Three Weeks of Gluttony in Toronto and New York

22 Sep

I just came back from three weeks of eating and drinking whatever I wanted. And it was amazing. One of the things I miss the most about living in Toronto is the huge selection of amazing meals for cheap. Giant empanadas in Kensington Market for 5 bucks, an enormous bowl of salad with quality ingredients for 8 dollars, delicious breakfasts for the cost of a latte in Amsterdam.

A giant empanada from Toronto's Kensington Market

Ingredients for a Caeser - the quintessential Canadian cocktail.

And the grocery stores. Sure, they’re too big and mostly filled with junky processed crap, but it is a real luxury to find all the ingredients for a meal in one place. In Amsterdam, making something with more than five ingredients usually requires going to at least three different grocery stores.

When I’m visiting Canada, the majority of my time is spent with my aunt and uncle at their immaculate, yet uber-comfortable home in a quiet residential neighbourhood in Burlington, Ontario. They take great pride in their home, especially the yard. The grass is always lush and vibrant green. The area used to be an orchard, so they’ve got a big pear tree and a big apple tree in the yard.

I miss squirrels.

After a couple weeks of miserable August rain in Amsterdam, we were more than thrilled to enjoy the last month of practically perfect summer weather. People were surprised I came back with a tan.

Yes, it does get hot in Canada. Scorching hot.

So, I spent a lot of time relaxing in a reclining chair in my aunt and uncle’s backyard, cocktail in hand. They live the good life and I love that they are so generous with sharing their life with me when I’m there.  My uncle (who is the only father figure I have) turned 60 on August 29th, and they had the entire family over for a BBQ. Our family is a bunch of complete lunatics, and I love them for it.

The only non-lunatic amongst our crazy family. Pictured here with bday cupcakes courtesy of yours truly.

Oh, and did I mention my Gramma’s Coconut Cream Pie. I’m capitalising that for a reason, because it’s a pie that’s come down from heaven. I could eat a whole one if left to my own devices. It would be the last thing that my tongue tasted should I ever find myself on death row.

The world's best pie.

One of the most memorable meals we had was in NYC. It was a place I’d read about in New York magazine on the plane ride over. A new hipster place with a small menu featuring southern classics. It was called Commodore’s and if you’re ever anywhere near NYC, you should make a special trip to this place just for the fried chicken alone.

It. was. heaven.

Fried Chicken and Biscuits (made with bacon grease) - HOLY FUCK.

And this is just a small percentage of the many, many memorable meals we had over three weeks…but my wrists are getting soar, so I’ll leave it here for now.

What’s been your most memorable meal while on vacation?


3 Responses to “Three Weeks of Gluttony in Toronto and New York”

  1. Steve September 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    If I hadn’t just had a huge roast dinner at mum’s you would have made me very hungry!

  2. janine September 27, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    Yummy! Looks delish! I miss having Caribbean food, Chinese takeout and good Mexican. I must say though, that I quite like the produce here but I love, LOVE all the junk foods that I grew up with (I especially miss graham crackers and marshmellows). Your trip home must have been amazing with warm weather and sprawling yard! I’m going back in June for Caitlin’s wedding… Gotta say I’m a bit excited for a Canadian spring/summer especially since my last trip was around Christmas – but then again, I had my first proper cold climate Christmas dinner in 4 years!

    Vacation gluttony rulez!

    • amansterdam September 27, 2010 at 10:11 am #

      Totally. I’m bummed that I wasn’t hungry when we were at the Caribana parade in Brooklyn, because the food there BLEW MY MIND. I miss graham crackers too, you can get them here, but they’re about EUR 8 a box!

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