To everyone celebrating Mother’s Day, have an awesome day!
Posted by H.
Don’t you just love fish and chips, and onion rings? In my quest to find the best, I encountered soggy battered fish, soggy chips, too much batter and not enough fish, greasy batter, small portions and less than fresh fish, onion rings that were breaded – not battered, and all at ridiculous prices … I gave up!
As usual, I decided to make my own! I searched for the best fish and chips recipe; not an easy feat. I was so disappointed with Cooks Illustrated’s “Easier French Fries.” I had my doubts; most recipes requite a double frying, but, I had to try. Their method involves placing the potatoes in cold oil and bringing to a boil. I had a plan though, we would fry a small batch of potatoes and if they didn’t come out right, we would just use the oil for the regular method. The fries were NOT crispy, despite following the instructions carefully. Dinner was quite late …
Back to the most common method; double-frying! First off, what does “The Best” mean? Honestly, when I search for recipes, I don’t know what to think of “The Best,” “The World’s Best,” “Perfect,” etc. The best according to whom? This is why I don’t name my posts “The Best XYZ.” I don’t need the backlash ….lol. Yet, when I search for a recipe, I do google for “the best.” It’s a vicious cycle.
Here is the recipe I tried for homemade french fries. They were nice and crispy, but so much work! We also soaked them overnight.
Now, for the batter, I found this odd recipe on-line, the measurements were in ounces, but it worked. For the beer, I just used premium ale; any kind will do.
I also decided to make onion rings from the batter, but I would highly recommend a double dip. The first batch came out nice, but I like a thicker coating. All you need to do is flour the onion rings, dip in batter and then repeat again.
I was so happy with the results but, this is definitely a once in a while treat.
We absolutely love going out for Sunday brunch, and I think we’ve tried almost every restaurant in the GTA. This year for our anniversary, we wanted some place different; not too casual and definitely not too formal.
I came across Archeo while searching for a reasonably priced brunch. Archeo is located right at the entrance to the Distillery District and is the sister restaurant of the Boiler House. We’ve dined at the Boiler House many times and while it is larger, with a live jazz band, it’s under renovation until May.
Our first impression when we walked inside was WOW! We loved the look and rustic feel of the restaurant. It had an open concept, high ceilings, wood pillars, concrete flooring and exposed brick walls. The patio door was also open which gave the place a nice “spring” feeling.
We felt miles away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto. This is how we always feel when we’re around the Distillery District; it’s like being on a mini vacation. The architecture is outstanding and offers many photo ops for photography lovers.
The buffet (currently $19.95 per person) includes tea or coffee. There weren’t as many choices as the Boiler Room or our go-to place, Hot House Restaurant & Bar, but there was still plenty to choose from. This is a place that focuses on quality over quantity.
The Executive Chef, Timothy Miles, was very helpful in providing a description of items that were available on our visit:
- Scrambled Eggs with Cheddar Cheese
- Home Fries with Caramelized Onion
- Perogies with Cheddar Cheese
- French Toast
- Farmers Sausage
- Cheese Tortellini with Rose Sauce
- Steamed Seasonal Vegetables
- Eggs Benedict
- Butter Chicken
- Basmati Rice
- Mixed Beans, Chick Pea and Artichoke Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Grilled Vegetables with Dark Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Mixed Green Salad with Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing
- Potato Salad
- Macaroni Salad with Arugula Pesto
- Greek Salad
- Cherry Tomatoes and Pearl Bocconcini with Pesto
- Peel & Eat Shrimp with Seafood Sauce
- Cheese Platter
- Antipasto Platter
- Smoked Salmon Platter
- Omelet Station
- Carved Peameal Bacon
- Carved Roast Eye of Round
- Apple Danish
- Cherry Danish
- Butter Croissants
- Chocolate Croissants
- Mini Bagels
- Vanilla Sponge Cake with Layers of Chantilly Cream & Fresh Strawberries
- Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake
- Peanut Butter Cream Pie (Individual Tarts)
- Chocolate Mousse Shooters
- Madagascar Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee
- Chewy Raspberry Coconut Squares
- White Chocolate & Toffee Blondie Bars
- Fresh Fruit
When it comes to reviews, keep in mind that what one person thinks is fantastic, another may describe as awful. There are so many variables involved.
We’ve been to so many buffets that we know some items just don’t taste as well when they’ve been sitting under heat lamps. The amount of times that the warming trays are opened and closed can really affect the temperature and taste of foods.
The food at Archeo was quite enjoyable. The Eggs Benedict was runny, just the way it should be, the bacon was crispy, the scrambled eggs with cheddar were soft and fluffy, and the cold salads were all tasty; we really liked the potato salad. I can’t believe we forgot to try the peel & eat shrimp, fresh fruit and danishes. We’ll have to visit again! But, on to the cravings … desserts!
Their croissants were flaky and buttery! No hint of shortening here! As we were standing near the dessert table, Shaq, the General Manager suggested we try the chocolate croissants which just came out of the oven ….. could my head have turned any faster? All the desserts were the right size as well, a good excuse to try more than 1, or 2, or 3 …
I had to have a conversation with the pastry chef because my taste buds failed me on one of the desserts. I took a bite of this heavenly tart and could not describe the flavor. At first I thought it was coconut, no wait, banana cream …. no. I thought, I know this flavor, but there was a small amount of peanut butter mixture in the middle that really threw me off. We asked to speak to James, the pastry chef, who was more than happy to tell us. I told James that his desserts were sublime! As for the tart, it was pastry cream! I never would have guessed.
The chocolate mousse was not overly sweet and I believe it was made with bittersweet chocolate; very creamy and decadent. The crème brulee …. was gone! I’m not surprised it lasted longer than a few seconds on the dessert table! I panicked (okay, that’s being dramatic), and then asked one of the servers …. who promptly brought out 2 crème brulees! The chocolate cake was moist, not too light or dense, just the perfect taste and texture …. yes, I had a second piece. The crème brulee, are we back to that again? This is one of my favorite desserts (next to cake), and I was happy to see and taste flecks of vanilla bean; delicious!
All the desserts are made in-house which is fantastic, compared to some other places that bring in their desserts from outside bakeries.
What’s On Our Plates
Our server Carrie was very friendly and super attentive. She even had some great suggestions for the rest of our afternoon.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced Sunday brunch buffet with a great atmosphere, give Archeo a try! It’s the perfect place to dine.
I knew absolutely nothing about blogging! I learned everything online and through the wordpress.com forums. Now, I’m a fellow blogger! I have even dabbled with a bit of coding, but I have no interest in going further; it’s confusing!
I remember going through the newbie stage, you know the one where bloggers can stay up until 3 a.m. trying to figure out how to insert a darn gallery or multiple galleries (what the heck is a child and parent page?). Sleep deprivation set in, but thankfully it didn’t last long! Once I figured out what I needed to, the blog became fun, which is how it should be!
I also beat the odds; most bloggers give up within the first few months.
I hope you enjoyed the first year as much as we have.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to visit ~ and take a peek at our cravings!