Tag Archives: pork

Beer & Lederhosen

The other night I was invited to Bier Markt Esplanade’s Oktoberfest VIP Party.

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I am really not sure how I snagged an invitation because I am certainly not a very important person (having a blog does not = important, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise), but the invitation promised beer and food, and since I love both of those things very much of course I accepted.

I am also genuinely a fan of Bier Markt in general. I have enjoyed many a good meal there.

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Someone at another table ordered that waffle while I was there once and when the server walked past me with it I stopped talking mid-sentence and just followed it with my eyes. I had to have it.

Anyway, this Oktoberfest party sadly did not include waffles. It was the launch of Bier Markt’s annual Oktoberfest collection in celebration of Toronto’s Beer Week (aka the best week in the city) and was to include options from this limited-time menu.

I arrived having no idea what to expect. Well, food and beer, but I didn’t know how much of either, and I came straight from work and I didn’t pre-eat so the amount of food worried me. I don’t like to be starving. I was allowed to bring a guest, which was a very good thing because I need a partner in crime at things like this and if I didn’t have one I would just be sitting at a table alone in a dark corner eating and drinking in silence. So Evan was the chosen one. He was excited.

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We got a goodie bag as we arrived (goodie giant mug would be more accurate) that included those sweet lederhosen t-shirts, so we brought our stuff over to a dark corner and sat down to get the eating and drinking fest started. But not in silence.

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The servers were bringing appetizers around, so I tried some of everything that came my way. I am holding chicken schnitzel that has some sort of deliciously interesting jam on it above, and there were a bunch of other German-inspired foods like mini sausages in a bun and giant pretzels.

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I don’t think I have ever tasted anything so salty. I loved it.

Maybe I am oversensitive to this because as soon as there is food somewhere I am on high alert instantly and I pretty much can’t take my eyes off of it (ESPECIALLY if I am hungry), but I notice that the servers often come around to where I’m sitting last, and sometimes there is not even anything left on their platter by the time they make it to me. This makes me sad. This was not the first time I have noticed it happening at an event like this (the same thing happened at the Firkin party), and again, maybe it happens to everyone, but it seems to be an irrational fear of mine. I will see a server carrying a platter of goodness across the room and I will get this almost anxiety feeling that the food is never going to come to me. And then it doesn’t and the fear is realized. It’s just because I don’t want to miss anything delicious! But at the same time I don’t expect the servers to hang around just me and feed me all night…

Luckily the entire pig that was roasting in the middle of the room eased my fears of starving. I took a picture of it, but it’s under a red light which makes it look grotesque, so I will save you from that sight.

That pig was delicious though. They just hack off the pork and put it right on your plate.

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Along with some pasta. Filled me right up.

Oh, and there was beer also.

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We got two drink tickets, and we could either use them both to fill up the giant mug we got, or use them separately for two pints. We went for the pints so we could try different things (and so our beer wouldn’t be warm when we got to the bottom of the mug). My favourite was the wheat beer, I loved it!

There was a live band playing also, and they were quite groovy.

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They played a lot of Mumford & Sons and Lumineers-type beats, and my favourite Radiohead song High and Dry. I liked them, and it was a great atmosphere.

After a while the Bier Markt starting turning into more of a clubby-type party, so we headed out since it was a school night. I remember saying to Evan “What are all these people doing tomorrow? Does no one have to work?!” Ah to live a life of leisure…

It was a good time and I’m glad I was included. It was nice to have an excuse for an evening out during the week.

And of course an excuse to wear lederhosen-themed attire.

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I really need a haircut…

And to own those shirts so we can break them out in the future.

So, good times. If you like beer and sausages and pork and pretzels and live in the T-dot, I would suggest heading over to a Bier Markt location before October 22, as that is when this menu ends. And on Sunday nights they’re having a pig roast!

And that is all. Thanks Bier Markt!

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Pho Com Vietnam (just watch out for the pho…)

There’s an authentic Vietnamese restaurant in North York called Pho Com Vietnam that Evan and his lads frequent often.

The first time I went there with him was the day before we left for Florida, and I cannot lie, I didn’t have the best experience.

Evan told me he always gets the same noodle dish and never strays from it because the menu is extensive and kind of hard to decipher so sometimes you just don’t know what you’re going to get. Brotherman told me that one time he went there and ordered something random off the menu, and his soup came out with an entire pig’s foot on top of it. Evan suggested that I let him order for me as he knows the safe, pig’s foot-free dishes that are delicious, but I was stubborn and didn’t listen and I ordered the bun bo hue dac biet, a soup with pork, for myself.

Evan was very skeptical of my selection and was all “don’t say I didn’t warn you…” before my soup arrived. Probably I should have listened to him.

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It’s not that the flavour wasn’t good… But I was surprised to see lunch meat in it. And not just any lunch meat, the lunch meat that includes other meat and vegetables.

You know the kind I mean.

lunchmeat110207_1_560Ughhhh no. I don’t get weird about food very often, but that stuff really creeps me out. I don’t know what it was doing in my soup, but I didn’t want Evan to be all “I told you so” gloaty-pants so I ate a piece of it anyway and said it was delicious. It wasn’t. So I ended up eating most of Evan’s noodle dish, which was much better.

This weekend Evan brought me back there to turn my experience around. With the promise that I would listen to his recommendation.

We started with sweet tea and beer.

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Pretty good combination right there.

And for an appetizer we got the shrimp tempura, which you really can’t go wrong with ever.

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And here is what Evan ordered for me.

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The bun cha gio, thit nuong, chao tom. Or grilled pork, shrimp, spring rolls and vegetables on top of rice noodles. Big improvement over my weird lunch meat soup!

It’s served with fish sauce on the side, so you add that to the dish and mix it all up.

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I went to smell the fish sauce before adding it to the dish (because I like to smell things) and Evan stopped me and said no, don’t smell it, just pour it on top. This time I listened to him, as maybe he knows what he’s talking about…

Anyway, I really, really liked this dish. The pork and the spring rolls were my favourite, but the shrimp was really interesting. It was kind of like ground shrimp and it was wrapped around a stick of sugar cane.

Much, much better experience this time, and my opinion of this place changed right around. I still do want to go back here and try different things, because a lot of the dishes on their menu do look really good. I think I will just need to ask more questions so I don’t end up with intestines or (shudder) tripe. No thanks.

What’s the weirdest dish you’ve ever gotten in a restaurant?

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Selectively Busy (+ Pork & Broccoli Stir Fry)

Holla holla!

So if you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I was having quite the love burst for my lunch today.

A while back I made these delicious little pita’s filled with cottage cheese, Prego pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, and baby spinach.  Because of my work’s beautiful toaster oven, I was able to recreate this dish fo’ lunch!

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I wasn’t watching it while it was in there and it almost got burnt (I really can’t stand the taste of burnt, at all), but it was just a little blackness and I was able to scrape it off.  Phew.

This lunch hit ze spot!  Who says packed work lunches have to be boring?!

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Also, isn’t my plate cute?

Minus being backwards?  Silly computer camera.

I found it in our lunch/storage room.  I know I’m not using it properly (and I think it is old so I don’t know how “proper” it is anymore), but I like it.

I also had a leftover cob of corn from last night’s dinner on the side that went unpictured (and should have gone on the vegetable slot).

Selectively Busy

A few of my friends have commented lately on how busy I am, or I guess how busy I seem to be.  While this is true, I am a busy beaver (especially at work right now – it is almost overwhelming), I have to confess something.

I am selectively busy.

I purposely do not make a lot of plans during the week.  I am rarely busy at dinnertime, for example, because I like to be home for dinner.  If I’m not home, or I’m out late, chances are I’ll eat crappily.  This is cool once in a while, but the majority of time I just like to be at home, eating my own dinner that I made.

I am lucky enough to get home from work around 5-5:30 pm, and that is just the way I like it.  This is why exercising right after work doesn’t really work for me.  If I do that, I may not get home until 7, and that is just too late for me to eat.  My hunger monster will surely make an appearance and I will eat everything in sight without thinking twice.

I eat at 6, it works for me, and that’s how I like it.  I like my routine.

I also don’t enjoy feeling like dinner has to be a big rush because I have plans later.  So I may skip out on coffee with friend or something, but it may not be because I’m “busy.”  It is probably because I just want to be at home eating dinner.

So I will never be a chef, because I like to be home for dinner, making things like this:

Stir Fried Deliciousness

Pork and broccoli stir fry!  This was tonight’s dinner and it was simple and a big yumfest.  It was kind of like pseudo Chinese food!

I stir fried strips of pork loin with a bit of olive oil, garlic, broccoli and green onions, before adding chow mein noodles to the mix.  I threw in about two teaspoons of soy sauce to give the dish a little flava, and it was good to go!

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Ando said he really liked this dish because it wasn’t too saucy.  If he ever complains about something I make (minus it having too much cilantro), it is because it is “too saucy”.

I am a saucy little minx for sure and I typically eat things FOR the sauce, but ol’ Andy-roo likes his food to be a bit more on the plain side.  I have learned to tone my sauciness down a little ;), but since sauces are where all the extra calories are typically hiding out, I guess this is for the better.

I am outta here, but I hope you all have a fab ALMOST Friday!!!

Questions of the Evening:

  • What time do you eat dinner?
  • Do you purposely not make plans during the week so you are home at dinnertime?

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