Tag Archives: Toronto


Lemon Tree Macarons - assortment

A while ago I mentioned how macarons are starting to eclipse the popularity of cupcakes. I still don’t think they have the mass appeal of cupcakes, but they are pretty special. Do a Google image search, and you’ll see why — while they all have a similar shape, they can come in bright jewel colours and complex flavours.

I first saw Lemon Tree macarons while in the throes of my cupcake obsession. Of course, every time I passed the little table at St. Lawrence Market, I was on my way to buy cupcake supplies for that weekend. Must buy macarons next time.

These macarons don’t really mess with the gimmicky stuff. They are all inspired by classic flavours, like mint, nut, caramel, mocha and chocolate.

Lemon Tree Macarons - Salted Caramel

Delicious salted caramel – can you blame me for being greedy?

It took a couple of months, but I finally caved and bought a few. J and I shared them bite by bite, and found a delicious surprise in each.

Probably my favourite one, the only one I kept all to myself, was the salted caramel. You can’t tell from the outside, but inside there is a well of delicious flowing salted caramel. Sooooo good!

If you want these babies, you either have to make a custom order or buy a few from the select stock at their small table downstairs at the St. Lawrence Market (just next to Rube’s rice and bean island). You won’t regret it!!

Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse!

Betelgeuse beer

Betelgeuse may be a star, or a movie dead guy, but now it’s also a great new beer from Mill St!

Mill St. Brewery is a craft brewery that has been around for over 100 years, giving Toronto a great assortment of fun beers. This summer, they’ve released three special brews:

  • Lemon Tea – a refreshing beer with a mix of lemon, Earl Grey and Orange Pekoe flavours.
  • Schleimhammer Roggenbier – not sure how to describe this one… heh… a little sweet, but not super thick… red?
  • Betelgeuse – a Belgian style Trippel, strong and sweet


A still from the movie Beetlejuice.

My favourite of the three has to be the Betelgeuse. I’ll start by saying that I’m no beer expert – I’m slowly going through different kinds of beer to see what I like and what I don’t like. So far, my favourite styles seem to be German & Belgian Wheat Beers (Wits, Heffeweizens, etc.) and Belgian Trappist beers.

The Mill St. Betelgeuse was a great addition to their roster, even if it is but a limited release. It’s a little sweeter than most people like in a beer, but it has such a nice round flavour that makes it a great beer to sip after dinner. This kind of beer is especially great on a cool evening… not exactly refreshing for summer.

If you’re looking for something more refreshing, you might want to try the Lemon Tea beer. If you like wheat beers, this one will fit alongside many of them. It offers a nice combination of citrusy flavours, along with a subtle tea aftertaste.

All three of the Mill St. seasonal brews can be found at various LCBO locations in Toronto. I’m not sure if they’re available outside of Toronto – let me know if you find it!!

Bees & Cheer

Cheese N Beer - Belgian Beer

I recently had the pleasure of attending the “Beer School for Cheese Fans – Best of Belgium”, with brewmaster Sam Corbeil. This tasting event took place at the Leslieville Cheese Market West Market (541 Queen St. West, Toronto).

I’ve been a bit of a cheese dork for a while now, very slowly trying new fun cheeses and resisting the urge to become a total cheese “snob”. It’s only been the last few years that I’ve even been open to drinking beer, however.

J has always enjoyed trying new beers, and back in 2007 we were in Boston when he had me try a locally brewed, unfiltered wheat beer with fennel and cardamom. My opinion took such a sharp change in direction that we spent the rest of our trip trying new beers… and enjoying them! Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out what kinds of beers I like (and almost more importantly, which ones I don’t like).

Beer and cheese are now two of my favourite things. So it makes sense that someone would see “Beer School for Cheese Fans” and instantly think of me 🙂 Yes, this tour of deliciousness was a gift from a good friend (thanks!).

Cheese N Beer - Blue Haze

Blue Haze, a smoked blue cheese

Tonight’s tour paired 5 Belgian style beers with 5 different cheeses. The beers were all very different, and very tasty. I think that I had only had the Mill St. Wit before. Sam, who was doing the presentation, said something that I hadn’t thought of before – beer naturally pairs with cheese, because their flavours are more similar. I thought about this, and realized there’s at least some truth to it. It always seems like you choose foods that compete (favourably) with some flavours in wine, whereas there really isn’t that battle with beer. We ended up buying some crazy smoky blue cheese, and some cave-aged gruyere. We tried to buy some of the salty sheep’s milk cheese, but it was sold out by the time we made up our minds.

  • Mill St. Belgian Wit / Mouton Rouge (a salty sheep’s milk cheese)
  • Duvel / Morbier (creamy cheese with an ash vein)
  • Chimay “White Cap” Triple / cave aged Gruyere
  • Goulden Carlous “Classic” / Sauvagine, a creamy soft cheese,  on sausage
  • Trois Pistoles  / Blue Haze, a smokey blue cheese,  on rye crackers

In the end, I have to say that the Blue Haze was a great choice. A little bit of blue plus a little bit of smoke make a really good pair – and it tastes AMAZING on fresh Ciabatta bread (thanks, J-dog!).

A Tale of Three Bennies

Crab Benedict

Dr. Crabby Benedict from Dr. Generosity

I’ve eaten Eggs Benedict three times this week.

We went to three different places this week, and every time I chose a type of (non-meat) Benedict(ish).

This is their story.

Eggs Benedict is probably my favourite “going out for” brunch food. I haven’t mastered poached eggs yet, and I haven’t tried to make hollandaise sauce. I generally don’t feel like putting that much effort into making breakfast. One small challenge – Eggs Benedict is usually hollandaise drizzled over poached egg, perched atop “Canadian” bacon laid over an english muffin. I don’t eat meat usually, and I don’t know if I’ve ever even had a “normal” Benny before.

I always get the fun ones. I probably even pick the ones that I think sound the MOST fun. Sometimes that includes smoked salmon instead of the bacon, usually some kind of vegetable (spinach, asparagus, etc.). Yum!!

The three “Bennies” I had were all very different, but were all really really good. I’d happily return to any of these restaurants!

1. Mushroom Benedict @ Lola’s Commissary (634 Church St.)

Sautéed mushroom on english muffin, amazing hollandaise with whole grain mustard, yummy salad.

A cute little place near Church & Bloor, this was the first time we ventured inside. The brunch specials sounded great (J had some weird poached eggs in a creamy salsa dish… it was kind of like eggs poached in chili, and was really good!) and it had some yummy sounding Bennies, so we had to try it.

2. California Benedict @ Eggspectation (220 Yonge St., Eaton Centre)

Poached eggs on smoked salmon and home fries, topped with sautéed spinach, asparagus, hollandaise and shredded gruyere. No english muffin!

Eggspectation is a chain restaurant, frequented by tourists and whatnot. That said, I’ve always had a great meal there… maybe because 75% of the time I get the California Benedict!! This dish has a good amount of veggies for me, and the sprinkles of gruyere totally sell it for me. I usually can’t finish the potatoes or the toast teepee they insist on putting on my plate.

3. “Special Benedict” (what shall now be known as Dr. Crabby Benedict) @ Dr. Generosity (2197 Bloor St. W)

This one was a “Special Benedict”, as it wasn’t on the regular menu, but the special of the day. Poached eggs on english muffins, topped with snow crab meat, hollandaise, spinach. Served with a side of home fries.

I had never had a Benny with crab before. It was soooooo good; truly decadent. It was also really filling, and I made the mistake of talking while eating so I got full before I could finish. Yeah, I finished it (I don’t judge you!). This restaurant is known for their large portion sizes, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprized. I had never been there before, but I’m sure I’ll go back (even without the Dr. Crabby Benedict – which would be a MUCH better name for this than “Special Benedict”.) 🙂