Fresh East is a new fast-casual sandwich shop from the growing Paramount Fine Foods chain. This is their third locations in Ontario, as there is one in London, and another at Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga. Their third branch is conveniently located on Yonge/Dundas; a busy district near the Eaton's Center, and Cineplex. Fresh East offers casual Middle Eastern inspired food at relatively affordable prices, and perfect for those on student budgets (as it's also near Ryerson). Like all of the Paramount chain restaurants, Fresh East caters to serving only halal-certified food. Halal is meat (excluding pork) that has been prepared according to Islamic guidelines. Although, they are a halal-certified restaurant, many of their menu items also cater to health-conscious diners as well.

Fresh East has positioned themselves as a quick-serve restaurant, and does not offer full-table service. Rather, they are more focused on providing high quality, and freshly prepared food. The halal sandwich shop simply occupies a small storefront where they only do take-out orders. Essentially, customers get a taste of the aromatic flavour of the Middle East with a mixture of Western influence (with the sauce, and toppings). It is here where customers are able to customize freshly baked sub or shawarma to their liking using only the freshest ingredients and toppings. All of their items are clearly displayed on the menu screen on the wall, and the toppings are openly display at the counter top area. Their menu items range from pitas, submarines, sandwich in a bowl, soup, salads, and breakfast. 

Similar to several submarine sandwich chains, customers can choose from either a 6 inch or foot long (12 inch) sub. They also have the option to change it to a wrap, or shawarma. The concept entails the customers having the ability to customize their sandwiches to their liking - from choosing the bread type, toppings, and sauces. I opted to try one of their submarine sandwiches, which are made with daily fresh-baked bread, and halal deli-fresh meat. The 6 inch sub starts at $4.29 on top of which you can add additional toppings. After going through the menu, I opted for the 12 inch turkey submarine ($7.89); an offering from their FreshEast Delight menu. For an additional $2.49, I made it a meal by adding a fountain drink with a bag of chips. The deli roast turkey style slices was good, and I liked that it wasn't loaded with sodium. Now, I didn't go crazy with my selection of toppings, and instead chose the bare minimum. However, I must say that the options available for the toppings, and sauces were pretty good in terms of variety. There are many ways that one can customize their sub and shawarma here. Overall, it was a solid submarine sandwich with a good amount of turkey slices, and filling.

J got the 12 inch roast beef ($7.29) as his choice of submarine sandwich, and also made it a meal for an additional $2.49. The amount of roast beef that they give you in the sub was abundant, and the sub itself was rather filling. The only thing that I wished that was done differently was that we weren't asked if we wanted the buns to be toasted, so it was left untoasted. That was a minor issue for us though, as we headed home, and re-heated the buns. Overall, I'd say that Fresh East is a great spot to grab a quick meal, as they offer a healthier alternative to the array of fast-food options in the area. 

Address: 334 Yonge St, Toronto ON, M5B 1R8

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

Fresh East Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fresh East (Now Closed)

by on Monday, November 09, 2015
Fresh East is a new fast-casual sandwich shop from the growing Paramount Fine Foods chain. This is their third locations in Ontario, as...
The Red Tomato is located in the basement level of Fred's Not Here; a fixture in the heart of Toronto's Entertainment District, and minutes away from the theater district. Back in September, I was invited to their new menu launch event called #PieTunes, where they added casual Italian fare to the menu including a line of various pizzas. After the launch, I was also invited back along with a few fellow bloggers to have a more intimate tasting of their dinner menu.  Many of the items on their menu are shareable, so it's a good place to come dine with friends, or even a dinner date after the theater.


For our dinner, we started with three appetizers from their starter menu. The first appetizer was the Salad Caprese ($11) - fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, fire roasted peppers, and EVOO. Caprese salad is a simple Italian salad made to resemble the colors of the Italian flag. The one from The Red Tomato was a great starter, and the combination of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil made it a refreshing salad.

The Crispy Coconut Shrimps ($8) - with Thai dipping sauce, were relatively large, and had a good amount of batter on them. Overall, I liked it as the coconut encrusted shrimp were perfectly crispy, yet succulent on the inside. 


The Steamed Clams ($11) - clams, chorizo with garlic, and white wine was chosen as our third appetizer. The steamed clams are served in the white wine that they are based in, and it wasn't overly salty. However, there were a lot more empty shells than I anticipated with the dish.

 Next up is their pizzas, which was divided into three categories; red, white, and fusion confusion.

"The Hangover Cure" - tomato, olives, soppressata, double smoked bacon, fresh mozzarella, grana padano, chilies, topped with fried eggs was the first pizza that I tried. The egg was a nice touch to the pizza, as the combination of all of the toppings complemented one another. 

The Smoked Chicken ($16) - tomato, fresh mozzarella, caramelized onions, sweet peppers, sliced jalapeno chipotle BBQ sauce, was another pizza that I'd order again. The mix between the smoked chicken, and sweetness of the peppers was an interesting combination.

I rarely order white-based pizza, as I very much prefer a tomato base pie than a cream base one. So, I didn't really like the Potato ($15) - Yukon gold potato, caramelized onions, fennel, and gorgonzola pizza.

Personally, I liked the Garlic Shrimps ($18) - fresh mozzarella, and walnut pesto pizza that I had at the #PieTunes party more than the one from the dinner. They were both chalk full of plump shrimp, but the one from the dinner was a lot more oily, so the shrimp pieces fell right off. Regardless of that issue, it was still a good pizza.

I wasn't a huge fan of the Prosciutto $16) - grilled artichoke peso, fresh mozzarella, fired roasted sweet peppers, and arugula pizza, as it was a tad overly salty with the addition of the artichoke peso. However, there was a generous portion of thinly sliced prosciutto (dry-cured ham). The reason for its thinness is due to the fact that prosciutto is often tough, and chewy so it's ideal to slice them thin.

The Peking Duck ($18) - roasted duck breast, enoki & shitaki mushrooms, fresh mozerella, hoisin drizzle with green onions, crispy duck crackling was by far - my favorite pizza out of all the ones I got to sample. There was a good ratio of topping versus the amount of toasted duck breast on each slice of pizza. The duck was flavorful, and tender, and the hoisin drizzle definitely helped to enhance the flavor of the duck. This one is must try!

Mushroom Agnolotti ($17) - with mushroom truffle butter sauce

Meatball Gnocchi ($16) - sausage, and angus beef meatballs, and marinara sauce 

Lastly, The Red Tomato also has a dessert menu with a good variety of choices. Price wise, they were all $7.99 each, which is a reasonable price for desserts in that particular area. The four of us decided to get one dessert each, and shared among the table. The desserts that we selected are as followed; Bourbon Pecan Pie, Belgian Double Chocolate Mousse Cake, Espresso Creme Brulee, and Duo Cheesecake.

The two that I liked best was the mousse cake, and crème brûlée. The Belgian Double Chocolate Mousse Cake had an intense chocolate flavor, yet it wasn't overly sweet. I also ordered the Espresso Crème Brûlée, as I have a penchant for this particular French dessert. It had a nice espresso coffee flavor, but the custard was a tad runny. I would have suggested that the custard be allowed to cool completely before they are properly set. That way, the custard would have a nice consistency.

Address: 321 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1J5

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

The Red Tomato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Red Tomato

by on Saturday, November 07, 2015
The Red Tomato is located in the basement level of Fred's Not Here; a fixture in the heart of Toronto's Entertainment District, and...
Guinness originated in Dublin, Ireland, and has since grown to become one of the most successful beer brands in the world. It is estimated that over 10 million glasses of Guinness beer are enjoyed by people daily around the world, and 1.8 billion pints are sold every year. The Guinness Blonde American Lager is brought to you by the makers of the iconic Guinness Stout. The new beer is rather different from their stout beers, as it uses the properties of American hops and Guinness’ world famous 125-year-old Guinness yeast. I was invited to attend the official Toronto launch of the Guinness Blonde American Lager, and was treated to a tasting of the new beer. The event was held at one of Toronto’s newest lounges in the city, The Addisons Residence. This was a great space to launch the latest addition to the Guinness family, as it was both spacious, and trendy. It should also be noted that The Food Dudes are the official food partners of The Addisons, and provided the hors d'oeuvres that guests got to sample that night with their beer.

According to Joel Mallard, Marketing Director for Beer, Wine and PABs at Diageo Canada, “From sports bars to backyard barbeques to trendy bars, Guinness® Blonde™ American Lager brings the taste, colour and character of great American beers and fuses them with the heritage and artistry of the Guinness tradition begun in 1759 by Arthur Guinness.” The lager is one of the preferred styles in America, but it has continued to gain favour among beer drinkers in Canada in recent years. So, I can definitely see why Guinness expanded its market to target lager drinkers here. 

To create a distinct taste in American lagers; Guinness Master Brewers in Dublin collaborated with the brewing experts in the United States. The flavour profile of the new Guinness Blonde American Lager is a combination of Mosaic, Willamette and Mount Hood hops.The new beer shows that Guinness has the ability to go beyond what they're mainly known for, which is the traditional dark stout of their original Guinness. 

The Guinness Blonde American Lager pours a rich golden-yellow color, and has a lower level of carbonation, as the head dissipates fairly quickly. The beer has a slight sweet citrus taste with a light yet lively palate that is crisp and refreshing. Overall, it was an enjoyable lager that was perfectly balanced, and the combination of Mosaic, Willamette and Mount Hood hops show through in the aroma, and mouth-feel. Additionally, the Guinness Blonde American Lager is the first of the new Guinness Brewers Project, that will feature an array of beers that will be crafted with different brewing styles and techniques. You can definitely expect newer beers under the Guinness brand in the future. 

Guinness® Blonde™ American Lager is now available in all LCBO, and bars across Ontario. They're sold in 473ml single cans with a suggested retail price of $2.55. Go, and enjoy one today!


More Information:

Guinness® Blonde™ American Lager is the first edition in the brand’s new Brewers Project. Celebrating GUINNESS’ artistry and brewing tradition, the GUINNESS Brewers Project is a range of ’fusion brew’ beers combining more than 255 years of European brewing expertise with global brewing experience in 55 countries. This series of beers offers more style, taste, and flavour to beer drinkers in Canada.  

Appearance: The dense head and foam formation settle into a golden amber coloured beer
Ingredients: Unique GUINNESS yeast, crystal malt, Mosaic Hops, Willamette Hops, Mount Hood Hops. Contains no GMO, additives or isinglass.
ABV: 5% ABV 
Format:  473ml single cans (and 24 pack) in Ontario
Serve: best enjoyed cold and straight from the can or served in a 16 oz. Guinness branded glass

** Photographs provided courtesy of Guinness **

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Disclaimer: The alcohol, and food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
 A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend an event held at The Big Crow. The dinner event was hosted by DenTek; an America company that develops, and markets oral care products. Although they are based in the United States, all of their products are readily available throughout Canada. DenTek has been in business since 1984, and has continued to be a "worldwide leader in innovative dental care products for people of every age." (source: Their products range from floss picks, tongue cleaners, dental guards, and more. This event was meant to showcase some of DenTek's main dental products by incorporating food into the mix. The event was appropriately titled "Teeth's Worst Nightmare Dinner", and all of the food available for consumption that night was basically your teeth's worst nightmare aka it either gives you bad breath or get stuck to your teeth. At the end of the event, all of us bloggers were gifted with a gift bag containing various dental care goodies to take home.

 DenTek's Teeth's Worst Nightmare Dinner was hosted at The Big Crow; an Algonquin inspired backyard BBQ joint. The new restaurant opened in mid-2013, and is brought to you by the folks behind Rose & Sons. The restaurant can be hard to find if you're not familiar with the area, but it's directly behind the Rose & Sons restaurant on Dupont St. The Big Crow is basically an opened shipping crate with long communal picnic tables, and an open-kitchen. Due to its communal set-up, many of the dishes are meant to be served family-styled (shareable). The Big Crow offers classic BBQ fares, and some of the dishes that we got to sample are pictured below. The BBQ spread includes Cavity-on-the-Cob, Teeth Ruinin Ribs, Garlic Bread Breath, Tooth Pick'in Pulled Pork, Miami Ribs, BBQ Chicken, and Tooth Fairy Treats.

Two of my favorite items that night were the ribs, and roast garlic bread. The Teeth Ruinin Ribs wasn't fall of the bone tender, but it was well-marinated as it was flavorful. Lastly, the roast garlic bread was delicious, as it had nice crispy edges, and a warm soft center. I normally love ribs, but I found the Miami ribs from The Big Crow to be too salty for my taste. However, the overall meal was rather good, and I'll definitely return to check out the rest of their menu, as I love BBQ. 

Address: 176 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R 2E6 (the back)

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary courtesy of DenTek, and OverCat PR. Thank you for inviting me to the event. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
Big Crow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

[Event] DenTek @ The Big Crow

by on Tuesday, November 03, 2015
 A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend an event held at The Big Crow. The dinner event was hosted by DenTek; an America co...