from the locals how to make it.

It was my mother-in-law's birthday - she's just a bit over 21 and we went to Jerusalem Restaurant... sorry, no pictures I was too busy stuffing my face with baba ghanouje and fried eggplant - so garlicky and so delicious- followed by my favorite thing on their menu - Liver sauteed in garlic & hot sauce - I'm drooling!
Then a walk around the old neighborhood - to walk off those meals! And a sight that never fails to excite me... Koslik's Mustards... the only way I can get a stash in Halifax is to order on line or beg visitors to bring some home. My favorites... balsamic figs & dates and Lime & Honey, both perfect in salads, on sandwiches and slathered on chicken or fish before grilling. Good thing I left room in the suitcase to transport some home!
One of the things I really miss in Halifax is the neighborhood butcher shops. That's the gang at Nortown Foods on Eglinton - I was a regular - my favorites...
veal... you can see the thick cut chop on the left and, right of the veal brisket, a tiny bit of my very favorite - thin veal chops for bread crumb coating, quick saute for color & final bake - delicious! and beef flanken or short ribs - thin cut here is what they call "Miami Ribs" also found in Korean Grill Houses. Just marinate teriyaki style and grill quickly. Cut thicker (1" or so) and it's perfect for thick hearty soups & braises.
And I noticed a new shop that I had to explore (that's where I found the Koslik's) The Healthy Butcher, which when I was living in Toronto, only had one shop on Queen W. Now apparently there are three locations and this one is spectacular.
I even got a peak at the butchery behind the gorgeous display & serving areas.
Naturally, I had to venture to Little Portugal and give you a glimpse of a very busy, very popular Portuguese Butcher shop.
They have their own butchers behind the counter area too.

My Honey's mom made us a traditional Jewish Friday night dinner - chicken soup with matzo balls, gefilte fish, salad, roast beef, and as if that wasn't enough... grilled liver for me and grilled steaks for her "boys". Sorry, no photos we were too busy enjoying the food and the company.
And our last meal in Toronto was at my cousin Ar's place - check out the very Martha Stewart centerpiece of thick candles in bowls of cranberries... It's always a treat to hang out with her and one should be forewarned to wear stretch pants when heading over. The photos aren't so great, but the food sure was.
My Honey - not usually a soup fan, devoured this Cauliflower Soup with Bacon & Truffle Oil. She sent the recipe, so I'll be making and posting really soon.
That was followed by an awesome Garlicky Roasted Chicken (stuffed with about a hundred cloves of garlic - okay, slight exaggeration), and all the trimmings, including some scalloped potatoes - recipe from Eat, Shrink & Be Merry... counter the heavy cream in the soup and the million calories in this trifle!
Even the best of vacations come to an end... we couldn't stay away from these two - or their parents for very long.


bellini valli said...

It looks like you had a wonderful holiday in TO Ruth. The Portuguese Tarts remind me that I need to get cracking to make them before the weekend.

Ruth Daniels said...

OOOH, now I'm truly jealous. Any chance you'd share the recipe?

Joanne said...

Well if I ever visit Toronto, I will CERTAINLY know exactly where to go. I'm glad you had a fun mini vacation!