Hi! My name is Karen and this is my website where I chronicle my adventures in life and food aimed at engaging my ESL students in practicing English. So, I thought of starting a website where food is an adventure, a nourishment both for the body and soul, a feast for the eyes and the palette.
As an adult ESL teacher in Toronto, I am often asked by my students where to eat and hang out with friends. With a holistic approach in mind, I wanted this website to be a place to share ideas with my students and engage them in a dialogue about food and their personal experiences using English. I have highlighted some words and provided definition to enrich their vocabulary. This website is also meant to encourage my students to explore and discover; replenish their energy by taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of the city. I love to venture out and I advise my students to do the same because I believe that one of the best ways to learn a foreign language is to go out into the real world, to enjoy the outdoors and interact with people; learn the language authentically. Food can then become an adventure in this sense. Toronto is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, so why not take advantage of the delicious, the exotic, the scrumptious dishes that our beautiful city has to offer? I regularly upload stories of life and food here. I invite my students to do the same. I would like them to feel free to comment or recommend places in the posts below. Join me in my quest in visiting old joints, discovering hidden gems, traversing some off the beaten paths -- to eat, to celebrate, to restore. So, tie up your shoe laces and let's go!
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf
"From earth herbs, from herbs food, from food seed, from seed man. Man thus consists of the essence of food." -Hindu Teaching
Are you craving for some treats, but cannot decide whether to have macarons, donuts, cupcakes, tarts or cheesecake? Why not have them all in one go? At Bite Bar, you can have your cake (or cupcake) and eat it, too.
PROS: They offer a variety of sweets guaranteed to satisfy your craving. The cupcake selection is extensive, with flavours ranging from classics like chocolate to something a bit more exotic like Coco Nuts. The tea and cocktail selections are also pretty good. With cupcake inspired cocktails like Creme Brulee Martini, Chocolate salted Caramel Pretzel-tini, and Vanilla Donut Milkshake, these concoctions are a sweet deal. CONS: The portions are, well, bite-sized. MUST-TRY: Cupcake inspired cocktails.
When was the last time you hung out with your friends? What did you do? Looking at Bite Bar's menu, what are you most likely to order and why?
I have to admit I am a cornball. Niagara Falls is what many people would call a "tourist trap." Nevertheless, it is still one of my all-time favourite quick getaways. Not only is it conveniently accessible by public transportation, it also offers a gamut of things to do -- from eating, to wine tasting, cycling, to simply taking in the beauty of nature. Niagara Falls is a great respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Don`t forget to take the obligatory rainbow shot that everybody takes when they visit the magnificent falls! It truly is breathtaking. Okay, I am done being a cornball now.
Lucky Red 318 Spadina Avenue As a long time fan of Bahn Mi Boys, I was thrilled to discover the spin-off concept Lucky Red, a new casual restaurant dedicated to the delectable Chinese steamed bun, bao. The menu boasts of 11 savoury bao like pork belly ($4), fried chicken ($4) and panko-crusted tofu ($3.50), bulgogi cheese steak ($4), smoked meat ($4.50), fried fish ($4), and even seared-off Spam ($3.50). Classic favourites such as kimchi french fries as well as new ones like lo mein topped with a choice of BBQ chicken or thick slabs of pork belly ($7) are available. MUST-TRY: The dessert baos, hands down! For our most recent visit, a friend and I ordered the s'more ($2.99) and pandan ice cream bao ($3.99). They were lip-smackingly delicious and I highly recommend them. The baos are fried, but the guilt melts away the moment you bite into these yummy delicacies. What item on the menu catches your eye? What do you know about fusion food? Do you like this style of cooking? Tell us of any experience you may have had eating or cooking fusion food.
Specializing in Mediterranean food, what Xtreme taste lacks in space, it makes up for taste and affordability. This place is so homey and comfy. Lunch prices are between $5-$6 with taxes included. It is what you call a "hole in the wall" or a "Mom and Pops store." This means that it is not a franchise and that it is run by a local entrepreneur or businessperson. In this case, Xtreme Taste is run by a beloved "motherly" figure who prepares comfort food from healthy salads to classic Mediterranean favourites such as chicken breast sandwich, salmon sandwich, tuna salad sandwich, feta and spinach phyllo, and veal parmigiana wrap. My recommendation? Cod fish fillet over a bed of rice, bar none. Mmm...mmm...mmm.
Eat A Pita 6 Cumberland St., Yorkville Right next to Xtreme Pita is this underrated shawarma and falafel place. If you have never had a falafel before, it is time you had one! Falafel is a deep fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava or both. It is a traditional Middle Eastern food served in a pocket or pita bread. Falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, then drizzled with tahini sauce. Falafel balls may be eaten alone as a snack or served as an appetizer.
My falafel balls came with a tabouleh salad made of parsley, tomatoes, green onions, mint, olive oil, and lemon juice. It was quite tasty and filling! Have you ever had falafel? What was it like? What other cuisines or foods from other countries have you tried? What kind of food best represents your country and why?