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A favourite eatery of Toronto Maple Leaf Nazem Kadri, Paramount Fine Foods serves a selection of Middle Eastern favourites made in-house daily, with Ontario-raised hormone-free halal meat. The newly opened location in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood boasts a contemporary and very comfortable decor ideal for sit-down dinners or quick and casual lunches. The fresh baked pita is a must, arriving at your table directly from the wood-burning ovens piping hot and puffy:

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Our knowledgeable server recommended the moutabbal to start, which is grilled eggplant mixed with tahini sauce, then drizzled with olive oil and topped with pomegranate seeds. You could really taste that the eggplant was freshly grilled just before it was blended and brought to the table.

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The chicken and beef shawarma entree was huge and so flavourful, piled high on fresh pita and served with tahini and a whipped garlic sauce that was light and very tasty.

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The perfectly cooked lamb skewers are served with rice and salad.

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Paramount Fine Foods is also a bakery, with an amazing selection of sweets baked in-house daily. The baklawa (which is one of my very favourite desserts) is outstanding. Layers of phyllo are filled with pistachios and pine nuts, separated by melted butter and held together with drizzles of sweet rose syrup. It's heavenly and the baklawa at Paramount is some of the best I've ever tasted.

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Etched on the window at Paramount: "Love for other people what you love for yourself." A lovely sentiment that invokes the warmth and love that goes into the food at this restaurant. 1250 Bay Street. Rosie :)

Paramount Fine Foods on Urbanspoon

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Glory Hole Doughnuts

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This awesomely named Parkdale bakery makes gorgeous artisan doughnuts. They are made by hand using natural ingredients every morning. The flavours are so much fun, from S'Mores to Lemon Bomb to Toast & Butter, which is my fave.

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S'Mores.

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Cinnamon Sugar and Lemon Bomb.

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I am also a huge fan of the simple Vanilla Glaze. So good.

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Banana Cream Pie.

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$18 for a half dozen. Flavours vary on a daily basis; I had heard the ricotta doughnut was fantastic but wasn't a choice the day I visited. The name of the bakery is a real conversation starter and then everyone shuts up when you start eating these treats which really are as glorious as doughnuts can hope to be. Rosie :)

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Glory Hole Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

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We eat regularly at Fresh and Thrive Organic so I was excited to see a Rawlicious pop up nearby. Rawlicious differs from other vegan and organic eateries because it just offers raw food, which is food that has not been heated above 48 degrees centigrade (117 degrees Fahrenheit). So, all the menu items are foods in their natural state. Rawlicious is delicious. The taco wrap is great for lunch. It is a collard leaf stuffed with seasoned nut loaf, guacamole, romaine lettuce, salsa and almond nut cheese.

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The "Rawitch" is best eaten with a fork. Pieces of onion bread are covered with lots of delicious guacamole, tomatoes, cucumbers and alfalfa sprouts and then the whole thing is drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. There is coleslaw on the side. I thought the onion bread was amazing.

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The raw food movement has become quite popular because of the theory that since the food hasn't been heat-treated, it is full of all the good stuff that allowed it to sprout and grow in the first place such as water, oxygen, enzymes, vitamins and minerals... all of which are good for you. Rosie :)

Rawlicious on Urbanspoon

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Giveaway! The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

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From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third in a trilogy adapting the popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. This film brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. I know, you're stoked. So how can you win a copy here? Check out the interactive map of Middle-Earth and take the quiz to find out if you're brave like Bilbo. Leave a comment here by April 15th and one lucky reader will be randomly chosen! Good luck! Rosie :)

Legal stuff: each household is only eligible to win One (1) Blu-ray The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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Cafe Con Leche Espresso Bar

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I am a coffee fiend and eat Nutella straight out of the jar, so when I heard there is an espresso bar in the Junction that makes a Nutella latte I couldn't get there fast enough. I like how the main ingredient of Cafe Con Leche's signature drink also doubles as decor.

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The lattes are perfect. Not too sweet. You stir the Nutella up from the bottom.

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This cozy coffee shop also offers a lovely selection of sweets and snacks from salted caramel pops to chicken tinga melts. The service is wonderful.

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You can't miss Cafe Con Leche. Just stop when you see the enormous Nutella latte on Dupont. Rosie :)

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Cafe Con Leche Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

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Merlot

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This restaurant is an escape to southwestern France right in the Kingsway. The ambience feels like you've truly left the country. Merlot has been an Etobicoke dining destination for decades- the food is fantastic.

The fragrance of the white wine, garlic, shallots and butter in the escargots Bourguignonne was a perfect way to start the meal. The snails were so tasty:

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All the classics on the menu from the fresh steamed P.E.I. mussels to the grilled calf liver Lyonnaise were so tempting, but went with the NY striploin with maitre d'hôtel butter and mashed potatoes:

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And the duck confit, which was outstanding.

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The lovely creme caramel was consumed before photography could occur. An amazing birthday present from amazing family (that even included babysitting.) Rosie :)

Merlot on Urbanspoon

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McNie's Fish & Chips

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We wanted to celebrate Robbie Burns Day with some haggis. This Scottish dish of sheep's heart, liver and lung is seasoned and mixed with suet and oatmeal then boiled in the sheep's stomach. At McNie's, they deep fry it. Not traditional, but way yummier.

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So you if you are looking for haggis in Toronto that's a little easier to swallow, check out McNie's. Call first to order as this is a popular menu item on Robbie Burns weekend. Not for traditionalists perhaps, but you can at least recite Burns's Grace or the Selkirk Grace first. This is a short prayer you are meant to read prior to eating your mashed up sheep parts:

Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it, But we hae meat and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thankit.

Gie her a (deep-fried) haggis! Rosie :)

McNie's Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

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Recent Comments

  • Teena in Toronto: I've been wanting to check them out! read more
  • Teena in Toronto: I was going to check them out this weekend but read more
  • Lynne: Paramount looks like paradise to me. Well covered, Rosie I read more
  • Roshan: Yum donuts. It's been a while. I have a craving read more
  • Alfred Barrera: I want this bag :( read more
  • Rick C in Oakville: The store is aptly named! Think I felt an artery read more
  • Denise: These look soooooo delicious Rosie! read more
  • Maggie C: Thank you for the chance! My brother would love this! read more
  • Rick C in Oakville: McNie's use to have locations in Oakville and Scarborough, by read more
  • Roshan: Looks amazing. Damn, I wish I get some Vietnamese food. read more




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