We’ve Moved!


I have a business card!

I’m excited to announce that I’ve finally upgraded my website to www.rysratings.ca, so I’m trying to direct all of my followers to my new website so please notify everyone interested!

I’ve included a picture of my new business card here – I designed the logo myself (but my mom helped a bit). It’s the lightning bolt to signify “Storm” (which is my last name and I liked the shape from Harry Potter too), plus obviously a fork for my love of eating!

I’ve already posted a new blog post over at rysratings.ca on My Little Dumplings – hope you like it and try it!

See you at my new site,

Ryan

 


Woodlot


Me and my onion soup

The Woodlot Oven

Woodlot’s busy kitchen

Awesome fish dish with fiddleheads

We sat at a table upstairs overlooking the open kitchen

Woodlot is a really nice restaurant on Palmerston just south of College. It has two floors with seating upstairs and downstairs – and a cool bar, a step down from the downstairs.

The first things that I took note of walking through the door, were that the interior was very cool, the staff were SO kind and that they were cooking lots in their own woodburning oven.

Our waitress Crystal was really excellent and recommended her favourites on the menus – there are two different menus, a meat one and a vegetarian one. The only difference between the two, really is that the meat menu has some un-vegetarian dishes, but the sides are virtually the same. The great thing about Woodlot is that they are so willing and ready to accommodate any type of eater.

I started of the evening with a caramelized onion soup baked until bubbly with crispy cheese baked onto it. Although, I love cheese, and really enjoyed the soup, it was very rich and I decided not to finish it all to save room for my main course which I knew was going to be great. In between courses, I took the opportunity to stand up and look over the railing at the open kitchen below. The fire in the woodburning oven with lots of chefs working busily to create people’s meals. You could tell that they were really working hard at what they do and loved being in there. I went downstairs and they were incredibly nice and allowed me to come right inside their workspace to approach the oven. It was cool to get to take a peek inside and watch them create my meal, and my mom’s meal too (and other diners’ dishes as well). For my main course, I ordered a pickerel with potatoes and a yogurt sauce with a bright dill pesto. The highlight of the dish, and the real reason why I ordered it, was the fact that it came with fiddleheads, and boy were they tasty. I really recommend fiddleheads, but the season for them is so short, so they might not have them anymore, but there’s always next year!

They made an incredible vegan meal for my mom. Her appetizer was this great looking wild rice and mushroom dish with microgreens on top and it was really delicious. Her main course consisted of beautiful looking cabbage rolls, which I didn’t try, because I really don’t like cabbage rolls, but she was happy!

We were so full, and we didn’t have room for dessert, and I knew we were going to go to Delight Chocolate later on, so we passed this time.

I have to remark on how much they fill up your water glass. When I was in New York City, I was so impressed with how attentive everyone was at every restaurant there in filling up our water, and had never experienced anything like it in Toronto, until I went to Woodlot.

I hope you all enjoyed my review, and try Woodlot for the freshest local food on your next night out.


Organic Oven


There are not that many places north of Lawrence that we can eat at it seems, but my mom, sister my brother and I had the privilege of stopping by Organic Oven on Yonge Street to try out their desserts (because we had already eaten lunch). They seriously bake for everyone. They have nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, sugar-free, full vegan, gluten-free, and it’s all done in many different combinations. They needed to explain a lot, for us to figure out what to get!

I decided upon an apple cinnamon muffin (dairy-free, but had organic eggs in it) which was great and actually tasted like I was eating an apple with cinnamon on it. It was a little dry, but the flavour made up for it. My sister ordered a chocolate chip, banana muffin (full vegan), and she loved it and thought the chocolate chips tasted like coffee (where she knows what coffee tastes like is a mystery – unless it’s from our family favourite, Coconut Bliss cappuccino ice cream!). My little brother got a package of 3 gingerbread men (vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free – just coconut sugar). Now, this was absolutely outstanding, fresh baked goodness and I think the fact that they used coconut sugar in them made them just melt away in our mouths (he only shared very little, so next time, I might have to get my own). He also ate my mother’s raspberry icing cupcake which looked good but I don’t like raspberries….it’s a texture thing.

My mom hadn’t had lunch, so she got a vegan chili (she was thrilled that it didn’t have any soy in it and included tomatoes, butternut squash and beans, all perfect on a rainy day). It was great, even though squash isn’t my thing, and I ate the toasted gluten-free bread off her plate (thanks, Mom). This made me hungry again, so I ordered a vegan, gluten-free grilled cheese sandwich (seriously!!!) with Daiya and avocado – it was my second lunch of the day. It was absolutely stupendous – this will get me to go back, it was so good and just hit the spot.

We even bought a brown rice gluten-free pizza crust and some gluten-free poppy seed bagels, which we have really enjoyed at home. Please note that gluten-free stuff really needs to be toasted to taste good, otherwise it will be way too crumbly.

I highly recommend going to Organic Oven, so you can open treasure chests of taste and flavour that I got to. No matter what your diet or allergies are, or even if you are just a picky eater, they have something sweet and/or savoury for you.

Eating cupcakes at Organic Oven

Pizza crusts and bagels- and an empty plate from my grilled cheese


Feel Good Guru


Feel Good Guru is right across from Trinity Bellwoods Park!

Breaking food news in Toronto! A new organic vegan spot has arrived!! Feel Good Guru on Queen Street West across from Trinity Bellwoods Park is now “open-ish”, and by “open-ish”, I mean that they are still in production developing their menu, and making, blending, soaking, dehydrating and even growing their own sprouts. When I arrived, almost everything was empty, but the space looked really, really good and nice and bright (with a good view of the park from bar stools in the window). They gave us very, very good kale chips and bliss balls (cacao balls with shredded coconut and agave) – all no charge because it’s their grand opening. I’ll definitely be going back and buying lots of “hyper-local, super-awesome, organic, plant-powered food” (my type of description) when they turn from “open-ish” to open! Go and support good real food in Toronto!

Take your own containers or they have good compostable bags!

Really cute space (check out that big green smoothie on the counter!)

Talk about fresh!

Wall of Sprouts and Fresh Green


Villa Restaurant


When it’s nice out, you just got to sit on a patio! So, me and my family tried a new restaurant (for us), called Villa, on Bloor Street West. It had been recommended by Marni Wasserman, and she knows her food, and what we are after on a menu!

They have a great little patio right out front of their restaurant, and they even took a reservation for us on a Saturday night – that is very, very rare it seems for restaurants in Toronto! The servers were very understanding when we talked to them about my sister’s nut allergy, and even cut our bread and poured our olive oil separately just to make sure there was no cross contamination. We were off to a great start!

We started off with a bruschetta that came with the chopped tomatoes in a small bowl to place on our gluten-free multigrain buns on our own. I don’t even like tomatoes, but I did like the dish a lot – there was the perfect amount of garlic and onions and just the right amount of fresh basil and a light dressing.

My dad ordered a Mill Street Organic beer, which is his favourite! And, even though my sister is holding the bottle in the picture on this post, don’t worry, she didn’t drink any of it!

Now for the main course – we ordered 3 pizzas and a pasta. You can choose one of their pizzas, or make a custom one with 3 different crusts (regular, spelt or brown-rice gluten-free) and at least what seemed to be 40 different toppings. My mom ordered a gluten-free crust with roasted tomatoes, zucchini and hot peppers (no cheese) and they had no problem making it crispy and she really liked it! My sister ordered a very different type of pizza (from what I’ve ever seen!) – she ordered a spelt crust, roasted sweet potato pizza, but made a couple substitutions from their menu. The final pizza she ordered had roasted sweet potato, caramelized onions, spinach, chevre and roasted red peppers and green onions, and she really loved it. Her favourite part was the sweet potato (she asked me to add that into this review). My dad ordered a spicy pasta with brown rice, gluten free pasta. I tried a few pieces and loved it, the flavour from the jalapeno peppers was amazing. Now, it took me only moments to build my custom pizza. It started with a spelt crust with tomato sauce and chevre with grilled red onions, wild mushrooms, arugula, roasted garlic, and wait for it…sliced avocado! That’s right, sliced avocado! I myself had never had avocado on pizza before, but as soon as I bit into that crispy crust pizza, I knew that I would be ordering it next time we go there. It’s like when I bit into the pizza that a grenade of flavour was in my mouth, and when it exploded with the fresh avocado, I was very happy!

I hope you all try Villa Restaurant too, because it’s a great spot for Italian food. Everyone in the family can be happy no matter what your eating habits are. My one request for them – please try and use more organic ingredients. It’s so easy since they could shop for so much at the farmers’ markets!!

 

My sister & her sweet potato pizza

My Avocado Pizza!

Mill St. Organic Beer


The freshest (cutest) juice you can get!


Master Juicemaker at work!


It’s no secret that a lot of big name brand fruit juices, don’t even really contain fruit by the time they are done packaging them! So avoid them or drink fresh juices. You will see by watching this video I directed and produced, that it’s not all that hard to make your own, my 4 year old brother will prove it how easy it is!

Now just a warning to you all, that the best part of the video comes AFTER the credits, so please watch the whole thing, including the segment called “Good To The Last Drop”.

Happy sipping and don’t forget to drink the real stuff!

WATCH IT NOW: My Brother, The Juicemaker


Pizzeria Libretto Outside on the Danforth


Me and my Special Pizza on the Patio

Loving the Arugula!

Who likes the pizza?

Today when I went to Pizzeria Libretto on the Danforth, I was in for a real treat! Me and my family realized that they have a newly opened patio that we could eat at! We sat outside in the bright spring sunshine and we really enjoyed it. The tables were smooth and clean and the chairs were really comfortable – patio chairs can be kind of uncomfortable and these ones are great!

We all ordered our usuals, except for me – because the waiter told me about the special pizza, which I needed to order as soon as he told me what it was! Do you see my happiness in the picture above with my spelt crust pizza topped with caramelized onions, scrambled eggs, crumbled sausage (really, the primary element of this edible work of art!), cheese, chives and chili oil.

You can read my full reviews about Libretto Osssington from 2009 here and Libretto Danforth here, but what a bonus it is to eat amazing pizza on the Danforth outside on their patio! (also, they have umbrellas to give you shade too)


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