Essence of Unionville – Sunday Brunch Buffet Review

H and I CRAVE Sunday brunches and buffets, and most especially for special occasions.  For our anniversary this year, we decided to try the Essence of Unionville.

It has been a while since we visited the Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre & Spa, and we were pleasantly surprised by the changes since then.  The hotel’s décor is modern, sleek, and minimalist, yet very welcoming.

I would like to point out that I had many questions while writing this review, and I was amazed at how responsive Genson Navaprajah, the General Manager was.  I knew he was a busy man, but he took the time to answer all of my emails himself.  I found this extremely refreshing, as I know firsthand that most executives have an assistant to take care of these matters.  I can certainly see that Genson is very hands on in running this hotel, and passionate about customer feedback, whether positive or negative.

Upon arrival, Ruben, the Food & Beverage Outlets Manager; Aleena, the Food & Beverage Supervisor; Scott, the Executive Sous Chef and our amazing server Barbara, extended a warm welcome and congratulated us on our anniversary.  Even though they were busy setting up for the brunch, he or she took the time to answer all our questions.

Let’s get to the buffet …. a smorgasbord of sweet and savory food, all made in house with super fresh and flavorful ingredients.  Nathan, the hotel’s Pastry Chef, Scott and the rest of the culinary team really outdid themselves.  I have to say, I saw Scott several times, working just as hard as the team, and not in the kitchen where I expected him to be.

H was immediately drawn to the crab legs and sushi – his favorites, while I was already looking at the dessert table. We were literally at opposite ends of the buffet!

I truly wish we had the time (and stomach) to sample everything, so we will definitely cover that in a return visit – stay tuned!  All the food stations were visually appealing, and had an amazing array of succulent dishes.

Here were the brunch offerings on our visit:

Croissants, Fruit Danishes, Cinnamon Rolls, Muffins

H tells me this all the time – “Don’t fill up on the carbs!”  As a home cook, passionate baker and dessert/pastry lover how can I not?  Nevertheless, I have to be honest – I am a bit of a pastry snob.  I had my hesitations because I have been to many buffets and have eaten some soggy, margarine or shortening based pastries.  I could tell from just one bite that these were not the case. The croissants and danishes were flaky and buttery, no doubt, because Nathan uses only unsalted butter (no shortening here)!  They were really scrumptious, and I had to stop at one each.  Such regret …

Scones

I took one look at these super tall scones and thought, “Yes, it’s going on my plate,” despite H’s eye roll.  I honestly wanted to eat a second one.  Why you ask?  It’s just a plain looking scone right?  Nope, these were tender and fluffy, yet held up well to a smear of butter.  The scones had just the right amount of raisins and on my first bite, I detected a bit of sweetness.  Honestly, I can’t explain further – you will have to try them!  I asked H repeatedly to take a bite, just one bite, but he was too focused on his crab and sushi!

Freshly Baked Olive Ciabatta Buns

Classic Eggs Benedict

Maple Sausages and Crispy Bacon

The maple sausages had just the right amount of sweetness.  The bacon was exactly the way H and I like it – crispy!

Omelet Station

Piccata Chicken Breast with Lime Cream Sauce

The chicken was tender, and the slight tang of lime lightened up the cream sauce.

Steamed Mussels with Thai Curry Coconut Sauce

This is where I draw a blank!  Why did my plate only have three mussels? (See below for what’s on our plates).  Well, other than the fact that I had other dishes to try, I really regret not going back for more!  H and I love steamed mussels, but the Essence of Unionville’s version is absolutely delicious.  The coconut curry sauce was mildly spicy and the mussels were succulent.  H and I love Thai food, so we hope this dish makes another appearance on our next visit.

Alberta Prime Rib with Natural Pan Juices

The prime rib was perfectly cooked, medium rare to medium.  I was surprised when the server cut our slices.  I should say, “thick” slices.  Have you ever been to a buffet where the roast beef was paper thin?  Not here!  The prime rib beef was seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper, so simple – nothing else was needed.  Let’s talk texture, because I have had my share of tough and chewy beef.  Our slices were so tender and juicy that we had seconds!

Cajun Roasted Potatoes, Vegetables

Trout with Teriyaki Sauce

Lamb Leg with Mustard Sauce

Cheese Tortellini with Tomato Sauce

Mixed Greens, Veggie Spirals and Cherry Tomatoes

Caesar Salad

Broccoli Mandarin Orange Salad, Pasta Salad, Quinoa Salad, Asian Noodles

Antipasto

Crudités

Crab Clusters

H and I love crab!  What a coincidence; the night before we were watching “Deadliest Catch,” and then we were eating crab!

Crab crackers were supplied, along with these cute compressed hand towels.  Our sever Barbara was telling us a funny story about the first time she saw them.  She thought the server was giving her mints.  Why the heck was she given mints at the start of her meal?  LOL!

All you have to do is drop the compressed “mints” into the water and POOF, a hand towel appears.  Did I say cute?

Peel & Eat Shrimp | Marinated Kiwi Mussels

The shrimp were jumbo sized, cleaned, and not water logged!

Assorted Sushi

H is a sushi lover while I tend to stick with California rolls.  H commented more than once on how thick the fish were sliced.  I don’t know which he enjoyed more – the sushi, crabs or prime rib.  I would say all three!

Assorted Deli Meats

Smoked Salmon

What’s on our Plates

Assorted Sushi

This review is long huh?  Thanks for staying with me because I left the best for last … desserts!

Crème Brûlée

Double Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Don’t they look decadent?  I ran into Scott on my second round and he asked if I was going to have one.

Cointreau Cheesecake

This was one of our favorite desserts.  When I first saw the dessert section, I thought, “They’re so small!”   I was wrong; they are the right size, especially when it comes to cheesecake.  Besides, being a dessert lover smaller means I can sample more!  Cheesecake is very rich and filling, you really can’t eat a huge slice of it.  This Cointreau cheesecake was very creamy and on the light side, especially with layers of Joconde sponge, brushed with a Cointreau syrup for a hint of unexpected flavor.  I had two!

Chocolate Eclairs

Petite chocolate eclairs generously filled with a chocolate crème chiboust, and a light touch of Drambuie.  They were delicate and mouthwatering.  I said “they,” but in all sadness, I only had one.

Chocolate Mousse Infused with Kahlua

Chocolate mousse can be a bit boring, so a touch of Kahlua made all the difference.  I did go back for another one …

Mango Mousse Infused with Brandy

If you love mangoes, this mousse is for you.  Lusciously smooth and airy, and not too heavy.

Crème Caramel

Passion Fruit Cheesecake

Another winner!  This cheesecake had layers of Dacquoise sponge cake.  The cream cheese filling and passion fruit puree provided a burst of flavor.  The blackberries added a nice tang.  I think I had two, but who is counting?

Mini Blackberry Tarts

These mini tarts had a buttery (all butter, no shortening) and flaky crust, and were filled with a light pastry cream, topped with tart blackberries.  I restrained myself and had only one.

Apple Crumble

Vanilla Sauce & Fresh Whipped Cream

Raspberry and Mango Sauce

Panna Cotta

Assorted Fresh Fruit

Swiss Apple Flan with Almond Cream and Bourbon

This was another one of my favorites.  The addition of almond cream laced with Bourbon truly complimented the thinly sliced tart apples.  I’m starting to repeat myself, but just looking at the pictures while typing this makes me CRAVE Nathan’s exceptional pastries.

Mango Charlotte

A very light chocolate sponge cake layered with sweet mango mousse.

Chocolate Rum Cake

Can you see how light, moist and chocolaty this cake is?  H can be picky when it comes to cake.  He prefers cakes with a light texture and whipped cream.  I took only one bite and wish I had my own slice.  H finished the rest in record speed.  He said it was his favorite cake, and really enjoyed the layers of chocolate sponge with a hint of rum, chocolate mousse, and chocolate Chantilly cream.

Since the Essence of Unionville offers all of these exquisite desserts for sale, I found a good choice for H’s upcoming birthday …. Shh!

What’s on our Plates – Part 2

6″ Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Cake

This cake totally surprised us!  What a beautiful site (for a dessert lover!).  We were so full from the buffet, so we took this home to enjoy.  We love dark chocolate and it’s my preferred choice when baking.  I thought milk chocolate would be overly sweet, but it wasn’t.  The cake layers consisted of Joconde sponge, hazelnut praline coated with rice krispies and milk chocolate.  The filling was velvety smooth, creamy, and over the top decadent.

I have to add that all the cakes were light and not cloyingly sweet.  This is very reminiscent of Asian or European desserts.  The cakes tend to be sponge based, and the frostings are not your typical buttercreams that consist of butter and icing sugar.

I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed this brunch.  There were so many surprising aspects.   Barbara was very efficient, always filling our juice or water glasses.  Our empty plates were taken away without having to ask.  In addition, what server is going to tell you to eat more and take your time?  We never felt rushed to leave.  Barbara wasn’t the only one, another server Victor, encouraged us to try more dishes and enjoy our brunch.  Service was definitely on point, but not overly intrusive.

Stay tuned for a return visit so I can provide you with an update …

Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre & Spa
8500 Warden Avenue
Markham, Ontario L6G 1A5

Sunday Brunch Buffet:  11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
2 hours complimentary parking
Current price:  $38.50/adult, $20.00/child
Includes juice, tea or coffee
Taxes and gratuity are separate
Reservations:  905-470-8500 ext. 2067

Disclaimer:
This is not a paid advertisement.

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Victoria’s Restaurant (The Omni King Edward Hotel) – Sunday Brunch Buffet Review

It has been a while since I wrote a restaurant review, so I could not think of a better establishment than Victoria’s Restaurant, located in The Omni King Edward Hotel.

H and I absolutely love brunch, and Victoria’s is a favorite of ours.  We even celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary at the hotel!

Built in 1903, the historic King Edward Hotel was Toronto’s first luxury hotel and in recent years, underwent a $40 million dollar renovation.   The world-renowned hotel was home to numerous celebrities and was also featured in film and movie sets.

The lobby is both grand and elegant.  We still take pictures each time we visit!

Victoria’s Restaurant is located in the Sovereign Ballroom, which is truly exquisite with floor to ceiling windows and large teardrop chandeliers.

As usual, we requested a table for two by the windows and arrived early to take pictures.

There is a lovely harpist playing during Sunday brunch.

I chose to publish this review based on our Canada Day brunch buffet, which also happens to be Canada’s 150th birthday.  Executive Chef Daniel Schick and his team really outdid themselves, and it was obvious that a lot of time and thought went into planning the menu.  We were thrilled to see many diverse dishes inspired by provinces within Canada.

We started with grapefruit and orange juice, which is included in the price of the brunch, as well as coffee and tea.  There was also maple iced tea, which was refreshing and sweetened by Quebec maple syrup.

If you have not guessed by now, I am a huge cake lover, so instead of following H who tends to go straight for the food items, I headed to the dessert table.  I had to look at the ginormous Canada Day cake.  I took note of all the desserts before finding H.

The brunch was cleverly laid out, with beautifully presented platters of tantalizing food.  Every time we are at Victoria’s, H jokes that I tend to gravitate towards the pastries, and true to his comment, that is where I headed next.

Here is just a brief description of what we enjoyed:

Croissants

The croissants were flaky and buttery, perfect with a dollop of high-quality jam.

Assorted Fruit Danishes

The danishes were also fresh and very flaky.  I loved the blueberry one!

Blueberry Scones

The scones were moist and flavorful with a generous amount of wild Canadian blueberries.  I liked how they were not too sweet.

Chilled Scallop and Shrimp Salad

We always enjoy this delicious cold salad.  It is an excellent choice and is well prepared.

Devilled eggs with Newfoundland Caviar

The caviar was a pleasant surprise and provided an upscale dining experience.  We had just watched an episode of “Chuck and Danny’s Road Trip” where Acadian sturgeon was highlighted. We have tried caviar from New Brunswick; however, the Newfoundland caviar was firm with a buttery texture; very decadent and sumptuous.

Poached Salmon

Poached Salmon is another dish that we love seeing at the brunch.  The salmon was perfectly poached, and only required a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. While other establishments feature whole poached salmon, we prefer Victoria’s version of individual fillets.  Not only was it easier to plate, but it provided an elegant presentation.

Roast Chicken with Fruit Salsa

White Wine and Herb Steamed PEI Mussels

We love PEI mussels, either hot or cold, and were happy to see them offered again.

Antipasto

Charcuterie

Wild Mushrooms

Quebec Pork Creton

The forcemeat-style pork spread looked very similar to pate.  The pork cracklings were crunchy and tasty.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Bocconcini & Basil Vinaigrette

Three Sisters Prairie Grains with Orange Lemon Dressing

Watermelon, Mint and Figs and Goat Cheese

Pairing sweet watermelon with salty goat cheese was scrumptious, and the figs added another level of texture.  I had to go back for more!

Fennel Arctic Char with Kozlik’s Maple Mustard

This was a very popular offering and we struck up a conversation with other guests on how much we love fennel.  It was nice to see a higher quality condiment smartly paired with maple syrup.

Potato Salad with Prosciutto

I can never resist potato salad.  I love Victoria’s version with just the right amount of tangy dressing and slivers of salty prosciutto.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Quebec Maple Syrup

The infamous St. Lawrence Market Peameal Bacon with Fried Egg Sandwiches

Breakfast Bangers and Bacon

Eggs Benedict

No brunch is complete without eggs benedict and Victoria’s version does not disappoint.  H had two!

Scrambled Eggs with Snipped Chives

King Edward Beef Wellington

This classic dish is irresistible and the filet mignon was tender and flavorful. It is definitely the highlight of our brunch every time.  H enjoyed it so much that he did not even notice the Three Province Poutine sitting right next to it!  I forgot about it as well … so sad.

Three Province Poutine

Chicken and Waffles

This was by far one of our favorite dishes.  It is so popular nowadays, and we were so happy to see it at the brunch.  The chicken was crunchy and moist with a hint of garlic.  The Belgian waffles were thick and crispy, perfect with just a drizzle of Quebec maple syrup.

KD Mac n Cheese with Ketchup Chip Crust (kid friendly)

Pulled Pork Braised in Ottawa Beau’s Beer

East Coast Corn Fritters on Summer Succotash

I loved the corn fritters and they were flavorful with a slightly crunchy coating.  The fresh succotash was the perfect accompaniment.

BC Smoked Cedar Plank Salmon

We love salmon and it was great to see it offered both cold and hot.  Again, the slightly smoked salmon only required a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Roasted Vegetables

What’s on our plates

My favorite part of any brunch/buffet!  Desserts!

Beaver Tails

The sous chef suggested a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

150th Canada Day Cake

This cake was a showstopper.  As a cake lover, I was stunned to see such a beautiful cake.  Embarrassingly enough, I just stood and stared at it, as any cake lover would! The fondant and decoration were well executed.  I truly wish I had room for more than just one slice, and I was thinking of this cake for days afterwards!  The vanilla sponge was mouth-watering moist, and I think I tasted lemon curd and Italian Meringue buttercream.  The cake was sumptuous with the addition of sweet and tart berries.

Summer Fruit Crumble

We loved the crunchy buttery crumble combined with fresh berries.  To gild the lily, we drizzled crème anglaise over top and the simple dessert became sublime.

Gateau Basque

This is one of my favorite cakes and is a regular feature at the brunch.  It has an intense almond flavor and is truly decadent.  I feel transported to France with each bite.

Fresh Fruit Tart

The shortbread crust was buttery and had a nice firm texture.  The pastry cream and whipped cream were luscious and again paired well with the tart berries.

Chocolate Espresso Mousse:

H is a chocolate and coffee lover, so he always enjoys this dessert.  The mousse was smooth and creamy with a dark chocolate flavor enhanced by espresso. The whipped cream and serving size is perfect.

The Great Canadian Butter Tart

Wow, it was nice to see this classic Canadian dessert added to the Canada Day brunch.  What I immediately noticed was how thin the crust was.  Most butter tarts have a very thick crust and less filling.  These tarts were the opposite and had a generous filling.  The crust seemed to melt in my mouth and had a distinct maple flavor.  I am sad to report I only ate one.

Intense Chocolate Truffle Cake

We have eaten this cake many times in the past and we love it.  When I dipped my fork into the cake, I could immediately detect how tender the sponge was!

The chocolate truffle filling really is “intense” and super delicious.  The dark cocoa powder makes for a great finish and cuts down on the sweetness.

Crème Brule

This is another classic dessert that we love seeing at the brunch.  I did not have room to enjoy it this time, but H sure did!

Rhubarb Parfait

When I downloaded all the pictures I had taken, I noticed there were so many dishes we wish we had sampled!

Mini Cheesecakes

Chomeur Maple Pudding

Great Plains Rice Pudding

Mille Feuille

Nanaimo Bars

Fruit Band

Crème Caramel

Vanilla Cream Filled Profiteroles

What’s on our plates

Overall, the food was very well presented and bountiful with appetizing flavors.  The variety of dishes were both classic and innovative.

David Watson, Director of Outlets at The Omni King Edward Hotel checked on us every now and then, and answered any questions we had.  His presence elevated our dining experience, and created fond memories of an amazing brunch experience.

The staff are genuinely warm, welcoming, graciously polite and attentive, yet not intrusive.  The service is what you would expect from The Omni Group.  It was also nice to see Hector again.

We are definitely still thinking of the brunch so a return visit is imminent!

Disclaimer:

Brunch courtesy of The Omni King Edward Hotel.
The comments and my review are unbiased.
This was not a paid advertisement.

 

Seasons at the Prince – Sunday Brunch Review

H and I love to indulge in Sunday brunch, so I can’t believe we have never tried Seasons at the Prince, located inside the Westin Prince Hotel.

Upon entering the hotel, we were greeted with an impressive waterfall, as well as a towering Christmas tree and fireplace. Seasons at the Prince is casual, yet elegant at the same time.  The decor is very clean, modern and minimalist, with more sleek fireplaces.

Seating is spaced well and very comfortable, with a lot of options for privacy.  The semi-circular booths looked very cozy, and we loved our table for 2 which offered a beautiful view of the parklands.

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We arrived early and Aladdin was gracious in allowing me to take pictures before the brunch started. He was “very” attentive throughout our stay, making sure we were well taken care of!

A unique selection of hot and cold buffet items were available, and on our visit we enjoyed the stuffed lobster shells, oysters, mussels and shrimp, salads, danishes, croissants, the omelet and carving station, chocolate waffles, and so much more. The food was very fresh and nicely presented, and I noticed dishes were replenished very quickly.

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Smoked Salmon, Assorted Deli

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Stuffed Lobster Shells, Oysters, Mussels

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Omelet Station

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Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella with Balsamic Vinegar Drizzle

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Roasted Red Skin Potatoes with Lemon and Garlic, Seasonal Garden Vegetables

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Roasted Leg of Lamb with Pearl Onions and Sun Dried Tomatoes

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Butter Chicken

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Tri-color Tortellini with Spinach and Artichokes

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Herb Crusted Barramundi with Citrus Salsa

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Chicken Apple Sausages

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Chocolate Waffles

Fresh juices, smoothies and fruit balanced out an indulgent brunch, but of course my mind was on the dessert table!  Being a dessert lover, I noticed a beautifully displayed dessert table and was tempted to start there first! 

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Desserts

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What’s On Our Plates

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My favorite desserts were the chocolate mousse cake which was not too sweet, Tiramisu and Chocolate Pots de Crème.

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Jolanta, our server, suggested we make room for the bread pudding, but to honest, it looked quite plain to me.  As they say, “looks can be deceiving.” I’m so glad we gave it a try … the bread pudding was pure decadence!  The addition of a very light, yet creamy and thick vanilla sauce was amazing.

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Most surprising was the coffee, as I prefer tea. When we asked Jolanta, she informed us it was Starbucks. While we love Starbucks lattes, H does not like their coffee, but this particular blend was mild and smooth, with no bitter aftertaste. Of course H enjoyed the pot that was left on our table, and I helped myself to several cups as well!

While the restaurant was booked solid, we never felt rushed to finish our brunch. We lingered long after everyone had left, and I was impressed that food was still being served, fresh as when we first arrived.

We were having such a relaxing afternoon, looking out at the beautiful grounds when Jamy and Jolanta brought out yet another piece of dessert while singing Happy Birthday. It was very nice that they took the time to chat with us! Most often, servers are in a hurry to clean up and usher guests out, but this was not the case at Seasons at the Prince!

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We had a very enjoyable brunch, the service was amazing, and we’re already looking forward to returning soon!

Note:

  • Sunday brunch is currently $44/person, which includes coffee or tea, juices and smoothies, as well as parking

Disclosure:
This is not a paid advertisement.

Jerusalem Restaurant – Review

Jerusalem Restaurant combines our love of Middle Eastern food with H’s addiction to buffets!

They have three locations: Toronto (established in 1971), North York and Mississauga. Their lunch and dinner buffet is available at 2 of their locations – North York and Mississauga, and offers an extensive variety of Middle Eastern cuisine. On Friday and Saturday nights, there is entertainment, including a belly dancer.

We’ve dined at Jerusalem Restaurant numerous times over the years. The food is aromatic and flavorful. We love the fresh hot pita bread which arrives right after we’ve returned from the buffet tables – just in time to dip with creamy Hummus and Baba Ghanoush! I try not to make a meal out of this, but I fail each time :(

Jerusalem Restaurant

Jerusalem Restaurant

Jerusalem Restaurant

Jerusalem Restaurant

Belly Dancer 1

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The buffet items include a huge assortment of cold salads, appetizers, seafood, meats, pasta and rice, pizza, side dishes and desserts.

While I can’t recall every single dish, here are some of our favorites:

  • Hummus
  • Baba Ghanoush
  • Eggplant Salad and Fried Stuffed Eggplant
  • Tabboule
  • Fattoush
  • Cold Beet Salad
  • Shish Kabobs (also referred to as Shish Kebabs)
  • Falafel (our absolute favorite, so crispy)!
  • Whole Sea Bass
  • Bamia (Okra Stew)
  • Kafta (Beef Kebab)
  • Lebanese Rice and Chicken
  • Lamb (dinner only)
  • Vegetarian Pizza
  • Baklawa (also referred to as Baklava)
  • Sesame Cookies
  • Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
  • Rice Pudding
Garlic Pita Bread

Garlic Pita Bread

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Freshly Baked White and Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Tahini, Baba Ghanoush and Hummus

Tahini, Baba Ghanoush and Hummus

Beet Salad, Chickpea, Tomato and Eggplant Salad

Beet Salad, Chickpea, Tomato and Eggplant Salad

Various Bean Salads, Chickpea Salad, Pickled Turnips

Various Bean Salads, Chickpea Salad, Pickled Turnips

Couscous, Red Cabbage Salad

Couscous, Red Cabbage Salad

Sun Dried Tomatoes, Couscous

Sun Dried Tomatoes, Couscous

Olives, Cold Salad Items

Olives, Cold Salad Items

Jerusalem Restaurant's Delicious Rice with Vermicelli

Jerusalem Restaurant’s Delicious Rice with Vermicelli

Stuffed Eggplant, Fried Fish Fillets and Roasted Cauliflower

Stuffed Eggplant, Fried Fish Fillets and Roasted Cauliflower

Chicken with Vegetables, Lentils

Chicken with Vegetables, Lentils

Roast Beef

Roast Beef

Whole Sea Bass, Fried Salmon Fillets, Roasted Vegetables

Whole Sea Bass, Fried Salmon Fillets, Roasted Vegetables

Roast Chicken, Roast Potatoes, Roasted Zucchini

Roast Chicken, Roast Potatoes, Roasted Zucchini

Fried Salmon Fillets, Lasagna, Roasted Vegetables

Fried Salmon Fillets, Lasagna, Roasted Vegetables

Jerusalem Restaurant's Delicious Rice with Vermicelli and Chicken

Jerusalem Restaurant’s Delicious Rice with Vermicelli and Chicken

Assorted Pizzas

Assorted Pizzas

Assorted Pizzas

Assorted Pizzas

Desserts

Desserts

Desserts

Desserts

Rice Pudding, Fresh Fruit

Rice Pudding, Fresh Fruit

Desserts

Desserts

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Desserts

Desserts

Desserts

What’s On Our Plates (from the last several months, not during one visit)!

Brocolli, Fried Fish Fillets, Falafel, Hummus, Kafta, Beef Stew, Roast Beef, Chicken Shish Kabob

Brocolli, Fried Fish Fillets, Falafel, Hummus, Kafta, Beef Stew, Roast Beef, Chicken Shish Kabob

Lasagna, Rice, Roast Beef, Chicken Shish Kabob, Falafel, Hummus, Beet Salad, Roasted Asparagus

Lasagna, Rice, Roast Beef, Chicken Shish Kabob, Falafel, Hummus, Beet Salad, Roasted Asparagus

Whole Sea Bass, Kafta, Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Onions

Whole Sea Bass, Kafta, Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Onions

Pasta, Tabboule, Falafel, Roasted Asparagus, Chick Pea Salad, Chicken Shish Kabob, Kafta, Lentils, Hummus

Pasta, Tabboule, Falafel, Roasted Asparagus, Chick Pea Salad, Chicken Shish Kabob, Kafta, Lentils, Hummus

Rice, Falafel, Chicken Shish Kabob, Kafta, Salmon Fillet, Bamia

Rice, Falafel, Chicken Shish Kabob, Kafta, Salmon Fillet, Bamia

Beet Salad, Chicken Shish Kabob, Bamia, Falafel, Kafta

Beet Salad, Chicken Shish Kabob, Bamia, Falafel, Kafta

Beet Salad, Fried Fish Fillets, Falafel, Roast Beef, Tabboule

Beet Salad, Fried Fish Fillets, Falafel, Roast Beef, Tabboule

Whole Sea Bass, Bamia, Chicken Shish Kabob, Kafta

Whole Sea Bass, Bamia, Chicken Shish Kabob, Kafta

As you can see, H is very talented at deboning a whole fish!

As you can see, H is very talented at deboning a whole fish!

Various desserts

Various desserts

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

The service is friendly and very efficient; Cathy and Hagop (Jacob), who have been there forever, are the nicest servers you’ll meet. I will definitely have to update this review as I cannot remember everyone’s names, but we really enjoy ourselves each time we visit.

Reservations are recommended for Friday and Saturday nights; they can get busy at times. Another tip is to get there shortly after they open, when all the items are fresh and hot.

Fall is Here … Return to Edwards Gardens

This is my absolute favorite time of the year.  I love the cold crisp air and the sound of crunching leaves during a brisk walk.

I start thinking of baking with apples, pumpkin puree, squash and other fall ingredients.

There’s a definite chill to the air, and I’m drinking a delicious mug of homemade hot chocolate right now.  I’ll share the simple recipe with you soon!

In the meantime, here are some shots taken at  Edwards Gardens.

Peony Festival – Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens

Peonies are one of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen, and also one of my favorite flowers.  The City of Oshawa hosts an annual “Peony Festival” every June at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens.

The flowers are absolutely gorgeous, and there is such a variety of them, in every color and shape!  The grounds are very well maintained and a perfect place to spend a few hours.  Admission and parking is free.

Taste of the Food Terminal

“Taste of the Food Terminal” is an event that is open to the public only once a year.  If you’re fresh obsessed with produce, this is an inside look at where the freshest fruits and vegetables can be sampled and purchased.

The Ontario Food Terminal is the “stock exchange” for fruits and vegetables, where prices are determined by supply and demand and can change daily. The terminal is the only fresh produce wholesale market in Canada, and the third largest in North America.

The greatest part of the event is that all proceeds went to Foodshare (a non-profit community organization whose vision is Good Healthy Food for All).

The $10 per person admission included a large salad and water for lunch.  Parking was free.

The event was fun but there were some frustrating points: entry into the parking lot was extremely disorganized, even for advance ticket holders.  A lot of the produce that was on display was not for sale and the complimentary salad “looked” better than it tasted.  On the upside, I received autographed pictures of Gary Leeman and Mark Osborne (former NHL players), and had my picture taken with them.  They were both very friendly, approachable and down-to-earth guys.

I’m not sure if I would return next year, but it was definitely something different to experience.


Disclosure:
This is not a paid advertisement.

2012 Review of My Blog

When I first started this blog, I had no idea how much fun it would be, nor how many visitors it would attract.

As 2012 winds down, I would like to thank each and every one of you who took the time to stop by.  With so many blogs out there in cyberspace, I’m grateful to you all!  Please continue to visit and drop me a line at any time. I promise, I will reply to each and every one of you!

I’m looking forward to sharing many more cravings with you.

Happy New Year and welcome to 2013!

~ Ruby & H

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog.