Month: July 2015

Boston: Exploring Harvard and finding the best lobster roll

We started the day off with a nice jog around Jamaica Pond which was very close to the neighborhood we were staying in – Jamaica Plains.  I would describe JP as divided into two parts – The Ghetto and the Hipster hood.  The Ghetto is pretty run down and sketchy while the other side is lined with cute little shops and home to quite a wealthy looking group of folks.  I just remember seeing huge mansion size houses near Jamaica Pond when we were jogging.  By the way, its not really a ‘pond’ one lap around the body of water is about 2.5km.  After getting a good sweat we stopped by one of the indie cafes in the neighborhood called 7 Pond Coffee Bar to grab a well deserved Americano and croissant. The cafe was actually one of the most clever and well thought out spaced I’ve seen.  The scafe is tiny, but the way it was designed maximized every square foot.  The photo here doesn’t do it justice… the quality of the interior design was …

Toronto Summerlicious – Sassafraz Review

Toronto hosts two very popular culinary events annually – Summerlicous & Winterlicuous.  Restaurants across the GTA participate by offering a 3-course prix fix meal to encourage diners to try out new cuisines and get a taste of the culinary talent in the T.O. Usually I’d end up going to about 3 restaurants on average but because I’m spending this summer in Ottawa, I was lucky enough to sneak in one meal.  I dined at Sassafraz with my family for lunch – an upscale French inspired restaurant in the heart of Yorkville.  Click here to see their $28 lunch and $45 menu. The service in Sassafraz is very good.  The waitors are attentive and are there when you need them, and out of sight when you don’t.  They provide fresh, warm bread and generously re-fill throughout the meal. For the Appetizer, I had the Bay Scallops with new potato, chorizo, and sumac roasted cauliflower.  I was a little disappointed at the size of the scallops, I’m not a fan of these tiny ones at all.  The chorizo …

Boston: Walking through the American Revolution

It was just after Canada Day on July 1st which happens to fall on a Wednesday and so K and I decided to write off Thursday and Friday to hit the road and give Boston a visit (just in time for 4th of July!).  It was a blisteringly hot day so obviously we stopped for some McDonald’s soft serve 🙂 After about 8hrs of driving we made it just in time to catch the sunset.  Their metro system is very robust and you get pretty much get to anywhere using their transit.  We walked over to South Boston to explore the area and grab some seafood as recommended by our Airbnb host.  Seaport is where you can find beautiful views of the water and about a dozen seafood restaurants . Legal Seafood was a hot spot and for a good reason – they had probably the best outdoor patio lookout.  They charge a pretty penny for it too, but that didn’t stop a line up from bursting past the doors. We skipped it and ate …

Ottawa Photo Diary 2

Summer in Ottawa is a great time to just roam around discover new neighborhoods and good eats.  Ottawa also does a very good job of keeping their public gardens and trees very well groomed.  I love jogging the canal and just taking in the scenic views. Fraser Cafe – A neat little cafe featuring fresh produce.  I had their Cobb Salad and it was actually so good!  They added small twists of flavor from pickled radishes and crispy chips on top and a light dressing which complimented the crumbles of blue cheese very well.  Great place for a light, healthy meal. I’m quite a fan of LavAzza coffee, their beans produce a really good strong brew and I love using it for making espresso.  They have a cute little cafe on Lansdowne which also serves gelato and some prepared foods.  Iced Americano is my go-to summer caffinated drink and LavAzza makes a really one – none of that watered down crap. Took a stroll down to Victoria Island to check out the views there.  Nothing special …

Summer in the Capital

Surprisingly, there is a lot of events happening in Ottawa in the summer.  Almost anything you’d normally find in Toronto, there’s something similar (granted, on a smaller scale).  Although, there is one thing that Toronto is lacking – Nordstrom.  I’ve found some great deals on their summer and anniversary sale.  Their built in restaurant, Bazille, is actually a great spot to dine after a good shopping haul.  They have a lovely patio area, delicious food, and great service.  Bonus: the menu is very affordable so you don’t have to choose between that pair of sunglasses or a satisfying dining experience. I like to stick in scenic shots of my jogging routes in all my Ottawa related posts because… I mean, look how soothing this is. Bluesfest – another huge event in Ottawa that runs multiple weeks with dozens of artists coming to perform including the likes of Keith Urban and Hedley and many more in between.  I had the pleasure of attending courtesy of my company.  We had a gorgeous two tiered booth with an open …

Toronto Food Finds

With so many new restaurants and food trends popping up in Toronto, there’s always new things to try!  Here are some places I’ve hit up recently. Hibiscus – A tiny little cafe tucked behind the plethora of stores and restaurants in Kensington Market.  I’ve easily walked right past this place multiple times even when I’m trying to look for it.  But it’s well worth the hunt.  Their menu might be small, but the salads and crepe sure do pack a punch in terms of flavor and presentation.  I love their salad bowls – full of beautiful colors and textures and hearty enough to keep you full for hours.  Their Squash Puree has a nice kick of ginger and their savory crepes are to die for.  Hibiscus also has an assortment of vegan ice cream and desserts.  Seating is limited but I’ve never had a problem with getting a table.  Highly recommend! Japango – another tiny restaurant that one can easily miss.  You know it’s the real deal when its run by Japanese people.  Their Japango Roll is …

Ottawa First Impressions

Although just four hours away from Toronto, my move to Ottawa was not an easy one.  There is a  very noticeable distinction in culture and way of life in the Capital.  My initial impressions of the city is how quiet and slower it is compared to Toronto.  People simply move at their own pace and there is rarely a sense of urgency.  Downtown Ottawa consists mostly of government buildings and everyone disperses after work hours, leaving the premise pretty deserted for the most part.  However, there are some gems that I’ve uncovered so far. The Parliament buildings are always a sight to behold.  The mixture of old and new architecture in Ottawa brings character into the city.  And the canal and bridges are lovely and peaceful to stroll across. The Annual Tulip Festival is held in Ottawa which stems from Princess Juliana’s token of gratitude for her stay in Canada while in exile.  10,000 tulips are gifted each year and attracts upwards of 500,000 tourists. I was shocked at how many exotic breeds of Tulips …

Long Weekend Getaway in Montreal

Excaping to Montreal for a sweet little road trip with my main squeeze.  Montreal is a major city in Quebec about 6hrs East of Toronto.  It kind of reminds me of a grungy version of Toronto with French speakers.  We started the day off with some classfic Montreal sbagels with lox & cream cheese at Fairmount Bagels.  I was shockingly disappointed at the lack of distinct flavor despite the bagels were prepared in the traditional Montreal style (boiled before baked).  I would recommend St. Viateur, however they do only sell bagels and do not offer ready-to-eat ones with filling. Strolling down Old Montreal was very nice and relaxing.  There is a port where you can see some sailboats and a nice view of the city as a backdrop.   We saw some sort of ceremony happening…but not sure what it was about as the whole narration was in French 😛 I think it was something about the celebration of the city’s anniversary of sorts? Spotted some cool swings that played music and generated energy as …