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The Week in Yum January 30- Feb 5 Weslodge,Ka Chi, Basquiat - Too Much Eating Going On

Okay, this week was kind of overwhelming with what feels like non stop cooking, eating out, recipe testing and great new stuff to try out so get ready for a loaded post.

My week started off with a fabulous Winterlicious lunch at Weslodge with three other food blogging buddies - I'm sorry Libby Roach, but I like to Licious.

So, the $23 lunch menu has lots of good stuff on it so I had no problem ordering my lunch - I will admit that I am often not interested in the Winterlicious menus in lots of restaurants that I am actually really anxious to try out but at Weslodge, this was not the case.
I was having the scotch egg as my first course and nobody was going to stop me. I have had this delectable little chorizo wrapped quail egg that has been breaded and deepfried until the centre is just a creamy mess of pudding like yolk while the outside is crispy - it's food alchemy at it's finest. Two of my table mates ordered the braised brisket sandwich and the cornmeal crusted catfish and although they both seemed pleased with their meals, the only complaint would be the tiny portion size of the catfish. It was really tasty but really small. My bowl of wild mushroom ragu on tagliatelle, on the other hand, was the perfect size and really good. Three of us had the cheesecake with lime curd and crushed up pretzels with one lone wolf who ordered the brownie. It looked like the saddest little brownie that ever lived, especially next to our beautifully plated cheesecake but she said it was really great, so if you are a brownie person, don't worry about how much prettier the other desserts are, just do your brownie thing.

host John Catucci with Ramualdo Savati and Domenico Scurti of Pizzeria Via Mercanti

Later that night I dragged Shack out to a party celebrating the new season of "You've Gotta Eat Here" where we met up with fellow blogger, Vicky from Mom Who Runs. I love this show and we refer to it all the time when we are looking for something good to eat when we find ourselves in unfamiliar waters. I love that it's a Canadian show that features Canadian restaurants and, Imma gonna keep it real here.... John Catucci is so much more personable and charming natural of hair than his American counterpart. If it weren't for him, we would not have found Dr Laffa so for that alone, we owe him our first born child. We ended up eating that tasty, thin curst pizza down there, having a few cocktails, watched the season premiere and closed the joint down. Vicky and I may, or may not have had a bit of a disco dance party with a very adorable toddler at one point but unless I see photo evidence, it didn't happen.

Pizzeria Via Mercanti was one of the featured restaurants in the premiere so it made sense that they hosted the shindig and we not only loved the pizza we were served (it had a crust that was stuffed with prosciutto - HELLO) but Shack ate two bowls of a rich, cheesy, creamy pasta before he found out that it was made with gluten free penne and now my picky toddler is obsessed with finding out what brand they use so I can get some. It really was super tasty and although I had eaten at their Kensington Market spot, this was my first visit to their downtown restaurant at 87 Elm St.

You Gotta Eat Here airs on Food Network Canada on Fridays at 9pm ET

lentils, lentils and more lentils - finally perfected my Dulce De Lentil Ice Cream with Lentil Praline

On Saturday I swung by the Annual Souper Bowl Fundraiser at La Papillion to grab 6 big jars of the best french onion soup

This is what we did to our french onion soup a couple of days later

I finally got to have lunch at Ka Chi in Kensington Market last weekend after years of longing. Although we visit the market at least a few times a month, we never eat here because Shack always wants to eat ceviche from Seven Lives, Tacos from Mexican Salsas (which, alas, is no more) or a slice from Pizzeria Mare and whenever I suggest this place, he ignores me as he gets in line with the other 300 people at Seven Lives. 

We took some good friends on an urban safari to Kensington Market. They don't really go downtown to eat and wanted to experience the market and we wanted to introduce my future daughter in law to something other than boneless, skinless chicken breasts or pasta with tomato sauce. Okay, maybe starting her off with Korean wasn't the most obvious choice, I really, really wanted to go here. In the end, it all worked out because everyone really liked their food (okay, future daughter inlaw didn't love her teriyaki chicken but she didn't hate it either so that is a big win). I had a bubbling bowl of spicy tofu stew with pork in a hot stone bowl, we shared short ribs and they graciously made my son's future mother in law a new plate of stir fried squid without spice when her food came and she couldn't eat it. Big brownie points for customer service, the food was really good and I will not wait so long to return.

Super Bowl Party at The Neighbours- she made chili dogs and those delicious lobster bisquits and I contributed korean cauliflower "wings"

Okay, for weeks we have been eagerly anticipating the opening of the Basquiat show at the AGO, Now's The Time. Shack LOVES this artist and even took the day off so that we could catch the very first glimpse of the show with our members only preview tickets for 10am the very first day. We dropped The Kid off at school and continued downtown, scored rockstar parking right across the street, maxed out the parking and went into the AGO. It was weirdly quiet, there were no other members waiting to go in , despite the fact that it was only 9:50am. The door was open so we walked in  and asked where the Basquiat show was and we were told to follow the lady in the burgundy coat. We followed her onto the elevator and went upstairs. 

When we came out, there was a line of people checking in at a table and I saw a station with coffee, tea and juice, there were waiters passing around lovely things and a break dancing performance was going on.


I looked at my tickets and the were for 10am THE NEXT DAY.
I told Shack and the look on his face terrified me into doing something I am not usually comfortable doing. I walked over to the table, told the woman that I had mistakenly thought my members preview tickets were for this morning. She told me this was the media preview and I swallowed my pride and said "Well, I AM media. I usually write about food and travel" and braced myself for being told to piss up a rope.......

 Instead, she wrote down my name, my blog name, my email and gave me a press kit and waved me off so she could check in the next journalist. Thank you kind AGO lady for letting us in. You saved my marriage and provided us with such a thrilling morning.
 We were treated to these amazing breakdancers (who knew anyone still knew how to do that??) sponsored by the Unity Charity , an amazing Toronto group that empowers youth to be leaders and role models in their communities.

This show is beautiful - I love how they have grouped the paintings into 8 categories like "Heroes", "Street", "Mirrored" and "Sampling and Scratching" instead of just showing the work chronologically. Frank, the restaurant inside of the AGO, is even featuring a series of Basquiat inspired prix fixe menus that reflect his Haitain/Puerto Rican roots. We didn't stay to try that because we spent all of our time in the show but I want to try that out. Go see the show - it's really amazing and for anyone who is between the ages of 40 and 60 and who was, in anyway, interested in art and music, it represents a huge chunk of our lives.

We stopped by Sully's Sandwich Shop on Gerrard East for a sandwich. As soon as you sit down, you notice that they put big pots of complimentary hot chocolate on the table to drink while you wait (you can also eat in as they do have about 8 stools but it was freezing in there and we had to eat with our coats and scarves on, so take heed). Our sandwiches were huge, tasty and well priced and although my Mexican influenced porchetta sandwich was good, I couldn't get Porchetta and Co's sandwich out of my mind. Next time I would skip the fries, which were really dry and order the larger salad, which was the best thing we ate. It's a really fresh, flavourful mess of greens with a mustardy vinaigrette, roasted beets and lots of feta. A great take sandwich option in the east end.

God, I love my job. I have been dying to invest in a food sealer for so long now that I feel like an idiot for not buying one yet. Thankfully, someone at Food Saver reached out to me and offered me one of their machines to use and review, just like that one down there.

Since the day I opened the box, I have been sucking the air out of everything that isn't nailed down around here and it is already my new, favourite kitchen appliance. We have made a custom bag and used it to marinated some beef in an airtight bag and I have used a couple of the ziplock bags that come with it - you can fill it with cookies, suck the air out of the bag and put it in the freezer, take it out and remove a cookie or two, suck the air back out and return it to the freezer. No more freezer burn, no more spoiled food, covered in my freezer's protective icy coating. I love it so much I have already ordered the marinating container, more ziplock bags and the mason jar sealer.


more habanero squid, coconut shrimp on a dreamy, creamy corn and salad with hearts of palm at La Cubana

My week finished off with a lunch date with one of my favourite bloggy buddies, Libby Roach. Only for Libby would I get out of my pjs and drag my ass all the way to Roncesvalles to gossip, engage in snark, catch up and to introduce her to the wonders of La Cubana

It's winter in Canada people. It's how we do.

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