Tag Archives: fried mushrooms

Drinks and small bites with a view @ Writers Room

Although we’ve had a couple false starts along the way, it looks like it’s finally rooftop patio season in Toronto, bro! We’re hanging out at the Writers Room Bar, on the 17th floor of the Park Hyatt, where they’re serving up cocktails inspired by Canadian writers — like the Wordsmith, which has a quote from Mordecai Richler beneath it on the menu:

writers_room_wordsmith (7)

This drink mixes dark rum with sweet vermouth and bitters, for a little extra kick at the end. It also feels a little strong — especially when you’re drinking on an empty stomach. 😉

fried_maitake_mushrooms (3)

Speaking of which, these fried maitake mushrooms are some nice little bites, with a sweet chili honey and a side of ranch. Definitely in my top five deep-fried mushroom dishes, bro!!!!

mini_park_burger (4)

Their Mini Park Burger totally lives up to its name. It’s really just a slider (and a $19 slider at that). Still, it’s pretty tasty, with some onion jam on the bottom and gouda cheese on top…I just wish there was more of it to go around.

writers_room_fried_chicken (3)

If you’re looking for something bigger, their Korean fried chicken comes with lettuce wraps, a little bit of kimchi cauliflower and a little bit of donkey sauce and peanut sauce. I’m not sure you actually get more deep-fried nuggets here than you do with an order of maitake mushrooms…but hey, it does come with lettuce, so there’s that.

kabosu_ipa (1)

Now, I wouldn’t normally order a beer at a cocktail bar…but when they told me about this off-menu, in-house special, you KNOW I had to try it! Their Kabosu IPA is brewed exclusively for the hotel by Folly Brewpub (which we already know is too legit to quit), and it mixes in some Japanese citrus fruit for a taste that’s both hoppy and sour. I think I’ll skip the Margaret Atwood absinthe/cognac cocktail and have another one of these instead… 😛

Iberico Pork Secreto: It’s like a pork secret handshake in Flavourtown…

Normally, when I go to a fancy steakhouse like Vela, this new funky joint on Portland Street, I’m probablt gonna order the steak. But it turns out this place doesn’t have any steaks bigger than 12 ounces — which is literally a light snack in Flavourtown — so when I saw Iberico Pork Secreto on the menu, I kinda wanted in on the secret:

iberico_pork_secreto (12)

Now, it may be a mystery as to what part of the pig pork secreto comes from — somewhere between the neck and the shoulder, apparently — but its taste is pretty outta bounds. It’s kinda like a cross between boneless ribs and a nice ribeye steak, grilled up steakhouse style with a hearty romesco sauce and a whole lotta shishito peppers, blistered on the grill for that extra smoky kick. Man, there were almost more peppers than pieces of meat…but I still ate everything but the stems, son!!!!

vela_crispy_mushrooms (3)

Speaking of stems, this meal started off with an order of crispy maitake mushrooms, deep-fried to perfection with a chipotle ranch dip… Dude, I would put that on a flip-flop, and I’m not even wearing flip-flops!!!!

ransack_the_universe (8)

We washed it all down with some Ransack the Universe, a heavy (6.8%), hoppy (85 IBUs) IPA from my homeboys at Collective Arts. Man, that might be some of the best artwork I’ve ever seen on a beer can…

vela_brownie_stack (5)

And you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This brownie stack was absolutely delectable, with a double dose of brownies topped with salted caramel, candied pecans and a scoop of cocoa sorbet. This honestly might be the best dessert I’ve had in 2021 — dude, it’s like the KFC Double Down of desserts, bro!!!!!!1!!!

Mushrooms ‘n waffle @ Planta

Now, chicken and waffles is an all-time soul food classic — but what happens when you make it vegan? We’re about to find out at Planta, this funky vegan joint at Bay and Bloor. I was actually here before for some jackfruit tacos and deep-fried mushrooms, so I knew their shrooms were legit…but how would they taste on a waffle?

planta_mushroom_waffle (11)

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the mushrooms here — deep-fried, crispy and delicious. The waffle itself wasn’t bad, but not the best I’ve had. I wasn’t really feeling the combo of the mushroom gravy and maple sriracha, though. And I don’t think the flavour of the shrooms works as well with waffles like chicken does. But I would totally put some of those mushrooms on top of a burger, bro…maybe even a Beyond Meat one?