Grey Lake Wren Speed Hotel

I need a salad or something, ’cause…Jesus. What a week of food & drink.

Wednesday we tried the new local hotspot, the rooftop at the Broadview Hotel. The view was great, the ambiance was douchy, the burgers were fine, the wine was pretty good, and the bill was…a lot. I’ll go back when the buzz has worn off and just have a drink.

The next night I met up with T-Bone for our month-late co-birthday celebration. We tried Grey Gardens for the first time. Stellar wine list, pretty good food, nice vibe. Again, super-expensive for what we got. Getting there and back made me remember why I hate/avoid Kensington Market though. Sweet Cab Franc with dinner though.

Friday Lindsay and I popped in to The Wren after work to demolish their bottle list. We had so many great beers — the Indie Alehouse Dead Spadina Monkey, the Bellwoods Motley Cru, Bellwoods Grandma’s Boy, and Bellwoods Weft & Warp — and filled ourselves with fried buffalo cauliflower and burgers. I love that place so much.

Saturday we met up with CBGB who were in town visiting, and decided to finally try Lake Inez. It was so, so worth the wait. They also have a top-notch bottle list (we had Bellwoods Jutsu on tap, then split bottles of Rodenbach 2014 and the Nickel Brook Proud As Funk) and the food was outstanding:

  • Japanese deviled eggs (kewpie mayo & yuzu kosho, topped w/ arare cracker, roe & nori)
  • Filipino bbq pork skewer (soy & 7-up glazed pork shoulder, slow-cooked and grilled over japanese charcoal w/ a spiced vinegar sauce)
  • summer corn fritter (seasoned with shichimi togarashi and burnt citrus mayo)
  • heirloom tomato & watermelon XO salad (sun dried tomato dressing, crispy lotus root, and xo sauce made w/ dried scallops & shrimp, chinese sausage, and shaoxing wine)
  • spicy charred broccoli (flavoured w/ chili jam, oyster sauce, lime, and crispy anchovies)
  • market fish Kinilaw (filipino-style ceviche w/ coconut vinegar, lime, serrano, avocado, cilantro & cassava chips)
  • salmon ‘Sinigang’ (pan seared bc salmon, coconut polenta, vegetable fricassee, tamarind/miso sauce, chimichurri)

Good value for money too — we were all surprised when the bill came, and in a good way.

After dinner we all went around the corner to Godspeed Brewery and met up with M+LK for some of their beer. I’m still not 100% in love with it, but the new Dai Dai was pretty good, and I liked the stout better on draft than when I had it in the can. They had Norm Hardie Cab Franc on tap too, so…win. It was a really fun night. Gerrard & Coxwell: who knew?


Cover photo from the Wren website

“It’s a good job I’m in the Navy and you’re in the Army.”


This was supposed to have been a very productive weekend for our work. It…was not that, in the end.

Friday after work we managed to get a table at The Wren, one of our very favourite places in Toronto. Cool vibe, stellar food, top notch beer list. We split duck wings for a starter, then Lindsay got a burger and I had one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever tasted. We started with the tap list (a Muddy York Haberdasher Hefeweizen and Bellwoods Jelly King for me) then we split bottles of the Bellwoods Weft & Warp 2017, the Bellwoods Dark Sour on Cherries, and a Boon Oude Geuze.




On Saturday the Bellwoods binge continued at La Carnita where we had a stellar brunch: chorizo verde, churro pancakes, and a couple of tacos to go with our bottles of Jutsu.


After brunch (and ice cream from Sweet Jesus) Lindsay went to find a quiet place to work; I went in search of a brand new brewery, Saulter Street, just around the corner. They appeared to just be opening for day #2; I took seat at the bar, sampled their Pilsner, and took home a howler (half-growler) for later. Nice little place.


After that Lindsay treated me to the deferred portion of my birthday gift: Dunkirk (imdb | rotten tomatoes) at the VIP theatre, followed by dinner at King Taps. I’d tried to get to King Taps before, after work once, but it was rammed. Like, lineup thirty deep out the door rammed. We figured it would be less busy on a Saturday night, but man…that place was like a pre-club hotspot. Weird crowd, most of whom seemed to be drinking cocktails or generic beer, not the absolutely outstanding rotating craft list or deep big-buy bottle list. We had a Duchesse de Bourgogne and a Bellwoods Jelly King and a Bench Simcoe Grove Dry Hopped Sour and a SBDL x Henderson Meyer Lemon Grisette and a Nickel Brook Redshift Cherry Sour and a very exciting bottle: a Cascade Brewing Noyaux sour. The 100 point rating on ratebeer was well-deserved — it was outstanding. Happy belated birthday to me! The beer, and the excellent food, made up for the douche-y vibe. Apparently craft taps are $5 on Sundays, so I think we have our game plan for next time.


We ended the night at Chez Nous, with plans for two glasses but only stamina for one. Boo.

Sunday we tried a place that’s pretty new at brunch: Eastbound. It was amazing. Lindsay had house-made sausage with eggs; I had an insane “sandwich” of maple bacon pancakes, eggs, and a piece of spicy fried chicken. Oh, and cheese biscuits with lobster butter. We rolled the fuck home.


In the afternoon we were very generously invited to the beautiful backyard of some of Lindsay’s colleagues; we brought over some Benjamin Bridge rosé and Grange cab franc, and drank a bunch of their wine and enjoyed the weather.


We got a little day-drunk, bought some frozen yogurt, ordered pizza, had a tiny nap, and ate pizza while we watched Game Of Thrones.

We’re trying to take it easy this holiday Monday. So far so good, but I have a lot of beer in the fridge right now, so I’m reserving judgment.

Cover photo by Patrick Q, used under Creative Commons license

In which brother #2 and I eat and drink our way around Toronto

Brother #2 arrived Friday night, hungry and thirsty after a week of local work. We fixed that.

Friday night we had beers and food at C’est What, along with a surprise Burlchester sighting, and a wee bit of bourbon at home after.

Saturday we started with coffee and scones at XO Bisous, did a little tasting at Left Field, had lunch at The Wren, had one more beer at The Only, saw Star Trek: Beyond (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which was crap, and finally had dinner at Triple A.

This morning we got extra-large coffees from Fahrenheit and then, after running a few errands, ate brunch at Batch. Then he was off, like he was never here except a few pounds heavier.

Come back anytime bro.


Cover photo by Patrick Q, used under Creative Commons license