Electric Mud BBQ;

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“If you can kill it, we can grill it!”

I love a good backyard barbecue – food cooked on the grill, a selection of sides,  flavourful sauces, cold drinks, and great company!

Just off of Queen Street West, west of Dufferin Street, is a backyard barbecue experience without elaborate end-of-day clean up. Complete with picnic tables and warm porch lighting, Electric Mud BBQ’s relaxed atmosphere is sure to make you feel – to be perfectly cliché – like you’re at home.

Starters & Sides;

Ahi tuna poke, coleslaw, and potato salad

The ahi tuna poke was the first dish to hit the table, but we’ll come back to that. The coleslaw at Electric Mud is not your everyday, soggy, smothered in mayonnaise, kind of coleslaw – it’s fresh, lightly tossed, and topped with cheese. It really couldn’t get much better; especially for someone who doesn’t always reach for the coleslaw on the table. The potato salad was chunky and creamy, just the way it should be. The size looks small, the portion is actually perfect because it’s so filling.

Back to the poke (POH-keh) – this is definitely a must-order item and it was my favourite dish of the evening. Poke is a Hawaiian dish made from raw Yellow Fin Tuna (marinated in sea salt), soy sauce, roasted crushed kukui (candle) nut, sesame oil, seaweed, and crushed chillies. To be perfectly honest, I was very surprised at how authentic the poke tasted at Electric Mud. If you have ever been to Hawai’i, I would say that this is the place to go to get your poke fix!

A word of caution – if you are not a fan of sashimi, then poke is not for you.

PROTEINS & ALCOHOL;

Dry-rubbed beef ribs, BBQ chicken (not on the regular menu), and the Porch Crawler

Electric Mud’s BBQ Chicken is also a must-order item, but sadly it is not a part of the regular menu. We were lucky enough to come on a night when it was one of the specials for the day. Without any barbecue sauce basted on, the chicken had such a great smoky flavour and the inside was so juicy. I actually tried to order a second one, but they were sold out by the time our server came around again. As for the beef ribs, I liked the flavour of the dry rub, but the meat was a little bit too dry for my liking. Don’t let that discourage you, though, from trying them.

My drink of choice, the Porch Crawler, is made with Thai basil gin, watermelon, lemonade, and simple syrup. This simple, very refreshing cocktail is so light and very easy to drink. Something to note – all cocktails at Electric Mud BBQ can be ordered as a pitcher!

THE LOOK;

Dark denim jeans (H&M), a basic black t-shirt (Zara), layered with a statement denim jacket (BCBGMAXAZRIA), accessorized with my favourite grey booties (Aldo)

Don’t forget to check out Electric Mud BBQ’s website – http://www.electricmudbbq.com

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Moo Frites;

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This post, and many others, have been a long time coming – I have been going through a few transitions in the last month and a half: new job, new projects, just a new schedule in general. It’s been crazy these past few weeks trying to figure out a new flow and routine and it has been so difficult trying to find some time to sit down and write. Again, I apologize for my lack in posts, but now that things have settled down I will be sure to keep Chic Indulgence updated!

If you follow me on Instagram (@chicinulgenceblog), you already know how obsessed I am with Moo Frites. Located in Kensington Market, this take out counter has the best Belgian-style hand-cut fries.

The fries come in various sizes, with a plethora of dipping sauces to choose from – trust me, it’s so hard to choose! – and they are always served in a paper cone with a tiny fork. Being the big eater that I am, I found the fork so comical the first time I ate at Moo Frites. You can only pick up one fry at a time! Rest assured, you can still enjoy your fries in all their glory and it’s interesting to note that that is the way Belgians serve their fries anyway (there’s a comment from Moo Frites on one of my Instagram photos about this).

If fries and dipping sauce aren’t enough to satisfy you and you’re looking for a little something more, let me direct you to the other side of the menu. They also have three types of “speciality fries” – War Fries, Japo Fries, and Kimchi Fries. My favourite is, by far the Kimchi Fries (pictured above). With just a little bit of a kick, the kimchi is a bit mild, so if you can’t handle spicy food you are still able to have them. If you do enjoy spicy food the way I do, there is still enough flavour for you to enjoy it as well. The speciality fries only come in one size, so bring your appetite or bring a friend if you order them. They’re so good though, you probably won’t have any problems finishing them!

The next time you visit Kensington Market, make sure you leave room in your stomach for Moo Frites! Be sure to check them out on Facebook as well – https://www.facebook.com/moofrites

The Look

Leather jacket – BCBG MAXAZRIA | Top – H&M | Pants – Zara | Shoes – Keds | Bag – Kate Spade

Smith Bros. Steakhouse Tavern;

The spread — 10 oz. grilled sirloin with crumbled bacon and bourbon gravy and a side of panko shrimp, and a 7 oz. sirloin topped with poached lobster and shrimp in a brandy cream sauce; both served with garlic mashed potatoes.

Smith Bros. Steakhouse Tavern is located near the corner of Warden Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East in Scarborough. I have only been there once before, after an appointment at the David’s Bridal across the street, but on that occasion I ordered the all-you-can-eat mussels – which were great, by the way. This time around, I thought I would celebrate my mom’s birthday with a really great steak.

With the quality and variety of cuts that Smith Bros. has to offer, I consider them comparable to The Keg. I ordered from the “Fancy Steaks” section of the menu – the poached lobster and shrimp caught my eye from the moment I glanced over the menu. Since the sauce is based in a brandy, it has a very strong flavour but not so much that you can’t enjoy the seafood and mushrooms in it. For all of you sauce lovers, they top your steak and provide you with a small gravy boat so you can have as much saucy goodness as you would like.

Beer taster

Beer taster

Another aspect that Smith Bros. has to offer is The Tavern Sampler. Unlike the samplers at Bier Markt, you can choose any four taps for $7; there are no set options. If you cannot decide on a beer, the menu only has eight draughts on tap. For $7 you can sample half of the draughts Smith Bros. has to offer.

For dessert, I kept it relatively simple by ordering Chris and Adam’s Awesome Sundae. Made with spiked pralines and cream ice cream, topped with whipped cream, chocolate and pralines.

Don’t forget to visit their website! – http://www.smithbrotherssteakhouse.com

Holy Chuck;

Their business is burgers. With a menu of about thirty different variations, how could it not be. Unlike the the menu at Wild Buger (see previous post), Holy Chuck makes all its burgers with the original hamburger protein, which is freshly ground on-site. Don’t think that this makes your choice any easier, because it doesn’t. For adventurous types, it can be hard to choose your first time out. Oh yeah, and you also have the option to upgrade your burger to an all bacon patty or a lamb one.

The spread – The Jerky Cow: a double cheeseburger fried in a spicy and salty jerk sauce, topped with bacon and a fresh slice of seared pineapple; served with an order or onion rings and lemon herb aioli. Dessert: Nutella funnel cake and a deep fried Twinkie.

A little bit greasy for my liking, but it was spicy with the perfect touch of sweetness from the pineapple. Although I haven’t tried any of the other burgers on the menu yet, I feel already as if this will be my go to. In my first visit to Holy Chuck I ordered the truffle fries, although a little expensive, are worth every penny. As much as I wanted to have them this time around, I gave up french fries for Lent and had ordered onion rings instead. The onion rings are panko breaded instead of the traditional batter and pair well with the aioli for dipping.

A Nutella funnel cake and a deep fried Twinkie. Need I say more? They were both just as delicious and satisfying as you can imagine – hot from the deep fryer, topped with ice cream and fruit sauce. If you still have room after your meal, you must get either one or both of these!

Holy Chuck has two locations – one in Toronto at Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue West, and the other one (which I went to) in Woodbridge at Highway 7 and Pine Valley Drive.

Don’t forget to visit their website for their full menu – http://www.holychuckburgers.com

Signs Restaurant + the look;

I haven’t been to very many restaurants that offer a “unique dining experience” – O.Noir is off the table because quite frankly, I am afraid of the dark, and I have yet to try Rodeo Brazillian Steakhouse (. One restaurant that I had the privilege of going to recently that offers an experience unlike any other in Toronto is Signs Restaurant and Bar at Yonge Street and Wellesley Street West. Unlike 360 Restaurant or Guu Izakaya, there is no breathtaking view of the city nor lively sounds of the traditional Japanese pub. With not very many windows, Signs has a very laid-back and casual atmosphere with some simply elegant décor. The unique dining experience all comes down to the communication – all ordering and communication with your server is in American Sign Language.

 The Spread — Black bean soup with an order or fries to start, beef ribs with vegetables and rice, the soba mango salad with salmon, and to finish off, the Nutella tiramisu.

There wasn’t anything I didn’t enjoy about this meal – everything was cooked beautifully and tasted great. I generally like the food at most places that I eat, but I have not had a meal quite this delicious in some time. The soup and the beef ribs were part of the special menu for the day, so unfortunately you may not be able to order them when you go. The soup had a lot of different flavours and with a bit of a growing spicy element to it, so if your tolerance in this department is low the bean soup is not for you. The beef ribs, which to be honest, I was expecting a giant  rack of ribs instead of the Kalbi (Korean barbecued beef short ribs) that I received on my plate. Once I started to eat though, there was no amount of disappointment here. I definitely plan on going back until I have tried everything on their menu.

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The Nutella tiramisu at Signs is by far the best piece of triamisu that you will ever eat. Everything is as it should be, moist and creamy in the middle and rich coffee flavour throughout; except there is a thick layer of Nutella right in the middle of the layers. After eating this slice of pure deliciousness, I could not even remember what a normal piece of tiramisu tastes like, nor did I want to ever it without Nutella ever again. If you order nothing else when you go to Signs Restaurant and Bar, make sure that you order dessert.

All food aside, I found communicating in a way that was unfamiliar to me to be quite interesting. It’s funny how we take the aspects of communication that are easy for us for granted. Signs makes it easy for its patrons to order their food and hold a basic conversation with their servers, providing illustrations and cheat sheets in the menu and on the table.

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The look – An easy cotton button down from H&M, and a relaxed pair of black dress pants paired with my Kate Spade tote.

Rock Lobster Food Co. + the look;

I have been wanting to go to Rock Lobster Food Co. for quite sometime now, and I finally got to eat there for my birthday – it took almost year, but better late than never!

The Spread – Appetizers: Cape Ann & Malaspina oysters, crab cake on a bed of salad, lobster chowder, and lobster poutine. Entrées: Grilled shrimp mac and cheese, and lobster roll with Yukon chips. Dessert: a slice of Dulce de Leche cake and a trio plate of a Nanaimo bar, a Rice Crispy square, and a mini-butter tart.

Appetizers — let’s start with the oysters. I am a huge lover of shucked oysters, provided that they’re a bit smaller because the bigger ones are a little more difficult for me to eat. I enjoyed both types that were served to us, but there wasn’t a lot of meat on them. Although the Cape Anns were smaller the way that I like them, there just wasn’t much oyster there. The chowder and crab cake were very good, I would definitely order them again – both had nice flavour profiles and you could still taste the delicateness of the lobster and crab. Now to the lobster poutine… I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed. It’s not that it wasn’t good, I just think that I had built it up too much in my own mind because I had wanted to try it for so long and I would see photos of it all over Instagram. Despite being slightly underwhelmed, I would still order the poutine again, but itès not a must-have.

Shrimp mac and cheese

My entrée — the shrimp mac and cheese. Baked, as is traditional, but without the bread crumbs. Although I don’t know what kinds of cheese they used, the flavour was incredible – it tasted like more than two types of cheese were used (how funny would it be if there was only one?). Even without the breadcrumbs, there was a nice crisp to the top layer that you would expect of a baked mac and cheese. There could have been more shrimp though… those three pieces of shrimp in the above photo was it. I know, how sad.

Dessert was quite an upset – Rock Lobster is not exactly known for their desserts, and now I know why. I’m not much of a dessert person; I would rather order lots of appetizers before my entrée and not have room for dessert. So on the rare occasion that I do decide to end my meal with something sweet, it should be worth it.

Overall, I did enjoy the food at Rock Lobster and I would definitely go back. I just won’t order dessert next time.

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The look — my favourite printed floral jeans and a simple black drape top with a button at the collar. Both are from H&M – the jeans unfortunately are from last year, but the top I purchased at the beginning of February.

Wild Burger;

At Mount Pleasant Road and Eglinton Avenue East, there is a new burger joint that is offering a new burger experience…

the menu;

The menu at Wild Burger

The menu at Wild Burger

Everything from beef to fish to kangaroo – Wild Burger has the most protein selection out of any restaurant, let alone burger joint, in Toronto that I have been to thus far. Although the menu can be a bit overwhelming at first-glance, the staff are more than happy to help you make a selection. An easy tip – the further right you move on the menu, the more adventurous your choice becomes. Even if you decide to play it safe your first time out, their beef burger is not an ordinary beef burger. Topped with blackberry sauce, sautéed onions, and aged white cheddar, the beef burger is still a good choice.

The spread — Korean Chicken burger with a side of poutine

Like I said, the menu can be at bit overwhelming at first glance and it did take us a while to decide what we wanted. I had walked into Wild Burger with every intention of ordering from the right side of the menu. I was ready to try the Middle Eastern Camel burger but something about the Asian flare of the chicken burger kept appealing to my taste buds.

To my surprise, the chicken burger was not a grilled chicken breast on a bun, but a burger patty made of ground chicken seasoned with bulgolgi spices. On top of the patty is a slice of Chevre, a fried egg, and some Kimchi. The Chevre, or goat cheese, was so creamy and it paired quite well with the sandwich as a whole. The flavouring of the Kimchi was much more subtle than when traditionally made, so it was not overpowering. The fried egg does make the burger a bit messy and difficult to eat once you bite into the egg yolk, but don’t let that stop you. If you are looking for a simple burger, this one is not it – there are a lot of layers in the Korean Chicken.

The poutine is made with fresh cut fries deep fried in duck fat – adding that extra something, and the brown gravy, made from scratch, was very flavourful. The one thing I always look for in my poutine is that the cheese curds are at least partially melted by the gravy – so key. As good as the fries and gravy were, the cheese wasn’t melted.

If you’re looking for a new burger experience, Wild Burger is the place to go.

Be sure to visit their website – www.wildburger.ca