Showing posts with label coffee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coffee. Show all posts

Love Me Sweet (Thornhill)

 How does it compare to Uncle Tetsu’s? It’s unfair – after all, Love Me Sweet is its own bakery – but, that’s the first thing on anyone’s mind.

In terms of taste, the original flavour ($11) is similar but more cake-like, when freshly out of the oven, at Love Me Sweet. While Tetsu’s reminded me of a smooth airy gelatin, Love’s seemed like a creamy angel food cake. Although I still find it better the next day, after an evening in the fridge, becoming denser, creamier, and full bodied.

If you’ve never had Japanese cheesecake before, definitely order the original flavour to get a better taste of the light buttery dessert. However, for a second or third cake/visit, you should try Love’s chocolate and coffee flavours. Even as you open the box, the cocoa and coffee aromas let you know something special is coming.

Having sampled all three at a party, most guests seemed to prefer the sweet milk chocolate ($11) version, which has enough cocoa for interest without being heavy. Chocolate cheesecake is a familiar flavour, with a dollop of whipped cream on top would be even better.

Personally, my favourite is the coffee ($11), letting off an intense smell and flavour of the drink. Indeed, its richness masks the cheese, yet its creaminess reminds you this isn’t a crumb cake and offers a unique spin on the dessert.

While comparing Love Me Sweet with its famed downtown counterpart, the best part of the uptown establishment is the ability to “reserve” cakes. Simply go online or call to place your order and they’ll ensure they make enough cakes for you. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll all be ready when you arrive (I had to wait five minutes while the coffee one was finishing off in the oven), but at least you’re not waiting in line (there was no line at Love’s) just to be disappointed.  

How To Find Them
 Location: Thornhill, Canada
 Address: 7181 Yonge Street (at Shops on Yonge)

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Love Me Sweet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CLOSED: Calii Love (Toronto)

Special Guest Post by Parv

From the popularity of sushi burritos during the summer, to the proliferation of poké bars around the city in the fall, 2016 has been a fishy one for Toronto foodies (see what I did there?).

Enter Calii Love, the newest poké stop in the city’s King West district, promoting Californian style with a Hawaiian twist. Given that I’m convinced I was Californian in a previous life, the name alone had me reeled in (yes, I could do this all night, folks).

The bright, airy space, with its tropical motif and contemporary decor, emits a feel good, West Coast vibe. The emphasis is on organic, sustainable, vegan and gluten-free options. Grab-and-go, or take a seat and get to know your fellow diners at the communal table.

As I peruse the menu and approach the counter, I’m consumed by the burst of colourful and fresh ingredients and stealth-like preparation of smoothies and poké bowls. Pronounced “poh-keh”, this Hawaiian salad with seasoned raw fish has gained a cult-like status with health-conscious diners, popping up in chic neighbourhoods all over California…and now Toronto.

Each menu item is titled to reflect a feeling – Proud, Awakened, Confident, Grateful and so on – and today I’m feeling Happy and Adventurous – a notion that appeases both, my mental state of mind and my appetite.

The Happy superfood smoothie is a beautiful blend of banana, raw cocoa, coconut milk, strawberry, dark chocolate and raw cocoa nibs…and that’s plenty reason to be happy. It’s a little bit chunky for my taste, but delicious in every form.

I pair my drink with an Adventurous poké bowl stacked with salmon, furikake, kimchee, sriracha, wasabi aioli, jalapenos, cucumber and white rice. This one packs in a spicy punch and I’m immediately happy with the countering effects of my cool smoothie (last pun, I promise).

Calii Love received a lot of love during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) with several A-list celebrities making a pit stop, including Joseph Gordon Levitt, Dakota Fanning, Jason Sudeikis, Anne Hathaway, Jane Lynch, Natalie Portman, and Gerard Butler, to name a few. Chef Joe Friday has worked in some of Hawaii’s finest kitchens, including Nobu Waikiki, and was eager to bring that authentic poké experience to Toronto. Our city thanks you, sir.

The spot opens 7am daily, which is great news for those early downtown risers looking to grab a healthy acai bowl, smoothie or direct trade coffee before heading to work. Poké bowls are only available after 11am.

And if you’re lucky, the country’s top-rated latte artist, Barista Brian Leonard may even be around to truly personalise your coffee … with some latte art of your face. Like we needed any more reason to feel good

Disclaimer: The above meal was complimentary. 

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 367 King Street West

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CLOSED: TOT - The Cat Cafe (Toronto)

TOT The Cat Cafe Toronto

FINALLY! Toronto’s first cat café has successfully opened despite the red tape and hesitant landlords across the city. Having contributed to a couple failed crowd sourcing start-ups, the thought of a feline friendly café was but a distant dream. So, when TOT quietly opened on College Street, steps from the lively Kensington Market district, visiting the establishment instantly became my New Year’s goal.

After waiting so long, Toronto’s first cat café is … better than nothing, but definitely not as heavenly as I imagined. Firstly, the cats are segregated into a room beside the dining area, that you’re allowed to bring drinks into, but feels more like visiting a fancier adoption chamber than café.

During our morning visit, the three kittens were still sleeping and one of the house rules is to not wake the animals. 

Watching them sleep and not being able to play with them is excruciatingly difficult, it’s like dangling a lollipop in front of a kid. The only benefit of arriving early is there’s virtually no wait and we were able to stay in the room for double the allotted 20 minutes.

However, when the cats finally awoke, it was quite fun watching them stretch, eat and play. Ranging from 2 to 6 months, they are awfully cute and surprisingly patient with being petted by multiple strangers.  

TOT’s menu offers a selection of drinks ranging from $2 for a bottle of water to $5.15 for a large specialty drink. The Calico macchiato ($4.35 for a small) I ordered had a decent shot of espresso capped with creamy foam and a sweet drizzle of caramel. After purchasing a drink my name was added to a clipboard awaiting a call to enter the room.   

There was also a selection of sweets (cheesecake, butter tarts and cookies), fruit cups, yoghurt, veggies and dip, premade sandwiches and soup. Everything looked fine but no different from what you’d find in a cafeteria.

I really want TOT to do well… in fact, I NEED the place to succeed. So, to the owner: please do something to increase your bill totals so the business thrives (and opens more locations)! You have to make the food appealing so the café becomes a place where people stay and eat.

Given the establishment’s proximity to Kensington Market, use that to your advantage! Offer a couple of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky desserts, make toasted bagels using the wood fired ones from Nu Bagel and offer savoury easy to heat options like beef patties. There doesn’t seem to be a kitchen, could a catering service with a local restaurant work for more substantial plates during peak hours?  

Additionally, TOT definitely needs more cats, I dream about being surrounded by cats… not surrounding a cat with other people. To be fair, an employee explained they normally have five (still not sufficient) but since some were adopted they hadn’t been replaced. Which brings me to the best part of the café … you can adopt the cats!

Coming from the Toronto Humane Society, these cute balls of fur are in need of a loving home. What a great opportunity to spend time with them to access their temperament; if you have children they can even come along to get acquainted with the cat.

Although, TOT didn’t live up to my dreams, I nonetheless enjoyed the visit. Given I can’t have a cat at home, playing with one elsewhere is the next best thing. Unfortunately, bringing home a kitten would be one take-out item my husband wouldn’t be pleased with.

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 298 College Street

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