Feb 27, 2010

Bieber Fever...NOT!

If you guys are puzzled and asking "Who's Justin Bieber?". Well, he's basically the second coming of Aaron Carter, minus the lame rapping. Young girls 15 and under go gaga over him. Even three year olds cry their hearts out over him (see
video). I don't know about you, but when I was three I was crying over things like falling flat on my face or being called a boy (I had a bowl cut and was mistaken for one up until I was 5).

While perusing through OhNoTheyDidn't (my guilty pleasure), it finally hit me why Justin Bieber irks me so much. It's because he reminds me of this lesbian ( I have nothing against lesbians) named Dani from A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila. Don't judge me, that show was entertaining. MTV is particularly adept at creating drama filled mind-numbing trash-tastic shows (i.e. Jersey Shore, an instant classic and made fist pumping acceptable). If it makes it any better, I didn't watch A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila 2.

Anyways back to every tween girl's favorite lesbian, Justin Bieber. Shave 10 years off of Dani and what you have left is Justin Bieber. Look at the face, hair, and feminine features. The similarities are uncanny. Okay fine, I think it's mainly the hair. But you see where I'm coming from right?

A risque photo of Beiber and some random girl. Justin Beiber has game! I can't decide whether Justin or
the girl is prettier.

Dani from A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila.

Sorry Bieber, no hard feelings. You're alright. I think you're really pretty. Your music is catchy. I even caught myself bobbing my head to "Baby", which I'm ashamed to admit. When puberty hits, I hope your voice doesn't deepen too much for the sake of your singing career.

Feb 15, 2010

Hollywood Gelato

1640 Bayview Avenue

Toronto, ON

Hollywood Gelato is located in Bayview/Leaside Village and during the summer times the long line ups are usually outside of the door. I went last Sunday afternoon around 3:50ish. They only had half of their usual gelato available, but luckily they still had the flavors I was craving for. It's $3.95 for a small (two scoops and flavors), and about $ 4.95 for a large (three scoops).

The difference between regular ice cream and gelato is that gelato is made with more milk, while ice cream is blended with cream. Gelato tends to be denser and has a smoother velvety texture. It usually has a lower fat content of around 5-7%, versus ice cream that has 10-15% fat.

Here are some of the flavors I've tried and my vague recollection of them:

Rocky Rocher- Tastes exactly like Ferrero Rocher, it even has large pieces of hazelnut in it.

Pistachio- Good, but there are better Pistachio gelato out there.
Burnt Marshmallow- It literally has burnt particles mixed in.
Raspberry- This is too sour for my liking.
Mango - Refreshing and tangy.
Twix- A little too sweet.
Tiramisu- I didn't like it at all, I considered throwing it out.
Key Lime Pie- It's very limey and has pieces of crust in it.
Pumpkin Pie- Why would someone think this is a good idea? I tried it out of curiosity.
Peanut Butter Chocolate - It has just the right amount of peanut butter.

I got the Pistachio (top) and Rocky Rocher (bottom) in a waffle cone.

I've been to Hollywood Gelato many times and I've tried around 10+ flavors, but Rocky Rocher is still my absolute favorite. It captures the tastes of Ferrero Rocher perfectly.

Feb 7, 2010

My Cupcake Obsession: Crumb's Bake Shop

Cupcakes are good, but I never truly understood the hype surrounding it. To me, it was just a fancified miniature cake. Nothing special, but then everything changed the moment I took my first bite into a Crumb's cupcake in New York City. The chocolate cake part was soft and moist, and the buttercream frosting melted in my mouth while this smooth lava cake-esqe center oozed onto my palate. Let's not forget about the crunchy walnuts and caramel that was delicately laced on top. It was pure bliss. Here's a picture of THE cupcake that started it all:

It tastes better than it looks!

To further try to convince you how exquisite it was, let me continue to describe what a bite of heaven probably tastes like. Make no mistake, it was not your typical cupcake. It was as if the chocolate cake made sweet sweet love to the creamy buttery frosting and created gooey chocolate babies in the center that erupted into your mouth with such vigor. Oh, and the nuts! The crunchy walnuts that speckle the cupcake with such delicate grace, all the while cavorting with the velvety caramel that shimmies across the buttercream frosting with such finesse. This pairing was surely a match made in heaven. It was best said when Marshall from How I Met You Mother declared, "This is God, speaking to us through food".

Here are some pictures taken at Crumbs:

Cupcake galore! How can anyone resist? There isn't a single flavor I wouldn't try.

More cupcakes.
I'm salivating in front of the computer while looking at these pictures.

I want to try this. Usually pistachio tastes good in most desserts (i.e. macarons, gelato, etc).

Worth every 450 calorie.

Cakes. To me it's basically a supersized version of their cupcakes.

I regret not buying this to bring back to Toronto =(

I'm on a mission to find the best cupcake money can buy in Toronto. I know I'm being dramatic. I also know I dramatized the whole experience, but it really was the best damn cupcake I've ever had.

This post is somewhat of a segue into future entries on my new food obsession. So stay tuned as I embark on a mission to find the best cupcakes Toronto has to offer. It may or may not be successful since I can be incredibly lazy, but here are a few places I intend on trying:

1) The Cupcake Shoppe
2) Miss Cora's Kitchen
3) Lollicakes
4) Dufflets
5) Sweet Tooth Pastry Shop
6) Life is Sweet

Any suggestions?

Feb 1, 2010

Pizzeria Libretto

221 Ossington Ave

Pizzeria Libretto is located in Little Italy/Little Portugal, near the intersection of Dundas and Ossington. They cook their pizzas in a Naples built wood burning oven for 90 seconds at extremely high temperatures of 900 degrees. Pizzeria Libretto prides itself in creating real authentic Neapolitan pizza. They adhere to the set guidelines dictated by Veracé Pizza Napoletana Association. Italians are very serious and particular about their pizza. In fact, pizza making is such a serious and pressing issue that even a branch of the Italian Government is dedicated to preserving the authenticity of Neapolitan pizzas. Pizza and politics, what a strange combination. I guess I don't blame them, I'm huge fan of pizza. I could eat pizza every day if all of that cheese and grease didn't do a number on my health.

The guidelines set forth by
Veracé Pizza Napoletana Association include specifications such as creating genuine Neapolitan pizza dough by using of Italian wheat flour, natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer's yeast, salt and water. The dough also can't be more than 3mm. It also can't be formed with the help of a rolling pin, hands must be used instead. There are more rules but I'm not going to bore you with all the technicality.

When I arrived at the restaurant on Friday night at 6:00pm, I was told the wait would be 30 minutes. They make the whole waiting process more bearable by taking down your number and calling you when your table is ready. This beats waiting around in the cramped restaurant because you get to roam around Little Portugal. The downside is that unless it's a food establishment, most of the shops close early in this area. We ended up walking aimlessly and back into the restaurant within 15 minutes.

Duck Confit ($16). This pizza consists of duck confit, bosc pears and Ontario Fiore Di Latte Mozzarella. I knew this pizza was going to be one of those hit or miss dishes. I was a bit skeptical at first because the thought of having pear in a pizza sounded very odd. The pear balanced out the duck perfectly. With every bite, I could taste the duck fat that percolated into the crust. The sweetness of the bosc pear helped balance out the heaviness of the sliced Duck Confit. Who would have known pear and duck would go so well together?

Quattro Stagione ($16). It's divided into four segments and has Cacciatore, Mushrooms, Artichoke, Bella Olives, Tomato and Ontario Fiore Di Latte Mozzarella. I bullied my friend into getting it because I felt it was an interesting concept since you get to try 4 variations in one pizza. After taking the first bite, I felt responsible since I swayed their decision. I didn't like it partly because I ate it after the Duck Confit, and it felt a bit bland in comparison. I'm also not a fan of olives. 1/4 of the pizza was dedicated to olives. On a positive note, the ingredients tasted very fresh.

Overall, the Duck Confit pizza was amazing and I'll definitely be coming back in the future. Next time, I think I'll try their Margherita or Grilled Eggplant pizza (the server told me it was his favorite).