The Irv Gastro Pub – review

The Irv Gastro Pub

Cabbagetown has quietly started to become a foodie destination. With such established places already, such as House on Parliament and Stout as well as the new and amazing 420 Smokehouse the folks behind The Irv Gastro Pub knew they had to come out swinging to compete. And they did.

In the spot once formerly home to local favourite Jam Café and the short lived Fare Game, The Irv Gastro Pub renovated the place from top to bottom and gave the old school décor a new school vibe.

The restaurant is basically split in two parts: bar at the front and quiet dining in the back. Seating is limited and it is easy to see why it gets packed so quick.

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Against the Grain – restaurant review

against the grain

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.

atg burger

So next time you’re at the Sugar Beach, visit Against the Grain. It’s well worth it!

25 Dockside Dr.
Toronto, ON
(647) 344-1562

Arepa Cafe – review

Arepa Cafe

Have you ever heard of or tried an arepa? I haven’t, until last weekend and oh-my-god, I want to eat this delicious goodness all the time.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with an arepa, it is a flatbread made of ground corn dough or cooked flour, very prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. Its use is eaten daily in those countries and can be served with various accompaniments such as cheese, avocado, meat, jam, or split and used to make sandwiches.

colombian arepa

Arepa Cafe is located on Queen St. W. and I can’t believe that I passed it so many times without even noticing it and missing out on all that this cute cafe has to offer. The decor consists of brick walls, drawings on chalk boards and bright colors throughout the place. It is an open kitchen concept, so you can see how the arepas are being made and the staff is super friendly and very approachable.

Arepa Cafe

I tried the pabellon arepa ($10.25), which is stuffed with shredded flank steak, black beans, sweet platain and mozzarella cheese. It was very filling and yummy! They definitely don’t skimp on the add-ons and I barely finished the whole thing. The arepas also go really well with cheese only. You can add some avocado or black beans to accent the taste.


Pabellon Arepa

arepa closeup

The Arepa Cafe has so much more to offer on the menu, like empanadas, cachapas, platain tostones, desserts, and so much more. I can’t wait to go back.

Go give them a try… you won’t be disappointed.

490 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario