A Girl’s Gotta Eat

So I know you are probably thinking to yourself, “man, this girl sure knows where to drink, play and feel cultured in this city, but does she know where to eat?”. I doubt you are actually thinking that, I just needed some sort of introduction to my post about my favourite food joints in the city. Now, I am not a food blogger by any means (in fact, I am probably quite low on the food blogger scale due to my lack of interest in eating meat, fish or anything that has a face), BUT I do like to eat (and who doesn’t want to read a post about someone who likes to eat? I know I would!)

One of my favourite spots in the city is the Persian restaurant Sheherzade (sister restaurant to The Pomegranate). I was introduced to it several years ago by an old classmate and
return every few months for some delicious (and terribly filling) cuisine. The restaurant is quite tiny – only sits maybe 30-40 people at most, so reservations are definitely important (walk-ins are welcome, but you may only be seated after 9 pm).

The restaurant is very quaint inside. Various old photos are scattered underneath the glass table tops, and there are beautiful lanterns hanging overtop.

Hanging lanterns inside Sheherzade create fantastic mood lighting

Hanging lanterns inside Sheherzade create fantastic mood lighting

However, what I love most about this restaurant is not just the food – but rather the process of eating the food. I like having fun while I eat – so when I am given a little pot with a pestle to mash up my food, I am definitely gonna enjoy my evening. I honestly think I am a huge fan of Indian food just because you can eat it with your hands and not be judged (although let’s be honest here…I still feel like I am being judged). Regardless of the ‘fun’ aspect to dinner, the food is quite delicious and filled with flavour. I always get the Kalleh Joosh (mainly because it is the only vegetarian option on the menu) and it never disappoints. You eat the meal in two phases. The broth from the main pot is strained and placed into a bowl and eaten as a soup. The remains of what’s left in the pot is what you get to mash up (chickpeas, potatoes, eggplant, and white beans). I am sure it doesn’t sound all that appetizing, but believe me, it is VERY tasty.

I love all the little bowls and toppings that go along with my meal

I love all the little bowls and toppings that go along with my meal

Another restaurant that is quickly making it onto my favourites list is a little place on Queen West called Arepa Cafe. People are always talking about great places to go for brunch and dinner, but what about lunch? I feel there needs to be great lunch spots in this city, too. In any case, this is my favourite place to go to on a weekend afternoon for a bite to eat.

At the counter at Arepa Cafe

At the counter at Arepa Cafe

If you aren’t sure what an arepa is, don’t worry – you probably aren’t alone (in fact, I had no idea when I first stumbled upon this place). It looked cute and had menu items that included things like avocado and cheese, and it was love at first sight. Anyway, an arepa is a native sort of bread from Venezuela made of cornmeal or flour and filled with tasty things like meat (for those of you that like that sort of thing), cheese and veggies. There are several options for fillings at the cafe (but I tend to stick with my cheese and avocado combination).

Arepas up close. And no, that isn't a pickle. It's a generous slice of avocado. Mmmm..

Arepas up close. And no, that isn’t a pickle. It’s a generous slice of avocado. Mmmm..

The arepas are also served with 3 sauces – A mild pepper sauce, a creamy garlic sauce, and a VERY hot habanero sauce (and the waiters do warn you it is hot, so be careful!). I love putting sauces on my food, so I definitely enjoyed this part of my dining experience (although I made sure to go easy on the habanero).

Be sure to go easy on the habanero sauce. They don't lie. It is HOT.

Be sure to go easy on the habanero sauce. They don’t lie. It is HOT.

So that concludes my first foodie post. Stay tuned in the coming days for a post on my wine education. I know I am excited! You should be getting pumped as well (or maybe not…I’d like to think you are though).

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