Constant Craving

We were pleasantly full from our tour through the St. Lawrence Market. I had read about the “Distillery District” being a must visit section of the city. I really didn’t have a grasp of what we would encounter, but we all assumed there would be, well…distilleries.  There weren’t. There were, however, very cutesy shops and cafés to roam through.

Adorbs Bakery

Adorbs Bakery

Stratified paint.

We came across a clever display of “Love Locks”.  You may be aware of the origins of this practice. In Paris, visitors would attach these padlocks along the bridge of Pont des Arts. The romantic notion being that you would write something sentimental (presumably regarding the love of your life) on the lock, attach  it to the railing, and then toss the key into the river immortalizing your love forever! 

Love Locks in the Distillery District

In Paris, this was considered charming at first. Soon the thrill wore off for the locals as sections of fencing on the Pont des Arts crumbled under the locks’ weight! The bridge carried more than 700,000 locks with a weight roughly the same as 20 elephants.

Au revoir, Love Locks!

Toronto’s heart shaped, non structural art installation seems much more practical, don’t you think?

A little more browsing around!

It was a bit chilly for this lovely outdoor space.

We found a remnant of the old guard.


We dipped in to a fancy shmancy chocolatier.

Meghan treated us with a sampling.

We were about ready to have a cocktail and rest our weary feet. I had read nothing but excellent things about the Cluny Bistro.

I stole this picture from the website. Good detectives could tell right away.

The place was gorgeous, and decidedly French.

The raw bar in the foreground and a peek at the kitchen.

We landed at the bar, of course.

Fanciful Menu Art

Those baguettes! Mon Dieu!

We finished whatever froo froo drinks we got and poked around some more shops.

Crazy expensive cookware.

An olive oils tasting room. The sales lady there was super chatty.

The fire pit was raging at the outdoor area we passed earlier.

We waited in the courtyard for an Uber to take us to dinner.

The place I chose for our last evening was  called Boralia.  Here’s the description from the website:

“Boralia celebrates the historic origins of Canadian cuisine. Our menu draws inspiration from traditional Aboriginal dishes, as well as the recipes of early settlers and immigrants of the 18th and 19th centuries.”

Discreet signage.

The place was super tiny and dark. The only interior pic that came out was this funky light fixture.

Matt’s Beer choice.

Some gorgeus bread to start.

Boralia Menu

Because this place is seasonal and changes its menu regularly, I was SOL getting proper dish descriptions for you.  That’s what happens when you procrastinate writing your blog for ten months. Just a lil’ lesson for my fellow journalists. Anyhoo, a couple of the dishes stayed on menu. You’ll be able to tell which ones they are…’

Deviled Chinese Tea Eggs c.1860

I have no recollection of this.

Pigeon Pie- Roast Squab Breast, Puff Pastry, Mushroom Duxelles, Spinach, Shaved Foie Gras c.1611

Egg and spatzel?

Some sort of venison dish, probably.

We enjoyed all these tastings very much. They were delectable and beautifully presented. The thing was, it was getting pretty expensive and we would need to spend way too much money to get properly full.  We settled up and decided to go directly, yes, directly back to our very first stop on this trip: Bar Hop.

This is what they call a “Call Back” in the biz.

Fried Pig Cheek Mac & Cheese Smoked Cheddar, Parmesan & Mozzarella With Crispy Brussel Sprouts & Pickled Apple Salad

Falafel Sandwich** Black Bean Ball, Pickled Fennel, Tomato, Garlic Sauce & Apple Slaw on House Made Naan

Thai Basil Mussels

My friends, I would drive the 800 miles in a heartbeat for this food. Everything we had here on both visits was just phenomenal. Now, I like fancy food just as much as the next guy, and the meal we had at our previous stop was splendid, but this lovingly prepared, abundant comfort food is exactly what we needed to wrap up this trip.

The next morning we prepared to make our way to the airport. I hadn’t noticed until then that our room overlooked a school playground. I thought this shot was pretty artsy.

Maybe not.

You may recall that my choice of Poutine didn’t go over well with the family. The kids wanted to experience the real deal before we left. The boy did what the millennials tend to do, took to Reddit. It was unanimous that the best poutine in Toronto is at…wait for it… A GAS STATION.

Yup we did it.

This was legit a gas station but it was also cute as all get out.

To go bags lined up under the hand written signage.

Some homemade pastries in the case.

Canada has all the good chips. I need clam and tomato potato chips!!!

Alas, the Reddit was right. This poutine was bomb!

Look at those curds!!!

One last look our fair (gloomy) city.

This trip was quickly planned and poorly thought out. The weather, while not being as bone-chillingly cold as expected, was pretty grim. The big, bucket list event, seeing Niagara Falls, was a complete bust. The splash-out restaurant I chose was just not the experience that I had hoped for. And yet, we had the most amazing time. We spent three days talking, laughing, eating, drinking, playing games, and simply enjoying each other. I couldn’t imagine any vacation better than that.


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