MMM (Ma Maison Macarons), Spring 2012

Here’s the new macaron line-up for the 2012 Spring season: Dark Chocolate – Valrhona’s Nyangbo dark chocolate ganache Wild Strawberry – White chocolate and wild strawberry ganache Carrot Cake – Cinnamon cream cheese with a carrot and cinnamon curd Lemon Basil – Lemon and Basil infused white chocolate ganache Salted Caramel – Smooth and silky caramel filling with a salty and crunchy feuilletine crisp Pistachio – Ghana milk chocolate and pistachio ganache

Macaron Day 2012, Toronto

What is macaron day? It’s very simple: top pastry shops in Toronto team up for a good cause and give out these amazing little pastries to everyone who walks through the door. This year 25% of all the proceeds of macaron day will be donated to the Red Door Family Shelter (http://www.reddoorshelter.ca/). When is it? Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 Who is participating? Ma Maison – 4243 Dundas St. West La Bamboche -4 Manor Rd. East & 1712 Avenue Rd Petite Thuet -1 King St. West & 1162 Yonge St. La... Read The Rest →

New Loblaws – Queen and Portland, Toronto

I must say that, in my opinion, Loblaws really tops all the other grocery stores in Toronto for the quality of products offered and their variety. Although it may be pricier than others, freshness is always guatanteed and the customer service is definitely admirable. I had the pleasure to inaugurate their new location in the heart of Toronto just east of Queen St west and Portland and was more than impressed. It has the feel and attention to detail of competing high end grocery stores with the reliability I count... Read The Rest →

Sugar flowers

Since baking in general is not dangerous enough, I’ve taken on a new challenge…. sugar pulling. For those not familiar with this concept, well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like, hot sugar being shaped and pulled into diverse “artistic” shapes. The sugar is warmed, dyed (any colour of the rainbow) and once it’s the right temperature, it is pulled to aerate the surface and add a phenomenal sheen. Afterwards, under a heat lamp in order to keep it hot, the sugar is formed into whatever shape you want and... Read The Rest →

Guu Sakabar, Toronto

Having just opened its doors in the beginning of 2011 this location of the Guu empire (another location in Toronto, six in Vancouver and one in China) has definitely taken the Annex by storm. Located a block east of Bloor and Bathurst this Japanese pub (Izakaya) is constantly busy and I can definitely understand why. The atmosphere is fantastic, the food is strange but definitely tasty and the staff is probably the friendliest around. I promise you won’t be leaving the venue disappointed. If you’re interested in dining or even... Read The Rest →

Final meal at Marben, Toronto

I am very disappointed to have to write this review but I think in light of the situation, I need to stand up for what I believe! Marben has a special place in my heart but all feelings aside, Notes on a Meal readers deserve my honesty. A few months ago, my fellow diner and myself received a meal that was a little off (a.k.a. expired to the point of stomach malfunction). It was a very unfortunate accident and it was forgiven and forgotten due to the numerous outstanding meals... Read The Rest →

Les Quinze Nits – Barcelona

There’s never been a restaurant more embedded in my memory as Les Quinze Nits in Plaza Real, Barcelona, Spain. More particularly, I remember every nuance of the dessert that I had there, the dessert that started my culinary passion. I even waited in line a second night in a row in order to experience that same bliss. However, that was six years ago and although the restaurant still remains nothing is the same! Located in a beau tiful plaza off Las Rambas in Barcelona (the main pedestrian walkway connecting the... Read The Rest →

Our culinary adventures in Rome (Part 2)

With my fellow blogger being so detailed while describing our Roman vacation I’d just like to talk about the pastry side of things. Unfortunately, it seems as though the Romans don’t really appreciate a fine pastry and will just settle for mediocre. The best looking pastries we’ve seen were at a French bakery and that’s not a joke. The bread as a whole is tasteless and generally pretty¬†disappointing. Their “secret” is to avoid putting salt in their doughs in order to allow for the salty cured meats they put in... Read The Rest →

Professionalism Part: How Devoted Are You?

This post goes out to all the industry people that read this little blog of ours. I don’t really want replies but I’m just pondering an issue I’ve recently come across… How devoted are you to your kitchen?… We all (well most of us) chose to work in our specific kitchens due to a respect for either the food or the chef. However if that image is tainted one way or another, do we stay or do we go? Does our personal progression through the industry suffer because of this... Read The Rest →

Quote from Leon Kass, Ethicist, from his book The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfection of Our Nature

“…nature does everything in the operations of a beast, whereas man contributes to his operations by being a free agent. The former chooses or rejects by instinct and the latter by an act of freedom, so that a beast cannot deviate from the rule that is prescribed to it even when it would be advantageous to do so, and a man deviates from it often to his detriment. Thus a pigeon would die of hunger near a basin filled with the best meats, and a cat upon heaps of fruits... Read The Rest →

Tacos el Asador – Toronto

If you’re craving some spicy “Mexican” food and find yourself in the Annex, well then Tacos El Asador is definitely worth a try. Located just east on Bloor from Christie, this little place cannot be missed. Regardless of the time of day, the half dozen little picnic tables located inside are always full and the take-out counter just as busy. Although there’s a Mexican flag proudly displayed on the wall, this place is just a blend of Central American flavours and a North American standard for these particular combinations. Bring... Read The Rest →

Pizzeria Libretto Revisited

After much deliberation and some very full stomachs, it has been officially decided that Pizzeria Libretto is my top restaurant of Toronto. Last night we returned for the second time, only to be enchanted once again by the warm and cozy atmosphere and unforgettable food. Similar to our first experience, the service was flawless, the staff knowledgeable and friendly (but not over the top) and the meal was outstanding. During dinner it really dawned on me how important it is to be true to your ingredients. Pizzeria Libretto does exactly... Read The Rest →

Happy holidays!

On behalf of all of us at Notes on a Meal, I’d like to wish all our readers only the happiest holidays filled with nothing but yummy food and good times. We’re apologizing in advance if posts slow down a little during this time but we’ll be coming back strong in 2011. Keep reading and remember to love your food!

A little taste of Canadiana, or not…

I will be the first to admit I really enjoy a cup of Tim Hortons’ coffee with a Boston Cream donut, or a French Cruller or even a few Timbits, especially on chilly winter mornings. It’s almost like a little secret pleasure I’ve had for many years that”s slowly changing now that I’ve become more aware of where my food comes from. A recent article in Maclean’s magazine reminded me of the origins of those sweet pastries and a little bit of research (since no more information is available online)... Read The Rest →

The Burger’s Priest, Toronto

On a mission to stifle a burger craving we found ourselves driving by a little place in the east end of Toronto known as “The Burger’s Priest” (Queen and Coxwell). I definitely cannot stress enough how small this restaurant is, but somehow it seats six and feeds many more. The place prides itself on keeping their burgers as simple as possible in order showcase their freshly ground beef and stay away from the previously frozen “meat” that is normally served in most burger joints. A large griddle, a few deep... Read The Rest →

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