Summerlicious Lunch at Bier Market

Summerlicious has been on my list of things to do for the summer. A couple of old friends suggested lunch at Bier Market, a place I had heard about but never visited. I didn’t really know what to expect.

The restaurant itself has a very slight European feel with its patio tables and Belgian words on the menu. You can definitely tell it’s in Canada. The ambience is a little too dark for my taste, but very interesting use of space, colour and old bags of wheat and wood. The doors are out of the ordinary but nothing else really is. What is amazing is the number of different kinds of beer. They even have Kingfisher, an Indian beer I watch my dad drink when we visit relatives back home! I was introduced to what is now my favorite kind of beer: Früli. I had it in a cocktail but to be fair, the cocktail only had Früli, rum and lime so I think I can say it’s my favorite beer, haha. Other than that, Bier Market didn’t really impress me. Like most restaurants in Toronto, it is way overpriced for the quality of food served.

Check out more Summerlicious menus & restaurants here.

Strawberry Dak with Früli, rum and lime. Behind the rosy glass is a beer “sampler”, that features any six combinations of beer you would like for $20. It’s quite a lot of beer for one person, but seems fun nonetheless.

Wild Mushroom Soup: Everyone that ordered this expected a creamy mushroom puree sort of soup. However it was surprisingly delicious and flavourful. The little egg and chive souffle on top was an interesting little bonus. I saw some mushrooms I’ve never seen before, even in stores. Who knew mushroom broth could be so flavorful?

Braised Beef Baguette: I don’t eat beef but everyone who ordered this thought it was the blandest sandwich they had eaten. As described on the menu, it seemed like a juicy flavourful sandwich, which apparently it was not. However the balsamic vinaigrette it was served with did help to boost the flavor.

Smoked Chicken Flammekueche: A sort of crunchy, thin flatbread topped with smoked chicken, garlic and I believe it may have been Gruyère cheese and served with a wedge of lime. This may have been the best thing on the menu. Very flavourful, the cheese and chicken gave it a wonderful texture and it tasted sort of like a gourmet chicken salad sandwich.

Moule Hoegaarden: Mussels in a white hoegaarden sauce. I didn’t eat this but all I heard was that it really wasn’t all that special or out of the world. Not impressive.
I kind of inhaled the dessert before I could remember to take a picture of it, but I had an Austrian funnel cake topped with some sort of Mango-vanilla cream compote. It sounded a lot fancier than it was, it was simply Austrian funnel cakes, little pastries topped with a sort of fresh mango ice cream. It was delicious but not as exotic as I expected it to be.

The verdict? There are cheaper places that have more flavorful food. But fewer beers. Perhaps Bier Market must be visited to drink and not eat.

Art, Miscealleanous

Downtown Diaries: Distillery District

This is the best alliteration ever. It makes me so happy, four word alliteration, yay!

What? Distillery District, formerly Gooderham and Worts Distillery.
How do I get there? Take the subway to King St, take the streetcar going East (504) to Parliament, also known as St. Lawrence. Walk south on Parliament till Mill St and then walk east on Mill St, till you see the main entrance.
How much? As much as you want to spend! Entrance is free, food, wine, steaks and items you wish to purchase are not, but are in a high price range.

So, Distillery District. For anyone that’s into good beer, wine, steak, chocolate or art, this is the place for you! Formerly an actual distillery, this area housed the famous Gooderham and Worts, once the world’s largest distillery. Today, its cobbled streets and large Victorian industrial architecture house some of the best cafés, steakhouses and art galleries.

My favorite place in the Distillery District is Soma Chocolaterie. They do justice to chocolate. They have gelato, hot chocolate, cold chocolate drinks and a wide range of chocolate bars, truffles, cakes and cookies. I ordered a Mayan Hot Chocolate– something I’ve been wanting to try BEFORE I knew of Soma, since I watched the movie Chocolat. It’s a hot chocolate beverage, like your regular hot chocolate with a spicy kick. It begins with a sweet, chocolatey taste on your tongue and proceeds to a hot, spicy, tingly after taste in your throat. I was kind of nursing a sore throat that day so it worked perfectly for me. There was so much chocolate around me, I felt that just trying one of these amazing items wasn’t enough. So I bought a pricey, $7 bar of “Old School Chocolate”. It is basically roasted cocoa nibs with raw cane sugar. It smells like heaven but the taste is acquired– it is a little bitter, almost sour at some point and sweet with a crumbly texture. I loved it!

I’ve also heard quite a bit about the Boiler House, a great place to get a good steak and some beer and perhaps wine and whiskey. I’ve never been but I will as soon as my financial situation allows me to!

Here’s a little virtual, photographic tour of the Distillery District..