KOREAN COWBOY, TORONTO

Remember back then when there was this huge cupcake trend, and then not so back then when there was this huge cake pop trend (and also this mille crepe trend which didn't last just as long as the former two)?


Well now among Korean bars, the trend is kimchi fries and Korean meat tacos.

As with all my late night food outings, I never know which spot we'll be arriving at so this time I was smart and brought my camera hoping that we'll go somewhere new (which we did, hence this post).


We sat at a booth right where the entrance was and got the more-frequent-than-we-hoped blasts of cold air. But the alcohols kept us warm.

They have so much on tap. The list is endless. But we tried something I've never had that the guys thought were okay:

Stiegl

Had to also refrain from ordering soju/sake because that is a friend's Achilles's heel.


The kimchi fries (significantly better than Han Ba Tang, but we did order the bulgogi poutine or kimchi poutine, which sounds more impressive but really wasn't). They used sweet potato fries, enough kimchi so your weren't left with just fries when you finished all the kimchi on top. Enough spicy mayo, enough sweet teriyaki sauce. Good

There were only three of us, and the tacos come in 3, so we wanted to mix the combo and do 1 lettuce wrap (ssam) + 2 soft taco, but they didn't let us mix it. So we got 2 orders. Which was not that great because they are huge:


Soft taco was not warm (left-out-the-fridge-for-a-few-minutes temperature), the teriyaki chicken was also not that hot. Teriyaki sauce was the usual. The slaw was like any other slaw. Would've insisted on the spicy pork instead but was in the washroom during the ordering process. Bad


Lots of beef, lots of slaw. 2 layers of lettuce because this was a hefty serving. Would've eaten 2 if we didn't have the soft taco and wings as well. Will definity remake this at home. Very good


Liked how they have specific cups for each beer so you know which one you're reaching for when you drink. Good

Already too much food at this point...

Wings and fries. I think we ordered spicy honey or something else that was spicy and sweet. Was so full that I only had one wing part before they ate all the other wing parts and left the drumsticks (which I'm not too fond of). No comment


These fries were such a let down after the kimchi ones so I asked for spicy mayo. And look! She gave us three spicy mayos, for the each of us.


We never get cocktails but I wanted a non-beer, so sake+lime was the final pick. Good

2+ pints of beers and a couple of cocktails later, I was very satisfied and didn't feel that cold draft any more. 
Korean Cowboy on Urbanspoon
And then we left and started heading to round 2 (next post!)



P/S

I like eating very clean and "healthy" (that's all relative right?) during the weekdays so I can eat without worries on weekends:


Oh, and Chinese grocery shopping tip!

Always getting free roe from the fish monger *yay*

Befriend your fish monger/meat butcher and they will give you little things for free!

Dear readers, what is the new thing you've discovered this week?

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ABE ERB, WATERLOO

I'm a really lazy kind of friend. The kind that doesn't bother meeting up with my other friends because there is no one to drive me (because I don't drive unless it's to take my brother out to his extracurricular activities or friends' birthday parties = get mistaken for being a young mom).


Although I'm fully aware of it, I still haven't gotten rid of my lack of motivation. So here is to declaring yet another improvement I need to work on starting this year *yay*

So when I do get to see my friends who I don't see in a while, it is nice, and we go to eat food.



When we wake up early enough, we go for breakfast. But most of the time we don't and so we go for brunch.


My girlfriend had raved about how good the lamb sausage was one night after she went to try from their night menu. The bread was not a crusty roll as they had described on their menu. The disappointing bread was saved by the sweet caramelized red peppers. Could also be saved with a denser toasted bread that was not used as a vehicle for the sausage. Fries were sweet, salty, and just beautifully seasoned. I also asked for a side of mayo (to eat with the fries). Minus the bread = Good



I didn't eat the burger but had more of the fries from this (friend that visited and I shared the sausage and eggs benedict below). Loving the fries = Very good



Spinach would've been good if wilted slightly with some olive oil and garlic. Nothing special here, but the homefries were not amazing - no sweet/salty/seasoned flavours like the regular fries, but just the usual salt and pepper. Crunchier than the regular ones too because they're smaller. I prefer my fries a little soggier and softer. Okay



Bottomless self serve coffee from morning to midday all weekend. If you have a caffeine addiction that cannot be cured, this is the place.



Long communal tables, booths, smaller tables with shorter/higher chairs all available.

They're known for their guest beers, and their own brews. But it was too early for a beer flight.

Want to come back again for their late night menu + beers.



P/S

Sometimes when I discover something new and amazing I'll tend to make it whenever I get the chance. Like that one holiday season when I made a croquembouche to every holiday party.

Or last holiday season when we bought 7+ bries and baked them all in a similar fashion.

A very childish (impromptu) cake for a 24th birthday

Nowadays it's Peking duck at home.

I feel like this maybe (stressing the maybe here) deserves its own post. Again, maybe.

Dear readers, what is the new thing you've discovered this week?

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KING CRAB OYSTER BAR, KITCHENER WATERLOO

We had our eyes on the groupon for this restaurant for a while, after looking at the menu and only really wanting the hot crab dip.

Hot/warm cheesy dips always pull me in - it's something ridiculously easy to make, but so decadent and rich that I don't have the guts to not make a large portion at home and eat it all in one sitting (hence baked bries are only concentrated towards the holiday season so I only get fat off bries once a year).
Warm bread with olive oil, balsamic, sun dried tomato

Originally we were to order a bunch of appetizers so we can try more dishes without filling up on the heavy carbs from entrees (potatoes, pasta, rice).

But there wasn't a great choice of apps (they're highlights are the seafood entrees and shucked or grilled oysters, which we didn't order).



Artichoke and crab dip with an unnecessary layer of breadcrumbs on top. Micro-greens were also unnecessary. The baguette was over-toasted, and too hard, considering the thickness of each slice (too thick!). If each slice was thinner then it would be okay. Or keep it the same thickness and toast it 30s less. Would've also been better if this bread wasn't so similar to the bread from the bread basket. Bad

And we ended up with a lobster + mac and cheese



Lobster was saved by garlic butter, which stayed warm and melted over a tea light. They didn't pre-crack the claw (which is usually hammered for diners to easily pull out the meat in one fell swoop). Lobster was just boiled and cut in half. Nothing not doable at home. Veggies were blanched and only tasted good when dipped in the garlic butter or mac and cheese sauce (then again, everything tastes good in mac and cheese sauce or butter). Bad



The breadcrumbs make an appearance again, on the truffled mac and cheese. They used penne, so there was a nice layer of sauce coating the outside, and a pocket of sauce stored inside. Very convinced that the truffle is coming from truffled cheese. But who knows, I didn't bother asking either. Only dish on which I didn't get let down. Okay

King Crab Oyster Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Small-sized restaurant with a door that lets the cold draft in unless you sit in the farthest corner opposite to the entrance.


Tables for 2 are conservatively sized (unless you can ask to sit at a 4-seat table), and dress code is casual. 

It's an open concept kitchen so you get to see the chefs in action. You also get to see the wait staff lined up against the kitchen counter every 5 minutes or so to wait on the dishes.

As it is a seafood restaurant perhaps you say that I should give it a shot and go back for their oysters and fish. But for the price they serve everything at, it isn't worth it unless the meal was 50% off'd with the groupon.



P/S

Perhaps my most prominent eating habit is the necessity to have dessert after a savoury meal. So after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I need to end it off with something on the sweeter side.

Usually this means I cut a fresh fruit (there was a time when oranges were so on sale and so in season that I had 2-3 oranges a day for over a week). But in Waterloo, we live a dangerously close proximity to McDonald's = dangerously accessible after-meal soft-serve

And after having soft serve too often, I would like to declare my hypothesis:

The male workers serve more soft serve than the female workers

At least at this location. Proof:


The height of the ice cream above the cone spanned my outstretched hand, from pinky to thumb.

Dear readers, what is your eating habit?

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BOSTON PIZZA, TORONTO

Are you ever so concentrated on something that all your surroundings are muted and all bodily needs (actually I'm just referring to the need to eat and the need to take a break) are shut off?

The other day I ended up coding for 6 hours straight for an assignment and feelings of being tired and hungry did not register at all during that time (if only I could be this hard working all the time).


It's time to eat. After I took all the pictures, boys were getting impatient, sitting restlessly, and only passive aggressively rushed my photo-taking ritual

Another day, we were enjoying the auto show so much that feeling hungry and tired did not cross our minds at all.
Charge your Porsche, change your phone!

But when we finally saw sofas (and a phone charging station!) our legs gave out, and the hunger kicked in.

I don't even like pizza, but I had a three slices (one of each), and even a half of a fourth!

Actually, we ordered two pizzas and a flatbread:

And some beer
Canadian was ordered. Cause we're Canadian.

Chicken ranch flatbread
Buffalo chicken, purple onions/shallots, ranch on some, no ranch on some. Was not very flatbread-like, but more like a thinner crust pizza. The four edge/corner pieces had 1/3 toppings 2/3 crust. Was so hungry I didn't even care though. Bad

Thin crust szechuan chicken
Very appealing to the asians in our table (4/4 of us were asian) cause of the familiar sriracha and sesame taste. But green onions were cut too large, there was too much of it, and made your breath smell too green onion-y. Chicken was bland cause it was breast that tasted like it wasn't marinated prior. Bad

Steak, onion rings, fries
Heavy, rich pizza because of the thick crust (okay, not thick but regular thickness), steak, curly fries, onion rings, several cheeses, sauce. Maybe better on a thinner crust so its less of a mouthful. Okay

Boston Pizza on Urbanspoon

Waitresses were attentive, but that was maybe because the place wasn't that full (Thursday night)
Would I go to Boston Pizza again? Probably not. 
"Maybe another location?" Nope, not even another location. Was never a pizza fan, and although I did eat more than I thought I would, that would have had to be due to my neglected hunger.


P/S

It's rare I stay in Waterloo on weekends because there's one important reason I go back home on the weekends:
To do a closet rotation.


What, there's new another bubble tea place in Mississauga?

Perhaps this is unknown to some people (my roommate(s) thought it was absurd), but how else will I be able to go through a season's of clothes without having to move my entire wardrobe?

And so the best way I decided was to periodically (weekly, biweekly) bring back all my clothes from Waterloo and bring in a set of clothes that I haven't brought in to Waterloo.

There it is - my random P/S of the post.
Continuing on with the bubble tea place:

That gives you menus disguised as magazines?

I ordered a warm Hokkaido milk tea. Apparently it comes with no sugar added (you're supposed to add it yourself). Which was weird because when I drank it, friend and I both thought it was sweet.

Yes, it is very much so a magazine

Proof that the menu is more magazine than menu.

Dear readers, what is your favourite menu to flip through?

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