Coming home to Toronto

Posted on September 1, 2012

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Walking the streets of Barcelona on the last day of my vacation has always been a tug of war of melancholy and enthusiasm.  I have always been attached to Barcelona and it felt like home.  It has always been there to inspire and get me at my most creative. When I come back to Toronto, I am filled again with a thousand and one ideas on my head what to do next.  And well vacations do end and I finally came back to Toronto Tuesday night this week.  I do mean to blog about what I was up to these past few weeks, but I think I have to sit down and curate the thousands of images I have brought home with me.

To snap me out of my stupor that very much resembled homesickness,  I immediately packed my schedule with the things I needed to do before my classes start.  I called up my sister the night I arrived and she suggested we had dinner the following day.  She told me of a go-to steakhouse place that IBM’ers frequent by Midland and Steeles in Markham, the Day & Night Firewood Steakhouse.  For the three weeks that I was in Barcelona, I have indulged on seafood and I thought this might be what I needed, a dose of good pork or beef dish.  The funny thing was that although I have enjoyed their salad bar and the back ribs that I ordered, it was the lobster chowder that I found as my favorite.  Seafood still wins it seemed.

Fighting jetlag, I met up this past Thursday with my EyeCandyTO business partner, Abraham Wornovitzky, right away asking him for lunch so I can blog too.  I had no doubt that he would agree to my choice of place as we have driven past this joint for a few months now and never see it opened for us to try.  Harbord Fish & Chips catered more to the lunch and early dinner patrons and it was always unfortunate we drive through it after it has already closed.  So to finally go there on a lunch hour we would for sure get that chance.  Giving it another thought, I selected another fish place.  Was I compensating for missing Barcelona by eating more seafood?

As we were waiting for them to cook our much-anticipated lunch, both Abe and I were lusting over their picnic tables.  I always have enjoyed making my food photography look rustic and those picnic tables sure would make my job easy.  When the food finally came, the old routine of Abe and me fussing over the food was very comforting and familiar.  I did miss working after all.  Finally fully sated with photography and styling, the crunch was audible as I sliced a piece of the fish.  Perfectly crunchy crust and soft steamy halibut always make me lick my lips and seek another piece.  It was good to know that my gut instinct about Harbord & Chips were spot on.  I think if I find myself around this area on a lunch hour,  I would definitely come back.

After lunch, Abe and I met up with a client and as we were strolling by Queen St West, our client casually points to a newly opened doughnut shop a few doors down his own business.  He told us that he enjoyed the doughnut he tried and we should swing by too.  I checked the direction he was pointing and I saw the name emblazoned at the freshly painted joint,  Glory Hole Doughnuts.  A little too naughty with the name but Abe insisted we had to check it out as the name completely sold the idea to him.  As we entered the little shop, I was impressed with the interiors as I always have a weakness when the interiors is leaning retro.  It had a good balance of curio and information all around.  Approaching the display case I see that they had the usual suspects of chocolate glazed donuts and donut holes they call Little Glories.  But before we could select, one of the crew comes out with a freshly made batch of Banana Cream and Black Forest variety.   Agreeing to split each donut, we ordered one of each and accompanied it with brewed coffee.  I was in wonder when the crew placed each doughnut on its serving container and instead of handing it to me turned around facing the opposite way.  She then turned back around and I see she finished off the doughnuts with a good mound of whipped cream with banana chips on the banana cream one and cherries for the black forest one.  I am not about to complain that she elevated the doughnut in my eyes.  It was visually appealing and Abe and I of course went crazy photographing it before eating.  What was surprising was that the doughnut itself was light and fluffy and the cream filling was sweetened just right and did not taste too rich.  I know that if I don’t watch out how much I eat of that donut, I could easily eat three in one sitting.  The black forest one was just as appealing but if I were to choose only one, I’d take one more of the banana cream please :)

In two days I seemed to be back to my usual routine.  I am back again in Toronto and would keep finding new food trips.  I would still miss Barcelona and it was good to feel that Toronto comforts me through it.
Day & Night Firewood Steakhouse on Urbanspoon
Harbord Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon
Glory Hole Doughnuts on Urbanspoon