Looking for Some Fine Korean Food?

Try out Kimchi Korea House (149 Dundas St. W, Toronto, ON), a restaurant specializing in Korean food! Although their food might be pricier (around $13 – $30 per dish) than typical Korean restaurants, they have radical dishes worthy of raving about. I went with a friend of mine, and although we did take some time to order, they were very patient with us, even with a full house. There were six banchan (side dishes) served at the beginning which is the standard number (of side dishes).

Usually, a Korean restaurant has the occasional 3 types of bibimbap (rice dish topped with other veggies and a protein), but this restaurant has it all. From beef to eel, they serve 10+ different bibimbaps, which is phenomenal! Here are some pictures just to show.

[from left: kimchi bibimbap, tteokbokki, salmon bibimbap]

The food took around 10~15 minutes and, obviously, tasted amazing. Did I mention their extraordinary service? Yep, their service was amazing. When our cups were empty, they immediately came and filled them back up with water and checked up with us to see how we were doing every now and then. My total came up to around $30 with the salmon bibimbap and tteokbokki (spicy rice cake), and my friend’s came to around $20 (all including tips).

My rating:

Food: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Ambiance: 8.5/10 (Sat a bit too close to other customers.)

Utensils: 6/10 (Gave wooden chopsticks. I prefer the metal ones.)

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Dinner and a Game

Waterloo is one of those places where the population dictates what’s available. And the staples of the Waterloo diet is food (generally either free or Asian food), late nights, proximity to campus, and entertainment. Crossroads fulfills all of the above criteria.

Back in my first year at Waterloo, I went to Crossroads’ opening night. I still hold on to the stamp card from that night with pride. But over the years, Crossroads evolved. It went from just having appetizers and a menu written on paper to being a full fledged cafe.

Here’s your guide to crossroads.

First, check in on Facebook. If you look at the front page of the menu, they’ll give you a free scoop of ice cream if you do. Be sure to claim it.

Next, a few food reccomendations for vegetarians (as I am one).

First, they have a specifically veggie sandwich. It’s stuffed with veggies, cheese, and jalapeno aioli. Not a fan of spice? That’s fine. There’s also the regular grilled cheese or the tomato grilled cheese. The sandwiches come with chips (all dressed or regular) or a salad (in case you feel like being healthy. I didn’t. Lol.) and your choice of ketchup or chipotle. I personally love their chipotle. It’s both sweet and spicy, to just the right degree (in my opinion).

Not there to eat a full meal? That’s fine too. They have a bunch of appetizers and snacks. For a sweet tooth, try their candy bowl.

They can make it peanut free, or you can choose to add peanut m&ms. It’s the same price. Just do what works best for your playing group.

If you’re feeling more savoury, I reccomend their spinach dip and hummus platter and samosas.

Their cold spinach dip is great, and if not everyone in your group is feeling the dip, there’s roasted pepper hummus too. Choose whichever and split it amongst the group. You may or may not order more, prewarning.

As for the samosas, they come with a sweet yet spicy sauce, which you can choose if you’d like to try on your own. I personally reccomend it.

Next, let’s move to drinks. Their milkshakes are good, but let’s be honest. This is Waterloo, and they have bubble tea on their menu. Is it worth it? Yes. Bubble tea is always worth it.

They have jellies and tapioca. However it contains milk, so if you’re lactose intolerant, see what they can do for you before ordering.

And if you need caffination, my friend gave their approval for the hot drinks.

All in all, there is plenty to Crossroads, including good food with a side of games. ūüėČ

Feeling sad? Had a recent breakup? Craving for something that‚Äôll make you happy again? Why not try Love Me Sweet‚Äôs classic Japanese cheesecake! Or read about my experience instead

 

This week, I had the opportunity to try –for the first time in forever– Love Me Sweet‚Äôs signature original cheesecake at Square One. I was puzzled by its smooth and silky texture when I put one piece in my mouth. One became two, and two became four. I was completely drawn aback by its elegant and rich taste. It was around $12 for a whole cake – which, by the way, is a pretty okay price. No complaints there, comparing the quality of the cake to price. This cake is like the one at Uncle Tetsu‚Äôs in that it has the same rich and creamy feel. It‚Äôs just that in Love Me Sweet‚Äôs cake, the cheese and milk is much more prominent than in the other where it completely blends in with the cake. For some of us, that might just be our cup of tea. However, it was a bit dry, probably because I ate it a day after BUT I‚Äôm sticking to Love Me Sweet, for now, because of their impeccable service that day. They were patient, did everything I asked for, and even when it was eight o‚Äôclock, was still smiling and kindly asking for my order. There was also no line-up, so I was completely satisfied with no wait time! ūüėä I r8 8.5/10 m8. Oh! I forgot to add, but their store‚Äôs interior design is an absolute A++!

Building My Spice Tolerance at Waterloo

Red, chili-filled, sludge ramen.

 

I’ve always had an appreciation for spicy food, but this was the year where I really pushed my limits. I’m sure many of you claim to love spicy food. But then again, do you REALLY love spicy food? Don’t tell me that your love for spicy food comes from that one hot cheeto you ate in your trip to the States, or the hot sauce packet that comes with your Popeyes takeout. Here’s my short journey to building up spice tolerance with actual, tongue burning, gut-wrenching spicy foods. Keep in mind, they’re listed in ascending order as well!

I started off as any respected beginner with the Spicy Ramen Challenge. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, a quick Google search will do. Samyang’s spicy ramen looks like any other instant noodle package and should be available at any Asian supermarket.¬† Finish an entire bowl of this Ramen without water or milk in between, and you should be good. Over time, this wasn’t a challenge because even though it’s tongue-numbing spicy, the Ramen sauce is wonderful and I ate the noodles on a regular basis.

I had overcome the Spicy Ramen challenge, but was I ready for more? Next, I moved on to the Kenzo Level 3 Spicy Ramen Challenge. Find any Kenzo’s noodle restaurant, ask for Level 3, and you will be met with warnings. I do recommend doing the previous levels beforehand unlike me, who went in expecting a surprise. This ramen is not for the faint-hearted and will definitely take time getting used to. The soup was a toxic and red sludge of pure chili, and the actual noodles were my only solace. If you have done the Spicy Ramen Challenge before, the Kenzo’s Level 3 would be 2.5x spicier in my rating scale. Be warned.

Folks , here is a gem. Kismet Restaurant in Waterloo, Ontario has one of the spiciest dishes I have ever eaten. The server really wasn’t joking. I suffered after Kenzo’s, but the Kismet Chicken Bangalore was what I would call “God Tier”. Your throat crackled and burned with every dip of your naan into the spicy chicken curry. One could build a tolerance to it, but this curry is DEFINITELY not for the spicy beginner. I’m keeping my experience short because if you do feel brave enough, it’s worth experiencing yourself.

Now, the unique moment I’ve been waiting to share: trying the spiciest chocolate in the world. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get down the brand because a friend had ordered it online but if you are curious, please let me know! The tiny chocolate bar was a rectangle about half the size of my phone screen. It was cut into even more tiny squares which really screamed: “YEAH THIS IS POTENT!”. As soon as I put a tiny 1cm x 1cm piece in my mouth, fireworks went off. It had the taste of Kismet’s curry times ten but packed into a tiny piece. If I had mistakenly taken a bite out of the whole chocolate bar‚Ķwell, I don’t want to go there. Either way, this is the spiciest item on my list and I only recommend a tiny piece. The only relief was that it was a chocolate bar and I could still taste a hint of sweet amidst the spice. Right after eating the chocolate, I drank a whole glass of milk and had to run my tongue under cold water under the faucet.

I plan to add much more to my list as I don’t see my love for spice ever going away! All I can say is, stay tuned.

A Purely Matcha Restaurant?

 

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Tsujiri is located in the heart of Downtown Toronto and can be summed up as a matcha lover’s dream. The chain is 155 years old, starting as a Japanese tea brand from Kyoto. They finally opened their first North American store in Toronto (surprisingly the U.S. isn’t first for once). I had seen my fair share of Instagram posts of pretty green-coloured desserts so I definitely had to try it out.

Things I really recommend:

  • Matcha soft serve
  • Any lattes

The store atmosphere was adorable and dainty. It was a small shop but the best part was the low traditional Japanese table at the back where you could sit on the tatami mat (shoes off of course). As expected, the menu entirely revolved around matcha: drinks, cakes, pastries, ice cream… anything you could think of. We tried 3 things to review: a matcha cookie, a latte, and yuzu matcha tea.

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Everything tasted pleasant. My matcha palette was not refined enough to distinguish between the good matcha and bad matcha, but the latte definitely surpasses Starbucks standards. It didn’t take too much to impress me. The matcha cookie was not much of a surprise. It was a puffy pastry with gooey (you guessed it) matcha ice cream inside. The drink that I really enjoyed was the yuzu tea: matcha tea with a slight lemon taste. It turns out the tea is made with yuja, a fruit similar to lemon.

My only complaint? The prices. I wouldn‚Äôt drop by here on a regular basis but it is nice to treat yourself. The quantity you get is¬†not justified¬†by the price, but Tsujiri still gets points for being unique. My final thoughts? Definitely worth a visit; I mean, there aren’t that many matcha dedicated cafes in the GTA and the atmosphere along with the food is photogenic.

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A Student’s Guide to the Nearby Sushi Buffets

As a UWaterloo student, I have two options for nearby sushi buffets: ‚ÄčItamae & Sushi 168. Of the two, each has its strong points, weak points, and unique dishes. And so, that leads us to an issue… Which do we go to? This conundrum leads to the necessity of a guide.

And here we are!

Let’s start with Itamae. Itamae is closer to Laurier, at the King/University intersection. It’s right behind Starbucks. When compared with Sushi 168, Itamae has:

  • Fresher veggies in their sushi
  • Better quality desserts
  • More veggie sushi options
  • Their iPad also leans on the table, which is better ergonomically
  • Nice presentation of their dishes
  • Better ordering system for workers

That last one is key for the employees. While Sushi 168 has an iPad ordering system too, the servers have to come to your table to confirm your order; whereas in Itamae, they can confirm your order remotely. This makes service faster and easier (supposedly).

Downsides:

  • Doesn’t properly season their food – this applies mostly for dishes other than sushi/rolls. There just isn’t any salt.
  • Some of their dishes are overcooked. For example, their spinach is left bitter.
  • Their different dishes don’t stack well. Another hardship for the employees, but thankfully they don’t stay around long enough to have to stack too much.
  • It’s harder to order if you’re vegetarian or have allergies – their menu lacks item descriptions and any indications of whether or not it’s vegetarian or has an allergen.
  • Some of their dishes don’t compare – in my opinion – to Sushi 168. For example, their seaweed salad.
  • For people who like alcoholic beverages or mocktails, there are fewer paid drinks available.
  • The iPad, although ergonomic, is in the way once dishes start coming.

One unique dish that they have that I’d recommend trying is their hash browns. The hash browns look like sushi pizza, but are actually fried mashed potatoes with veggies inside. It’s actually pretty good, though it looks different from what you’d expect. In case you order both this and sushi pizzas, it looks like them, but is harder to grasp.

Moving on to Sushi 168, this buffet is closer to UW than Laurier. It’s just in Westmount plaza, so it can be walked to from campus with relative ease. Compared to Itamae, it has:

  • A better system for recognising allergies and dietary restrictions. They will ask you for any allergies ahead of time, and there are symbols on their menu telling you if a dish has peanuts, if it’s vegetarian, and if it’s spicy.
  • They also have more international cuisine types.
  • They have a buffet for salads, soups, and some of the desserts, which makes it faster for you to get those things and choose how much you’d want.
  • They also have more choices altogether, both in food and drinks.
  • The restaurant is also more spacious.
  • Their dishes also stack well, unlike Itemae. But that’s because they are more uniform in shape.
  • They have a washroom that looks like it belongs in a 5 star hotel.

Downsides:

  • They often have slower service than Itamae.
  • Their sushi has veggies that are not as fresh as that Itamae offers.
  • They have less veggies in their dishes – but they’re working on that.

Proof:

One unique dish on their menu that I’d recommend trying is their deep fried rice cream. It’s ice cream in a deep fried sweet coating that tastes like cornflakes. It’s covered in chocolate syrup and is generally delicious.

Now that you know the ins and outs of the two all-you-can-eat chains nearby, go on and make an informed decision.
Enjoy!

Hey! Creative Tacos

Two months have passed since I flew back from Cancun, but I feel like I never left that wonderful land. Did my mind go crazy after midterms? Or am I so busy working with matrices that I’ve forgotten where I live? The truth is, I went to the Taco Fest this weekend! If you want to scroll down to have a brief look, hope your stomach doesn’t rumble in the library!

There was a vendor selling ice cream tacos and nachos right beside the entrance! I must admit that the vendor is smart. Who can reject ice cream with crunchy taco-shaped cones in the hot weather? My friends and I immediately bought two servings (we should have walked around first. The strawberry funnel cakes were just around the corner.)

And then there were tacos.

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Homemade corn tortilla with shredded chicken topped with onion, salsa, cilantro & lime

This was one of the cheapest tacos, but still tasted delicious! Despite the strange-coloured onions, the whole taco was in line with Mexican street-style tacos. The corn tortilla was heated to burst rich and authentic corn flavour. It was thinner and rough, which resulted in a better texture. A mouthful of shredded chicken released enough juice, while jalape√Īo salsa and cilantro excited the taste buds from time to time.

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Bass fish marinated in signature batter mix served with cabbage

I also fell in love with this fried fish taco! Simple ingredients but much effort was shown in the marination. Normally fish has light flavour. The sour and spicy batter with sprinkle of herb gave this fillet a stronger taste to balance out the thicker and plainer bite of tortilla. Meanwhile, the original taste of fish stayed as the fillet was big enough.

Here you can see more pictures of seafood tacos. There were mayo and coleslaw laid under both the jerk shrimps and lobster chunks. Personally, I would say that the coleslaw was more like salad that mixed two products into almost the same taste. Okay! All I want is more proteins on the taco next time!

Congratulations! As a loyal reader of UWaffle blog, you can now see the most popular taco from last year.

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Carolina BBQ sauce, corn and tomato salsa, fried chicken

What! You don’t think this messy taco deserves the first prize? I thought so as well. But as I gave it a shot, I realized how satisfying it was to eat such a big fried chicken. Some details differentiated this taco with a fried chicken wrap. The coleslaw underneath was not dressed with mayo, which served some freshness in the right amount. What’s more, I love the beans and corns. Salted refried beans and corns are common side foods in Mexico. Here, the crispy fried batter was blended in with soft beans, and created a new eatery experience.

I can’t introduce every taco I ate here, just like how I ran out of money and space to try all the tacos. I really appreciate the diversity that tacos possess. ¬†Pork belly, pineapple, mango curry, pull yam, etc., can all be found on the tacos in the Taco Fest.

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Greasy pork belly~ I want someone to share it with me
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Crunchy bread, mango curry marinated chicken, pineapple pico de gallo, fried onion!

We can always go beyond to create our own food combination. Once I ate burritos in Mexico. Bowls of guacamole, refried beans, caramel onions, jalape√Īo, and Mexican rice were served at the same time. It was like doing an experiment by mixing food instead of chemicals, and I think that was the moment I felt the spirit of freedom in Mexican food. Hope that my sharing will boost your creativity when you hold a taco night in the future!

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Food, food, food! Even the bowls are edible

If you want to go to the Taco Fest next year… these are some final tips!

  1. Look at the menu on Instagram before you go. You may not have time to find the tacos you want the most, especially if you only have a short amount of time to spend.
  2. Seek for the most popular tacos before you line up for a random taco. You may get full quickly, so why not try something worthwhile?
  3. You need to pay for the entrance ticket first and buy food tickets after entrance. Each taco ticket costs you two dollars. Most tacos require 2 to 4 tickets. Therefore, the tacos are more expensive than those sold in fast food restaurants.

Foodie Fruitie: is it filled with goodies?

I’ve been on a quest to eat at every restaurant in the plaza, which for me¬†includes the places in Linden Square at the intersection of University and Lester. Foodie Fruitie is an Asian restaurant with a large menu, including skewers, sushi, ramen, rice dishes, tea, and more. I like to come here for late night snacks and filling rice dishes for lunch.

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I almost always order the rice sets at Foodie Fruitie, which are combos that include rice, soup, and salad. The portions are pretty big and I usually can’t finish it and have to take some home. One favourite of mine is teriyaki salmon. The rice set is nine to ten dollars before tax which is good for what you get. I’ve tried a few sushi items from the menu which were decent, but not so good that I’d recommend it over the other sushi restaurants in this area.

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Foodie Fruitie offers a variety¬†of tea- and juice-based drinks. I’m not too familiar with their drinks since I’ve only ever ordered one drink, the watermelon juice. It was decently fresh and there was no sugar added. I probably won’t¬†order it again because the portion is a bit small for me.¬†If you like beer to go with your meal, there are some common¬†brands available here (I had Sapporo here which I liked with sushi).

One thing that I like about this place is the complimentary food you get. There’s seaweed salad before every meal. I came here with a group and we got complimentary takoyaki. You should get free ice cream at the end as well, although I had to ask for it when I was eating by myself.

Now on to what I dislike about Foodie Fruitie. The service isn’t great here, especially when it gets busy. Sometimes it’s hard to even get someone’s attention to be seated. It almost always takes a while for a waiter to pick up your order.

I’ve tried one of the ramen items here once and I would not recommend it at all. I remember it tasting of salt and nothing else. I’ve also heard only bad things from my numerous friends who have tried the ramen at Foodie Fruitie, so it isn’t just my opinion. Try to avoid the ramen¬†no matter how good the menu pictures make them look.

 

Grace & Healthy Dumplings: Is there Healthy Food in the Plaza?

I’ve been on a quest over the years to eat at every restaurant in the UW plaza. After much trial and error, I can safely say that Grace & Healthy Dumplings is my favorite restaurant in the plaza. The food here is tasty and healthy at a reasonable price:¬†I spend only $13-$15 ¬†here each time for a filling meal.

Grace & Healthy Dumplings sells… you guessed it, dumplings, but there are some other options as well, such as congee, buns, and appetizer dishes. “Healthy” is right in the name, and the dishes Grace & Healthy Food do taste healthier than your average plaza food. Nothing is overly salty or greasy. I find that there is a healthy balance of meat, vegetable, and grains¬†on the menu.¬†Grace & Healthy Dumplings is MSG free and their meats are grass fed and local.

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The Dumplings have a range of different stuffing. My favorites include chicken and zucchini, chicken, napa cabbage and chives, and pork and kimchi. However, there is a vegetarian dumpling as well. On the pricier end of the menu, you can get stuffing that includes seafood and lamb. For portion sizes, you can buy 12 or 16 pieces, boiled or fried. You can also buy some frozen dumplings for about a dollar cheaper and take them home to cook.

The side dishes all taste decent and they’re not too pricey – I order them at around 2 dollars each. What really impresses me is their organic congees. If you haven’t had congee before, the plain ones here are a good place to start. I really like the one with sweet potato and The congees at Grace & Healthy remind me of¬†the staple congees that my parents make at home, which is no small feat.

In addition to the original dumplings and side dishes, Grace & Healthy Dumplings has been adding items to their menu such as noodles, wonton, and rice dishes. They have good portions and taste well enough, but I rarely order them because the dumplings taste much better.

IMG_0843.JPGThere are things that I don’t like about Grace & Healthy Dumplings as well. Sometimes service can be slow, especially at peak hours. I’ve also had to ask for things like tea or water or spoons many times. Items such as congees and buns are sometimes sold out later on in the day.

Overall the food at Grace & Healthy Dumplings is healthy and delicious, so give it a try if you haven’t yet!

Vincenzo’s: Taste of Italy in Uptown Waterloo

What is Vincenzo’s?

For all lovers of Italian food, fine cheeses, fresh pasta, freshly baked bread, and other tantalizing commodities, I recommend that you visit this Italian grocer in uptown Waterloo. It’s got a mix between an European small-shop atmosphere and a street vendor’s allure.

Entering Vincenzo’s for the first time felt to me like returning to Israel for a shopping trip. The place is packed with goodies and has displays of fresh pastas, sweets, salads, etc. around every corner. At the same time, it also sells hot food in-store. It’s really the perfect morning or afternoon getaway. You can casually browse its many isles and discover Italian brands and¬†Vincenzo’s store brand goodies.

A Little Walkthrough

Cheeses & Dips:

First, let’s talk dairy.

As nice as fine cheeses are, they can get expensive¬†expensive. When I discovered Vincenzo’s, however, it changed the way I go about shopping. It’s cheaper than other grocery stores I’ve been to and has much more variety.

Vincenzo’s has their fresh dips and fine cheeses. Their dips are homemade and much more fresh than you’ll get at any other grocery store nearby; I think this is a worthwhile investment.

Next, their cheese collection has two serve-yourself fridges, as well as a walk-up service counter. They have so many types of cheese that it’s really quite hard to choose what you want. To top it off, they have several types of some¬†of the cheeses.

Favourite Dips:

My favourite dips to get at Vincenzo’s are their fresh cream cheeses and their chipotle aioli. Fresh cream cheese is easier to spread than brand-name¬†cream cheese sold at grocery stores, and it tastes better to boot! I highly recommend trying it, even if it’s just the one time. My previous roommate didn’t even like cream cheese, but she once tried some¬†from Vincenzo’s and fell in love. You can honestly taste the difference. As for the chipotle aioli, I occasionally add it to my sandwiches for a bit of spicy goodness. It can also be used as chip dip or as pizza dipping sauce. This aioli¬†isn’t necessarily for everyone, as it’s not overly spicy and has a sweet tang to it, but I personally love it.

Favourite Soft Cheeses:

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These goat cheeses aren’t Vincenzo’s¬†in-store brand, but I really like the garlic & herb and garlic goat cheese. They also have dill goat cheese, and that’s generally my next go-to (unfortunately sold out on my last trip).They have plenty of variety, so you could try something new every time.

Vincenzo’s also carries¬†a¬†fantastic Queso Fresco. It’s very fresh and tastes fantastic. Also, it saves you the time of making your own from scratch if you enjoy doing that. I’ve made¬†some on occasion, but it was never quite as good as the Vincenzo’s Queso Fresco, so there’s really no point when there are specialists willing to sell it for a decent price.

Favourite Aged / Fine Cheeses:

As¬†a cheddar person, Vincenzo’s doesn’t disappoint with their variety. My favourite full-bodied cheddars are their Charwood, Double Smoked, and Maple Smoked Cheddars. My go-to is the Maple Smoked Cheddar, but they were sold¬†out on my last trip. The Double Smoked is a good replacement for its smokey sibling, but not quite the same. The Charwood cheddar is something I’ve never seen outside of Vincenzo’s. Its hearty applewood flavour is quite addicting, and the paprika only adds to its charm. I highly recommend it to all cheese lovers. The Pine River Caramelized Onion Cheddar is a more subtle-flavoured cheese, but still quite nice. It makes a great grilled cheese, and Vincenzo’s¬†always keeps a steady supply.

Another really nice cheese they keep on stock is their Rosemary and Olive Oil Asiago. Although I didn’t get it this time around, the cheese is a staple for all cheese and cracker lovers. It’s mild, but the rosemary and olive oil give it a nice twist.

Meat products: 

Vincenzo’s¬†carries many different meats, but since I’m vegetarian, I can hardly comment on them. There is a picture of some of their meats in the Dairy section above.

Pastas:

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Vincenzo provides both fresh and dried pastas. As dried pastas can be bought anywhere and for cheaper, I’ll focus on their homemade pastas, which are far cheaper than boxed fresh pastas you might find at other grocery stores. To highlight this, I bring you the cheapest but best fresh pastas to buy on a budget.

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The Spinach, Sundried Tomato and Basil, and Garlic pasta bundles¬†are $0.99 per 100g and delicious. They don’t cost much and are a nice luxury every now and then.

There is also ravioli and tortellini in the store, as well as fresh gnocchi.

Bread:

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Vincenzo’s breads are nice and fluffy within and nice and crusty on the outside. The exception to this is their Ciabattas, which are generally fantastic. The herbed ciabattas were gone, but “Hamburger Ciabattas” were still in stock. The Ciabattas are a must at any Italian bakery, and Vincenzo’s is no exception. They also have other international breads, such as the baguettes hiding in the corner of the store. Even their pizza crusts (on the bottom shelves in the picture) are worth getting every once in a while. Freshly baked buns sell out quickly, so come early if you like those.

International Goods, such as Salads, Sushi, Pastries, and Olives:

Vincenzo’s also has¬†other products¬†you may not have thought of. They sell sushi, which is surprisingly good for an Italian place, but there isn’t much variety. What they lack in variety in the sushi isle, however, they make up for in the olive department. Vincenzo’s has an entire self-serve counter for olives. With this much choice, olive connoisseurs are sure to be pleased. Vincenzo’s also offers a salad bar. Pasta, couscous salad, and food such as savoury baked goods are offered at this counter. You’ll wonder if you’re at an Italian grocer or an international food store.

P.S. The samosas are pretty good too.

Hot Food:

img_20170214_161451Vincenzo’s has a variety of hot food stalls throughout the store. The one I most recommend is their hot sandwich bar. You can get any sandwich under the sun with their in-store brand cheeses, meats, breads, and veggies. The lineup for sandwiches can get pretty long; fortunately, you can order a sandwich on Vincenzo’s website and pick it up without waiting in line to order. There are also¬†other hot foods such as veggie lasagna, which is excellent.

Sweets and Hot Drinks:

You can finish your afternoon of shopping or eating with¬†Vincenzo’s bakery’s sugary goods or their collection of teas and coffee mixes/beans. There are¬†mini cakes and tarts available for purchase. My friends have bought some¬†and have assured me that they are fantastic.

Something I have allowed myself to indulge in is the¬†tea collection. There are many brands and types of tea available. For example, I am the proud owner of a tin of Strawberry Chocolate tea from Vincenzo’s. It’s a caffeine-free Rooibos which I highly recommend to all dessert tea lovers.

As a tea lover and abstainer from coffee, I can’t talk much about their coffee collection, but it is extensive as well.

Finally, one of the cash registers happens to be the Vincenzo’s Cafe register, where you can get treats – including gelato! There are seats available where you can sit and eat. Their gelatos are great, and my favourite is the basic chocolate.

Sales:

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As of writing, Vincenzo’s still has their Christmas items in, and is currently having a 50% off sale. I’ve bought some of their Christmas chocolates on the way out, and although ’tis no longer the season, the chocolates still tasted great.

This brings us to the end of our shopping trip. Perhaps we¬†will have a dine out at Vincenzo’s soon so that you could see for yourself¬†whether a short trip uptown is worth a little taste of Italy.