A very well known bakery, Meli Baklava and Chocolates, in downtown Toronto was recently reported to have mice feeding on food displayed in the shop’s window. The nightmare of it all, it was caught on video.
Yes! I have officially upgraded my WordPress plan to a premium account!
My official website is now http://www.spicychopsticks.blog. The site will be down for a few short days and until I figure out the design layout, I should have something up and running in the near future so until then, I sincerely apologize for my website’s renovations.
I want to thank the WordPress community for providing me with support on the world of blogging. It has taken some time to find my way how I wish to express myself and live the life I see ahead of me but somehow I’m getting there.
Most of all, my inspirations and posts are shared with my wife with whom I spend every happy moment with. I thank her for giving me that extra push to start my small world on blogging.
Inside the MegaWorld complex of Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Philippines held a local market named “Produkto Lokal Festival”. Usually these are run by organizers that attract local vendors to sell their goods and services in an open market setup. Ironically it was situated right in front of the restaurant I last reviewed.
Although it was a little bit out of our way, we were lucky to drop in on the evening of one of the 3 days it was running. From one tent to another, my family and I checked out what was available for sale. People from around the province were selling handmade weave accessories and freshly grown fruits and vegetables most commonly sold at a local farmers market. The choices were amazing. Take your pick from any large selection of mangoes piled on a table. How about choosing from a huge bunch of bananas and plantains?
We picked up a large bag of lettuce for only 50 pesos ($1 USD!)
Some vendors have made their own brand and made a whole line of products such as jarred pickled items and packaged dried food.
So impressed with the thought and effort put into each vendor’s stall.
I looked for some ready-to-eat snacks to eat. There was always something to find.
Some really delicious treats such as “puto” made out of ube (yam) and cheese and some crunchy snacks too!
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the evening without a cup of fair trade coffee, grown and roasted in the Philippines. This local vendor brews their coffee the “cowboy” method. Much stronger in flavour with the right amount of strength to the taste. They also sold their other specialty, Matcha green tea, but my mind was already made up.
Even though the temperature remained hot and humid, I still enjoyed my special brewed cup of coffee, served to me with a smile and a “thank you”.
If you have any type of outdoor market in your area, get out and support the local vendors. It is a fun experience!
By the way, if they end up becoming the best Korean resto in Iloilo City, I take full credit for being the first person to review their restaurant and putting them on the map with Tripadvisor and Yelp 🙂
Update: My Tripadvisor link is up but they forgot my photos. Oh well!
Just the other day, I decided to take a break from a long day and look through some of my social media and email accounts. While I was quickly swiping through a few posts and messages I noticed that the email account that handles my blog was flooded with unread emails.
Over 300 unread emails to be precise.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. How could this have happened? I logged into my blog and noticed that the last time I had posted was over 4 months ago. I even checked my online reviews and was surprised with the same result. I looked away from my phone and just stared out the window. I found myself trying to recollect what I have been doing for the past 4 months and piece together why I have neglected my food blog.
It all came down to time. Not enough time (and partly lack of motivation). After a series of family outings and events, holidays, and daily work life pretty much consumed all of my time. It’s hard to say how much of my time was devoted to everything I do on a daily basis, I just know that everything I have done up to now has taken up my time. But I am very happy that my time was spent with family and friends who I care for. At the end of the day, that is what counts the most.
Perhaps I can get to writing one or two reviews/posts per week. For now, I am changing the way how I will post anything into my blog and social media accounts. In the meantime, I’m happy with what I have done and how I will spend my time in the near future.
I hope all of you have spent your time as well as I have.
When I was a kid, my parents used to take my family to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto. It was the “annual fair” that came to town filled with rides, games, food and entertainment. I always had fond memories of our visits to the CNE.
I remember my parents buying strings of small coupon stubs so that I could ride the merry-go-round or brave the kids swing set. It was one of those special days when we could eat whatever candy or junk food we want. My dad would have this obsession to win the big prize by shooting pellets around a red star printed on a small piece of paper hanging at the end of a long wire. He would never win but we would always be happy that he tried his very best.
They still kept some things the same such as the “midway” where all the food and games are just an arm’s length away. The all famous Food Building still has over a hundred food vendors just footsteps away from the GO Train entrance. Of course, the annual Canadian International Air Show is always ready to perform if you are lucky to find a seat.
We always like to see what’s new and upcoming at the CNE. Since we’re a lot older now, they added a lot more entertainment. Today, there are rock bands entertaining the beer thirsty and pork-hungry Ribfesters, a casino open to the experienced and amateur poker player, a large shopping building full of international goods available for sale, and several updated shows and current events to entertain people of all ages. Two of those shows we wanted to see was the ice skating and SuperDogs show.
The ice skating shows always try to feature a Canadian celebrity skater. In the past they have had Olympians Elvis Stojko and skating duo, Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue.
This year we had the pleasure of watching Joannie Rochette, Canadian Bronze Medalist at the 2010 Vancouver Canada Winter Olympics.
After the ice skating show, we decided to take our time doing a lot of shopping inside the Enercare Building. Items for sale ranged from clothes to food, and everything in between. My sister was generous to buy us 1kg of unpasteurized honey. We didn’t realize how heavy it was to carry it around while shopping, we felt like dragging our bag on the ground!
At one time, we were very thirsty so I decided to buy something a little different than the usual bottle of water. It wasn’t a lot but it helped hydrate ourselves from carrying around the honey and other free samples we picked up along the way.
The biggest highlight of our day was the long line of food trucks near the Princes’ Gates entrance. One of my favourites is a truck called Fidel Gastro’s. They own a restaurant on Queen Street, Toronto but has extended their express service to a food truck. We ordered the Porknado sandwich with the owner, Matt. Within minutes, out came this huge sandwich filled with Korean pulled pork topped with two crispy pork dumplings, green onions, and crema. The flavours are unreal compared to any sandwich I have ever tasted. With each bite, the pulled pork melted in my mouth and the dumplings added another flavor of pork. The fusion of Asian and Latin spices gave that extra kick while the crema just tied everything in.
Matt was very generous to come back out and give us a free sample of their CNE Specialty called the Cubano. What a treat! This was a deep fried sandwich filled with pork brisket, onions cheese and pickles. Oh boy, the calories! Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Cheese and pickles are my favourite toppings so I could not hold back on having that extra bite. This sandwich did not disappoint and it was an instant hit in my books.
We were so impressed with Fidel Gastro’s that I wanted to take my picture with him. I even asked him to promote his food truck for me to post on my blog.
Some time later, we had to treat ourselves to something sweet. It just so happens there was a food truck that sold Churros. Nothing better than eating a sweet, deep fried pastry sprinkled with sugar and injected with caramel syrup.
At the end of the day, we were exhausted from all the shopping and pigging out on food. If you can make the trip to Toronto while the CNE is opened, you must try the experience of walking throughout the entire grounds. Make a second day trip if you can’t finish it all. Even as I get a little older, it makes me feel like a little kid all over again.