Turning 27

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Top, COS | Skirt, Banana Republic, thrifted

I turned 27 yesterday! Mikaius planned a lovely day for us, with the trip to the Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters exhibit at the AGO bookended by food – thank you, my love, for the effort that you put into this date!

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Breakfast was at Yonge and Wellesley, at a restaurant called The Coach House Restaurant. We’ve eaten here before and had a grand old time, so we decided to come back. Mikaius had pancakes (super fluffy and delicious, by the way) with sausage and bacon and a milkshake to wash it all down, and I had the spinach and feta omelette with a cup of coffee. A wonderful and hearty start to my birthday!

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We then walked to campus to visit the Trinity College Annual Book Sale, and on our way there, this adorable little ladybug decided to hang out with us for a little while. It particularly enjoyed Mikaius’ Misfits patch.

I got myself my first Ian Fleming book, an unabridged 1959 edition of From Russia with Love – it’s this exact one, although I only paid $3 for my copy! I’m going to hold off from reading it until December, but I’m pretty excited.

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Afterwards, we hit up the Krispy Kreme at the Kensington Market for a snack: a Pepperoni Pull-apart, a Pumpkin Spice donut, an Original Glazed donut, and a Triple Chocolate Frozzé that we couldn’t finish because it was so thick. We had to walk around Blue Banana for a bit to try and shake things down, we were so full of food.

We made our way to the AGO for the exhibit, fairly buzzing with excitement. IT WAS SO COOL. Photos will honestly not do it justice, so I only selected a few to show here, but I was so glad that this was what he had chosen to take me out to for my birthday. I adore Guillermo del Toro – Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my favourite movies!

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We headed out to Mo Ramyun, a short walk from the AGO, after the exhibit. Mo Ramyun is a favourite of ours, and we both tried something new: Mikaius had a bowl of the Chicken Ramyun, while I tried the Don-Gol Ramyun. Both delicious and so very filling – we had plenty of leftovers to take home.

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All in all, a wonderfully relaxing day: I stayed off of my email and messages for the most part, and didn’t do any schoolwork. I’ll get back to it again tomorrow, but oh my goodness was it wonderful to not have to think about everything that I needed to submit and all my looming deadlines.

Toronto Bites: The Good Fork

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Dani: For me, The Good Fork will always be the restaurant that I associate with the sensation of starting to feel like a grown up. I got us a lunch reservation as soon as we discovered this place, and remember feeling exuberant when I got the confirmation. I was so excited! This date was also a pleasant moment to look forward to for us both, since we’re in the middle of a crazy hard semester. I think the only downside to The Good Fork is how out of the way it is for us -Bloor Street West was an hour and fifteen minutes of commuting from North York.

Mikaius: Despite the commute, it was absolutely great going to The Good Fork. What a feeling of “realness,” to have a reservation, and keep it! Not just keep it, but be an hour early!

Dani: The service was great! We were seated immediately at a window spot, where we could look out at the slushy Toronto sidewalks. Don’t get me wrong, I love window tables even on slushy Toronto days: basking in sunshine while eating delicious food is one of my ideas of heaven. The décor was beautiful, the interior was spotless, and our server was super attentive.

Mikaius: Dani’s right! We walked in, and we were seated right away. This nice little cozy spot, right at the front window. I felt so comfy looking at our slushy Toronto, with the sunlight pouring in on us. I can’t speak much to the aesthetic, as I spent my time ogling at Dani and gazing out the window.

Dani: For myself, I got a cup of coffee and the Good Forkin’ Morning with peameal bacon, which included: two eggs any way you liked them, which I ordered poached; home fries; a slice of Fred’s bread, blood orange sections, and of course the peameal bacon. The coffee was alright (the chocolate caramel cookie flavoured brew I have at home might be affecting my judgement), but it was the meal that really stood out. OH. GOD. The eggs were so beautiful I Snapchatted the moment I broke open the ooey-gooey golden yolk goodness, and how I wish I had saved that little four-second video. The bread was tasty, and the little tots were so flavourful I ate all of them even though my tummy was begging me not to finish my plate. The peameal bacon was also so tasty, and went so well with the rest of that beautiful plate.

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Mikaius: Every. Damn. Thing. That I could have wanted from “Spanish Hash” is what I got. Absolutely delicious chorizo with a little bit of spice, poached eggs to pop with gooey-goodness, tiny little home fry-tater-tot-things and roasted red peppers. Absolutely delicious, and piled on top of that black bread, was indescribably fulfilling. I couldn’t even finish the whole thing, and had to take it home to finish off. Adding bits of Dani’s peameal bacon to it all was just the icing on the cake. I recently “discovered” pea meal from a sandwich at St. Lawrence Market, otherwise I’d never really paid attention to it before. Pea meal bacon is a godsend!

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Dani: I would happily recommend this to anybody who was thinking of doing it. Just be mindful of how far the place is, especially if you need to be somewhere else right after

Mikaius: Recommend, recommend, recommend! The cost of a meal at Cora’s basically, except with a focus on more savoury foods, more unique dishes than you’d receive at Cora’s. I still prefer Cora’s, but the savoury goodness at The Good Fork has to be tried at least once!

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Toronto Bites: Cora’s

Disclaimer: I am very much a loyal Cora’s fan. It is my go-to place for brunch whenever I can, because their serving sizes are great, all the dishes I’ve had there were amazing, and my family (who, as I’ve mentioned before is very Filipino in their tastes) loved the restaurant enough that there were no complaints at all when I took them there for Family Day. My go-to order? Their ham and cheese crepe-omelette: moist, flavourful, and doused with a liberal amount of their beautiful hollandaise sauce. I usually have it with orange juice, or a cup of coffee on the rare days that I really need that blast of caffeine.

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Cora’s, I love your food. You will always have a lifelong customer in me. Please never go away.

Mikaius and I had breakfast at the Cora’s at Dufferin and Steeles, and (as always), it was a great experience. It’s such a treat to go and have breakfast there, and it’s not just because of their food! The restaurant was immaculate, and I love the wall murals featuring some of the menu items. It gives the place a homey atmosphere, almost like we’re having breakfast at some beloved aunt or grandma’s place. The combination of the well-maintained interior and the cheeriness of the staff, plus the general high quality of their food means that I am a repeat diner, and will probably be so until the foreseeable future. We were also seated promptly – no matter how packed the place is, wait times are never over the top.

We were pleasantly surprised when we discovered that they had a new section in the menu! Mikaius usually orders something sweet for breakfast because he loves their custard, but he was sufficiently intrigued that he ordered from the new section. He had the hotdog-and-bacon stuffed crepe with breakfast potatoes served with spicy hollandaise, and a latte bowl. The latte was indeed served in a cup that was almost as deep as a bowl, but in my haste to dig in I forgot a photo of his coffee. I only had a bite or two of his food, but it was tasty! The dish is very rich, what with both bacon and hotdog in one bite all wrapped up in the tasty crepe. It might not be for you if you prefer a lighter breakfast, but if you’re ravenous and you feel like having something heavy, I would definitely recommend this.

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Hotdog and bacon stuffed crepe, spicy hollandaise, and breakfast potatoes. Heavy? Yes. Tasty? Very much!

I also ordered from their new menu and had the breakfast poutine: breakfast potatoes, red bell peppers, chunks of bacon and sausage, cheese curds, hollandaise sauce, and topped with a perfectly cooked sunny side up egg. Beautiful, beautiful dish. Everything worked together and was a taste explosion in my mouth. It was totally more than I could eat, of course, and I ended up taking the rest with me to work so I could have it for lunch, but what I had was oh so delicious. There was just the right amount of everything and the cheese curds were wonderfully melty. It also reheats beautifully, and although the sauce did break (I don’t think hollandaise was meant to be popped in the microwave and heated up) the flavours were still beautiful. I would definitely order it again, for sure!

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Breakfast poutine: breakfast potatoes, red peppers, chunks of bacon and sausage, cheese curds, hollandaise sauce, and topped with a sunny side up egg for good measure!

An immaculate and homey interior, the friendliest and most helpful of servers, delicious food, and a consistently great experience? Why yes, I shall come back as often as I can. Cora’s is always a treat for the tummy, and an option that is sure to please when I want to take people out to brunch. It has a lot of options, even for the pickiest of eaters. This restaurant is definitely on my list of go-to breakfast and brunch places.

Overall rating: 5/5, would go back again and again.