January 15th, 2013
Joining the market mix is Thomas Lavers, a charming pantry of all things canned, cured, pickled and brined.
You’ll find all sorts of treats, from onion jam and pickled green beans to fresh Ontario quail eggs, pestos and preserves. The house-made potato and cheddar pierogi are worth the carbs, and if you’re really lucky you’ll find a freshly-made Muffaletta at the sandwich counter too.
January is not the month to diet, anyway. —Athena Tsavliris
Thomas Lavers, 193 Baldwin St., Toronto.
October 12th, 2012
When word spread that Sanagan’s was setting up shop in the old European Quality Meats spot, carnivores rejoiced.
And with very good reason. Sanagan’s is committed to sustainable farming and the highest quality meat. The new shop boasts a huge range of meat, poultry, game and offal, along with handmade sausages, sourced from small farms within Ontario.
On days when you feel like a home cooked meal (without cooking), Sanagan’s rotisserie chickens really hit the spot. The pulled pork sarnis are darn good too.
Three tenderloins set me back $35; not bad at all for an absurdly flavourful cut of meat. A simple rocket salad and a dollop Kozlick’s mustard, and there’s a perfect meal. —Athena Tsavliris
Sanagan’s Meat Locker, 176 Baldwin St., Toronto, 416-593-9747, www.sanagansmeatlocker.com
May 23rd, 2012
If you know more facts about Ghery’s Guggenheim than the AGO, and the last time you looked up at the Graduate House was on a drunken night in 1999, then it’s time to take a tour of your local architecture.
Margaret and Phil Goodfellow’s Guide to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto ($24.95) is all the inspiration you’ll need to map out your tour. From private residences (the Levitt Goodman house on Euclid) to eye-popping landmarks (the Eatonville Public Library), this handy book is packed with exquisite buildings you’ve likely walked past, but never even seen.
Case in point: I’m a stone’s throw from U of T and only just discovered the “Trinity College Quadrangle.” —Athena Tsavliris
At Good Egg, 267 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 416-593-4663, www.goodegg.ca
May 22nd, 2012
From Ikat to Navajo, simple silhouettes in bold prints will adorn the streets this summer.
The folks over at Model Citizen are bang on trend with a collection of calf-length peasant skirts ($85) in eye-popping African tribal patterns.
Tops are also in the works, but for now, I’ll be wearing mine with a simple white cami and demi-turban alla Stella Jean. —Athena Tsavliris
At Model Citizen, 279 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 416-703-7625, http://modelcitizentoronto.com
December 19th, 2011
After too many boozy eggnogs, party guests are prone to plonking their drinks anywhere.
Save the alabaster tabletops and hand out these neat coasters ($40) from Toronto’s National DesignCollective.
Each one is an outline of a Canadian city, laser cut into birch plywood. And the removable and reusable wooden backing means you can hang them on a wall when eggnog season is over. —Athena Tsavliris
At Good Egg, 267 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 416- 593-4663, www.goodegg.ca
May 16th, 2011
There are precious few Toronto tattoo shops in which you'd want to browse, sip tea, read a mag or do anything, really, besides get inked and get out. In fact, there might be just one.
Pearl Harbor Tattoo & Gift Shop is an airy, super-clean parlour in the thick of Kensington. The tattoo artists are polite and serious; they draw each tattoo by hand, even if it's just (as a friend had done) three little initials. Original designs, like the decor, are inspired by wartime America and the South Pacific. When you're getting marked for life, it makes sense to do it somewhere that feels timeless. —SNP
24 Kensington Ave., Toronto, 416-595-7184, http://pearlharbourgiftshop.com
December 20th, 2010
It used to be that Liberty prints were for angel haired schoolgirls. Today, everyone from Turner-prize winner Grayson Perry to Barney’s creative director, Simon Doonan, is a fan.
Here in Toronto, designer Andrea Dixon of Pomp and Ceremony fashions the most charming accessories from a mix of vintage and current Liberty fabrics. For the lads there are pochettes and bow ties and for the ladies there are headbands, necklaces and fascinators.
Available at Model Citizen, 279 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 416-553-6632.
August 3rd, 2010
Some of the best eco cleaning products have been around for centuries (vinegar, lemon juice and sour milk, to name a few).
But, if our home is to smell like a pantry, let it be fresh, sweet scents that we love. Sapadilla’s collection of dish soap, all purpose cleaner, and counter spray ($8–$14) smells divine, works like a gem and contains none of that icky toxic stuff.
We’ll pick sweet citrus over sour lemons any day.
Available at Good Egg, 267 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 416-593-4663, www.goodegg.ca
March 5th, 2010
Step aside Nigella, there’s a new goddess in the kitchen whipping up wholesome treats like cauliflower cheese, pear and ginger muffins and grilled bananas with Greek yogurt and agave.
Model turned writer, Sophie Dahl brings a sweet, nostalgic voice to the subject of food in her first cookbook, Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights ($36.99). “A welcome dream was a cloud made of trifle, a slick spring bubbling with chocolate or a fountain bursting with forbidden Sprite or Cherry Coke, ” she writes in her intro.
Herewith, a recipe for Clover Dahl's (Sophie’s younger sister) Carnation milk jelly:
1 packet strawberry jelly
125ml cup hot water
1 can evaporated milk
Slices of strawberry, swirls of cream and curls of chocolate to decorate (optional)
Dissolve the jelly in the hot water. When the mixture is cool, whisk in the evaporated milk until the mixture is thick and frothy. Leave it to set for at least two hours. Cover the jelly with strawberry slices, swirls of cream and curls of grated chocolate, if you wish - the camper the better, really.
At Good Egg, 267 Augusta Ave.,Toronto, 416-593-4663, www.goodegg.ca
February 12th, 2010
“Como pan caliente”—“Like hot bread.” That's what Mexicans say when something is so popular it's being snapped up as quickly as it's made.
And indeed, it’s impossible to step inside Pancho’s Bakery without snapping up a few bolillos (French rolls) or conchas (a seashell-shaped egg bun with a chocolate or vanilla topping).
Also delicious are the rebanadas, (slices of buttered bread sprinkled with sugar) and the yoyos (cookies with strawberry jam between them) are prefect for dipping in hot chocolate.
Now, that’s what we call a dulce vita.
214 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 416-854-8770, www.panchosbakery.ca