Ate by Ate’s Bits & Bites, Vol. 006 – The Return From Ottawa & a Fabulous Foodie Long Weekend!

Leave a comment

Ottawa Tulip Festival

I’m BAAAACCCK!!!  If you were wondering why Ate by Ate was so quiet for the last week, it’s because I left for the Victoria Day long weekend last Friday on a Via rail train to our nation’s capital, Ottawa!  As an avid flower photographer and a lover of all flower gardens, it was only a matter of time before I swept myself away for a long weekend in Ottawa to enjoy their gorgeous annual spring Tulip Festival, a festival I’d been dying to go for years.  Finally everything fell into place this year (went to see a close friend, got a sweet discount on my train ticket, and hello stat holiday and extra vacay day!) and I couldn’t have been more excited!  And I am so excited to share some of the foodie highlights of my trip with all of you!  I’m still weeding through photos right now (um, total photo count when I came home was 554) so I’ll try my best to get my Globe Trotting posts up as quick as I can.

In the meantime, just know that I nailed a few cupcake shops (and OHMYGOD one of them might be coming to Toronto, eeeee!!!!), a few tea shops (I came home with a RIDICULOUS amount of tea, I’m not even kidding), had a wonderful time sightseeing and shopping through Ottawa’s famed Byward Market, and had some great, memorable meals including a bowl of ramen noodles with maple leaf shaped carrots (have you checked out Ate by Ate’s Facebook page?  I posted a teaser photo!  How adorably Canadian!), some delicious spinach fettuccine pasta with the most generous portion of prosciutto I have ever encountered in my life, and a beautiful Belgian waffle weekend brunch.  And all of that was weaved in between shopping, walking (I thought my feet were going to fall off by the end of Saturday), taking photos of tulips, buying souvenirs and padding my postcard collection.  IT WAS WONDERFUL.

Thimble Cakes cupcakes in Ottawa

Thimble Cakes cupcakes in Ottawa

Like I wouldn’t scope out the best cupcakes on my vacay! I made 2 cupcake shop visits in Ottawa over the long weekend!

So, I have some Globe Trotting posts in the works.  Here’s what else I’m working on for Ate by Ate in the coming days and weeks:

  • lunch from Peter Pan Bistro!  Beer chicken tacos.  ‘Nuff said.
  • weekend brunch from Brownstone Bistro!  Truly one of the best places in the city
  • June Food Calendar and June returning farmers’ markets!  It’s the kick-off to summer!
  • Two brand spankin’ new pages on Ate by Ate: Features and Neighbourhoods.  SO freakin’ excited about working on these
  • tea, tea, and um, afternoon tea.  Twinings, loose leaf, Herbal Infusions Tea Co. and so much more!
  • a new Cupcake Connection post, start to summer edition
  • new farmers’ market material!  I’m hoping to get some York Region market love in as well as the weekend markets that have returned and are returning (hello Junction and Leslieville!) and ones I haven’t visited yet (hello Withrow!)
  • Ate by Ate on Pinterest!  It’s about damn time, yes?

There’s a lot to get done and a lot of things I’m working on and juggling right now, but I’m excited about all of it!

Advertisements

Hearts Racing for Coconut Tea – Coconut Chocolate, Mango & Chai Latte in Tea Forte’s Coconut Tea Set!

3 Comments

DSCN9418

Have you ever found something in a shop or seen something online and loved it so much it made you instantly go, “OHMYGOD!  IWANTITIWANTITIWANTIT!”  That was me when I went perusing through Tea Forte’s website and discovered their fabulous and uber awesome COCONUT tea set!  I was beside myself.  I had to use every ounce of willpower not to impulsively click “BUY”.  It didn’t even matter that I hadn’t registered for an account or read through their shipping and payment terms; all logic just flew out the window because I wanted that coconut tea set!  If I had to choose a favourite type of tea, it would have to be coconut tea, hands down.  I love my different dessert teas, but my all-time favourites are coconut flavoured ones: Coconut Almond from Steeped & Infused (they haven’t opened their new location yet, so in the meantime, visit their WEBSITE to order) and Coconut Blossom from Tealish on Queen West.

DSCN9414

DSCN9420

DSCN9427

I know I go on and on about how much I love lemon desserts and lemon-flavoured things but when it comes to tea, coconut tea of ANY kind wins my heart!  Coconut is just so versatile – kind of like potatoes and eggs.  And let it be known that I have never met a spud or egg dish that I didn’t love and the same goes for coconut tea.  You can pair it with fruits, nuts, vanilla, chocolate and any other dessert combination and this is one of the reasons why I love it so much; the flavour is fresh, fruity, nutty, and sweet all in one.

Tea Forte and I met for the first time during the Christmas holidays in December.  My best friend had bought me their popular Dolce Vita dessert tea tin set which came with 6 silken tea infusers in 6 different dessert flavours and combos, my favourite being the Belgian Mint.  From that point on, I knew I had to integrate and keep Tea Forte products in my ever-growing rotating collection!

DSCN0156

tea at Indigo bookstore

Tea at Indigo!

I was a little worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to find many Tea Forte teas around town but Indigo has really expanded their Tea Forte selection over the last several months and that’s actually where I saw the Tea Forte Coconut collection in person for the first time.  I was so happy when I found the different Coconut sets at Indigo!  They had the Coconut tea set in a tin, in a box, ones with 6, 10, and 20, and even a gift set with several of the coconut teas with a gorgeous mug!  I thought for sure I was out of luck on the buying-in-store front and was prepared to buy it off their website if I really needed to.

Luckily for me though both Indigo and Blue Banana in Kensington Market carry Tea Forte teas and accessories!  YES, Blue Banana in Kensington Market, one of my favourite shops in the whole city!  Their tea selection is to-die-for.  They have Tea Forte, Kusmi Tea, Mighty Leaf, Harney & Sons and so much more.  It would make any tea lover hot under the collar.

DSCN9430

DSCN9432

DSCN9436

I bought my Coconut tea set from Blue Banana ($14.95).  This set comes with 10 silken tea infusers in 3 coconut flavours: Coconut Chocolate Truffle, Coconut Mango Colada, and Coconut Chai Latte.  The infusers come in a beautiful portable box and all the infusers are individually wrapped in little cardboard pyramids.  What I love about their teas is that the infusers don’t get soggy in your tea cup or mug; they hold their shape incredibly well.  And look at the adorable little green leaf up at the top!  It’s incredibly cute as it bobs up and down while you drink.

The Coconut Chocolate Truffle smells soooo good and the taste isn’t cloying or overpowering.  I’d even say that it leans more towards the earthy kind of chocolate taste with the sweetness of coconut.  This is a perfect warm and comforting kind of tea.  It has a lot of depth in flavour and to truly get the full experience, you need to hold it up close when it’s warm the soak in the aroma and drink it really slow, letting those first notes linger in your mouth when you first take a sip.  You’re not going to taste it fully if you gulp it down quickly.  It totally makes sense to sip citrus flavours a little faster in my opinion (letting it linger just makes it taste bitter), but not this one.  Aroma to contact is what you want to get the full yumminess affect!

DSCN9424

I’m hoping to try the Coconut Chai Latte and Coconut Mango Colada this week so I can choose my favourite out of the three.  And then I’ll keep daydreaming about adding more Tea Forte to my ever-growing tea collection.  For tea lovers, there’s no such thing as too much tea.

*****

Blue Banana is located at 250 Augusta Ave. in Kensington Market, just south of College Street, west of Spadina.  To check out Tea Forte’s huuuuge colleciton of tea sets, accessories, loose leaf tins and more, visit their website at http://www.teaforte.com/

Globe Trotting for Macarons – Ate by Ate Goes to Miromar Outlets in Fort Myers, Florida!

1 Comment

DSCN0111

Palm trees, hot sunshine, flowers and fountains…no, we’re not in Toronto folks, we’re in Fort Myers, Florida!  Welcome to Ate by Ate Goes Globe Trotting, your special look into the fun culinary adventures I’ve enjoyed during my travels!  First up?  Macarons at the Miromar Outlets in Fort Myers, Florida!   I’m so super excited to finally share these photos and stories with you guys.  I’ve been holding onto them for months now and I finally feel ready to start this fun series now that the weather is nicer and people are starting to think of vacationing for the summer (can you imagine how mad everyone would have been had I posted this back in February when we were still buried in snow?!  You guys would have thrown stones at me!).  These photos are really special to me because they reflect my first real taste (no pun intended) of traveling.

DSCN0069

DSCN0080

DSCN0081

Let’s start from the beginning: back in February I was given the opportunity to travel to Marco Island, Florida for a 4-day business trip with my Kraft Kitchens and culinary marketing team.  Let it be known that aside from a few out-of-town trips across the border and a few trips to Montreal and Quebec City when I was younger, I have NEVER traveled.  EVER!  So many people talk about family vacations, going away, and this and that.  Not the case for me.

I’m not kidding when I say that at the age of 27, this trip to Florida was my very first experience of so many things: my first time packing on my own, my first time navigating the airport by myself (heck, the first time I’ve been in the airport to travel at all!  Going to the airport to pick up my aunt and uncle does not count!), and my FIRST TIME BEING ON A PLANE!  No joke!  If someone would have told me 10 years ago that my first trip was going to be with coworkers to an island in Florida in the dead of February I would have laughed.  But life and fate work in funny ways.

DSCN0070

DSCN0073

I can’t tell you how excited I was.  I  know flying and traveling are no big deal to some people.  For some, it’s even a regular part of life.  But for me, traveling has never been.  I’ve always had dreams of going here and going there, but my family and I just didn’t have those chances or opportunities when I was growing up.  But gosh did this trip ever put me on a high!  I wasn’t scared or intimidated in the least and I soaked in every moment of it: going through customs for the first time, chucking my shoes and luggage through the little customs conveyor belt, running down the corridor to board my plane.  There was no other feeling like it.

So, how did I end up at the Miromar Outlets in Fort Myers?  Before the trip, we were all given our itineraries and we were all told to choose a “free time” activity for one of the afternoons.  Everything would be taken care of (transportation, meeting spots, etc.) and all we had to do was choose our activity and show up for it on the day of.  The choices were shopping at Miromar Outlets, beach day, golfing, and boating and fishing.  You don’t even have to know me inside and out to know which one I would have chosen.  HELLO, SHOPPING!

DSCN0088 - Copy

DSCN0089 - Copy

DSCN0090

DSCN0092

So there I sat on my hotel bed the night before in my jammies, fuzzy socks and wet hair after my shower with the tv on in the background with the Miromar Outlets pamphlet and pen in hand.  I had work to do!  I wasn’t going to be there for the whole day so I had to make the most out of my time.  I circled all the places I wanted to shop my heart out, mapped out a route for my myself and had myself a jolly good time dreaming about all the fab stuff I would buy for my family, friends, and myself.  And boy was I ever excited when I saw Le Macaron French Pastries listed in the specialty foods section of the pamphlet!  Macarons.  At a shopping outlet.  In Florida.  SWEET!  And was this outlet ever a thing of sweet beauty.  Flowers, fountains, palm trees, and stone walkways everywhere and such a sense of peace; it was like the outlet was its own little world.

DSCN0102

DSCN0110 - Copy

DSCN0108

Le Macaron French Pastries (a shop with multiple locations all over Florida!) had a delicious assortment of macarons, a gorgeous display of chocolate truffles, and some yummy flavours of gelato in their gelato bar.  Being the macaron maven that I am, I purchased a box of 6 for $12.60: 2 coconut creams, a mint white chocolate, a lemon cream, a dark chocolate passionfruit, and a Colombian coffee.  Even though I was in Florida, it really felt like home.  The prices were right on par with the ones we have in Toronto and the shop was adorable: bright magenta pink paint on the walls, pretty gift boxes stacked on the display cases, and little chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

My macarons were so cute!  The coconut cream ones were studded with shredded coconut and they were definitely my favourite with the Colombian coffee coming in second.  Part of me wanted to share a few with my coworkers but the other part just wanted to scarf them down all on my own.  I opted for the latter option and enjoyed the whole box all by my lonesome!  IT WAS GREAT.

DSCN0109

It was such a memorable, special trip and it makes me happy knowing I got to have some foodie fun while I was there.  I know these posts and photos will make those of you who love traveling very happy and excited so I’m hoping that with more trips and traveling adventures in the works, it’ll indulge and inspire everyone’s inner traveling and foodie.

*****

Le Macaron French Pastries is a macaron patisserie and sweets shop with a number of locations in Florida including Tampa, Naples and Sarasota.  The Estero, Fort Myers location is located within the Miromar Outlets at 10801 Corkscrew Rd. Suite 183.  You can check out their website HERE.

Mid-May & May Long Weekend Munchies – Ate by Ate’s Food Event Spotlight

Leave a comment

East York Civic Centre farmers' market

East York Farmers’ Market, May 14 – November 5.  Tuesdays, 8am-2pm.  East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue at the corner of Coxwell and Mortimer Avenue.   The east end market returns for its spring, summer, and fall season this week! 

DSCN0284

Hands-On Sushi at the LCBO Bayview Village, May 15.  6pm-8pm.  2901 Bayview Ave. at the LCBO Bayview Village.  $75 +HST/person; to register and book tickets, please visit the participating location.  Be a sushi chef for the night at this fun, hands-on class where participants will make their own maki, nigiri, sushi rice and more!  http://www.lcbo.com/learn/cookingclasses_bayview.shtml

Brewers Backyard

Brewers Backyard – Queen Victoria’s Secret at Evergreen Brick Works, May 20.  12pm-4pm.  550 Bayview Ave. at Koerner Gardens and Holcim Gallery.  Cost of food: $6 for food, $6 for beer.  Event is open to all ages, but folks must be 19+ to purchase and drink beer.  Kick start the summer season and celebrate the long weekend at Evergreen Brick Works with the return of Brewers Backyard!   Brewers Backyard is your chance to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Ontario beer with tastings, pairings, and plenty of fun events and promotions.  Everything is hush-hush for this kick-off but organizers can tell us that there will be beer from Great Lakes, Oast House, the Granite Brewery and more, as well as yummy eats from FeasTO!  http://ebw.evergreen.ca/cal/event/brewers-backyard-beers-from-Torontos-Backyard

Montgomery Inn tea

Victoria Day Tea at Montgomery’s Inn, May 20.  1pm-4pm.  4709 Dundas St. West, Etobicoke.  $10/person which also includes a tour of the historic inn (no registration required; the tea is first come, first served).  Enjoy fresh baked bread, tea, and English-style treats at this sweet tea!  http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/featured-events.htm#montgomery

the depanneur vintage vegan victoriana supper club

Source: The Depanneur Facebook event page

supper club. vintage vegan victoriana

Vintage Vegan Victoriana: A Rusholme Park Supper Club at The Depanneur, May 20.  7:30pm.  1033 College Street.  $40+HST/person.  The fab Emily Zimmerman is back at The Dep for a vintage vegan Victorian dinner party feast!  Travel back in time during the holiday weekend and dine in vintage style with a 5-course vegan meal with plenty of vintage recipes and menu items reminiscent of a Victorian household that you’ll enjoy with fellow food-lovers and great company.  Emily brings the style of a Victorian dinner party to the Dep without the fuss and muss: julienne soup, baked mushrooms with smoked black pepper and lemon, seitan roast with garlic, cumin, fenugreek and parsley, spring tart, Sussex Pond pudding with gunpowder green tea cream.  http://thedepanneur.ca/event/supper-club-vintage-vegan-victoriana-by-emily-zimmerman/

Sweet AND Savoury? Walnut, Pear & Bufala Mozzarella French Toast Weekend Brunch at Origin!

Leave a comment

French toast weekend brunch at Origin Restaurant in Toronto

Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.  Take risks.  Do things you never thought you would do.  And for me, on that sunny, beautiful Saturday morning at Origin on King St. East, I did just that: I ordered something sweet and savoury.  No, no, I don’t mean I ordered a sweet dish and a savoury dish.  Oh no, I ordered myself a dish that was both sweet AND savoury.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Um, yeah, SO?!  It’s not like you ordered wild boar or rabbit!”  You’re right, sweet and savoury dishes are run-of-the-mill and no big deal in the culinary world.  But here’s something I’ve never revealed on Ate by Ate: I HATE SWEET AND SAVOURY THINGS!  HATE!  WITH A PASSION!  *cue pounding fists*

You all know I’m kooky-crazy for my sweets and desserts.  You also know I’m heads over heels for savoury things like eggs benny and spicy sushi.  But you didn’t know that I’ve always hated things like teriyaki, maple bacon, and maple sausage.  Some people break out in hives when their eggs aren’t served with ketchup.  Some people take a temper tantrum when the food on their plate touches each other.  I hate my meat sweet.  And any other sweet and savoury combo aside from peanut butter and jelly (what can I say, it’s a childhood thing that’s never left my heart).  Always have, most likely always will.  Don’t even try to sell me on strawberries and balsamic because I will just scoff and turn the other cheek.

Origin Restaurant Toronto dining room

Origin Restaurant Toronto dining room

Origin Restaurant Toronto dining room

So what in blue blazing hell possessed me to order something sweet and savoury for weekend brunch at Origin then?  The menu.  I couldn’t help it.  Against my better judgment, I took a chance on their French toast with bufala mozzarella, poached pears, and warm walnut brittle ($16) and ended up absolutely loving it to itty bitty pieces.  I love bufala mozzarella, I felt like French toast that morning, and the thought of having pears I could actually eat (remember my ridiculous raw fruit allergy that makes me swell up like blowfish?) made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Let me tell you though, this was no easy thing to overcome.  I took a deep breath.  “You can do this, Debra.  You can order something you know you may not like”.  There were so many things on Origin’s weekend brunch menu I wanted to try but I dug my heels in and stuck with it and lucky for me, it totally worked out!  I love it when a scrumptious, delicious dish proves my taste buds wrong and totally blows me away.  I never thought this could happen.  I never thought I could enjoy something that was both sweet and savoury.  But I did and I enjoyed it in a beautiful dining space in a restaurant I’ve wanted to visit for ages.

tea at Origin Restaurant in Toronto

Origin Restaurant menu Toronto

Origin, located at 107 King Street East at King and Church (with 2 other locations in the city), always felt like an eatery that was out of my league and out of reach.  I first learned about Origin several years ago when I saw a photo of their adorable pink, frothy froo-froo ice cream float in an issue of Toronto Life.  I had this misconception that it was much too upscale for me but after a co-worker raved about her dinner there, I knew I had to finally buckle down and go one weekend.  And given how Origin serves up a kick-ass weekend brunch menu (I looked it up online, hemmed and hawwed over some of the options, and gulped down my saliva – what else is new?), that was the perfect match for me.  So I suited up for busy day out (market, cupcakes, brunch, and more) and made my way over to the beautiful restaurant and bar.

DSCN0595

French toast weekend brunch at Origin Restaurant in Toronto

And I do mean beautiful.  Brick walls, funky light fixtures, big windows, chic black, gray and white accents and a killer patio that I cannot wait to pounce on in the summer!  One of my favourite things about Origin is their kitchen.  It’s right in the middle of the dining area and you can literally see and hear all the action.  You hear the chefs calling out orders to each other, you hear the sizzles and skizzles, you can see the food being plated and so much more.  I love it when the cooking staff are integrated into the restaurant; it’s make things much more transparent and more communal.

Aside from 3 different kinds of French toast, $13-$17 (one even has duck confit!), they have burgers and sandwiches (a breakfast burrito $15, a peameal sandwich $11,a killer grilled cheese $7, and an Origin burger with chipotle aioli and arugula $17), an egg white frittata with fior de latte, tomato and pesto $13 (you can bet I’ll be coming back for this one!), smoked pork belly and fried eggs $16, a daily quiche $12, and number of sides to outfit your meal such as Spanish fries, beet and goat cheese salad, and deviled eggs.

French toast weekend brunch at Origin Restaurant in Toronto

French toast weekend brunch at Origin Restaurant in Toronto

My beloved French garnished with several sprigs of fresh basil and served with bufala mozzarella, poached pears, and warm walnut brittle, was all sorts of rich, sweet, savoury, decadent, warm, buttery, soft, crunchy, juicy, and YUMMY.  One of the reasons why I think I enjoyed it so much was the savoury and sweet were clearly identifiable but completely in harmony and balance with each other.  I love sweet brunches and breakfast dishes but at times, it’s almost too sweet and a bit much.  But because of the bufala mozzarella and basil (which, oh my god, was delicious), that savoury saltiness cut right through the sweetness of the walnut syrupy sauce and pears.  And it worked the other way as well.  The sweet juiciness of the pears and warm sauce and the inherent milkiness of the bread kept it from being too salty and the type of dish that makes you want to guzzle water down.  The whole thing just worked.

French toast weekend brunch at Origin Restaurant in Toronto

AND!  The bread!  Oh my gosh, the bread deserves a standing ovation.  It’s not your typical challah.  Origin does their French toast using fresh-as-a-daisy French brioche!  BRIOCHE!  It is so soft, buttery and milky and even though brioche was not listed on their menu, it was unmistakeable the second I bit into it.  And our sweet server confirmed when I asked her.  Origin made me feel so welcome and relaxed, they gave me great food, and they completely knocked down my disdain for sweet and savoury dishes down a notch (I loved my brunch, but don’t expect me to nosh on teriyaki anytime soon!) as well as proving my preconceived notions about them being out of my league wrong.  Bring on the brunches and patio!

Origin Restaurant & Bar in downtown Toronto on King Street East

*****

Origin is located at 107 King Street East at Church Street in downtown Toronto.  They serve 2 other locations in Toronto (Liberty Village and soon-to-be Bayview Village in North York!).

Strike a Cupcake Pose – Spring Has Sprung! A Photo Spotlight on Prairie Girl Bakery Minis

1 Comment

Prairie Girl Bakery mini cupcakes in bluberries & cream, toffee, and chocolate on golden buttermilk

Cupcake minis topped with creamy frosting surrounded by orange and yellow lilies on the brink of bursting open, and vibrant, fragrant hyacinths dripping in jewel tones.  Nope, these photos weren’t taken in a pretty park or in a magical floral oasis (but mind you, the flowers that did surround me were absolutely charming!).  These photos were taken in a little gem of a hideaway just steps away from Prairie Girl’s flagship store between King and Adelaide East, providing a respite from the noise of honking horns and the hustle and bustle of foot traffic.  Leave it to me to pose my cupcakes like mini models on a wooden runway.  THEY’RE TOO CUTE!

I may not have any photos just yet of Prairie Girl’s newest location in Yorkville by Bloor and Avenue, but I do have some of their Treats of the Week (minis priced at $1.75) to show off here: the sassy Blueberries & Cream on Golden Buttermilk with blueberry and cream cheese frosting and blueberry Jelly Belly, and the fudgy, decadent Toffee on Dark Cocoa with caramel-toffee frosting and sticky crumbled toffee bits.

Prairie Girl Bakery mini cupcakes in bluberries & cream and chocolate on golden buttermilk

Prairie Girl Bakery mini cupcakes in bluberries & cream, toffee, and chocolate on golden buttermilk

Prairie Girl Bakery mini cupcakes in bluberries & cream, toffee, and chocolate on golden buttermilk

The Blueberries & Cream was a fun, tart cupcake but if you can believe it, the Toffee was the nicest surprise for me!  I didn’t anticipate enjoying the Toffee as much as I did.  Toffee and caramel flavours have always been hit or miss for me.  Even though I don’t eat them much, I have a weakness for Caramilk chocolate bars but on the flip side, I had the worst experience with caramel corn when I was little (um, a lot of trips to the toilet vomiting) and even the sight and smell of it now makes me want to hurl.  And desserts like sticky toffee pudding and creme caramel are ones that still need a bit of exploration on my part.  Despite these reservations, I gave the Toffee a try and my was this little cupcake ever yummy!  I didn’t expect the flavour to be as rich and creamy as it was and it had this wonderful buttery warmth to it characteristic of great toffee and caramel things.

The adventures at Prairie Girl Bakery continue!

Prairie Girl Bakery mini cupcakes in bluberries & cream, toffee, and chocolate on golden buttermilk

*****

Prairie Girl Bakery’s flagship is located at Suite 106, 18 King St. East off King St. E and Victoria St.  The cupcake shop itself actually faces Victoria St., so it’s just a smidge north of King on Victoria St.  They are open 6 days a week from 10am-6pm from Monday-Saturday.  They are closed on Sundays and statutory holidays.  Their 2nd location is located in the underground PATH in First Canadian Place in the Marketplace food concourse.  The FCP location is open from 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday.  And their *NEW* Yorkville location is situated by Bloor St. West and Avenue Road at 150 Bloor Street West.  They are open 10am-6pm Monday – Saturday; they are closed on Sundays and stat holidays.

Ooh La La! The Ravishing Raspberry Red Velvet at Short & Sweet Cupcakes

1 Comment

red velvet cupcake

For all ravenous red velvet lovers: this is for you!  No really, this is truly for you.  The folks who reserve red velvet cupcakes for super special occasions (think Penelope from Criminal Minds).  The folks who will clean out a cupcake bakery’s one-day supply and scrape and claw others for a bite of this vibrant hued confection (you know who you are).  And the folks who won’t eat any other dessert because everything else just pales in comparison (“c’mon, THERE’S CREAM CHEESE FROSTING, OH EM GEE!”).  I just had a coworker tell me this week that he doesn’t eat dessert (dude, do we even co-exist in the same universe?!) but that when he tried red velvet, it made him crazy and now he can’t get enough of the stuff!  I can’t relate.  I have a sweet tooth like nobody’s business but I can’t consider myself a part of this demographic.  Because I’m actually not the biggest fan of red velvet.

*cue crickets chirping*

Short & Sweet Cupcakes

red velvet cupcake

DSCN9445

Don’t all chuck things at me at once!  I know, I know, I’ve posted about red velvet cupcakes from The Cupcake Shoppe and Sweet Escape Patisserie.  And I admit, red velvet things are gorgeous and captivating to look at.  The cream cheese frosting makes me salivate too.  But between red velvet cake and lemon or vanilla, there’s just no contest.  I’d swipe a vanilla cupcake before I’d stick my face in a red velvet.  And it’s not because I hate it!  I just always felt red velvet, as a flavour, was a giveaway in the sense that some folks and places can get away with doing a crappy job knowing the popularity and novelty of it will sell itself.  And I think that’s shitty.  Because trust me when I say I’ve had bad, bland, flavourless red velvet before and experiences like those make you wonder why the heck  you even wasted the calories on it in the first place.

But!  There is always a bright side and for me, the red velvet bright side shines oh-so-bright from Short & Sweet Cupcakes’ side of the pond.  And I know you may think, “oh, well of course it would because you love Short & Sweet!”  Not necessarily.  Let it be known that their Lemon Drop is my least favourite out of their line-up and from my perspective, their weakest out of all the ones I’ve tried.  And this is coming from a person who could live off of lemon anything.  So you know that when I say something kicks ass or is not so hot, it’s coming from the bottom of my heart.

red velvet cupcake

red velvet cupcake

DSCN9457

Their “Ooh La La!” red velvet ($2.90 each) blows it out of the water.  We’re talking thick, creamy, rich cream cheese frosting on top of some of the moistest red velvet cake you’ll ever sink your teeth into and that is due, in part, to the RASPBERRY FILLING!  Raspberry filling.  In a red velvet cupcake.  With cream cheese frosting.  That is just pure fabulousness.  This cupcake hits every profile you could ever want.  Decadent, creamy, juicy, tart, sweet, you name it.  When you get a red velvet from here, you know you are getting a fan-freakin’-tastic cupcake, plain and simple.  They do its novelty and popularity justice 10 times over and it leaves you wanting so many more.  I went into it thinking I’d just give it a shot considering it was one of the ones I still hadn’t tried from Short & Sweet yet (it’s an everyday cupcake so you can get them any day from Tuesday to Sunday if you fancy) and I came out of it genuinely loving it to pieces.

So to all red velvet enthusiasts: you need these luscious confections in your life, pronto.

red velvet cupcake

*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes serves 2 locations:

  • 1945 Avenue Rd., south of Wilson Ave.  They are open from 11am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sundays.  They are closed on Mondays.
  • 1480 Major Mackenzie Dr. West at the corner of Major Mackenzie and Dufferin Street in Vaughan.  They are open from 12pm-7pm Tuesday-Saturday and 12pm-6pm on Sundays.  This location is also closed on Mondays.