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Sunday, 10 August 2014

Food Festie: Taste of Danforth

Hey guys!

I meant to post this on Friday but these days have been long and busy. Zzz. Like the title states, I am going to post about the Taste of Danforth! The Taste of Danforth is a Greek food festival that is held in downtown Toronto (Broadview) from August 8 - 10. It is held annually, always in the same place, and includes lots of food, dancing, and performances! The food can range from $2 and up per item from what I saw this year though most of the dishes cost around $5-6 each.

Like I said before, there are some showcase stages in which bands perform R&B, rock, reggae, blues, and more! Each year changes so there is a mix in variety. :) There really is a lot in this festival - I didn't see all of it but I will link the website for you guys in the end to explore. The time I went to the festival was from approximately 7 pm and stayed until 10:30 pm.

Now to the main point!
Views and food we saw/ate:
ASTORIA SLOUVAKI (Blue and white shop)
Some of the Gyro Ingredients

Boyfriend and my Chicken Gyros
Gyros in the making
Close-up on Chicken Gyro
The chicken gyro from Astoria Slouvaki was super tasty! I've been to the Taste of Danforth for many years and each year I always eat one or two of these delicious gyros. Mmm. In case you can't really tell, they have marinated chicken, onions, lettuce, ranch dressing, and some of their own special sauce inside the wrap. Sooo good. The cost for each of these was $6. Pretty good considering the size and taste.

Here are a couple of other restaurants/shops:

Fresh Oysters!
They even had ice cream trucks!

I would really recommend this place (last 2 pictures) called Burger Stomper. I ate here a week ago and IT'S SO GOOD! The best I had was the Smokey Bacon Poutine. It contains caramelized onions, their own special sauce, and fries. Super awesome. It's definitely worth it - in store it's about $8.05 for a big plate. I also heard about their amazing milkshakes which go for $5 for two, though I have yet to try them. If I do, I'll let you know!

Butterbeer! I love the HP reference haha.
Beer stand with a collectible mug
Man dancing to the music as he sells his food goodies

ASTORIA Shish Kebob House
ASTORIA's Cooking Area (yummy smell)
Pork Kebab and a side of bread from ASTORIA
Another shish kebab place
There were a lot of kebab stores so it was really hard to choose from! The pork kebab from ASTORIA was pretty good. I enjoy that they give a slice of bread to tame the stronger flavour of the kebab. It was also great for cleansing your mouth of the heaviness.

Taste of the Silk Road
"The best calamari on the Danforth!"
Server putting calamari in a small holder

Calamari and a form of lemon-y sauce

The calamari from Taste of the Silk Road was really good, especially when it's mixed in with the sauce given. (No extra charge). The total cost was $5 or $6. The lemon sauce complemented the calamari well but only if you don't put too much or it'll become too strong. It tasted really good with just a bit of the sauce, but if you are one to really enjoy dousing your food in sauce, go for it!

One of the many games in the games area (Around Pape)
One of the many games in the games area (Around Pape)

Walking into the games area of the festival

WARNING** Extremely bad quality photo (LOL)
They had a HUGE bouncy house, which of course, I took a terrible photo of. (Sorry!) I was on the other side and I forgot to take a better once passing by it again in the front. Heh, bad memory. :c

The rides do require tickets which of course costs money, so if you go to the festival to play some games, remember to buy tickets! Don't waste time lining up only to find out that you need tickets. :S

Fish and Chips
Last thing I ate! I took this when I ate a couple of fries so it looks a bit sparse haha. It cost $3 for fries and one piece of fish which isn't so bad. You can put your own ketchup and mayonnaise on the side which they provide for you on tables. This was the first time I actually had Fish and Chips (the fish part at least) and it wasn't bad. I would try it again if I go to another festival that has this. :)

Celebrity Stage where performers were entertaining us!
Second stage! The Showcase Stage, I believe.
There are a couple of stages, such as the celebrity stage, the showcase stage, and the Greek yogurt stage. I took a picture of two of them - the celebrity and showcase stage. They had lots of music and dancing which made the whole scene and mood really fun.

Feelings: This festival was fantastic as usual! Since I went on a Friday, it wasn't as busy as Saturday and Sunday. There were still quite a bit of people, especially around 7-8 when people got off work and headed to the festival. This festival is great for anyone who just wants to walk around or enjoy food or even both! There's tons of music and lots of games and rides for children to play so it's perfect for families! (or even the simple adult with a young heart haha)

The food was fantastic, especially the gyros! I love it! It was well worth the price for my satisfaction ahha.I realize that some foods may not exactly be worth it (price-wise) as opposed to a restaurant but I always remember that going to a food festival means spending a bit more for not only the food but the ambience as well. This festival can be full new experiences as there are a lot of food that can be new to you. Some for me were the calamari and the variety of music the performers provided.

For those who want to read more up on the Taste of Danforth for this year, here is the link to the website:

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Italian Chicken Burger!

Hello hello!
It's time for another post - this time on what my boyfriend and I created for lunch today: Italian Chicken Burger! (If you hadn't noticed, I usually only cook nicer things with my boyfriend LOL)

Italian Chicken Burger
Even though it doesn't look that impressive in the photo, this burger tasted fantastic. XD I followed a SORTED recipe but substituted a few things to accommodate what I could find or had. The meal doesn't take long to make, (provided you don't mess up haha), because you only need to cook one thing: the chicken. The rest you just slap on or toast/bake. Easy!

Ingredients used (+ chicken thighs)
miracle whip - cabbage - tomato - pesto - hamburger buns - cheese - breadcrumbs - chicken thighs
This is the collection of ingredients that I used, excluding the chicken thighs because I forgot to include them in the photo! I substituted some ingredients from the recipe, them being:
Chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts
 Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise
 Classico Sun Dried Tomato Pesto instead of Red Pesto (slight difference)
 Léger Havarti Light cheese instead of Mozzarella cheese
Hamburger Buns instead of Ciabatta
2. Use a blender to make breadcrumbs

1. Defrost chicken

The first thing I did was defrost my chicken thighs in my microwave that had been in my fridge! (I defrosted by weight) You can also use fresh chicken breasts to avoid defrosting. While I waited for that, I used a blender to grind down my stale bread into fine pieces which had been left out overnight. I also added a teensy bit of salt - though honestly, could go without because later on you'll be adding pesto anyway which makes it saltier.

3. Cover the chicken thighs in pesto
4. Cover the thighs with breadcrumbs
When the chicken was defrosted, I put them into a plate for easy smearing of the sundried tomato pesto. I added enough to make sure it was all covered. This can get dirty so make sure you wash your hands beforehand! After making sure the chicken is well covered, dip them in breadcrumbs and ensure both sides have an even spread of breadcrumbs.

5. Add oil to pan and fry the breaded chicken
6. Heat up the hamburger buns.

It's time for the cooking to start! I added oil and put the heat to around medium. I recommend putting the dial at 5-7) so the breadcrumbs won't burn before the chicken fully cooks. I made the mistake of putting it a bit too high (8) and the breadcrumbs burnt a bit. Nevertheless, the breadcrumbs were really really good. Back to cooking now... while the chicken cooked, I heated up the buns in my small oven. Remember to check on it!

7. Chop up the tomato and lettuce!
Cooked breaded chicken!

I also chopped up half a tomato and some lettuce big enough to cover the hamburger bun width while waiting for the chicken to cook. Remember to  flip the chicken so both sides cook. You can see some of the burnt breadcrumbs had fallen off :S but after I adjusted the heat to a lower dial, it didn't burn afterwards.

It's time for the easy part!

Yummy crunchy hamburger buns
8. Layer up on the Miracle Whip!

9. Add lettuce.
10. Add tomato slice(s).

Voila! Finished!
11. Add cheese

**Put the ingredients on quickly so the hot chicken can melt the cheese well.**

Feelings: Super fast to make and super tasty to eat! I really have to applaud the breadcrumbs (lol) on making the whole thing extra tasty. I really have to put a huge emphasis on how good it was. The sundried tomato pesto with breadcrumbs and then frying them was just perfect. Add that onto the chicken and ohmygosh it's so good. It created a stronger taste for the chicken that went well with the cheese. No ingredient overpowered the other. You could easily taste the cheese, lettuce, etc alongside the other and truly enjoy the burger.

The only downside I had while cooking this was the fact the breadcrumbs sometimes fell off, probably because I burnt some of it, or I accidentally took some off while flipping. Again, that is my fault so haha. Otherwise, this was very tasty! I would make it again because it is super quick and tasty to make.

I only had to buy a couple of things so I am unsure of total cost; I can tell you what I did buy though:
1 Green Cabbage: $2.43
Classico Pesto $3.69
1 Red Tomato: $0.73
Hamburger Buns (8): $3.00
Total: $9.85
Serves: 2

- 1-2 chicken thighs (I used smaller, chopped pieces because that's what I had)
Classico Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- 1 Stale bread
- Lettuce, washed and separated
- 1 Tomato (used half)
- Slices of Léger Havarti Light cheese
- Hamburger buns
- Miracle Whip
- optional salt and pepper

Followed the recipe (for the most part) on:!/chickenburger/

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Review: City Hollywood Café + Chatime!

Hello once again!
Pacific Mall

Chatime Bubble Tea

Today I went out with my boyfriend to Pacific Mall and Market Village, a small plaza near the mall, to eat and walk around! Pacific Mall is a popular Asian mall in Markham that is full of bubble tea stores and food. I took the bus to Pacific mall with one goal in mind: Chatime. For those who don't know what Chatime is, it's a popular bubble tea franchise that originates from Taiwan. There are only 3 Chatime franchises that I know of around here: one in down town Toronto, one at Finch Station. and one in Pacific Mall - perfect for bubble tea lovers! I ordered one of the most popular bubble tea: Chatime Pearl Milk Tea. It came out to $4.75 CAN including tax for a regular drink - which is quite enough for me!

Chatime Pearl Milk Tea
(I love how the drink comes out exactly how it's advertised!
 None of that McDonalds stuff! :P )
I must say that the first time I tried Chatime in July, I fell in love! They mastered the Hong Kong milk tea taste well and wow, it is great. :) Normally I don't like tapioca (the black balls) but their tapioca was so good that even I loved it. The texture feels smooth, bouncy, and wholesome and is very tasty to eat. They put quite a bit of tapioca in your drink so that each time you drink, you get a couple in your mouth which also complements the milk tea flavour well. The milk tea is very sweet - though you can also ask them to put less sugar or no ice - which was great for me as I like my drinks sweet. There is also a free membership card that allows you to accumulate points (1 point per order) for a free drink! You can receive your card at any Chatime location. If you want to find out more, click:

Benefits of the membership card are:
10 points = free regular drink
100 points = become a Chatime Elite Rewards member. (More benefits)

Front entrance
Outdoor seating! A great plus for the nicer days

Afterwards, we walked around the mall and the plaza until we got hungry and headed to City Hollywood Café. The restaurant is located in the Market Village Plaza - easily located in a corner. This restaurant sells mainly Hong Kong Western style food and is very famous for their chicken wings! It's been around for many many years though this is the first time I've set foot in the restaurant.

The atmosphere in the café was quite calming, clean, and homely. There were decorations placed all over the walls displaying famous actresses, actors, bands, and clap boards which gave the restaurant a unique theme and feeling. The washroom even had an actor/actress on the door to indicate which was female or male! So Hollywood-esque! The restaurant also had multiple televisions set all around the restaurant for diners to enjoy while they eat. We were pointed towards our seating and here are a few pictures of the table setup:

(Sorry for the bad quality! This picture was a nice little decoration at my table)
The menu! Cool right?
Placemats and a nice cup of hot tea.
We sat at a table for four which was pleasant as we had lots of room for ourselves! The menu had lots of Hong Kong western style food as well as a few pages of the usual Chinese food, sandwiches, alcoholic drinks, and sodas. They also have a delicious breakfast section for any of you guys who want to go there bright and early. We knew that the restaurant was quite famous for its chicken wings so we ordered a basket of honey garlic chicken wings at a price of $14.99 (excluding tax and tips).

Honey garlic chicken wings with fries and gravy
The basket had a total of 20 chicken wings with fries and gravy. (whoo!) I would say it's a pretty good deal considering this basket was filling enough for both my boyfriend and I! Haha, or we just have small stomachs. The metal basket was also very cool looking - though you can't really see it from this photo. I really enjoyed the taste of the wings because it had a strong taste of honey garlic and had a very mouth-watering waft. Mmm! Although we were given a bottle of ketchup, the fries were already covered in honey garlic sauce - not that I minded because it tasted really good just like that. For those who also enjoy gravy on their fries, the servers provided an additional side of gravy. 

Overall: The servers were extremely quick to attend and provide anything we needed which was fantastic! (I have had too many experiences of servers either forgetting what I needed or failing to even acknowledge me at all! /cry) The mood was cosy and made it easy for me to get comfortable in my seat and relax after a long day of walking. The food tasted awesome and came at an equally awesome price! There are no private dining rooms unfortunately, for those who needed them. However, they do take reservations and deliver. This is a pretty good restaurant and I would go there again - especially if it's for those yummy wings. :)

City Hollywood Café 
Address: 4372 Steeles Ave E, Markham, ON M1V 4S5
Phone: (905) 305-8877
Hours: 8:00 am - 1:00 am