Saturday, November 12, 2011

olde yorke fish & chips

We used to think that Olde Yorke fish & chips were likely to be the best fish & chips we would ever find in Toronto. Just look at the facts on the ground:

1) Awesome staff. Knowledgeable, friendly, attentive, you couldn't ask for more, & even if you did, they would probably try their best to find a way to accommodate it

2) Chips are pretty good, not incredible or anything, but pretty good is more than good enough for fish & chips. Like Simon & Garfunkel, there's a reason it's not called "chips & fish" 

3) A wide variety of fish including haddock, which is really the only fish you need when it comes to fish & chips unless you're some kind of deviant, not wishing to sound judgemental or anything, we've nothing against two consenting adults eating cod or halibut just as long as they do it behind closed doors & don't keep trying to force it on our children

Anyway, we used to think that Olde Yorke fish & chips were likely to be the best fish & chips we would ever find in Toronto, but the green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in the storm & once we went here we quickly realised that, like the music of Oasis, while Olde York fish & chips would always hold a place in our hearts, it was close to impossible for us to imagine any circumstance under which we would ever go back there.

Turns out we wrong (although not about Oasis). Tonight was one of those evenings where lacking the wherewithal to make a reservation, we couldn't settle on a suitable place to eat. Our brief love affair with Off the Hook had come to a tumultuous end one evening a few weeks earlier when frustrated by the lack of service we had done the march out without paying & now we were too scared to show our faces again, so instead we sought refuge in Olde Yorke's tender embrace. 

We got a table a little faster than normal, perhaps because we arrived after 8pm & what with the average age of the clientele skewing considerably higher than a lot of our usual spots. The decor is authentically tacky & overall an air of relaxed familiarity pervades. However, it has always been our firm belief that relaxed familiarity is a dangerous thing; once people get too relaxed they start nipping to the shops in their slippers & from there, we are only a hair's breadth from complete anarchy. Fortunately, before society had a chance to collapse completely, our haddock arrived.

L is not going to sit here & tell you that the fish was anything other than deep fried flaky perfection. J on the other hand, is a cruel mistress & although she too thoroughly enjoyed the fish, she was struck by how the batter, which she had previously thought so incredibly highly of, was noticeably thicker & ever so slightly more greasy than that at Off The Hook. While L would concede that she has a point, he remains unconvinced that ever so slightly greasy thick & crispy batter is a negative when it comes to fish & chips. In fact, L is such a fan of this style of batter that he is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, Toronto Public Health permitting, & have the good people at Olde Yorke deep fry his entire body, preserving him in their delicious batter, a la Han Solo at the end of Empire. In further tribute to a beloved film series from his childhood, L would respectfully request his body be displayed at City Hall, as presently Toronto's closest equivalent to Jabba's palace.

Olde Yorke Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 6, 2011

la societe bistro

La Societe Bistro stands in the space formerly occupied by Dynasty Chinese Cuisine in Yorkville. Visiting Dynasty was always somewhat bittersweet for L. As a child, he had experienced a traditional Northern English upbringing & one of the many prejudices he was inadvertently indoctrinated with was that the Chinese are an inscrutable people whose cuisine is a thing to be feared. Obviously he's over all that now, but the sight of happy Sunday lunchtime families with young children expertly wielding chopsticks & casually wolfing down siu mai with gay abandon would always make him enormously resentful. Why aren't these little brats trembling in their seats, jutting out their lower lips as they fix their tear filled eyes on the pork buns & refusing to eat? Just who the hell do they think they are? 

Anyway, this isn't supposed to be the forum for L's fantasies of class resentment fueled infanticide, so lets just say that Dynasty has relocated round the corner & is still Toronto's finest dim sum this side of Lai Wah Heen, & following an extensive renovation La Societe Bistro has opened in its stead. It would be churlish of us to deny that they had done an amazing job in transforming the place from its formally slightly stuffy Chinese banqueting room into a Vegas style facsimile of a European style bistro. Never let it be said though that we are lacking in churl, we are positively entrenched in churl, & the end result of La Societe's makeover is a place that is impressive but horribly soulless. Kind of like the Matrix, only instead of sticking a tube in your head & farming your body for its electrolytes, they charge you $26 for a tuna salad.      


In keeping with the general theme of the place, the latte looked good but tasted merely adequate, rating somewhere around the level of Aroma espresso bar. While L has sipped on many an inadequate latte in his life, he cannot help but feel that if La Societe is genuine in its mission statement as found on its website to "transport you to another time & place" the place they had in mind was probably not the new food court at the Eaton Centre. 

Thankfully the croque madame was a big improvement. While not fit to share a billing with the one from Bonjour Brioche it could certainly hold its own with say Le Petitie Dejeuner. While L very much enjoyed the springy lightly toasted brioche, all the other components were pleasant if unremarkable. Pick of the litter were the frites which were wonderfully buttery in an all too rare way for skinny fries.

Sadly for J, her eggs benedict florentine was a crushing disappointment. She was less of a fan of the brioche than L, but worse still, the ham & the sauce were bland approaching flavourless. The whole thing rested atop a bed of potato hash that didn't seem to quite know what it was doing there & J could quite happily have done without. Our server, who was slick & attentive throughout, had politely warned J off a couple of other dishes she had almost ordered, assuring her with a conspirational tap of his authentically Gallic proboscis that the eggs benny was the smart choice, an idea which in retrospect we find unutterably flabbergasting.

Overall, if we were a single woman about town with a high paying job & no particular fondness for food looking for a place to catch up with the girls to debate which Sex & The City character we each most resembled, La Societe would be an option we suppose. A glowing recommendation, in anyone's language.

La Société Bistro on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Although Chipotle looks like a fast food chain, they are miles apart from any other fast food establishments. It's their mission to source as much food locally and ethically as possible. They are a company after J's own heart and she sheds a tear every time she watches their company mission video (click here for tears)And the proof is definitely in the pudding, you can taste that their efforts have paid off. 

Both of us, for some puzzling reason are new to Mexican food, and both of us have been amazed at how much we've been missing. There isn't a week that goes by that J doesn't crave the Chipotle barbacoa beef 

J ordered the buritto bowl pictured above with barbacoa which is a slow roasted pulled beef ripe and tangy with herbs and spices. They have many options available, J always opts for the mild pico de gallo and the medium green tomatillo salsa together along with sour cream, cheese and black beans. Every ingredient sings and all together it's shake-your-head-in- disbelief good

L ordered the same in a burrito (not pictured)

Best of all, for a little bit extra you can have fresh made guacamole. The cilantro, onions and lime all deserve a veracious round of applause for bringing the avocado to stratospheric levels of goodness.

Unlike other fast food places, Chipotle are licensed and have a few beers available. And although they are a few dollars more expensive that fast food places, you won't have a greasy stomach feeling for hours afterwards. The portions are even big enough to share (says J. L would like that remark struck from the record). However, we opt to get our own servings which leaves us round and portly enough that we can roll ourselves to the nearest subway station home

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

porchetta and co.

We never seem to have much luck on Dundas. Turned away from a string of restaurants there the other week, a crappy brunch once ages ago at Saving Grace & a thoroughly underwhelming lunch at E L Ruddy during our gluten free fortnight last year. J only seems to eat well on this street when she leaves L at home, so it was with some trepidation that she dragged L to Porchetta & Co last weekend before an afternoon gallery hopping

It's a tiny place but very inviting with a lovely wood ceiling & a quintet of rickety stools. The menu is minimal in the extreme: do you want your pig on a plate or in a bun? (To be fair there are also a handful of sides, a seasonal soup & this being Saturday, a breakfast sandwich).

We both had the porchetta bun but J snagged L`s toppings of choice with mozarella & mushrooms leaving L forced to make do with rapini & parmesan in order to provide you, dear reader, with a bit of variety with the pictures. L got his own back by getting hot sauce & dijon on his, thus rendering it inedible for J, the petty little man. The strange thing is that L has never requested mustard on anything in his life, but when the guy at the counter asked if he wanted dijon or grain, L felt compelled to pick one, in what was even for him, a pathetically craven attempt to curry favour with the proprietor, channelling Dobby the house elf, "Oh yes please master! Dobby hates the taste of mustard  but spread it all over every inch of my pork sandwich please master! After all, master knows best & Dobby is but his humble servant."

Turns out master did know best, L rather enjoyed the dijon, there were only a couple of bites that were tear inducing & he actually quite enjoyed those too. Neither of us could find fault with the bun which was sturdy enough to keep the contents of the sandwich in line but so soft that you wanted to rub a cherubic girl's face in it like a commercial for fabric softener. Toppings contained within said bun were equally enchanting, although J wouldn't have said no to a slightly sharper cheese given half the chance. J also had the foresight to order some roasted potatoes which, while admittedly only being roasted potatoes, were lovingly prepared, perfectly seasoned & everything you would want from roasted potatoes, unless you had an unreasonably high expectation of spuds & what they could bring to your life.

But we didn't drive across town for bread, cheese & potatoes. We came for marinated pork shoulder wrapped in prosciutto wrapped in pork belly & then slow roasted for several hours & assuming you're not vegetarian, after reading that description you're probably reaching for the car keys or metropass yourself right now. It's such a treat to go somewhere that just takes one thing & devotes itself to doing it better than anywhere else; the staff's enthusiasm comes shining through & the pork itself is so sumptuously, unashamedly decadent that all that was missing from the experience was two bare chested servants fighting to the death for our amusement while we licked the fat from our lips. 

Of course the problem with determinedly plowing such a singular farrow, is that if you are not head over heels for what they do with the pork here, the menu doesn't have much to offer you, in which case if it's a tasty sandwich you're after, you're probably better off heading to Black Camel. Overall though, Charlotte the spider said it best: some pig.

Porchetta & Co on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 28, 2011

khao san road

L and J's collective heart skipped several beats when we first heard about Khao San Road. Previously our favourite Thai in the city had been Sukhothai & although the food at Sukhothai was the freshest and least oily Thai we've had the pleasure of consuming in Toronto, the dining experience left much to be desired, We have eaten there on many occasions in the cramped, dark, low ceiling basement area; we have watched, mouths agape, as hungry patrons waiting for takeout have sat down uninvited next to other diners, & we have waited & waited & waited for the Dundas street car home. Having said that, the food was always so good that if the dining room had been a burning rope bridge suspended over the pit of hades, we still would have quite happily taken our chances there, but the opening up in the entertainment district of a step-sister to Sukhothai which is light, modern and even a touch hip was altogether much more to our liking.

Over the last few months we've also been pleased to see Khao San Road get over their new restaurant foibles. The dazed and confused waitresses have morphed into servers that must rank among the hardest working & most efficient in the city.

Now on to the food...

For once, J had developed a massive appetite that coincided with an actual meal time, so we opted for an appetizer. Drawn by the promise of fresh mint, J insisted that we try the Po Pia Pak Sod Gai Yaw which is a fresh spring roll with homemade chicken sausage, mint & thai basil that comes with a lovely tamarind garlic sauce. The sausage was only lightly seasoned but  worked so very well with the fresh herbs and tangy dipping sauce. The texture of the sausage was interestingly dense & was complimented by the crisp lettuce and carrots. J made a mental note to starve herself before their next visit so she can relish the rolls once again.

J has tried a number of the mains on offer and always struggles with what to order because everything she has tried has been so satisfyingly scrumptious. So began the neuron transmission race in her brain, would it be the Khao Soi with its crispy noodles and braised beef? Or would the Pad Gra Prao with minced pork manage to enter her synapse by the time the server came back to take her order? Either would have sufficed, but the eggy goodness of the Pad Gra Prao won the race this night

J has never been a fan of minced meat in general, but in this dish it is so lovingly infused with intense Thai goodness that she is always taken aback at the first bite. The Thai flavours are bold, but contained. This sauce clings to the meat keeping a perfect balance between meat and rice, unlike dishes in other Thai resturants where the sauce drowns out each little grain of rice in a soupy tsunami. Best of all the Pad Gra Prao is immensely easy to wolf down at the pace that a hungry tummy demands

L went with the Gaeng Massaman, the same dish he has had every time he has visited either Khao San Road or Sukhothai. L swears he will try something different one day, but first they will have to serve him up a massaman which is less then perfect in every way. Until that day arrives he's gonna keep on ordering it, Thai spicy, maybe alternating between chicken & beef if he's feeling adventurous. 

Were it not for the fact that L can't get a gin & tonic there & that it's so crazy busy it's inevitable you'll be waiting for a table, Khao San Road would be a vision of shimmering perfection amidst   the wasteland of the entertainment district, a surprise as gloriously unexpected & life affirming as magic mushrooms growing atop a cow turd. As it is, it has to settle for being merely the best Thai food in the city by a country freaking mile. 

Khao San Road on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

crêpe à gogo

J flying solo again. Since I'm a big fan of savoury crepes I lured a friend to meet me at Crepe a GoGo to give it a try. It's a small place that felt pretty cozy on a rainy autumn night. Adding to the ambiance was the amount of French being spoken by the staff and the other patrons. At one point, I think I was the only anglophone in the building.

The staff were very friendly, even recommending for us to share a large bottle of the limonana because it would be cheaper that way. Speaking of which it was a lovely drink, more mellow than the freshly squeezed variety, but it won me over with its generous sprinkling of mint, sweetness and impressive size for the price. 

After after much humming and hawwing over the menu I decided to go with the Nicoise because I was quite hungry and it seemed to have the most fillings with mozzerella, tuna, tomatoes, black olives, zaatar and basil. 

It no time at all, our server brought them over in baskets, each inside a brown paper bag, apparently they only serve it this way. The server then tore the paper bags along the sides and placed them right into our hands and assured us this was the right way to eat their crepes :) 

And the eating was good. Everything was fresh and the crepe was light and spongy. I liked the herbs and the olives were nice and tangy, I just would have personally preferred a zestier cheese. 

I will definitely come back for a light lunch or snack in the future. But if you are a hungry hungry hippo and have a crushing craving for crepes, I'd opt for Cafe Crepe because they allow you to select (at a cost) additional toppings. 

Check out their Facebook Page

Crêpes à GoGo on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 22, 2011

toronto underground market II

Plus ça change plus c'est la même chose... 20 years ago you may have found us lining up outside a warehouse on a cold night with tickets that we had bought weeks in advance, the air of anticipation tangible. Last Saturday night, despite leaving the Vicks Vapor Rub & glow sticks at home, we took it back to the old skool at the Toronto Underground Market II.

We had a plan going in, but hunger got the better of us & we deviated from our beeline for La Carnita to grab a trio of Mama Nashi's delightful samosas first. Easily the best samosas we have ever tasted, fried to perfection & bursting with freshly sliced chicken & pork. Even the vegetable ones were thrillingly full blooded. Magnificent as they were, they proved costly as we hung around the stall to keep stealing squirts of lemon juice to douse each bite, & by the time we had licked the crumbs from our lips & pulled ourselves together the line for La Carnita was already enormous.

Our immediate hunger pangs sated, J headed off on a few daring sorties while L dutifully took up his station & waited for the line at La Carnita to do its unfathomably slow thing. First J came back with a couple of treats from Elle Cuisine: balanced in one hand, braised beef perogies with truffle & rosemary sour cream & port caramelized onions; in the other, lobster churros with lemon aioli & lime salt. Far be it from us as to be so crass as to complain about value for money, but $4 a pop was pretty steep for three churros barely bigger than matchsticks. The solitary perogie at least had the good grace to be lip smackingly sumptuous, the sour cream & onions atop complimenting it better than the most toadying of lickspittles.

By the time J came back with the next morsel, L had already been in line for roughly 25 minutes & had probably moved at least 2 feet, so if the pace continued there was a real danger that by the time we reached the head of the line, inflation would have rendered our Canadian dollars worthless. J had selected this particular stall solely as it had the shortest line; a bunch of high school chefs were cooking up rice balls & a couple of pasta dishes using ingredients they had grown themselves whilst their teacher worked the crowd into a frenzy with his MC skills, exhorting us to feel the rush of their butternut squash agnolotti. Said agnolotti in a brown butter & sage sauce was perfectly serviceable, but both of us always seem to have a tiny bit of a problem with sage & butter sauce no matter where we try it, & yet we keep plugging away gamely determined to develop a taste for it in the hope it will make us somehow more sophisticated, like teenagers struggling to stomach the taste of beer & cigarettes. 

Both of us were new to rice balls but after trying them, we were deeply regretting having waited so long before popping our collective arancini cherry. J could definitely taste the truffle oil they were drizzled in, & despite this sometimes not being her favourite of flavours, she had to agree it was a thoroughly enjoyable dish. L dearly loved the flavours, the texture, the whole kit & caboodle. Despite beginning the night as a rice ball virgin he is now considers himself a proud rice ball slut. Apparently there is an asteroid the size of aircraft carrier scheduled to pass between the earth & the moon just after sundown on Tuesday. If the scientists are wrong & rather than passing by about 200,000 miles from the earth it crashes into us & destroys all life in an instant, L would be perfectly fine with that, just as long as this asteroid was stuffed with wild mushrooms & mozarella & coated in panko before being fried to perfection.

By this point the line had sped up from a barely perceptible crawl to a stately creep & we passed the time with a few more samosas. Sorry. We really should have tried something different but in that moment we were thinking only of ourselves. Before we knew it, the crowd in front of us dispersed & we found ourselves face to face with our taco overlords. We ordered two each, then scuttled to one of the communal tables that ran down the centre of the building to stuff our faces in triumph & pour scorn on those worthless wretches still waiting in line.

One would think it would be easy to sit here & gush about La Carnita, but mysteries abound. We don't know why their tacos are so amazing. We're not entirely sure what some of the ingredients are. We're bewildered as to how they are able to blow all their taco making competitors out of the water when their competitors are professionals & La Carnita just seem to be doing this off the cuff, like some sort of prank. Is it possible that this is purely a marketing triumph, that it is the mere scarcity & the delayed gratification of the product that makes it so incredible? Could the whole set up be an elaborate front for some sort of shadowy mass mind control cult? Are there subliminal messages contained in that swirly skull picture & all they have to do is set up somewhere & watch us all assemble like lemmings & await our turn (how is it that so many people in line have no idea what they are lining up for, yet still they come? why is it we all share that same thousand yard stare as we walk back down the length of the line, tacos in hand?) Mark our words, we don't know exactly when, but it's only a matter a of time before that La Canita skull appears in the sky like the bat signal & Toronto's cognoscenti find their feet involuntarily carrying them out to a pre-arranged place they had no idea they were even aware of, to finally discover their true purpose, their very own taco rapture. 

It was at about this point when we had the realization that all those tiny bites of tiny portions we had indulged in added up to quite a lot of food so our thoughts turned to coffee & desert. L indulged in a coffee stout which seemed to go straight to his head. J tried out a couple of cup cakes, the oreo & the red velvet.

The cupcakes were outrageously cute; moist chocolatey goodness topped with the type of frosting that you happen upon much too rarely, where you can taste the cream, not just the sugar.

We weren't about to leave without grabbing some macarons, having developed something of a habit during 2011 & an almost religious zeal to uncover Toronto's best, which we think we may now have found with 3 Macarons. 

We suppose that for some people there may have been slightly too much meringue & not enough filling, but we say the hell with those people. Who made them the macaron police? All six were heavenly, but special mention must go to the audacious maple bacon & to the lemon which was sink-to-your-knees-holy-mary-mother-of-god delicious.  

It's all happening again on November 19 with further events to come in 2012 by which time presumably, the underground will be thoroughly overground & we will all be standing in line at La Carnita bitching about how the scene isn't want is used to be.

island foods

It's J writing solo again. While L had flown off to another city for work, I was tired of leftovers and decided to seek out something new.

Almost a year ago I was busy at work and had no time to go out and grab lunch so decided to crash another team's Christmas pot luck lunch. There wasn't much left by the time I got there but there was a ton of, what I later learned to be, homemade roti. There were two kinds: Chicken with potato and potato with peas. The roti itself was incredible and had that slightly burnt bread perfume that the best pizza crusts and naan always have. The fillings were busting with flavour and although moist, were dry enough to prevent the roti from getting even a tad soggy.

Ever since that day, I've salivated at the memories over and over again and pondered where I could get such delicacy again in Toronto. After searching online, I learned that there wasn't anywhere that folks agreed served great roti. Even still,  I thought I'd give Island Foods ago since I'm in the area sometimes.

While it was fantastic to experience a lovely spongy roti again, it seemed to be a much different style than the first roti that I was so fortunate to taste. The curry sauce was very runny which made the roti soggy after a minute or so. Maybe this is how some people prefer it? I could have lived with that, however the sauce was one of the saltiest things I have ever tasted. Don't get me wrong, I probably like salt more than the average person. I've also had curries from many establishments over the years and the over riding flavour has never been salt. 

That being said, the chicken and potatoes were generously portioned and a much better quality than I expected to receive for my $7 spend. 

While I was eating I had a perfect view of other customers coming through the front door and every single one of them had that wide eyed look of anticipation, you could just tell they were thrilled to be walking under the threshold of the place.  So it got me wondering if the saltiness was a one off mistake? For now, I'm reserving judgement on Island Foods until I can go back and try another dish. Alas, the roti search is to be continued...drop me a line if you have any suggestions

Check out their Website

Island Foods on Urbanspoon

liberty noodle

J here again. This week I had some work that brought me to Yonge street so I popped into the Eaton Centre's new "urban eatery" for a bite to eat. I'd given Liberty Noodle a try a few weeks ago and this time I thought I should bring along my camera.

First off, what I love the most about the urban eatery is the lengths they are going to be responsible for their waste. Most of the venues give you real plates and cutlery and they have waste stations where hard working mall employees take all of your plates and garbage and sort it into compost, recycling and garbage. Given the turnover the Eaton Centre has it's an incredible feat and I hope they continue to lead by example and influence other fast food venues

Now onto the food at Liberty Noodle...

This time I opted for the Udon with chicken in a sweet chilli sauce. The udon was as fresh as those that I raved about from Manpuku in Village by the Grange. The sauce had a great balance of sweet and heat, the veggies were generous in size and quantity and although the chicken was obviously not free range, it was fairly well prepared for what is was. Best of all, there wasn't puddles of oil that usually accompanies food court asian food.

They have a non-food court location out in Liberty Village that has a slight different menu that I will definitely try next time I'm in the area.

My first choice in the Urban Eatery will always be Big Smoke Burger with their healthy butcher meats, but if you're not in the mood for a burger, this is your second best bet 

Check out their Website

Liberty Noodle on Urbanspoon

food trucks III - nuit blanche

Paying $10 each to be allowed entry into a parking lot where you then line up for 30 minutes in temperatures just above freezing to pay $5 for a cheese sandwich. Is this:

a) Ceausescu's Romania

b) A terrifying glimpse of the inevitable food shortages that will follow the impending financial apocalypse 

c) The perfect way to begin a Saturday night of looking at contemporary art in the streets of Toronto

If you answered C then congratulations, you probably know all about the Toronto Food Truck craze that currently has Toronto's ageing hipster scum all abuzz. Slow off the mark, we missed the first one at the Distillery a few months ago, but made it to the second one in September where we learnt some hard & painful lessons about how best to navigate such an event. Once we heard they were coming back a third time on the evening of Nuit Blanche we descended on the site with a mixture of painstakingly planning & brute force reminiscent of operation Neptune Spear.   

Right from the off we had our eye on on Gorilla Cheese, having being scared off by the length of the queue at the last event. L got in line while J ran around, grabbing samples from other trucks for us to nibble on while we waited.

First she came back with latin style chorizo on a bun with butter poached sofrito onions & chimchurri from Supi Cucu. J loved the spicy sausage and the ever so fresh bun, but her absolute fav is the Diablo Fuelo's hot sauce on the side; it's quite hot, but the sweet of the peppers successfully battles for double billing. J would have bought the jar of sauce they were selling but with hours of Nuit Blanche on the horizon it didn't seem practical to lug condiments around TO. L is furious to be hearing about this for the first time now, as he would gladly have bore the saucy burden had he have known. 

Still 20 minutes or so from grilled cheese nirvana J had time to shoot off again, & this time she came back with tinga tostada from Agave Y Aguacate who had recently closed their Kensington kitchen to do a tour of the late summer food festivals in Ontario. By now they should be open again. It was the first ever tostada that we had tried, but it certainly won't be the last. The tostada was crisp and fresh with a lovely layer of beans and a gorgeous concoction of slow roasted chicken in a thick, rich sauce that sweetly stung. J suspected there was something special about the sour cream, it really added a lovely sourness to the dish. A challenge to eat standing up, but well worth the sticky fingers

By this time we really should have been ordering our grilled cheese but the closer we got to the window the more friends the people in the queue in front of us suddenly seemed to acquire, so J headed off on another reconaissance mission & came back with some delights from El Gastronomo Vagabundo. A tom yum soup for her & smoked albacore tuna with papaya and chili tamarind sauce for L. The soup didn't really meet with J's approval having a bit too much earthy flavour and not enough sour. However, L absolutely loved the tuna; the chili tamarind sauce being so invigorating that it was all he could do not to rip off his shirt baring his chest to the elements & howl at the moon in communion with nature.

Finally our date with destiny was upon us & we approached the window at Gorilla Cheese. J ordered the OG, in silent tribute to all her homies who didn't make it along the way. L went with the sarducci, the balsamic bread being the clincher. It was a fabulously tasty sandwich & all was right in the world, at least until J offered him a bite of her OG & he realized what a terrible, terrible mistake he had made. It suddenly becamse clear that this grilled cheese sandwich of hers was to be his Rosebud & in 60 years time, when his ageing body is slowly grinding to a halt, as he sits in his Xanadu surrounded by a bounty of treasures bestowed upon him from a lifetime spent blogging about food, he will die whispering "OG, OG", haunted by the thought of how his whole life would have been so different if only he had had the foresight to order this, (one hesitates to even demean it with the moniker "sandwich" as to describe it as a mere sandwich is as inadequate as referring to Napoleon as "a bit of a bossy boots") glorious testament to what is possible when man, bread & cheese are in holy communion with God.

Survey says - Heaven is a truck.

Agave Y Aguacate on Urbanspoon Gorilla Cheese on Urbanspoon El Gastronomo Vagabundo @ Flat Rock Cellars on Urbanspoon