Tag Archives: Danforth

Work Off the Foodie at Bomb Wellness-free classes this weekend on the Danforth

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(You can scroll to the bottom of this post for the BOMB free schedule and skip my yapping or CLICK HERE. They also have child-minding, a kids class and I often set up Felix with the iPad while I work out.)

Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.” – Earl of Derby

Wow–that Earl was a bit of a downer.  But he’s right and it’s New Year’s Resolution time and also let’s face it exercise makes us feel good  (I imagine the eye rolls…).  But really, when I’m busy and stressed and have the least time to work out is when  I could use it the most.

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And Bomb Wellness (Danforth and Greenwood) where I’ve been a member for  a year is my favourite gym in my gym-member experience (and I have been joining gyms since I was 16–really–I suck at team sports but can regale you with stories of mix tapes and that new step/spin/core workout trend)

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There is a real community at BOMB and just like at Cheers (remember that show you oldies?) everybody knows your name.  Well, Victoria and Kevin the owners do and they use it just when you think they’re not looking and you’re push ups are not quite a push-up anymore—don’t worry you can take a break holding plank.  (Gee thanks).

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But that’s what you want in a gym-enthusiasm, motivation and great classes and teachers……

So drop in today they have free classes all weekend–it is their 1 year Anniversary.  And then pop by Red Rocket just down the block for a latte and muffin.

TIMETABLE
Although there is no need to book ahead of time, all classes have limited space, so arrive early! Timetable is subject to change. Fit Kids (3-6yrs) starts at 12:00pm both days.


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Filed under Local and Community Toronto, Uncategorized

Art of the Danforth: Feast in the East (and no knead pizza dough)

If you’re already thinking about the weekend (yes, that started Tuesday I know) you might want to check out some of the Art of the Danforth activities.  On Saturday night is an event called Feast in the East which will combine music, art and culinary art.  There are three such events over the course of the festival.  Last week the theme was British/Scottish.  This Saturday, May 26 is Italian and (I am excited about this one) June 9 is Ethiopia.

Meanwhile I am going to finally try the no-knead pizza dough recipe by Jim Lahey, owner of the Sullivan Street Bakery.  It ferments overnight so I will let you know how it goes, but I find pizza is the perfect quick dinner for a Friday night.  Especially if I can whip together the dough today.  I have an easy, favourite recipe but this will apparently “exceed my wildest expectations”.  We shall see.

If you want to do this along with me (in fact, can you do this and I’ll come over and pick up half of the dough tomorrow) here is a link to the recipe from Bon Appetit.

Also, if you make this and then tomorrow on the drive home you’re like, “screw it, I’m ordering Thai” the dough can sit for three days.   A procrastinator’s dream.

Otherwise we can compare notes bright and early Saturday morning.  No, of course not, Saturday is for sleeping in until your spouse does not get up when your toddler is clearly making loud wake-up noises from his bedroom at 7am and someone needs to go get him….

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Filed under All Recipes, Cookbooks, Magazines (+recipes from), Uncategorized

Sauce on the Danforth: Craft Beer, 1920′s Cocktails and Music

I’ve been walking by the old location of Classy Nails wondering why they couldn’t stay classy (oh Ron Burgundy!) and what the little teeny sign above the liquor license application meant, “sauce” it said.

Now it is a a HUGE sign.  Which seems like good progress.  Something to be excited about.  I found the LinkedIn page for “MichelleB” who is supposedly opening the lounge and here is what it described our new east end bar as:

An East-End Toronto Lounge with a Victorian-Goth Bordello-Chic Design.
We offer:
– fresh hand made pasta with your choice of Sauce
– a vast selection of Craft Beer on Tap and in Bottle
– an array of 1920′s inspired cocktail offerings
– Top shelf Tequilas, Bourbons, Scotches & Vodkas
– music, music, music… you never know who you’ll hear

Conveniently located steps from Greenwood Station.

(which it is, it’s between Greenwood and Monarch Park, just east from Bomb Wellness and west of Gerry’s grocery).  For those not in the hood, it is between Greenwood and Coxwell subway.

This comment on Chowhound cracked me up:

“Ha, I think there’s a few places on the Danforth doing the Victorian-Goth-Bordello thing without knowing it! “

Still–craft beer, top-shelf tequila?  1920′s cocktails?  Bring on bordello-chic.  Opening in August.   www.sauceonthedanforth.com

Here are the latest photos!  http://www.sauceondanforth.com/pictures.htm

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The Works Danforth: Some call it a Burger Fix, I call it a Shake Stop

The Works, 888 Danforth, corner of Danforth and Dewhurst, across from Square Boy

For those of us needed a burger fix in the east end (with table service) by Friday we’ll have somewhere new to go.  The Works, a Canadian chain which originated in Ottawa and has been winning burger titles in its hometown as well as Kingston and London and is expanding to Toronto.  My burger cravings are usually satisfied on one end of the spectrum by Harveys (yep, yumm) or the burger at Allan’s (and of course Burger’s Priest, all hail) but I looked forward to checking out the competition yesterday at their pre-grand opening.

Which is when I got addicted to a mocha-oreo shake.

I ordered the shake first to give me some time to go through the massive list of burger toppings.  Even the shake selection was vast–but pretty awesome.

I have a thing with ice cream–I never crave it, never buy it, but when presented with it, can’t get enough.  So sipping my 2-CUPS of childhood nostalgia and with help from my server (if the service is as friendly and fun all the time, it may be the main reason to go) made a burger decision–decisions actually.

1. Pick a patty–ground beef, chicken breast, ground turkey, veggie burger, Portebello Mushroom Cap or Domestic Elk Meat (add $3.39 for the upgrade).  The meat is  sourced locally, hand-pressed and contains no additives.   (I choose the Elk, tender and moist it was)

2. Pick a bun–White, Whole Wheat, Gluten Free (white bun always seems logical)

3. Choose your topping:  you’ve got 70 options.  Some samples:

Leaside Burger- mushrooms, smokey BBQ, cheddar and dbl smoked bacon

Pony Express (my “next time” choice) cream cheese, horseradish, Franks’s Red Hot Sauce, cheddar cheese and ripe tomato

Royal Runner-tomatoes and crinkle-cut pickles with royal supreme sauce

Stanley Cup Burgerapparently has not been available for the last 45 years…sorry

So, the above is my Grid Burger with chipotle ketchup, Havarti cheese, 4 double smoked bacon slices (they had me at FOUR) and caramelized onion.

Other guests were having the La Ultimate FLAMME-grilled burger (below) with gouda, crispy bacon and fresh Avocado…

And here is the Teriyaki burger with the sweet potato strings…

What’s that you say?  It’s not burger night without a tower of Onion Rings and a zillion sauce options?

Breaded not battered is apparently the secret to their crunchiness.  And though I am not usually an onion ring fan, OK, I admit, they were pretty tasty.

Sauce options that I tried were the Hot as Hell, Dijon-haze, Beechhouse (a creamy veggie dip), Chipotle Mayo, Tzatziki Chill.

The Works franchises work with local charities to raise money and help the less privileged (eating a tower of onion rings means you are privileged) and in honour of their Grand Opening they are serving complimentary food tomorrow THURSDAY, MAY 3, 11am-2pm and 5pm-8pm with a “donate-what-you-want” policy, proceeds going to the Pape Food Bank.

If you head over, make sure you give a salute to Square Boy across the street.  I asked CEO Andy O’Brien if he thought they’d pull business away from this Danforth fave (open since the 60s) but he said they talked to the Square Boy folks and they feel they have different food and a different crowd.

All I can say is I woke up thinking about the damn milkshake—though FYI The Works, you need straws with the little scoop at the end of them.  Just a little customer feedback.

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Mornings Just Got Better (and some great coffee reading while you sip)

Sigh. So cozy.

Red Rocket on the Danforth is open.  There is excitement about the foam on the lattes and the crema on the espresso.

Chairs were still being tucked under tables and the kitchen is not running yet but it was a warm welcome–on both ends.

And if you love coffee you must read Chris Nuttall-Smith’s “How to Make the Best Coffee of Your Life” piece from yesterday’s Globe.  Even if you dislike coffee, it’s a great read and offers much fodder for scowling and taunting the coffee obsessed.

And as a coffee amateur I also really appreciated this piece from Coffeestork  (which Chris tweeted later)  about the importance of fresh coffee beans.

And for the tea lovers, Red Rocket makes a London Fog –earl grey, vanilla and steamed milk.

And now I am going to SHUT UP about this place.

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Filed under Blogs with cooking tips, Restaurants and Products

Red Rocket Coffee Danforth: Only a few more sleepy days to wait

Watch out Tim Horton's. You've just been a feeble fallback.

 Red Rocket Coffee is opening SOON minutes from my house, just a quick walk to the Danforth.  Red Rocket, whose original location was at Greenwood and Queen (across from the TTC yard, hence the name) had to close its Leslieville location due to a major rent increase.  I am probably one of many who live in the Danforth that want to offer heartfelt condolences to Red Rocket’s Queen East regulars but instead are clicking our heels together with glee.

The new location at 1364 Danforth is still sealed up with Kraft Paper, a present we all want to open.

Not open yet. No matter how many times I walked by in one day.

Red Rocket will be taking over the Three’s Company Too location on the Danforth.  The original Three’s Company is now at Danforth and Pape (the loss of their weekend brunch still saddens me when I pass what is now a French Toast-less  Naturopathic Clinic at the corner of Lamb/Greenwood)   If you’re from the west end I’ll stick with locating the new Red Rocket “between Greenwood and Coxwell” but if you’re from the hood you’ll want to know that it’s just west of Linnsmore Cres. (minutes from the Greenwood Subway exit) and across the Danforth from Lamb and Gillard St.   Conveniently close to Jerry’s Supermarket (grocer/butcher) and the new fitness place  BOMB Wellness.

The Future:

Coffee- workout-coffee.

Coffee-pork chops-coffee.

Coffee-forgot the bacon-PU coffee for spouse at home.

If the damn place would just open I could live out all the above fair trade and organic fantasies.  Well, maybe only the first and last part of the first one.

Word on the Red Rocket Blog as posted Saturday is that they’ll be opening in a few days.  Word on the street (as I lingered outside today and peeked through the window at a space full of boxes and “stuff”) is that there will be a soft open (coffee only–Red Rocket also makes their own food and pastries) mid-January.

I will keep lingering even if the Red Rocket people start to fear that what they appreciated as loyalty in their Queen St E clientele could potentially turn to stalking on the Danforth.   Just enthusiasm, I swear.

(There is also a Wellesley location)

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Filed under Restaurants and Products, Ruminations on the Edible

Screw the Sugar Cookies: Christmas Macaroon Fix in the East End

What could make a better hostess gift? Nothing, don't even try thinking about it.

If Toronto foodies can go west West in search of a good bite, I will traverse the east East.

It was the first “snowfall” (windy wet snowstorm) of the season last week when I set out.  I was looking for a new pastry shop called J’Adore Cakes on the Danforth.  In my hood.  But kind of further east than the east I called home.  I found myself trudging sans hat, with flimsy scarf wrapped around my ears and mascara smudges on my cheeks towards a little window promising shelter and sugar near Victoria Park/Danforth.

The windows of J’Adore Cakes were steamed up from the warmth of the ovens which had been going all morning and I could just make out the hazy shape of a macaroon tree in the window.

Macaroon tree if you've never seen one in the wild.

Once inside I was greeted by owner and pastry chef  Isabelle Loiacono and her very charming mom, who was helping at the counter.  The store is teeny–J’Adore’s first retail outlet.  Cute, charming, cozy are all words that apply.  For lunch, dessert or esperesso it’s a “pop-in” kind of place without even a table to sit down (one little table would be nice!).  But the individual desserts looked artful and mouth-watering while the macaroons were as they should be: crunchy and tender on the outside and chewy, soft in the middle.

They also make beautiful cakes which you can order with a phone call or by visiting the J’Adore website.

I stole the picture below off the site and there are many more examples  (I also stole the Macaroon Tower and Holiday Macaroon photos–full disclosure)

Let me leave you with a list of a few of the macaroon flavours J’Adore features:

There were more, I ate them. Why I should not do my own photo shoots.

 In random order: Lavender Maple, Coconut Dulce, Cashew Honey, Red Velvet, Praline Crunch, Sea Salt Caramel, and Pistachio Rosewater.

Isabelle has been featured on the Marilyn Dennis Show, in Wedding Bells magazine and competed on The Food Network Challenge.

She also grills a mean ham and swiss baguette to comfort you when your eyelashes have frozen to your face.

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Filed under Restaurants and Products