Food

You had me at ‘eggs benedict’

Waffle benny with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, mini waffles, and caramelized bacon at Starving Artist, St. Clair West location.

I’ve never been huge on eating breakfast or brunch but that’s definitely changed since I moved to Toronto. Who knew this little meal between breakfast and lunch held such delicious promise?

One day I was myself — a person who was an advocate for lunch and a champion of dinner and a lover of dessert — then I became someone all-together different; I became a certified brunch enthusiast. Or should I say, an eggs-benedict junkie?

Check out Starving Artist for their mouth-watering take on eggs benedict, which features their often-imitated-but-never-duplicated potato waffles. Bon appétit, friends!

Waffle sandwich anyone? Chicken bacon club with roasted chicken, bacon, havarti, and cucumber sandwiched between two golden waffles.

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Food

Share a quiet moment with a close friend and a cup of coffee

Stella's Lunch Box: I found this hidden gem near my apartment.

Stella’s Lunch Box: I found this hidden gem near my apartment.

When I first moved to Toronto, I was wide-eyed and breathless. Not much has changed, though. I still feel inundated with the brilliant sights and sounds around me. It’s why I came here. I wanted to see life up close, I wanted to drink in everything, I wanted to come up for air only when I had taken in as much as I could.

I love being surrounded by simple and beautiful things like a warm cup of tea, a rustic table, a vase of white tulips, or a thoughtfully arranged living space. That’s why I felt I had uncovered a gem when my friend invited me for coffee at a café near our apartments.

This little place is called Stella’s Lunch Box and it’s situated off St. Clair Ave West — just to the east of the Corso Italia neighbourhood — on Lauder Ave. It’s on a quiet little side street with a fruit market across the way, and it sits flush against DeSotos restaurant.

They serve simple and fresh sandwiches, but I would still describe it as a café. The smell of freshly baked croissants, which I had the pleasure of eating, and the aroma of coffee beans makes this place a haven for me.

I was lucky enough to visit the café when they had just made a fresh batch of croissants.

I was lucky enough to visit the café when they had just made a fresh batch of croissants.

Even as a self-identified introvert, I still enjoy hanging out one-on-one with a friend or in small gatherings with new acquaintances. It always amazes me when I see someone sitting solitarily in a café writing on a laptop or quietly reading a book by themselves. I find these acts to be my most intimate experiences and my most cherished; it would be difficult for me to do these things in public. But what I can do is share a quiet moment with a friend and a cup of coffee while we marvel at the world outside.

Stella’s Lunch Box
145 Lauder Ave
Toronto ON M6H 3E4

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Food

You can’t go wrong with fried goodness

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Bat sandwich with bacon, arugula, and fried green tomato on sourdough bread

Talk about comfort food. Mmmm, Stockyards. The Stockyards: Smokehouse and Larder was the first restaurant I went to as an official Torontonian.

My partner Geoff, myself, and our cat Kinglsey were exhausted from our day of moving and we needed a break from our cluttered apartment. A friend of ours, who frequents Toronto quite a bit, recommended we check out Stockyards. He told us they’re famous for their chicken and waffles, so of course, we had to give it a try!

We ended up ordering a mountainous plate of golden, perfectly fried, perfectly seasoned chicken atop fluffy Belgian waffles. And because we like to share, we also ordered The Classic burger. Wow. I knew the chicken and waffles would probably be amazing, but I was overjoyed at the first bite of the burger. It was juicy and nicely cooked. There’s nothing worse than an overdone burger.

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Chicken and waffles: comfort food at its best.

We’ve also tried their Saturday brunch menu and it does not disappoint. You can really tell the quality of a restaurant by the way they prepare their simplest menu items. I tried their biscuits with a side of jam and butter (which is accented with silvers of citrus), and Great Caesar’s Ghost! The softness of the warm biscuit with the melting butter and jam combination was heavenly. My body was a tingle!

I’ve also tried their Bat sandwich which has bacon, arugula, and a fried green tomato (top photo). I’ve never had fried green tomatoes before, and I realized I had been missing out this whole time! Try it with a homemade ice tea infused with ginger or black cherry soda (which is my go-to drink whenever I’m there, which I now realize, is a lot, a whole lot).

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Our first meal as Torontonians: We were too busy eating the food so I only had a chance to take a photo of this black cherry soda.

Word of advice: Make sure you check out their menu or call in advance; sometimes certain menu items are available during specific days and/or times.

If you’re going for brunch on a Saturday, I would recommend getting there before 10:30 am. Stockyards has a crowd of brunch loyalists. You could perhaps opt for take-out, but I love dining in, sitting by the front window and people-watching.

Also, the portions are sizeable so it’s nice to go with a friend if you need help finishing a plate. But let’s face it, left-over fried chicken at two in the morning is just sinfully good.

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Food

Enjoy an afternoon of fresh sushi and sunshine

Kuni Sushi Ya is one of my favourite sushi restaurants. The food is fresh, simply prepared, and mouth-wateringly delicious.

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My sushi feast at Kuni Sushi Ya was featured on the Gastropost section of The National Post.

There’s nothing better than enjoying a fresh dish while sitting on the patio with the summer sunshine coming through the overhanging branches.

It’s situated on a quaint street in Baldwin Village. Baldwin Street in Baldwin Village. Easy, right? The servers are nice and accommodating. I’ve been there a handful of times, and I’ve been served by the same two friendly people.

A word of advice: If you’re getting the all-you-can-eat, which I would recommend, don’t wear high-waisted shorts, you’ll be wishing you had more belly room. I would also recommend bringing something to read. I like to hit up a nearby park afterwards to let my belly breathe.

An all-you-can-eat feast with tea and tip will cost you around $18. Well worth it for a lovely Saturday or Sunday lunch.

Kuni Sushi Ya,
20 Baldwin St
Toronto, ON M5T 1L1
(416) 260-3188

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