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The Week in Yum Oct 18-24 Lamesa, Trader Joes and the Wood Firepit and Tap

a Kamayan dinner at Lamesa Filipino Kitchen

The week started off with a bang with a visit to Seven Lives in Kensington Market for breakfast ceviche. We met a lovely couple from Barrie who were somewhat of a culinary safari and chatted while we waited for our food. They were here for their anniversary and attempting to eat at every hot spot in the city in a 24 hour period so we gave them some suggestions (including forcing them to go back to the counter and order the ceviche PRONTO). This sort of thing makes me appreciate living in such a great place and taking all of this edible bounty for granted sometimes so thank you , adorable couple from Barrie if you are reading this.

The Wood Firepit and Tap

Sunday meant brunch because we have to eat people. It was a lovely day and we were strolling Queen Street in the Beaches and decided to stop in at The Wood Firepit and Tap to try it out. I had brought home take out the first week they were open but we had never actually eaten in yet. There was only one other table occupied, which is too bad because brunch was really good. Soft boiled eggs cooked perfectly for my Eggs Standard ($9) - actually, the chef deemed one of my eggs not to be perfect so he sent out a third which was totally unnecessary but appreciated. The home fries were really crispy and more like little chunks of french fries but I liked them. The applewood smoked bacon could have been more smoky flavoured but that is about the only complaint I could think of.

The kid absolutely killed his Breakfast Poutine ($10) and Shack was also very happy with his Pork Duo eggs benedict ($14). Just the right amount of pulled pork and some more of the applewood smoke bacon, more perfectly cooked soft poached egg and a solid hollandaise sauce and you have yourself the makings of a very good, affordable brunch option in the heart of the Beaches.

Lamesa Filipino Kitchen

a beautiful fruit juice drink that was waiting for me at the table when I got there

I had been looking forward to my media Kamayan dinner at Lamesa Filipino Kitchen since the day I was invited to it. I have reviewed Lamesa before here and have been back a few times since. I got there a bit early so I could make sure to get a seat up in front where I knew the lighting would be better so that I could get some good shots and found my buddy, The Tasty Gardener had beat me to it and was waiting for me with a nice saved seat.

If you have never heard of it before, Kamayan translates to "eating with your hands" , kama being the Tagalog word for hands. Ever since I first heard that Lamesa was starting to offer Kamayan dinners (they started out monthly and now it has become a regular, Sunday dinner staple) I have been trying to organize a small group to go. We have even made reservations a couple of times but had to cancel them. Damn you film industry that makes it nearly impossible for any of us to plan anything farther ahead than 12 hours!

 I will be writing up a full description of the meal next week but, for now, here are some quick photos of the extravaganza that starts with a table covered with banana leaves which the chefs use as their canvas as they proceed to paint and arrange a dizzying array of sauces, meats, seafood, rice and salad that looks like utter chaos until you realize that they have managed to provide each diner with their own "plate" of food. Amazing.

Trader Joe's

 Later in the week, Shack and I drove to Buffalo to pop into Trader Joe's. It was a nice day for a drive, he didn't have to go to work and he is leaving in a couple of weeks to work out of the country for a bit so we are spending as much time as we can hanging out. For some of you a day spent driving to another country to grocery shop might seem like an odd outing for a "date" but this is how we roll.

For a mere $80 we filled our cart with spekulas cookies, sea salt, tea, a couple jars of cookie butter, pumpkin butter, Greek olive oil, a couple gallons of their spiced apple cider, coffee beans and tons of chocolate treats - is there anything they don't roll in chocolate at Trader Joe's???
Much of this is destined for Xmas gift baskets but the prices are really amazing - we get burrata cheese there for $4.99! That is nutty.

Right before we crossed the border , the news broke about the shooting in Ottawa and so we listened to the CBC radio coverage all morning and for the rest of the day and then got home and watched, in horror, as the CBC continued to give the most restrained, responsible, respectful coverage of this tragic event that I have seen in a very long time. In this age of CNN's BREAKING NEWS, complete with tragedy theme songs, jumping the gun and reporting rumour and innuendo before it's verified as fact and the whole tragedy porn style of news that we have gotten far too used to, I felt so reassured by the comforting voice of Peter Mansbridge letting me know that he was there to just keep the country apprised of the facts. Thank you Canadian news people, for reminding me how important it is to retain the CBC as our national news source that shouldn't depend on ratings and advertising $$ to stay afloat.

After that, nobody around here felt much like eating out and merry making so I will leave it at that for the week and see you next Friday.

Don't mess with a mace bearing Canadian > Sgt At Arms Kevin Vickers. A true, Canadian badass.

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