I had a few house guests over the weekend… my parents!
And I can sum up their visit in five words: Food. Fun. And more food.
Since the ‘rents aren’t in the big city very often, I wanted to make the most of their short time here by taking them to as many restaurants as possible. They got in late on Thursday evening so we had dinner at Chez Kennedy:
Kath’s Vegetable Lasagna! It was such a hit with this crew that there were zero leftovers from an 8-serving recipe. For a meal with no meat in it, that’s saying something…
My brother took the night off from eating pizza at his rez dining hall to join us:
Family style dining in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment = parents get the dinner table, kids get the coffee table. (Let’s be real, though… I eat at my coffee table 98 per cent of the time).
The next day, I got up for work while the folks relaxed at my apartment for the morning. They met me at my office and we went out for lunch at the Flat Iron pub across the street. My Dad had fish & chips with fresh halibut that was flown in that morning – and indeed, as Dad put it, it tasted like it had been “swimming in the ocean the night before.”
From there, we walked to St. Lawrence Market. I had talked it up big time, and the rents were not disappointed! After walking both levels, past the Italian place that makes their own pasta right in front of you… past Carousel Bakery and their famous peameal bacon sandwiches… past St. Urbain’s Bagels… past Yanni’s, my favourite Greek spot.. and past a bunch of meat vendors that had Dad drooling… I treated them to some sugary snacks from Eve’s Temptations.
Portuguese custard tarts (mom, you’ll never be the same) and a Nanaimo bar for Dad.
They loved the market so much, we went back the next day to make more purchases: T-bone steak, fruit, veg, and fresh bakery bread. By the way, my new love’s name is Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Loaf.
Next stop: Steam Whistle Brewery.
I love this place. Beautiful building, fun and friendly staff, cool tours and refreshing beer. What’s not to love?
Mom never, ever, everrr drinks beer, so I thought this was pretty funny. She had about two of the tiniest sips humanly possible before she passed it off to my dad.
On the tour… the production line was completely deserted but our tour guide was entertaining.
After we got the tourist out of our systems, we walked to King West for a drink or two before heading to Baldwin Street for dinner at Bodega.
I’d never been to this French restaurant before, but had heard good things. I decided to get my parents a gift certificate so they could come to Toronto to visit me, see the sights and have a fantastic meal. That was Christmas 2009. They FINALLY used it on Friday night. The rents are pretty busy people!
The prix fixe menu had quite the selection. For an appetizer, mom and dad both had the mulligatawny soup and I had the baked goat cheese tart. Both were delish!
On to the mains. Dad had steak frites, while mom and I went a little more out of our comfort zones. Mom went for the rabbit meatloaf – NOT your mama’s meatloaf – while I went for the cassoulet with duck confit. This cassoulet contained not one… not two… not three… but FOUR different kinds of meat! For this quasi-vegetarian-by-accident, it was a LOT. Dare I say, too much? It was delicious, but so rich!
This photo sure doesn’t do the meal justice. That’s the thing about classy, dimly-lit restaurants. They require flash photography…
And finally, dessert. Mom had my favourite, creme brulee, while Dad and I opted for the banana cake with toffee ice cream. It was a tough decision, but in the end I was very happy with it!
The no-flash attempt did not produce a better result. Sorry about that…
We waddled on home and fell into those deep sleeps you only have when you’ve stuffed your belly to the brim.
And just when I thought I’d never feel hungry again… who shows up the next morning like clockwork? My appetite. I can always count on it. So reliable.
I took my parents to the best greasy spoon breakfast spot I could think of: Fran’s.
Veggie Eggs Benny. I wasn’t messing around with any bacon or breakfast sausage after the meatfest I’d had the night before.
And after a quick trip to the grocery store, we were off to spend the rest of the weekend in my hometown.
More food was consumed.