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Friday, October 3, 2014

The Week In Yum Sept 27-Oct 3 Bywoods, The Boneyard Grill, Ward 32 Crazytown and This Weekend's Happenings


The week started off with a bang when Shack and I offered to cook dinner for a good friend's birthday gathering. It quickly went from 6 to 8 guests to about 16 within 24 hours so, of course, we did a big, old Southern BBQ Porkapalooza with almost 30 lbs of meat between the side ribs and the pulled pork. It's the perfect meal to make when you are not sure how many people are going to show up. We had one gluten free guest so I made my first gluten free cornbread and thought I had taken care of any special needs and  then we had two non meat eaters RSVP a couple of hours before dinner. WHAT TO DO?


We went to Hooked, on Queen St East and threw ourselves at their mercy and, of course, they totally came through and saved the day. A big chunk of sturgeon was whisked out from the back and we were gifted with a big chunk of the "pork of fish" with instructions for a brine and assured that if we just treated it like a pork tenderloin, it would all work out.

And work out, it did. I have never had sturgeon before but after brining and spice rubbing, it really was a very porky fish and a great substitute for the delicious king of meats. Buttermilk slaw, buttery corn with thyme and baked beans rounded out the menu and I think everyone left stuffed and happy.

The Boneyard Grill

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Later in the week, I took Shack with me to the opening of The Boneyard Grill at 1554 Avenue, just north of Lawrence.  I had no idea what to expect and I am getting tired of so-so BBQ joints, so we were both pleasantly surprised to find that the food was really good. The pulled pork sandwich was piled with a nest deep fried, battered onions and it was moist and full of flavour. Dry pulled pork makes baby angels cry people. I took a bite of the burger, thinking I would pass it over to Shack because I rarely eat a whole burger and before I  knew it, I had polished the whole thing off. It was slightly pink inside, moist and tender on a soft, old school bun. By the time the ribs got there, I was pretty full but I am never one to pass up a rib when the meat is just falling off the bone so I ate a couple of those two. Crispy sweet potato fries also did not disappoint and the dipping sauces that came with everything were pretty tasty as well.

Chicken wings, although flavourful, are smoked and, therefore, the skin is wiggly and I cannot abide wiggly skin. I need my wings deep fried to within an inch of their lives so that every inch of skin shatters under my teeth. All in all, everything we ate was great although there is no real decor or ambiance to speak of. Shack has now put it into his roster of spots to grab a bite when he is in the north end of the city and I will happily stop in the next time I find myself up there too.





Boneyard Grill on Urbanspoon 

 I owe the Boneyard Grill and my media dinner at Bywoods to the lovely Vicky (mom who runs) and I shall send her the bill for the addition of a stretchy, belly panel into all my pants too. 



Bywoods

Bywoods hosted a gaggle of food bloggers on Wednesday and treated us to a selection from their regular menu. We got to try a couple of salads, a pasta, two pizzas, two meat entrees and a scallop entree, as well as a cocktail and dessert. 

Anyone who knows me, knows that any cocktail that contains rosemary and gin is going to make me a content woman so their signature drink, The Bywoods, put me in my happy place.

Favourites, for me, were the beet salad with goats cheese, charred red onion and arugula tossed in a walnut dressing. At least four people within earshot expressed their usual dislike for beets as they were all shoveling more beets into their hungry mouths. Imagine how much someone like me, who LOVES beets, enjoyed this bright, nutty salad. 

I preferred the vegetarian pizza over the prosciutto/fig/gorgonzola/arugula. It was loaded with lots of things I love like more goat's cheese, leek, artichokes, tomato, black olives and fresh marjoram and both sported a nice thin, crispy crust.

There was a really nice lamb dish served with the most addictive potato/smoked paprika puree I have had in ages. All of us were trying to guess what it was.... was it squash and potato? just squash? what was making it kind of spicy? 
It turns out there was no squash in there, just creamy, pureed potatoes made a pumpkiny orange with the addition of spicy, smoked paprika. I could happily take a bath in this stuff. The grilled flank steak sat on top of a really fresh, herbaceous salsa verde but I couldn't get past the potato puree at that point. All I wanted was more orange potatoes.

Dinner concluded with that flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream and berries up there.

my favourite part of the blogger media dinner lol


I finished up the week with this cake (recipe coming soon) because everyone should end the week with a cake, no?



Municipal Politics - Bringing the Crazy to a 'Hood Near You

Thursday evening, Shack and I attended the all candidate debate for Toronto's ward 32 and I have to tell you, a more entertaining evening was never had. We saw a broad array of mental illness, personality disorders, delusion, personal vendetta disguised as election platform, an angry old dodger shaking his cane- LITERALLY- while swearing and name calling, an anti Marxist misogynist who runs workshops to teach men how to dickmatize hot sluts and trick them into sleeping with them  because he lost his medical license after being charged with sexual assault a few times who continuously displayed the fact that he misunderstands was Marxism means and a lovely young pup with an impressive hipster beard who will probably grow up to be a decent politician one day but lost all of us when he ended his evening with a touch of angry slander. Ward 32, I give you the real CrazyTown.

TELL ME WHAT IS RIGHT ABOUT YOU, NOT WHAT IS WRONG ABOUT THE CURRENT COUNSELLOR

Even if I wasn't already a supporter or our current councillor, Mary Margaret McMahon, I would have no choice but to vote for her because she is the only choice apart from a very nice, Catholic lady (don't yell at me, she makes sure to tell us that time and time again) who plans to solve Toronto's congestion problems by cleaning up the dirty tiles at Coxwell Station.
For reals.

For my Toronto peeps, get off your asses and vote on October 27 to make sure that we don't end up with RoFo's taller, meaner brother and city counsellors who either don't live in the wards they seek to represent or live in the ward, physically, but on another planet, mentally.

Coming up this week:

Friday and Saturday get your lederhosen on and go drink beer at Oktoberfest Toronto

It's Nuit Blanche time again! From sunset to sunrise, starting Saturday, October 4th,  get out and enjoy your city whilte you check out hundreds of free art installations, lots of great food and music. You too cool for school, jaded weirdos can trash this event all you like, but it makes my heart swell to wander the city at 3am and see it completely alive, full of people, lights blazing and things happening. Makes me fall in love with Toronto again, year after year.

If poutine is more your thing, make sure to stop in to Smokes Poutinerie for an all day poutine eating frenzy. Free poutine from 10am to 4pm with a poutine eating contests in the afternoon.

Happy Eating!



Pin of the week:  Loving all of this dark, rich looking stuff from Twigg Studios

Instagram of the week: I love this person's instagram

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