Usually I bring my lunch to work because I like to save money like that. And even when I do go out to eat, I have food court food or make a long journey to a vegan place; but today, I agreed to go out to a random lunch with my friend, Ken.
Not surprisingly, choosing a place to eat is always a difficult task #firstworldproblems. Good thing we somehow, miraculously, agreed up Bannock in a very short period of time. We’re both familiar with Bannock and I’ve been there for various types of meals (dinner, lunch & “take-out). Bannock is part of the Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants (O&B, Biff’s, Canteen, Luma, etc.) and is described as serving Canadian comfort food.
On this particularly Frankenstorm afternoon, Ken decided he needed to be SEVERELY comforted and the powers of comfort food overtook his brain and he ordered the duck poutine pizza. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
Monstrosity. It was a pizza with carmelized onions, pulled duck, cheese curds, crispy french fries and gravy. I wondered how he could go back to work after this meal and he assured me this wasn’t as bad as the time he had AYCE Indian food for lunch. So I was confident I wouldn’t have to carry him back to work!
I opted for a slightly ligher fare – the Praire Grain Salad with the soup of the day (roasted red pepper tomato).
Now this salad wasn’t what I had in mind. I thouhgt it would be more of a leafy salad with some grains on the side, but as you can see, I got full-on grains..with mayo? The pickled vegetables were good, but it was much too heavy for me.
My final word:
Overall my experiences at Bannock have been great. They always have great service and food. This lunch was a comfort food overload and I didn’t really like what we had, but previous times at Bannock I’ve enjoyed their fish dishes, soups, bannock and other lighter fare. It’s a cool central place and always great when it’s rainy and cold!
I find that many restaurants and eateries attempt to make one of the more truly authentic North American dishes, the mac & cheese, but fail to make it actually taste good. Most mac & cheese dishes I’ve had in Toronto taste bland, sometimes too liquidity and not cheesy enough.
One of the best mac & cheese experiences I’ve had is at the Victory Cafe. The mac & cheese has a wonderful crispy top and gooey cheesy macaroni underneath. The flavours of sun dried tomato and caramelized onion are layered in. The texture is not too liquid or dry (this isn’t a macaroni pie!). This is definitely my favorite place to grab this type of comfort food – nothing beats it…yet ;)
Aside from the mac & cheese, the Victory also has great beers on tap! I don’t really see how you can’t go try it out!!
Just wanted to announce that I will have a guest blogger doing a series on places to eat in Markham, ON!!!!!
While enjoying a fabulous meal in France and feeling high off of our first course of fresh salad and pâté au porc with delicious french bread, I posed the question to Conan:
“What would you have served to you for your last meal EVER?!”
We cheated a bit and instead of incorporating the restraints placed on some US last meals, we had only a 3 course restriction. Let’s be honest, if there wasn’t, the night would never end. So here goes:
Thai hot and sour soup
Steak frites with ketchup and vinegar
75% cocoa with blueberry chocolate bunny that is wafer thin
Pork, chive and shrimp dumplings – a mix of pan fried and steamed with red vinegar (not the nasty kind)
Creamy pasta from Piola (like carbonara)
Portion of steamed fish with soy sauce, green onion, ginger and sesame oil
Baked brie and roasted garlic
If you could have a last meal of sorts – what would it be?
Definitely something to check out during your lunch hour if you’re close by! I’m eyeing the Taiwanese steamed pork, fish and veggie buns….and pulled pork sandwich..makes me wish they served up some fwhat fwhat pork buns at Don Don Izakaya.
This dish, like all the other ones Conan and I make, was conceived at the supermarket and because we felt we wanted to eat something different. We’re standing at the seafood section, looking at all the fillets they had laid out and even considered the lobster (except they were really small and expensive). While we were staring at the fish, I was thinking to myself, “I wish I was in a Chinese supermarket and I could buy a live swimming fish and steam it in a wok.” Which is my most FAVOURITE way of preparing fish. Simple and super delicious. Anyway, we didn’t have that luxury here. Conan went for the trout, which I also love, but it almost felt like we always get trout, so I suggested snapper – and snapper it was! WOOT!
We have no idea how we’re going to make this fish, but Conan suggested maybe a breaded bake thing. I think he was remincing about some shake and bake commercial over the weekend and well, here we are at the supermarket shopping for ingredients to make breaded fish fillets.
We definitely cheated on this one because we actually bought bread crumbs that were “southern” – so pre-seasoned. Meh! I don’t need a huge tub of bread crumbs I’ll never use and we didn’t have bread at home.
In short, Conan patted the fish dry then patted the seasoned bread crumbs on the fish and baked it until it was crispy. He also paired it with some steammed beans, yams seasoned with some sweet spices (cinnimon, nutmeg) and of course, a lovely salad with some Macedonian-styled feta. YUMMM!!!!!
Life takes a hold of me sometimes, so I didn’t post this right away. But I’m doing it now!
Both Conan and I felt we were eating a lot of chicken lately, so fish was on the menu. I wanted tuna, but at $29.99/lb, I thought “No, I’m not made out of money at this moment, salmon will suffice.” And keeping in trend with saving money, I bought some seasonal produce, mainly a buttercup squash. The rest of the stuff I had in the fridge.
Salmon topped with tomato salsa
Tomatoes (I had both regular vine tomatoes and some cherry pear tomatoes)
Green onion (1 stalk)
Garlic (1 clove)
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Wash and dry off salmon fillets
- Season with salt and pepper
- Bake until preferred doneness
- While salmon is cooking, dice up tomatoes and place in bowl
- Add salt and mix
- Chop up some green onion (I use the both the green and white parts, I’ve read some recipies where people only use the white – never understood why, makes no sense)
- Mince garlic
- Add to tomatoes
- Add in some olive oil and balsamic to liking
- Serve ontop of salmon
- Steam squash
- Scrape out flesh
- Add some butter, spices and mash
I also prepared some quinoa and Conan stir-fried some bean sprouts and celery.
Yeah I’m too lazy to write it all out! But come on!! It’s a stir-fry!! Like the easiest thing you can make – seriously!