27 July 2010

Just plain old good pizza

For years I have walked past Olympic Pizza on Gloucester just east of Yonge and wanted to stop in for a classic pie. Finally a few months ago I managed to convince J to go along and check it out. As a lover of classic pizza, it's a surprise that it took so long to get her to accompany me but there it is. We have not looked back. The place has a great patio on a relatively quiet street and you can sit out there under big old trees and order some lovely pizza or pasta or calzones . . . you get the idea. I generally order the deluxe with pepperoni, green pepper, tomato, and mushrooms. The crust is not too thick and always very crispy. There is a sufficient amount of mozzarella cheese (which for me means a lot of cheese) and it is well cooked. I do not like pizza that is too doughy. I do not like pizza that is not cooked enough so that there is liquid running off it from the sauce or the tomato slices. I do like it with lots of cheese and cooked well. The sauce and the pepperoni are also good. And none of it is frou frou or full of claims about being the most authentic this or authentic that. Olympic hits the all the good points. Here's my delicious personal-size pie from a couple of days ago.

Two great things about Olympic: 1. They bring parmesan and chile flakes in the shakers to the table; 2. If you order anything bigger than a personal pizza, you get it on one of those groovy stands so your pizza is on a pedestal in the middle of the table, as it should be!! Not a bad thing about going here, except that you want to go back for more and more and more delicious pizza.

Olympic 76 Pizza on Urbanspoon

20 July 2010

No kidding on the sweet tooth

So tonight I went to see a Chinese medicine man who conducted tremendous amounts of acupunture on my belly, so of course it was too late to come home and cook dinner so we had to fend for ourselves among the many restaurants on the streets of Toronto. We voted for the beloved gyros sandwiches at Messini on the Danforth. Although there was slight disappointment that they were out of lamb, the chicken hit the spot.

I do think the increase of energy flow through my belly due to the dozen or so needles from Mr. Acupuncture made me hungrier! So we set off to get a coffee and a baklava but instead hit upon this little joint on the other side of the Danforth called Sweet Tooth. It was not the traditional Greek pastry spot we were aiming for but it hit the spot fer sure. There was a wonderful selection of cakes, pies, etc. I picked out a beautiful piece of key lime pie - which had a chocolate crust, which a lot of key lime pies seem to have these days. I prefer not a chocolate crust but in this case I was not complaining because it wasn't overly choclate-y, if you know what I'm saying!?
J had a vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting. Tasty and pretty!!

14 July 2010

A surfeit of zukes

The president of my company came into my office yesterday and reported that he had an abudance of zucchinis from his garden (which is really more a farm than your run of the mill garden) and would I like them. Sure, I said, of course. Shortly thereafter he delivered a large box of them, which I promptly gave out most of to co-workers. I took a couple home with the promise that I would bring something back for the provider of the zukes to taste. I also had some zukes still in the fridge from our CSA box so decided to use up the older ones first and make a zucchini-cheddar loaf.
The recipe is right out of the bible - The Joy of Cooking - and I've made it a few times and always loved it. It doesn't use a whole lot of zuke but it does also use green onions, dill, parsley, and sharp cheddar. Sliced up fresh or lightly toasted, it is a fantastic and filling breakfast. I have it with a tiny bit of butter but it's awesome straight up as well. It got a good round of approval from various work colleagues when I took it in this morning. So good news all round and it provided some fuel for getting through our company baseball game later in the day.

12 July 2010

La Casa de las Sirenas

There are still a few leftovers from the trip to Mexico . . . one of which was our dinner at La Casa de las Sirenas, which was the swankiest place we ate while in the capital. There had been plans to go to Puyol, considered one of the top spots in Mexico City but the size and madness of the city bested us and we could not get ourselves back to that part of town without a bit more of a Herculean effort than I wanted to put into having a meal. La Casa de las Sirenas is in the central historical district just off the main square behind the cathedral, which was all very close to where we were staying and so quite convenient. The food was also great.

You have to hike up quite a few rounds of stairs because while there is a bar on the ground floor, the restaurant seating is three stories up with most of the tables on a gorgeous patio overlooking the whole scene of central Mexico City below you.

It serves traditional Mexican food but also new twists on the old classics. My first dish was the very rich La Cazuelita de Tu├ętanos - basically marrow in a sauce with green chiles and served with fresh onions, fresh chiles, limes, and homemade tortillas. I ordered it in large part because I wanted some food served in the little clay cazuelita. Enjoyed it a great deal but this is a bit of a once in a lifetime dish it is so rich.

J ordered the Chilitos de la Casa, essentially stuffed chipotle peppers served with a creamy walnut sauce.

My main course of three different crepes stuffed with squash blossoms, meat, and chicken and smothered in some lovely creamy cheesy sauce does not make for a good photo but it did make for some good eats. Again, not the lightest of meals and it's a good thing we walked around for many hours this day.

The steak J ordered was absolutely fantastic - tender, flavourful - and served with fresh tortillas, grilled cheese wedges, the fantastic grilled whole small onions that were everywhere, cactus, and of course a homemade fiery chile salsa. Seemingly a safe choice but incredibly tasty.

It was all finished off with a shared piece of cheesecake that was made from a local cheese that I cannot recall offhand. Lovely blackberries and another fantastic Mexican meal in the belly!!

03 July 2010

Pride and Remembrance Run.

This morning, I ran in the Pride and Remembrance Run (5K).  I had a personal best of 32:37 and my goal was a sub-35min, so yippie for me.  (My *real* goal was sub-33, so you can imagine my elation.)  The race had a great energy despite the INCREDIBLE heat.  Thank heavens for low humidity, but it was a scorcher! 

Oh yeah!  Action shot baby!  That's me cranking it up at the end... I am really proud of myself. 

They had a TON of food after... bananas, apples, yogurt, OJ, pasta salad, and CUPCAKES!!!!!!

Yummmmmmmy!  Thanks Dufflets! 

So all in all, it was a good run.  I have been a bit slack with my training lately, just really tired.  I find the heat really stifling when I run, but this was a great run, lots of fun, and really motivated me to step up my training for the half.  And honestly, running in races is just good times. 


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