Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cultures (Square One Location)

Today will be one of the many "fast food" reviews to come because I am highly unmotivated to cook my own meals, haha. For approximately a year now, I have been trying to make healthier choices to get that ideal toned tummy! If you're like myself and trying to eat a little cleaner Culture's is the perfect place for you. They offer whole foods and super clean meals and snacks such as: mixed greens topped with smoked salmon and the dressing of your choice, frozen yogurt served with fruit or even a brown rice dish with sweet potato, avocado, corn, chicken with a side of chipotle sauce... all so deliciously clean! Today, I decided to get the three salad deal for $8. They had about seven salads to choose from which made it kind of hard to choose since they were all so appealing but I ended up with the fruit, greek and three cheese broccoli. Of course, I couldn't resist but to get a mango pineapple smoothie made with real mangos and pineapple and frozen yogurt which came to about $5. Although the norm for a "fast food" restaurant (quoatations since "fast food" reminds me of your typical McDonald's menu) is mediocre service - based on personal experiences- , the staff was so incredibly kind. Since I have a avocado fetish I asked for a scoop of it expecting some sort of fee; however, the cashier said it would be free of charge. Furthermore, another lady whom I believe is the person in charge or even the owner provided excellent customer service and advised the cashier to scoop the salads generously. I love this chain and wished there were more locations seeing as I have only seen three - Mapleview, Burlington*, and Square One. If interested, I would suggest the Southwest bowl that I described above or the Smoked Salmon Bagel... so good. Again, thanks for visiting!

$8 $5

* The mango pineapple smoothie I had ordered was generously made with real mangos and pineapples at the Square One location so when I was shopping at Mapleview, I had to order one. However, the smoothie that I purchased at the Mapleview Mall location was nothing compared to the first smoothie - the lady handed me a white cup of smoothie. Within the first sip I could already tell that the smoothie lacked a significant amount of fruits... instead, the whole smoothie was practically made of yogurt. When I informed the ladies that the smoothie only seemed to consist of yogurt, they spoke amongst themselves and settled the issue with a mere "we always make it like this" while showing me fruits. I would definitely not order a smoothie at the Mapleview location again.

Cultures on Urbanspoon Cultures on Urbanspoon Cultures on Urbanspoon Cultures on Urbanspoon Cultures on Urbanspoon Cultures on Urbanspoon Cultures on Urbanspoon Cultures on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chilli's (Niagara Falls, New York location)

Today I went to the states with my sister and boyfriend so of course we had to try something new! We all decided to give Chilli's a try since Olive Garden was packed due to Mother's day. When we walked in, there was a greeter to immediately approach and sit us. Looking at the wooden walls and photo of the desert on the wall, Chilli's definitely has a casual and western ambiance. Our server provided us with the menu; right away, the drinks caught our attention. My sister ordered a $3 sweetened watermelon lemonade and my boyfriend ordered a sweetened mango iced tea... they were both so refreshing and unique with prominent flavours of the fruit. We flipped through the inexpensive menu and decided to order the smokehouse burger with avocado for an additional .79 as well as the tripple dipper. The food came in a timely manner and the burger looked monstrous - it contained a meaty patty, fried onions, pickles, lettuce, avocado, and bacon! Both the burger and the sides of fries were delicious although they could have added more avocados (if you can't tell already I'm obsessed with avocados haha). The tripple dipper that my boyfriend had ordered is a sample appetizer dish where he had the choice of three appetizers out of nine amazing choices. He decided to choose the items that were pictures: Big Mouth Bites (burgers), Boneless Buffalo Wings, and the Southern Eggrolls. For only $11.50 he got three small portions of these three amazing appetizers along with three different sauces. The tiny burgers consisted of a patty, cheese, and fried onions, wings were good - I especially loved the wings since the sauce is just spicy enough - and the eggrolls were definitely something new but they tasted very similar to taquitos (yum!). The service is awesome and our server checked up on us a few times as well as an older man, whom I'm assuming is the manager. The food was so filling that we didn't even have enough room for desserts. Chill's was amazing and I would definitely visit again for a delicious and inexpensive meal. Thanks for reading!

$10.50 (+ .79)


Chili's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 9, 2014

Kelsey's (Queeston Location)

Recently, I've discovered that certain Kelsey's locations have half prized appetizers during 2:00 - 5:00  (pretty sure) and 9:00 - close Sunday through Thursday. Fortunately for me, the Kelsey's in my area has the promotion making it an inexpensive stop. This time, I decided to give something new a try out of their new "Keep Calm and Eat Happy" (how cute) menu... Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps! What really drew me in was that it is a healthier choice out of the appetizers. As described in its name, this starter comes with a chicken breast and vegetables filling. Personally, it wasn't my favourite but it wasn't horrible. The taste definitely resembles a popular asian dish... can't really put my finger on it though. Although the lettuce wrap wasn't a hit for me, the calmari is always good. Kelsey's has switched their sauce for this dish which I feel was a bad decision since I really liked the previous sauce so instead, I dipped the calamari in the sauce that came with the lettuce wrap starter (could be sweet chilli thai sauce used on wings). Obviously, I had to get a dessert. I opted for something new - Go Nuts Donuts! Despite the name, this dessert is nothing like a donut... it's not even round! Instead, Go Nuts Donuts are rectangular deep fried doughs with a generous Nutella filling topped off with icing sugar with peanut butter or toffee caramel sauce on the side for dipping. The server didn't ask which sauce I wanted and served the rich peanut butter with our "donuts"... if you haven't already tried, Nutella and peanut butter are the perfect match. The dessert came with only a few pieces but it was so rich that my boyfriend and I had to pack the rest. For those who haven't gone, Kelsey's is a general restaurant usually with a bar side and dining area so it's nothing fancy and makes a great place for a family Friday night dinner or even for a drink or two while watching your favourite sport. Thanks for visiting!

$5.50 $5.50


Kelsey's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Gelato Di Carlotta

Awhile ago, I had visited Niagara-on-the-Lake to explore local dessert shops. One of the two stores I visited was Gelatto di Carlotta and boy am I glad that I did. That day, the owner was working and he quickly approached us with a friendly smile. Right away, I notcied his display of cakes which sounded and looked amazing. The owner was extremely informative and told us all about his organic gelato. Furthermore, inside the dainty shop was a board with similar infortmation and noting the origins of the gelato ingredients such as the "pistachios from Bronte in Sicily". After trying a few different flavours, my boyfriend and I chose mango; as we headed over to the cash register, he introduced us to the gelato slider device. "The gelato stays cold on the inside and warm on the outside"', he explained. Intrigued by this, I asked him to put our mango gelato into the machine for a gelato slider with chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Over in the corner my boyfriend and I sat down to try the appealing dessert. The owner kept intereacting with us while he was tidying up and offered us beverages. As I bit down into the warm slider a cold burst of mango followed - it was SO good! The dough was nothing special and I personally wish that it was sweet bread but thr mango gelato was very fresh and authentic! The owner (forgot his name!) seemeed very passionate about his business and had mentioned that he would like to expand his business. Hopefully one day there will be one closer to me but if you're in the area definitely grab a scoop of gelato. Thanks for reading!


Il Gelatto di Carlotta on Urbanspoon

Tea Shop 168 (Hamilton Location)

For a late night snack here in Hamilton my friends and I usually like to go to a bubbletea shop for a small snack and a sweet, refreshing beverage. I have never been to Tea Shop 168 before even though it has been open for at least a year now here in downtown Hamilton. However, I have had bubble tea from the GTA locations before and my friend had told me that they carry funnel cake! As soon as we walked in we were promptly greeted by a friendly lady behind the counter who sat us at a table of our choice. At a first glance of the store, the decor was a lot more modern compared to the other tea shops here in Hamilton and seems much more clean even though menu prices were comparable to the other places. As mentioned above, the reason why I decided to give the restaurant a try was due to the funnel cake which comes with a scoop of ice cream including the flavours of vanilla, chocolate, or green tea. The plain Funnel Cake was $7 and the additional topping prices varied; I added seasonal fruits and brownies for a total cost of $4.50. My boyfriend ordered a drink as usual and tonight he decided to order from the "real fruit" menu. Usually, he orders mango-pineapple but unfortunately the shop is "unable" to do so so he went with the Mango Smoothie as well as Popcorn Chicken. After approximately fifteen minutes, our food finally came.  The funnel cake was beautifully presented and piled high whereas the chicken was a smaller portion and did not taste as good compared to the other bubble tea stores. My dessert was delicious! The green tea ice cream was served generously and the funnel cake was fried to perfection topped with strawberry, banana, and kiwi. My boyfriend and I both didn't particularly enjoy the popcorn chicken since it tasted like pre-packaged frozen food but it wasn't horrible. Another downside was that the drink took fairly longer after the food arrived and didn't even come with the lychee jellies as ordered. I'm not too sure if I would return for a bubble tea but I would definitely come back for the funnel cake instead of going to Demetres in Burlington! 

$ 8 (+ $4.50)

Tea Shop 168 on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bedrock Bistro

Waking up at 2:00 probably wasn't the best idea since I was craving breakfast food as soon as my eyes were open. Although breakfast menus were long over that time I wasn't too dissapointed since I was craving something with hollandaise sauce. Obviously, that was calling for for an all-day breakfast restaurant! My boyfriend and I decided to go to Bedrock Bistro - a Flinstone-themed all-day-breakfast restaurant (they also have a lunch and dinner menu) located in the east end of Hamilton. Right away, we were greeted with an extrememly unenthusiastic hostess who sat us down. Being a themed restaurant, the furniture isn't up-to-date but they do have a few televisions playing Flinstone as shown below. I didn't get to thoroughly look at the menu but it seemed that only the Egg's Benedict dish has the hollandaise sauce so of course that is what I ordered  (for those who don't know what hollandaise sauce is, it's a mixture of egg yolk and liquid butter with some other seasonings). My boyfriend on the other hand ordered the eight ounce Barney's Sirloin Steak and Eggs served with a side of home fries and toast. While we waited for our food the waitress brought out the bottles of condiments which decreased my appeptite just a little. The lids were evidently not cleaned on a regular basis and the HP sauce lid even had a hair like object stuck on the lid. However, the food made up for it since the home fries were amazing - lightly seasoned crispy exterior with a warm and soft centre. The eggs benedict on the other hand was a little disappointing. I usually really enjoy the english muffin but today seemed a little off; furthermore, I found an eggshell in the egg. The steak was really tender and only costed an additional $1 to add on fried mushrooms and onions. Food is usually really good here but service is always mediocre - seems as if the older wait staff are only concerned of the older customers - this visit, the waiter didn't even check up on us. All in all, Bedrock Bistro will fulfill your needs if you're seeking an inexpensive and good meal in the area. Thanks for stopping by!

$13 (+1) $8

Bedrock Bistro on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 5, 2014

Earls (Burlington Location)

As usual, my experience at Earl's was delicious! My visit was during their "appy hour" where they have select appetizers at a lower price and all daily drink specials available. If anyone is interested in giving the place a try definitely visit between 3:00 - 6:00 on any day to take advantage of their deals. This particular location is attached to Mapleview Mall just below the food court. When you first walk in there is almost always a friendly host to guide you to your seat. The decor and furniture is fairly simple yet extremely classy similar to the girl's uniforms - tshirt and a bandage skirt accompanied with small heels. Although it was a Monday and an odd hour, the restaurant had quite a bit of customers therefore my boyfriend and I got sat down at a specific able without a choice as we usually would, which we did not mind. Right away, I knew what I wanted to order... Santa Fe Salad, my absolute favourite salad besides one at Milestone (which I shall save for a later date) and of course some alcoholic drink on the side. My boyfriend quickly ordered a $4 Corona, one of the drink specials for Monday. In attempt to take advantage of the appy hour promotion he asked for the "appy hour dry ribs" which were advertised for only $8. Not too sure if our server was not that knowledgable of the menu or not but she asked if he wanted a full or half rack and notified him of the sides that it supposedly came with because on our bill he got charged for regular ribs which are $25. However, we didn't mind since the ribs are always so delicious and tender; the sides included are warm potato salad and coleslaw. The great thing about reataurants is that substitutions can always be made! Instead of the coleslaw, fries were opted at no charge. The Santa Fe Chicken Salad that I get almost every single time includes: a mixture of greens, black beans, corn, feta cheese, avocado and dates drizzled in peanut lime vinegarette with a small portion of their amazing cajun chicken. The only annoying occurance was that our server charged us an extra $1.50 for a quarter of an avocado when she checked up with us since I have never been charged extra before. Nonetheless,  the food came out at an appropriate time and it was amazing! First came the $4.50 bellini special I ordered... nothing that special compared to the food. The tender ribs paired with the warm potato salad and fries were an amazing match and everything tasted perfect; the small portion of the potato salad was topped off with bacon, sour cream and chives. The salad is always so filling that I can barely finish it (or it could be that I eat most of my boyfriend's meal). The salad is pretty unique since there is an unexpected sweetness from the dates. Don't worry if you don't like dates because the first time I ordered the salad I didn't even realize there were dates - I just loved the random sweet bites since I have a huge sweet tooth! To end off, I had to order dessert. Earl's seem to frequently change their feature/seasonal menu and was dissapointed to find out that they no longer had their warm chocolate banana cake. However,  I ordered the Sticky Toffee Pudding and it is always so delicious... what dessert isn't?  The toffee cake is covered with chocolate sauce and I believe a toffee sauce too. Paired with the cake is a edible toffee basket with a scoop of vanilla bean gelato topped off with a mint, how cute. The trio together is a perfect match because the basket isn't too sweet. Overall, everything went out well and the food was beyond perfection. Sorry about the long post and thanks for stopping by!

$25 $17

Earls Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 21, 2014


As you can probably tell, this is just the beginning of my blog. I will often post pictures of my gourmet meal or even McDonald's poutine accompanied with a tiny description. Enjoy!