Saturday, March 28, 2009

Glutton Takes Toronto - Part Une (1)

Excuse me, erm, have you seen my stomach by any chance? It's gone missing. I think I left it back in Toronto and came back to Long Island without it. It must've happened somewhere between eating my parents out of their house and home, embarrassing myself by pigging out in front of cousins and friends, and surprising total strangers in Toronto by wolfing down piles of food all by meself. My only justification is that I did it all in the name of educating YOU, my beloved readers! (yes, I know, that's a very thin straw I'm grasping at)

So do you want to know where my hungry stomach travelled while in Toronto? Here goes!

As mentioned in some earlier posts, my main reason for going there was to spend quality time with my love-em-to-pieces parents (I could devote a whole blog just to them, and talk about how they're fun and quirky one minute and can drive me up a wall the next - but I WON'T ... breathe easy Mom). My driving-impaired brother (he thinks he's a good driver, but his history begs to differ) was also around the day I landed at Pearson International. The idea was for me to fly in from NY, him to drive up from Ottawa, pick me up from the airport and then both of us would show up at our parents' doorstep and give them a happy surprise for my Dad's birthday. Of course, since I was silly enough to factor in my kid brother into the equation, things didn't quite work out as planned. Let's just say that after a rather hectic morning, we all decided to calm our frazzled nerves by doing what we do best - EAT. It really has been ages since I've been back home, so all these new restaurants have popped up around the neighborhood. One of them being
Eddies Wok N Roll.
It's located in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, and a haven for the desi community. Eddies specializes in Indian-Chinese cuisine, which I think I'm a connoisseur of. So I can safely (and happily *burp* oops, so sorry!) say that it's one of the best I've had. It's hard to find friendlier staff, for one thing! The variety of food was typical for most of these types of restaurants, but the flavors were ridiculously good. Between the four of us, we ordered and devoured plates of Lollipop Chicken, Vegetable Fried Rice, Hakka Noodles with Chicken & Shrimp, Manchurian Chicken and Sizzling Tangra Masala Chicken. Numnummm! There are a lot of fine-dining restaurants all over the world that produce Asian flavors using French techniques, so if you enjoy that, why not try Asian flavors with a desi twist?! It will rattle your tastebuds, but good!

This 'Spirit Of Discovery' sculpture really spoke to me that day, although for me, coming back to this place was more like Re-Discovery

Speaking of tastebuds, I decided to take mine down memory lane. On my second day in Toronto, I went down to my old hunting grounds - the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. It's been years and YEARS since I've been back there. Not since that last windy afternoon when I wore my graduation robe and posed giddily with my fellow grads at our convocation.

Red streetcar making its regular stop in front of the campus.

Talk about nostalgia! How to describe that feeling of walking out of from the Queens Park subway station, surrounded by university students (gosh, can't believe I was one of them, so serious, so eager, so UNfashionable!) and confronting the sights that I had been so used to seeing at one time? There was a moment when my adrenaline spiked with the thought "Sh!t, do I have a paper due?!", but fortunately that passed and what I was left with was a pleasant buzz that kept me smiling for the rest of the day.
My first stop was the old shawarma/falafel place for a quick bite then onto Hart House Circle, passing by Convocation Hall, the Arts & Sciences Building, Robarts Library, Rotman Center (where I was deeeeeeeeeelighted to see my old Second Cup coffee shop still in its old spot - so I promptly ordered what I always used to get, one small Hot White Chocolate ... sweet sweet memories!), Trinity College and so many more. It's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. While I was there for four years, I never looked twice at some of the old, gorgeous buildings that make up my campus, but now I felt like I was seeing it all with new eyes.

More delicious nibbles to talk about in my next post, but let me leave you with an image of a darlin' someone who made my visit extra special. Meet ... JORDAN! My parents' cat. Well, originally he belonged to all of us, while both my brother and I were still living at home with our folks. But in time, we both moved out, and now he is the spoiled brat of the house. As a kitten, he would crawl into my lap and fall asleep, so I'll always have a soft spot for him (my first kitty ever). *sigh* I miss him sometimes, but don't tell Ozzy.

Isn't he a handsome devil?!


Donna-FFW said...

Sounds like you had a great lovely visit. Cute kitty! Your photos are wonderful! Nice to have you back;)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a fun trip!

Sara said...

Everything looks delicious - now I'm totally craving falafel, good thing I was planning to make it this week :)

Suparna said...

Hi Muneeba,
It was nice to travel with u down ur memory lane . U r really lucky, u atleast got a chance to go back and visit the place u grew up in, isn't it always special?! n brings a flood of memories. Jordan is really a handsome fella :) great writing! beautiful pictures.

Jamie said...

Would I love to travel with you! Yum!!! Whenever I get back to Florida to visit family I try and lose several pounds before I get on the plane because I know that I will spend the whole time eating.

Muneeba said...

Thks all ... I had a lovely time, and it's fun re-living it here on my blog with all you guys!

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

Lucky you, sounds indeed like a woderful trip!! Lovely pictures too!!

Doppelganger said...

How wonderful your trip sounds! I feel like in some small part I was able to experience being there too. Your pictures are just gorgeous! Those historical buildings and that sculpture, the spirit of discovery, speak to me through the screen. Love them! And your words make that food come alive until I'm salivating all over my laptop. I can tell how much you loved being in Toronto from your words! I'm glad I didn't make the mistake of missing this entry of your blog! My favorite one thus far!

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