For the past 2 months I’ve been working with Loblaws on a monthly food campaign over on my Instagram. This project will continue every month until early next year! I don’t think I’ve mentioned this campaign  on my blog as Ive been spending a little bit more time on my Instagram for this project. Essentially, I will be introducing a different monthly food item that will be readily available for purchase at your local Loblaws Grocery Store. 

Last month’s  Food Alert Item was asparagus.

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One of my favourite ways to enjoy asparagus is to use it as a garnish with a good piece of steak. Asparagus is packed with flavour and is full of nutrients. There are so many different things you can do with asparagus.

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✔️ CONTEST by @LoblawsON – Simply share a photo on Instagram that show cases Asparagus
✔️ Those who participate in this contest will have a chance to win their next grocery shop (up to $250)
✔️ To enter the contest, participants must:
1. Follow @LoblawsON on Instagram;
2. Ensure that your Instagram account is public (i.e. account privacy set to “off”);
3. Upload your asparagus photo on your Instagram page, and tag it with the monthly Food Item Alert hashtags #WeLoveFood and  #ShareTheFoodLove
✔️ Details of Contest: http://bit.ly/1TQvRlk
✔️ GOOD LUCK GUYS! #ad
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This is a sponsored post but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

I normally stay quite far away from salads. They leave me feeling unsatisfied hence why I end up grabbing a pizza or pasta or something until I feel that “Humph”! It wasn’t until I went to a family friend’s for dinner, indulged in a beautiful salad prepared for us that changed my perceptions of eating salads.  I fell in love with it instantly! Sure, its a “simple” salad and what not but this perfect combination of ingredients made salad a game changer for me. I’ve been eating this everyday for about a month or two for lunch now. I love it – I feel healthier and better yet it actually feels satisfying =)

You will need:

  • 1 bowl of romaine mix greens (organic)
  • 1 large tablespoon of sunflower seeds
  • 1 large tablespoon of raisins
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 riped avocado
  • 1 baby cucumber
  • A little sprinkle of feta cheese
  • For dressing, I am using President’s Choice Balsamic Vinaigrette

Of course portions can be adjusted to personal preference. Above is what works for me!

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Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of attending a lovely BBQ event hosted by Walmart Canada along with Master Chef’s Graham Elliot. to showcase Walmart’s Fresh Produces. The BBQ kicked off on La Maquette’s patio and what better way to cool down from the extreme heat then to sip on some refreshing Mojito! Enjoy the pictures below =)

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Grapefruit Mojito

  • A refreshing mix of grapefruit juice, muddled mint, white rum and topped with sparkling soda

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After hanging out on the patio for 30 minutes or so, we were all seated inside followed by the galore of fresh BBQ foods.

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Arugula Salad with Asian Pear and Roasted Beets

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Pan-Seared Salmon with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Whole Grain Mustard

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Grilled Chicken with Watermelon-Olive Salsa

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Garnishes & Smoked Bearnaise Sauce (for the Grilled Asparagus)

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Smoked Asparagus with Smoked Bearnaise

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Fennel Ratatouille

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Summer Peach Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream

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This is what you call a lunch time spread!

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Yay! Our own Apron & Graham’s “Cooking Like a Master Chef’s Recipe Book!”

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Thank you Walmart Canada for having us at your fresh BBQ lunch event. It was such an awesome experience being able to meet Graham Elliot!

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This meal was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

Summerlicious is back in full swing and currently running until the 24th of this month. Given that Summerlicious menus are only being offered for the 9 remaining days, my friend and I decided to take advantage of the offering and made a visit to Azure Restaurant & Bar (Facebook: Intercontinental Hotel / Twitter @ICTorontoCentre). Located inside the Intercontinental hotel, Azure showcases seasonally inspired, contemporary Canadian cuisine.

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Call me a tourist or what not but I couldn’t stop staring at the glass ceiling and walls (especially while it was raining). I loved dining under the canopy of glass; it totally worked in my favour for the lighting of my photos.

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Bread to start

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Leaves of Arugula & Compressed Watermelon

  • radicchio, frisée, feta, pine nuts & passion fruit vinaigrette

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Truffle Honey Fig & Prosciutto Tartine

  • focaccia, mascarpone, balsamic & baby watercress
  • I love the simplicity of this savoury dish and not to mention the generous portion served for an appetizer
  • With all the herb flavours of the focaccia, it made the perfect match for sweet figs and savoury prosciutto

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Dillon’s Rye BBQ Glazed Duck Breast

  • peach & cucumber salsa, wheat berry salad & cilantro yogurt
  • Generally speaking, duck is one of my favourite meats (after lamb) – The BBQ glaze gave the duck breast a sweet flavour; and paired well with the salsa. We were both quite satisfied indulging slice after slice of the duck breast. The wheat berry salad & cilantro yogurt were just okay.

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Ricotta & Spinach Agnolotti

  • green peas, lemon & basil ricotta & rosé sauce
  • I usually gravitate towards any pasta served in rosé sauce & this one didn’t disappoint. I don’t usually opt for vegetarian dishes when I dine out but the creaminess from the rosé sauce & cheesy ricotta and spinach just sat really well together. It was really filling that we even forgot this was a vegetarian dish.

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Chocolate S’Mores Parfait

  • lindt milk chocolate mousse with mallow, graham crumble & caramel

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Peaches N Cream Cheesecake 

  • lavender short bread with orange blossom meringue & blood peach purée

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Limon Cello Cherry Pie

  • sweet crust, red currant gelato & crème anglaise

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This was actually my first dining experience at the restaurant – my friend and I were both caught off guard with our experience and left feeling quite content. The Prosciutto Tartine was quite tasty along with the glazed duck breast and vegetarian pasta. I recommend those items off their summerlicious menu. The desserts however, were nothing too special. Our waitress insisted we tried the cherry pie (served warm) after noticing it wasn’t part of our 2 dessert selections. She kindly ended up bringing out all 3 of the desserts on the summerlicious menu for us to try. Perhaps my friend and I are not so much “pie” dessert people, we preferred the s’mores parfait & cheesecake over the dessert cherry pie. Overall, my friend and I enjoyed our summerlicious experience at Azure. $48 for their 3 course Dinner -Summerlicious is running until the 24th of July!

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This meal was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

Azure - InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I was recently invited to the newly opened Teara Lab (Twitter: @TearaLab / Instagram: TearaLab) situated on College Street (close to University ave). Presented by the same owners of KAKA All you can eat sushi, Teara Lab offers a simple menu of 6 different kinds of Japanese Burgers,  Fruit Tea / Slush / Crema / Milk Tea Drinks menu, and a few upgrade options for  those that opt for a combo. Teara Lab, using the freshest ingredients to put their Japanese Burgers together, also source their buns from  ACE Bakery. The concept, like their menu is quite simple. You simply place your order at the counter and wait for your number to be called whilst seated at your table.

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Hokkaido Milk Tea ($4.50 / $5.00)

  • This refreshing beverage was really creamy and sweet!

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Matcha Red Bean Slush ($4.70 / $5.20)

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Buns sourced from Ace Bakery

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*Combos come with fries and a choice of pop – may upgrade the side dish and drink*

Yuzu Teriyaki Fish Burger ($9.99 or $11.99 with Combo) 

  • Mayonnaise, Iceberg Lettuce, Herb Mayonnaise, Baked Basa Fish with Yuzu Teriyaki Sauce and Havarti Cheese, Tomatoes, Crispy Onions, Sprinkled with Dry Seaweed Powder

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Teppanyaki Teriyaki Chicken Burger ($9.49 or $11.49 with combo)

  • Iceberg Lettuce, Wasabi Mayonnaise, Tomatoes, Baked Teriyaki Chicken with Havarti Cheese, Crispy Onions, Sprinkled with Seaweed Powder

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Soy Glazed Pork Belly Sandwich ($9.99 or $11.99 with combo)

  • Mayonnaise, Iceberg Lettuce, Kimchi, Soyglazed Tenderized Pork Belly, Avocado, Tomatoes, Rinsed Onions, Seaweed

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Fries ($2.99)

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Special Sauce!

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Within 3 short weeks, I’ve visited Teara Lab twice. Both visits were consistent in terms of wait times, quality of food and overall experience. Depending on what time you visit Teara Lab, the restaurant may be quite packed. My favourite burgers from both visits are the Fish Burger & the Pork Belly Sandwich. I thoroughly enjoyed the sweet yuzu teriyaki sauce of the fish – it was a good amount of sweetness but not overpowering. I liked the addition of the crispy onion giving the burger an overall crunch. The Pork Belly Sandwich is my guilty pleasure. The Pork Belly was incredibly melt-in-your-mouth tender. The addition of the avocado and seaweed together on a bun are a different combination but it totally works!

Teara Lab is opened daily from 11AM-8PM.

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This meal was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

Teara Lab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Last week we welcomed Chef Jo Castrinos back at Portland Variety {Twitter: @PortlandVariety / Instagram: @PortlandVariety) and without a doubt a feast was involved! I’ve visited Portland Variety on several occasions and enjoyed their brunch menu items every time. They’re always innovative with their creations making them the ultimate place to grab comfort food in the King West neighbourhood.

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Royal Garden

  • vodka, lime, basil, cucumber

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Tequila Bong

  • tequila, lemon, pineapple, jalapeno-infused agave, hickory smoke

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Assorted Pintxos

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Assorted Pintxos

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Mushroom Salad

  • arugula, truffle pecorino, pine nuts, yuzu vin

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Striped Bass Crudo

  • citrus, green mango, chive oil, chilli

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Moorish Chickpeas

  • saffron, cumin, wilted swiss chard

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Shrimp Pil Pil

  • chilli oil, lemon

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Grilled Octupus

  • smoked tomato, iberico chorizo, fennel pollen

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Patatas Bravas

  • spicy tomato, garlic aioli

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16oz Ribeye

  • porcini rub, caramelized onions

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Cornish Game Hen

  • piri piri, pickles, olives

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{Left} Tangerine Panna Cotta basil, pistachio meringue
{Right} Beignets – vanilla custard

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Welcome back Chef and thanks for the feast at Portland Variety. Looking at these pictures makes me hungry all over again!

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This meal was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

Portland Variety Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

@DdaveT10!

Congratulations @Ddave10! You are the lucky winner for the pair of Tickets to Toronto’s Festival of Beer (for July 24). I will contact you shortly via Twitter to gather your contact information.

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Thank you to all those that entered this contest. There were a total of 96 valid entries. Entries were tracked in chronological order on Twitter. I received email notifications every time an entry was made & recorded the time entry was received. I ensured the tweets were only submitted once per day per twitter handle. I also ensured those who entered were following me on twitter. The winner was selected randomly using the “True Random Number Generator” via Random.org. Please see below

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Congratulations once again! Please visit my website for future giveaways

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