Favourite Spots: Chicken Rice at Doner Kebab House

This post is going to be a short but very necessary post. When Matt and his friends first started raving about the chicken rice from Doner Kebab House, I was pretty skeptical about it, but now I’m a believer: honestly, that stuff is like crack. Chicken? Goood. Rice? Goood. Housemade garlic hot sauce? Extra gooood.

It’s right by Ryerson and a short walk away from Yonge-Dundas Square, so if you’re in the area, get yourself some chicken rice (or don’t, because then you’ll be like me and crave it all the time). Even if you don’t love it, you really can’t go wrong with a good, filling meal for $8.50!

The good stuff

Chicken Rice!

Doner Kebab

Look for this sign!

Donair Kebab House on Urbanspoon

Favourite Spots: Treadwell Farm-to-Table Cuisine (Niagara-on-the-Lake)

The first time I went to Treadwell was in 2009 (Matt and I were celebrating 4 years together… how time flies!), and it was love at first bite. The food was delicious, innovative, and well-executed, which was only made better by the fact that the service was on point. Ever since then, Treadwell has been on the list of our favourite restaurants!

The last few times we’ve been, the restaurant was still in its old Port Dalhousie location, but last year, it relocated to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The dining room is smaller but the restaurant now features bar seating by the kitchen, a large patio space, and a wine bar. I also love that it’s nestled among all of the little shops and restaurants in NOTL, but still tucked away in a nice, cozy space.

A couple of weekends ago, my girlfriends and I decided to take a somewhat spontaneous wine country getaway to celebrate my good friend J’s birthday, which was the perfect opportunity for another meal at Treadwell. As usual, it didn’t disappoint!

True to the name of the restaurant, all of the ingredients used are in season, fresh, and locally sourced. I don’t think I’ve had the same thing twice at Treadwell, but the food is always delicious. My parents are coming to town next week, so we’ll definitely be making a trip to take them there!

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Treadwell’s former location at Port Dalhousie

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On the patio at Treadwell’s new location in Niagara-on-the-Lake

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Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Favourite Spots: Joso’s (Toronto)

Unfortunately, the hubby isn’t feeling too well today (poor guy), so we’re spending a low-key night in. The upside is that it makes for good blogging time!

As mentioned in my first Favourite Spots post, one of the places I wanted to write about was Joso’s.

What keeps us going back? The siciliana spaghettini!

Years before Drake rapped about it in 5AM in Toronto, Joso’s was already a restaurant that my best friend C and her family knew well. To this day (and it’s been more than 20 years since she’s lived here), she still raves about the siciliana at Joso’s!

While there are a lot of pastas that are made from squid ink, this dish is different in that regular pasta is cooked with cuttlefish that’s simmered in its ink. It’s deceivingly unappetizing-looking, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it—it’s AMAZING. I’ve been hooked since C got me to try it, and Matt, my friend A, and I get actual cravings for it!

Delish!

Delish!

On top of the regular menu, they also bring out a platter of fresh seafood that you can choose from; the server will go through each item, describing what it is, things like flavour and texture, and how it’s prepared (generally grilled with olive oil, salt, and pepper). It’s usually very good, but also pretty pricey.

Source: Joso's

Source: Joso’s

Overall, the restaurant’s décor is too eclectic for my taste, and I personally feel like it’s a little snooty—a lot of the clientele consists of older, richer people—so I don’t love the ambiance. But we’ll keep going back… just to get our siciliana fix on!

Joso's on Urbanspoon

Favourite Spots: Auberge du Pommier (Toronto)

Auberge du Pommier is by far one of our favourite restaurants in Toronto. We’ve been to this beautiful, cozy French restaurant many times over the years, and the food is always delicious!

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I also personally think that it’s less pretentious than some of the other fine dining establishments we’ve been to, and the service is impeccable. There are a bunch of places with great service, but if I had to pinpoint some great experiences, I’d choose Auberge (and one memorable visit to Estiatorio VOLOS).

Here are some examples to prove it:

The Washroom Story

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This happened during our very first visit to Auberge. Matt had gone to the washroom, and instead of letting me awkwardly sit alone, one of the managers came over to chat with me until Matt came back. He was genuinely friendly, and I appreciated the small but very considerate gesture!

The Mother’s Day Lemon Soufflé Story

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The year Matt and I got married, my mom was in town for Mother’s Day because it was the weekend before the wedding. It was pretty special because with me being halfway around the world, I hadn’t celebrated it with her in person in years. We took her to Auberge and had a delicious meal, but when it came to dessert, we hit a slight hitch.

Before I go on, I want to preface this by saying that A) Auberge has the most amazing lemon soufflé with white chocolate ganache and B) this soufflé-related incident has never happened to us again!

Source: Oliver & Bonacini

Source: Oliver & Bonacini

Anyway, we were told that the soufflé we ordered had collapsed. Our server was very apologetic and made our wait an enjoyable one by bringing us multiple rounds of complimentary ice wine and petit fours. A while later, more bad news: the second one had also collapsed. This time, our server returned with the manager, who told us that they were making a third one and that because of our wait, our entire almost $300-meal would be comped by the restaurant!

They then not only brought us the 3rd perfectly made soufflé, but also the 2 collapsed ones, which were just as delicious. Needless to say, we were stuffed and happy by the end of it all—we left them a very generous tip, and they left us with a great impression of the restaurant!

The Parents’ 30th Anniversary Story

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Last February, my parents celebrated their 30th anniversary, so when they came to visit us in Toronto during the summer, we took them out for a belated anniversary dinner at Auberge (my mom actually requested it!). I made reservations well in advance via OpenTable, and in the Special Requests box, I added a note indicating that we were going there to celebrate my parents’ 30th anniversary and that it’d be great if they could do something special.

Up until that point, I honestly didn’t know if restaurants actually ever read those notes—OpenTable even has a little disclaimer saying that they can’t guarantee that requests will be accommodated—so I didn’t really expect anything, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to try!

By the time my parents were in town, I had long forgotten about that note, and we had another great dinner at Auberge. At the end of the meal, we ordered soufflés all around, and to our surprise, one of them came out with a chocolate-written “joyeux anniversaire 30ème de mariage” (happy 30th wedding anniversary)! Nothing extravagant by any means, but it was awesome to see my parents so pleasantly surprised and happy.

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Auberge du Pommier on Urbanspoon

At this point, I’m starting to sound like a spokesperson for Auberge, but really, the great food and service are what make this restaurant one of our favourite places in the city! Stay tuned for future blog posts showcasing some of our other favourite spots: Joso’sEmma’s Country Kitchen, St. Lawrence Market, and Evergreen Brick Works are some of the ones on the top of my list!