Against the Grain patio – picture taken from their website.
Sugar Beach is a great quiet place in the city to just unwind and relax. There is nothing better than biking down to the lake, stretching out a blanket and take a couple of hours to catch up on some reading and have a nice little picnic or check out this great restaurant called Against the Grain, which is located right in the center of the Sugar Beach.
One of the highlights for me is their patio – it’s beautiful, huge, comfortable and great for just sitting back and enjoying the view of the lake. Service while a little slow is friendly and worth the wait because their food is amazing.
Their 8oz burger with bacon and 4 year old cheddar was excellent. Not an American griddle smashed style but a heavy thick burger cooked a nice medium. It came with a salad and a side of fries. Usually I don’t comment on a house salad but this was so fresh and had the lightest yet tasty vinaigrette dressing. The fries were good too.
So next time you’re at the Sugar Beach, visit Against the Grain. It’s well worth it!
25 Dockside Dr.
Aft Kitchen & Bar is simple in its decor yet extremely inviting. All the wood is reclaimed and the lighting is dim but not so much where you need a flashlight. Also it will get loud, not that it’s a bad thing but if you want a quiet evening Aft won’t be your first choice.
Weekends are Texas BBQ – and being to Texas before this would make a Texan proud. The menu is simple and vegetarians need not apply. We were going to get an appetizer (the smoked wings smelled amazing from a table over) we decided on the sharing platter for two. In hindsight it’s a good thing we didn’t get an app because the platter was more than enough.
Our platter consisted of beef brisket, beef sausages and BBQ side ribs. Our sides were fries, coleslaw and baked beans. As for the sides the coleslaw was uneventful but the baked beans and fries were outstanding.
Along side all the mains you are presented with three home made sauces. A straight ahead BBQ sauce that is Kansas style, a sweet sauce with some mango, and the clear winner being a maple mustard habanero sauce.
The brisket was done perfectly. Great crust and so tender and when doused in BBQ sauce it was stellar. The beef sausage may have stole the show. Smoked, a little spicy and a great snap to the skin. The sausage alone is worth coming back for. The ribs could have used a touch more rub and a touch more smoke. Also note that they are side ribs so there is a bit of fat to contend with. These are just minor gripes though.
We skipped on dessert and opted for Ed’s Real Scoop ice cream instead. How could you not when it is so close by?
For those in Leslieville make sure to check out your latest gem of a restaurant. The rest, brave the treck over the bridge and go get some great BBQ.
Also, you may want to bring a bib cause it does get kind of messy…in a good way!
686 Queen St East, Toronto
So continuing with the trend of visiting places barely out of infancy, we visited Osteria Dei Ganzi. It was its fourth evening being open.
Ganzi took over what used to be the Hive. While we never visited the Hive it had always had mixed reviews and we were always more comfortable just going to the Blake House or the Keg Mansion.
The restaurant is in a 120 year old home formerly owned by the Gooderham family. It appears that all the original architecture is in place and Ganzi has dressed the decor up with some chic Italian inspired art work. Think Andy Warhol meets Betty Page.
I’ve recently came back from a cruise and if you’re a fan of cruises, especially the Celebrity lines, you have to check out one of their specialty restaurants – Qsine.
It’s out of this world!
This place will take you on a culinary journey and will awaken the foodie in you.
When I first walked in, I felt like I was at a Cirque du Soleil inspired restaurant. The decor was charming and unique, the music was hypnotizing, and the mood was magical.
First of all, when they gave me the food menu it came on an iPad. How cool is that?! Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep the menu. Oh well….
That night we ordered 16 dishes to try but we could only finish 12. Every single dish was artsy, delicious, and sometimes we were even told how to eat it and with what. I must say, it definitely was a journey but instead of talking about it I will take you on a visual journey. Just one warning before we start – you might get hungry!