In Search of Yummy-ness

A Canadian Food Blog


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Summerlicious 2010 – Big Daddy’s

Big Daddy’s Crab Shack and Oyster Bar


Cuisine: Cajun Seafood

Website: http://www.bigdaddys.ca/ 
Address: 212 King Street West, Toronto

This place is so cozy! Lot’s of artwork on the walls featuring jazz musicians, hanging baskets and embossed copper tin tiles on the ceiling.

What We Ate:

(The full menu for Summerlicious at Big Daddy’s can be found here)LUNCH (for 2 people)

Appetizers
– Cup of Chowder: served with oyster crackers


– Coconut Chicken: with charred jalapeno and orange dipping sauce


(Photo Credit: T.Floyd)


Mains
– Wild-Caught Coastal Shrimp Boil: 5 large shrimp boiled Louisiana style and dusted with Creole spices, served with chorizo sausage pieces, corn on cob, seasonal vegetables, red skin potatoes and roasted jalapeno garlic butter



– Cheese and Asparagus Stuffed Ravioli: In a basil garlic fondue, topped with a ragout of mushrooms and served with garlic toast.

(Photo Credit: T.Floyd)

 

Desserts
– Molten Brownie:  served with bourbon chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream



– Triple Berry Crumble:  mixed berries covered with a buttery granola and served warm with ice cream 

(Photo Credit: T.Floyd)

DINNER (for 4 people)



Appetizers
– Popcorn Shrimp: with smoked tomato & pepper dipping sauce
– Clam Chowder: served with oyster crackers
– House Salad: mixed greens with Big Daddy’s Vinaigrette


Mains
– 8oz New York Striploin: with sweet potato fries, seasonal vegetables and a red wine cracked pepper sauce
– Fettuccine Natasha: tossed in a smoked salmon roasted red pepper vodka cream sauce


Desserts
– Lindt Chocolate Ice Cream
– Mississippi Mud Pie: their own creation of baked marshmallows, served warm with chocolate drizzle
– Apple Crumble: Served warm with cinnamon sugar and vanilla ice cream


Price: 

$15 lunch, $25 dinner (Summerlicious pricing)

My Favourite Item…
Their clam chowder is absolutely delicious! It’s creamy and rich, and not too “fishy”. I ordered it on both my visits. 


Other Items…
– The coconut chicken skewers were moist and crunchy, went really well with the dipping sauce.
– The popcorn shrimp is also very tasty, has a great sauce
– The best dessert out of all the ones we tried was the Mississippi Mud Pie. It’s sweet and decadent!
– The lindt ice cream is also really good

 
It’s definitely worth a visit, there are some really nice items on the menu.Hope you’re enjoying the Summerlicious posts! – S.A.


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Summerlicious 2010 – Bymark

Bymark
Cuisine: Bistro
Website: http://www.bymarkdowntown.com/
Address: 66 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON

This Toronto restaurant is as famous for its $37 hamburger as it is for its creator: celebrity chef Mark McEwan.

From the outside, it looks like the restaurant is dimly lit but on the inside it is actually much brighter (despite the fact that there are no windows). The decor is very simple, clean and elegant – much like McEwan’s menu. The ambient music is quiet enough that it doesn’t interfere with your conversation.

What We Ate:

(The full menu for Summerlicious at Bymark can be found here)

Appetizers 
– Variegated Asparagus Salad (prosciutto, frisee, toasted hazelnuts, Vidal ice wine vinaigrette)
– Bonus: piece of olive bread (very yummy)

Main
– Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak (warm spring beans, wild mushrooms, citrus butter)

Desserts
– Chocolate Eclaire (pastry cream, house made chocolate ice cream)
– Strawberries & Cream (puff pastry, bittersweet chocolate dipped strawberries)

Drinks
– Pink Champagne Cocktail
– Sangria

Price: 
As part of the Summerlicious menu, the 3-course meal was $25.00
(drinks were extra)
The earthy asparagus was wrapped in salty prosciutto, and nestled next to a small nest of frisee. The sweet vinaigrette and hazelnuts were an unusual pairing with asparagus, but it was tasty.

When we tucked into our main dish, we were silent for several minutes. Not many foods can render us speechless, but this dish certainly did. The steak was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth soft, and ever so tasty. The citrus butter gave it an extra kick which brightened up the flavours of everything else on the plate too. We don’t know what kind of mushrooms were on the plate, but they were yummy!!

Just when we thought we’d be able to speak again, our desserts were brought out. The chocolate on both desserts was to die for. Totally perfect in flavour and texture, I think we could pour it on just about anything and be happy. Both desserts were light and delicious, but we both thought the eclair should have been a bit bigger. Everything was artistically presented, of course, and all of the garnishes were edible (which we love).

We had multiple servers bringing food throughout the meal and all of the staff we encountered were very professional and friendly. We didn’t feel rushed or neglected at any time. We thought it was nice that someone walks around with fresh bread and asks you what kind you’d like. You can nosh on this while you wait for your meal to be cooked.

We had a very relaxing and satisfying experience, and if you can try it during the Summerlicious (or Winterlicious) events, it’s worth every penny.  It’s also conveniently located close to Union Station, making it very easy to get to. We would definitely like to return to try out some other items in the menu.

Interesting Thing: 
The infamous “Bymark Burger” was not on the menu (not even the mini-version) but if you’d like to try it out at home, the National Post has the recipe here.

Sorry, the photos didn’t come out great. We shot them mostly with cellphones…


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Summer Luvin’ for Foodies

Summerlicious is here!

Summerlicious is a special dining event that’s held every year in Toronto.  Over 100 restaurants take part, offering three-course prix fixe menus at reasonable prices.

The almost-month-long event helps to make the fine dining of Toronto more accessible as these fixed meals cost only a fraction of each restaurant’s regular prices. It allows people like us, who generally can’t afford an expensive dinner, to taste the cuisine of the high-end restaurants. One day when we have the cash, we’ll go back!

Admittedly, not all the restaurants on the list are overly expensive to begin with, but even so… the event does allow you to take notice of places you might not have considered eating at before.

Lunch prices range from $15 – $25
Dinner prices range from $25 – $45

This event runs until July 25, 2010. If you’re only hearing about it now, it’s not too late. Many restaurants are still accepting reservations! Check the website for a list of participating restaurants and their menus.

We’ll be posting our own Summerlicious experiences soon!

PS. Summerlicious can be a crazy-busy time for restaurants. At some establishments, this can result in having to wait for your table or having a stressed waiter/waitress. We believe that you should always treat your server with respect (and vice-versa), so arrive on time, smile, and you should be able to enjoy your meal 🙂

 


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The most entertaining bag of rice I’ve ever seen.

It looks innocent enough at first…

(click image to enlarge)

But on the reverse it has a small novel. It’s nice when rice has a sense of humour…

(click images to enlarge)
So that’s why my rice never turns out right… I don’t sing!!!
Finally, a good reminder, although I always wash rice anyhow because I’m a germ-a-phobe…
Want to hear the jingle? Visit the Mr. Goudas website and click through. It’s… interesting 🙂


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Mmmm….

Cold Stone Creamery

Website: http://www.coldstonecreamery.com

Cold Stone Oatmeal Cookie Batter with Almonds

What we ate:
– “Founder’s Choice”: Sweet Cream ice cream, pecans, brownies, fudge, & caramel
– Oatmeal Cookie Dough ice cream with roasted almonds

Price:
Roughly $4 for the “like it” size scoop in a paper cup

It was fun to watch the guys fold the mix-in ingredients into the ice cream – think of it as “cold teppanyaki”.  ML was lucky enough to have a server with flair, who threw her mixed ice cream blob into the air and caught it in her cup. She wants to go back just to see if he can catch it every time!