Vegan at L.A.B – Whatchya going to eat?

Last night we had the opportunity to visit L.A.B Restaurant (651 College St. Toronto) for one of JC’s sibling’s birthdays. It’s been on the To Eat list for a while (ever since Howard Dubrovsky won Vegan Iron Chef at the Vegetarian Food Fair in 2010, but I never got around to it). Looking at the menu at LAB, I have to say I had to wonder… why was this guy even at Vegan Iron Chef. There was lobster and lamb and octopus. And that’s probably why I “never got around to it”. (Though word on the street is he is a vegetarian.) There are a couple of vegetarian things on the menu, and at least one vegan thing. I sent a tweet the day before to @foodcult (the LAB account) asking if there was anything vegan, the response was that the terrine of harvest vegetables, and that the risotto could be veganized. Since I find it nearly impossible to get excited about risotto, the terrine was a predetermined inevitability as soon as I heard about it. I seriously appreciated the quick twitter response, especially since I sent it on a Saturday. The LAB website is also great in that it’s not annoying – no flash, no music starting up, no pdf files of the menus. Some other resto’s could learn a thing or too. Both groups of us ordered warm spiced olives and were informed that they just came with the meal – but they never showed up, and we forgot about them…

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Gastronomic Adventures – Fressen and BarChef

It’s been non-stop exciting eating lately. A combination of long workdays, family visiting from out of town, curiosity about new places, and over all, just general laziness has contributed to our recent culinary adventures. I’m aiming to try and work in some home cooking soon. I miss making meals, but once I get home, I’m just… tired. Excuses excuses. I’m lazy, the end. Anyway, we went to Fressen and BarChef last Friday, and collectively it was just wonderful. amazing. and a string of other various positive adjectives. Yesterday we wandered into Fressen (478 Queen Steet W, Toronto) at 6:30 and from what I could tell, were the last non-reservation to sit down. We sat near the door and watched them turn several people away. Lucky us. Like many people, I’ve sort of been meh-fressen lately (where lately = almost a year), but this visit turned that around (at least a little bit.) Our server was friendly. This isn’t exactly a common experience dining in Toronto, so it’s important. Yes. Friendly. We started with very awesome drinks (this may have aided the rest of the meal), vegan Ceasar. Absolutely delicious. Spicy, salty, with a good rim. JC, having had real ceasars before (unlike me) said that it “was a good ceasar, but it wasn’t great”. I have no point of comparison, so to me it was just a great drink. We ordered the Eggplant Manacotti and Spinach Blini as our appetizers. The eggplant manacotti was an easy favourite. Thinly sliced seared eggplant turned into…

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Planning a trip to Montreal

I’m a big fan of planning, planning and more planning, when I go anywhere. So since I’m off to Montreal in La Belle Provence for a month or so, that’s what I have been doing. Luckily there are an amazing amount of resources available to me, thank you internet! Once upon a time when I planned a trip to Vancouver, I used something as archaic as a… BOOK. But this time is no different; I still bought my trusty guidebook, complete with fold out map. Chances are, I will never take this map out in public, but I will likely put it on my wall and track where I’ve been and where I am going. I’ve been feeling stifled by the prairies lately, which frankly is not a feeling I admit to lightly. It is almost as if my romance with simplicity and quiet living has passed. But maybe it’s just my standard fickle fare. Who knows what two months will bring? One thing I know is that it brings music to my ears I haven’t heard live. I am going to go to the Osheaga Music Festival in August, primarily to see Cat Power (my favourite musician) but I’m sure there are others that will be good as well. There is a costume party at the end of July that I can’t wait to attend. The countless art galleries, museums, and historical sites are exactly what I feel I’ve been missing. The city itself is filled with a history…

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