Estrella Damm Tapas Journey

taps

Last summer, I had the chance to travel to Spain to get my first real tapas experience. Since then, I’ve wanted to find out more about these saucer-sized plates as well as the culture of tapas.

I was therefore thrilled to find out that the Estrella Damm Tapas Journey was returning to Toronto again this year. This culinary tour features some of the best tapas from the culinary leaders of the city. The Tapas Journey allows local foodies to enjoy three flavourful and thoughtfully curated tapas as well as an Estrella Damm, a refreshing lager that has been brewed in Barcelona since 1876, all for $20.

I had the opportunity to check out 3 of the 38 hand-picked restaurants along with three of my girlfriends last weekend. What I love most about these bite-size dishes is that even as a vegetarian, you still have a handful of delectable options to choose from.

The first stop of the evening was Scaramouche. Chef/owner Keith Froggett has been making sophisticated cuisine in the city for 35+ years. So it was a real treat to taste some of his tapas. His warm queso fresco bite was so refreshing.

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Scaramouche

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For our second stop we visited Fat Pasha located just a few blocks awayChef Anthony Rose incorporated his Middle-Eastern, Israeli and Canadian flavours to craft some savoury treats. I’m still craving his delicious falafel a few days later.  

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Fat Pasha

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We concluded our tasty evening at Bar ReynaChef Omar Ma (THR & Co., Cava, Buca Yorkville) who had prepared mediterranean-styled bites. My favorite of the 3 tapas was without a doubt the eggplant byaldi pinxtos. 

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What I loved most about the Tapas Journey tour is that you can customize it however you like. You can pick whichever combination of restaurants and do as many or as few as you want. Additionally, you get to taste some of the city’s best dishes without breaking the bank! It was such a thrill going from one restaurant to another, while tasting scrumptious food and having great conversations.

The Tapas Journey runs until August 21st. For more information, visit: tapasjourney.com.

Photography by Jeffrey Chan courtesy of Estrella Damm

This post was written in collaboration with Branding & Buzzing but all opinions are my own.

Pre-LA crunch time! #DailyOutfit

It was an early day at work for me today! After an almost sleepless night (damn you stupid nightmare!!), I headed to work super early today to prepare my last edit before leaving for LA tomorrow. It’s the last piece left over from all the stuff we had shot in Regina last month at the Juno Awards. I’m happy it’s all done because my post-trip schedule is looking pretty hectic!

Below is one of the great performances we did while in Regina. This one is with the pop-rock outfit High Hopes from Saskatoon. Though it’s not really my kind of music, I was really impressed by their vocal melodies!

Today, I also headed out to Polson Pier to shoot an interview with the Fransaskois artist Anique Granger. I always love going to that area of the city because we get such a beautiful view of the Toronto islands and downtown. Toronto was looking really lovely today! I feel lucky to be able to live in such a vibrant and amazing city 🙂

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For today’s outfit, I’m wearing color, prints and some brass jewelry. I love my Corrida necklace, it’s so badass! For some reason, this necklace makes me think of Spain. I’ve always wanted to travel to Barcelona. It’s definitely on my list of places to go to one day!

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Aztec print top

Forever 21 Bleached demin vest (get it here)

H&M skinny navy trousers (get them here)

H&M pointed cap toe orange high heel

Biko Rena Ring Necklace (get it here)

Uranium Corrida necklace (get it here)

Forever 21 triangle cutout bangle (get it here)

Carmen – Cocina Española

While wandering home from work last night, my boyfriend and I stumbled upon a brand new Spanish restaurant on Queen West called Carmen – Cocina Española. As we sometimes do, we looked inside, took a quick glance at the menu and gave it a shot. It had been a really long time since I had eaten Spanish food. Toronto’s renown for Italian, Portuguese, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Indian and even Tibetan food but rarely do I stumble across Spanish restaurants. I like Spanish food not only for its unique flavour but also for their varied vegetarian tapas.

We started our meal with some delicious Bodegas red wine that was decently priced. Though we were both tempted to share a traditional paella (they make a vegetarian one too!), we were told that it would take at least 45mins to make since it’s made for scratch. So instead, we opted for sharing a bunch of tapas. The first one we ordered was fried green tomatoes with feta cheese, peppers and corn. We followed that up by Jimaca shells with creamy avocados and finished off by the traditional Spanish omelet. My favorite dish out of the three vegetarian ones we ordered was without a doubt the fried tomato. I loved the combination of sweet and spicy. The avocado was also delicious but a little small for the price.

All in all, the food was super tasty but it was a little pricey. A restaurant like Grand Electric, which is pretty much the hippest joint in town right now, charges $3.75 per taco and they’re pretty filling. These tapas weren’t nearly as filling and cost upwards of $6. The ambiance was also really laid-back. I really dug the bar and more café-type front and the lounge and comfy back dinning area.

If you’re looking for a new spot to try out around Trinity Bellwoods and don’t mind paying a little more for your dinner, pay Carmen a visit!

 

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