Monday, September 10, 2012

Lately: brick chicken, meatball pizza and grilled cheese

Sometimes my camera feels like a dumbbell. It’s heavy and bulky (although nothing compared to this) but I never want to miss capturing a shot that makes me smile or something that immediately brings calm to my occasional frantic nerves. I’ve been savouring the end of summer with great enthusiasm and fervor as if it were my last. 

Last weekend, I picked up a bottle of Orange Weisse from Amsterdam Brewery, disguising it in a McDonald’s soda cup and strolled through nooks and cranies of a city I now call home. I found myself in colourful alleyways from Portland Avenue to Spadina, stumbling on what is known as Graffiti Tour, and later, made my way down to the Harbourfront, breathing in the wet, humid air, fantasizing what it’ll be like if I owned a yacht and sailed the world. It was the perfect timing too; the sun was starting to descend over the horizon, splashing everything in its path with a golden glow. 

I’ve also visited Gusto and was seated on the patio, surrounded by my favourite people. We sipped house-made wine (sold for a staggering $1 per ounce!), passed around plates to sample each other’s meals, including brick chicken with fingerling potatoes (featured in the first photo), homemade mozzarella with arugula, chicken salad, the poplette aka meatball pizza, plus rigatoni with juicy bits of tomatoey lambshank. 

On another beautiful day, my belly rumbled (what else is new?) for a heartstoppingly amazzzing grilled cheese sandwich at the aptly named The Grilled Cheese. After much time contemplating the menu, I went for the Mushroom Madness, filled with four types of mushrooms squeezed between cheddar cheese and toasted till light and crispy, I discovered the Good Egg, a pure gem at Kensington Market. I could have spent hours at this store flipping through cookbooks, food memoirs, touching all the Le Creuset dutch ovens and mortar and pestles and microplane graters that sat waiting to be taken home. It was hard leaving, but I wanted to pick up a flourless chocolate cupcake at Miss Cora Kitchen’s before they packed up for the day. If you're ever in the area, I'd suggest picking up a cookie or two at Cora’s before hitting Good Egg, food books are better enjoyed with food in hand.

The other day, I walked into the Hispanic Fiesta at Mel Lastman Square. There was a live band playing Latin music, a crowd had gathered around the stage and a smaller crowd of kids holding hands dancing and giggling. For a brief moment, it felt like Montreal, where street fests can magically transform an ordinary street block to a bumbling electric space. Rebozo’s had a booth with a long snaking line, a sure sign of good food. My theory proven  correctly when I swiftly polished off their popular beef tacos and stole a few bites of my friend’s burrito, swishing it all down with a cold soda. I hope you’ve been having an amazing summer too.

Recipe here!

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