Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Aurora and Newmarket Bars and Pubs

Here I'm collecting data on all the pub/bars in my area.

Working hours, price for pint of of domestic draft, pound of wings, special appetizers (if any) and some of my own comments about the place, crowd etc.

Some of the places are chains, but pint of beer is pint of beer anyways...

Crow's Nest

15 Prospect St. Newmarket, On. L3Y3T3 - Phone 905-953-8776

Closed at: Mon-Thu 11pm. Fri-Sat 11:30pm. Sun 10pm. - that's not late at all.
Pint: 6
Wings: $10

Grey Goat

74 Main Street, Newmarket, ON, Canada (905) 895-7902

UPD: Unfortunately this place is closed.

Almost always some crowd. Large loaded nachos can work as good meal for two.
Live bands every

Crabby Joe's

125 Pedersen Drive, Aurora, ON, Phone: 905-751-0006

Closed at: Mon-Thu 1am. Fri-Sat 2am. Sun 12pm. - Only Grey Goat can beat this.
Pint: $6 - kinda on expensive side
Wings: 11

Tuesday 39c wings. 1/2 price appetizers after 5pm.

St. Louise Bar and Grill

444 Hollandview Trail, Aurora, ON, L4G 7Z9, Phone: 905-841-4445

Closed at: ?? Need to verify but late enough.
Pint: $5.30
Wings: $11.50

1/2 price wings on tuesdays and wings are best in town.

If this place is outstanding for anything it would be waitresses and their dresses. Eye candies!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pho Saigon, Newmarket - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup in its best

Address: 16925 Yonge Street, Newmarket, ON L3Y 5Y1
Phone: (905) 830-3488

Phở - Vietnamese beef noodle soup.

Newmarket, Ontario - with population just over 80k people has surprisingly large number of Pho establishments. There are at least five restaurants in Newmarket (I know of), that advertise themselves as Pho places and another three or four that would have Pho on the menu, while specializing on some other kind of Asian food.

The best one - Pho Saigon on Yonge st. one light north of Mulock dr. Spotlessly clear broth, always fresh condiments and, most importantly - lineup at the front door at the lunch time - the best indication of the good restaurant for the suburb like Newmarket.

For these of you who know enough about Pho - you got it already - Pho Saigon is the best place in Newmarket. For others - some introduction to Pho.

Phở Beef Noodle Soup 101

Pho is a Vietnamese signature soup, made of beef broth, rice noodles and slices of different varieties of meet. Here is what they serve in Pho Saigon:
- Raw beef (Phở tái) - finely sliced, it would be served pink and cooked right in your bowl
- Well done beef (Phở bò chín nạc)
- Tendon (Phở gân bò) - jelly-like pieces, not everyone in my family likes
- Tripe (Phở sách bò) - insights of the cow's stomach - while sounds scary, not that bad at all
- Chicken (Phở gà) - yes, just chicken
- Meat Balls (Phở bò viên)

In most of Pho places you'll find a menu of dozen or so types of soups, which are essentially the same broth and noodles but different combination of meat slices. "All in one" combination would usually be called "House Special" and will cost buck or so more for a bowl. It is also normal to ask for some extra meet (obviously for a little extra money). I personally like combination of raw and well-done beef with "extra shot" of chicken.

Basil, Lime and Bean Sprouts usually served on the side. It's up to you if and how to use them - my preference - basil and lime juice goes into the bowl straight away, sprouts wait till most of the noodles are done with. There are also sweet sauce as well as chili always on the table - make sure to try these in your soup.

Most of the Pho places would serve three sizes of each soup Small, Medium and Large. Some however would call it Medium, Large and Extra Large. I can barely manage "Medium" and "Small" is just a right lunch-size for me.

Pho Saigon on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Not exactly food related, but anyway - if you have a passion for local food from local businesses, why not to do the same with your holiday tree?

Here is the map of Toronto, Ontario area Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms

There is one for Ottawa as well.

Get you kids and dog, drive to the farmer nearby, pick and cut your own Christmas Tree.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bill's Turkey Farm. Where to get fresh turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas

Address: 2978 Holborn Rd, East Gwillimbury, ON, Canada
Phone: 905-478-4677

There are couple of farms not far from Newmarket and Aurora where you can pick up fresh, air-chilled (not frozen!) bird for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Bill's turkey farm is indeed my favorite. Located a short drive north from Newmarket this family - run farm has build a good reputation among local residents.

They open just few days a year - right before Christmas and Thanksgiving. Call to verify time and dates they are open. Turkeys are 15lb and more.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Taftan Kebab, Persian Restaurant, Richmond Hill, Ontario

Address: 9625 Yonge St, unit #11, Richmond Hill, ON
Phone: 905-508-2644
Web: http://www.taftankebab.com

Hole-in-the wall Iranian place, on Yonge and Weldrick in Richmond Hill, halfway between 16th avenue and Major MacKenzie. Taftan is packed with local persian-speaking residents every night. Good indicators for quality and authenticity of the food.

Few chairs designed more for waiting for your take-out order to be ready, rather than for sit-down dinner, but you'll be welcomed to enjoy your lunch or dinner inside.

Menu at Taftan Kebab may seem overcrowded or foreign to you at the first glance. Iranian/Persian food considered by some as jewel of all Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisines. The same way the French is one for Europe. So worth exploring and some explanation.

Fesenjan - Chicken with pomegranage. Khoresht-e fesenjān (Persian: خورشت فسنجان), or simply fesenjān (Persian: فسنجان), is a dish in Persian cuisine. It is a thick, tart stew made from pomegranate juice and ground walnuts.

Ghaimeh is a Persian stew of which the main ingredients are cubed lamb, yellow split peas, onion and dried lime.

Ghormeh sabzi (Persian: قرمه سبزی) is an Iranian herb stew. It is an important element of Persian cuisine, often said to be the Iranian "national dish". The main ingredients are a mixture of sauteed herbs, consisting mainly of parsley, leek, and a smaller amount of fenugreek leaves, spinach and coriander may be added. This mixture is cooked with kidney beans, green onions, chives, dried limes, and Lamb or veal meat.

The rest of the menu are Kebaps in one form or another. All kebabs are grilled right before your eyes on a charcoal grill.

Kabab koobideh (Persian: کباب کوبیده) is an Iranian minced meat kebab/kabab which is made from ground meet (lamb or beef), often mixed with parsley and chopped onions.
Besides ground meet, Kabab Koubideh contains: onion, salt, pepper, turmeric, and koobideh seasoning. Ingredients are mixed well together until the mixture becomes smooth and sticky. The mixture is then pressed around a skewer.

Chicken, Beef, Lamb, and even Quail kebabs in various combinations are there as well. All served with rice and salad. You may also ask for any of the kebabs to be served as a pita sandwich.

Taftan kabab on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Big Momma'a Carrebian Restautant, Bradford, Ontario

Phone: 905-778-8118
Address: 32 Holland st. East, Bradford, West Gwillimbury, ON, L3Z1R8

Big Momma's Soul Food - typical Jamaican/Caribbean take-out place with few tables to sit, but oh! an exceptional food.

There are couple of Caribbean places in Newmarket/Aurora, but this one is worth a drive to Bradford. It's just 15 minutes from north end of Newmarket anyway.

Menu is typical Caribbean: Jerk Chicken Goat, Oxtail.. all with rice and cole slaw. Prices are good, meals are the way they are supposed to be and they even would deliver to Newmarket if the order is large enough.

Interior is decorated with Jamaican flags, portraits of Bob Marley and Muhammad Ali. Boxing is on TV screen.

Located on Holland st. (the central street of Bradford) adjusted to Mexicanada (another promising place yet to explore).

Big Mamma's Soul Food on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Barbarian Brewery. La Barberie. Quebec City

Address: 310 rue Saint-Roch, Québec, QC G1K 6S2
Phone: (418) 522-4373‎
Web: http://www.labarberie.com

By now - that's my absolute favorite microbrewery in Canada. Located in Quebec City, Barbarian Brewery makes over a dozen beers (see menu on the picture below), that would satisfy most picky beer lovers.

I'm not that frequent to Quebec City - there once a year or so. Every time I'm there - I'm making sure to visit the place. And almost surely some new beers are being served there. My favourite from the last visit - Jalopeno-flavored beer.

Brewery and "the tasting hall" are located about 20 minutes walk from old Quebec City - worth a hike. I would strongly advice you against walking back - take a cab - It would bee all up the hill if you'll try to walk. While in the brewery - there is a choice of samplers, so if you don't know yet what beer you like there - start with these.

Bring Your Own concept in Quebec is well developed. In many small restaurants you are welcomed to bring your own bottle of wine for dinner without any crazy "corkage fees" Ontario restaurants are famous for. In Barbarian Brewery/La Barberie - it's all the other way around. They serve no food. But you are welcomed to bring your own. If you'll ask for food menu, you'll be served with list of menus for the food places around, that do delivery.