Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27-29: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend

It's Friday, of a weird week. A lot of people are on holidays, and the ice storm may have put more (or less) people out of the office than expected, regardless it is the weekend. Hope you all had a good holiday, despite the craziness that was #darkTO.

Do: Chalkers Pub Billiards Bistro near the Glencairn subways station is hosting a Friday Games Night. There is a ton of games to choose from, new games are available every month. The cover is $5 and the require a minimum 1 drink purchase to support the venue. Could be a great way to meet new people and experience some games you wouldn't have a chance to play otherwise. 

See: Arlene Paculan is playing at the Gladstone Hotel tonight from 9pm-11pm in their Melody Bar. Her voice is absolutely stunning. In her music, you can hear her emotions and passion. Cover is free for this event, so head to the Melody Bar for a relaxing evening with a few drinks and enjoy a great local musician. If you're not able to see her this weekend, check her out on YouTube

Eat: There's delicious doughnuts in the city of Toronto but it seems like so many of them are in the west end but not anymore! Von Doughnuts opened this week to bring delicious doughnuts to the Danforth. I haven't had a chance to try them yet but the photos are enough to make you drool. In case you didn't get enough of the sweets this week, definitely check them out.  

Drink: Did you eat and drink too much this week? Probably, I know I sure did. So, if you want to go out but the idea of skinny jeans is just not happening, the Henhouse on Dundas W has you covered. Their Regretro party this weekend welcomes sweatpants. They say they'll be wearing theirs and dare you to wear yours. This is perfect if you want to burn a few calories, have some drinks and dance the night away. (Also, I had to Google Regretro - Urban Dictionary defines it as anything that was cool years ago but when you look back, it's just ridiculous.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

thirsty thursday: union

It's Boxing Day in Canada. It's the day after Christmas, which always makes me think, wow, how is Christmas already done? It was a crazy Christmas in Toronto, following the worst ice storm I remember in the city. I hope you all had a great Christmas and for those in Toronto and other places affected by the ice storm, I hope you didn't lose power for long and for those still experiencing the outages, I hope you get your power back soon! And those who have the patience for the Boxing Day shopping, hope you got a great deal. 

After the craziness that has been this week (or may continue to be this week), you may need a drink. This week's pick is  Union, a VQA from the Niagara region. I tried their riesling chardonnay blend at a party a few weeks ago and picked up a bottle of it at the LCBO. It's a nice white wine, I don't drink a lot of wine but I liked this one a lot. This wine is on the sweeter side and does not have the vinegary after-taste that some whites have. The Union site recommends pairing this with seafood salads or spicy tapas. It's $12.95 at the LCBO and has a 12.5% alcohol content. 


Friday, December 20, 2013

this weekend in toronto

With the holidays ramping up, I haven't had time to pull together a list for this weekend. I just want to wish you all a fantastic weekend. Be safe, it is supposed to be very slippery out there. Have fun with whatever you do! I'll be back next week, promise!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

thirsty thursday: beaus lug tread

I am a fan of (some) craft beer and love buying 'local'. This week's beer is Beau's Lug Tread. I say 'local' because this one isn't from Toronto but is still from Ontario. This brew is from Vanklee Hill in Western Ontario, according to their website, it's the Gingerbread Capital of Ontario. I've tried it at a number of events in the past few months including the Tasting Fair, the Delicious Food Show and it's on tap at the Loose Moose on Front St.

 If you read my Hogtown review, you know I'm not a huge fan of overly hoppy beers and this brew is a great craft beer that doesn't leave that hoppy aftertaste. This award-winning beer is great when you're like me and want a refreshing beer that can go with just about anything. The Beaus website does provide some food pairings, in case you're looking for some inspiration.

I took a picture but can't find it... sorry!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

tafelmusik review and contest

I've been so behind on my blogging, I feel terrible but with school wrapping up, it just wasn't possible. But I'm back, looking forward to the holidays coming up and have a contest for my fabulous readers (in Toronto only though, sorry).

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend Tafelmusik. I mentioned it in a blog post about what was coming up that weekend and mentioned that I had never heard of it but people I work with were familiar with the program. So, my friend and I got dressed up and got to experience another side of Toronto I hadn't seen since going to Roy Thompson Hall in grade five, so please forgive me if my terminology is a little off. 

The show was Mozart's Piano, Kristian Bezuidenhout was the guest director and fortepiano soloist. The music was spectacular. If you closed your eyes, you could honestly mistake it for a CD, that's how crystal clear the sound was. The entire ensemble was flawless. It was hard to believe that you were watching people play these instruments. I was overwhelmed by the sheer talent of this group. They played 5 pieces and I actually recognized some of the music. They played pieces from J.C Bach, C.P.E. Bach and of course Mozart.

My friend and I were invited as part of Tafelscene, the under-35 program run by Tafelmusik, which aims to expose a new generation to this amazing and breathtaking music. If you join now until January 2nd, you have a chance to win an iPod and the complete Tafelmusik Media Collection. They offer discount tickets for people under-35 and their Saturday concerts at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre are all pay-what-you-can. Simply arrive between 6pm-7pm to purchase your tickets. During Tafelscene events, those under-35 are invited to the Tafelscene Lounge during intermission for wine and cheese. My friend and I went, met some of the musicians and got a hilarious pin. 

It was a great night and highly recommend it if you're looking for something unique to do in the city. Thanks to Tafelmusik for providing tickets for my friend and myself to check it out and thanks to them for providing two tickets for their French Baroque - January 11th show, use the rafflecopter to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13-15: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend

Happy Friday the 13th. I hope you're day is lucky. There's so much going on this weekend, hopefully your weekend is great.

Do: Christmas is just around the corner and if you're looking for special Christmas gifts there are a number of local markets to check out to get great gifts. The Toronto Market Crawl is all weekend and mostly in the downtown core, it includes 6 markets, some only available on Saturday. Support your local artists and get some unique gifts at the same time.  

See: Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps dance series presents WinterSong. Shows are tonight at 8pm and tomorrow at 2pm, tickets can be purchased online and range from $22 to $39. The show celebrates the holidays and winter solstice traditions around the world.

Eat: From the people that brought you "Toronto Poutine Fest", Joylister has created a passport to poutine. For $20, you get 6 poutines from Toronto "poutineries". This pass is a great way to try poutines throughout the city and decide once and for all if you are a purest or if you love the extras. Quanties are limited, check the site for details and restrictions. 

Drink: Tonight is 12 Beers of Christmas at the Gladstone Hotel. For $5, wear your ugly Christmas sweater and get ready to sample some delicious local beer. The cheesiest Christmas tunes you know and love will be playing in the Melody Bar from 7pm-10pm tonight. It should be a great night. 

Have a fantastic weekend everyone. Be safe, it's supposed to be slippery!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

thirsty thursday: hogtown brewers

I wanted to try to do only holiday themed posts but sadly I did not have time in the last couple days so I'm going to share an awesome local beer I tried recently.

I've seen hogtown brewers at a few festivals in the past, but I finally tried them. I was really happy I did. I love supporting small breweries, particularly ones from Toronto but I always have the problem that most craft beers are too hoppy for my liking. 

This was a great beer. It had a bit of a bite to it but didn't leave that funny after-taste that some beers will do. I was so happy to find this beer at a festival, but it is available at the LCBO. Next time you're looking for a delicious craft beer from Toronto, definitely grab a couple cans of Hogtown Ale. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9-12: what to do/see/eat/drink in toronto this week

As always, there's so much going on in the city. Here's a few ideas for this week!

Do: If watching the Leafs game at home is just too boring for you, try Tall Boys on Bloor St. This Wednesday, they'll be showing the game with full audio as the Leafs take on the Kings. As part of "Hoppy Night in Canada" there will be in-game entertainment, raffle prizes and food. Fun way to experience the game with other fans without paying an arm and a leg for tickets. 

See: The Canadian Opera Company has free concerts in the afternoon throughout the month of December. The majority of them are early afternoon, but on Wednesday there is a show at 5:30pm. There is a number of different types of shows and are from up-and-coming artists as well as established musicians. All shows are at the Four Seasons Centre.

I tried Famoso this weekend for the first time and it was delicious. I went to the Bloor & Spadina location, there's also one at Yorkdale. The location in the Annex has a pizza and pint for $10 on Thursdays. This special applies to their smaller size pizza, which I found to be more than enough anyways. A delicious way to spend your Thursday.

Drink: If you can't make it to Famoso on Thursday, every week, they have Vino Wednesday. While you enjoy your delicious pizza, you can get a bottle of wine for $15 off. With their prices, it means you can get some of their reserve bottles for less than $25. Definitely a great date night.

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6-8: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in toronto

It's the first full-weekend in Toronto, which means there is lots of Christmas activities going on, and as always, lots of non-holiday things as well. Here's a few ideas!

Do: Have you ever wanted to have your picture taken in a giant Ferrero-Rocher? Chances are you haven't considered it but this weekend, Yonge-Dundas Square has made this availlable for that great event you didn't know you needed. From 9am-8pm tonight and 9am-6pm Saturday, you can have you picture taken inside a giant Ferrero Rocher. On Saturday, Sean Jones will perform holiday classics on stage. 

See: I recently learned about Tafelmusik, after speaking to people at work and apparently it's very popular. Tafelmusik is an award-winning period orchestra from Canada. They offer discounts tickets for the under-35 crowd. Tafelscene's goal is to bring the experience to a new generation, with tickets beginning at $15. On Saturdays between 6pm-7pm, there is also the option of Pay-What-You-Can Saturdays. It is a great way to experience something new at a reasonable price.

Eat: It's definitely the Christmas season (somehow, I'm not really sure how we're a week into December) but you're probably looking for delicious holiday treats. For this, I suggest They have pulled together a list of the best places to get gingerbread, including delicious donuts, houses and cupcakes. 'Tis the season!

Drink: There are two new country bars that opened this week. They apparently both have a mechanical bull. I love country music and can't wait to try both of these places out. Boot N Bourbon is at Queen and Broadview. Opening in the Entertainment District is Rock N Horse Saloon on Adelaide, East of John. Get your boots on, and get down, go to town and do the boot-scoot boogie. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

thirsty thursday: canoe christmas

I want all my Thirsty Thursdays in December to be Christmas or holiday related. Today, I 'invented' a drink to meet this requirements. Necessity is the mother of invention and I present to you, the 'canoe christmas'. 

The only liquor in this comes from the beer so it is not as strong as a typical cocktail. I used the 'light' beer Cracked Canoe. It is brewed by Moosehead, their lighter beer is under 100 calories. I mixed it with President's Choice Cranberry Gingerale. I love just about everything on the PC menu that comes out at the holidays and this is no exception. I used a 16oz cup and filled it about half and half. You could adjust if you'd like. Depending on your mix, you may not taste the beer, just depends how much beer taste you'd like. 

This delicious drink is great, perfect as mentioned if you're looking for something a little lighter and would like a cocktail without the hard liquor. I'd love to hear your beer cocktail ideas! Let me know in the comments.

As we get into the holiday season, remember that there's no excuse for drinking and driving. Have a great time but make sure its a safe time, don't drink and drive. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2-5: what to do/see/eat/drink this week

Somehow it is the first week of December, which means the city will be buzzing with activity, mostly Christmas related. Here's a few options for this week.

Do: The One of a Kind Christmas Show is on until December 8th. Happening at the Direct Energy Centre, its a great place to get unique gifts for people on your Christmas list. There will be over 800 artisans selling a variety of one-of-a-kind items.

See: Trailer Park Boys fans will be happy to know there is a Christmas show just for them. The story follows the story of of Bubbles trying to spread the meaning of Christmas. The show is this Thursday at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at the Ex.

Eat/Drink: I love a place that has some kind of special going on, no matter what day of the week it is. I'm not saying your Friday special has to be as good as your Tuesday special but give me something! The Lakeview is giving you something. They have a beer and liquor special every night of the week, so if you're looking for a place to have a couple of beverages this week, this is your place. They also have an amazing looking menu, including twenty-four hour breakfast. I love a place that doesn't restrict when I can have breakfast food. 

Enjoy your first week of December, friends!