“It’s my birthday month.”

Birthday FreebiesContrary to what others might say about me, I don’t really like being the centre of attention, and as such, I don’t really like throwing a birthday party for myself. If I do have a big party (which I have for the past couple of years), it’s because I want all my friends to have fun. That being said, I use my birthday as an excuse to get anything I want, and I celebrate all month long.

This year, I spent my birthday walking around downtown Toronto to collect all my birthday freebies that different companies offer! Starbucks gives you a big fancy birthday drink, Menchies gives you a free froyo cup (up to $5) and as most girls know, Sephora gives you different birthday gifts every year. Yes, all of these perks come with memberships, but they’re all free to sign up, so why not!

A couple other places that give you free things are Tuckers Marketplace and Wok of Fame (free buffet dinner), Booster Juice (free drink coupon), Pickle Barrel (app/dessert with purchase of entree), What-a-Bagel (free 6 bagels with purchase of 6 bagels), and Spoonful (1/2 price buffet dinner). There are a bunch on this list that I found online.

Lou Dawgs

Lou Dawg’s – 589 King St W., Toronto

So I woke up on the noon of my 24th birthday with a hankering for BBQ. I had been having flashbacks to our outing that had included the Lancaster Smokehouse in Kitchener, so I headed out to the closest place to the condo, Lou Dawg’s BBQ. I’ve seen a few Lou Dawgs around, and the Belly Monsters informed me that they weren’t bad. I had a breakfast birthday beer followed by their two meat platter — pulled pork and brisket — which came with two sides — coleslaw and baked beans, my weakness. I also ordered a cheesy jalapeno cornbread, because really, who can say no to that combination? The platter ($14.99) is a great value and it comes with a bun sliced in half for you to make sandwiches if that’s what your heart desires.

Now, I don’t know why I broke my rule of never ordering pulled pork at a restaurant. It is always disappointing and this one was no different. It tasted like what I can make in my slow cooker. I put it in the bread with my coleslaw, which made it marginally better.

The brisket was a little better. Soft, delicious, but sitting in a pool of grease and fat smothered in barbecue sauce. However, when you drain the fattiness at the bottom from the meat, it is actually quite delicious. They also serve the bbq with two different sauces on the side. The hot sauce is not so hot.

The cornbread was a muffin with pieces of japaleno in it. It was really yummy but disappointingly dry. The cheese on top was crispy and chewy and delicious. I did love the coleslaw and baked beans though. The beans were smokey and perfectly sweet. The coleslaw was the right about of tangy and crunchy. The sides were definitely the highlight of the whole lot, along with the funny and upbeat bartender/waiter.

boston pizza

Boston Pizza – 2915 Eglinton Ave W., Mississauga

Yes, I do not only eat at independent restaurants. We actually eat at chain restaurants quite often when we’re trying to please everyone and just need a quick bite. This night was just some wings and desserts. These Caesars were probably the worst Caesar I’ve ever had. The bacon was bleh. There was too much vodka, and not enough tomato flavour, or any other flavour really.

The big round thing in the middle is what they call a “Doughcano.” It’s their chocolate explosion cake wrapped in pizza dough, baked, then topped with whipped cream. It was chewy, with thick fudge in the middle, and oh man. It was perfect. Chewy, sugary, and a huge hit of chocolate if that’s what you’re craving. my only complaint is that the cheesecake tasted and felt more like marshmallows than cheesecake.

The panookie on the right is always a good bet. A giant chocolate chip cookie that’s pan-fried, then topped with ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce. A nice dose of sugar. The edges are crispy and the inside is chewy.

d hot shoppe

D Hot Shoppe – 4155 Fairview St, Burlington

D Hot Shoppe is a Caribbean/West Indian restaurant that has been recommended to me over and over again by both Dave (@1goatroti) and Justin (@the_Jmoney). On the left is a goat roti drenched in medium gravy and on the right is a doubles, which is a deep fried dough traditionally stuffed with curried chickpeas. They put chutney in it and I asked them to put chicken in it too. They do not look appetizing to someone who’s never had them before but DANG. So good. I’d go eat here twice a week if I were nearby. If you can handle spice, I would still recommend getting the medium. I thought I was soo strong and ordered the hot level the first time I ate at D’s and I regretted it for a few days as it burned through my digestive tract. It was still delicious though.

French ToastPhoenix Chinese Restaurant – 4040 Creditview Rd, Mississauga

A pretty normal Chinese restaurant where you can get your noodles and rice and sweet and sour pork. That beast up there is what they called French toast with peanut butter. It is a pretty dense, sweet bread with peanut butter spread in the middle, deep fried, and then you smother it in more butter and maple syrup. It is deadly. It is delicious.

St Louis

St. Louis Bar & Grill – 6485 Mississauga Rd, Mississauga

My friend Audrey has been obsessed with Caesars lately, and rightly so. They’re delicious. I love it when my caesar comes with a pickled bean. Yum yum.

The burger was quite good, but I just needed a second to rave about these sweet potato fries. Ultra yummy with just the right about of crispiness and potatoeyness still in the middle. They even serve it with a spicy mayo — perfect.

MilestonesMilestones – 10 Dundas St. E. (Yonge & Dundas), Toronto

The Tuesday Peach Bellini special at Milestones is great! It’s like a slushie made of Tim Horton’s peach drink, but not as disgustingly sweet. Then it’s topped with a flavoured vodka, and apparently an animal of the deer variety. The boys were feeling too manly to order one for themselves even though they really really wanted one.

The white chocolate cheesecake is BEYOND. Just beyond beyond. Soft, sweet, decadent, light, with some coffee underneath, whipped cream at the top. Smooth. Take-me-home-to-yo-momma delicious. Tuck-me-into-a-bed-of-rose-pedals-and-make-love-to-me delicious.

Couple Photo

And lastly, the dude that made my birthday outings possible by spoiling me.

I hope all your birthday wishes come true around the world! If they don’t, make them happen.





Tako Sushi – Teppanyaki

El Chefo

Salad starter.

Miso and Sushi appetizer.

Vegetable dish that I was too much of a hurry in to eat to take a picture of.

Jumbo shrimp and scallop.

Teriyaki chicken and bean sprouts.

Flank steak

Beef fried rice.

Green tea + Red bean ice cream for dessert.

Food actually rather good, big portions, many courses. The teppanyaki chef was kind of funny, very skilled. He was flipping eggs and bowls and things just all over the place. The fried rice as amazing. Sooooooo good. It was moist, flavoury, yummy yummy yummy. I asked for the flank steak medium rare, but it came out pretty well done, so next time, I’ll just ask for rare. Still, it was rather tasty.

So, all that food, and how much was it? HOW MUCH WAS IT?!

$18.03 tax included.


A Lazy Sunday at Bobby’s Hideaway

Sunday is me and Dandelion’s designated ‘fancy breakfast’ day. Now, it’s not like we get along particularly well, but we do share the same interest in not starving to death, so we’re cool on that front. Having since moved to Mississauga, we haven’t had much room to explore the area, so the only place I’ve been to is called “Bobby’s Hideaway.” (Thank you, Urbanspoon!) I’ve been there once with Adri and Claire when they came down to visit, and this past Sunday was my second time there with the brother, for a total of three visits.

Bobby’s Hideaway is on Queen St, just west of Britannia, in Mississauga. I think it’s within Streetsville borders. When we arrive, there’s a line up to get in, the place is rather popular. Inside, it’s filled to the brim with people, and the smells are delicious, like any other breakfast place. The walls are lined with portraits upon portraits of people named Bobby, or any variation thereupon. Barker, Marley, and Hope, among dozens of others. It’s a fun concept, I think perhaps the owner’s name is Bob, but I could be wrong.

The brother always orders the same thing when we go out to eat. The biggest normal breakfast he can find. This one’s called the “Weekender” and comes with eggs, potatoes, two sausages, two eggs, two pancakes, two pieces of toast, and a slice of ham. I’m not a big fan of pancakes, but he insists that these ones weren’t that great. They apparently tasted undercooked, and the maple syrup was not even enough to save them. The potatoes are lightly seasoned with a small unsatisfying crunch on the exterior. I’m not a big fan of potatoes though, so however you like your taters, these would satiate a normal person quite nicely.

This was actually rather good to eat. I don’t remember what it’s called, but it’s basically a hamburger steak topped with baked beans and sauteed onions, with a side of potatoes and a fried egg (overeasy, please).  I think it came with some buttered toast as well. Now, I like meat, I like beans, and I love onions. This meal was fantastic. The meat wasn’t too dry, and adding these things on top blew it out of this world. It’s just a combination that I’d never even thought before.

I first tried just the beans with the meat, a nice savoury flavour that with its pasty texture, when combined with the burger meat, makes for a pleasant gastronomic experience. Then I tried eating it with the onions, and onions and beef are always a good pair in my book. If I had to make a complaint though, I’d say it’s a touch too salty. When you mix everything together though, it just takes on a new face, a breakfast item I’d never seen anywhere else before.

Whenever I eat breakfast and there’s an egg involved. I eat it in one of two ways.

1. Dip toast into yolk.

  • Eat remaining egg with ketchup.
  • Eat remaining toast with jam.

2.  Make an egg sandwich.

Now, it may seem obvious to y’all out there, but this thought didn’t occur to me till about a year or two ago. This is the reason they give you lettuce and a couple of slices of tomatoes. (Bobby’s only gives you one slice.) It’s damn ingenious. I mean, if you go with method one, there’s always leftovers and they aren’t as satisfying. There is just something about the union between bread and egg that’s just too good to ignore.

In the same vein, this past weekend, I tried their “Eggs Florentine,” which is a poached egg, accompanied by some spinach and ham, atop a buttered english muffin, and smothered in hollandaise sauce. So, I say I’m a huge fan of a lot of foods. Some argue that I’m a fan of all food, but let’s just say my “top foods” list is a little larger than others. Eggs Florentine kind of encompasses some of my favourites into one. I am in love with hollandaise sauce. Seriously, give me some of that on anything. Me and runny egg yolk + bread have had a long standing affair for quite a while now. And spinach, good old spinach. I don’t quite know what all the fuss is about, people hating spinach and that. This monster greenie is delicious. Ham is ham, and this one had a nice crisp edge. It’s like how I like my bacon, both crispy and chewy at the same time, offering me the best of both worlds. So, yes, I quite enjoyed this dish, even though it didn’t fill me up as much as some other things would have, it was a nice light brunch.

Look at that yolk run. Heaven!

So.. I went shopping.

I haven’t been for a long time due to financial issues (read: unemployed) and it was fun, until my feet hurt. 4.5 hours at at the mall, I guess makes up for my absence the past month or so. My friend needed a dress for an upcoming wedding, in Montreal coincidentally, and while looking for dresses and shoes, I fully realized that if I were to win the lottery, my closet would be way too full. But I think that’s a good thing.

I don't understand fashion sometimes...

When I win the lottery, I think the first thing I would do is give myself 5-10 thousand dollars and go shopping. I’d bye shoes and dresses, and cute tops, and skirts, and all that fun stuff. I think I’d then have to buy a new house with a closet big enough for all of that. Many times during long car rides, my brother and I start planning out what we’d plan to do if we win the lottery. I don’t think I would go all out glamourous. I wouldn’t buy a mansion (maybe just a convenient condo), I wouldn’t buy a big fancy car, no ferraris thank you. I’d continue doing what I do in the field that I love (hypothetical future), and just have no worries about money and being able to buy a picture frame without comparing for a few dollars, or picking up a game that I want. Buuut that’s all in the future, you know, when I win the lottery.

In the meantime, here’s a slideshow of my present life: trying things on and knowing I can’t buy them.

Look! A pretty dress I can't afford. :D

Also starring: shoes.

These weren't my deal, but I tried them on for a friend in love with unicorns.

Wow, looking at all the shoe pictures in a row made me realize that, that day at least, I think shoes with bows on them are fucking cute. You guys can donate to my shoe fund if you’d like. I didn’t buy anything shown above, but I did buy this sweet shirt dress for 15$.

This is not a cameraphone photo, this is photo booth. -_-

Rogers’ iPhone 4

Warning: This post may or may not be comprehensible due to my current state of fatigue, but I have to write this while it’s all fresh up in the noggin.

Today’s post was supposed to be a happy go lucky post slash review of the iPhone 4 for it’s release in Canada. Awesome. Except not really. Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?

After doing some research and calling our local Rogers stores, we (that is, my brother and I, but mostly my brother) learned that the stores will receive a maximum of 15 units. For a regular sized store, an average of 10-15 units. So, excited for the release, we went to hang out (read: line up) in front of a nearby store at 2am last night. Cool. We like lining up for events like this, for fun. Plus, getting a phone out of it in the end would be pretty sweet too.

It was quite frigid last night for a summer’s evening, even though I was clad in jeans, socks, and a sweater, among other things, but I was pretty covered up to say the least. We’re the first ones there so we sit around, hopping in and out of the car for warmth. At quarter to five, another person arrives; a chatty young female professional who quite reminds me of iJustine, except less strange and in-your-face. We mingle, have a picnic breakfast, face down the stares from passers-by, waiting for other people to come.

At 7, more people begin trickling in, and by opening hours, 10am, there were 20-30 people in line with us. An employee pokes his head out to inform us that there are 11 iPhone 4s available, nine 16gb and two 32gb. We are given tickets with numbers and orders on it, and are finally let into the store. My brother and I were the first to be served and that’s when shit fucked up.

There seemed to be a problem with Rogers’ servers when it was dealing with early hardware upgraders (us). You see, Rogers lets you do a hardware update every two years, where you renew to a three year contract and are allowed to buy another phone at the new contract price (usually very much cheaper). With the new iPhone release, as they did the last one, they were allowing existing iPhone users who have only completed 1 year of their contract to also do a hardware upgrade.

What this means is that if you completed 1 year of your contract, you add one more year to your contract, bumping it up to a full 3 years, and you can buy a 16gb iPhone 4 at 399$ instead of 649$ which is retail price.

If you completed 2 years of your contract, you add two more years to your contract, bumping it up to a full 3 years, and you only pay 159$.

Cool, except the early hardware updates weren’t working. Fuck.

9 hours in line and whatnot and I couldn’t even get a phone. I guess I can’t be angry because it was my choice to go out there and there wasn’t anything that the sales associates could do. There was a bug in the system, that was that. Nothing can be done on my part. I guess I’m just a little sad that I wasn’t able to get it. A little embarrassed too since we spent all that time there and walked out with nothing.

So, adding that the previous night I had gotten 4 hours of sleep and now pulling an all nighter, I am pooped.

Having this happen in conjunction with not yet having any luck selling my 3gs is making me feel like maybe this just isn’t meant to be. Maybe I really should wait for the next upgrade. But I really want that led flash on the rear facing camera and am very interested in that retina display. I’ll probably just wait till the system is fixed and then try again in a couple of weeks because I am weak like that.

Good night.