June 2013 Archives

Black Oak Brewery | Etobicoke

If you like Ontario craft beer, then you know that many of the best ones aren't available at the Beer Store or the LCBO. Some labels get there eventually, but in the meantime it's really fun to go straight to the source. There are so many wonderful breweries in the city like Black Oak Brewery in Etobicoke. Black Oak has been crafting award-winning beer since 1999. They carefully slow brew their beers in small batches with environmentally friendly Canadian ingredients.

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We loved the name of their special edition anniversary beer: "10 Bitter Years". Voted Canada's best Imperial IPA, it celebrates a decade of survival in Ontario's craft brewing industry. This beer is delicious- and BITTER. It must have been a tough go!

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You can sample the beers and then stock up at the Black Oak Brewery and retail store, which is located at 75 Horner Avenue, Unit #1 in Etobicoke. The staff are super knowledgeable and friendly and will be happy to help you out. Rosie :)

Revel & Riot 'God Hates Bags' Bag

As much as I love my Fieldguided Thunder in Our Hearts bag, I am tucking it away for now. My Revel & Riot tote just arrived, and it's pretty cool.

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The slogan "God Hates Bags" is a parody of the hateful signs carried by followers of pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, which promotes an anti-homosexual theology. You can probably figure out what their slogan is. (They hate a lot of stuff- the Phelpses are the ones that protested the funerals of slain American troops.) Revel & Riot created these bags to ridicule the church's horrible rallying call. They are a small independent company based in Montreal that work to promote LGBTQ rights and awareness, and a proceed of their very cool merchandise is directed to underfunded LGBT services and non-profits. Rosie :)

Play Cafe | Etobicoke: NOW CLOSED

**Update: Play Cafe closed in September 2019.**

If you drive by this sign enough times, you really start to think "I have to try these meatballs." This is a big sign. You have to deliver the goods to hang a sign like this in front of your restaurant.

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Play Cafe meatball sandwiches are amazing. They were recently serving them up at the Celebrate the Queensway festival- look at this sauce. It doesn't get more authentic Italian than that.

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I enjoyed the look on Matteo's face when I initially told him I didn't want any cheese on top. He waited patiently until my momentary lapse in sanity passed, then proceeded to cover it with lots and lots of cheese after I said- obviously- "changed my mind."

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Play Cafe is one of those lovely neighbourhood cafes where happy people are always enjoying espressos on the patio. It's awesome. Rosie :)

TIFF Bell Lightbox

Last night we saw The East at the TIFF Bell Lightbox at King and John. The Lightbox is the home of Toronto's hugely popular film fest every September, but you can also see movies there year round without buying tickets in advance. It's a great theatre, ticket prices for a regular screening are $12 (new releases $13) and you can see what is currently playing here. The Lightbox is also a cultural space with galleries for exhibitions. Right now it is showcasing New Women, the major new installation by Yang Fudong, as part of TIFF's summer flagship programme Century of Chinese Cinema.

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This is a fun and lively area of the city to check out if you are a visitor. King and John has tons of great restaurants. Luma, located right in the TIFF Lightbox, has a dinner and theatre package and a beautiful view of the city.

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Every Thursday in the TIFF Lounge Luma hosts Zen Thursdays. Cocktails are $7 (regularly $10.) Rosie :)

Lardon on Roncesvalles: NOW CLOSED

Cowbell was one of our favourite restaurants so we were pretty disappointed when it went out of business. It's really too bad, especially as chef Mark Cutrara was one of the first to bring local, organic, nose-to-tail dining to the city- and one of the first to do it in Parkdale. By following Chef Cutrara on Twitter, I saw that he was a fan of the foie gras at Lardon so we decided to check it out. The foie was amazing, and so was the venison striploin with Ontario asparagus, baby carrots, brussel sprouts and roasted shallot jus:

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Also lovely- the in-house smoked duck breast with Ontario asparagus, Yukon gold mash, mushrooms and blueberry sauce.

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Lardon is located right on Roncesvalles across the street from one of the best cafes in Toronto, Roncy's Bean. Rosie :)