de Mello Palheta Coffee – Toronto

Storefront - de Mello Palheta

Located in uptown Toronto, just north of Yonge and Eglinton, this little coffee shop and roaster has been making quite the stir in the neighbourhood. With it’s modern decor and shelves littered with interesting brewing equipment, walking into this shop feels more like a research lab than a cafe. They’ve only been open for a few months and already have a slew of followers in the area. To be perfectly honest, anytime I’m in North Toronto, I’m definitely stopping for a latte. Brother owners, Felix and Won Cha, have years... Read The Rest →

Sushi 930 – Toronto

Located just outside the trendy Liberty Village, Sushi 930 (930 King Street West), is a great little place for a quick dinner or lunch. It may not be worth going out of your way for this Japanese fare but if you’re in the area, don’t be shy. The fish is fresh, the rolls  beautifully rolled and the flavours well balanced. I think what makes this place special is the owner, Tomo. He’s there in the back preparing food but also jumps at any chance to greet his customers and have... Read The Rest →

Food Art – Shay Aaron

Black Forest Cake Necklace

So this is a little unusual since this artist doesn’t use food to create his art pieces but his creations always end up looking like food, in miniature. Shay Aaron is a 24 year old jewellery designer from Israel who creates Mini Food Jewels. His creations are mostly made from polymer clay that has been painted and glazed and they reflect popular food items. Who wouldn’t want banana earrings or a macaron ring?! His art pieces are available for sale (and shipped to Toronto) from his Etsy shop and are quite... Read The Rest →

The food of Croatia

To be perfectly honest, while travelling the coast of Croatia from one end to the other, we didn’t really have a chance to experience any real Croatian food because we didn’t find any restaurants offering it. That’s not to say that there weren’t any restaurants, quite the contrary actually, but none that would offer something traditional. All we could find (granted in mostly tourist towns) were “full English breakfasts” and various weird renditions of the cuisines of other countries. Where is the seafood on the coast (duh!?!)? The stuffed peppers... Read The Rest →

Baluard Bakery – Barcelona

Raisin danish - Baluard

Located right across from the Barceloneta market in (surprise surprise) Barcelona, this amazing tahona (bakery) serves up incredible masterpieces made of flour, water, butter and love. The croissants served here are by far the most amazing I have ever had: they’re flaky and buttery to their saturation point. Since they bake at various intervals during the day, the pastries are always slightly warm and this certainly makes it an unforgettable experience. Anna Bellsola is the creator and owner of Forn Baluard and she comes from a long line of bakers. Having... Read The Rest →

Food Art – Carl Warner

Vegetable Food Vase

Carl Warner is a famous British photographer whose rise to fame was thanks to his Foodscapes series. These photographs consists of food landscapes made from fruit, vegetables,bread, meat, fish, cheese, herbs and condiments. He assembles these compositions in his London studio using the finest specimens of whatever foodstuff he is currently working with. Each photograph deserves a few extra seconds spent looking at the finer details of the materials used and the amazing play on colours and textures. All images are courtesy of http://www.carlwarner.com  (check out the “otherscapes” section to see his... Read The Rest →

Food Art – Hong Yi (aka Red)

"...and that's how the third pig REALLY got away"

Hong Yi is a Malaysian artist that likes painting pictures through unconventional methods. She experiments with a certain material for an entire month creating beautiful works of art almost every day. If you check her out, look at her flower petal collection since it’s pretty wild. For our sake, I’m just going to focus on her 30 Days of Food series. Her guidelines for this art project were straightforward: everything on display must be edible and displayed on a simple white dish. The images are courtesy of http://www.ohiseered.com which is Hong Yi’s personal... Read The Rest →

Food Art – Beth Galton

Images courtesy of bethgalton.com

I think it’s time we had a little culture on Notes on a Meal so I’ve decided to post some “Food Art” that we can all feast our eyes on. Some of it may be strange but it all sure looks tasty! I hope you enjoy this neat little Notes on a Meal feature and please feel free to recommend artists you may know of. We’ll start with Beth Galton. She is a New York based still life (focusing on food) photographer with photographs used by food production giants such... Read The Rest →

Paleo Upside-down Cake

Paleo upside-down cake

I know we’re all salivating over our Europe pictures but as a little break from all that sugar and flour, I have a quick recipe for a Paleo Upside-down Cake. It’s a very simple dessert to make, takes about an hour from start to finish with about 15 minutes of prep. It’s a perfect dessert for this time of year when all of Ontario’s greatest fruits come into season. I made mine with red plums and peaches (I know these aren’t quite local but the plums were) and it was... Read The Rest →

The desserts of Spain

Chocolate, cherry and pistachio danish

Being completely obsessed with anything dessert, I took advantage of our European adventure to visit some pretty neat pastry shops in Spain and enjoy their traditional and not-so traditional treats. I can honestly say that given better ingredients, North American desserts would be on par with what I tried in many of these places. However, our butters aren’t nearly as fatty, our chocolate isn’t created with the same cocoa butter to sugar to milk solid ratio and our fruits aren’t nearly as flavourful so regardless of our skills with the... Read The Rest →

Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana 2

If I was to be banished on a deserted island and could only take one thing with me, it would be a lifetime supply of crema catalana (may not be the smartest choice but it’s definitely the tastiest). Crema catalana is like creme brulee done right, a lot more in the way of complex flavours and a much better custard to crunch ratio. That’s not necessarily to say that I wouldn’t eat the French version in a heartbeat but I would definitely trade it in for its Latino cousin any... Read The Rest →

Can Culleretes – Barcelona

Mixed Grill at Can Culleretes - after

One of the main reasons Notes on a Meal returns to Barcelona is the Can Culleretes Restaurant, located in the heart of the Gothic neighbourhood, lost somewhere among the alleyways. It is a magical spot, still decorated and running the same since it first opened its doors in 1786. It is not pretentious, not fancy, not quiet, not necessarily friendly but absolutely charming and the food is pretty damn good. The decor is outdated, all the way from the terracotta floor tiles to the wood panelled walls littered with photographs and... Read The Rest →

How to order pintxos

If you suddenly find yourself in the north of Spain and enter Basque territory unprepared, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find the process of ordering pintxos intimidating. To ease your stress, the Notes on a Meal crew has sacrificed it’s pride and consumed many tasty morsels  in order to compile this list of tips and tricks for pintxo success: Walk around the block a little before settling down on your first place. As a general rule of thumb, the place that is overfilled with locals (ie. they’re standing in the... Read The Rest →

Pintxo basics

To put it simply, a pintxo is any snack served in the bars and restaurants of Northern Spain (the Basque region). They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, generally spiked by a toothpick or skewer (that’s what makes them different from tapas) and often on a slice of bread. They are served after 11 am for the lunch rush and until 10 pm when most people head home or out for dinner. There’s generally an unofficial break between 2pm and 5pm (siesta) but if you really look, you’ll... Read The Rest →

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