It’s time for an adventure share my lovely readers.
This weekend’s adventures started off with a trip downtown that turned into a celebratory dinner and movie with my best friend Keeragh. She’s kicking so much ass lately and with plans to already hit up Wonder Woman Friday night it only made sense to tack dinner on beforehand to really celebrate. I had hoped to score a reservation at Teronni now that I know a little bit about its haunted past from my training at Haunted Walks Toronto but unfortunately that six o’clock time slot we were looking for was all booked up. That’s okay though because it led to us finding a different joint that I quickly fell in love with.
BATCH, named because of the brewhouse history of brewing in small batches using a simple copper kettle up in Creemore, is a little gastro-pub downtown Toronto just a short walk from Queen Subway Station. The overhang sign with vanity lights positioned underneath almost makes it look like another theatre hidden amongst the downtown core but instead the old historical building has been turned into quite the place for craft beer and good eats.
There’s a muted retro tone inside the restaurant that comes in teals, burgundy, and soft brown and black leather. At the front you’ll find fully stocked fridges with bottles and cases to bring home while the long bar just inside hosts fresh pours of the many beers on tap. By the end of diner our crew had sampled all six of BATCH’s current selection from a Whitbier with 17IBU to a Indian Pale Ale with 70IBU. I’m not a beer drinker myself but I still like to take a sip here and there because I have been known to surprise myself. The citrus flavours from the Whitbier were what got me onboard, though I still couldn’t finish the small glass. The other two enjoyed themselves though.
So the menu at BATCH is pretty straight forward. You’ve got a handful of starters, a selection of seasonal flatbreads, salads, and your main entrees. But here’s the thing, despite the fact that the menu was simple we still all struggled with narrowing down what we were going to order. There were too many unique options for me to just know off the bat. It didn’t help that I had checked out some of the pictures of the food online and that only made things harder. As we hemmed and hawed Matt suggested ordering one of the flatbreads as a starter (since we were all looking at them) and so we went with that.
We ended up with the Niagara Salami flatbread which had a tomato sauce base with fior di latte cheese and both prosciutto and soppressata. The meats had a good heat to them and even though they kept sliding off my slices (the others oddly enough didn’t have any issues) the flatbread was awesome. It would have made a fine dinner on its own but once our actual entrees arrived I was happy to have just split this one.
So what did I have for dinner that made me so happy? It’s something really simple actually: perogies. Now, generally when I think of perogies I think of it as a side dish or an appetizer. I’ve had some good perogies over the years but generally the little scrumptious pockets of goodness are accompanied by more than just bacon and onions. However, in BATCH’s case, it was all I needed. Maybe it was the two slices of flatbread beforehand that helped or the fact that I just don’t eat that many heavy carbs anymore but I was struggling by the end of this dish to finish it all. But I just had to. The sauce that accompanied the sour cream, whatever it was, was absolutely heavenly and the perogies were cooked to perfection. It was a tough choice between them, schnitzel, and fried chicken but ultimately I’m happy with my choice.
Judging by the reactions at the table, Keeragh and Matt were pretty damn satisfied with their meals as well. The portions aren’t huge by any means but they don’t leave you hungry or too bloated. Well, they wouldn’t have had we stopped after dinner but lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
Matt ended up ordering the reuben which came on a beautiful pretzel bun with cabbage slaw and Russian dressing. Both his meal and Keeragh’s lamb burger came with the largest fries I’ve ever seen in my life. They were probably about two fingers wide and they came out piping hot. They were lightly salted and once they weren’t burning your mouth they were pretty tasty.
Then of course, celebrating and all, I just couldn’t seem to keep to my goal to keep away from the sweets for a bit. I was good though and opted for sharing one piece of coconut cream pie with the table instead of having my own dessert. I don’t regret it for a second. It went down so smooth and while I probably could’ve finished off a piece for myself, my tight jeans were pretty happy that I didn’t. Our waiter, who was all sorts of fun, had told us the sticky toffee pudding was great as well but after reading so much about the cream pie online I just had to try it. I guess I’ll just have to go back again to try it later.
BATCH, like almost all the restaurants right downtown was a bit pricey but nothing too much past your run of the mill chain restaurant these days. Plates averaged $18-20 dollars and they were well worth it. I never mind paying for good food.
With our bellies full it was time to make the trek up to the Yonge and Dundas Cineplex to take in Wonder Woman in 4D. It was Matt and I’s second time to the 4D theatre but Keeragh’s first. For those of you who aren’t familiar with 4D it’s an enhanced version of 3D where more effects (fog, rain, movement, wind, snow, etc.) are added in. You’re in a row of 4 seats each that move as a unit. We saw Rogue One like this back in December and it was a lot of fun so we despite the steep price ($25 a ticket) we decided to take another go.
This time it wasn’t the 4D that amazed me.
I could probably (and may still) write a full post about how happy I am with Wonder Woman. Even with all the hype it still blew me away. There were two moments where I found myself crying but most of the movie I was just smiling so much that my cheeks began to hurt. The No Man’s Land scene is probably the most important scene in Super Hero flick history in my opinion and I just can’t wait to see how this movie empowers those who go to see it, especially those who identify as women. If you haven’t seen it yet I strongly suggest going to check it out, it has elements of humour, history, action, and a whole lot of heart so I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t enjoy it.
Of course the adventure didn’t end on Friday night. Saturday morning we got up, wished Keeragh off to work (sorry babe) and headed down to The Stop Farmer’s Market at the Wychwood Barns down by St. Clair West. After a bit of driving around an area that is brand new to us we snagged a parking spot and then made our way down to the old streetcar barn that acts as the centre piece for the market.
The market runs year round with the vendors shifting inside the old barn in the winter. There were probably about 30-40 tents outside with everything from Jamaican patties to fresh produce. There were a lot of yummy looking pies and tarts that I would have liked to take home but after Friday’s indulgences I decided to show a little self control.
After the big grocery shop we did last week it made the most sense to just stock up on some fruits and veg instead of doing another full trip. I love doing so at farmers markets because you get to support your fellow locals while also having the chance of stumbling upon some unique items. It might be a bit pricier than a grocery store for some things but I don’t mind when the products are high quality. Plus, farmer’s markets often make for fun little adventures, especially when you go to one you’ve never been before. The Stop Farmer’s Market is definitely unique given its location and it also had some really great vendors.
So $30 later and we had a small bag of goods to help us make it through the week. Seeing mustard beans is always a moment of excitement for me. They’re probably easy to make but for me it’s just a nice treat that reminds me of home. In the end we grabbed asparagus, carrots and turnips for this weeks dinners, a quiche (which was so scrumptious) for Saturday’s lunch, the mustard beans of course, and some honey garlic pepperoni sticks. We’d been hoping to find some fruit but only two stalls had some and it was all apples and strawberries so we decided to just pick up a few items from the store after all. Despite this it was a good little trip.
Honestly if there’s a farmer’s market in your area and you’ve never been I suggest going, you never know what kind of goodies you might find.
The weekend wasn’t over yet and so the adventures continued today (hence the late and long post). We headed back out into the sunshine (in shorts because I learnt my lesson after boiling on Friday in my jeans) and went down to the Annex Family Festival.
I misread the website so we showed up an hour before the street party really got started but that was fine because it allowed for wandering around when things weren’t busy. We walked further down Bloor in either direction just checking out shop windows and everything that was going on.
We enjoyed some fried plantain and Hawaiian skewers while we wandered around and even got a cute little polaroid taken of the two of us. There were lots of little items to buy and stalls to check out but we mostly just went for a stroll. Once we’d passed through the walk a few times we decided to go grab a bite to eat. Knowing that Snakes and Lattes was right down the street we headed there to play some board games and munch on chips and dip.
Three hours later we were back on the street with little to no plan.
But wandering about kind of aimlessly can lead to amazing things and today it happened to lead us right onto the set of Stephen and Robbie Amell’s new film, Code 8. I’m a huge Arrow fan (I feel like this had been alluded to before) and while there was no sight of Mr. Oliver Queen himself it was still exciting to run into the set itself. Maybe I’ll be able to find Stephen before he heads back to Vancouver to film Arrow.
Despite no Amell sitings we did get a little treat as we watched Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift star Sung Kang, who was just recently announced as a cast member, jump out of one of the vehicles. He seemed to be the star of the scene which was filming right in front of Hotel Waverly on Spadina Avenue. You can see the back of his head in the second picture below, of course the other car was in the way of him whenever he seemed to turn around.
Finally, with no ripped super heroes in sight we headed down Spadina and checked out a little fast food joint known as The Chickery. As you may be able to guess their special is chicken and much like KFC, Nandos, Popeyes, or whatever fried chicken place you’re into, their chicken comes in different cuts and sizes with different sides and sauces.
I ordered the chicken feathers with a side of corn bread and garlic aioli while Matt had an order of chicken fingers with street corn and sweet chili sauce. Everything was delicious, definitely not healthy but after hitting 16,000 steps before dinner and only snacking throughout the day it was definitely a cheat I don’t feel guilty about. That seems to be a theme of this weekend I suppose.
It’s back to work tomorrow but I’m fully charged up from our weekend of fun. I’ve found a lot of love and self-care in these new adventures, breaking out of my comfort zone in the city and getting to see places that I should have checked out years ago. Exploration is good for the soul, even if it’s in the place you call home. So get going, adventure is out there.