Saturday 31 December 2016

El Rey Mezcal Bar, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at El Rey Mezcal Bar in Kensington Market (they opened in May).  It's a cute spot. They had a great rum selection (which I appreciated) and an interesting beer selection (which Gord appreciated).

Gord had the Anticuchos ... "Peruvian meat skewers" is beef heart (Gord is adventurous at times).  He said it was really good and he'd get it again.

Birreria Volo, Toronto, ON

Gord and I checked out Birreria Volo this afternoon ... they opened on College Street a couple months ago.

There are lots of sour beers on their menu, which Gord loved.

Levetto, Toronto, ON (College)

Gord and I had lunch today at Levetto (Dovercourt Road/College Street).  We've been to the Sudbury Street location many times and thought we'd check out a different one.

Gord ordered one of his favourites ... Carbonara.  He said it was delicious as always.

I ordered what I always get ... a mild Soppressata pizza.  It too was delicious as usual.

The staff were friendly and took good care of us.

It was worth the extra walk to get there.

Levetto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday 30 December 2016

Book ~ "Dad Is Fat" (2013) Jim Gaffigan

From Goodreads ~ In "Dad is Fat", stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”) to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). 

I've been reading some heavy books lately and wanted to read something light and fun and I figured this book would do the trick ... and it did.

It is written by actor/comedian Jim Gaffigan and is his musings of his life as a husband, the father of five children (then aged eight to newborn) and living in a two bedroom apartment in New York City.

I liked the writing style and found it and his stories amusing.  I'm childfree by choice and can't imagine taking care of five young children.

Despite his stories about the trials and tribulations of having that many kids, it's obvious he loves them.

Thursday 29 December 2016

Harlem Underground, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Harlem Underground (Queen Street W/Tecumseth Street).  He had been craving mac 'n cheese and when I looked online, Harlem Underground popped up as having one of the best in Toronto.

Gord ordered Southern Fried Chicken with mac 'n cheese (and bacon).  He said it was a delicious dish and he would get it again.

beautybox five - December 2016

My December beautybox five arrived today.

Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based, beauty sampling service that delivers 5 deluxe samples and full-sized products right to your door every month.

Subscriptions are $12US a month or $99US for a year.  Shipping is free.

 Here is what I received ...

Value = $42.79US

The Chickery, Toronto, ON

I had lunch today at The Chickery (on Spadina Avenue/Camden Street).

I ordered the 2-piece Rotisserie Fried Chicken with smashed potatoes and BBQ sauce.  I received two small pieces of cold dry chicken ... definitely not "slow-roasted" or "flash fried to crisp perfection" recently nor were they "juicy"!  It seemed like they had been sitting around for a while.  The mashed potatoes and gravy were good, though.  At $16 (including tax), this was a huge rip-off.

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Locals Only, Toronto, ON

Gord and I stopped in for a drink at Locals Only (King Street W/Portland Street).  It's been open about eight months.

We sat at the bar

There is a small menu and a couple non-standard beers on tap and wines.  Glasses of wine are half price ($6) from 5pm to 8pm so that's what I had.

Locals Only Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Masseria, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Masseria (King Street W/Portland Street).  They opened about three months ago.

Book ~ "If This Is Home" (2017) Kristine Scarrow

From Goodreads ~ When her mom is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Jayce searches for her estranged father, hoping he can fix everything. 

Jayce Loewen has had to take on a lot of responsibility over the years. Her single mom works two jobs and long hours, leaving Jayce in charge of her four-year-old sister most of the time. When her mom is diagnosed with cancer, Jayce decides to track down her long-absent father in the hope that he will be able to make everything okay again. 

Looking for her dad was one thing but when she actually finds him, Jayce is in for a real shock. When everything in her life seems to be going wrong, Jayce has to figure out who her family really is, and how to live with the possibility of losing the person she loves most. 

Jayce is 16-years-old.  She lives in Saskatoon, SK, with her mom and four-year-old sister.   Her mother works two jobs to support them because their father is a singer in a band who is always on tour and deserted them.  She hasn't seen him in almost five years.

When her mother is diagnosed with cancer and is in the hospital, Jayce looks for her father for help.  She discovers a big a surprise when she finds him.  It's a good thing she discovers she has good friends for support during this trying time.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style.  It is written in first person perspective in Jayce's voice.  Though it's probably written for a younger audience, I didn't find that it was too immature for me.

I look forward to reading other books by this author.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Book ~ "Beyond the Carousel" (2017) Bette Lee Crosby

From Goodreads ~ Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the carousel picture. Her daughter, a happy little five-year-old, is holding the brass ring and smiling at a daddy who adores her. Each time the carousel circles around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left.

In the months following the stock market crash, Franklin Wilkes is killed; gunned down in senseless act of vengeance. The police know who did it but the man has disappeared. It’s the height of the depression and there are hoards of nameless, faceless men living in freight train yards and back alleys. The murderer is never caught but Laura and Emory, her father, never give up hope of finding him. Now, twenty-five years later, Laura’s daughter has fallen in love with Jack Mahoney, a policeman working crowd control with the strikers at the Telephone Company.

Right now Mahoney is a rookie, he has little or no power but Emory is hopeful he is the one person who can ultimately find Franklin’s killer and deliver the justice the family has long awaited.

This is the story of three generations of a family starting about 1920 and ending in 1955 ... Emory and Rose, Laura and Franklin and Christine and Jack.

Emory and Rose have a daughter named Laura.  Laura marries a stockbroker named Franklin and they have a daughter named Christine.  Franklin is murdered by a client during the stock market crash of 1929 and the killer disappears and isn't caught.  Christine grows up fatherless and eventually marries a police officer and they have a three children.

This is the tenth book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  Though this is the fifth in the Wyattsville series (I've read them all), they also work as stand alones.  It is written in third person perspective, though some chapters are in first person perspective ... they are short and italicized and the name of the person is at the beginning of these chapters so you know who the focus is.  This style works for me as it lets me get into their heads and know what they were thinking.

I'm enjoying this series and look forward to more.

Java House, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had breakfast this morning at the Java House (Queen Street W/Augusta Avenue).  It's a place we've passed by about a million times but have never stopped in.

We both ordered breakfast ($5.25).  Gord got bacon and eggs.

I got mine with ham.

Breakfast comes with a salad which we exchanged for a fruit salad (for $1 more).  It was a good hearty breakfast.

The servers were friendly.

Java House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato