I’ve had this blog for less than a year. My first post was in April 2011, but I still thought that it would be fun to do a New Year’s wrap-up post of my favourite eats and events of the year. Click on the photo to get to the corresponding post.
Guu Sakabar. My very first post! I still love this place. They’ve changed their menu since I made this post, but the new menu is just as good if not better. Definitely try the black cod next time you go. It’s amazing.
Marben is a place that I’ll always suggest to anyone when they’re looking for a good restaurant. Their menu is unique while still being approachable (something that can’t be said about some of my other favourites like Black Hoof and Dukem). They change their menu every season, so none of the beautiful dishes (like the rabbit mac&cheese shown above) featured in this post are still being offered, but there’s always something on their menu to surprise and delight.
Foxley has been one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto for a long time, and it didn’t disappoint me in 2011. Their food is always so flavourful and the atmosphere is always warm and inviting. And their ribs are to die for.
Dukem is another old favourite that kept its place in my heart this year. We tried some other Ethiopian restaurants this year but in the end we always seem to come back to Dukem. Try the awaze tibs and the kitfo when you go.
Burgers were a big deal in 2011 and our favourite burger joint is Goody’s in Scarborough. A tiny family-run diner, they have the most creative burgers in the city and their portions are pretty generous, as shown above. The burgers are nearly the size of your head! My favourite burger from Goody’s so far would have to be the Macho Nacho – a burger that more or less tastes exactly like a plate of nachos between 2 buns, but better!
Richard’s post about ex-Hoofer Colin Tooke’s new restaurant Grand Electric made me wish that I had been with him that night. I did get to go back a week later and try the soup and the fish taco, both of which were excellent. I’m sure that we’ll be making many return visits to Grand Electric in 2012.
I don’t post a lot of recipes, but this one was good enough to make it into my favourites of the year: Orange Cornmeal Cake. It’s a light cake that’s perfect for summer and can be eaten at just about any time of day.
In July we visited Belgium and got to try some of the best beer in the world. Our trip to Cantillon’s brasserie was especially exciting. They’re the last traditional lambic brewery in Belgium and the lambic brewing process is fascinating.
One of the highlights of our trip to Belgium was the day that we rented bikes and rode up to Abbey Saint Sixtus in West Flanders to a little town called Westvleteren. This is where the best beer in the world is made. Year after year Westvleteren 12 is rated the best beer in the world by many publications, but the monks don’t do wholesale orders so it’s nearly impossible to find. One way to get some is to go to Westvleteren and drink some in the cafe across the street from the abbey.
2011 was the year of the food truck. Suresh Doss organized 3 Food Truck Eats events and has been a leader in bringing the food truck culture to Toronto. We attended Food Truck Eats 2 in August and it was fun and delicious. My favourites were the maple bacon donuts from Beast and the tacos from La Carnita.
One of my favourite posts of the year was La Carnita’s pop-up with Steve Gonzales. They allowed me to spend the day with them as they prepared and I was able to get a behind-the-scenes look at how things come together during one of their famous pop-up taco shops. La Carnita’s success proves that Toronto is hungry for something a little different.
Some of the best event of 2011 were the Toronto Underground Market’s several appearances. This event is so important to Toronto’s food culture. Run by Hassel Aviles in the Evergreen Brickworks, TUM is really something special. Home cooks have a chance to share their food with the city by using Evergreen’s community kitchen. There were 3 Underground Markets in 2011 and more are planned for 2012.
If 2011 was any indication of the direction that food is going in Toronto, I’m excited to see what 2012 has in store for us! More food trucks, tacos and craft beer, I hope.