• [Food Post] Tsujiri Toronto

    Tsujiri Toronto's first North American outpost opened earlier this week near Bay and Dundas amid much fanfare. This is their first foray into a market outside Asia, but they are planning on expanding to other cities in North America in the future. I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek of some of the products that Tsujiri Toronto has to offer a day before its soft opening, and got the chance to chat with one of the managers, Tylor Shek.

  • [Food Post] Nordstrom Eaton Centre Opening Gala featuring Daniel et Daniel

    The gala opening epitomizes what Nordstrom is all about - great customer service and consistency of the brand. Hence why they partnered with Daniel et Daniel to be the official caterer of the Nordstrom Opening Gala, as both companies share the same ideals and business ethics.

  • [Food Post] Waterloo Food Tour

    The Region of Waterloo is home to many regions that inspire start-ups (such as Thalmic Labs), housing, and of course many restaurants. The Region is developing and propelling a movement alike many urban areas, by bringing innovative ideas and talented people together, whilst keeping the scenic and spacious rural landscape. Andrew Coppolino of www.waterlooregioneats.com (@WatRegionEats on Twitter) gave us a tour on behalf of Waterloo Region Tourism, with 4 set destinations in mind for the day.

  • [Food Post] Ebisu on Queen / Ebisu Toronto

    Ebisu Japanese Restaurant originated from Vancouver, as its first location opened in December of 2006. There are two locations in Vancouver and one in Richmond, along with two restaurants under the Kamei names. The brand itself is very well-known in Vancouver, and they hope to expand it in Toronto with this new outpost.

  • [Food Post] Dave and Buster's Oakville Grand Opening

    However, over the last two decades, much has changed, including the demise of arcade and game centers due the emergence of mobile phones and Netflix. The health movement over the last six years has also made Dave and Buster's traditional burger and fries menu far less appealing than what it was. With that being said, they have changed their food menu, and the options are now more diverse. The menu is rather extensive with items like shareable appetizers, side salads, beef steaks and ribs, pasta, sandwiches, and so much more.

  • [Food Post] Morals Village Mississauga

    Morals Village is a hot pot restaurant chain with over 600 locations in China. They opened their first Canadian location in 2015, and has since grown at a relatively rapid pace. About 1.5 weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Morals Village Mississauga Grand Opening Event. The Mississauga location is their 5th Canadian location, and they have plans to open another in Ottawa. With that being said, Morals Village prides themselves in providing top-notch quality and Szechuan cuisine influenced flavour with their hot pot offering.

  • [Event] The Royal Dinner with Chef Michael Bonacini

    The Royal Winter Agricultural Fair is now open until November 13, 2016 at the Exhibition Place, Toronto. Start the holiday season early by attending one of the largest combined indoor agricultural fairs and international equestrian competitions in the world. The fair takes place every November in Toronto, and it is where guests can enjoy the best in agriculture, local food, and equestrian competitions from across the country. There are so many things to do, and see at this year's The Royal Winter Agricultural Fair.

  • [Food Post] CNE Media Preview 2016

    Every Sunday, Montecito offers a brunch buffet starting at 11 am to 3 pm. Brunch isn't new at Montecito, but they recently revamped their brunch buffet, and added several new items to the menu. The 12,000-square-foot Montecito opened up its doors late 2014, and is a partnership between Hollywood director Ivan Reitman and Chef Jonathan Waxman.

  • [Travel] Satsuki and Mei's House from Totoro

    My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 animated production written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It's a childhood favorite of many people and I have seen many shops dedicated to selling Totoro merchandise while in Japan.

  • [Travel] Day #15 in Japan [Koyasan]

    A shukubo is an accommodation that allows you to stay in a Japanese temple or shrine for the night, and enables you to experience the culture. You are given your own personal room, and there are multiple washroom facilities throughout the temple.

Showing posts with label Burgers. Show all posts

b.good

The Boston-based fast casual restaurant opened its first Toronto location earlier this year, and their second one on Queen St. West opened last week. b.good prides themselves on serving healthier fast-casual food by using preservative-free, sustainable, and locally sourced ingredients. Given that their main message is "make fast-food “real” by making it the way it should be… by people not factories"; it's rightfully so that they use local ingredients. Their menu gears more toward the healthier side of fast-food, as they specialize in burgers & sandwiches, kale & grain bowls, hand-cut fries, and healthy drinks (shakes and smoothies). Located directly across from the St. Lawrence Market; the restaurant is open 7 days a week for dine-in, and take-out.




Their top sellers are the kale and grain bowls, of which there are five options on the menu. I opted for the popular spicy avocado & lime kale bowl - marinated kale (lemon, canola oil, Kosher salt), sauteed veggies (carrots, zucchini, green beans), avocado, black beans, corn, grape tomato, lime, cilantro, queso duro, chipotle puree, and red pepper vinaigrette. The kale bowl arrive packed with tons of nutritious veggies, and I also added a side order of chicken as I needed the protein. The bowl was very filling, and the spiciness of the chipotle puree enhanced the dish. 






Not only do they aim to offer the same quick service that you would find at fast-food restaurants, but they also want to provide the best, and freshest ingredients. In order to do so, they have partnered with many local growers, and farmers in Canada. In fact, their relationships with these farmers are so integral that they have become part of the b.good family. Information on the farmers, and producers are showcased all throughout the restaurant (online, in-store info book and walls), so they are very transparent about it.


b.good does not offer any carbonated drinks on their menu. Instead, customers have a variety of choices of healthy smoothies and milkshakes. I got the strawberry-banana smoothie - strawberries, bananas, honey, and Greek yogurt, which quenched my thirst.



Also on the menu is freshly made lemonade.





 They also have a reward program that offers free food rewards, as you gain points each visit. Upon joining, you are welcomed with a free order of hand-cut, oven-finished real fries. These baked fries are a healthier option, as they are baked instead of deep-fried. The fries are well-seasoned, and crispy right out of the oven. However, I do recommend that the fries be eaten right away, as it got soggier as it got colder.



Lastly, the b.good brand participates in a lot of local charitable initiatives. The Toronto b.good's charitable partner is Regent Park Community Food Centre (CFC). Regent Park Community Food Centre (CFC) is a local charity that helps to provide basic housing, clothing and food needs to those who reside within the Regent Park community. I think it's great that a portion of the sales from the Toronto location helps those in need. 

Overall, b.good is a solid option in the St. Lawrence Market area, especially if you're in the mood for some healthy fast-food options. It's great that customers can be rest assured that all of the food served here are locally-sourced from farmers in Canada. 

Address: 100 Front Street E, Toronto, ON M5A 1E1


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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.


b.good Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Five Guys Burgers & Fries is a chain of fast food restaurants with multiple locations in Canada, US and UK. The limited menu is centered around the usual fast food fare; burgers and fries. Just a note that there are no combo options, so everything is individually priced. I opted for a cheeseburger, regular fries, and a medium drink, and the total was a little under $20. 

The cheeseburger ($8.49) was a lot smaller than I expected, given its price. However, I do have to give it them that they are consistent with the quality and taste of their burgers. All burgers are made to order, so the patties aren't frozen like a few other known chains. For those who likes to customize their burgers with various toppings; Five Guys offers quite a few free toppings. Looking at their counter top, they do have a good selection of free toppings that you can add such as mayo, lettuce, pickles, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, and more. Overall, the cheeseburger at Five Guys Burgers & Fries was not outstanding, but it was still a good burger.




 Address: 1510 Dundas St East Mississauga, ON L4X1L4

Five Guys Burgers & Fries on Urbanspoon

Five Guys Burgers & Fries on Urbanspoon

I also tried their East York location, and it's decent, but I still prefer their Mississauga location. I did like that this location did have bags of peanuts out for customers to enjoy. The pricing structure is pretty much the same across the chaina, so it's still pretty pricy if you order burger, fries, and drink altogether.

Five Guys Burgers & Fries on Urbanspoon

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Fresh Burger

 Fresh Burger has built quite the following in Richmond Hill, ON, with their no frills burgers menu. They were the recipient of the 2014 Yelpie Award for "Favorite Burger Restaurant"; an annual award run by the people of Yelp. They have now expanded to their second location and it's located on Church St in downtown Toronto. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to their launch party where guests were given the opportunity to try out their burgers and poutines. Additionally, they were also giving away FREE burgers that night to celebrate their grand opening, and it bought out a lot of people.

** Photography by Steve Blackburn from YYZ Events **


 The burgers at Fresh Burger are made with 100% fresh premium quality meat which they grind on-site daily. Although, the simplicity of their menu only offers a few choices, they do offer quality burgers - without the high prices that are all the rage these days. You can check out the rest of Fresh Burger's menu at http://www.fresh-burger.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/menu-web.jp.


I opted for their freshburger (4 oz) combo which came with fries and drink ($8.85). If you'd like to upgrade your fries to a poutine; it's an additional $2.99. All of their burgers are dressed with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Freshburger sauce. You can also request them to add onions and pickles for no additional charge. Other toppings that you can add onto your burger for an extra $1 each is bacon, caramelized onions, sautéed jalapeño, mushrooms or cheese ($1.50). I liked the soft bun and how the burger patty was lightly seasoned. They lightly seasoned their beef patties with salt while it's on the grill. It was a tasty burger and I'd definitely come back to check out the other items on their menu.

Fresh Burger on Urbanspoon




I really liked their poutine ($2.99 to upgrade combo or $5.99 individual), and the portion was more than generous for its price point. Additionally, the fries are cut freshly cut judging by the large sacks of potatoes located in the kitchen. The poutine also contains real cheese curds with a generous helping of gravy to provide an authentic poutine experience. 





For those with big appetite, there's a double prime burger (12 oz) burger which is $10.95 on its own or $14.60 for a combo.

Fresh Burger is open Mon-Sat from 11 am to 10 pm and Sun from 12 pm to 7 pm. For those who take the TTC, the restaurant is only a few minutes walk away from Wellesley Station. Additionally, Fresh Burger is currently offering some coupons until the end of Jan 2015 for their Church location so check out their Facebook for them.

Address: 542 Church St Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C6
Website: http://www.fresh-burger.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fresh-Burger/557111641000196
Twitter: https://twitter.com/freshburger2

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Fresh Burger on Urbanspoon

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Holy Chuck

Over the past few years, there has been an abundance of gourmet burger joints opening up in Toronto. One of the burger joints that made an impact since they opened up in late 2011 was Holy Chuck. A couple of my friends and I decided to meet up for dinner one afternoon at their St. Clair location (there are two locations) a couple of months ago. Some of my friends ordered the same burger, so I didn't take photos of any duplicate orders. Anyway, we were greeted with a large wall-mounted menu with an extensive list of burgers with pretty novelty names at the front. The order system is pretty straightforward, you order at the cashier, and they'll call your name once your order is ready.



I opted for their signature burger called The Holy Chuck, and they do not allow any additional toppings on this particular one. I am not sure how stringent they are with this policy as I didn't bother to ask for any toppings. I also got to try out the You Fat Pig as well, so it was nice to taste test two different ones. All of their burger meats are ground in-house so it's fresh daily, which is great. There are no additional fillers in their burgers and they guaranteed that their meats are "the absolute highest quality". While eating the burgers, I could definitely taste that the meat was freshly made and it was juicy. However, I found the You Fat Pig to be slightly too salty for my taste buds. Salty enough that I needed to order a milkshake to go with my meal which I will get to later. Usually, I am not a fan of onions on my burgers, but the caramelized onions here enhanced the flavors a lot, and I really enjoyed it.

Holy Chuck on Urbanspoon

Holy Chuck's fries are hand cut in-house daily and they use only trans fat free oil. The fries are crispy without being overly oily and had a decent amount of salt on them. Now onto the milkshake that J and I got to share since it was a pretty good size for the both of us. Some of the flavors of the specialty shakes stood out to me, but I decided to play safe, and got their strawberry cheesecake. Imagine my surprise when actual chunks of strawberry cheesecake came through the straw. The milkshake was creamy and thick, and wasn't overly sweet. This particular shake is probably one of the best milkshakes that I have had in a while now, so I highly recommend it.

Their burger prices can be a little steep as I saw one for $29.99 but it was topped with seared Quebec foie gras. However, most individual burgers are priced between $9.99 to $14.99. If you add any fries and drink to your burger order, you'd save 85 cents. It may costs you about $15-$20 for a combo, but Holy Chuck has established themselves as a gourmet burger establishment from the beginning so the higher prices are expected.


Are you up for the Go Chuck Yourself Challenge? If you can finish the "Go Chuck Yourself Burger and any specialty shake" in 6 minutes, then you'll get your picture taken on the Wall of Fame, exclusive contest t-shirt and bragging rights. The burger is crazy as it's six patties, six cheese, triple bacon, caramelized onions and stacked between three grilled cheese sandwiches ($21.99).



Big Chuck Fries - special sauce, lettuce, onions, pickles and sesame seeds ($6.99).


 The Holy Chuck (signature burger) - double cheeseburger with bacon and caramelized onions ($9.99).


The Farmers Threesome - one lamb patty, one beef patty, one all bacon patty, triple cheese, bacon and caramelized onions ($12.99).


You Fat Pig - two 100% all bacon patties, triple cheese, crispy bacon and topped with our homemade creamy bacon dressing ($11.99).


Specialty Shake - strawberry cheesecake ($5.99).

Address: 1450 Yonge Street Toronto, ON, M4 T1Y7 

Holy Chuck on Urbanspoon

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Johnny Rockets

The Niagara Falls location of Johnny Rockets recently made headlines regarding Aretha Franklin as she wanted to eat her take-out order in the restaurant. I have seen the chain whenever I am in Niagara Falls, but I have never personally ate there. However, I have finally tried Johnny Rockets about a month ago at their Dundas location (near Eaton's Center).
  
Johnny Rockets is an American franchise with multiple locations all throughout the world. There are four different locations in Canada, and the one we ate at is nearby the Eaton's Center. The restaurant's concept is to retain the classic restaurant look from the 1950's; so pretty much diner-style.



As you can see from the picture; the decor was dated as they want to retain the 1950's look. There were a few booths along the side which was where we were seated. On each table was a mini jukebox machine that plays music when you insert a nickel (5 cents) into it but it was non-functional.



Johnny Rockets is known for their thick and creamy shakes and malt, and offers several flavors. We decided to get both the vanilla original shake ($6.49) and strawberry original shake ($6.49). I liked the milkshakes a lot as it was tasty and rich. You can really tell that Johnny Rockets uses real ice-cream and whipped cream for their milkshakes instead of artificial ingredients.


The grilled cheese ($6.99) - our grown-up version of the grilled cheese with your choice of four slices of cheddar, American, Swiss or pepper jack on your choice of bread, was one sandwich cut into two slices. It also came with a side of french fries. The grilled cheese looked rather lackluster, but at least there was plenty of cheese. Unfortunately, the two slices of breads were lukewarm so I didn't fully enjoy the second slice as it was rather cold when I got to it. I did like their fries though as it was crispy and non-oily.


JL opted for the Route 66 ($11.99) - this favorite is named after the iconic, carefree, American Highway Swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms, grilled onions and mayonnaise, which also came with a side order of either salad or fries. You can also add additional toppings for $1.79 each (onion rings, jalapeno slices, grilled mushrooms, grilled onions or gravy) and $1.99 each (2 slices of bacon, chili). The burger may be a tad overpriced due to its small portion, but he liked it regardless.

I find that with chained restaurants; one can either like it or hate it. With that being said, I am rather indifferent towards Johnny Rockets.The food wasn't completely inedible or bad, and I really did enjoy their milkshakes. However, there was nothing spectacular about the food or service.

Address: 22 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5B 1R4

Johnny Rockets on Urbanspoon

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The Burgernator / Spork App

Spork App:

A few weeks back, I was invited to test out a new mobile app for food lovers called Spork. The app allows people to discover real-time promotions and deals from nearby restaurants. Spork is completely free and is available for download on the AppStore. They are currently working on an Android app that will soon be available on Google Play. The app is barely a few months old, and  have already partnered up with several known establishments such as Snakes & Lattes, The Burgernator, I Went to Philly, The Red Bench, Firken on Yonge, Senator Restaurant, and many more. 

 One of the co-creators of Spork, Jed, expanded on the app and the future goals of the company during our dinner. The app is beneficial to restaurant owners as it allows them to increase their revenues and customer base during off-peak hours by offering deals. On the consumers' side, the app allows them to check for nearby deals and to potentially eat out and save some money.

In order to get these deals, your location setting (on the iPhone) must be turn on. This is so the Spork app can locate the deals nearest you. The good thing is that the deals are all accessible to people walking in the area. For example, we were in the middle of Kensington Market, and the app pinpointed a few nearby restaurants offering deals around that time (5 pm). The deals are curated for customers based on (high) online reviews, and they also hope to build relationships/partnerships with these restaurants.

Additionally, Spork has finally confirmed that they will be launching in Vancouver by the end of July with a pilot of at least 12 restaurants including Le Petit Belge, Basil Pasta Bar and Leonidas. 

The Burgernator:

Address: 269 Augusta Ave Toronto, ON M5T2L7


Jed turned on the app, and I had a choice between a few deals in Kensington Market; I opted for The Burgernator. The The Burgernator is a small restaurant specializing in burgers, and offering freshly made burgers priced between $5-$10 each. The Spork deal entails one to get free fries if you purchase a burger from their B.M.D (Burgers of Mass Destruction) menu. There were nine different burgers that you could order from that list.  


The Terminator inspired restaurant was small with a few chairs seating. Likewise, their white and black decor was modern and simple. I liked that the restaurant had an open kitchen concept where customers are able to see the cooks cooking the beef patty on the grill.


 I ended up getting the Atomic Burger ($8.50) - all beef patty, deep fried herb crusted cheese, tomato, lettuce with a sun dried tomato aioli. The freshly ground beef patty was rather good and well-seasoned, and I liked that it was freshly made. The deep fried herb crusted cheese was thick, and warm cheese oozed out of it with every bite. Liked I mentioned earlier, the deal that I got from using the app was free fries. Apparently, the fries are home-made and not frozen or store bought. The fries weren't cut too thick and tasted okay. I am not sure if it was from a fresh batch, but I found the fries to be quite soggy, and lacked crispiness. I may have not been a fan of the fries, but I did enjoy the burger from The Burgernator, and would return in the future. Portion-wise, it was a filling meal and with the deal, it was under $10 per person.



 

The Bazooka Jr ($8.50) - beef patty, fried egg, sauteed hot peppers, jack cheese, and spicy chipotle aioli.


The creators behind Spork are not only working on the Android version, but they are hoping to expand by adding restaurants more out West (in T.O). More information on their app can be found on their official website, and you can sign up for their email updates there as well. I recently downloaded the app on my iphone5S, and will be using it whenever I am looking for a place to eat downtown.

Download: Spork on the AppStore here.
 Official Website: http://www.sporkit.co/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/spork_it
 Twitter: https://twitter.com/spork_it

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary (courtesy of Spork). However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

The Burgernator on Urbanspoon

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