friday was this insane adventure that involved me hopping on my bike to go meet my new family doctor only to get a flat tire less than a 1/4 of the way there. so i had to drop my bike off, was late for my appointment, and had to pay $20 for the tire change. but somehow, in the midst of getting my tire changed, freaking scammers at cyclepath ALSO f**ked with my rear back breaks so that they were baby soft (incredibly unresponsive). what jerks. i'm thinking it might be time to invest in a new bike...maybe i'll hold off for one more season and wait til next spring...i think i'm going to get one of those city hybrid cruisers - not as heavy as a mountain bike, thinner tires, but not like, velodrome/tour de france thin.
anyway, then i got a massage and met up with the dotytron and accompanied him to his after school program, where predictably the kids went a little nuts at my presence and while i quietly did paperwork in the corner during his guitar lesson, i overheard gems like, "you know what i want right now more than anything? besides subway, i want spray-on shoes." lol! kids are hilarious.
before the goosetang hang at bwong's we passed by johnny's hamburgers in scarborough, which has been on my to-try list for forevers. i'm OBSESSED with burgers right now, for whatever reason.
the place is tiny - with only a sliver of stainless counter top for you to eat there - almost everyone is taking their food to go. the prices are dirt, dirt cheap - $3.99 for a banquet burger - you can't beat that. the patties are frozen, but the bun! the bun! so soft, so yielding, so accommodating to the melting cheese-whiz goo of american cheese - this is your classic, greasy spoon, burger joint, burger. good flavour, soft, tender, so good!
for dinner near bwong's we went to jetsun's juicyburger. (yes, i double-burgered in one day, nay! in the space of an hour.) the dotytron got onion rings and i got chili cheese fries and a cheeseburger. i ate it all really fast, but i gotta say, i'm not a fan of this place. everything was strangely tasteless - with the burger being the most tasteless of all. all i could taste was pickles, mustard, and ketchup - the patty itself had no discernible flavour or seasoning of even texture to recommend it. the chili cheese fries were pretty good, but they had beans in the chili which i'm not a fan of when it comes to chili cheese fries and the chili again was very bland. i think overall, my verdict of this place is that everything was bland and unmemorable.
then we went back to bwong's. funny stuff that happened:
- right when we got there, just as we're sitting down and laughing about something, bwong mysteriously shredded something that we're guessing he REALLY didn't want us to see. it was so funny! like, literally, bwong's like, "HAHAHAHA-" *shrrrreeedddd* - hand under the table. lol!
- i passed out on bwong's super comfy sectional while those guys watched blue planet on his giant tv on blue ray and woke up to some random channel (the w network, i think) showing something like "top ten lame a** movies for women") and they showed a clip from "love, actually" with hugh grant being interviewed which for some reason made dr. rei INCENSED and had her pointing at the tv, barking, "HUGH...ARE NOT!" which makes no sense but made me laugh like a mofo.
saturday morning i met H, sweet baby D and H's mom jeans to attend this annual vintage clothing sale around the corner from my house. it's put on by 3 vintage clothing retailers that i like individually, and there were tonnes of great pieces there, but everything was quite expensive (say, $150 for a dress) and i didn't have the money for it. tucked way back in the corner, i did see a pile of fabric remnants in great, 1970s bold prints and colours, on heavy linen/cotton blends...i bought these three:
they're going to look AMAZING! i'm so pumped. i'm going to stretch them onto wooden frames that artists use to stretch canvas and hang them on the walls - aren't they unique? what a find! they were priced at $20 each but i went in on them with another woman who was buying 4 and we haggled the seller down to $15 each, which i think is really fair for unique wall art.
saturday night we had plans to meet up with heinz and amy (cleveland cru) at pizzeria libretto, only to show up at 8 and be told that there was a TWO HOUR WAIT for a party of four. that's freakin' insane. people on ossington (and the city of toronto at large) are morons. i mean, pizzeria libretto is good, but it's not TRANSCENDENT. it's not a bollito sandwich at mercato centrale, or deep dish chicago, or well, a night at guu izakaya or even fish'n'chips at harbord fish'n'chips. the food is really good at libretto, but the EXPERIENCE doesn't add up to more than the sum of its parts. i'm never going back there again! i'm telling you, if the pizza at that new place at the bottom of our street is even midway decent, i'm swearing off libretto until you only have to wait an hour. 2 hours?!? ridiculous.
anyway, we ended up at burger shoppe quality meats...which would be my third burger meal in a row, i know.
the burgers there are really good though - i got one with bacon and a fried egg, and we split an order of the pulled pork poutine and sweet potato fries and baked mac'n'cheese:
the next day we met up for dim sum brunch at chili secrets in markham - here are some shots of the crew:
and then we headed down to guu izakaya four hours later for DINNER. so crazy! we definitely wanted to take cleveland down there because they own a japanese restaurant in cleveland and guu is so g-d fun, how could you lose?
we showed up at 4:45pm and easily got a table for 8 when they opened at 5, even though there were around 30 people ahead of us. cleveland freakin loved it - we pretty much ordered the whole menu:
this was kabocha squash wrapped around a hard boiled egg, and then panko and fried. super tasty.
this is a dish we love...cold spinach sauced in a toasty, cool black sesame dressing. the dotytron LOVES black sesame more than any gweilo should, really.
deep fried octopus balls
this is one of my favorite dishes at guu, hands down. the grilled oysters with spinach (in the form of a creamy, pureed spinach-cheese sauce) with chunks of broiled mushrooms is a revelation. the mushrooms and oyster chunks match each other in umami and texture so perfectly.
spot prawn sashimi.
fried calamari with matchstick potatoes, in a sauce which heinz surmised was a mix of ketchup and sriracha.
grilled ox tongue.
pork intestines! these were a revelation - i'm used to the chinese bbq style where they're kind of rubbery and chewy. these were so tender and giving - almost like pork stomach - and they were sauced in a highly addictive sweet black bean sauce.
braised pork belly with egg. so effin' good. but i'm trying to get the dotytron to start saving me from myself, in the sense that i probably eat too many chunks of pork fat, per capita.
fried brie with the mango, blueberry sauce.
kimchi udon. we know how i feel about fat, chubby, slurpy udon noodles.
grilled pork cheeks! so good! the texture of the meat is a little firmer than you might expect (equivalent to pork loin) but very, very meaty and flavourful, with a good hit of fat, without any gobs of noticeable fat (like in pork belly). it was tender, even though you'd expect it to be chewier. we loved this dish.
oh hai, salmon belly carpaccio! so refreshing - we went a little lighter on the raw/cold stuff this time around, for whatever reason - but the cold stuff is super-refreshing so i would highly recommend it.
this is a special, almond tofu they were offering that day that was a giant version of their usual almond tofu - that they said was for 4-5 people but that totally served the 8 of us, quite happily. so awesome!
this is sakura (cherry blossom) cheesecake, their flavour of the day. it was so light! and not too sweet - i liked that.
some shots of the crew:
i love those guys. i can't even imagine that a year ago, i didn't even know we HAD cleveland crew! and now look! best cleveland crew of life! (seriously...those guys are the funnest AND our exact double. heinz had a "heinz turns 10!" 30th birthday party where everyone wore like, 80s clothes and l.a. gear high tops and they went go-carting - SO BEST.)
onward and upward.
tonight for dinner i'm trying to resume sensible, non-burger/restaurant eating by making us spinach, mushroom, roasted pepper and mozzarella & ricotta calzones - hearty little veggie-packed mothers, which i brushed with chili oil and sprinkled with salt before baking on my trusty stone.