Sunday, October 16, 2016

Toothsome is the coolest place I've ever eaten

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen is part of City Walk Orlando just outside the gates of the Universal Orlando theme parks. It's also the coolest place I've ever eaten. 

Just look at that picture at the top. Isn't that sweet looking? What you can't see from this picture are the gears and wind turbines spinning and the steam coming out of the top. Toothsome (sorry I'm not typing that full name more than once) is a steampunk themed restaurant, gift shop, chocolatiere and malt shop.

The inside of the place is just as amazing as the outside. It's full of very cool steampunk decor, awesome knickknacks, themed candies, chocolates and staff all dressed in steampunk cosplay. Most of the bottom floor is the gift store and malt shop. The various shakes are so good that the wait time to get one can easily be over an hour. The gift store is filled with a huge assortment of candies and chocolates all with the steampunk theme. In addition they have a cool selection of steampunk themed household decorations. 

The back half of the first floor and the entire second floor is a huge restaurant that has to seat at least 200 people if not closer to 500. Everything sticks to the steampunk theme. There are even giant 3D video walls that make the place look even bigger on the inside by showing the rest of the Emporium at work. With automatons whizzing about and crates of chocolate being made to be shipped out and consumed. There are copper pipes everywhere. Everything is metallic and shiny. The theme is everywhere and the detail is wondrous.

The most amazing part of all of this is that the food was just as good as the decor and theme. Nearly every dish is made with chocolate. They even have a fantastic chocolate stout (named Too Chocolate Stout) that is brewed exclusively for Toothsome. This was the 2nd best chocolate beer I've ever had, beat only by BNL from Flying Monkeys (which you can never get again, sadly). Our meal at Toothsome was the best meal of our entire trip to Orlando, by far.

The menus themselves are beautiful leather bound books that contain a good variety of items. Most of the menu was signature sandwiches and burgers but there were also larger entrees. The appetizer list alone is enough to get anyone drooling. 

Before we even finished reading the menu they brought us a loaf of this incredible chocolate bread with our drinks. This alone set the tone for the meal. It was so good! Chocolaty but still savory. Not in any way a dessert. I could have probably sat there and just had chocolate stout and chocolate bread all night.

Our family started the meal with pork belly sliders with chocolate coated bacon as an appetizer and that, again, had us saying we had to come back. I also ordered some French Onion Soup that turned out to be better than the soup from Windsor's own Ye Olde Steak House (man I miss that place). For a main I got a Croque-Monsieur, my wife got the Forest Mushroom Pizza, my mother in law tried the Chicken Bercy and the kids got some pasta with red sauce I can't remember the name of. We were also treated to a Rice Krispies Shake. Everything was fantastic and I'm not just saying that because Universal Orlando picked up the bill. Seriously, this was damn fine food. 

At some point during your meal at Toothsome you can expect to meet Professor Doctor Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome with her robot Jacques. The pair that, at least as far as the theme and story of the place goes, opened the Chocolate Emporium. Jacques was one of the most well done automaton cosplays I've ever seen, complete with remotely broadcast slightly robotic voice. The pair explained the story behind Toothsome and stopped for photo ops with the kids. In addition to this personal touch, the service overall was top notch. The staff were jumping out of their pants to help us and take care of our every need. To be honest this was true of every place we checked out in Universal Orlando.

One thing that I think is well worth noting: because Toothsome is part of the Orlando City Walk and not actually located inside one of the Universal theme parks, you don't need a park entry ticket to eat there. It's open to the public and anyone can just walk up and check the place out. You can check out the gift shop, order a shake or sit down to a fantastic meal. Though if you are going for a meal reservations are very strongly recommended. 

For me, the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen (okay, I typed it out twice, happy now?) was the highlight of our family trip to Orlando. The entire trip was great but my favourite part was checking this place out the first day and eating dinner there the next. If you are ever in the area you really have to check this place out. Unless maybe you don't like chocolate. But who doesn't like chocolate?

P.S. Even if you don't like chocolate or have some form of chocolate allergy (I am so sorry for you) there are plenty of things on the menu that don't actually have chocolate in them. Like this Rice Krispies Shake:

Friday, August 26, 2016

The biggest, best sandwich in Windsor #FoodPornFriday

I think there are plenty of Windsorites that can identify this #FoodPornFriday post. Even if they don't know that it's Bill's Big Boy with a side of Dillon Fries, they probably know it comes from Bubi's Awesome Eats.

Bubi's is one of those places you bring your out of town friends when they come to Windsor. They have been featured on You've Gotta Eat Here and for good reason. They have unique fantastic food that's "Garlicky Good!"

This massive sandwich has bacon, ham, turkey, gyro meat, lettuce, tons of cheese and Bubi's Sauce speared between Bubi' fresh made Garlick'd Rye bread. It's one of the best sandwiches in the area and one of the best I've had, ever. 

One of my favourite things to do in the summer is sit on Bubi's patio with a pint of Barking Squirrel and one of these massive sandwiches. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

The best thing I've ever eaten at Jack's Gastropub #FoodPornFriday

This isn't the first time I've featured Jack's Gastropub for #FoodPornFriday and I'm sure it won't be the last. Jack's is our favourite place to eat. The only thing that stops us from going there more often is the fact it's out in Kingsville and not here in Windsor.

I had to share this particular meal this week because it was the best thing I've ever eaten at Jack's. If you follow me on social media you must realize that is saying a lot. We love Jack's, I don't think I've ever had a bad meal and I've had many amazing ones. This dish topped all of them. 

What you see here is Fried Chicken Scaloppine: Cornflake breaded chicken cutlet, summer potato salad, grilled marinated tomato, warm biscuit and sausage gravy. 

Now Jack's changes their menu every season, so I suggest you head out there before this deslish dish disappears. Personally we've already booked a table for next Saturday.

Friday, August 5, 2016

European Market has awesome pre-made food at a great price. #FoodPornFriday

The European Market on Walker has been one of our favourite places to go for years. They have an amazing deli counter, sell a wide variety of imported foodstuffs that you can't get anywhere else and they have a great hot food counter.  This is why I was very happy to see they were opening a new, larger location that's closer to home (and to my work). 

The new place is huge and is located at 6415 Tecumseh Rd. East (was a rather terrible all you can eat sushi place before). What I really like at the new place is that the hot food counter is even bigger and has more items. There are now three kinds of pirogi, rice balls, a couple different stews, crepes. turkey and pork schnitzel, three different types of sausage, vegetables, roast potatoes and a whole lot more.

What really made me want to talk about the European Market for #FoodPornFriday is the price. Look at that picture up there: in it you can see eight dumplings, a medium sausage and cabbage, two spinach and ricotta crepes, eighteen cheddar cheese pierogi, four mushroom and sauerkraut pirogi, a medium bacon noodle thing (it's awesome and one of our favourites but I can't remember exactly what it's called), and finally three rice balls. How much do you think that cost me? 


Yes $36.50, for everything you see here. It was too much food for us and still cheaper than pretty much every other take-out meal we've had recently. This provided dinner for two adults and two kids and then lunch for all four of us the next day. Even more impressive is the fact that the food is great. The European Market has some of the best pirogi in the city. The sausage and cabbage is perfect for us as I love the sausage and my wife loves the cabbage. The rice balls were amazing (first time trying those). The only thing we weren't impressed by were the crepes.

So if you are looking for something different for lunch or dinner, I strongly recommend checking out either of the European Market's locations.


Friday, July 29, 2016

The most appetizing French Toast ever! #FoodPornFriday

No clue what happened last weekend. I totally missed Friday. It was like it didn't happen. I guess working 6-7 days a week does that. Of course that also meant that I missed #FoodPornFriday. Sorry about that.

To make up for my mistake here is some of the most appetizing French Toast you will ever see.

For my oldest's birthday we let her pick somewhere to eat. The problem was that I was working afternoon shift at the time, so it had to be somewhere for breakfast or lunch. She picked The Twisted Apron (my kid has good taste). This beauty was the special of the day: Apple, Bacon & Brie Stuffed French Toast.

I wish I could tell you tasted as good as it looks, but I can't. That's because it wasn't my meal. I got my usual Breakfast Poutine (which was awesome). This french toast was what my wife ordered and the fact she wouldn't even give me a bite to try it should be a good indicator on how much she liked it.

Twisted Apron has been a favourite of ours since they opened. The food is always amazing, the service great, the atmosphere relaxed and the prices reasonable. It has the added bonus of a great craft beer selection though that didn't matter much for this particular trip.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Mi Casita redemption for #FoodPornFriday

Enchiladas from Mi Casita are the highlight of today's #FoodPornFriday post.

I have to admit that our first experience with Mi Casita wasn't a pleasant one. The food was decent but the meal ended with us in an argument with the staff over a coupon. They refused to honour a Groupon we had purchased that day before going to the restaurant. Groupon is where we learned about this new Mexican place and what made us decide to try it out. I think Groupon was less than a month old at the time and they made us feel like we were trying to rip them off with some wierd thing we found on the internet. It was not a fun experience. 

Due to this experience it was a long time before we gave Mi Casita a second chance. The closing of El Dorado and the hours at Palenque had us craving Mexican when we couldn't get it. Eventually we decided to try Mi Casita again, but for take out. The food was good. I was treated fine when I picked up the food. Everything seemed alright. We got take out a few more times and each time the food was good to excellent. Each of us found favourite dishes and Mi Casita ended up in the regular take out rotation. It wasn't until tonight that we tried to eat in again, and it was a great experience.

The place looks great (they remodelled relatively recently), the food was even better dine in than take out and, most importantly, the staff was friendly and attentive. I don't know if  there was a change in staff or even management, but I will now happily recommend Mi Casita if you are craving Mexican.

I personally recommend the Enchiladas pictured here. My wife recommends the Chiles Rellenos and the kids say everything on the kids menu is awesome (Kids menus for the win!). Personally I say every mean needs to start with an order of Queso Flamedo, but then again I wish every meal started with flaming cheese and spicy sausage.

Friday, July 8, 2016

My dessert is purple! #FoodPornFriday

Today's #FoodPornFriday post is a follow up to last week's post. This very cool looking dessert also comes from Tropical Hut Philippine Cuisine and was my final course from our WindsorEats WinterBites meal.

According to the menu this is called Sapin-Sapin and is a Filipino rice cake made from glutinous rice and coconut milk. What I know is that it tasted as good as it looked cool. I can't think of anything else I've eaten that was purple and yellow like this.