So where do I start? First off, I'm trying to make THG happen - like when Puff Daddy went to P. Diddy, I'm transitioning into THG.
The Hungry Gnome has taken a bit of a back seat these past few weeks. Why? Hmm getting a new kitty isn't exactly what you want to hear so how about we act like that little break never happened and we get back to regular scheduled blogging? Sounds, great - thanks for understanding boo.
So, the last few months I've been on a bit of a seafood binge. I could eat seafood all day everyday but I'm also a big cheapie so I love finding a good bang for my buck without compromising my butt, if you know what I mean.
My birthday this past October was the perfect occasion to 1. get all the Belly Monsters together & 2. gorge on seafood. Spoonful - 499 Main St South | Brampton | is one of the best seafood ayce joints I've seen within a driving distance. We went on a weekend and there was a fantastic spread of raw and cooked seafood from conch, crab, scallops, oysters, shrimp - you name it, they had it! My trick with seafood ayce joints is all in the sauce . Obviously with a buffet you can't expect supreme quality but with a few squeezes of lemon or a few lashings of diy seafood sauce - you've got a pretty banging meal.
I also used my birthday as an excuse to finally check out the brunch menu at Aberdeen Tavern - 432 Aberdeen Ave | Hamilton which I am happy to say is finally being served on Saturdays. More restaurants need to follow their lead, I'm looking at you Ancaster Mill! The croque monsieur was heavenly - nice and rich, but not too heavy and was surprisingly the best dish out of the lot. I realize it's just a bougie ham & cheese sandwich, but sue me, I got a little fancy pants in me. I would go back and order that any day.
Other October birthdays also provided me with the opportunity to finally check out the Ritz Carlton brunch. It cost me $103.48 - so you better fricken believe it when I say, there is most definitely going to be a blog post about this one! Just drool over the food porn for now and I'll fill you in on the details later. K, girlfriend?
And of course I had an actual birthday gathering - aka, come over and hang out in your pjs and eat all of my favourite things. This is pretty much how I like to spend my birthday's every year. I go for dinners leading up to the big day and the actual day is spent at home, with a top knot bun, eating the whole fridge. This year we had kalbi salad wraps, giant fruit platters, a tower of donuts, and a pound of Rapscallions infamous chicken liver creme brûlé. Muchas Gracias to Erin for gifting me with one of my favourite things off their menu. You think this stuff taste bomb dignity at the restaurant - wait till you try it at home, in your pjs, over the sink. ERMAHGERD. I can't even describe the mouthgasms I was experiencing.
I also ventured out to some new digs - like the new Hakka Chinese place - 239 York Boulevard | Hamilton. To be honest, this place is a total dive. But don't let that scare you away. We walked in on its first week of business and was greeted by a lovely gentlemen working the counter. Turns out he was the server, cook, and cashier. A renaissance man, this guy.
I have absolutely no experience with Hakka food so, thank goodness for the Chub Squad. They did a beautiful job of ordering and we also asked Mr. Renaissance Man what his recommendations were. I would recommend sticking to the Indian side of the menu - the kebabs & spicy chicken were a personal favourite. A few of the Hakka items - manchurian beef/chicken as well as the fried rice was fantastic. Oh! The garlic naan was out of this world as well. Fresh chunks of raw garlic basted in oil - and it was made fresh to order, in house son! As my fellow Belly Monster, Justin would say - gawdlike. We couldn't help but keep ordering basket, after basket. There will definitely be a more detailed post on this place as well!
And of course can't forget the old classics, like Memphis Fire BBQ. Don't bother getting the hot dog though - just stick to their BBQ, what was I thinking?
I also squeezed in a quick trip to Vegas with the Sisters and a few friends. We spent four days eating and competing in a professional Bingo Tournament. Oh yeah, you read that right baby, we killed it at bingo.
More Vegas eats coming up in a later post. Besides eating out, I managed to squeeze in some time to butcher a lamb, more birthday celebrations, gobbled up an all duck burger from Novemburger, discovered that Demetres now serves ice-cream sandwiches - can you believe they finally changed their menu? It's a little kitschy but I can't say no to those waffles. Wait, those were all times I went out to eat - I need to get a life.
I also went out to SB Prime - 390 Brant St | Burlington | for some nibbles and drinks with a few other bloggers. It was nice to get out and see some familiar faces and nosh on these beautiful appy platters. I was familiar with them through Taste of Burlington but it was nice to enjoy the food in its natural setting. The restaurant space was pretty intimate with an open concept kitchen but a very quaint private dining area in the back.
There was a very, very, short period of time before and after Christmas where I attempted to "eat clean" - see persimmon, pomegranate and mixed berry smoothie cup above as proof, but of course, once Christmas rolled around, it was out with the skinny jeans and in come the stretchy pants.
What can I say? My people know how to feed me - and this was only half the table.
Our last big dinner of the year was my moms annual birthday dinner at Fishman Lobster Clubhouse - 680 SilverStar Boulevard | Scarborough . I'm sure my parents wait all year for this meal and you, my dear, will have to wait for the complete review as well. Sorry!
Happy Eating & Happy New Year!