Sinking Your Teeth Into Luscious Vegan and Gluten-Free Desserts! Veggielicious at Bunner’s Bake Shop – Part I

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I am SO giddy and excited to share these photos with you guys!  It was such a beautiful day today.  A bit chilly in the morning, but sunkissed and glorious by the afternoon.  Veggielicious is up and running in and around the city and today I ate through the first one on my list: Bunner’s Bake Shop on Dundas St. West!  When I went over my foodie options for Veggielicious, I knew I wanted to balance out my savoury with some sweet, and sweet I got!  Bunner’s Bake Shop, located in the heart of The Junction neighbourhood in Toronto, is a vegan and gluten-free bakery that churns out delicious desserts and pastries that are egg-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, and cruelty-free.  Their Veggielicious special for the 2 weeks is comprised of a gypsy cookie, a creamie cookie sandwich, and a cupcake for $7.50.  This is my teaser picture post for you all today, so enjoy and drool while I work on my thorough Bunner’s Bake Shop post tomorrow! 😀  A BIG thank you to Ashley and Kevin who run Bunner’s for allowing me to go snap happy with my camera so I could share this experience with you guys, I really appreciate it.

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Bunner’s is located in The Junction at 3054 Dundas Street West, 3 blocks from the intersection of Keele and Dundas West.  Bunner’s is just west of High Park Ave.  They are open from Monday to Saturday from 10am-7pm, and 12pm-5pm on Sundays.

Cupcakes, Cookies, Biscotti, Macarons, and Other Sweet Notions – Escaping to The Sweet Escape Pâtisserie: Part I

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I’m so excited to finally post about The Sweet Escape and to share my scrapbook layout for it! 😀  The first time I mentioned The Sweet Escape was back in December when I was posting about Christmas at the Distillery District, the adorable life-size real gingerbread house right outside the café, and the yummy gingerbread cupcake I had!  And it’s actually been 2 and half years since I first laid eyes on this place for the first time.  I was waiting for the perfect moment to write about this amazing cupcakery, bakery, and café and because I didn’t have a scrapbook layout ready at the time, I’ve been itching for over 2 months to get this post up!  The Sweet Escape is truly a favourite within a favourite with some of my FAVOURITE cupcakes in the city in one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Toronto.  Aside from Kensington Market, The Distillery District is is my favourite area to be in.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Even though the cupcakes here are the biggest pull for me, The Sweet Escape is what I refer to as the “triple threat” of cafés.  You know how celebrities are sometimes referred to as “triple threats” because they can sing, act, and dance?  Well, this pâtisserie, situated in the heart of The Distillery District in downtown Toronto, is a triple threat.  Baked goods, chocolates and candy, and lunch food stuff. 

Michelle Edgar, owner and pastry chef of The Sweet Escape, whips up delicious cupcakes along with cookies, cheesecake, biscotti, meringues, caramels, brownies, and rock candy among many other sweet treats.  On top of all that they serve soup and sandwiches including panini and, from what I hear, some of the BEST pulled pork sandwiches in town.  I will report back when I try one, I promise.  I would have ordered one a long time ago, but it’s so hard not being tempted to order an entire sugar buffet when you’re there!  Not only is their selection of yummies to die for, they also offer lots of gluten-free options!

I have a lot to share, so I’m doing a 2-parter for The Sweet Escape.  I’m going to share all my cupcake love tomorrow, so I leave you now with my scrapbook layout and a bunch of my favourite pictures, enjoy!

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The Sweet Escape Pâtisserie is located at 55 Mill St., Building 47 in The Distillery District.  The Distillery District is east of The St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, sitting south of Front St.E, and sandwiched between Parliament and Cherry St.

Scrapbook materials used: buttercup yellow, pale yellow, baby pink, bubble gum pink, and baby blue cardstock (Recollections); sky blue cardstock (DCWV); magenta cardstock (Best Occasions); dotted patterned paper; alphabet stickers (K & Company); Christmas gingerbread embellisment stickers (Recollections); medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); scalloped edge decorate scissors (Provo Craft).

Vegetarian and Vegan Greatness – The Fluffy, Leafy, and Delicious Kale Eatery

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You know you love something when your heart does happy somersaults just by thinking about it.  My heart might as well be a bona fide gymnast then because this lovely eatery is everything a person could possibly want in vegetarian and vegan cuisine.  Kale Eatery, located at 2366 Yonge St. (near the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton, just north of Eglinton) is an amazing place that boasts a self-serve buffet with fresh and delicious veggies, beans, rice, potatoes, curry, hummus, tofu, stews, and salads among many other veggie eats.  Although the buffet plays the starring role at this establishment, Kale also serves wraps, tofu burgers, fair trade tea and coffee, over 10 different combinations of freshly squeezed organic juice, and vegan pastries and muffins.  Think desserts with apples, bananas, oats, and all that good stuff.

Just to put it out there, I am not vegan or vegetarian.  Given how much I drool post about sushi, you probably figured that out.  But!  That definitely doesn’t stop me from scoping out great vegetarian places in and around the city.  I may not follow a vegetarian diet or adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but I truly appreciate places that go above and beyond when it comes to using a variety of fresh veggie ingredients for their dishes and offering lots of non-meat options.  And let me tell you, eating at Kale makes you feel SO GOOD.  When you eat here, you literally FEEL the warmth and wholesomeness of the food spread through your body.

There is so much choice here that it would make anybody skip around in circles!  What I have on my plate down below: celery, cherry tomato, and avocado salad; a heaping spoonful of creamy hummus; spinach pie; roasted potatoes; rice with portobello mushrooms; red lentil curry stew with parsley; and bright, fresh, leafy steamed kale.  I can’t even begin to describe how delicious the food is.  Everything was hearty and so full of flavour and truly one of the best meals I have ever had.  Each and every single portion of food had its own amazing qualities that contributed so much to the entire meal. 

The hummus, spinach pie, and tomato and avocado salad added so much rich creaminess and texture, the kale was deliciously crunchy and fresh, the portobello mushroom rice was so savoury, hearty, and satisfying, and the lentil stew was out of this world.  I love everything I ate, but if I had to choose a standout, it would have to be the red lentil curry stew with parsley ollowed by the portobello mushroom rice.  I could eat the lentil curry stew every day for the rest of my life because it was incredibly delicious.  It was like creamy mashed potatoes, polenta, and thick lentil soup all in one.  It was amazing and I inhaled my plate.  No, wait, I picked up my plate and SHOVELED the food into my mouth until it was sparkling.  So clean you could probably see my reflection in it.  And this isn’t even a tenth of what they serve at the buffet.  There’s sweet potatoes, red kidney beans and chickpeas, quinoa, eggplant, artichoke salad, potatoes and dill, orzo, noodles, vegetarian dumplings and so much more.

A meal from here is so fulfilling and whether you’re a vegetarian or not you never have to think, “hmm, I don’t know, there’s not much to choose from”.  It’s a genuine concern and it grates my nerves when 1) places claim they’re being veggie “friendly” by showcasing a measly lame veggie burger as their only option on the menu, and 2) when people think a vegetarian diet is comprised of starches.  No, you cannot seriously call yourself a vegetarian when all you eat is bread, pasta, and French fries (cue Phoebe-from-F.R.I.E.N.D.S.-like outburst).  You never have to feel like you’re sacrificing anything when you’re here and that’s the beauty of it.  Eating should make you feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally.  No matter what your diet is, food should never posit itself as punishment and when it does, it’s just not enjoyable anymore.

The buffet is available for both sit-down and take-out, and food is charged by weight at $2.40/100g.  Assuming you fill up your plate, you’re looking at a wholesome meal for around $10-$15.  I’ve eaten here twice and filled up my plate both times (as you can see from my photos!) and my meals have come between $10-$12.  Considering the amount you might pay at generic sit-down chain restaurants for a main dish, this is worth it to me.  If a chain restaurant charges anywhere from $10-$20 for a main, a delicious plate like this is not over the top.  What and where you eat is always dependent on personal taste and budget and every once in awhile at Kale is plenty good enough for me.

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Kale Eatery is located at 2366 Yonge St. (near the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton, just north of Eglinton).  They are open at 11am and the restaurant is both dine-in and take-out, providing biodegradable containers and boxes for take-out orders and for take-out buffet.  Their beautiful website is up and running which you can check out here.  A big thank you to my friend Nicole for recommending this wonderful eatery to me.  I owe you one! 🙂