THe Week in Yum April 11-16 On The Wren and a Plate of Haggis, A Bottle Of Innis and Gun and an all Asian Easter
This week has been a bit busy but I kept my official food duties to a minimum since Shack was actually around in person for the first time in what feels like forever and I wanted to spend some time with him. Best meal of the weekend, as always, was enjoyed at our beloved Danforth joint, The Wren. I tried a new cocktail, the Southwestern '75 - Cazadores anejo tequila, sugar, fresh lime and some cava is an $11 glass of heaven. Other than that , it was a night of old favourites; Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich for The Kid, The Wren Burger for Shack and Green Chili Chicken for me. The one new revelation was an order of Scalloped Potato Fries. Honestly. Bars of scalloped potato encased in panko, deep fried and served with a dilly dipping sauce. They can probably kill you but you will die with a smile on your face.
We decided to forgo Easter this year, deciding to just spend the long weekend staying close to home, watching Netflix and, of course, eating.
Easter day meant dim sum at Perfect and dinner at Japango in the Beach which meant that nobody had to cook, we didn't entertain, there were no dishes to do and everybody got to eat all of the things that they love best. Because The Kid wanted to be in the Easter Parade with his his dojo, we did walk down to watch for the first in almost a decade and nothing much has changed in that time. There were dogs in costumes, Star Wars characters because nothing says Easter like a portly Darth Vader and a plethora of marching bands.
Thursday night I had a Haggis event at Nella Cucina to attend, sponsored by Innis and Gunn beer to celebrate Scotland Week. Oddly enough, I couldn't get anyone to agree to come with me. Honestly, I think if most people tasted a great haggis, they would like it but people hear haggis and images of lungs and esophaguses dance in their heads and they shudder and run away. You know what? If you can eat a hot dog, you can eat haggis for the love of all that's holy. Luckily, Shack finished work in time to be my haggis date to enjoy and evening of haggis and beer pairing. The romance is not dead when you can still enjoy a good haggis beer night two decades later.
Okay, I am not sure if that is a lung or a heart and I will admit that those ventricle things are not as appetizing as they could be, but we were both game so I volunteered to be the pluck chopper. What is "the pluck" you might ask? Well, let me tell you. The pluck is the liver, lungs and heart of a sheep and it is the heart, no pun intended, of the haggis. Mixed with steel cut oats, suet and lots of spices, it is ground up and made into a lovely mince that is traditionally stuffed into the sheep's stomach lining and steamed.
Oh, just stop your whining. I can hear you.
It's delicious, it's rich, it's full of iron and all manner of goodness and if you threw some kale in there, you could live to the age of 100 on nothing else. As one of our tablemates said, there are less assholes in haggis than there are in a hot dog.
As fun and interesting as the haggis cooking lesson led by George Brown director, John Higgins was, the unexpected star of the evening, for me, was Innis and Gunn. I am not a big beer drinker - not really because I don't like the flavour but because beer just fills me up so that I cannot physically drink more than 1 glass and it takes up too much real estate, forcing me to eat less than I would like.
We were handed a glass of their Toasted Oak IPA upon our arrival and I planned to take a polite sip and leave the rest untouched but it was delicious and I surprised myself by draining my glass. I have learned that I tend like IPAs, in general, but this one might be my new favourite.
We sat down to dinner so we could enjoy a meal of haggis, tatties and neeps and some lemon posset and this time, we were given a bottle of their Original Oak Aged beer. Again, expecting to only take my polite sip to taste, I quite literally gasped. A beer that tastes like scotch! A smokey, oaky, peaty beer! What is this mythical beer beverage? It's true, I couldn't drink more than a bottle of this stuff at a sitting, but I will happily drink a bottle of this stuff again very soon.
There are a few fun events coming up this week and if the weather cooperates, I may venture out:
The Bread and Butter Smackdown at The Drake sounds fun . The fun will be happening on Monday, April 13 at 8pm, it's free and you get to eat
The next night, Tuesday the 14th, you can pay $59 for a 4 course dinner at The Carbon Bar as they team up with Cumbrae Farms and Canadian Whiskey for Smoke Meat Whiskey night.
Marketlicious launches on April 16 and will run until April 30. During this time you can go enjoy a prefix lunch at one of the participating restaurants for between $15 and $25. The weather is going to warm up and we will all need to get out, stretch our legs and explore some new patios.
Pin of the week: I'm ridiculously excited about new new spiralizer
Instagram of the week: Because I love shoes almost as much as i love food
Facebook share of the week:
10 events to get you through those April showers: http://t.co/yPtMH7dU56 pic.twitter.com/JXwu7IlntX
— View the Vibe (@ViewtheVibe) April 4, 2015