Friday, February 3, 2017

#FoodPornFriday Cinnamon Toast Crunch French Toast from TOAST

I really don't know what I can say for this #FoodPornFriday post. This Cinnamon Toast French Toast from TOAST on Erie Street pretty much speaks for itself. 

The actual toast is coated with ground cinnamon toast crunch cereal. There are almonds and oats on there. Even the whipped cream isn't your average whipped cream but is instead vanilla whipped cream.

I do have one warning about this one, though it should be obvious at this point: this breakfast is sweet. Okay, more like SWEET! Which I have to admit went really well with TOASTs great coffee.

Friday, January 20, 2017

#FoodPornFriday - a Sunday tradition of comics and coffee

Our family has something we love to do every Sunday. It starts with stopping at Windsor's best comic shop: Rogues Gallery Comics

We have a pull box at Rogues. For the non-comic book fans, that's when you ask the store to set aside certain comics for you each week. They put them in your box, and when you show up they pull them for you. This is done to make sure you don't miss any issues. Myself I've been reading the new Marvel Star Wars comics. My wife is still huge into ElfQuest and the kids love the two current My Little Pony runs. 

Once we are done at Rogues we had downtown to The Coffee Exchange. For some drinks, sweets, and to read our new books.

I've loved the Coffee Exchange for years and have been going there since it was right across from The Palace Theater. It has moved twice since then and is now a bit further down Ouellette closer to the river. 

The coffee exchange has fantastic coffee, the best cappuccino in the city (according to my wife), great tasting and reasonably priced kids drinks (mine go for the kids hot chocolate every time) and some great snacks. 

So who out there has a pull box at the local comic shop? How about lazy Sunday traditions with the family?

Friday, December 30, 2016

#FoodPornFriday featuring breakfast poutine from TOAST

#FoodPornFriday is back. At least this week since I'm off work. I'm hoping to try to keep it up in 2017. I'm aiming for every week but will be happy with myself if I get something up at least once a month.

My wife has a new favourite breakfast place here in Windsor: TOAST. This year there was one thing my wife asked that we make sure to do during the holiday time off for work: go to TOAST for breakfast. She got some money from an Aunt and that's what she wanted to spend it on.

TOAST is located at 653 Erie St. East. Right across the street from Spago. They only serve breakfast and lunch and are open from 7am to 3pm every day of the week. 

What you see pictured above is the amazing Breakfast Poutine. Potatoes covered in beef gravy, scallions, chunks of bacon and cheese curds, topped with two eggs cooked to your liking (over medium for me). This was fantastic. I was a bit leery of beef gravy with eggs, it just didn't sound right but man it all went together really well. I hate to say it but this beats out the breakfast poutine at both Twisted Apron and The St. Joachim Diner

In addition to amazing breakfast TOAST has an amazing selection of coffee, espresso and lattes. Which is probably a given due to their location in Little Italy. My wife has said that their cappuccino is the best in the city. TOAST is still pretty new, they just opened in August 2016. If you haven't had a chance to check them out I strongly recommend heading in some time. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

You've got to get to Motor Burger on a Tuesday and try a Mozza'rati

This intriguing beauty is a Mozza'rati. A new 'burger' only available at Motor Burger and only available on Tuesdays.  Even on a Tuesday they are in limited supply and it may be worth contacting them to make sure they have some left before you go (though if you do go and they don't have any Mozza'rotti left there's tons of other awesome burgers to choose from, so it wouldn't really be much of a loss). Yesterday I finally got a chance to try one of these beauties for myself. 

So what exactly is it? It's an all beef burger with pepperoni wrapped in mozzarella cheese wrapped in pizza dough and baked. Served in a sea of tangy tomato sauce. 

It's just as good as it sounds. This burger combines two of my favourite things; Motor's amazing burgers and pizza. It's like someone read my mind and told them to make this just for me. The meat patty was perfectly cooked and spiced. The pepperoni wasn't too spicy. The sauce was a good tangy sweet. I guess the only thing I would have changed was to add more cheese and that shouldn't surprise anyone :D

Along with the Mozza'rati I feel the need to mention Motor Craft Ales. This local brewery is part of Motor Burger and includes a significant number of beers. Way more than I remember them serving last time we were there. Many are available to go as well as with your meal. Overall it feels like they stepped it up a notch. We tried four different beers while we were there and they were all excellent and each very distinct. 

A special mention goes out to the BMW 2.0 which is by far the best beer I've had from Motor Craft Ales and one of the best beers I've had from a Windsor brewery. The BMW is a Dunkelweizen, 7.4% ABV, 23.5 IBU. I found it very easy to drink, with a great balance of sweet fruit tastes and hoppy bitterness. It has some notes of banana and apple, but you couldn't really taste any booziness despite the high ABV. It went great with the Mozza'rati.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Toothsome is the coolest place I've ever eaten

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen is part of City Walk Orlando just outside the gates of the Universal Orlando theme parks. It's also the coolest place I've ever eaten. 

Just look at that picture at the top. Isn't that sweet looking? What you can't see from this picture are the gears and wind turbines spinning and the steam coming out of the top. Toothsome (sorry I'm not typing that full name more than once) is a steampunk themed restaurant, gift shop, chocolatiere and malt shop.

The inside of the place is just as amazing as the outside. It's full of very cool steampunk decor, awesome knickknacks, themed candies, chocolates and staff all dressed in steampunk cosplay. Most of the bottom floor is the gift store and malt shop. The various shakes are so good that the wait time to get one can easily be over an hour. The gift store is filled with a huge assortment of candies and chocolates all with the steampunk theme. In addition they have a cool selection of steampunk themed household decorations. 

The back half of the first floor and the entire second floor is a huge restaurant that has to seat at least 200 people if not closer to 500. Everything sticks to the steampunk theme. There are even giant 3D video walls that make the place look even bigger on the inside by showing the rest of the Emporium at work. With automatons whizzing about and crates of chocolate being made to be shipped out and consumed. There are copper pipes everywhere. Everything is metallic and shiny. The theme is everywhere and the detail is wondrous.

The most amazing part of all of this is that the food was just as good as the decor and theme. Nearly every dish is made with chocolate. They even have a fantastic chocolate stout (named Too Chocolate Stout) that is brewed exclusively for Toothsome. This was the 2nd best chocolate beer I've ever had, beat only by BNL from Flying Monkeys (which you can never get again, sadly). Our meal at Toothsome was the best meal of our entire trip to Orlando, by far.

The menus themselves are beautiful leather bound books that contain a good variety of items. Most of the menu was signature sandwiches and burgers but there were also larger entrees. The appetizer list alone is enough to get anyone drooling. 

Before we even finished reading the menu they brought us a loaf of this incredible chocolate bread with our drinks. This alone set the tone for the meal. It was so good! Chocolaty but still savory. Not in any way a dessert. I could have probably sat there and just had chocolate stout and chocolate bread all night.

Our family started the meal with pork belly sliders with chocolate coated bacon as an appetizer and that, again, had us saying we had to come back. I also ordered some French Onion Soup that turned out to be better than the soup from Windsor's own Ye Olde Steak House (man I miss that place). For a main I got a Croque-Monsieur, my wife got the Forest Mushroom Pizza, my mother in law tried the Chicken Bercy and the kids got some pasta with red sauce I can't remember the name of. We were also treated to a Rice Krispies Shake. Everything was fantastic and I'm not just saying that because Universal Orlando picked up the bill. Seriously, this was damn fine food. 

At some point during your meal at Toothsome you can expect to meet Professor Doctor Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome with her robot Jacques. The pair that, at least as far as the theme and story of the place goes, opened the Chocolate Emporium. Jacques was one of the most well done automaton cosplays I've ever seen, complete with remotely broadcast slightly robotic voice. The pair explained the story behind Toothsome and stopped for photo ops with the kids. In addition to this personal touch, the service overall was top notch. The staff were jumping out of their pants to help us and take care of our every need. To be honest this was true of every place we checked out in Universal Orlando.

One thing that I think is well worth noting: because Toothsome is part of the Orlando City Walk and not actually located inside one of the Universal theme parks, you don't need a park entry ticket to eat there. It's open to the public and anyone can just walk up and check the place out. You can check out the gift shop, order a shake or sit down to a fantastic meal. Though if you are going for a meal reservations are very strongly recommended. 

For me, the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen (okay, I typed it out twice, happy now?) was the highlight of our family trip to Orlando. The entire trip was great but my favourite part was checking this place out the first day and eating dinner there the next. If you are ever in the area you really have to check this place out. Unless maybe you don't like chocolate. But who doesn't like chocolate?

P.S. Even if you don't like chocolate or have some form of chocolate allergy (I am so sorry for you) there are plenty of things on the menu that don't actually have chocolate in them. Like this Rice Krispies Shake:

Friday, August 26, 2016

The biggest, best sandwich in Windsor #FoodPornFriday

I think there are plenty of Windsorites that can identify this #FoodPornFriday post. Even if they don't know that it's Bill's Big Boy with a side of Dillon Fries, they probably know it comes from Bubi's Awesome Eats.

Bubi's is one of those places you bring your out of town friends when they come to Windsor. They have been featured on You've Gotta Eat Here and for good reason. They have unique fantastic food that's "Garlicky Good!"

This massive sandwich has bacon, ham, turkey, gyro meat, lettuce, tons of cheese and Bubi's Sauce speared between Bubi' fresh made Garlick'd Rye bread. It's one of the best sandwiches in the area and one of the best I've had, ever. 

One of my favourite things to do in the summer is sit on Bubi's patio with a pint of Barking Squirrel and one of these massive sandwiches. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

The best thing I've ever eaten at Jack's Gastropub #FoodPornFriday

This isn't the first time I've featured Jack's Gastropub for #FoodPornFriday and I'm sure it won't be the last. Jack's is our favourite place to eat. The only thing that stops us from going there more often is the fact it's out in Kingsville and not here in Windsor.

I had to share this particular meal this week because it was the best thing I've ever eaten at Jack's. If you follow me on social media you must realize that is saying a lot. We love Jack's, I don't think I've ever had a bad meal and I've had many amazing ones. This dish topped all of them. 

What you see here is Fried Chicken Scaloppine: Cornflake breaded chicken cutlet, summer potato salad, grilled marinated tomato, warm biscuit and sausage gravy. 

Now Jack's changes their menu every season, so I suggest you head out there before this deslish dish disappears. Personally we've already booked a table for next Saturday.