Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eatontario is a Diner's Dream

Thanks to the kind folks at eatontario, I received an eatontario membership card in the mail several weeks ago! Perfect perk for a foodie like me =D

Enclosed with the card is a welcome package that includes a list of participating restaurants closest to my mailing address (this list will for sure come in handy since I always have trouble deciding where to take my parents in 'Sauga).

Once you join eatontario's 12-month membership for $39.95, all you have to do is present your membership card when requesting the bill at one of their participating restaurant and you will receive one of the following 3 types of discounts:

1) 10 - 50% off the total food bill: Applies to everyone dining in the group. The restaurant may place a maximum number of people per booking (eatontario's website will indicate the specifics of each restaurant's offer); or

2) 2 - 4 - 1: An offer for two people and applies to all courses ordered (starters, mains and desserts). The cheapest or equivalent dish of each course will be deducted from the bill. In some cases the restaurant will offer a free starter with every meal; or

3) $25 - $50 off the total bill: Depending if it's lunch or dinner, eatontario members will enjoy $25 - $50 off the entire bill.

Note: An eatontario card cannot be used in conjunction with any other special offers such as set menus or during special holidays. Eatontario advises that you call the restaurant in advance for these situations to confirm whether or not you can use your card.

Browsing at restaurants on eatontario's website is easy too - once a restaurant comes up in your search, you will immediately know which type of discount is offered and any conditions / restrictions specific to that restaurant.

Let me show you what I mean.

When I did a quick search for restaurants, I immediately found three restaurants that I really want to visit:

1) Café du lac (@cafedulac)

According to eatontario's Legend Key, those mean that when I present my eatontario card at Café du lac, I will get 25% discount off my total bill with a maximum of 4 people per eatontario booking. I can use this discount every time I visit Café du lac.

I've been to Café du lac once before with my parents (see post here) but after seeing Nicki's (@ViewTheVibe) Eye on the Vibe Blog about the awesomeness that is Café du lac's new chef, Damon Ulmi, and how both her and her mom (who is French) were blown away by their meal there, I knew I had to visit Café du lac A.S.A.P.  Here's the Eye on the Vibe vlog that sold me =D

According to eatontario's Legend Key, when I present my eatontario card aL.A.B., I will get 15% off my total bill as long as I don't exceed 6 people per eatontario booking. The eatontario discount is not valid on Fridays after 6pm. I can use this discount every time I visit L.A.B..

The one and only time I got to experience the extraordinary food at L.A.B., a restaurant reputable for their molecular gastronomy, was when I joined The Culinary Adventure Company's (@culinaryadvco) Little Italy Tour (see post here). Everything I sampled at L.A.B. was fabulous that time so that's why I really want to go back to L.A.B. and try their regular menu.

According to eatontario's Legend Key, When I present my eatontario card at Great Burger Kitchen, I will get 15% discount off my total bill with a maximum of 4 people per eatontario booking. I can use this discount every time I visit Great Burger Kitchen.

I haven't been to Great Burger Kitchen but after reading Andrew's (@dobbernation) review on GBK on dobbernationloves, I really want to try their burgers =)

Besides savings at restaurants, eatontario also accommodates to wine lovers and coffee/tea drinkers. They currently have several wineries, wine importers and wine clubs on board:

As well as roasters, premium cafe's, coffee and tea shops:

Visit eatontario's website and have a look for yourself. Make sure you also follow them on Facebook and Twitter for their latest updates and news!

Facebook: Eatontario
Twitter: @eatontario

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Big Chill

Strolling along College Street, my boyfriend and I suddenly had the urge for ice cream. No...actually, I lied... we weren't strolling along, we were actually speed walking.  We had just finished dinner at College Street Bar and we were in search, frantically, for an ice cream place because we both had the biggest craving ever for ice cream. Not gelato, not crepes, not waffles, not cakes, it had to be ice cream, specifically ice cream in a waffle cone.

We saw several people walking on College with ice cream so we simply walked towards the direction they were coming from (aren't we smart or what?!) Lo and behold, with its big neon sign, The Big Chill (@bigchilltoronto) ended our ice cream search that night.

There were a lot of little kids (and parents) outside the old fashion ice cream parlour that night as it was a very nice and mild night. The Big Chill really caters and accommodates to kids - it has kiddie tables, benches, and various toys for kids to play with outside the shop. It has a very fun and cute interior as well - the bright colours, the retro neon signs, the colourful chalkboard menus and of course, the numerous cow figurines around the store.

See what I mean about the cows? So cute! ^_^

The Big Chill's main selling point is their 34 flavours of ice cream, including dairy free ices and sherbets. Remember, as the sign says, its "CASH ONLY".

This is just one of the two large ice cream displays; it was so busy in there I couldn't get a shot of the second one.

One scoop of Cookies & Cream in waffle cone w/o whipped cream ($4.95) - Mine
Two scoops (Pralines & Cream + Cookie dough) in waffle cone w/ whipped cream ($5.95) - The Bf's (he ordered two scoops because he was greedy. He also said two scoops was only $1 more than one scoop so it was a good deal. He later regretted his decision because it was ginormous).

Got our ice cream fix! =D

After taking pictures inside, we went out and walked around while munching away on our ice cream. Even though we got our ice cream fix, we both thought the ice cream at The Big Chill was just average. Yes the ice cream was very creamy, so I loved that part, but personally I thought the flavour was just not there. As in, I hardly tasted any "cookies" in my "cookies & cream" and my boyfriend didnt' taste much "pralines" in his "pralines & cream" either (same with the cookie dough, just tasted cream). Overall our ice cream tasted very bland to us. The waffle cone itself was superb though, very fresh and crispy~

The Big Chill on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pappas Grill [VLOG]

Nicki from View The Vibe (@ViewTheVibe) and I headed down to Pappas Grill for some Greek food during The Taste of the Danforth a few weeks back. I do not go to the Danforth often and when I do it's almost always for my Messini fix. I haven't been to too many Greek restaurants in the area so I was glad that Nicki was taking me to Pappas Grill that night.

Taking advantage of its awesome location right at the corner of Bloor and Arundel, Pappas Grill's huge patio stretches from the front of the restaurant all the way to the back. What's even better is that the patio is extremely spacious and not narrow at all - it could easily fit three rows of seating with ample room in between tables. 

Who wants to be stuck inside during the Taste of the Danforth? Especially on such a beautiful day and that lovely patio? Nevertheless I figured I should go and take a picture of the decor inside. I really like how all the windows let in all that natural sunlight.

Watch Nicki's Eye on the Vibe Blog of our dinner :) Man did we ever have a tough time with the Greek names O_o The vlog will also show us having gelato for dessert at Dolce Gelato (@DolceGelatoTO) (Dolce Gelato will be a separate post).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Deep-Fried Adventure at the CNE

I haven't been to the Canadian National Exhibit ("CNE") since, I have no idea when actually, possibly more than 5 to 8 years ago? Something ridiculous like that. I haven't been because I really hate crowds (I turn into a really grumpy person in a "packed sardines" environment) and I'm not that into rides or carnival games. The difference this year though, as most of you may know, is all the hype surrounding the wide assortment of weird / gross Deep-Fried ("DF") foods available at the CNE, along with that 1,550 calorie Krispy Kreme Donut Burger. Last year's DF butter alone was not enticing enough to get me off my fat ass, however, with this year's impressive DF line up, I was up early last Sunday and arrived at the CNE Food Building by 10:15 am.

I know it is not ideal to be eating DF stuff for breakfast but in all honesty it is not ideal to eat any of this DF stuff at any time of day anyway, so what the heck! Might as well go early to avoid line ups.

First stop: Mac & Cheesery. I was their first customer.

I was contemplating between getting DF mac-and-cheese curds or DF mac-and-cheese. Even though I wanted both I didn't feel like forking out close to $15 ($6.85 each) for DF cheese. I ended up choosing the DF mac-and-cheese. 

There were four big DF mac-and-cheese balls per order and they were all fresh and piping hot; the batter was really crispy too. Although there was a sufficient amount of cheese, the mac-and-cheese still tasted a bit bland (but ketchup easily fixed that). I will say now that this DF mac-and-cheese is one of my top DF pick at CNE this year. Also note that out of all the DF things I tried at CNE, this DF mac-n-cheese was the only thing that had a crispy / crunchy DF shell.

Next stop: Epic Burgers & Waffles.

I had to try The Krispy Kreme Donut Burger ($8) as it was getting so much hype. I had no intention of getting the Behemoth (two grilled cheese sandwiches with a 6oz patty, cheese, lettuce and tomato) at CNE as I'm sure the Burger's Priest version of it (called "The Vatican") will be a lot better.

Anyway, we added bacon ($1 extra for bacon / egg) to ours as my boyfriend didn't want the egg. When we were ordering, we noticed that the burgers were already cooked and laid out in rows so all they had to do was assemble the burger for us. Not a good sign =( After unwrapping the burger, we took a closer look - I seriously did not know what happened to the donuts. Why were they were so flat and deflated? The burger was wrapped up in the foil for not more than 5 seconds (which was the walk from EPIC Burgers to where we sat down) so the top donut shouldn't be that flat. I was disappointed already as the burger had zero visual appeal now.

I know my iPhone4 did not fully capture the true colours of the burger with the fluorescent lights up top but believe me, the burger itself had a light brown, almost grey colour to it O_o As for the taste of the burger, I did not like the sweet + savoury combo; the extremely sweet donut and the savoury from everything else was just messing up my tastebuds. The whole thing didn't blend well at all for me.  I think it would help though if the patty didn't taste so nasty too. It was room temperature, stiff, flavourless, with almost a rubbery texture. Both my boyfriend and I thought the burger was gross. (Note: see updated comment about the Krispy Kreme Donut Burger at the end of my post.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Food Network Wants US!

Warning. Shameless plug.

Remember that casting call post I had around two weeks ago? With Food Network Canada looking for contestants to be on their new food trivia game show? Well....................................

My friend Nancy & I got picked! ^___^

We have our nerdy glasses ready

Nancy & I are gonna be partnered up and will be competing with other Toronto foodies on the game show! WOOT! =D

That is all.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Table 17 Giveaway Contest - CLOSED

Have you been to Table 17

If not, you are missing out BIG time. But no worries, here's your chance to fix that.

If yes, then good for you! But I'm sure you can always go back for more "Hot Balls" =P

OK here's the deets, quick and dirty.

I'm giving away a $50 gift certificate to Table 17

See below for contest rules!!!


1) You must be following both me (@foodieyu) and Table 17 (@table17) on Twitter


2) Tweet the following sentence, exactly as shown: 

"I want to win a $50 gift certificate to @table17! #T17GC
(You can only tweet this once)


3) To increase your chances of winning, you can include the hashtag "#T17GC" in any tweet or retweet any tweet that you see with the hashtag "#T17GC". Each tweet / retweet earns you ONE extra ballot and you can tweet / retweet as many times as you wish! Again, you MUST have completed steps 1) & 2) for any of your tweets or retweets to count.


Contest starts on Saturday, August 20th at 12PM & ends on Saturday, September 3rd at 12PM.

I will announce the lucky winner on Friday, September 9th.


Oh and in case you haven't been to Table 17 before, feel free to read my posts about it here: BrunchDinnerTable D'Hote

Friday, August 19, 2011

Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad

On the same day that I made my Cranberry Granola Nut Bars, I also made this Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad. No I'm not turning into a health nut, faaaar from it (although I am obsessed with nuts lately...can you tell?). All in all, I'm just trying to eat healthier on the days when I'm not out stuffing my face at restaurants. Simple as that.

I bought a huge bag of cranberries for my Cranberry Granola Nut Bars so I knew I wanted to incorporate that in my salad. I also love having cheese (of any kind) in it so I was pretty happy when I found this recipe; it had everything that I was looking for...and more! It was my first time making candied walnuts and I can seriously just munch on them non stop (had to stop myself or else there wouldn't be any left for the salad). The crunchiness and sweetness from the walnuts, combined with the strong Gorgonzola and the sourness from the dried cranberries, makes this Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad my fav salad right now.  

Really. Consider doubling the walnuts for snacking =D

Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad - adapted from allrecipes
(4 servings)


  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Note: I used spinach instead of mixed greens (I spinach)


1. Place walnuts and sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves into a light brown liquid and coats the walnuts.

2. Remove the walnuts from skillet, and spread them out on a sheet of aluminum foil to cool. 

3. Place in a large salad bowl the mixed greens, cranberries, cheese, vinaigrette, vinegar, and olive oil. Too gently.

4. Add candied walnuts, and toss again. DONE!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dining Date Night - 30% Off Some of Toronto's Top Restaurants

If you've been following my blog, you should know by now that I'm all about restaurant deals; with the number of times I eat out each week, any sort of discount helps my poor wallet O_o So when I came across Dining Date Night (Twitter@DiningDateNight, FacebookDining Date Night) a month or so ago on Twitter, I thought it was just another site similar to Groupon, Fabfind, dealfind, and gazillion others out there. Nothing against those sites as I have bought and used many many vouchers myself; but honestly, I do believe that there are just way too many daily deal sites out there and I simply can't keep up sometimes (my inbox is constantly overflowing with emails every morning). Thinking that Dining Date Night is another daily deal site, I registered as a member and was ready to check out what their daily deal was until I found out it wasn't a daily deal site at all.

What differentiates Dining Date Night with other daily deal sites is that there are no coupons, no fine print, and no condition; once you become a member (membership is free) and reserve a table through Dining Date Night for $10, a 30% discount is taken off your bill automatically (including alcohol). No ugly vouchers to print out =P

What really impressed me though is Dining Date Night's list of participating restaurants, it includes some of Toronto's top restaurants such as Splendido, L'Unita, Malena (which I've blogged about here), Chiado, Simple Bistro, Crush Wine Bar, etc., most of which I'm sure won't be participating in any daily deal sites any time soon.

Curious about how all this works, I took a look at Union Restaurant's (@UnionResto) offer at Dining Date Night (as they have been on my "On My Radar" list for awhile). For August, the dates highlighted are the dates available for reservations through Dining Date Night:

I quickly looked at the other participating restaurants and it seems like each restaurant's calendar is a bit different. I'm thinking Dining Date Night works with these restaurants to allow the 30% discount for non-peak hours.

I think Dining Date Night is a great idea, especially for me because I go out for dinner on week nights a lot. It is also perfect for couples who want to try higher end restaurants without breaking their bank. I know the only downside may be the $10 reservation fee, but really, in the grand scheme of things, $10 is really peanuts! Especially when you consider the fact that without Dining Date Night, you will probably never get ANY discount at some of these restaurants. Check out this "before" and "after" bills I found on Dining Date Night's blog:

Sweet, right? =)

Anyway, it seems like they will be adding more and more restaurants soon, with Zucca Trattoria (which I've blogged about here) and Mildred's Temple Kitchen (which I've also blogged about hereindicated on their site as "coming soon". I'm definitely going to keep my eyes peeled on Dining Date Night as I'm excited to see what other restaurants they will add in the future~

Dining Date Night is also running a contest right now where if you become a member, you'll be automatically entered into a weekly draw to win a $100 gift card to one of these participating restaurants:

August 11-17: Splendido
August 18-24: Union Restaurant
August 25-31: L'Unita
September 1-7: Chiado

Sign up now and get entered into all four draws! They will be giving away a $100 gift certificate each week starting tomorrow ^_^

Monday, August 15, 2011

La Société [VLOG]

La Société opened about two months ago and is a new upscale French restaurant in the Yorkville District, smack dab in the middle of Bloor Street's Mink Mile. This Parisian bistro took over the former Dynasty Chinese Restaurant location upstairs and also occupies the courtyard at street level (which serves a reduced bar menu). La Société (@La_Societe) is really the only restaurant / patio on Bloor currently, making it the perfect place for shoppers and tourists alike. It is massive space that occupies around 400 seats and is owned by INK Entertainment's Charles Khabouth, a nightclub king who owns Ultra, Guvernment, This is London, koolhaus, etc., just to name a few, and also restaurants such as Briscola, AME, and Spice Route. 

The picture below was taken on my way up to the second floor. It was raining the whole day and only stopped around late afternoon. Although not raining any more it still felt really muggy so we opted to dine inside.

The decor at La Société is all about the dark wood, banquettes, shiny tile floors, and soft lighting.

There is no way anyone can miss the stunning hand-crafted stained glass ceiling.

I had so much fun having dinner with my partner in crime, Nicki from View The Vibe (@ViewTheVibe), food blogger Andrew from Dobbernationloves (@dobbernation), and Beatrice from Trillium Corporation Communications (@BeatriceBastedo). We stayed at La Société for four hours! =) Here is View The Vibe's  Eye On The Vibe Vlog recap of our fab dinner:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cranberry Nut Granola Bars

I had no plans whatsoever last Sunday and I was pretty happy about that because it means two things: 1) I will be staying in and doing everything in my PJs, and 2) I will have a chance to bake! And cook! Two things I extremely enjoy doing but haven't had time to do so in a long time.

I wanted to bake something healthy, something that I can snack on without feeling too guilty (I was really tempted to make my favourite chocolate chip cookies but I stopped myself). Skipping pass the muffins, cookies, and cake recipes on, I found this Cranberry Nut Granola Bars recipe which was perfect! 

A great thing about these granola bars is that besides the oats, you can basically substitute any of the nuts in the recipe with nuts you like or just whatever you can find in your house. Unfortunately, as there was none of these ingredients in my boyfriend's house, I did eventually have to change out of my PJs and go grocery shopping O_o

Anyway I'm seriously loving these Cranberry Nut Granola Bars right now and am totally addicted! They are such good snacks because they are so filling; all I need is to eat one and it fills me up right away, making it a great snack for that long stretch between lunch and dinner~

(Yields 24 bars)

  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Note: I couldn't find hulled pumpkin seeds at the grocery store so I substituted it with 1/2 cup of walnut pieces.


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 13x9-inch pan with lightly-greased parchment paper; an inch or so of parchment paper should stick up on 2 sides to form lifting handles.
2. Mix the quick-cooking oats, old-fashioned oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, mixed nuts, or cranberries, and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl

3. Make sure everything is evenly coated.