Monthly Archives: May 2011

El Trompo

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Mexican Pineapple Soda

Pico de Gallo with homemade Tortilla Chips
Condiments for the soup. Shredded lettuce is in the bowl under the tortillas
Pozole Rojo
Chorizo Tacos
Cheleta con Queso
Nana’s Quezadillas
Churros WITHOUT Chocolate Sauce

One of the best of the few real Mexican restaurants in Toronto, is El Trompo.  There are plenty of Tex-Mex eateries in this city but they don’t sell REAL Mexican food.  The entrance of Kensignton Market (the location for El Trompo) offers different versions of this cuisine. One is El Trompo, obviously, and the other is a restaurant called Big Fat Burrito which sells an Americanized type of Mexican food.  This is a good example of how in the culinary world, Mexican food has taken two separate roads. Two likely reasons for this are for one; the Big Fat Burrito is considerably bigger than El Trompo and has to find quicker ways to serve more customers (ie Tex-Mex over Real-Mex).  Another reason is that Big Fat Burrito has three locations in Toronto and again needs more effecient ways to ship, prepare and serve food.

The interior of El Trompo includes a small open kitchen at the enterance, a warm and comfortable Mexican dining area and a closed prep area at the back.  In the dining area there are pretty paintings on the walls, colourful painted wooden chairs and tables and a giant 3-D beer bottle (What the ….?!)at the back. Next to the open kitchen there are decorative objects from mixed cultures on a table, as an example, a Chinese money-cat, a statue of Buddha and a small painting of Jesus.

Because my Nana came with my mother and me, we were able to order a large variety of foods. I ordered Pico de Gallo and corn soup as appetizers, Chorizo tacos as the main course, Mexican pinapple sodapop as my beverage and a Churro for dessert. We went on Sunday, so we were able to order the corn soup and churros as they are Week-End Specials only. The Pico de Gallo has fresh tomatoes and refreshing spicy flavour that’s not overwhelming, which is why I always order it when we go there.  The Pozole Rojo (Red Pork and Corn Soup) was very hearty with a homey mexican soup flavour. I also liked how they brought a bowl of condiments including diced radishes, shredded lettuce, deep fried corn tortillas, red chili flakes and dried oregano. When eating the Chorizo tacos, I could tell that the meat was a spicy sausage and also it went really well with the cheese (we don’t know what kind it is, but we REALLY want to know). The chopped cilantro adds a fresh herbiness, while the lime juice and a little bit of acidity. Cheleta con Queso (Pork with Cheese Taco) has a unique savoury flavour created by the marinated meat and secret cheese, that is hard to associate with any other flavour or dish.  One of the things Nana ordered was the Spicy Tinga de Pollo (Chicken Quezadilla) which is one of her favourite items on the menu. She said “Oh God” when she bit into it, saying that it was the perfect spice level for her, while my mother and I couldn’t taste any heat at all.  The huitlacoche (Corn Truffle Quezadilla) is made from a fungus (not a truffle) that grows on corn.  Eeewww, but good.  This is something new we tried and each of had different ideas on what it tasted like. I found it to be sweet and not unlike the cheese they use while my mother and Nana said they also tasted some earthy qualities.  For dessert we ordered Churros, which are stick-shaped Mexican Cinnamon donuts. The waitresses also offer chocolate sauce on them but we always say NO! The Churros have a crunchy exterior with a soft chewy hollow interior and a generous dusting of cinnamon on the outside, which would be ruined by the chocolate sauce.

Along with the great food the staff are also very friendly.  One of the waitresses recognized us from our last visit and also made good suggestions,  such as,  not ordering two soups as they are filling and also trying a Mexican soda pop. I actually really liked that Pineapple drink.

El Trompo 277 Augusta Avenue
El Trompo on Urbanspoon

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Dangerous Dan’s Elvis Shake

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I came across this shake while waiting for a restaurant across the street to open. We want to do a review of The Real Jerk, a Jamacian restaurant, but it opens at two o’clock on a Sunday.  We had to wait an hour and it was raining outside. So we killed half that time by having an Elvis shake at Dangerous Dan’s. The Elvis shake is made from chocolate ice cream, peanut butter and bananas (I kid you not).

I found the shake to be surprisingly tasty, but my mother didn’t like it as much.  In fact, she felt it was just a really bad idea. It was hard to taste the chocolate ice cream, which means either the peanut butter was too overwhelming or the peanut butter and chocolate merged to make a new flavour. Because I thought mine was accidently too thick, we switched cups for a little while. I found my mom’s shake had more of a banana-like flavour. This shows that the ingredient ratio is not constant. Probably because of the peanut butter I thought the shake was too thick to suck through the straw without a lot of effort. Next time I go to Dangerous Dan’s I want to try out a different shake, to see if that theory is correct.

Struggling to get the Elvis Shake through the straw

Dangerous Dans Diner 714 Queen St E
Dangerous Dan's Diner on Urbanspoon

The Real Brontoburger

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The Brontosaurus is part of Fred's daily job

Brontosaurus – a popular dinosaur used in the Flinstones

The Bronto burger is one of the main foods in the Flintstones cartoon. The Brontosaurus itself is also used for cranes, bridges and also as buses and firetrucks.  If the cartoon had been made later, it actually would have been an Apatosaurus lifting rocks in the quarry. This is because the famous Brontosaurus NEVER  existed.  In fact, the brontosaurus fossil was actually an apatosaurus body with the head of another sauropod dinosaur. Sauropods are those long necked dinosaurs ie the Braciosaurus.

Some of my newer posts are actually inspired by your comments. I appreciate that and look forward to your new comments

Apatosaurus

Fictional Foods

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An undersea burger using land-based toppings

Guess how much this Bronto Burger weighs
Hopefully Dead Gagh
A Chocolate Frog popping out of his box
The Harry Potter Theme Park’s Pumpkin Juice
The Three Broomsticks’ Butter Beer

This topic is about foods, from fictional films and books, that don’t exist.  Here is a list of them that I would like to try.

Harry Potter: Butter Beer  Even though the Butter Beer is based on an actual recipe, I would like to know what the Harry Potter version tastes like. On Google it was revealed that one of the original recipes for butter beer was simply warmed beer with melted butter added.  Another Harry Potter favorite of mine is Pumpkin Juice.  There are several videos I’ve seen of kids sampling on pumpkin pulp and/or rinds while carving Halloween Jack ‘O Laterns. Shortly after, they throw it up.  So why is it that Harry Potter and his friends can drink Pumpkin Juice easily, as if it were water? There might be a spell or magical element added to make it more edible. Or it could be available without pulp, like orange juice. A Harry Potter candy I would like to try is the Chocolate Frog. The magical moving card that comes with it, is one of the main reasons I would like to get a Chocolate Frog. I do have some problems with the fact that the frogs actually move and look alive. The frogs would make cool pets. I wonder if they come with or without nuts. If they do come with nuts, I wonder if they’re placed to look like organs.

These foods are available at the Harry Potter Theme Park that’s in Orlando Florida, but some foods might be more realistic than others. For example, it would be easy to make a recipe for non-moving Butter Beer or non-magical Every Flavour Beans, than a really moving Chocolate Frog. And the card is probably holographic. I would still like to try these foods, however.

Spongebob: Krabby Patties  The toppings are lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, a secret patty formula and sometimes cheese. I wonder what they taste like because the recipe for them is a secret.   It is not a crab cake. The owner of the restaurant (Krusty Krab) is a crab. What kind of a sicko would he be to make his burgers out of crab?!!? Another weird thing is that they call it a “formula” not a “recipe”, making me wonder what goes in it.

Flintstones: Bronto Burger  In a land full of dinosaurs, its no wonder that the food on the Flintstones is gigantic (like a car-tipping rack of ribs). It makes me ponder why Fred isn’t even bigger than he is, like dinosaur sized. Despite it’s enormous size, its light enough to hold like a normal sized burger. More or less.  Just with your arms spread out wider. Dinosaur meat probably tastes different from alligator meat because paleotologists think that dinosaurs were warm blooded. But it would also taste different than say, pork, because the dinosaurs were reptiles.

Star Trek: Klingon Gagh  Despite the fact Klingons find it tougher (as in more warrior-like) )to eat Gagh live, I ain’t having that stuff squirming in my stomach. An easier Star Trek choice, would have been Vulcan  Plomeek Soup. It was mentioned on an episode, but never actually shown. Vulcans don’t care about being warriors, so they don’t feel the need to eat yucko food.  Gagh might taste like squid, because it looks like tentacles. Why is Romulan Ale blue? Maybe they went to Earth and stole the recipe for Gatorade.

Recipe for Butter Beer

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 1 pint real vanilla ice cream (use a brand that includes vanilla seed specks for best flavor or make your own)
  • 1/4 cup real butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon butterscotch extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • Apple slices for garnish, optional
Preparation:
On medium speed, beat together vanilla ice cream, butter, butterscotch extract, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeguntil well-combined. Pour into a container and re-freeze.When ready to serve, gently heat applecider in a saucepan until steaming hot.Place 1 scoop of ice cream in a thick soda glass or large mug. Top with steaming applecider. Garnish with apple slices, if desired.Yield: 4 to 6 servings