Not Just Any Sandwich – Sandwich Box

Sandwich makers

Sometimes a sandwich is a quick bite on the run, eaten rapidly and forgotten moments later. At Sandwich Box, it is a thing of beauty and worth savouring. In the past, in order to eat a sandwich this good, I would have had to stop at a market for the kinds of gourmet, high-end ingredients available at Sandwich Box – artisanal breads, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, pinkish rare roast beef that is almost a carpaccio, chicken grilled on the premises and some real choices in the cheese department. Continue reading

Best Bet for Brunch at Universal Grill

French toast

To describe the simplicity and beauty of brunch, I don’t need to look any further than The Simpsons. In one of my favourite episodes, a disingenuous Homer buys Marge a bowling ball for her birthday, and an enraged Marge decides to keep it and take lessons. Her suave, flirtatious French bowling instructor, Jacques, defines brunch as “not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end.” Continue reading

Dipping Into Mustard at the St. Lawrence Market

Mustard samplingIt happens every time. I think my husband is right behind me at the St. Lawrence Market, and I chatter away, planning the best route through the crowds and stalls. Invariably, I turn around and he’s not there. I’ve come to expect this, and make my way over to Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard. Sure enough, he’s part of the eager crowd, dipping pretzels and hot, fried cubes of toothpick-speared peameal bacon into a wide assortment of ramekins filled with flavoured mustards. I join in, and soon the sampling becomes a postscript to breakfast or a prequel to lunch. Continue reading

A Pint and Pub Grub at Betty’s

Club with couscousEarlier this year my husband and I embarked on a “no fried foods” rule, which dissolved almost as quickly as we agreed to it. All the same, there are times when I’m not in the mood for French fries, so I was intrigued by the option of having couscous with cranberry and orange zest alongside my sandwich at Betty’s. Fluffy, light and cool, it’s the perfect side dish during patio weather. Continue reading

Salmon on My Mind at Mittomi

Salmon sashimiRecollections of my first sake-soaked sushi meal several years ago are hazy, except for the unexpected and utterly sensual delight of salmon sashimi melting on my tongue. It remains a shining, transcendent food memory for me. Although I’m not otherwise doing much damage to the world’s ocean inhabitants, I count it a very good day when I get my chopsticks around a juicy, intensely-coloured piece (ok, several) of raw salmon. As a result, I find myself in Mittomi as often as possible to get my fix, even though I no longer live in the neighborhood. Continue reading

Parisian Proxy – Restaurant Jules

Kir Although born into a Dutch-Canadian household, I somehow ended up a Francophile. Hey — the Dutch and the French both dip their French fries in homemade mayonnaise and have blue, red and white flags, so I’m not that far off. Before my recent breathtaking trip to Paris I spent a lot of time enjoying movies and books set in Paris and France and collecting French cookbooks. If I was happy about the large number of French dining options in Toronto during my armchair traveling days, I am even more grateful now for the chance to relive the French experience whenever I book a table at Jules.

On our most recent visit, the summer air was the perfect temperature for a light dinner on Jules’ patio, which is filled with de rigeur wooden slatted bistro chairs and tables and protected from the sun by a traditional canvas awning. For less agreeable weather, the restaurant’s dining room is light and airy, with high ceilings, pale yellow walls, and blonde wooden tables and chairs. At the back of the large room is an open kitchen. Continue reading