Earth Day Is Around The Corner and EDEN Juice Is Here To Shake Things Up In The Juice World! + Giveaway

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.

Meet Eden. They’re a new environmentally friendly company that makes fresh, cold-pressed juices from imperfectly shaped fruits and vegetables. Why imperfect fruits and vegetables? Because despite how they look, they provide the same exact health benefits as perfectly shaped fruit.

Eden’s core belief is that diversity and imperfections are not flaws to be corrected but traits to be celebrated. And they use their line of juices to fight aspects of our culture that threaten diversity, conservation, and overall health:

 

Superficial Mindset

Photoshop gives us flawless skin, perfect tans, and the ideal physique, but it also erases everything that makes us unique. Now more and more people think these digitally altered images are the norm and are determined to attain these unrealistic standards no matter what the cost.

 

Food Waste

In the U.S., we throw away close to 40% of the food we grow. In many cases, it’s not because the food has gone bad, but because the produce doesn’t meet our cosmetic standards. We waste food because it doesn’t look good and ignore the most important part—the health benefits.

 

Access to Clean, Healthy Food

While we throw away our food, over 15 million American kids go hungry every day and don’t have access to nutritious food.1 The worst part is that nutritious food is available; it’s just ending up in landfills instead of in the hands of those who need it.

 

Overfed and Undernourished

1. More than 2 in 3 adults are considered overweight or obese,

2.  and more than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

3. And fewer than 35% of Americans are eating the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetable.

4. So those in the U.S. who aren’t going hungry are overfed and undernourished.

While these problems can’t be solved overnight, Eden hopes to get one step closer with their line of fresh, cold-pressed juices. They’ll help limit the amount of food wasted in the U.S. by using produce that consumers and retailers usually throw away for cosmetic reasons. They’ll also make nutrient-rich food more accessible to those who struggle to get nutritious foods and those who want a simple way to improve their diets.

 

You can be a part of the movement! Join Eden’s Kickstarter campaign by going to drinkeden.com. Drink Eden. Naturally different.

 

As a special incentive, Eden is giving away three $150 Visa Gift Cards! Enter the contest here. Good luck to you!

 

Sources

  1. http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/impact-of-hunger/child-hunger/child-hunger-fact-sheet.html?gclid=CKmb4Y734sMCFUwV7AodyT8A_A

 

  1. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/

 

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm

 

  1. http://www.healthaliciousness.com/blog/US-fruit-vegetable-consumption-trends.php

 

* I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. 

Event: The New York Times Travel Show, Jan 23-25 @ The Javits Center

If you are a wanderlust and will be in New York City the end half of this month, you MUST put The New York Times Travel Show on your to-do list! Held on Friday, January 23 – Sunday, January 25 at the Jacob Javits Convention center. The show is the premiere destination for travel industry professionals, journalists, and enthusiasts alike.

THE MAIN FLOOR

Day one (Jan 23rd) serves as a Travel Industry Conference, with a full day of programming including seminars featuring representatives from various nations and experts, a keynote and lunch, and the opportunity to get a preview of the entire show before it opens to the public on Friday, January 24th. Tickets are $35 in advance/ $45 the day of show and may be purchased here.

CULTURAL PRESENTATION

The show features the following:

  • 500 + exhibitor booths from across the globe
  • 100 + cultural presentations from across the globe
  • 150 + travel industry experts and speakers
  • 20 K + travels & industry professional attendees

If you are a foodie, definitely swing by the “Taste of the World” culinary showcases which features seminars from different food impresarios with demonstrations! If you are bringing the little ones along, there is also a “Taste of the World: Kids Kitchen” for them to explore.

Consumer tickets are $17 and valid for one-day only. You may view more information about ticketing here. Hope to see you there!

Take A Sip: Drinks & Recipes To Ring In The New Year Right, Feat: Piper Heidsieck, Jameson Black Barrel, Ciroc & More!

As we are on the heels of bidding the year 2014 adieu, it is time to gather our things and prepare for New Year’s Eve festivities! A proper party consists of a lovely outfit, great company & music, bites, and cocktails of course! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite drinks and cocktail recipes, spanning all categories of spirits, so you can start the new year off right!

CIROC: Ultra Premium French Vodka

Let us begin with vodka, as across the board, I’ve noticed vodka to peek the fancy of many different personalities. For your celebration, a light and citrusy vodka cocktail freshens the palate without weighing you down with too much sugar.

Our Pick: Ciroc 75

CIROC reminds everyone to please celebrate responsibly.


JAMESON BLACK BARREL: Irish Whiskey

If you have been keeping up with our spirits & cocktails posts, you would have noticed that we are fans of Jameson Black Barrel, a smooth aged Irish Whiskey that makes for a great cocktail.

Our Pick: Whiskey Buck


DON JULIO AÑEJO: Aged Tequila

I first discovered Don Julio Añejo whilst on a work trip in Vegas. We asked the bartender what the best tequila they offered was, and I’ve been hooked ever since. As an aged tequila, it is darker in color with a smoother finish, unlike white and gold tequilas that have more of a bite. This variety is great on the rocks, but for a holiday, spice it up in a margarita.

Our Pick: Spicy Margarita


MOUNT GAY BLACK BARREL: Barbados Rum

For us, rum is one of those things that is always on the menu (because Caribbean blood). There are endless ways to enjoy rum during the year and holiday season, but to bring in the new year, we suggest to keep it simple with this updated Dark & Stormy cocktail.

Our Pick: Black & Stormy


PIPER-HEIDSIECK: Champagne

Champagne goes without saying for New Year’s, so why not celebrate with a glass of bubbly from one of the oldest champagne houses in the world? Their Brut offering is a classic champagne that is sure to height the fancy of your entire party. If you feel like dropping a bit more cash and being EXTRA fancy, their vintage varieties are some of the most awarded.

Our Pick: Brut


A Life In The Day of Andrea wishes you a lovely year ahead. Please drink responsibly :)


#MANday Exclusive: Reggie Milligan of Mantry Talks Food & Start-Ups, And Why You Should Get Hip To “The Modern Man’s Pantry”

ANTHONY HANCOCK & REGGIE MILLIGAN OF MANTRY

MANday is back and we have a special feature interview for you guys! I had the opportunity to speak with Reggie Milligan, co-founder of food start-up Mantry, affectionately named after a play on words of the modern man’s pantry. They search for the best artisan and small-batch foods around the country, and deliver you the goods every month.

Their latest project is a special box catered towards cocktails, specifically high-quality cocktail mixers. Read on below to get the lowdown, and how you can get involved!

What is your personal experience with food and drink?

I grew up working in restaurants from the age of fourteen, specifically fine dining. I started working when I was fifteen years old, at a restaurant that was called Lumiere, and I actually apprenticed at the ages of seventeen and eighteen down at The French Laundry which is out in Napa (that’s a three Michelin star spot). I was really much the driven guy that was super-interested in owning the next best restaurant by a really young age. So I was really deep into fine dining between the ages of fourteen and twenty, and learned from chopping onions in a back hallway to apprenticing in kitchens and bumping around. I was always very passionate about food; I was a part of that generation that might have been plunked out in front of The Food Network, and absorbed a ridiculous amount. I remember growing up watching Emeril and stuff for hours on end back when The Food Network was based on teaching, opposed to building sugar castles and running around chasing food trucks, or whatever they do now [laughs]. In short, the same way a young boy would get interested in sports, I was always drawn to cooking.

How did the idea for Mantry come about, and why did you decide to make it a subscription-box service?

I actually ended up going to university and doing business school, and once I left fine dining kitchens around twenty, I burnt out a little bit. But back at school, just living the college lifestyle and doing a business degree, I kind of saw how people cooked and would eat at home more, especially living with a bunch of guys, and that’s where the seed for the concept kind of started in a sense. I was just thinking, ‘is there a resource for food that really speaks to guys as much?‘. There’s the GQs and the Details, and that sort of thing, they write the very rare food article, so that’s what planted the seed. Ultimately didn’t know if we wanted to do a men’s food magazine fully, as opposed to just product. Those magazines write about “top sauce to try” and “five artisan makers around the country”, “four products that use bourbon”, and we just thought, let’s hedge our best, put this stuff in a box and send it to guys blind and hopefully they’ll dig it, cuz they can’t read about it when it’s right in front of them.

Mantry came out of just trying to find a cool resource that was tailored to guys. We have lots of female subscribers, most of our subscribers are couples who just like getting six cool products to accessorize their shopping at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or whatever throughout the week. The true concept to why we wanted a subscription was just cuz we wanted to take people on more of a journey. We focus on American small-batch makers, but there are so many stories to tell. Maybe a box would be just focused on different Mexican-inspired foods made throughout the U.S., or different people making Thai foods throughout the U.S.; we did a box called Thai Game which was kind of game-night feature, wings recipes and nachos recipes, and that type of thing, but using different makers that had Thai influence around the country. There was this amazing Thai chili sauce from Virginia of all places, there was Thai basil pickled jalapeños from Washington, from a maker up there called Gordy’s, this supercool Thai curry coconut peanuts that this person was making down in Texas…so we’ve done boxes like that, or we’ve done boxes like “Six Amazing Makers From Georgia” and trying to tell a little bit of a story of food culture in Georgia, we included an amazing small-batch grits from down there with a shrimp & grits recipe, there’s an olive oil company that’s the first olive oil farm east of the Mississippi in 100 years, so there’s so many stories to tell around the U.S.

Continue reading

Baking Class in NYC: Macaron and Croissant Making En Français at Mille-Feuille Bakery, Hosted by JP Linguistics

As the holidays approach and our schedules quickly become full with events and parties to celebrate the season, wouldn’t it be fun to learn a few skills that you can use to host your own holiday gathering? Well the folks at Mille-Feuille Bakery in NYC’s NoHo neighborhood in collaboration with JP Linguistics have just the thing for you.

Together, they are hosting a series of macaron and croissant making classes, taught entirely in French through December. The three-hour immersive language and cooking course starts with a one-hour language lesson, catered for those at an intermediate level, followed by a two-hour baking lesson of your choice.

You may view the full schedule of classes here. Each class is $185, and students walk away with a box full of their baked goodies upon completion of the course. Definitely a great skill to be the host or hostess of the season!

MILLE-FEUILLE

552 LAGUARDIA PL,

NEW YORK, NY 10012

*Photos courtesy of Mille-Feuille/JP Linguistics

Jameson Black Barrel Celebrates Movember With Delicious, Moustache-Themed Cocktails

We are currently in the midst of November, a month that has been nicknamed Movember, a time where all men are encouraged to grow mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health initiatives. Being the official sponsor of Movember, Jameson Black Barrel ushered in the month of awareness with a special cocktail event in NYC, with mustache-themed cocktails for all guests to enjoy.

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite recipes for you to enjoy this Movember using Jameson Black Barrel. Illustrations and full recipes below!

The Painter’s Brush Moustache [Tipperary cocktail]

–        1.5 parts Jameson Black Barrel

–        0.5 part sweet vermouth

–        0.75 part green chartreuse

–        2 dashes angostura bitters

Combine ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stire until ice cold. Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass and finish with orange oils.

 

The Handlebar Moustache [Old Fashioned cocktail]

–        2 parts Jameson Black Barrel

–        0.75 part Benedictine

–        2 dashes angostura bitters

–        2 dashes orange bitters

Combine ingredient into a mixing glass, add ice and stir into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

 

The Horseshoe Moustache [Whiskey Buck cocktail]

–        2 parts Jameson Black Barrel

–        0.75 part fresh lime juice

–        0.75 part ginger syrup

–        2-3 dashes angostura bitters

Combine ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass/ Fill the balance with ginger ale or soda water. Garnish with a lime.

 

The Pencil Moustache [Irish Maid cocktail]

–        2 parts Jameson Black Barrel

–        0.5 part Elderflower liqueur

–        0.75 part fresh lemon juice

–        0.75 part sugar syrup

–        2 cucumber chunks

Muddle cucumber and combine ingredients into a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Fine-strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

To see the full offering of Jameson Black Barrel Movember cocktails, check out the video below.

#ALifeInTheDayinBelize: Simple Pleasures, Food, & Drink In Caye Caulker

The motto of the island, “Go Slow”

In my previous post on Caye Caulker in my #ALifeInTheDayInBelize series, I discussed the stillness of the island, and how much I believe it is a great place to unwind and reflect. In addition to its stillness, Caye Caulker is a wonderful place to enjoy a true Belizean culinary experience.

The entryway of Tropical Paradise

I’ve been spoiled growing up with the food of the women in my family, who put their all into Belizean cooking, never skipping a beat. Whenever I return, aside from the beautiful sites, I am very much focused on finding great food that is reminiscent of my family, if not better. Tropical Paradise is a hotel and restaurant that rings true to this.

Breakfast favorite, Lobster Scrambled Eggs w/ Fried Jacks

I’ve visited Tropical Paradise a few times in my years, but on this occasion I was truly set on good meals. Whenever you are out at caye, it is always suggested that you eat some lobster, and the restaurants in Caye Caulker have been making a breakfast of Lobster Scrambled Eggs with Fried Jacks for years now, the offering at Tropical Paradise being the most popular.

I ordered this breakfast my first morning at caye, and it was everything that I had expected. The lobster was fresh and sweet within the eggs, so minimal seasoning was added. The fried jacks, which in short are triangular pieces of fried bread, was the perfect density and flavor that I had expected. I finished my meal off with a fresh lime juice to keep it light, to truly savor in all the flavors I had consumed. My belly was full and happy.

Lazy Lizard, in all of its glory

At The Point of the island, there is a lovely beach bar called Lazy Lizard which is popular both with locals and visitors. The open air space takes up the end of the island with a two-story palapa bar and two piers in which guests can lay out and chill throughout the day.

The view from the point

I visited with a few family members, and we were lucky to get a little table by the water. We ordered buckets of the local beer, Belikin and Lighthouse, which offer six bottles for $20-$25, which is a pretty consistent figure throughout the country. I myself ordered Rum Punch, as I am not much of a beer drinker, and was pleasantly surprised that their main ingredient was watermelon juice. Not to worry, the punch still packed a kick, which I am all for.

A bucket of local Lighthouse Beer

In between drinks and stories, I made it my job to take a little swim in the water. Caye Caulker has great swimming grounds, but do be warned that the areas to swim near The Point are quite rocky, so keep your eyes open! The water is also quite salty, so I would recommend you bring goggles if you visit.

I would definitely recommend Caye Caulker to those that love an authentic experience with a small town vibe. With great food, drinks, and friendly locals, it is an awesome place to experience Belize in a relaxed setting.

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

#AlifeinthedayinBelize: Art & Sweets In San Pedro Town

Last night I dreamt of San Pedro….

Does that little tune by Madonna sound familiar? Did you know she was referring to San Pedro town in the beautiful land of Belize in “La Isla Bonita”? Well if you don’t know, now you know. In staying true to the beauty of San Pedro (aside from its gorgeous beaches and resorts), I wanted to share with you some local gems that are both creative and sweet.

Belizean Melody Art Gallery as seen from the street

As San Pedro is such a huge tourist destination, catering mainly to the tastes of North American visitors, it is easy to get caught up in the hype; the shoreside karaoke joints, restaurants, hair braiding, etc. Having visited numerous times, and no longer considering myself a tourist, I have discovered that the beauty of San Pedro is deeper in town, starting as close as a few streets away from the sea.

Being a lover and consumer of art, I always make it my duty to purchase artwork/crafts from local Belizean artisans on all of my trips. I’m reminded of such by my grandfather’s late wife, Miss Shirley, who always told me to “support your Belizean brothers and sisters”. Staying true to these words, I stumbled across the Belizean Melody Art Gallery on Barrier Reef Drive while perusing the streets with my mother, and decided to stop in.

A bevy of works inside Belizean Melody

Once stepping through the threshold, I was transformed in a space filled with artwork solely from local artists, which was refreshing. There were reminders around the space that mentioned that none of the artwork/souvenirs were made in China. Kind of cheeky, huh? Mom and I sifted through the pieces and ended up in a corner that housed homemade spice blends and freshwater pearl rings.

Mom near the spice blends

It was in this corner that we decided on our purchases. My mother got two spice blends to bring back home, and we both purchased delicate, freshwater pearl rings. You can see mine in the photo below.

My freshwater pearl ring

After admiring the local art and chatting with the sales associate at the gallery, it was time for ice cream, because it’s always time for ice cream! Directly across the street was the famous Manelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, a San Pedro staple since 1985.

Signage for Manelly’s

As this was a repeat trip to Manelly’s, I wanted to try a new flavor. The ice cream joint sells Belizean favorites in Soursop (Guanabana), Craboo, Strawberry, Mango and more, but on this day I wanted to try the Belizean Fudge flavor. Belizean Fudge refers to a dessert made with sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and butter, that is often mixed with nuts or raisins. The ice cream flavor was vanilla with generous chunks of peanut fudge throughout.

My Belizean Fudge ice cream cone

Disclaimer: this cone is EXTREMELY sweet, but it was such a treat. I’m really picky when it comes to fudge, but to have a great piece of fudge with peanuts (my favorite) in this cone was a delight! Can you sense my happiness whilst writing this? I hope it radiates throughout the computer screen. Along with ice cream cones and cups, Manelly’s sells fruit paletas, milk shakes, and waffle cones.

Full menu at Manelly’s

The ice cream really perked me up, and prepared me for the rest of my exploring that day. This is just the beginning of my series on Belize. Look out for more posts covering different locales and spots in the country!

 

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

Foodie Friday: Mexican Eats + Street Art At La Gringa Taqueria in BK!

The view from inside La Gringa

For those of you that have been checking out the blog on the regular, you know that we are huge fans of Mexican cuisine here at A Life In the Day of Andrea, so much so that we take opportunities to try out new spots on the fly. The evening before I jetted off to Belize, my homeland and neighbor to Mexico, I was invited to try the eats at La Gringa Taqueria in BK.

The full menu consisting of burritos, salads, quesadillas, and tacos

Located on 800 Grand St., steps away from the L-train stop at Grand St, La Gringa is a quaint taqueria that serves up Cali-Mex fare with a twist of the Caribbean; all plates come with fried plantain in the mix. Being a lover of all things plantain, I thought this was a cool little addition to a burrito or taco. I was quite hungry when I arrived, and scanned the menu for the plate I imagined would be most filling. I was advised by Mitch, who was preparing my food, to try the quesadilla with chicken, with a side of guacamole and chips.

My meal: A chicken quesadilla (rolled) with a side of chips and guacamole

I found it interesting that the the quesadilla came rolled instead of served flat in quarters. I guess when it is served this way, it is easier to eat while on the run. My quesadilla was stuffed with cheese, chicken, fried plantain, pico de gallo,  sour cream, and picante pepper, made from my favorite, habanero. The guac  was smooth with chunks of tomato, which I like. Not pictured was my favorite Mexican soda, Jarritos in the Tamarind flavor.

As I did not expect the pepper to be that hot, I failed in my soda pairing as it made the pepper spicier! I know for next time not to be so bold, or to pair my meal with water instead. The plantain mellowed out my otherwise super spicy meal.

Commissioned “La Gringa” graffiti in the back patio

I was informed after my meal that the restaurant had a back patio, so I took a walk to check out the space. In my short walk, my eyes were treated to lots of hand-painted murals in the hallway, and all throughout the patio area. This piece above is what you see above the doorway, looking back into the restaurant.

Aztec-inspired mural in the back patio

The patio is spacious, but I spared my photo of it as it was quite rainy on the evening that I visited. There is ample space to sit and eat, and chill back to play table tennis as well. The image above is of one of my favorite murals, which appears to be in the likeness of an Aztec deity. The colors are so vibrant and brighten up the space in a lovely way.

La Gringa is definitely for those that like to experience Mexican eats in a cool colorful space. As it is Cali-Mex, the flavors are bit milder, and all options are offered in Veggie, Chicken, Grilled Tilapia, and Beef. I would definitely recommend you stop in if you are in the area!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

 

#AlifeinthedayinToronto: Coffee Goodness at Rooster Coffee

The entryway of Rooster Coffee

A trip in the life in the day of Andrea is not complete with necessary amounts of caffeine, so I wanted to share a cute coffee joint in Toronto with you all. Located on King Street E near the corner of Berkeley St., Rooster Coffee House is an understated yet super cool coffee shop that is filled with all the caffeinated beverages your heart could ever dream of. We passed the location on the way back to the apartment, and as I was in need of a serious caffeine fix, I ran in once I saw the word “coffee” on the business’s sign.

Art displayed throughout the shop by local artists

Upon entering the doors of the coffee house, we were greeted by a warm environment, filled with various canvases of original artwork from local artists, as seen in the photo above. The shop’s menu was displayed on chalkboard with all offerings handwritten in a artistic manner.

Full view of the space, including the super chic bar area

As we moved up in line, I decided to order one of my favorite coffee drinks, an Iced Red Eye, sweetened with half and half. My wait was short, and I was able to better view my surroundings, and get the password to the WiFi, which was written on another chalkboard further back in the cafe.

The goods

A few minutes later I received my seriously caffeinated beverage, and was quite pleased with the outcome. The photo above shows my drink and the “coffee condiment station” (I just made that up). My drink was a perfect caffeine pick me up for the night I had ahead, which included a concert and more. Definitely a great place to meet up with friends, work, or just chill out.

 Rooster Coffehouse

343 King Street E.

Toronto, ON

416-995-1530

I would most definitely recommend Rooster Coffee to my friends in caffeine and open work spaces. They have good hours and sell pastries and sandwiches alongside their coffee beverages, which is also a plus. Definitely pass by if you are in the area, and be sure to check out all my favorite spots in Toronto on my TripleSpot list.

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

#AlifeinthedayinToronto: Take a Bite & Sip at 416 Snack Bar

Real wine, real candles

I hope you have been enjoying my Toronto tales! I wanted to circle back to my first evening. As I had mentioned in prior posts, my first food stop was Patois. After this, my friend and guide Jahmal had to leave me, and gave me detailed directions of where to walk to get a real taste of the city, along with the location of one of his favorite spots where he would meet me later on in the evening; 416 Snack Bar.

Korean Fried Chicken

Located on Bathurst Ave, steps away from Queen Street E, 416 Snack Bar totally felt like home when I walked in. The lights were dim, soul music played in the background (from a DJ in the back right corner), and the crowd was eclectic and calm. Since I had some time to kill, I figured I would have a little drink, and a small bite from their food menu. I kept it simple and ordered a cider, and the Korean Fried Chicken (pictured above). The restaurant used chicken thighs for their recipe, as opposed to white meat, and seasoned generously with soy, ginger, sesame seeds, chives and other flavors.

Tourist Photo :)

In my time at the bar, I made a few new friends, and was really able to take in the atmosphere as I had gone there solo. It was kind of a big deal for me, because I had never really gone to a bar/restaurant alone before, especially not in another country! Just goes to show that we live and we learn, right?

Once we exited, I asked Jahmal to take this lovely tourist photo of me, seen above. As someone who takes photos, I’m never in much photos, so I made sure that I got snapped in front of as many cool spots as possible during my trip.

416 Snack Bar

181 Bathurst Ave (near Queen St. E)

Toronto, ON

Phone: 416-364-9320

info@416snackbar.com

Be sure to check out 416 Snack Bar if you are out and about in Toronto. Also, check out all my spots in detail via my TripleSpot list, Enjoy Toronto w/ AKC!

 

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo & Jahmal Sang

#AlifeinthedayinToronto: Take a Sip at The Beaconsfield

A view of the bar, fully stocked with top-shelf everything

Located on the corner of Queen St W and Beaconsfield Ave, stands a bar unlike any other, aptly named The Beaconsfield. The bar and restaurant is steps away from the famed Drake Hotel, and boast a beautiful exterior, housed in the historical Molsons Bank, with a cobblestone patio hugging the space’s perimeter. We stopped by the watering hole to end off a chill evening with friends.

Crystal chandelier, that added to the old-school vibe

Upon entering The Beaconsfield you are immediately transformed into a space that is both luxurious and inviting at the same time. Crystal chandeliers hung from high ceilings, and all the attention was on the bar, fully stocked with various spirits, bottled beers, and fine wines; they are known for their impressive tequila selection.

My drink of the evening, dark rum with a splash of pineapple

Soon after our arrival and my admiration of the space, we all ordered drinks. I kept it simple and ordered a dark rum with pineapple on the rocks. The guys had beers and vodka drinks for the most part, and we sat back to unwind with great tunes in the background (lots of Drake and Majid Jordan on the playlist to be exact). I had an unfortunate encounter with a man whose horrible “I like the way you drink your drink” pick-up line scarred me for the rest of the evening. Thankfully, I was diverted by friends who conjured up aimless conversation to save me. Phew!

I would definitely recommend The Beaconsfield for groups of friends who want to chill out, or even a date as there are some super low-key tables in the back of the space. I found out after that they have a full food menu, which you can view here. I will definitely be back!

Beaconsfield
1154 Queen St W
Toronto, ON M6J 1J5
(416) 516-2550
Be sure to check out more of my favorite spots on my Enjoy Toronto w/ AKC TripleSpot list!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

#AlifeinthedayInToronto: Take A Bite at Patois

“Juicy Jerk”, the crafty sign behind the counter at Patois

As promised, I am here to share bits of my recent trip to Toronto with you, in a weeklong series entitled #AlifeinthedayInToronto! If you have come accustomed to the topics that I cover on the blog, you would have noticed that I am a huge foodie, and I love to discover new eats everywhere I go. Aside from spending time with friends both old and new, a big part of my Toronto experience revolved around food.

Fresh off the plane, my first stop was Patois, a Jamaican-Chinese fusion restaurant on Dundas St., in close proximity to the park, nightlife, and other cute restaurants.

Pineapple Rum Punch, quite refreshing

Upon entering the space, I noticed how inviting it was, having extended bar seating for groups, as well as a good amount of tables in front, and towards the back of the space. I went with my Toronto guide Jahmal, and we took a seat at the bar as it was quite busy at that time (after-work/dinner hours). We started off with drinks, I had the special which was Pineapple Rum Punch, seen in the photo above. The house rum for Patois is Gosling, a famous dark rum from Bermuda, which the restaurant uses in all their rum beverages. The punch was refreshing, but it could have used a bit more of a kick (I’m not a lush, I promise).

Jerk Chicken Chow Mein, spicy yet mild

Next up was our meal. Jahmal ordered the Jerk Chicken, and I ordered the Jerk Chicken Chow Mein, as seen in the photo above. The jerk chicken was shredded and marinated in jerk sauce and seasoning, placed over a bed of chow mein. You could taste a bit of soy sauce, and shallots were mixed in to fuse both Jamaican and Chinese flavors. Overall, a good mix. I cleaned my plate.

Bread pudding, a treat!

As Jahmal had to leave, I decided to stick around and chat with my new friends at the bar, and try a dessert. As with my prior two choices, I went with the special, which was Bread Pudding. What made this bread pudding special was that the raisins were soaked in rum, and it was served with a dollop of fresh cream on top to balance tastes. This was a great treat and wonderful way to finish off my meal.

I would definitely recommend Patois to anyone interested in a good meal and cocktail in downtown Toronto. Be sure to check out my full list of spots in my Enjoy Toronto w/ AKC TripleSpot List!

 Patois

794 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1V1

Just East of Palmerston Ave

Phone: 647.350.8999

Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

MANday Feature: Father’s Day Gifts For The Budget-Conscious Feat. Cultivate Wines, HIT E-Cigars, & British Sterling Colognes

On June 15, 2014, we celebrate Father’s Day. Known as the day to give thanks and commemorate the fathers in our lives, folks often give elaborate gifts and experiences. But what about those that are a bit strapped for cash? We’ve rounded up a few affordable gifts that Dad is sure to appreciate. As  a note, all gifts on this list are under $25, so let’s get to it!

 

“The Gambler” Malbec 2011 by Cultivate Wines

A bottle of wine is always a nice treat for Dad. Cultivate Wines offers up a bold Malbec in “The Gambler”. The 90% Malbec, 10% Bonarda blend has a deep red color with a purple center, with a nose of olives, leather, strawberry. “The Gambler” can be purchased directly from the Cultivate Wines website.

Cost. $14.99


HIT Bold & Mild E-Cigars

Cigars, through the years, have been paired with men of a certain stature, encompassing the must lusted after leisure life. With varieties of Cuban cigars costing approximately $20 each, where is the alternative for those who want to treat Dad, but are strapped for cash? Enter HIT E-Cigars, an electronic cigar that fulfills the cigar smoking experience in a vape. Offered in a Mild variety containing 16 mg of nicotine, and a Bold variety containing 24 mg of nicotine. HIT E-Cigars can be purchased directly from the company website.

Cost: $21.oo


British Sterling H.I.M. ‘Private Stock’ & ‘Reserve’ Colognes

When it comes to a gift for Dad, or any other man in your life, you can never go wrong with a fragrance. Heritage brand British Sterling has revamped their image, and has launched a new a collection of colognes called “H.I.M.”. The ‘Private Stock’ and ‘Reserve’ fragrances are served up in sleek silver packaging, that Dad will appreciate. Here is the lowdown on the scents:

  • British Sterling H.I.M. ‘Reserve’ — a provocative oriental blend of fresh citruses, bold spices and sensual woods
  • British Sterling H.I.M. ‘Private Stock’ — which showcases fresh citruses  combined with crisp woods, aromatic spices and rich undertones

British Sterling H.I.M. colognes can be purchased at Walmart, in-store, or online here.

Cost: $24.99


We hope you dig our suggestions, and we wish the fathers in your life a very Happy Father’s Day in advance!

Celebrate National Cognac Day With D’USSE De Leche Ice Cream by Mikey Likes It @ W Hotels New York!

Today, June 4th, is National Cognac Day. In celebration of the occasion we wanted to suggest a summer treat that blends the adult beverage with an unlikely sweet treat; ice cream! If you are in New York City, stop on over to one of the W Hotels where they have partnered with local ice cream company, Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, to offer patrons D’USSE De Leche ice cream all summer, through Labor Day.

“W is all about bringing its guests insider access to exclusive offerings they can’t experience anywhere else,” said Patrick Horstmann, General Manager of W New York – Downtown.  “We’re honored to offer D’USSE de Leche, combining our passion for cocktails and the finest luxury products into one delicious indulgence.”

Sounds yummy right? Head on over to W Hotels for more info, and enjoy today with a cognac sip, or in this case, bite. :)

*Photo courtesy of Lindsey Schwartz (JDC)