All posts by fast. food. focus.

I like fast cars, cooking, running, coffee, eating, writing, and photography. I've lived 3 lifetimes. I'm exhausted. I just want to slow down and enjoy the view. This is my journey.

The hunt for my new Brunch spot!

With the closing of my beloved Whistlers, my brunch mainstay for most of my adult life.
(crazy isn’t it?!)
I am now on the prowl for a new watering hole. A new place to hang my cap.
A new place to lose myself for an hour or two on any given weekend.

Yes, there are plenty of diners out there where I can get a quick all day breakfast.
But I can make that myself. (and usually better to be quite honest)

No, I’m looking for elevated, different, flavourful, fun.
I’m looking for interesting, cozy, local, one of a kind, small business.
I’m looking for sourced, local, seasonal, organic, sustainable, healthy (but decadent)

So today I began my search. I started in my neighbourhood with a newish restaurant, that has been on my radar, but I had yet to try.

Rikkochez

They serve a Cypriot / Mediterranean based cuisine. One glance at the menu a couple of months ago had me salivating. Not only are the offerings varied and delicious, but everything is organic, locally sourced and sustainable. They also offer GF & Veg-Vegan options of almost all of their dishes. (not some sad afterthought of 3 options at the bottom of the page) This is their mission statement:

“RIKKOCHEZ refers to a “rebound” — a movement in the food industry that is reviving the core beliefs of an earlier time, when sustainable farming and local sourcing were the norm… a time before ‘fast food’.

Our modern interpretation embodies those fundamental ideas — creating delicious and nutrient-rich food combinations in a locally-inspired Levantine-Eastern Mediterranean cuisine concept that delivers authentic and appetizing meals.

Our menu changes regularly depending on the seasonality and freshness of ingredients, so a specific dish may not be on the menu for long.”

IMG_2738I climbed up onto the chair by the window bench (with possibly the cleanest window I’ve ever looked through) sipped on my coffee and watched my fellow Greektown inhabitants go about their Saturday morning routine. (also, someone sitting in the window of any establishment automatically draws attention and makes it more appealing to passing traffic. No one like to go into an empty restaurant. I can’t count the number of people who walked by, looked at me, then doubled back to read the menu posted on door. I do the very same thing all the time)

The hardest part this morning was choosing which of the delicious options I would test first.

While the Full English breakfast called out to me, I wanted to go for something different and unexpected.

So I went with Mushrooms on Toast.
(Did you know mushrooms are the highest ranked Vitamin D containing veggie? So at this time of year, it is the perfect addition to your regular diet to combat the usual seasonal depletion. anyhoo… )

What was it? Portobello and cremini mushrooms marinaded in miso and tamari, gently sautéed and served on toasted sourdough, with two eggs cooked to your liking. (I went with poached as I still haven’t mastered making those yet) I also discovered a little spinach mixed in! (Bonus vitamin D!!)

It was as delicious as I suspected it would be. A touch on the salty side (which I of course was prepared for due to the tamari/miso combo) but that was perfectly offset by the unctuous yoke from the poached egg, which coated the mushrooms and soaked into the sourdough.

The portion was just right, though some berries would have helped cleanse my salty palate, and the accompanying coffee (a Brazilian/Canadian blend which they also put a great deal of research into) was very tasty, and topped up in a timely fashion.

This is a cozy little room, with a quiet, calm atmosphere, and an attentive, knowledgeable staff.

It was my first visit, but it certainly won’t be my last.

Advertisements

The People’s Princess…

I wonder if other girls my age are feeling it this week…
The sadness.
The picked-the-scab-off of it all.

She was our Elvis, our Marilyn, our JFK.

Taken from us shockingly, without warning.

I was always fascinated by the Royal Family.
Just over a week before my mother died, I saw the Queen Mum. She was on her way to the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine and I was leaving the hospital, and walking towards the bus stop. I noticed that the road had been shut down, and walked up to one of the police officers at the curb and asked what was going on. He pointed and said “that”, just as the Royal motorcade drove up.
They came to a stop right in front of us, and the window was down, and there she was, the Queen Mum.

I curtsied, bowed, and saluted all at the same time like a spastic idiot.
She waved her tiny hand and grinned that famous grin, and the drove off.

Weeks later, I stayed up all night and watched the Royal Wedding.
It was 2 weeks and a day after losing my mother.
It was my escape from reality.  The magic of a fairy tale in the flesh. A “Happily ever after” come to life.
I clipped every newspaper article and photo from every paper and taped them to my wall.
(this was long before the internet)

I followed her life. The ups and downs. The happiness and the heartaches.  I related to her in an odd way. Like her, my “fairy tale” ended in disillusion and divorce. But she was moving on, and coming into her own. Doing so much good in the world, and looking like she was finally going to be happy.

Then, 20 years ago tonight, I was watching tv when the news broke that she had been in a car crash. Again, before the internet, the only information was via the news, and by now every station was now carrying the breaking news live.

Then they said it. “Princess Diana is dead”

I sat in the dark, reeling from those words. How? Why?

So cruel were the parallels to my own life.

She was 36. William and Harry were 15 and 12 respectively. The exact ages of my own mother and my brother and I when she passed.
I instantly ached for the young Princes knowing how their lives were now forever changed.

I watched the news coverage all night. While we were winding down on this side of the world, Britain was just awaking to the news. I remember not really knowing what to “do”, feeling so lost. Connected but alone.

I headed to the Princess of Wales theatre downtown and added flowers to the already growing tributes here in Toronto.

I spare I thought for her and the boys each year, but this year, 20yrs on, with the boys speaking out, (I was about the same age as they are now when I too started to deal with the effect my own loss had on me) and the numerous tributes and documentaries on tv, everything  feels raw again. Right under the surface.

RIP Princess… I hope that where ever you ended up you found a happily ever after…

What is my Purpose? 

I was recently contemplating my purpose in life and feeling bad about essentially not really having one.

Then today I thought about all the doors I hold open, all the heavy bags, shopping carts, and strollers I help carry up and down stairs, and on and off streetcars.
All the coffees and sandwiches I buy for people on the street.
All the scarves and mittens and hats I chase after people with to return to their rightful owner.
All the directions I give, and questions I answer for random strangers.
All the babies I distract mid-meltdown so mommy (or daddy) can get through the checkout line …

And that’s when it dawned on me… Maybe my purpose in life isn’t one thing, or title, or grand gesture, but rather the multitude of tiny random acts of kindness and servitude I provide during daily travels.

We can’t all be Steve Jobs or Oprah.

Someone had to hold the door open for them 😉

2016 Resolution – January overview

I made a very simple resolution this year – Seek Kindness

1) be kind to myself

2) change the conversation in my head

3) find the positive in every situation spiraling into the darkness.

This isn’t something measurable really, nor is it something I can boast about on my social media channels as some sort of accountability exercise. (Such as marking the number of days smoke free, or another pound/inch lost)

I am the sole “accountabilibuddy” on this journey. No one but me hears the conversations in my head. The vile, mean thoughts aimed at myself. (Thanks god!)
So I am the only one who can who can intervene.

Happy? Father’s Day 

Gosh I miss my dad. Life keeps spiralling lately, and I feel very… untethered, like I could blow away at any moment. I’ve lost all confidence in myself… again… only he’s not here to tell me it’s all gonna be ok, to “give my head a shake”, or to cook me that ridiculous meal of liver and spinach (because he was always worried I wasn’t eating right)

20yrs gone and I can only faintly remember his voice, but I will always always remember how he made me feel. Continue reading Happy? Father’s Day 

DTOTD: Envy

I realized today that I’m not jealous, or rather envious I should say, of people’s “things”.

I see “The ladies who lunch” in their fancy duds, with their shopping bags from designer stores, and I merely shrug.
That’s not me. Never really has been.

I don’t even get the same tinge of green when I see posts of luxurious dinners from restaurant openings I’ve been excluded from. Meh. I couldn’t afford to eat there anyway, so it would be a fleeting moment at best.

But where I do feel a tug at my gut is seeing friends afforded the luxury of education and meaningful employment. That is what incites the green eyed monster from deep within.

DTOTD: Apologies 

Here’s the thing, when one “accepts” your apology, they are not absolving you of your indiscretions or actions towards them.
They are merely “accepting” your guilt, and your need to be let off the hook for your bad behaviour.

“Acceptance” is not forgiveness.
It’s just a way for everyone to move on without more carnage.

Keep that in mind the next time you feel the need to apologize for something.

Keep that in mind the next time you feel the need to apologize to me.