Showing posts with label Destinations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Destinations. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Best Top 5 "Must Eat" in Toronto

Shuga Henry


My roaming adventures in Canada has been quite festive. Coming from New York I thought I knew what cold was. To my surprise, I did not really understand real cold weather until I visited Canada. Never the less, I quickly  learned the proper dress code and all was good. So, I have complied a list of the Best Top 5 things you must eat when traveling to Toronto. Enjoy!


5.  Fanzorelli's Restaurant & Wine Bar

Fanzorelli's is a wonderful Italian restaurant located in the downtown area of Brampton, Ontario. The interior is quaint and romantic with beautiful paintings of Italian scenery on the walls. The delicious smells of the Italian flavors envelops you as soon as you walk through the door. My cousin Keesha, a native of Canada told me she has been dining at Fanzorelli's for 12 years.  Her most favorite dish that she has been ordering for 12 years is Farfelle, which is fresh  roasted peppers pureed in a cream sauce with diced grilled chicken presented on a mountain of bow tie pasta.  Keesha also stated that in all the years she has been visiting there, the staff has always been very welcoming and friendly.  The owner, Mr Anthony is always there to greet the patrons with a warm smile. Fanzorelli's offers great food, large scrumptious portions, flavorful mixed drinks, delectable desserts and excellent customer for a reasonable price.

4. Ketchup Chips 

Ketchup Chips is a must have in Canada. It is a staple well-loved snack that can only be found in Canada.   I first learned of Ketchup Chips in the early 90's from my Canadian cousins. At the time, Herr's was the distributor of the chip. When the flavour was introduced in the early-1980s by Herr’s, the recipe was changed three times before everyone was satisfied. The chip has been consistently sold and adored ever since. The chips are potato chips, that are treated with a ketchup-based powder that turns them red and adds the flavor of ketchup. Most recently, Lay's has started producing Ketchup Chips. However, I don't feel the company has captured the original taste of the beloved chip. This version tasted more like salt and vinegar chips. You can hardly taste the signature ketchup taste. So on your visit to Canada look for Herr's or Hostess Ketchup Chips and get the authentic flavour  of this tasty treat.

 3. Poutine

As I journeyed around town, I kept seeing ads for something called Poutine.  This dish was being offered at many establishments even McDonald's so I had to get the full scoop on this foreign dish. I learned from the locals that poutine is a common Canadian dish originated from Quebec in the late 1950's.  The word poutine is the meaning "fries with cheese and gravy."  Poutine is made with French fries and topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce and fresh cheese curds. The French fries are of medium thickness then fried so that the inside stays soft while the outside is deliciously crunchy.

This fast food dish can be found all across Canada and also in some places in northern United States. It was suggested that I visit a restaurant called Poutine ( in downtown Brampton, Ontario for my first sample of this exotic dish. I must say that the poutine was delicious. The fries tasted crunchy and fresh. I learned from the owner that the fries are freshly cut and fried everyday. The gravy had a traditional gravy taste with a hit of other spices that the owner explained was their secret sauce. Well, whatever the secret it, it's delicious.  I had the classic poutine. The menu also showcased  loaded poutine, Philly Cheese Steak poutine, chili-cheese supreme, vegetarian and much more. 

I did a little research and learned that the great taste of poutine can be experienced and enjoyed in New York. Below are links to a few establishment that serve this mouth-watering dish.

2.   The Burger's Priest

I learned of The Burger's Priest  from another local referral. Amongst the many burger joints in Toronto, The Burger's Priest reigns supreme.  I was told that this establishment was featured on Toronto's Burger Wars as the best chow in town.  The Burger's Priest, which is a classic American cheeseburger joint is the brain child of owner/chef  Shant Mardirosian.  After graduating seminary school, Mardirosian realized being a priest wasn't the future for him. So he took his love of hamburgers and being a good Christian and created the Burger's Priest. (Read more of  Shant Mardirosian's Burger story )Since opening its first shop at Queen and Coxwell in June 2010, the classic American-style burger joint rapidly gained a devout following. 

Shant Mardirosian
photo credit:

I had the California Classic. I was told that is was one of the most popular. I really enjoyed this burger. The  meat was tender, seasoned well and very juicy.  The manger told me the beef is always fresh and I could taste the freshness in the burger. A custom blend of ultra premium beef is ground multiple times a day on premise. The meat was sandwiched between a lightly buttered and grilled fluffy bun. The meat was coated with priest sauce, a slice of melted cheese, caramelized onions with lettuce and tomato - amazing. I mean the burger literally melted in mouth.  My side of fries were divine. The crisp and awesome flavor was heavenly.  The manager told me the French fries are first blanched and then fried to lock in the flavor.  Overall, the Burger's Priest was a sinfully indulgent  time. The lines can get a little lengthy. However, it's well worth the wait.

1. Harlem Restaurant 

My most finger- licking discovery was Harlem Restaurant  located in downtown Toronto. Harlem Restaurant  serves a fusion of Southern Caribbean cuisine.  From the moment I walked into the establishment, I feel in-love.  There were so many lip-smacking choices,  I had a difficult time choosing. Thankfully, owner/ chef Carl Cassell suggested I try the signature dish of Chicken and Waffles. And oh was it extraordinary roller coaster ride for my taste buds.  Read full review  Harlem Restaurant Review

The Burger's Priest on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's Cooking? 10 Festive Thanksgiving Day and Weekend Events.

The holiday season has commenced again. Hooray!! Let the good times begin. So after you've slaved all day and prepared the food, dined and laughed with family and friends, what's there to do next? Well, below is a list of awesome activities to do after the turkey has stuffed you.  

Holiday Lights Show, Bronx, NY

I was driving down Pelham Parkway North in the Baychester, Bronx neighborhood when I happened upon this house covered with amazing Christmas figurines. As soon as I saw it, I instantly remembered learning of this house on TLC's Crazy Christmas show. I pulled the car over immediately to investigate. This spectacular home has been a traffic-stopping must-see for 40 years. The house is known in the area by many names - Pelham Christmas House,  Bronx Christmas House and the Garabedian House. The owner Gary Garabedian and his family members construct this most festive holiday delight which is a true feast for the eyes.  The holiday lights show will begin on Thanksgiving day and runs until January 6.  The house is located on Pelham Parkway North & Westervelt Ave.

George Balachine's The Nutcracker, Manhattan, NY

This beautiful ballet is a holiday favorite. The New York City Ballet will transport the audience to a world of frost fairies, toy soldiers and towering mice. This is a great idea for families and children of all ages.  Performances begin Friday, November 29 and remain until January 4.David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center).

Trust Credit photo: ©Paul Kolnik nyc 212-362-7778 Photograph: Paul Kolnik

 Holiday Train Show, Bronx, NY 

The New York Botanical Garden's hosts its popular Holiday Train Show. This diorama features more than a dozen model railway trains surrounding beautifully detailed New York City landmarks.  Some of these landmark includes  the Empire State Building, Penn Station and Radio City Music Hall. The show runs until January 12. The New York Botanical Garden 

Courtesy of TimeOut and Photograph: Filip Wolak

 Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Queens, NY

On Friday, November 29th, the Museum of the Moving Image pays tribute to actress Julianne Moore through the screening of Jurassic Park: The Lost World. In the movie Moore plays a behavioral paleontologist stranded on an island with dinosaurs. All you dinosaurs fanatics out there,  this is a special treat!  
Museum of the Moving Image

Restaurant Thanksgiving Day Feast, Queens, NY

There are some of us who can not be bothered with the rigors of  Thanksgiving. Standing for what seems like days on the ever winding market lines to buy holiday groceries, the lengthy prep times, the endless times you've tried to cook and then after numerous burnt items realize "maybe I can't cook." Maybe you prefer to be treated like royalty in a fine restaurant so you can dine quickly to ensure you are amongst the first in line for Black Friday deals. If any of these relate to you, then this list of restaurants serving dinner on Thanksgiving is for you.  Thanksgiving Dinner in Queens

Holiday Jokes, L.I.C, Queens

On Friday, November 29th, the house teams of The Queens Secret Improv Club along with some of NYC's up and coming indie team will perform seven improv comedy sets. Tickets are just $5 for the whole night. So if you're ready for some belly busting comedy, head over to the The Queens Secret Improv Club.

Twelve Birds of Christmas, Brooklyn, NY

Sunday, December 1, experts from the Brooklyn Bird Club is offering a guided walk in Prospect Park to spot some common birds that don't fly South for the winter. This walk is appropriately timed at the busiest birding hour of the day. This is a perfect way to get out, enjoy the weather and walk off some of those holiday pounds.  This is a Free event held at 8am in Prospect Park. This is a great event for children ages 3 and older.  Event Details

After Thanksgiving Day Hike, Staten Island, NY

Feeling stuffed after yesterday’s meal? Head to Greenbelt park for the 10th Annual After Thanksgiving Hike led by Greenbelt educators. This 2-hour hike, which includes a quick stop at the LaTourette house, is suitable for older kids – or parents who are happy toting babies and toddlers on their backs. Registration required. Call 718-351-3450 or email naturecenter@sigreenbelt.orgFri., 10 a.m. Staten Island. Free. Ages 0-2 and 8+.  Event Details (courtesy of

Live Entertainment, Queens

Pa-Nash Restaurant and Lounge will have some excellent live Jazz and R&B entertainment happening during the holiday weekend. 

Friday, November 29 - Pep the Entertainer & The Soul Explosion Band

Saturday, November 30 -  Platinum One Band (Reggae) 

Sunday, December 1 - Yovanna Pierre Trio (Jazz)

All shows run from 9pm - 1am. Pa-Nash is located 144-14 243rd St, Rosedale, NY. For more information call (516) 661-5579 or email

For more ideas of things for do on Thanksgiving day or things to do with the children besides the parade, check out She has awesome ideas. 

Be safe and have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday.