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virtualvelma's Profile

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Did the Green Room Close?

I was logged on to craigslist when I saw an ad advertising a "new casually upscale restaurant looking for all floor staff (annex)"

I clicked in, out of curiosity, and I read that a new casually upscale restaurant is seeking staff and they are to drop of their resumes to 296 Brunswick Ave.

Did the Green Room close? Or did the owners open a new restaurant?

I wasn't a big fan of the GR, but it's been an Annex staple for ages - I just wanted to know if anyone had heard anything.

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Nov 17, 2008
virtualvelma in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Brunch - RIGHT NOW - suggestions please!

Hey everyone,

This is a last minute plea for help. I want a mind blowing cheap and cheerful brunch to go to right now.

I'm in the downtown core, so something that's a reasonable commute on the ttc. No transfers, on the subway line or on foot.

It's a challenge, but I'm down for it if you are!

Aug 24, 2008
virtualvelma in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cluck, Grunt & Low now open...thoughts?

They apparently flew in southern bbq experts to set up the smokers and train the staff on technique.
If you can't get authentic Texas smoke house bbq then I don't know where you can.

I haven't been to cluck grunt and low but I'm really excited to check it out now. MMM up chuck n' spew - sounds delish!

Aug 22, 2008
virtualvelma in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Patio search - Baldwin, Kensington, Queen W

On Baldwin WYSIWYG

So head on over and allow the adventure of the hunt dictate your patio choice.

I've rocked out on most of them and had a great time.

Although, I can't remember, does Bodega have a patio? oooh geez louise, I have to go back to the Baldwin and hook it up!

Aug 21, 2008
virtualvelma in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fave Ontario Beer

bluedog, I am down with Amsterdam Blond on a hot day on a patio.

And, KLB Raspberry Wheat.

If you want to pay $9 for a pint of Creemore (har har) then head over to One on Yorkville. Embarrassingly over priced for the privilege of the most utterly divine patio couches in the city.

But, then again... $9 for a pint of Creemore.
As if.

KLB Raspberry Wheat is a fun one for sure - what would that be considered? A Raspberry Wit?

Bluedog, you called it - it goes to show, Ontario produces some fab beer.

I'll tell you what I don't like - I don't like Niagara's Best Blond. It's the best of the "Niagara's best" but it falls short in comparison to the others.

It's a little dry and a little bitter on the finish - not too things I'm looking for in a blond.

Thoughts?

Aug 21, 2008
virtualvelma in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

good coffee & possibly a pastry in an upscale setting in Yorkville?

Oh geez... coffee and pastry in Yorkville?

Here's the downlow - the immediate Yorkville is an area complete with pretentious fashion fauxnistas on a nauseating parade to see and be seen. Their comprehension of what is good or bad, revolves on what coffee brand logo is most often seen in the rags.

In short, if there was a "Coffee Bean" coffee shop in Yorkville, I guarantee that there would be a line up outside. A legion of oversized sunglass wearing glitteratzi wannabes waiting for their chance to sip on a blended ice coffee beverage, burken bag lackadaisically hung on their out pointed wrists while cradleing a blinged iPhone on their shoulders for pointed conversations dotted with, "Oh m'god!" "Loves it" "No, you're fierce" and "I can't believe Heidi is such a bitch to Lauren... I mean anyone with hair like that can't afford to be mean to anyone - HOW DOES SHE HAVE FRIENDS?"

I've often wondered the same thing myself...

However, if you leave the immediate Yorkville area and explore the surrounding areas, you can come up with some decent results.

While, not typically a coffee/pastry shop, Jacques Bistro du Parc has lovely quiches, a great view and a charmingly authentic French feel. That is in the frey of the Yorkvillans, but it is located on the top floor of a building - no patio confuses the average "more money than sense" crowd.

Go North on Yonge, and on the corner of Roxburough and Yonge is a cafe called, Cafe Doria - it's been a little while since I was there. But, the last time I went I enjoyed a tasty panini with a crisp crust and a double espresso nary the need of sugar. They have a little patio, but it's often busy I notice when I go by.

Along that same stretch is a French Patisserie - Bon Gout? I can never remember the name of it. It is unmistakable. It is a little North of Cafe Doria, on Yonge Street and just South of the Rebel House. It's got delicious meringues and a sweet French feel.

Croissants - I'm not opposed to Patachou, which is also along that stretch on Yonge Street. But, I'm not much of a fan of anything else there. The Patachou croissants aren't the best, but they aren't a bad offering in the area.

Finally, Dessert Lady - return down to Cumberland, East of Bay is the Dessert Lady. She makes a lovely assortment of fresh cookies cakes and pies. Gelato etc etc etc.

Grab yourself something lovely, a good coffee to go, walk West along Cumberland, sit on the rock and watch the insanity pass by - one of my favorite experiences.

Or Biscotti from Dessert Lady and a discreet box of wine on the rock, enjoying the sunshine and people watching - like they do in Europe.

Because, in my own socially acceptable way - I too am a wannabe.

I wanna be Euro-chic 2.0
;)

Aug 21, 2008
virtualvelma in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fave Ontario Beer

The hilarious thing about Canadian beer is that we come by it honestly. We are a country of beer lovers born to a nation founded with the notion we were the ideal climate to brew beer - back in the times before refrigeration... like in the 17th or 18th century.

lol omg, I sound like such a nerd! ahahahahahaha! awesome.

With that said, Ontario has some great craft brewers. Totally, you can't go wrong with Mill Street - it's also a fun dinner out. Rock out, drink through the list, have some fun conversation and sit in a really cool area.

I also dig Granite Brewery's Peculiar Ale...
Great Lakes Brewery Red Leaf Smooth....
or try a good Canadian Cream Ale... I like Cameron's Cream Ale.

Canadians do North American style beer the best - for sure. I think I would shy away from the Canadian beers that mimic Belgian-brews. Stick to the cream ales, the amber/red ails and that's probably why I like the Granite Brewery's Peculiar.

The Peculiar has the taste of an older ale, but it's really refreshing like a light beer. Barrel aged so it has a hint of oak - it's a really unique beer. It's a young beer, with low alcohol - so not the best bet if you want to get Drunk as F*ck on the tasty stuff.

whatever, go grab a few and rock out with your Belgian, bff's. No doubt in my mind that they'll appreciate the North American brew styles.

Aug 20, 2008
virtualvelma in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fave Ontario Beer

Dude... I had a pint the other day. I thought there was a lot of good things happening in it but I was put off by the mildly spiced flavour.

I can see how people would find it refreshing, though, the Mill St Belgian Wit...

Aug 20, 2008
virtualvelma in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dine.TO new food writers and changes?

Then tell me about good reviews in the city, I want to check them out. But, all I'm hearing is about the how one isn't good because she's too positive, another is no good because he's a sell out, another isn't good because of whatever.

Seriously. Why should I feel like I have poor taste because I dig this one girl's writing and I get something out of it.

Give me perspective, so far, I'm reading the opinions of a lot of haters, which isn't very helpful. Well, I'm getting that in order to be taken seriously you have to not be positive...

seriously?

Educate me.

Aug 14, 2008
virtualvelma in Food Media & News

Dine.TO new food writers and changes?

LOL I love reading the replies, they are awesome!

Galin I don't think writes for Dine anymore...

Waxman I respect, she's travelled the world, wrote books and has had a really great career over a long time. I think she's really classy.

I don't think to have a good review you must be critical. I think there's a way to present information in a balanced way. What I like about Nicola is that there's something that I get from her writing that makes me believe in the experience.

Where do you go get your reviews online? What's so good about them?

Aug 14, 2008
virtualvelma in Food Media & News

Dine.TO new food writers and changes?

I used to love reading Toronto Life. But, since they started publishing articles and reviews on restaurants that have closed, I've written them off. They aren't reliable.

Nicola wrote a cute article on She Does the City on finding honey in the city - http://www.shedoesthecity.com/honey

Looks like they just started a food section too.

http://dine.to/establishment_review_p...

There's her review on steak - I like it because it's real. She's a real person, she loves food and she's honest about it.

Aug 14, 2008
virtualvelma in Food Media & News

Loose Tea in Toronto

House of Tea on Yonge is for sure where you should go.
It's right close to Rosedale Subway - you get out walk to yonge go right and it's there two shops in or so.
I have found some of the highest grade tea there that are all hand picked by a woman who is (for lack of a better word) a tea sommelier.
I've gotten great tea there, whole leaves (not crushed), hand dried, no chemical... amazing.

Pacific Mall is the only other place I've gone to buy tea.

I just love a good fragrant jasmine green. I drink it all day.

Aug 14, 2008
virtualvelma in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dine.TO new food writers and changes?

I read on an earlier post that some of you don't trust Dine.TO's reviews because it's a site where restaurants pay to be apart of it. I don't know if I altogether trust that, they have writers like Sara Waxman who have written for them - who is iconic in her own right.

I hear that her son, Adam now writes for them as well as this other new up and coming food writer, Marie Nicola. It looks like they write segments for a section that doesn't get archived and focuses on new restaurants. I just read Nicola's review on Steak (a new steak restaurant on richmond) and I really liked it, I read one other of hers on Spice Route, which was a little tongue in cheek, she mentioned something about young urban professionals on a thursday night and it made me laugh/feel her pain. But I can't find it now...

It looks to me that Dine.TO is trying to branch out and to find a niche in non-critical reviews and chef profiles and it looks like they are without stepping over the line.

I think Stephanie Dickison's posts on Dine.TO are some of her worst work and I don't even bother visiting the restaurants that she reviews.

Does anyone else have any experience with the Prince of Kensington's writing or Nicola's work?

Aug 14, 2008
virtualvelma in Food Media & News