Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Summer Faves

Summer in Toronto is anything but boring. There's tons of things to do and eat!! From all the different festivals, fairs, food fests, exhibitions and amusement park that were around almost every weekend- it's hard not to give in and indulge in all the treats they offer. I've decided to dedicate this blog entry to my favourite summer treats. Unfortunately, most if not all of the treats are only available during the summer. So you gotta eat it while you can!!! (Btw if you know it's available anywhere else during the rest of the year, please feel free to comment below and let me know!)

The Thanksgiving Waffle from the Exhibition Place

Fran's did an awesome job this year coming up with the Thanksgiving Waffle- it's literally Thanksgiving dinner in a waffle sandwich!! This sandwich consists of two waffles made from stuffing, and in between was turkey, and gravy. John and I aren't a big fan of cranberry sauce so we opted out of putting any in our sandwich.

Thanksgiving Waffle 

Deep Fried Oreos from the Exhibition Place

If you didn't think you should try deep frying random foods- the Ex definitely did it for you! The Ex is known for offering a random selection of deep fried goodies, and this year I got to try "Deep Fried Oreos." I have a HUGE sweet tooth so it's pretty obvious that I enjoyed this.

Deep Fried Oreos

Funnel Cake from Wonderland

Summer feels incomplete if I don't get my Funnel Cake fix from Wonderland. This year I got to try their new flavours- Cookies and Cream and Red Velvet. They also had another flavour called "4 Berries" but I personally don't like fruits in my desserts.  The Cookies and Cream funnel cake consisted of their usual funnel cake smeared with Oreo cream-filling, topped with crushed oreo cookies, and all served with soft served ice-cream drizzled with chocolate syrup. The Red Velvet funnel cake, which is my favourite- is simply red velvet flavoured funnel cake dough served with soft serve ice cream sprinkled with sugar powder and drizzled with chocolate syrup.
Red Velvet Funnel Cake

On the right: Regular Funnel Cake--- On the Left: Cookies & Cream Funnel Cake

I wish I was able to take more pictures of the different foods I got to eat at the different festivals, but I was too busy eating to take a picture -_-

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my summer faves for 2014, and I'm sure next summer will consist of even more amazing food!!!!!

Workout progress post to follow soon because I clearly needed to workout after eating all this!


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

"What's your body type??"

A few months ago, I wanted to lose weight for my older brother's wedding and at the same time I was trying to increase my strength. My workout was based on the strength-gaining program called 5-3-1 by Jim Wendler, and the diet I was doing definitely didn't supply me with the amount of energy I needed to constantly increase the weights I was lifting. I did reach the body weight I wanted to have in time for the wedding, but I sacrificed all the numbers I was working so hard to gain.

I knew that the diet I was on was not realistic to maintain for more than a month, and I actually didn't stay on it any longer than that. I eventually got back to eating the way I normally do, and I'll admit- it's not always the healthiest meals. Even though I started eating more, I still struggled to increase my gains for my workout and I just couldn't understand why.
John showed me this article online which talks about knowing what your body type is. This article reminded me that one diet does not fit all, and everyone's body is different. Depending on your body type- you may have to eat more or less of certain foods to maintain/lose/gain weight. The type of exercises you do would also depend on your body type to get your desired results.

Make sure to understand what kind of body type you have and how your body works instead of doing some crazy diet or exercise routine. It's so basic but so important!! By simply adjusting your workouts and diet to specifically to meet the needs of YOUR body can get you to your goal that much faster.

Here's the link for the article: "What is your body type?"

Take the quick test on the site and see what your body type is if you don't already know :)


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Pear Tree Restaurant- Cabbagetown

A few weeks ago John and I found this little gem of a restaurant in Cabbagetown. I was looking for a new restaurant for us to try for John's birthday, and randomly chose this one. I'm so glad I did!! The place was cute, service was great and the food was delicious!! We liked it so much that we went back there the week after with John's siblings.

Atmosphere: Inside- 8 Outside Patio-9
Customer Service: 8
Food Quality: 9
Price: Medium

Pear Tree Restaurant- 507 Parliament Street
Art work of featured artist

Pear Tree is located in Cabbagetown Toronto. You can walk from Sherbourne Station or take a quick street car ride from College Station. The restaurant isn't that big, but does stretch pretty far back to include a patio. This restaurant has an indoor patio which allows you to enjoy natural sunlight or the view outside without actually having to sit outside. Their outdoor patio is more like a backyard patio. It's not that big but can probably seat around 15 people comfortably.

The inside of the restaurant is dimly lighted which makes for a nice romantic dinner. The brick walls are filled with paintings which features a local artist. The server mentioned that the restaurant features works of different artists and sells them- 100% of the profit goes back to the artist. He also mentioned that they have quite a long wait list if you want to try to have your work up on their wall.
We received good service on both occasions. However, we did have a little mishap during our first visit. The server was professional enough to take care of it but didn't go above and beyond to rectify the situation. Nonetheless, we didn't let it ruin our experience because the food was really good!

Regular Menu & Fixed-Prix Menu
Complimentary Bread

The appearance of the menu really didn't look that much- it could definitely be updated. The price of everything was really reasonable, and even the fixed-prix menu was definitely a bang for your buck! Everything on the fixed-prix menu ranged from $20-$25, and there was a good amount of options for your appetizer, main and dessert. The complimentary bread was delicious and the taste was unique. The flavour had a hint of a cheesy taste, and it was served hot and moist :)

Kim's Meal
Butternut Squash Soup
Breast of Chicken Burgundy with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies   
Chocolate Truffle Cake
I chose the butternut squash soup as my appetizer. The soup was creamy, and the taste of cinnamon was not overpowering- which I feel like can be the case at most restaurants. The soup had a lot of flavour and it went great with the complimentary bread. My main meal was their burgundy chicken which was chicken breast topped off with a red wine pearl onion sauce and mashed potatoes. The chicken was nice and moist, and the sauce was such a unique flavour. I still crave the sauce till now! The portion for everything was great considering the price! I was so full at the end of my meal that eating my dessert was a struggle- which is usually not the case. 

All their cake desserts were from the company La Rocca, but those cakes are also available in some grocery stores. So as yummy as the cake was, something a little less common would have been better. 

John's Meal

Potato Leek Soup

Surf & Turf w/ Basmati Rice & Veggies 

Carrot Cake

To start, I had the potato leek soup which was made in house. It was really well seasoned and spiced with a variety of different herbs. The texture of the soup was light and chunky and it was the perfect start to my whole experience at Pear Tree.

The main dish featured a 10oz new york strip loin steak that was cooked medium rare, covered and marinated to perfection with garlic butter. The lobster tail was also really good and it was marinated with garlic butter as well. I rarely ever eat lobster so I personally don't know what great lobster is suppose to taste like but I enjoyed it a lot. I ordered their basmati rice as a side which I really felt it blended well with the meats. All in all, great quality, large servings and great price!

I usually don't get dessert after a meal but this carrot cake disappeared faster than it arrived. Cakes are just cakes, as long as they're sweet and moist that's good enough for me.

Overall, great place for date night! Great food, good portions, and lovely environment :)

Pear Tree's Website

- J & K

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Hi all!

I apologize for not posting any reviews in the past couple of weeks- things have been a little bit hectic. But I will definitely be posting a review by the end of this week on hidden gem John and I found in Cabbagetown!

Also, I know originally I said you would read from a "his/her perspective" when it came to the restaurant reviews but it seems that John and I usually have similar experiences, so it will seem repetitive to read both of our full reviews on a place.  So from now on, John and I will combine our reviews on places in ONE post as opposed to two separate posts.

Also, workout/diet tips will be posted soon..PROMISE. So until then, if you have any questions/suggestions feel free to comment below :)

P.S. Follow us on instagram!! ---> username: BARBELLSNBISTROS


Sunday, 25 May 2014

KANGA- AUSSIE MEAT PIES- *Her Persepective*

John and I recently found out that Kanga had finally opened their own shop. We first tried Kanga meat pies last year at a food festival, and we instantly fell in love with their pies!! We made it one of our must-go-to spots for John's birthday this past week.

Atmosphere: 9/10

Customer Service: 9/10

Food Quality: 10/10

Price: Low

Front of Kanga- 65 Duncan Street, Toronto
Meat Pies: The Canadian; The Traditional; El Diablo

Kanga's shop is located in downtown Toronto- only a couple minutes walk from Osegood Station. The shop is small with only about six chairs available for customers, and two benches outside. The place reminds me of a tiny bakery shop, and it smells like one too! You can smell all the pie goodness in the air. Again, the space the is small but I think they were able to set it up quite nice, and it fits their style of the food they are serving.

Everyone was really nice at the shop. It was really hard to choose what kind of pies we wanted to get, and the server was more than helpful making suggestions. Unfortunately not everything we wanted was available at the moment because they had run out of certain pies, but the server was quick to suggest an alternate- and we weren't disappointed!

We had three different types of pies.

"The Canadian:" Steak and Bacon, braised with Amsterdam Brown Ale
"The Traditional:" Minced beef in a beef and vegemite gravy
"El Diablo:" Pulled Pork in BBQ sauce with a potato top

Everything tasted amazing. The pie crust was nice and flaky, and all the fillings were bursting with flavour!. You can definitely taste how fresh all the ingredients were, and how fresh the pie was. Also, there was a good amount of meat in every pie portion! My favourite was The Traditional and the El Diablo (A definite must try if you go!). All the pies ranged between $7-$10, so trying more than once type wasn't too hard on the wallet.

Overall, great food and great spot! Definitely a summer favourite :)

Restaurant Link: Kanga- Ausie Meat Pies


Monday, 19 May 2014


My review of Harlem Underground (John)

Atmosphere 9/10

The space of the restaurant was small but in no way uncomfortable. I enjoyed their unique design which had the vibe that i could just lounge there all night and sip on a drink with some wicked music and great company, which I did! We were also informed by the manager that they have live music every fridays. Will definitely check it out sometime.

Customer Service 10/10

Customer service was spot on here. We were greeted as soon as we walked into the restaurant and were able to pick which ever table we wanted. Our server immediately informed us on what their special of the day was and provided us with our drinks right afterwards. Food came out in a reasonable and timely manner and they did an amazing job in engaging with us by having small conversations. Excellent customer service.

Food Quality 9/10

The food here tasted amazing. I ordered the Jerk BBQ chicken with coconut rice and peas. The only reason i didn't give it a 10/10 was because the chicken was a bit too smothered with the bbq sauce, may not be a bad thing for some but i would have preferred it on the lighter side. Portion is one thing that i judge and thank God they followed through with that. My belly was satisfied and we left all full and happy.

Overall, Kim and I are definitely going back to enjoy the great food and amazing service. I would recommend this place to anyone looking to try some great island foods in the downtown core.


Sunday, 18 May 2014


This week's post features one of our new favourite downtown eats- Harlem Underground. There's two locations- one on Richmond Street and the other around Queen Street West. Keep reading to see what we thought of the restaurant :)

As mentioned in our earlier post, John and I will be posting our own reviews of different restaurants so that you (the readers) get two different perspectives. So here's mine!

Atmosphere: 10/10

Customer Service: 9/10

Food Quality: 9/10

Price Range: Medium

Restaurant background

Bar Area

I personally loved the way the restaurant is set up! The decor, music and vibe fits so well with it's name "Harlem Underground." They played a lot of old school and even more modern hip hop songs, but the music isn't blasting isn't blasting too loud so you won't feel like you're having dinner in a club.

All the employees were really nice, and they checked up on us more than once to make sure our meal was up to par. Our waiter was really good at promoting the menu and knew exactly which items people usually leaned towards when ordering. I should note that both the times we went, the restaurant wasn't too busy so waiters weren't too overwhelmed with customers while trying to serve us.

Fried Chicken & Waffles

Bacon Mac & Cheese

I ordered their famous Fried Chicken & Waffles with a side of Bacon Mac & Cheese. The chicken was nice and crispy, and moist in the inside. I personally think the chicken had a lot of flavour already so I didn't need to pour the gravy on top. BUT the gravy did taste yummy with the chicken as well. The waffles with syrup was a nice sweet compliment to the chicken. The dish also came with with a small spring mix salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing which was the "healthy" part of the meal.

I've had the Mac & Cheese before but I liked it ALOT better the second time with the bacon. It was nice and cheesy with a nice crispy touch from the bacon. Also, they used actual bacon and not bacon bit- which was good.

OVERALL, I really like this restaurant and I would definitely go back. Portions were good, and the quality was great. I also always like it when I can order more than one thing on the menu because I love variety!

If you want to view their full menu, I've provided a link to the restaurant's page below. Till next time, happy eating!

Restaurant link: Harlem Underground's Website