Leslieville: The First Food Tour

We are now on month 3 of living in Leslieville, and both my boyfriend and I agree that it’s such an amazing neighbourhood. Certainly lively and full of surprises. Now that we have had a chance to try out some great food spots in the area (with, admittedly, still so many left to try), I wanted to share my Top 5 Food Spots in Leslieville (for now).

1. Lady Marmalade: I don’t need to rehash how amazing this place truly is. So worth the wait. But just in case you forgot…

Baked french toast is the cat's pyjamas...

2. Ed’s Real Scoop & Bobbette and Belle:

Both of these spots make me all sorts of happy when it comes to dessert/snacks. Grabbing ice cream at Ed’s Real Scoop has now become my favourite passtime on warm summer nights (maybe a little too much…dangerous stuff!), and Bobbette & Belle makes nothing short of incredible desserts. My recommendation? Get a macaroon from them, pair it with the cookies ‘n creme ice cream from Ed’s, and call it a day.

3. Rashers & Leslieville Pumps:

I talked about the amazingness of Rashers way before I even lived down the street from it. Their sandwiches are still delicious. A new favourite we recently learned about is the Leslieville Pumps – on its face, this spot is merely a run of the mill gas station. But inside you will find more than just candy bars and chips. They have sandwiches with smoked meat, BLTs, pulled pork, poutine, coleslaw and deep fried pickels. Yum! Perfect hangover or late night food (while Rashers closes at 8pm, The Pumps is open 24h!)

Simple grilled cheese? Not these sandwiches!

Rashers’ goodness…

4. Paulette’s Chicken and Doughnuts:

Freshly made doughnuts (like, my favourite, the s’mores doughnut) + fried chicken + your choice of sauce makes this place a fun spot to have an unhealthy but utterly delicious snack. We recently tried their deep-fried macaroni ‘n cheese balls, too…can’t say you would be wrong in doing the same. I love this spot because it’s one-of-a-kind in the area and offers a fun alternative to fast food. If you’re feeling like something bad for you, but oh-so-good, this place delivers.

5. Prohibition Gastropub & Riverside Public House:

Riverside was the first place we tried upon moving in. And Prohibition has now become the “go-to” when meeting friends for a drink. They have great beers on tap, a fantastic happy hour, prime location at Queen and Broadview plus their food is  pretty damn good. My favourite dish that I’ve  had so far is their “Pulled Pork Grilled Fromage” – exactly what it sounds like: pulled pork +grilled cheese. But the kicker is that it comes with fries and a slightly tangy raspberry flavoured dipping sauce. It shouldn’t work, but it certainly does. Definitely work a try.

We fully intend on trying more places this summer (like Ruby Watchco/Ruby Eats, “The Nose”, Swirl Wine Bar, among others), and I will be sure to get more on he list.

The new 'hood!

The new ‘hood!

Advertisements

Night Out: Wine and…Tacos?

Tonight I had the privilege of attending the summer opening of Mavrik Wine Bar. It’s a well-known fact that I love wine and anything wine bar related. Sadly, I had never been to Mavrik before but, after this introduction, you can bet I will be going back.

Grapefruit + wine + berries is delicious!

Grapefruit + wine + berries is delicious!

This little Queen West haunt is owned by two ladies who did the unthinkable – left their law and investment banking jobs to pursue a passion and open their own restaurant. They differentiate themselves from all other wine bars in a really great way, offering up local wines that are produced in small quantities (read: too small to be found at the LCBO) and a really good selection of fresh, healthy cooking.

A small sampling of Mavrik's menu - awesome tacos and great wine pairings

A small sampling of Mavrik’s menu – awesome tacos and great wine pairings

I got to sample two of their tacos with wine pairings. The first was a Portobello Taco with guacamole, tomatoes, red peppers, black beans, jalapeños, and basil aioli. While I’m not the biggest mushroom fan, this taco had great texture and flavour to it – not too spicy, just tangy enough, with the basil aioli adding a unique taste to otherwise “typical” taco fillings. The second – and my favourite – was the Sweet Potato Taco, filled with sweet potato, black beans, quinoa, parmesan and lemon aioli. This taco was so refreshing, tasty and was fabulously complemented by a Niagara Region Muscat. This was a perfect summer meal.

Portobello Taco (left) and Sweet Potato Taco (right)

Portobello Taco (left) and Sweet Potato Taco (right)

The vibe of the place is great – small and cozy – and, aside from the wonderful and unique food, there is also a healthy selection of cheese (after all, wine + cheese are the best of friends). My only gripe? With the wines being so local and limited in supply, you may fall in love with something that you can’t get your hands on too easily at the LCBO or Wine Rack. I guess that just means you have to return to Mavrik again.

mavrik vibe

Yours Truly

This holiday season will be very busy but before the craziness starts, my boyfriend and I decided to take a night out for just us two. We decided to try a restaurant I’ve been hearing nothing but great things about – Yours Truly.

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 10.38.10 PM

The venue itself is awesome – rustic industrial decor, the music’s not too loud, lights not too dim (am I getting old or what?) Perfect ambiance. But the menu and food is something else entirely…

The full menu at Yours Truly

The full menu at Yours Truly

The premise is simple: it’s a four-course tasting menu. You’re given a selection of 2 main ingredients per course (i.e. carrot or beef, egg or grouper…) and you choose the one you want. From there, they make the dish using the main and other local, seasonal ingredients. While the dishes themselves are smaller than you’d expect (as per a “tasting menu”), they provide a few amuse bouches in between that get you just full enough so you’re not scrambling for pizza afterwards.

The view at Yours Truly

The view at Yours Truly

We both had very different things from the menu. My favourite dish had to have been the “egg” dish – it involved pea shoots, a poached egg, purple potato crisps and a lightly whipped foam of egg whites on  top. My boyfriend really enjoyed his second course, consisting of delicious pan-seared scallops. There was also a great chicken dish, which involved chicken breast with crispy skin, blue cheese mousse, pine nuts and apple slices. In between our courses, we were given oysters, a delicious fruit+pomegranate palate cleanser, garlic buttery buns, a mini seared eel sandwich, and my favourite, devilled eggs.

By the time dessert came (an awesome cheese plate for him, a delicious “Christmas-y” cake made with eggnog for me), I could safely say that I will be returning to this restaurant. Highly recommend it for a unique dining experience and great service.

Remnants of a delicious night out

Remnants of a delicious night out