One of the things that I anticipate going to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) for every year is probably  The Food Building (no surprise there). "The building has become a hub for innovative and quirky food experiences", with several vendors returning this year to serve traditional fair favorites and inventive items. [source:]. This year, they have released an app that makes life a lot easier for those who want to order ahead, and basically skip the line at the Food Building.

The team behind Grabb have created a FREE app that allows CNE goers to pre-order, and pre-pay for their food items inside of the Food Building. The app has a similar interface as their Grabb app, as it allows users to browse through the list of vendors inside of The Food Building (with descriptions of the food, and prices). Basically, by using this app, it allows the users to discover the best and popular food items, while skipping the lines, and going wallet-less. If you already have the Grabb app downloaded like I do, then there's no need to download this new one, as you also use Grabb at the CNE's The Food Building.

Additionally, there are quite a few vendors this year who are cash only, so this app allows customers to pay with various payment methods like Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, PayPal and Visa Debit.

The list of vendors that you can order from on either The Food Building or Grabb apps include Far East Taco, Pho 88, Fran’s Restaurant, Pull’d, Epic Burgers & Waffles, Jake’s Lobster, St. Louis, Mac N Cheesery, Just Cone It, Ye Olde Fudge Pot, Bouchard’s Poutinery, and The Funnel Cake Shop.


  The App: 
Step 1: Click Order Now!

Step 2: Browse Through Restaurants. 

Step 3: Browse the Menu. 

Step 4: Effortlessly Order and Pay. 

Bon Appétit =)

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Disclaimer: Information provided courtesy of The Food Building

[App] The Food Building

by on Tuesday, August 25, 2015
One of the things that I anticipate going to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) for every year is probably  The Food Building (no surp...
Fonda Lola started their business as a pop-up in 2012, and was one of the popular vendors at the The Stop Night Market. Due to gaining a following, they quickly acquired a spot on Queen St W, and opened a restaurant by 2013. Fonda Lola's space was quite warm as it was designed with rustic materials, painted ceramics, and other Mexican mementos. To this day, Fonda Lola strives to remain an ambassador of the Mexican culture, and have brought the food, tequila and customs to the multiculturalism of Toronto.
For two nights only (August 26 & 27), the Fonda Lola menu is being turned over to the restaurant owner’s mother, Mama Vickie, to create and serve an authentic eight-course Mexican meal featuring her specialties and favorite dishes to feed a crowd. Passed down from generation to generation, these recipes are sure to give you a true taste of Mexican culture and will take your tastebuds through years of home-cooked tradition. At 65 years old, Vickie has had several years of practice to perfect the art of a pinch, dab and dollop to make each dish perfect in its delivery.

If you're interested in this special two nights only event, then book your ticket at

Event dates and times:

Wednesday, August 26 at 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 26 at 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 27 at 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 27 at 8:00 p.m.

I had the pleasure of  being invited to the media preview at Fonda Lola last week with a few fellow food bloggers, and Instagrammers. We had a taste of four of the dishes that will be on the special 8-course menu that Mama Vickie will be creating. The dinner is $42 per person, and you can book your ticket at Please note that drinks, taxes, and gratuity are extra.

Mama Vickie’s Special Menu

 Guacamole - A national Mexican dish. At Fonda Lola’s, we don’t add any tomatoes or onions to our recipe in order to give you a smoother, creamier, richer texture. Served with crunchy freshly-made tortilla chips. The chips were incredibly crispy, and tasted great with the creamy guacamole.

Shrimp Aguachile - A more piquant version of ceviche, lime and jalapeño concoction. This particular dish hailed from Sinaloa Mexico, and Vickie's take on it was very flavorful. The shrimp was marinated in lime and jalapeño juices giving it with a very zesty flavor. I also thought that the saltiness balanced quite nicely with the citrus making it a refreshing Mexican-style ceviche.



Tostada de Tinga - Pork, beef, Mexican chorizo, onion, tomato, and smoked chipotle along with a healthy dose of mom’s special seasoning. From Puebla, Mexico.

Tacos Gobernador - A creamy tender shrimp taco. We take onions, tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, mix them with chile ancho, and cook for three hours to bring out a full flavour. We add oaxaca cheese and melt it just a bit before serving. From Mazatlan, Mexico. I highly recommend this traditional creamy shrimp taco, as it was just a delightful concoction.

Papas al Chipotle - Our special mix includes olive oil, garlic, chipotle, and mama’s secret blend of seasoning. We boil small white potatoes for 40 minutes in this mix to soak in all of the goodness.

Taco de Rajas Poblanas - Poblano peppers, cream, onion, and cheese.

Carne en su Jugo - Beef, brown beans, bacon, tomatillo. Served with green peppers, cilantro, and onion. From Jalisco, Mexico.

Platanos con Crema - Oh, how sweet this dish is. We deep-fry plantain bananas and serve them golden with sugar and sour cream. This traditional dessert is served all over Mexico, but is particularly popular in south-east Mexico where much of the country’s plantain is produced.

 Their cocktails list consists of several Mexican themed drinks for reasonable prices. 

Basil Mojito // Tamarind Margarita // Kombucha Margarita
Tamarind Margarita ($14) - Citrus margarita base, tequila 2oz & Tamarind, so Mexican!!
Kombucha Margarita ($14) - Citrus Margarita base w smoked Horchata & Kombucha
Address: 96 Tecumseth St, Toronto, ON M6J 2H1

Social Media:


Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Click to add a blog post for Fonda Lola on Zomato

Fonda Lola

by on Monday, August 24, 2015
Fonda Lola started their business as a pop-up in 2012, and was one of the popular vendors at the The Stop Night Market. Due to gaining a f...
I was asked to try out Ritual, a new mobile food ordering app, and Milano Espresso Bar was one of the participating restaurants where the app could be used. The following review is for my two purchases from Milano Espresso Bar. If you want to read my experience using the app, then please read it here.

 Milano Coffee are a well-known coffee chain in the West coast (Vancouver), as they have three locations opened. Earlier this year, they opened up their first location in Toronto on Adelaide St W. I almost missed it, as the outside was rather unassuming with a plain white sign sitting high above (which was hard to see with the sun beaming down). The shop itself was small, but the overall ambiance was quite relaxing with music playing in the background. I'd say that Milano Espresso Bar caters to a wide array of coffee drinkers working in the area. 

It was a rather hot day, so I opted for an iced latte ($4.25) instead of their roasted coffee. I got mine with whole milk, and thought that the latte had a decently rich coffee flavor. Price wise, it wasn't too bad, and rather on par with several other coffee shops in the area. I also got the oatmeal raisin cookie ($2). While I liked the clean wrapped packaging, I thought that the cookie was slightly too hard for my taste.

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was completely subsidized by Ritual . However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Click to add a blog post for Milano Espresso Bar on Zomato

Milano Espresso Bar

by on Thursday, August 20, 2015
I was asked to try out Ritual , a new mobile food ordering app, and Milano Espresso Bar was one of the participating restaurants where the ...
U-Feast are a food focused community that offers all members "exclusive off-menu dining experiences". The company first launched in April of this year, and has since thrown a few dinner events. I'd say that they have been pretty successful in building a strong local food network, as the events has allowed people to enjoy a series of one-of-a-kind dining experiences, and interact with other food lovers. Earlier this month, I was invited to an U-Feast's event that was held at Beast in downtown Toronto. The dinner was hosted by Scott Vivian (owner and head chef of Beast), and he invited two other chefs to collaborate with him; Chef Ned Elliott of Foreign & Domestic from Austin, and Chef Mathew Gaudet of West Bridge from Boston.

 Each of U-Feast's events are designed to be unique, as the company aims to provide memorable dining experiences that are curated by Toronto’s chefs. The dinner that I attended was all about "Classic French Cuisine". Needless to say, I was highly anticipating the event, as I don't get to indulge in French cuisine as often as I'd like in Toronto.

Sab Stories - Wasabi-infused Dillon's vodka, raspberry syrup, lime, angostura, citric acid
 The night started off with the amuse bouche, which was prepared by the sous-chef of Beast, Jason Poon. The creamy Sea Urchin Mousse - leeks, champagne vinegar, and beurre blanc, was a good start to the dinner. On hand was the sommelière for the evening, Rebecca Meir-Liebman, who paired each course with their respective wines which were courtesy of Chateau des Charmes. She was responsible for the development of the wine lists for the evening, and did an excellent job. Rebecaa paired the amuse bouche with a glass of NV Brut Sparkling Wine, Méthode Traditionnelle.

NV Brut Sparkling Wine, Méthode Traditionnelle
 The next course was a traditional torchon that centered on the burrata, which was prepared by Mathew Gaudet. Overall, I thought that his Grilled Spicy Duck Heart Salad - cured foie gras, burrata, Little Neck clam vinaigrette, was wonderfully done. I really enjoyed the shaved foie gras torchon, and the Little Neck clam vinaigrette clearly demonstrated his Boston roots in his cooking. 

2013 "Old Vines' riesling
I was also impressed by the presentation of Scott Vivian's take on the classic Smoked Trout Tart - spinach, dill, caviar, hollandaise. He was inspired by a classic dish that was done by a famous French chef, Michel Roux. However, Scott Vivian did put his own spin on the dish by making his own tart shell, and filling it with trout that he smoked with applewood, and then made into a mousse. The smoked trout had a nice smoky flavor that wasn't too potent. Lastly, the tart was topped off with some fresh Swiss chard that was locally sourced, and then blanch. 

2013 Gamay Noir "Droit"
The next dish was the work of Colin Moise, who was the Chef de Cuisine at Beast. He was inspired by one of Pierre Gagnaire's recipes, and did a take on a pastry with sweetbreads, and came up with the Pamericelli of Sweetbreads & Foie Gras - wild mushrooms, Treviso. The flaky puff pastry was generously filled with foie gras, and wild mushrooms. Additionally, the cherry vinegar added a little bit of saltiness to the glaze, so the pairing of the sweet 2008 Late Harvest Riesling was perfect for many. 

The last savory dish before dessert was Ned Elliott's Omelet of Whelks & Truffles - tomato confit, crispy brains, crème. I was a slightly taken aback once I realized that I was chewing pieces of brains, but the overall omelet was delectable. Just a note that although the menu stated whelks, they didn't have it at their disposal in the kitchen. So, Ned Elliott used another delicacy, gooseneck barnacles, in the dish instead.


I have a major sweetooth, so I always look forward to the dessert after a meal. The dessert served at the dinner was by  Rachelle Cadwell, who also competed on the Canadian show, Donut Showdown. Her Chocolate Tart - hazelnut ice cream, raspberry, daquoise, coffee, was beautifully plated with three different kinds of chocolate. The chocolate was also encrusted with tiny bits of coffee on the inside. Lastly, the raspberry juice definitely did add a fruity tartness, which helped to balance the dark chocolate pieces. Overall, I had a wonderful, memorable, and well-balanced dinner at the Beast & Friends - An Evening of Refined French Cuisine (U-Feast) event.

Digestif // New Schmidt// Fernet Branca // Carpano Antica// Absinthe //sugar
The next U-Feast event will take place at Mata Petisco Bar on September 22, 2015. The event costs $70, and will consists of a five-course fiesta. Check the menu, or book the ticket(s) at

Address: 96 Tecumseth St, Toronto, ON M6J 2H1

Social Media:

Disclaimer: The food, and alcohol provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Click to add a blog post for Beast on Zomato
A Middle Eastern Twist on the Classic Sandwich 

The health-conscious Middle Eastern deli is coming to downtown Toronto

TORONTO - August 2015 – Fresh East transforms the good old-fashioned sub into authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. The first Toronto location is officiallyopen for business at the end of August. This will be Fresh East’s third openingwithin the past six months; the two previous restaurants are located on the Western university campus and in the Erin Mills Town Center. The highly anticipated Toronto Fresh East will be opening at the bustling corner of Young and Dundas, at 334 Yonge St.

Fresh East implements a quick-serve restaurant concept, where diners can try the savoury flavours of the Middle East, customizing subs or shawarmas to their liking. The menu offers a selection of freshly baked breads, fresh produce, halal deli meats, and authentic homemade secret sauces.

The new franchise concept is a spin-off of the popular GTA restaurant chain Paramount Fine Foods, which is recognized for its award-winning shawarma and authentic Lebanese food. Paramount itself has grown to 20 restaurants this year with locations in Canada, USA and the Middle East.

Fresh East is the first halal-certified quick-serve sandwich shop, catering to halal and health-conscious diners. “We serve the real deal when it comes to Middle Eastern cuisine,” says Mohamad Fakih, CEO and President of Paramount. “People love that we offer authentic flavours, a family-friendly environment, and healthy food options. We look forward to giving our Toronto customers a convenient and efficient dining option with our Fresh East at Young and Dundas.”

Fresh East is following the successful franchise model of Paramount Fine Foods, and has plans to continue to expand with more locations into the fall.

More information at
The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is an annual event that takes place at The Exhibition Place every summer for 18 days. I try my best to attend the CNE almost every year, as I love trying out the different concoctions of food items, check out the shops inside of the Direct Energy Centre and play carnival games.

What is CNE?  The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is Canada’s largest event. Taking place over the 18 days leading up to and including Labour Day, the CNE offers a variety of entertainment and events including Bandshell concerts, celebrity chef demonstrations, an aerial acrobatics and ice skating show, a dog show, a working farm, parades and a three-day Air Show, all of which are FREE with admission to the CNE.

    Location? Exhibition Place at 210 Princes’ Boulevard

When? August 21 – September 7, 2015

Food Building

Every year, over 1 million people visit the Toronto Star Food Building to experience the variety of foods available. It is located west of the GO/TTC Gate and directly north of BMO Field. This year, get your food faster with the Food Building App by Grabb Mobile.


1) If you know for sure that you'll be attending CNE, buy your tickets in advanced. You save up to 33% on CNE tickets when you buy them prior to their first day of opening on August 18.

2) Don't forget to wear sunscreen, and comfortable shoes.

3) Bring cash, as many places don't take debit or credit.

4) On a budget? Go after 5 pm on the weekday for a discount rate of $6 per person.

5) I highly recommend people take public transit, as parking spaces are rather limited downtown.


Here are some of this year's featured items that have really caught my eyes. I can't wait to attend this year's CNE.

Thanksgiving Waffles from Frans Restaurant

Photo Credit: Nick Kozak of Now Toronto
Cocoa Infused Fried Chicken from  Coco's Fried Chicken stand

Photo Credit: Jesse Milns from BlogTO
Blooming Onion

Photo Credit: Nick Kozak of Toronto Star

Funnel Cake

Photo Credit: Nick Kozak of Toronto Star

Baonana Split from Far East Taco

Photo Credit: Gabby Frank
Timbits Poutine from Tim's Horton's

Photo Credit: Notable
Deep Fried Red Velvet Oreo from The Funnel Cake Shop

Photo Credit: Now Toronto
Chicken Waffle On A Stick

 Photo Credit: Andrew Ebrahim
Garlic Snow Crab Fries from Jake's Lobster

 Photo Credit: Andrew Ebrahim
Some of the foods that I tried at the 2013 CNE

At the front of Spread

Spread's Nutella Jalapeno

Spread's Nutella French Toast (with fresh banana and strawberries)

???? (I forgot to ask my friend where he got this from)

???? (I forgot to ask my friend where he got this from)

Bacon-Nation's Deep Fried Bacon-Wrapped Mars Bar

Just Cone It's Spice Cream Cone (vanilla ice cream topped with bacon bits and chili flakes in a pizza cone lined with Nutella)

Epic Burgers' Krispy Kreme Donut Burger