Adega: A Portuguese delight.

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For my birthday I was taken to this Portugal restaurant called Adega in the heart of downtown. The food was fabulous. We began the meal with a couple of appetizers. First we ordered the Grilled Octopus and Pork Belly drizzled in a cabernet and tamarind reduction. This was good. It was grilled nicely which gave it a charred, smoky, flavor. The meat was really tender, not at all rubbery. And the sweetness and tanginess of the reduction sauce complimented the Pork Belly beautifully, which melted in my mouth. The only let down was how cold the Octopus was. The second thing to hit our table was the Grilled Portuguese Sardines. Three came on the plate. This was  salty and tasty, but  Sardines were very tiny. I had better. But it went nicely with the wine I was drinking.

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They had an interesting dessert menu. So, I tried the Saffron Poached Pear in cinnamon and Madeira wine mascarpone mousse. This was simply delicious. The pear was nicely flavored with warm spices and the mousse was very creamy.I’ve never thought a pear could taste so decadent. Then I had the Lychee Crème Brulee topped with a Mango Sorbet. One word: yum! I really enjoyed this dessert. The flavors were on point. It was creamy with a nice thin layer of caramelized sugary top which gave it a nice crunch. And the mango ice cream had a lot of depth….just mango madness!.

Overall, the service was phenomenal. It’s affordable and the food was pretty good too.

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Chococolate covered Bacon at the Christmas Market: novel idea or strange combination?

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As I visited the Christmas Market at the Distillery District, I just had to stop by Leonard Pig Candy to try their Milk Chocolate Bacon Bark. I’ve never tasted nor heard about anything like this before so my anticipation was running high. I love bacon and chocolate and having these two together is like a dream come true for me. I ripped opened the pretty packaging, and took a big bite. My mouth was filled with salty and sweet dark milk chocolate. The bacon was little tough, but added an interesting texture. I thought it was a tad bit salty but tasty and flavorful. I wouldn’t eat a lot of it though. 

York’s Farmer’s market serves up tasty treats.

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New entrepreneurs are serving up some tasty treats at the Farmers Market at York like these chocolate coated lollipops.

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Who doesn’t love French macaroons. These colorful delights caught my attention the moment I arrived at the market. The pastries are made by Peter Piper’s Pastry Shoppe. They have gourmet chocolate bars, decorative cakes, macaroons and everything else that a sweet tooth lover would crave. I couldn’t resist trying their macaroons, which were $2 each. Pretty pricy I know. I ended up only buying two: the Pistachio and Mocha. The first one was really tasty. It was dense with an almond-paste filing. The mocha was just okay. It had a cake-like consistency and a coconut taste. I also found it way too sweet and the mocha non-existent.

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If the fancy packaging doesn’t grab your attention perhaps the aromatic incense well. When you walk past this fragrant booth you cannot help but to stop and take whiff of their teas.  Kayla’s Teas are locally grown in Ontario and are Organic. The Jars cost $20, but if you don’t want to pay that much money on something that you may don’t like, don’t fret they have Teazers.  I picked up 3 packs which was 3 for 10 bucks. I first tried the Classic digestive. This smells delicious, almost like a red candy apple. But the taste was totally the opposite. It was aggressive and bitter, just yuck.  Next, was the Chaga Chai. Now, this was nice. The toasty cloves and warm cardamom comes through in this one. It was mellow and had a slight sweetness. Perfect for winter nights. Last is the Buddha Blend. This has a soft, sweet, floral scent of Chamomile and rose hips. I liked this one, it was light flavor and relaxing.

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They have a large selection of Hungarian dried sausages and peperoni. Yum. Be sure to check out the Farmers market which is every Thursday from 12 p.m  to 4 p.m.

Meet the new kid on the block…Toronto’s latest Food truck

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Eat St. is one of my favorite TV shows on the Food network where foodies leave behind their 9 to 5 jobs, set out on urban streets in cool suited up trucks and serve up outrageous cuisine. I can’t say that’s what happened to Britney and Norbert, the owners of Curbalicious, but they do have a rad  truck and an interesting menu selection. So, I had to hit up their curb.

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Once I reached downtown I  was a little lost on where this place was. But thank God for Google navigation. Once the blue arrow pointed me in the right direction, I got there within minutes. Now, I found their menu a bit pricy considering it is a food truck, but I guess we are paying for the gourmet selection. But anyway, I instantly knew what I wanted: the pulled duck.

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After settling in a nearby café to find warmth, I  instantly tore into my sandwich. Right off the bat it was succulent and savory in every sense. It had a mild sweetness that reminded me of barbeque, and the bun was warm and soft. The coleslaw lent a nice texture and gave it dimension. The cabbage and carrots were crisp and seasoned with fresh cracked pepper. Everything about this sandwich was on point.  And to kick the flavors up a notch, be sure to ask for their in-house hot sauce which consists of habaneros, parsley, cilantro, and garlic. It is delicious. But beware! It is spicy.  A little goes a long way.

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Sport lovers brace yourselves: A new Sports Grill is coming to York Lanes

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Finally, an outlet for York students who enjoy sports and good eats! I have never been to a Shopsy’s, let alone heard of one until I walked past this yellow and black shop at York Lanes, but all the same, it’s a sports bar none the less.  What an interesting name eh? ” Shopsy’s”. It apparently been around since 1921. But anyway, not to get into a history lesson, from what I could tell from the website, it looks very promising. A place for students to relax and have a few laughs while tossing back a cold beer. And I can only imagine there will be a plethora of TV screens plastered on the walls coming at you in every direction with sports galore.

I cannot wait to try their food. They are known for their smoke meats and deli delights. So, this place sounds like a treat.

Note: It is still unclear when Shopsy’s will be opening its doors, but I’m sure it won’t be long.

I have got the skinny on David’s Teas

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David teas is one of my favorite Tea shops because of their variety of fun flavors. It is such a great place to go if you are looking for something to curb that sweet tooth while on a diet. With interesting flavors ranging from red velvet cake to North African Mint, I’m sure you will find one that makes you go ‘Yum’. And all very low in Calories – Hurrah!! Every time I go in there I always come out with more than what I went in there for. And what I love about Davids Teas is that you can smell all the unique flavors and get the low down  on each one of them by knowledgeable staff.

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However, their selections can be very overwhelming. I consider myself a seasoned customer, and I still get bogged down with all the choices. So, I decided to narrow it down for you tea lovers who are looking for the healthiest and tastiest teas of the lot.

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I had an employee recommend their healthiest teas. The first tea I tried was the Organic Bai Hao Yin Zhen tea. It is basically a white tea. This has a light, leafy, spinachy aroma, which I found rather pleasant. The taste was mellow, almost like a light black tea.  This tea is said to be hand-picked at its youngest, and it is China’s most popular tea. I liked this one.

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The second tea I tried was the Organic Skinny. Now, I was very keen on trying this one. I am always looking for ways to trim off some fat…because eveeerrry little bit helps. It is also supposed to help with digestion. WooHoo!  I found this one very aromatic. It has orange peels, ginger and some kind of root called Eleuthero (a kind of plant). The flavors have a warm, spicy note.  However, the taste is a little more complex. I would say it was aggressive, but not spicy.  It is unusual and it is definitely an acquired taste. If you are feeling adventurous give it a shot. But this wasn’t my cup of tea.

That is my Skinny on DavidsTeas.

Gluten-Free Diet

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Okay, so you are hitting the gym, bike spinning, wearing out the treadmill running like crazy, taking all your vitamins religiously, and eating healthier than ever. You’ve switched to wheat and multi-grain instead of white, yet somehow those pesky last few pounds just refuse to come off, and your stamina is at a standstill. Well, perhaps you are on the wrong diet.

The gluten-free diet seems to be the next big movement. Just take a minute and look around. First, look into your local supermarket and noticed the gluten free cookies and pies integrated with regular foods in the bakery section. Or the next time you order your pumpkin spiced skinny latte at the coffee shop, stare into the glass display and take notice of the Gluten-free muffins and home-made beet-root brownies that are now becoming ubiquitous.

So, is this the answer to losing those last few pounds and building unlimited stamina?  It certainly seems to have worked for Serbian born tennis player, Novak Djvokvic, who recently climbed to top of the athletic world after he switched to a gluten free diet.  And he doesn’t hesitate to credit the diet that helped him soar to the top. In 2010, when he hired a nutritionist, he got tested for food allergies and found out he was gluten-intolerant. This was causing him to have inflammation of the lungs, says his Doctor Igor Cetojevic, leading to difficulty breathing. Following the switch to a Gluten-free diet, the world saw a sleeker, more energized Novak that proceeded to dominate his rivals, winning 41 consecutive matches, the second best winning streak in the open era.