Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. Launches at Brunch TUM!

Last week, fellow blogger Mary from Mary’s Happy Belly (who also happens to be a colleague and foodie friend) forwarded me an email about Station Cold Brew Coffee Co.’s official launch at the August TUM event. After contacting Mitchell Stern, the Marketing Director at Station Cold Brew, we were extended an invite to their debut! In my opinion, the brunch-themed TUM event was a big disappointment (more about that later), but we really enjoyed the cold brew coffee!

A little about cold brew coffee…

Cold brewing coffee (which, coincidentally, my friend J was talking to me and Matt about it a couple of weeks ago) involves steeping coffee grinds in cold/room temperature water for about 12 to 24 hours. Eliminating the heating process also results in coffee with lower acidity and a subtly sweet flavour.

Station Cold Brew Coffee Co.: Thumbs Up

Station Cold Brew

The crew at Station Cold Brew was very nice, especially Mitchell, who introduced himself to us. We learned that in addition to BOOM Breakfast & Co. and Cheesewerks, their coffee will soon be available at the various Fresh locations in Toronto. I was super excited to hear that because I’ve been wanting to bring Matt to Fresh ever since I went last time… now we can go for the food and cold brew coffee!

We bought a cup of their coffee, which was really cold and refreshing, especially given how hot it was outside today! We had it with a little bit of milk and agave. And as their guests, we each also got to take home a cute, little personalized 8 oz. stubby of coffee (they’re currently chilling in the fridge as I write, but Matt and I each took a sip before I started this post!) Definitely a must try!

Personalized Stubbies of Coffee

Personalized Stubbies of Coffee

Brunch TUM: Thumbs Down

We’ve been to TUM events, and I definitely stand by the idea of supporting local eateries and chefs, but this brunch event was a big disappointment for us. As a brunch-themed event (and marketed extensively that way), you’d think that there would be actual brunch food. One vendor had eggs, but that was the closest it came to brunch! There were also only about 8 food vendors, which doesn’t offer much variety. Not worth it, in my opinion.

What We Ate

All of these vendors were hard at work at the event and the food was good, so I definitely want to give credit where credit is due, but at the same time, nothing we tried really blew us away.

Brunch TUM

  • Babi & Co.’s Babi on a Bun (braised pork belly on fried buns with pickled cucumbers): These were nice and crispy—very good!
  • Good Pho U’s Banh Mi: These were okay, but I still really like the ones from Nguyen Huong in Scarborough best!
  • Empanada House’s Empanadas (fried with chipotle shrimp and cheese inside): I wish there was a bit more filling! The chimichurri was good though.
  • Bombay Street Food’s Spicy Beef and Spicy Veggie Pate (served on a bun with a side salad): This was good, as was the side salad, but unfortunately, it made the bun very soggy.

It was a gorgeous summer day in Toronto though, so it was hard not to be happy just being out and about in the city! Hope you all had a happy weekend 🙂

Where We Ate: Pizza Libretto, Lisa Marie, and Torito

I’m still playing catch-up on restaurant posts (being the piggies we are, we hit up food joints faster than I blog), but here are some recent eats:

Pizza Libretto (Danforth Location)

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Pizza Libretto has been on our radar for awhile, so we were really excited to try it on an impromptu date night tonight. The restaurant has two locations, one on the west end on Ossington and one on the east on Danforth; both have been around for some time, but the Danforth location is the newer of the two. To be honest, we didn’t have a preference between the locations, but the fact that the Danforth location takes reservations pretty much sealed the deal!

What We Ate

  • Buttermilk fried calamari with romesco sauce and herb oil: the buttermilk batter and sauce were delicious!
  • Libretto Margherita (bufala mozzarella, crushed tomatoes, basil, grana padano) and Housemade Sausage (sausage, caramelized onion, mozzarella, chili oil) pizzas: both were really good—our only complaint was that the chili oil could have been a tad spicier!
  • Libretto Tiramisu: decadent and yummy!

Lisa Marie

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Lisa Marie is a new restaurant on Queen West opened by the owner of Fidel Gastro’s. When Matt told me about the restaurant, I was pretty excited because I already know about Fidel Gastro’s from the Toronto food truck scene (which I hope will become as big as it is in many US cities) and from TUM. I’ve also seen Matt Basile in Rebel Without a Kitchen, so it was kinda cool to see him in the flesh at the restaurant!

The restaurant has a fun bar vibe and serves cicchetti, which are explained on the wall as being “kind of like tapas… but not”—this is true because Matt and I found some of the dishes to be bigger than the usual small plates that you get at tapas-style restaurants.

What We Ate

  • Deep fried pizza with smoked duck: to me, this was like a spin on Peking duck wraps,  which was kind of neat, but wasn’t mind-blowing
  • Moroccan beef short rib with crushed pistachios: very tender and fall-off-the bone (yum!)… my favourite of the dishes we tried
  • Eggplant balls with goat cheese and basil: this reminded me of a falafel, and the Jalapeno mint jelly was a nice touch
  • Bulgolgi ravioli
  • Alabama tailgaters (bacon-wrapped beef carpaccio, cilantro, aged cheddar, and kimchi)
  • Elvis in a Jar: the picture (bottom-left corner above) looks oddly phallic, but maple syrup + rum french toast, peanut butter cream, bananas, and candied bacon… this was to die for! This and my first Eton mess at The Standard Grill in NYC have convinced me that layered desserts in jars can do no wrong!

Torito Tapas Bar

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There are a number of eateries at Kensington Market we want to try, and Torito was one of them. The restaurant has a more quiet (which might have been because it was an early dinner), cozy atmosphere. The team that works there was extremely friendly and attentive!

What We Ate

  • Avocado fries with roasted tomato salsa: these are a must if you go there… crunchy on the outside, but still soft and creamy on the inside.
  • White bass ceviche with corn, fresh chili peppers, and cilantro
  • Jamón Croquettes
  • Squid ink rossejat (paella-style pasta with octopus and aioli): we enjoyed this a lot, but it REALLY made us crave the siciliana at Joso’s (which deserves a full blog post of its own at a later date, hopefully soon!)

Torito Tapas Bar on Urbanspoon