Cover photo by Playtime Audiovisuales, used under Creative Commons license

Fast, relax. Fast, relax.

I spent a few days back in Nova Scotia this week, and returned to Toronto just in time for a busy weekend. Brunch at Aft with Lindsay after which we were joined by her friend Sara, then dinner at Eastbound, then a shit-ton of party planning before a get-together at our place which lasted well into the wee hours. When we finally crawled out of bed today we walked slowly down the street to Tabule for lunch. Honestly, that was all we had in us; we spent the rest of the day on couch watching TV and eating pizza.

Fuck, I love these kinds of weekends. I need more.

.:.

Cover photo by Playtime Audiovisuales, used under Creative Commons license

Cover photo by Patrick Gage, used under Creative Commons license

My stomach, liver, and social anxiety would like a break please

That weekend was a lot.

Thursday we left work, went to Wvrst, hit the Descorchados South American wine tasting event, and grabbed dinner at Byblos.

Friday, after a long day of meetings, was drinks with a friend of Lindsay’s at Boxcar, then REDS, then dinner at Libretto.

Saturday we met said friend (and two of her friends) at Bonjour Brioche for brunch, then wandered around Leslieville for a bit before heading out to a talk at a contemporary art gallery. After that we hiked back across town for a quick bite at Duke’s Refresher before attending the 2017 instance of the Session craft beer festival. Here’s what I drank:

  1. Muskoka “Hazed & Confused” IPA
  2. Nickel Brook “Raspberry Uber” Berliner Weisse
  3. Stack “Expansion” Sour IPA
  4. Barnstormer “Wind-Shear” Watermelon Summer Ale
  5. 3 Brasseurs “Sanssouci” Berliner Weiss W/ Strawberry & Hibiscus
  6. Sawdust City “I Swear Sugarpants, It Was Your Idea” Brown Ale
  7. Big Rock “Withorse” Witbier
  8. St-Ambroise Baltic Porter
  9. Sawdust City “Olde BA Johnston’s Finest” Malt Liquor
  10. Whitewater “Midnight” Oatmeal Milk Stout

For the second year in a row, 3 Brasseurs surprised me and probably won the day. After the fest we met up with friends at Barrio Cerveceria on their enormous patio.

Sunday we met brother #1 for breakfast at Over Easy during a stopover on his way to a work thing. We kind of assumed we’d have some time to relax after that, but the friend-in-town had some more time free so Lindsay spent time with her roasting to death in a park while I cleaned up a bit, then we met at Sweet Jesus for decadent soft-serve and went back to Barrio for patio drinks. To end the weekend Lindsay made a delicious cheese + spinach pasta with chorizo sausage for dinner, and then we died.

.:.

Cover photo by Patrick Gage, used under Creative Commons license

Gusto 101

In between a bunch of other tasty outings this weekend (The Wren, Mean Bao, beers on Dark Horse’s patio, Boxcar Social, BQM, and our first time at I’ll Be Seeing You), we had a weird outing to Gusto 101. My realtor, who is awesome, treated us to celebrate the sale of my old place, so believe me, I’m not complaining. I’m just…a little baffled. I’d heard good things about Gusto, but man…that place was weird.

There were so many douches. So many neck tattoos. So many 905ers just carbo-loading before heading out to find bottle service. The vibe was just…weird. And yeah, I’m old. I get it. But it just felt like amateur hour at the Chef Mario’s School for Italian Restaurant Owners.

To be fair, our food wasn’t bad. The bufala mozzarella was great. The shishito peppers, while not terribly Italian, were good. Our pastas were decent. And our Barolo was fantastic right up until our server, sporting a man bun — a man bun — and never taking off his mirrored sunglasses, poured the bulk of the wine into a decanter with a bunch of water in the bottom. He also didn’t know what a decanter was called until I told him. Or how to pour wine from it. Sigh.

Look, it was a free meal, so I’m more than appreciative. It was just…very unusual for an Italian place, where smooth, knowledgeable service is the norm.

Luckily, we salvaged the evening at Chez Nous wine bar, where we bought a bottle of Grange Cabernet Franc and relaxed, free of poseurs.