Not the Food, Exactly
"You must miss Toronto a lot."
I get this all the time. But I don't miss it. Not at all. Without a doubt I miss the people: family, friends, the nice lady at the grocery store. But that's it, really. And I say so. Then they say,
"But you miss the food, right?"
And I would always answer, "Yes, I miss the food." But when I was there over the summer, I realized that I don't miss the food, exactly. Which is good because missing things just makes you sad that they're not there anymore. To describe it more accurately would be to say that I'm nostalgic for the great meals shared with family and friends in my old neighbourhood. And nostalgia is so much better. I get to think about all of the things associated with a time and place—the food, the laughs, the conversations—and it always leaves me with a smile.
Pizza Pide – Aside from rescuing me on many occasions from the tedious task of making dinner, it's what we had for dinner our last night in Toronto.
Leslieville Cheese Market – The last few months that we were working on the house, Brad's dad was there helping us. We worked him harder than I like to admit but hopefully he remembers the grilled cheese and ginger beer on the porch with a smile, too.
Sophie Mon Petit Café – Julia and I had a few really good conversations here. When the world seemed to be spinning out of control, spending a couple of relaxing hours here over fabulous food left me feeling grounded again.
Sushi Marché – Whenever the girls were staying at my mom's, Brad and I would order an obscene amount of sushi and eat it with Orange San Pellegrino in our living room while watching a movie. The only thing that changed was the movie. The sushi was excellent just the way it was.
Mi Mi – I owe this one to Christine. She opened my eyes to vietnamese food. And we've had some great times in that place. So many laughs and stories. I don't even think about visiting Toronto without thinking of that place and I can't think of that place without thinking of Christine.
OK OK – This is such a little neighbourhood spot. The staff remembers all of the regulars and there are never many there who aren't. It's also the place responsible for teaching me to like eggs. Before that, I couldn't even stomach the thought of putting eggs in my mouth. And once I sat in the booth next to Megan Follows. My twelve year old self was losing her mind.
Coyote Willie – It's the sort of place I never would have ventured into on my own but thank goodness Brad went there with some guys from work. It was the only meal big enough to feed us after a hard day of renovating. The burritos are huge and the flavour is just as big. Sometimes we would even order chips and guacamole to start. To give you an idea of how big the portions are, Brad and I could share one on a regular day and be full. The fact that we could each eat our own and sometimes have a starter means we were working really hard.
Red Rocket Coffee – They serve something called the Industrial Muffin. I think they call it that because it makes all other muffins seem like little boutique muffins. It's huge, incredibly healthy and a little bland. It must be eaten with jam. The staff will always offer you some but the one's who've had one of those beasts before will always give you two. Two is a must. This is the sort of breakfast that will grow hair on your chest and keep you full well into the afternoon. Sharing it with your sweetie over a morning coffee after dropping the girls off at school is nice, too.
Bonjour Brioche – This was the first place I had bread and croissants like the ones I had in France. Whenever I had a day to myself, which wasn't often, I would sneak over there for a chocolate croissant. I don't miss it so much anymore because we have the best bakery in the world right here in Nova Scotia.
Dangerous Dan's – They are the masterminds behind the ad campaign in the top photo. I've never eaten here and I think that might be why I can still smile about it.