Crocodile Rock : The Cougar Bar

It was the weekend of my mother’s Birthday and she wanted to party!!  Now, when I first moved to the city I didn’t know about the many amazing hot spots in TO.  But, one thing I did know was that Crocodile Rock was notorious for being Toronto’s cougar bar.  So, that night when my sister decided to plan the evening I was in hysterics when I found out that she made arrangements for us to head to the infamous cougar bar.

It was not that horrible of a place.  Just like every other Richmond bar on that block.  The usual; a few floors, a stripper pole, and some dance floor space for the intoxicated.  But we did not see any cougars that night…. other than mom.

I ♥ TO

Hey Lucy and Great Company

Hey Lucy was the spot I decided to take my mom for a quick bite last Saturday before we went out to paint the town.  We were a little upset that Hey Lucy only had $4 martinis on Wednesday but we did hear that the calzones were to die for.

We quickly met up in this dimly lit cafe, trying to take shelter from the sudden down pour of rain.  We grabbed a booth at the back of the restaurant and took a seat on the zebra-print benches.  There was much catching up to do, but before we started I ordered two Tequila shots to celebrate both mom and Rebecca’s birthday.

 

Kenny’s Choice

Kenny decided to order the tasty Wood Fired Rosemary Chicken Panini.  This tasty sandwich contained roasted chicken, balsamic roasted onion, tomato, and basil pesto inside of a grill-pressed ciabatta bread.

Rebecca’s Choice

The birthday girl decided to keep things light with a Ceaser Salad.  Little did she know this salad was a meal in itself.  Rebecca did not need to add any chicken or steak with her pile of romaine lettuce drizzled with ceaser dressing.

 

Mother and Son Choice

Like mother, like son!  Mom and I could not resist ordering Hey Lucy’s infamous Calzones. Mom grabbed a vegetable Calzone while I grabbed the Florentine Calzone.  One holding chicken, the other with vegetables but both jam-packed with cheese!

If you find yourself in the Theatre District and want to grab a bite before or after a show head to Hey Lucy’s and grab a Calzone!

I ♥ TO

Brunch at The Beaver

The Beaver is the jack-of-all-trades within the Queen West area.  During the day you can walk into this small venue where all the hipsters go for brunch and grab yourself one of their legendary cappuccinos.  But, when the sun goes down The Beaver turns into a packed night club where the fashionably trendy push through the crowd to grab a cocktail.

This weekend my mom came to visit my place in Liberty Village.  As you know from other blogs my mom is a vegan, so it is critical that I keep up-to-date on vegan friendly restaurants.  So, off we went to eat out at the beaver.

Now normally when I visit The Beaver I like to have one of their Beaver Mimosas that consist of orange juice and Peeler Cider for only $4.  But, we had a long day ahead of us so we decided to pace ourselves.

Kenny’s Breakfast Burrito

Kenny enjoyed this tasty burrito filled with steamed eggs, chili, salsa, avocado, and cheddar cheese.  And with a cute side salad this was a great dish choice for $10.

My Avocado and Tomato Sandwich

We all know how obsessed I am about avocado.  So naturally I grabbed this simple sandwich with a side of eggs for $8.

Mom’s Tofu Scramble Burrito 

Mom was happy with her $10 burrito full of tofu, chili, avocado and salsa.

So if you want a place where you can eat brunch and party when the sun goes down head to The Beaver.

I ♥ TO

69 Vintage

69 Vintage is the place to go for the best selection of previously loved clothing in the city.  Anyone that knows me is aware that I love vintage shopping more than anything.  I love that you can find amazing treasures in the most unexpected areas.  I love the way you can find designer labels for a quarter of the price.  I love that you will never run into another person wearing your vintage outfit. And I love when someone compliments you on your outfit you can say, “It’s vintage!”

So it is very important, as a vintage lover, to have shops like 69 Vintage to get your one-of-a-kind fix.  69 Vintage has two locations and I suggest you check out both.  If you are looking for higher quality vintage head to the Queen West location.  You may have to spend more, but can find quality fashion trends from all eras.

However, if you are on a tighter budget you should check out the Bloor and Lansdowne location where they have a buy-the-pound section.  Get a pound of treasures for only $15.

I have many prized possessions from 69 Vintage, but my most favourite find is the $10 brown leather ankle-high boots.

So if you love to dabble in Vintage you have to go to 69 Vintage immediately.

I ♥ TO

Only In TO: Cops Taking A “Grass” Break

Just walking through Liberty Village and run into two cops having a ‘”grass” break for their horses.  It looks like one of them caught me taking the picture.  I am probably on America’s Most Wanted now!

Only In TO

Balzac’s Coffee

Balzac’s is a wonderful coffee shop that I think any caffeine lover should check out.  Recruiting its name from the famous writer Honore de Balzac, this cafe shows tribute to one of the greatest coffee lovers in history.  Balzac was notorious for writing his best work late at night after consuming copious amounts of coffee.  Balzac also went on to write a dissertation called, “The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee.”

Located within Liberty Village, just beside the Toy Factory Lofts, you will be able to access  a full-bodied coffee without having to spend a Starbucks fee.   Not to mention Balzac’s also has a very charming French styled patio for grabbing a social coffee with a friend.  You can definitely see the European influence on the inside of the cafe from the founder who spent a year in Paris.

My Balzac’s Choice

Balzac’s Blend – a marble roast that was very satisfying for around $2!

Peanut Butter Square – If you are a fan of peanut butter than you have to try this wonderful baked good.  And the portion size fo the square is huge!

So for anyone who finds themself in Liberty Village, skip Starbucks this one time and head over to Balzac’s.

I ♥ TO

Cheap Eats at The Red Lounge

The Red Lounge Restaurant and Café is the perfect spot to hit for cheap food while shopping in Kensington Market.  After an early morning of vintage shopping I decided to take my out-of-town family to The Red Lounge for some ‘cheap eats’ to fuel our bodies for further afternoon shopping.

Located just south of the busy College and Spadina intersection this hidden gem seemed a little hard to detect at first, but a sign decorated with painted lily pads marked the spot for this great lounge.

After battling our way through the many street venders of China Town we were happy to take refuge in The Red Lounge.  Compared to the many Chinese restaurants of the area this lounge had a very different kind of décor.  From the outside The Red Lounge looked very bland with its name in small red writing hidden in the corner of the lily pad canvas.  But, on the inside of this dimly lit restaurant were old bookshelves filled with Shakespearian anthologies and a collection of mismatched lamps.  This venue was very charming with its contrasting knickknacks in what I would refer to as ‘Granny Décor.’

When looking at the menu our stomachs were tickled with joy when we noticed sections titled ‘pasta’, ‘entrees’, and ‘specials’ all priced around $7.  The only dish we found priced at $10 was a very jam-packed nacho dish.  Even the alcohol was cheap with pints of beer for $5 or glasses of sangria for $5.25.  So we decided to cool ourselves off with a refreshing pitcher of sangria for $14.50.

To start, my mom decided on the Avocado Salad for $4.75.  This salad was very basic with diced red onion, cucumber and tomatoes.  However, it was the buttery avocado that made this dish memorable.  They also put the balsamic vinaigrette on the side allowing my mom to monitor the amount of dressing on her salad.

Rebecca grabbed the Greek Salad for $4.25.  It was your regular Greek Salad laced with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, olives, and feta cheese.  Unfortunately, the dressing didn’t resemble a Greek dressing at all and tasted more like a salsa that comes alongside their nachos.  Luckily the garlic bread that accompanied the salad made up for the unusual dressing choice.

Kenny picked one of the best looking choices on the menu, the Avocado and Brie Sandwich for $4.95.  The title sells itself with lettuce, onion and tomato accompanying the avocado and brie.  Kenny chose to have it on pita bread and picked the spinach salad as his selected side. The avocado was perfectly ripe and the texture of the brie made this sandwich the winner of the afternoon.

I decided to go for pasta and picked their Rotini with shrimp in a white wine cream sauce for $6.95.  The pasta was filling and the cooked peppers in the pasta were great.  Truthfully the sauce could have been thicker and richer in flavour, but come on; shrimp pasta for under $7 is unbeatable.

Unsatisfied with her Greek Salad Rebecca enjoyed her main selection, the Chicken Quesadillas for $5.95.  Grilled on a nice tortilla, filled with cheddar cheese and chicken, the quesadillas came with a hefty side of salsa and sour cream fully satisfying Rebecca.

To accompany her avocado salad, mom also chose the Udon Vegetable Stir-Fry for $6.75.  This plentiful portioned stir-fry was composed of thick rice noodles with choice of chicken, shrimp or tofu.  My mother was happy with the vegetarian friendly selection and chose the tofu.  She also enjoyed that the stir-fry was not too spicy.

When all was said and done we were very satisfied with our find of The Red Lounge Restaurant and Café.  It was amazing to be able to sit down at a restaurant where every plate was under $10.  The environment was very relaxed in this spot so don’t expect the servers to be overly attentive like many other restaurants in the city.  But, if you are in good company and want to experience a charming sit-down atmosphere with cheap and tasty food you will definitely want to try The Red Lounge.  Until recently this spot only took cash but now also takes debit for those of us who rather carry around plastic.  So, next time you are in Kensington Market and you need a pit stop, keep your eyes open for the restaurant with the lily pad sign and try some ‘cheap eats’ at The Red Lounge Restaurant and Café.

I ♥ TO

Only In TO: Graffiti Car

If you visit Kensington Market on a regular basis you would be familiar with this very popular Kensington piece of art.

Only In TO

For The Love Of Cake

For The Love Of Cake is the most amazing cupcake place I have discovered in TO!  I mean, who doesn’t love cupcakes?

Located in the heart of Liberty Village this amazing spot specializes in custom designed cake, gourmet cupcakes, amazing cakeballs and wonderful gluten-free desserts.

Great Cakes To Try

  1. Pina Colada Cupcake
  2. Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Cupcake
  3. Rocky Road Cupcake
  4. S’mores Cupcake
  5. Red Velvet Cakeball
  6. Grasshopper Cakeball
  7. Death by Chocolate Cakeball

Is your mouth watering yet? So, if you are a fan of cakes of any sort you have to check out For The Love Of Cake.

I ♥ TO

Only In TO: Giant Pokemon on TTC

Just a regular day on the TTC.  You know… the grungy seats, the tired people, the giant Pikachu!

Only In TO