Monthly Archives: June 2011

Mangoes and How I Probably Like Them

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I used to say that ” I don’t like mangoes”,  but now I think that statement might be wrong.  For one thing I used to like them when I was very little.  I don’t remember that and people’s tastes can change over time.  With my first memory of eating a mango, I didn’t like it that much because of the aftertaste.

Mango Ice Cream

 Whenever we went to Haandi’s (Indian Buffet/Restaurant) I would always have Mango Ice Cream for dessert.  It seems weird that I would like Mango Ice Cream but hate mangoes.  To me, its not as weird as it would seem because the ice cream is flavoured.

Mango Chutney

 Another mango dish I’ve had at Haandi’s is their Mango Chutney, although not as often as the ice cream.  I’ve tried the chutney way more recently than I tried the ice cream.  Now we have Mango Chutney from a jar in our house and I like using it as a dipping sauce for my meats.

Mango Lassi

My family first decided to try Mango Lassi when they saw some people drinking it in a Chinese restaurant.  The Mango Lassi tastes similar to Mango Juice,  just a bit thicker.  It was very refreshing and I don’t recall a considerably bad aftertaste.  I’ve also had Mango Juice at The Real Jerk and I liked it much as the Lassi.

It was starting to become obvious that I DO like mangoes so I decided to try the real fruit.  The texture was fine and I enjoyed the flavour including the aftertaste.  I think it may have been CANTALOUPE that I don’t like.

Another fruit I do not like is oranges because of the pulp texture that makes me gag (literally).  But I like the juice (pulp-free of course).

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Mango Lassi Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped mango (peeled and stone removed)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar, to taste
  • A dash of ground cardamom (optional)

Method

Put mango, yogurt, milk, sugar and cardamom into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses, and serve. Can sprinkle with a little cardamom.

The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Yield: Makes about 2 cups.

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The Burger’s Priest

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or The Burger’s Priest vs Dangerous Dan’s

That’s right, I’m comparing The Burger’s Priest against Dangerous Dan’s in this post. The word on the street is that The Burger’s Priest might actually upstage the DD himself, and I’m putting that to the test.

The funny thing about this story is that my Mom and I were supposed to go to the gym.  But Nana wanted to go on a walk because it was such nice day out and so we decided to check out The Burger’s Priest as well.

Although its quite famous, The Burger’s Priest does not catch the eye of the casual passersby.  This restaurant is one of two on this block to have a silhouette of burger on its window. The other being the Harvey’s across the street.

This is me waiting for my Hamburger

Now here’s where the comparisons begin.  I will not compare locations as I live fairly close to The Burger’s Priest and relatively far from Dangerous Dan’s.   As for the decor, I found The Burger’s Priest had three black and white framed photos in the dining area (a counter with stools, of which there are five).  At Dangerous Dan’s they have these magical things called tables.

My Burger and Fries

Both restaurants do have some things in common.  For instance they both have burgers that are in desperate need of toppings so that they do not just taste of meaty blandness.  And my mom says they  need to add some $%*& spices into the $#@& meat!!!

 My burger was quite small compared to my hands (which is the size of an average adults), as opposed to a Dangerous Dan’s burger which are too big for those who don’t want a large meal.  So it’s really a question of whether you want something that’s too big or too small.  The fried onions on The Burger’s Priest cheeseburger I got were actually quite tasty.  I said mmmmm when I bit into them.  I wish I could taste the cheese more but at least it wasn’t overpowering.  There were no fried onions on my DD burger so we’ll let you decide whose fried onions are better.

We shared the fries

These fries were definately homemade – you can tell just by looking at them – so I’ll give them that. My mom thought they were cold and some of them were overcooked but I didn’t notice and I like my fries on the crispy side.  They did need some salt before you ate them.  The only fries we had at DD were in the Poutine and you can’t compare the two fairly.

My Mom's & Nana's burgers

My mother thought that her burger was greasy but the she liked the processed cheese and grocery store (WonderBread) buns as they reminded her of backyard burgers from her childhood.  She also really liked the pickle, it had a garlicy flavour and was sliced thinly which made it easier to bite into.  I’m not a pickle fan, so I’m not familiar with the finer pickle details but I like what it added to the burger.  To put it simply, and spare The Burger’s Priest from anymore hurting, Nana hated their food and would have preferred Burger King (ouch!!).

It seems a bit of a mystery that we disliked The Burger’s Priest while a lot people think that it rivals Dangerous Dan’s.  It might not be the burger itself (meaning the meat patty) but the processed bun and cheese that brings them back to their childhoods and therefore this restaurant.  Another reason why people may like this place is because the burger’s have a homemade meat taste to them; even though it’s not very good.

P.S. Sorry The Burger’s Priest but we had to be honest

The Burger’s Priest: 1636 Queen Street East
The Burger's Priest on Urbanspoon

The Real Jerk

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Inside The Real Jerk

In a previous post, my Dangerous Dan’s Elvis Shake post, to be exact; I mentioned that we were originally in the neighbourhood to eat at The Real Jerk.  After this, The Real Jerk was never brought up, and things progressed without mentioning it, until now.  Now the waiting for The Real Jerk post is over (excessive cheering can be heard).  The reason it took so long for me to post my review of this restaurant is because we had to go there twice in order to taste enough menu items.

FIRST VISIT

A beef patty, the first thing I ate at The Real Jerk

The Real Jerk beef patties are not suprisingly much better than the ones you get at say a place like “Coffee Time”.  For one thing the pastry is flavourful and flaky like it should be.  When you take your first bite, you get a big pocket of steam so it looks like there is not much meat in it and you wonder if you’ve been conned.  But as you eat it, the patty compresses and magically becomes more meat filled.  The moist, creamy meat filling had a delicious gravy with a sweet onion taste.

My Mom's Plate: Jerk Chicken, Spicy Shrimp, Rice and Peas, Coleslaw

Given the name of the restaurant, I shall review the Jerk Chicken first.  Ironically The Real Jerk’s, Jerk Chicken, was dry and didn’t have a lot of flavour.  We can’t give a fair review of The Spicy Shrimp because the waiter said it was the spiciest item on the menu so my mother decided to ask for a milder version. The Rice and Peas is actually rice and kidney beans with oxtail gravy. I thought it was an average side dish with no redeeming qualities while my mother wanted to take a bath in the gravy (not literally – whew).

My Plate: Chicken Wings, Pork Ribs, RIce and Peas, Coleslaw and pepper sauce on the side

Ribs are one of my favorite types of meat, along with sausages.  So it’s no surprise that I loved the succulent, delicious Jerk Ribs.  The jerk sauce was a bit sweet and mild, while the pepper sauce (on the side) had a really high spice level that required a lot of coke and coleslaw to cool down.  As for my wings, I really don’t remember what they tasted like because we didn’t write any notes.  So we’ll default to “unmemorable”.

SECOND VISIT

Cod Fritters

Cod Fritters, in case you were wondering, taste like fish & chips only way better.  The way they made it, was that the fish is mixed in with the batter, so the whole fritter tastes of the cod, unlike battered fish which is usually just mostly the batter.  The Cod Fritter batter also has flavour within itself and it wasn’t greasy.  Nana loved these cod fritters.

Banana Fritters

As for the Banana Fritters, Nana and I thought they were too sweet and didn’t like them, while my mother loved them.

My Plate: Curry Goat & Fried Chicken combo

The Goat Curry tasted like I thought it should be, only better.  I also found the Fried Chicken to be quite juicy and delicious.  My mom’s curry chicken was also very tender so because of this, we think the dryness of the Jerk Chicken was an isolated incident.

My Mom's Plate: Curry Chicken combo

I found the Curry Chicken to have a good flavour but too mild, spice-wise.  My mom really enjoyed the curry flavour as it reminded her of the yellow curries from her childhood.

My Nana's Plate: Rasta Pasta

Both Nana and I agree that the Rasta Pasta (noodles and veggies in a coconut cream sauce) had a nice sweet richness to the sauce without an overwhelming coconut flavour.  There was also a generous amount of vegetables in the pasta and Nana was pleased with the choice of vegetables that were in it. She was worried it was going to have a bunch of cabbage in it as filler, and this was not the case.

Although The Real Jerk is not my exclusive choice for Jamacian food and I would like to try other Jamacian restaurants; I would go back to them again for those hidden treasure dishes.

The Real Jerk : 709 Queen Street East

The Real Jerk on Urbanspoon

Cats, Cheese and Mexican Markets

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If you have seen my post on El Trompo, a Mexican restaurant in Kensignton, then you know that I described a “Chinese money cat” as part of their decor.  However, my sister Reighan said that it was actually Japanese Beckoning cat.  It’s Japanese name is Maneki Neko and is used as a symbol for good luck. I think one reason this cat is confused for a Chinese Money Cat is because these are common in Chinatown and it is said to bring you money.

Also after my El Trompo post, my father posted that it could have been Cotija Queso (cheese) that was used in the tacos and quesadillas.  But the properties of this cheese are white and crumbly much like a more commonly known Feta cheese. 

Another Mexican cheese with a harder more melty property is called Queso Quesadilla. We have never tasted this cheese that we know of, so we are not sure if this is the cheese that El Trompo uses.

One place we may be able to find this cheese is the Perola Supermarket (247 Augusta Ave) which my mother has neglected to go to for many years (how? I don’t know).   I would like to go to this market SOON, not only to check out the different cheeses but to also taste other mexican ingredients.

P.S. If I got you hooked on Churros by me mentioning them in the El Trompo post, Pancho’s Bakery (214 Augusta Ave) sells churros and other Mexican goodies every day of the week. Just saying, so you don’t have to wait till the weekend when they are at El Trompo. Tip: Get to Pancho’s early!