Spotlight on the Flaky, Buttery, Melt-in-Your-Mouth Ham, Cheese, and Mushroom Pasqualina at La Merceria

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Over the years I’ve come to realize the type of breakfast and brunch eater I really am.  Some people love sweet breakfast foods (think pancakes, waffles, French toast, that sort of thing) while others salivate at the thought of egg breakfasts, breakfast burritos and sandwiches, and all things savoury.  Having the sweet teeth that I do, one would safely assume that my breakfast tastes lean more toward the sugar n’ spice n’ all things nice category.  But they don’t.  Oh, I enjoy an amazing French toast or waffle breakfast every once in awhile (I chomped on this thing of beauty, didn’t I?), but what really buzzes my biscuits is a full out savoury breakfast with all the works!  I love home fries, eggs (hello eggs benny!), tofu scrambles, huevos rancheros, sausage rounds, green salads with my brunch, the whole nine yards. 

Thus, I went into La Merceria one chilly morning ready for something warm and yummy and savoury and they did not disappoint with their selection of torta pasqualinas and mini empanadas.  They had three kinds of pasqualinas (spinach and egg, ham and cheese, and veggie) and three kinds of mini empanadas (beef, chicken, and veggie) waiting for me for that morning, and since  I was in the mood for something smoky and gooey the ham and cheese pasqualina fit the bill!

The spinach and egg pasqualina I had the last time was great, but this ham, cheese, and mushroom pasqualina was 100 times more amazing!  OH.MY.GOD.  For those of you who are vegetarian, I know, this doesn’t do anything for you, but for those of you who aren’t, you have to try this!  It is SO scrumtiously delicious and I promise you that once you start eating it, you will want to stuff the whole shebang in your mouth.  Because that’s sort of what I did.  And this even took me by surprise. 

I looooove mushrooms and cheese and every so often smoky ham hits the spot, but I was hesitant to dig into the pasqualina so ferociously just because anything cheesy has its enjoyable limits.  I’m a lover of cheese but even I know it can get too rich at times.  A lot of the time you end up needing something to cleanse your palate so the richness of the cheese doesn’t start overwhelming or overpowering your tastebuds, but that didn’t happen with this meal at all.  I didn’t have to stop in the middle of eating to take a break from the cheese and I didn’t feel icky.  It was truly one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever eaten.     

The pasqualina was so incredibly moist, buttery, and flaky and the exterior was crispy while the layer right underneath the flaky golden-brown outer later was moist and chewy.  The spinach and egg one is closer in taste and appearance to a breakfast quiche whereas the heavenly ham, cheese, and mushroom one is reminscent of a flaky, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth breakfast biscuit with all the goodness of smoky ham, cheddar cheese, and soft, juicy cremini mushrooms.  This pasqualia was so honking delicious I finished the entire thing in one sitting.  No doggy bag for the doggy bag queen!  Now that’s a feat! 

La Merceria’s pasqualina’s are priced around $4-$5 and they are worth it for their portion size and yumminess.  If you’re in the market for something savoury but feel a little overwhelmed by big breakfasts, this would be right up your alley.  And while you’re at it, sip some hot tea or coffee drink and admire the wonderful cafe as you eat your yummy brunch. 

*****

La Merceria is located at 506 Adelaide Street West by the northwest corner of Adelaide and Portland Street, east of Bathurst.  La Merceria is located beside Sadie’s Diner and Juice Bar.  Visit their website and blog here for updates, info, promos, events, pictures, and contact information and visit their Facebook page here.

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On the 12th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me a Christmas Kitchen Boutique from La Merceria

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Raise your hand if you’ve started decorating around the house!  Just this past weekend, my parents hauled out some of our Christmas decorations like our wreaths, our two mini light-up trees, and our brand spankin’ new mini santa sleigh that is sitting proudly by our fireplace in the living room.  Soon enough we’ll be outfitting our dinner table in our cute Santa Claus and Christmas tree printed tablecloth (complete with reindeer and little stars flying about) and all the house will need are stockings by the fireplace and my mini light-up gingerbread house in all its frosted, candied glory!  

In no time at all, I’ll be gathering up all the recipes and ingredients I need for the holiday baking I plan on drowning myself in (chocolate peppermint and cinnamon sugar, here I come!) and while I do so, I will wimper over all the oh-so-cute Christmas bakeware and accessories in stores that I cannot have because if I gave into my penchant for Christmas-related everything, the whole house would be full of the stuff and my family would have to sleep on the roof.  So what’s the next best thing?  Daydreaming about said accessories.       

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a Christmas kitchen boutique?!  Pretty much.  What a dream it would be to bake Christmas cookies in a kitchen even Mrs. Claus would envy!  And what a dream it is browsing the Christmas kitchenwares in the shining, twinkling, winter wonderland that is La Merceria.  As a follow-up to last week’s peppermint hot chocolate sweetness, this post shines a spotlight on all the beautiful kitchen accessories that the Argentinian café has to offer.  You won’t find appliances, cookware, or bakeware here, but La Merceria is perfect for the food photographer, kitchen accessory lover, and home decor fanatic.  Their Christmas lineup includes beautiful table linens, wooden utensils and boards, mortars and pestles, wooden spice cellars (the ones at La Merceria look exactly like the ones that Giada has on Giada at Home!) dishes, bowls, glasses, honey drizzlers, tea and tea accessories, cream pitchers, home fragrance, candles, ornaments and more.

La Merceria is the type of place where I construct mental wishlists, not only for myself but for others as well.  There are so many items I would snatch two of just because I know others would be delighted with them.  I am smitten over the plush dolls (gnomes and pigs!), I am gaga over the table linens, and don’t even get me started on the ivory pine cone candle sets!  The gorgeous display of Christmas and winter treasures sitting daintily on the café’s front table were bathed in shades of red,  moss green, ivory, and brown and what I love about these items are their coordinating shades!  The colour palette is so easy to work with and it lends itself to a never-ending cycle of possible decorating colour schemes.  Red and ivory, moss green and ivory, moss green and charcoal, the list goes on.    

I love it so much when places go all out with the decorations and celebrate the changing seasons and holidays because it brings a whole new level of energy, enthusiasm, and excitement to an establishment.  La Merceria is consistently changing their displays and their selection of products so it’s always worth a look-see.  It’s a one-of-a-kind place wiht a lot of heart and so much character.  When I saw the beautiful Christmas decorations on the wall (the 12 Days of Christmas decal with ornaments on the wall has to be one of my favourite things ever) and the front of the café transformed into the Christmas treasure island that it is now, I felt like I was walking in a hush little snow globe, only without the snow.  With the early morning sun streaming in, it felt like a quiet Christmas morning.  It felt peaceful, magical and full of colour and joy.  And that’s really what the spirit of Christmas is all about, bakeware or not. 

*****

La Merceria is located at 506 Adelaide Street West by the northwest corner of Adelaide and Portland Street, east of Bathurst.  La Merceria is located beside Sadie’s Diner and Juice Bar.  Visit their website and blog here for updates, info, promos, events, pictures, and contact information and visit their Facebook page here.