Tuesday, October 29, 2013

rose and sons

taken from foodjunkiechronicles.net

I consider brunch a religious festivity. It is a sacred meal, that glorious time between breakfast and lunch where all things egg, meat, and carbohydrate come together to form a delicious concoction of benedicts, waffles, and the homiest of fries.  While I usually practice brunch on Sundays following a rough night out, I decided to switch things up this week in honour of my dear old ma's birthday. Brunch on a Thursday? I'll allow it.  Off we headed to the north Annex diner, Rose and Sons, owned and operated by two gentlemen (Anthony Rose and Chris Sanderson) both formerly employed by the Drake Hotel. Don't bother looking for a Rose and Sons sign; instead, keep your eyes out for simply the word "FOOD" on the storefront. The space, with about 8-10 booths, holds a max of 25-30 guests at a time...and that would be prettttty cozy.  Lucky for us, it seems thursday brunches aren't overly popular so we snagged a whole booth to ourselves. I had heard great things about the food and I was happily surprised to see that the reputation was very much warranted. It felt like every dish was cooked with a little bit of love, you know? Like we were eating at someone's grandma's house where you get that real homey taste, but without the unnecessary overload of grease you pick up from most diners. The fried chicken was moist and delectable and the apple/beet hushpuppies gave our meat-heavy dishes some much needed freshness.  The smoked salmon wasn't exactly what I expected - instead of the raw, lox-style salmon it was more of a piece of salmon smoked on the grill.  It was still very tasty, especially on a bed of Schmaltz hash browns. The real winner was the patty melt burger - it literally melted in your mouth. Welcome to salivation city! We ended with a birthday cake a la blueberry bread pudding; the perfect match of sweet and savoury. 

coffees, cappuccinos, and warm apple cider
patty melt burger - grilled cheese, fried onions, chill mayo
wild rice and old cheddar hushpuppies - apples, brussels, beetroots, honey
fried chicken club - bacon, ezell's slaw, sour pickle
big crow hot smoked salmon - schmaltz hash, egg, dill pickle sauce
bread pudding w/ wild blueberries . . .  .and an old fashioned

We added an aperitif (or two) with dessert. They make a mean Old Fashioned.  My brunches aren't usually paired with booze (Caesars don't count) but quoting the birthday girl, "It's 12 o-clock somewhere!"..

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, October 14, 2013

giving thanks

If I eat any more turkey or pie, I'm going to turn into a turkey or a pie. Maybe a turkey pie. Regardless of the pain my body may be in today, the culinary feast I experienced yesterday was worth every bite. This post will be a shameless depiction of a delicious thanksgiving that no, I did not cook myself. I'm not going to sugar coat it - besides a bit of assembly work, my only real contribution to the meal was the dessert (and I may or may not have eaten some if the night before...oopsie). My Mom took the reigns on this feast, loosely following the recipes from the Williams Sonoma Blackberry Farms Thanksgiving catalogue while throwing in a lot of her own brilliant ideas and admirable cooking talents. For her, I am thankful.
the bird - dad's own recipe

collard greens with lardons and caramelized shallots
brussels sprouts with radicchio and pancetta
wild mushroom and root vegetable gratin
focaccia stuffing with roasted chestnuts, bacon, and apples
apple cherry cobbler - my contribution, recipe coming soon!
I hope everyone had a fun/family/food/friend filled weekend!

Happy Monday!


Monday, October 7, 2013

hopgood's foodliner

image taken from gallivant.com

It was a dark and stormy night, the roads were closed, and I was reallllllly lost. Isn't that how most dinner rendezvous begin? Perhaps not. Luckily, my spirits were saved once I (finally) made it to meet a dear friend at Hopgood's foodliner, an east coast inspired eatery located in the heart of Roncesvalles. For anyone that enjoys fresh, sustainable seafood prepared in creative new dishes, this place is for you. We ended up splitting a few plates, tapas style - my favourite way to dine. The food was delectable, without being pretentious.  I'm pretty sure the crab cakes came with boxed Triscuits (they were baked, but still the household cracker staple at heart), but it couldn't have been a more apt pairing. No need to mask the flavourful crab dip with some fancy schmancy bread. Also, be sure to check the chalkboard for daily specials, and arrive early enough to actually consume them. They were sold out of the mini lamb burgers so we opted for the roasted peppers, which our waiter explained that each pepper had a one in fifty odds of being incredibly spicy. As someone with a very delicate palate for the picante, each bite was somewhat nerve-racking (or thrilling, I'm undecided). 

trying to sneak a peak at the back room oyster bar
beausoleil oysters (mp)
smoked mackerel on oatcakes ($15)
russian roulette roasted peppers ($13)
hot crab dip and triscuits ($15)

If the food isn't enough to sell you, come for a pre-Prohibition style cocktail, such as the Seville Sour (gin, aperol, lemon, maramalde, egg whites, and choco-mole bitters, $14).  The ambiance ranges from high-spirited liveliness in the front, to cozy intimacy in the back. Or if you just want to pop in for a drink, hop on a stool at their ten seat bar.  Hopgood's has found a way to fit the quaint/indie Roncesvalles vibe, but without the dreaded long waits and overwhelming hipster crowd of the Ossington/Queen scene.  Give it a go.

Happy Monday!


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