Category Archives: Food

Happy or Hungry Eats the World: The Pomegranate, Persian Cuisine (Iran)

Slooowly continuing on my mission that is probably going to take me four years…

HoH-eats-the-world

Next up we have Iran! So just a quick background in case you are not familiar. The name Iran is often used interchangeably with Persia, and while technically the same country, Iran is the legal name. Persia was an ancient, dominant kingdom within Iran and was the most used name until 1935. Now though, Iran is more common to hear in the western world. Obviously I am getting my info from Wikipedia. I tend to research each country before (so I know what authentic dishes to order) and then again after I eat there, so I am learning quite a lot on my mission to eat the world.

Anyway, Iran.iran copy

For my Iran eating adventure I roped my blogger pals CaseyShanondoah, and Michelle into joining me at a little Persian/Iranian restaurant, The Pomegranate, on Bathurst and College in Toronto. None of us had ever eaten Iranian food before, so we were excited!

The Pomegranate is super cute. Small and slightly crowded, but really cute.

Pomegranate (2) Pomegranate (1) Pomegranate(photos all from The Pomegranate website)

Everywhere I looked there was something interesting happening.

I would recommend making reservations if you go here. We didn’t and they were ushering us out for another group at 8pm (my fault – I did try to call several times for reso’s in the afternoon, but I didn’t realize they opened at 5pm so I was too early).

We started with the Doogh, a savoury yogurt-based drink popular in Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Armenia, Iraq and Syria, flavoured with mint. It can be carbonated also, but we just got the plain.

doogh

On the menu it clearly stated that doogh is a salty yogurt beverage (salty was even bolded, the only word bolded in the sentence), so it tasted pretty much exactly how I expected; like salty yogurt. Like drinking a salty Yop with a touch of mint. You know, I didn’t hate it. I was happy to try it, but I couldn’t drink the whole thing, even with the help of the ladies. We all agreed, just too much salty yogurt.

We also ordered some delicious appetizers to start. Spinach Borani, which is sautéed spinach, garlic and creamy yogurt (yogurt is quite popular), and the Mirza Qasemi (or Ghassemi), a northern Iranian appetizer of charred eggplant in a mildly spicy garlic tomato sauce.

mirza qasemi

I have never tried either of those dips, and I don’t even think I have tried dips similar in taste to those. They were different and so delicious! We had to keep requesting more bread, which brings me to a little PSA:

ATTENTION ALL RESTAURANTS: JUST BRING ALL THE BREAD. WE’RE GOING TO EAT IT ALL, WE PROMISE. No really, this would save servers so much harassment. Please, just bring the bread. If you think you’ve brought enough bread, bring more bread.

We also ordered the Dolmeh, stuffed vine leaves with a lemony blend of rice and herbs. Yogurt on the side, of course.

dolmeh

Eh, ees ok. The dolmeh was probably my least favourite of everything we ordered, I didn’t think that it really tasted like much at all. But the two dips sure made up for it.

IMG_0140

I really could not get enough of them. Literally was not able to get enough of them because we never had enough bread.

For my main dish I went with the Qeymeh (or gheimeh), a classic Persian dish, a tangy tomato-based stew with yellow split peas, lamb chunks and dried lime topped with cinnamon.

qeymeh

All our meals were served with salad shirazi (cucumber, red onion and tomato with herbs in an olive oil lime vinaigrette), lettuce with the same vinaigrette, and basmati rice.

Look how good that stew looks! It might have been the best dish I have ever tasted…if I liked lamb. I totally forgot that I don’t exactly enjoy lamb. It’s not something I ever order so I forgot how strong of a taste it has. Though I have had beef and lamb mixed and I didn’t mind that… Anyway, I still don’t really like lamb, but the stew was good despite it, and that is saying something because lamb is just so distinct and lamb-y. Oh, and that big ball in there? I thought it was going to be something delicious, like some sort of carb, so imagine my surprise when I shoved half of it into my mouth and discovered it was a full dried lime. Tart. It was quite tart. The girls were all laughing at the face I made when that happened.

I also tried what the rest of our group ordered. Casey and Michelle both got the Morasa Polo, aka jeweled rice, often served at Iranian weddings. Slivers of seville orange peel, almond, and pistachio, with diced carrots and barberries blended in saffron basmati rice with a braised lamb shank.

morasa polo

Well, I did not try their lamb shank. But that rice was good.

My favourite was Shanondoah’s dish, the Fesenjaan. This is also an Iranian special occasion dish, a rich stew of ground walnut and pomegranate syrup with chicken breast.

fesenjaan

Really good, and I was having some dinner envy over here. Though I do feel like I would have really loved mine if it had been made with chicken and not lamb. Oh well, next time.

So that’s Iran! I was eyeing the dessert and we totally would have gone for it except people who actually had reservations needed our table. Oh well, we went to Menchie’s and that is always a good time.

Also, while the Pomegranate serves more home cooked Iranian food, next door you’ll find their sister restaurant, Sheherzade, which serves Iranian street food (a lot of kabobs). In four years when I am done eating the rest of the world I am going to have to go back for that.

Past eating the world adventures:

Follow

Happy or Hungry Eats the World: Max’s, Cuisine of the Philippines

If you missed it, I am trying to eat at an authentic restaurant from every country in the world right here in Toronto (or as many countries as possible).

HoH-eats-the-world

Today I’m talking about the Philippines!philippines copy

I had been researching Filipino food in Toronto (there are many Filipino restaurants in Toronto) and the restaurant that I kept coming back to was Max’s Cuisine of the Philippines at Steeles and Dufferin.

Our condo building’s superintendent (whose name is Mario, so obviously we call him Super Mario, and he is just the friendliest most lovely man with the brightest smile) is from the Philippines, and Evan knows him quite well so he mentioned we were planning on going to Max’s and just casually asked him what we should order if we wanted to eat traditional Filipino food. According to Evan, the conversation went something like this:

Evan: Hey Mario, we’re going to Max’s for dinner tonight. If we’re looking to eat authentic Filipino cuisine, what should we order?

Mario: Oh, I’ll find out! [gets out his phone]

Evan: Right, but what’s like a traditional Filipino dish we should eat?

Mario: I know, I’m asking!

Evan: But…who are you asking?

Mario: The owners!

Evan: Oh but… Wait, what? You know the owners of Max’s?

Mario: Of course, we are friends!

Evan: So you’re going to send them a message?

Mario: No, I’m going to call them. I’ll let you know what they say!

Evan: Well. Okay then. Thank you!

So then later on in the day Evan received this message from Mario.

IMG_9536So, a very big thank you to Mario for the hookup.

maxs-philippines (source)

It was extremely busy when we arrived at Max’s. Like, I cannot believe how packed it was for a Tuesday night. Families at every table, having a good time. But expecting us they were, and they recognized us immediately and got us a table very quickly. The service truly could not have been any better. Now, this could have been because they wanted to make a good impression on us, like when the food critic comes to the restaurant and the staff goes above and beyond to make sure their experience is awesome… But it seemed like all the diners in there were experiencing the same treatment, so I don’t think that was the case.

Max’s is a chain restaurant that originated in the Philippines and now has locations in the US (Americans, find your stores here!) and Canada, as well as still in the Philippines (and it’s coming to the Middle East!).

IMG_9523

Max’s is famous for the chicken, and it seemed kind of like the Swiss Chalet of Canada (I don’t mean their chicken was like Swiss Chalet, I mean Max’s is to the Philippines what Swiss Chalet is here) but that doesn’t mean it’s not authentic. The food was legit (as far as I can tell).

We started with (non-alcoholic) drinks. The calamansi (lime) drink for Evan, and the Sago at Gulaman drink for me, a local Filipino beverage with brown sugar, water, gelatin, and tapioca pearls over shaved ice.

IMG_9525

I did not know about the tapioca pearls or the gelatin before I ordered it and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about that, but I do know I like drinks and snacks all in one (a la Caesars) and I enjoyed it.

We went with Mario’s/the manager’s recommendation and started with the fresh lumpia, or Lumpiang Sariwa.

IMG_9527

A crepe filled with slices of coconut heart and other vegetables and topped with a garlic peanut sauce and chopped peanuts. Similar to a spring roll. I think we would have really liked the crispy deep fried one also. Next time. The crepe was soft and fresh and I enjoyed this a lot, especially the sauce. I started spooning more sauce onto my crepe before I even took one bit and Evan was all “You don’t even know if you like the sauce yet.” Oh, I already know I like the sauce. I like all the sauce.

And we did the crispy pata, which is basically fried pork knuckles.

IMG_9529

We probably would not have ordered this if if hadn’t been for Mario’s recommendation. When I was reading about Filipino food beforehand, the description of this dish started with “Not for the easily spooked!” And I am not easily spooked, but I don’t love the idea of pork knuckles. This was refreshingly good though. The pork inside was tender and juicy and the skin was crispy and had a great flavour. I just tended to avoid the jelly parts (between the meat and the skin), and that is a texture thing for me. Otherwise I enjoyed.

For my main I ordered the chicken adobo.

IMG_9531

And I am so glad I did! I got garlic rice on the side, and the combination of that sauce and the garlic rice was heaven. Seriously, I could have drank the sauce. The chicken was also surprisingly good. This was my favourite dish we ordered, hands down. I loved it.

Evan needed to try the fried chicken, since it is their signature dish and he loves fried chicken (who doesn’t?).

IMG_9530

With egg noodles and garlic rice. I really liked the egg noodles! I saw reviews that said the chicken was a bit on the dry side, but we did not find that to be the case at all. Actually, after trying it, I thought it was understandable how Max’s is famous for it.

At every table there is this banana sauce that is made in the Philippines.

IMG_9524

We were asking the owner about it and he said he mixes it with Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire and then puts it on his chicken, so we tried that as well. Very good. I am all about the sauces!

When we finished our meal the manager came over and said she was going to bring us the best dessert in the Philippines! The leche flan.

IMG_9534

I don’t have any other desserts from the Philippines that I can compare it to, but I will tell you that it was absolutely delicious and tasted like butterscotch pudding.

I would also like to note that Max’s seems to be famous in the local Filipino community for its Halo-Halo, a popular summer treat in the Philippines. I didn’t realize this until afterwards but I saw a ton of people ordering it and I was wondering what it was.

halo-halo

(source)

Pretty elaborate. I’ve never seen a dessert so colourful. I’m not sure if that looks like my kind of thing, but people seem to go nuts for it.

And that concludes our fantastic Philippines experience. It was a delicious one. Actually, everywhere I’ve eaten so far for this project has been really great.

Past Happy or Hungry Eats the World adventures:

Follow

Happy or Hungry Eats the World: Tabülè, Middle Eastern Cuisine

Just a quick note… Tabülè is generally Middle Eastern cuisine, and in my self-imposed rules of Happy or Hungry Eats the World I would like to eat at traditional restaurants from every country (or as many countries as I can find in Toronto). So I am not crossing a country off my list with Tabülè, because I still would like to eat at traditional Eqyptian, Iranian, Lebanese, Syrian, Turkish, etc. etc. places. Also, the Tabülè website says the menu items are an interpretation of traditional Middle Eastern dishes, and my interpretation of that is the dishes are not quite authentic. However, Tabülè is freakin’ delicious and I’ve eaten there twice lately, at both Toronto locations, and it is Middle Eastern food and that is different, so I am sharing.

And another note, I apologize for the quality of photos in half of this post. I feel weird taking pictures in restaurants so I tend to just do it sneakily with my phone rather than bust out a proper camera. I do realize I am probably going to have to get over this weirdness if I want good photos. Anyway, here we go!

HoH-eats-the-world

Tabülè, Middle Eastern Cuisine

Tabülè has two locations in Toronto, one on Queen East and one on Yonge close to Davisville. A few weeks ago I went to the Queen East location with my blog friends CaseyShanondoah, and Michelle.

IMG_7408

tabule

(photo from BlogTO)

I love how open and vibrant it is in there.

We started with the sample platter of three mezze cold appetizers ($14). You can mix and match out of four options, and we went with babaganüj, tabülè, and hummus.

IMG_7411

Which came with a side of pitas. By the end I was seriously eating those dips by the spoonful though. So good, all of them! I could eat that all night and be happy.

For my main I ordered the tawük ($15.95), two skewers of marinated chicken breast with rice and vegetables. Actually, I think we all ordered the same!

IMG_7413

The chicken was juicy and spiced perfectly. I was pretty full going into that after our appetizers and I was pretty sure I was going to have to pack most of it up, but we ended up chatting for so long that I was able to finish it.

For dessert we split the baklava sample platter.

IMG_7415

Ah-freakin-mazing. Tabülè is doing dessert right.

Just a heads up on Monday’s and Tuesday’s there is no corking fee, so you can bring your own wine without paying extra! We brought two bottles with us, so that was great.

My next Tabülè adventure was on Saturday with Evan at the Yonge and Davisville location.

20080701_tabule

 (photo from BlogTO)

tabule (1)

 (photo from TripAdvisor)

They have belly dancers on the weekend! We didn’t see any but we may not have been there late enough. I really wanted to sit on the patio but unfortunately it was completely full. That’s alright though, it’s a really nice atmosphere inside. I loved the hanging lights at this location.

We again started with the mezze cold sample platter.

IMG_8420

This time with babaganüj, labni (Lebanese yogurt cheese mixed with garlic & topped with Lebanese spices), and hummus. The dips are truly fantastic. I want to eat them all the time. I think the labni was my overall favourite. And I think they inspired Evan to recreate them at home, so I am excited for that.

For my main this time I went with the falafel entree ($13.95), with falafel balls, müjaddara (rice with lentils and onions), and vegetables.

IMG_8422

I loved it and the only tiny negative I could say is that my falafel balls were just sliiiightly on the dry side (but I am not very falafel savvy, so that could be just a falafel thing in general).

Evan ordered the kefta banadura ($18.95), two skewers of ground lamb and beef in a tomato garlic sauce, with rice, onions and vegetables on the side.

IMG_8423

I can’t lie, I had some meal envy. Evan’s dish was so, so good. When I go again (and I need to go again), I will be ordering that. I loved the sauce so much.

We were so full from the sample platter that we both packed up most of our entree, and even some of our leftover dips. They were a pretty amazing breakfast on Sunday.

But we had to go for dessert. We ordered the künafa ashta, filo layered with custard and topped with rose water syrup. I apologize for this photo.

IMG_8426

Really good also, though I think I prefer the baklava (I really wanted to try it just to try it).

I also had a harrisa caesar, which was exactly like a regular caesar but included harrisa (a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste) and basil. It had a slightly different spicy taste, and I wouldn’t want that in my caesar all the time, but I enjoyed it.

I really can’t say enough great things about Tabülè. The food is delicious, the portions are decent, the prices are good, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. I am very much a fan. Highly recommend!

Follow

Cuban Resort Eats

Alright, last Cuba post! Food time. Food is interesting everywhere, but I find that people are interested in hearing about the food in Cuba because it varies from resort to resort and can be hit or miss. I have heard horror stories, but thankfully haven’t experienced anything terrible myself. It’s difficult to compare the food to other vacation spots though, because Cuba doesn’t receive the kind of imports other countries do. I talked more about this after our trip last year to the Brisas Guardalavaca in Holguin.

Anyway, the food at the Iberostar Mojito was good, though still Cuba food.  I find all the authentic Cuban food is freakin’ delicious (so good that Evan bought a Cuban cookbook while we were there), but sometimes things can get weird when they try to make dishes they think we like. However, compared to last year the food at this resort was just a bit of a step up. Similar in variety, but the quality of certain items was better (bacon, pizza, pasta, cheese, burgers, soup, etc.)

As soon as we arrived on the resort we noticed a crew setting up a little barbecue beside the pool area…

IMG_7442

And they were roasting an entire pig!

IMG_7433

Apparently they do these special barbecues on Friday’s and Wednesdays, just an FYI if you’re going there (Cath yo, I am looking at you). We were all over that and it was hands down the best meal we had on the resort the entire week.

IMG_7444

Pork, fried bananas, potatoes, rice and beans, and a bun. It was really, really good. This was the first thing we ate and I was all “OMG THE FOOD HERE IS AMAZING!!! BEST FOOD EVER!” but the rest of the food didn’t quite stay at that level…

Live music while we ate also.

IMG_7449

Give me all the live music! I can’t get enough.

Next up we have the Italian restaurant, which is out on the lagoon across from the cigar lounge.

IMG_7545

To start we had the bruschetta (actually delicious), a caprese salad (which, haha, see below), minestrone soup (which didn’t really seem like minestrone, but was also very good), and bunnns.

IMG_8030

We both ordered lasagne for our main.

IMG_7552

And aside from that weird cream sauce on the side of the plate that I totally avoided, it was very good. The only thing I can say about it was that the cheese on top had an old stinky cheddar taste, which was a bit weird for lasagne. But it wasn’t like the cheese we had in Cuba last year, which just tasted funny to me. This taste I didn’t mind, it was just surprising.

Our next a la carte adventure was the Gourmet restaurant, also on the lagoon.

IMG_7876

IMG_7878

I loved that the windows were completely open to the outside. So breezy. I started with a cream of asparagus soup (so good! All the soup I had on the resort was so good!)

For my main I ordered the chicken breast with pumpkin mash and vegetables.

IMG_7879

Likely not fresh vegetables, but whatever, it was fine. Evan ordered the fish and raved about it.

We both ordered the tirimisu for dessert but it wasn’t anything noteworthy (honestly I find the dessert never is).

Iberostar Mojito has two snack bars, the pool snack bar…

IMG_7534

And the beach snack bar. The beach snack bar has burgers, hot dogs, fries and sandwiches. I didn’t try any of the sandwiches but I saw a little girl with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and she was going nuts she liked it so much.

Ev and I both ordered burgers from the beach snack bar, and those were good.

IMG_7619

We brought our own Heinz Ketchup and Frank’s Red Hot as well, and I am so glad we did.

The snack bar by the pool has all the same items as the beach bar, as well as full meals like chicken breast, pork, and beef, pizza, and even calzones! The Hawaiian pizza was my favourite.

IMG_7923

In the above picture is a beef pepito, so just beef on a hot dog bun with onions and peppers. I didn’t really know what it was I was ordering, but it was surprisingly good.

And then we have the buffet.

IMG_7507IMG_7504

It didn’t have the most extensive options, but I could always find something to eat that I liked. Breakfast was pretty great.

IMG_7482

I started with a donut every morning, because that’s what you do on vacation. And unlike the bacon at our last Cuban resort, this bacon did NOT have coarse grisly hair on it. It was very good bacon. Also omelettes or eggs made to order every morning, as well as french toast, pancakes, and crepes (bit of a line for all of those, but you’re on vacation, where else do you need to be?). There are also hard boiled eggs, and I have been on a big HBE kick lately so I had those for breakfast most days. And the smoothie bar! I began each day with a fresh fruit smoothie.

They had a grill station for lunch and dinner and they would grill any kind of meat or fish for you, so Evan hit that up a lot. A big paella every day. Lots of beans and rice, lots of pork.

IMG_7488

A pretty decent tuna salad, and a good selection of fresh vegetables. And the fruit, the pineapple in particular, was ridiculously fresh and delicious.

And the pasta bar. You know I love a good pasta bar.

IMG_7508

And it was a good pasta bar. They actually had garlic, onions and oregano. I had pasta at least three times.

I was pretty done with the food by the sixth day, but I’m sure I’d be like that anywhere. I was reading reviews where the people were saying this resort had the best food they experienced in Cuba. Me too! But I only have one other place to compare it to. I also read reviews that said it was the worst food they have ever had, so just watch out for reviews like that. You gotta take them with a grain of salt.

I also need to mention Evan’s new best friend, the churros guy.

IMG_7678
He was outside making fresh churros each night and they were DELICIOUS.

So that was the food. Again, not too blow me away amazing, but not too shabby at all. The drinks though! I cannot say enough about them. So many options. Beer, pina coladas, daquiries, mojitos, Bahama Mama’s, etc. etc. and my new go-to drink, vodka lemonade. Delicious.

Follow

Easter Eating

Oh, eating holidays are the best holidays. Stretchy pants 4ever.

IMG_7316

I went for a run outside on Good Friday since it was actually decent out (and the good weather is not lasting quite yet) before heading to my dad and Mona’s with Evan to kick off our weekend of eating. Mona makes a very, very good ham.

Those two retired coconuts have been living the dream in Florida since Christmas and missed my birthday in early March, so they brought out the big guns for a late celebration.

IMG_7319

Nothing like a chocolate banana cake. Mona knows the way to my heart. The inside of that thing was perfect.

IMG_7320

Just perfect.

Tweety enjoyed watching us eat from his perch in his box.

IMG_7322

That cat is gigantic. Like four times the size of Winnie. He’s basically a lion.

Evan made a big breakfast on Saturday morning, and his breakfast included chips!

IMG_7329

He sliced potatoes and then fried them in a little pot of olive oil, just like he said his grandpa used to make for him. He even used the pot that his grandpa brought here from Slovenia, because he says it is the pot that makes the chips. I’ll have to take his word for it because they were amazing. They were a good addition to breakfast.

IMG_7332

He also made those beans. I enjoy Evan’s cooking, I have mentioned this, yes?

In the late morning we hit the road to Belleville to visit with Evan’s mom and nana. It’s a bit of a hike and it was past lunchtime by the time we arrived and I was getting hungry again. Evan made a quick detour to Nova Deli before my hunger monster could make an appearance (he knows me very well). Nova Deli is a little restaurant he used to frequent in high school, for a maritime donair.

IMG_7335

It brought back all the memories for Evan. It is a cute little shop with about six tables and quite an interesting menu. I saw onion rings poutine on there! But I stuck with Evan’s recommendation and got a small donair.

IMG_7339

Small, but it was pretty large. I have never tried a donair before. Actually, I didn’t even know what a donair was. It is like a gyro pita with onions, lettuce, tomato, cheese and hot peppers (optional, but I like) and the most amazing secret sauce. The sauce is what made it and I don’t even think I can describe it. It was surprisingly sweet and just added to the other flavours. I was a big fan of the donair. I will be eating that again sometime.

Since we had curry not too long ago at Evan’s nana’s, we decided we shouldn’t make her slave in front of the stove for a day leading up to our visit. Instead we took Evan’s mom and nana out for dinner. We did some googling and decided on Quinte Restaurant. They serve a ton of stuff but their specialties seem to be Greek and Italian. I was in a Greek sort of mood.

IMG_7350

And when I am in a Greek sort of mood, I can not resist souvlaki with potatoes and Greek salad. I got the chicken souvlaki combo with pastichio, which is oven baked macaroni noodles with meat sauce and bechamel sauce. It’s at the top and looks like mashed potatoes. I discovered that bechamel sauce is not for me. I could have done without the pastichio, but everything else was delicious. My only complaint about the restaurant was that they were out of saganaki! I really wanted flaming sheep’s cheese! I was excited to introduce Evan’s mom and nana to it as well. Oh well, next time.

We had a fun sleepover at Evan’s nana’s. Those ladies are a good time.

On Sunday we had breakfast at nana’s and then headed to Evan’s dad and Loulou’s for Easter lupper. I was excited for more eating. And my animal friends. Specifically Sasha.

IMG_7356

She really is the happiest dog.

And my favourite pal Zeke.

IMG_7372

I like that he immediately trots over when he sees me coming.

IMG_7373

Hi friend

Such a beautiful donkey.

IMG_7378

There have been some new bird additions over there, and some of them have pretty interesting hairstyles going on…

IMG_7359

That bird on the left in particular. I am not sure what is going on with his hair there but it reminded me of Devon Sawa circa Casper and Now and Then. Or maybe one of the Stooges (the fourth Stooge, what’s his name…Shemp?). Anyway, that bird was entertaining. We actually almost came home with a bird, but in the end I didn’t think it would be a good idea for Winnie. I see her with the pigeons that come to the balcony sometimes and there is no way she would be able to leave a bird alone. She would sit by the bird and make her guttural “I want to eat you” meowing and drool. I already have enough of a time trying to keep her from eating the plants.

Okay, back to eating. We had quite the delicious Easter dinner.

IMG_7368

Pork, sauerkraut, roasted veggies, quinoa with black beans and corn, and bulgar and quinoa. I loved it all.

And mini eggs for dessert!

IMG_7369

Just kidding, those are finch eggs. I legit thought they were Mini Eggs though and I almost ate one. And then we cracked one open and it was literally just a mini egg. Like a regular chicken egg but with the teeniest little yolk.

It was a good Easter with this guy and our fam’s!

IMG_7394

Although I missed my mom (and her cooking) and Eric, as I always do around the holidays.

Oh, also found this gem in my travels…

IMG_7398

What a little muffin.

Follow

Eating All the Oysters at Oyster Boy Toronto

On Friday night I had quite an eating extravaganza with my coworker friend Kathryn and our pal Kelly. Kelly worked with us on a contract for a bit, which is how we met her, and now she is our friend.

oyster-boy-9

Kelly, Kathryn, moi

I liked Kelly the second I met her, and I have to tell you, she is a good friend to have around… She happens to be a shareholder of Oyster Boy on Queen West in Toronto, and Oyster Boy happens to be one of the best oyster houses in the city. Kathryn and I had been planning a night out with her, and when she asked us if wanted to meet her at Oyster Boy we were all in.

oyster-boy

ALL IN. Please note I am going to sound like a broken record throughout this post, because there are only so many ways you can describe absolute deliciousness, and everything we had was absolutely delicious. We started with the dozen oysters above, and on that platter are Saint Simon oysters from New Brunswick, Kusshi oysters from the west coast in BC, and the smaller ones on the top are Valentine oysters, also from the west coast. All were amazing. I could sit and eat raw oysters for hours and hours.

Oyster Boy takes their oysters very seriously, and the staff (and Kelly) are extremely knowledgeable about all the different types, and where they come from and how they are farmed.

Next up Kelly told us we needed to try the baked oysters. We were down.

oyster-boy-1

These are baked with rustico gruyere cheese and breadcrumbs. Ridiculous. Just so good. I feel like I need to get in the oyster business myself so I can eat these little mollusks of amazingness all the time.

And then came the deep fried oysters…

oyster-boy-2

Beer battered and panko crusted, with a horseradish sauce on the side (I think you can also get a ranch sauce on the side). I loved.

Although Oyster Boy specializes in oysters (who knew?), they have quite a few other seafood treats on their menu. I knew going into our evening that I was going to need to try the New England style seafood chowder.

oyster-boy-3

Which was all sorts of creamy and did not disappoint.

We also sampled the Sturgeon Ceviche and taro chips.

oyster-boy-4

Which was sea scallops in a cilantro lime dressing. I loved those too.

And the crab dip. Which was also…

oyster-boy-5

…you guessed it, delicious.

The wine had been flowing as well, and by that point I was already too full… But I soldiered on, as one does in this situation. Kathryn ordered the fish tacos, so I had some of those…

oyster-boy-6

In fresh tortillas served with pico de gallo, crema & avocado.

For my main I ordered the tuna steak.

oyster-boy-7

Which was delicious but I was too full to finish. I packed that baby up and it was still good the next morning as a second breakfast. The tuna was done perfectly.

And then the three of us topped the evening off by sharing this delectable brownie.

oyster-boy-8

Also good, but at that point I thought I might explode so I didn’t have the capacity to fully appreciate it.

It was the most delicious evening imaginable. The perfect eating experience. I would have been ecstatic just to eat raw oysters all night long, but the addition of everything else blew my mind. The company was pretty amazing also, the three of us had the best time.

Until next time Oyster Boy! Because there has to be a next time. I wish I lived next door. And if you are on Queen West and looking for a cute little oyster spot, go there!

Follow