Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fresh on Bloor with Hannah

I am getting slightly ahead of myself with this post (strictly speaking, we should have a generic post on Toronto first), but sometimes the heart wants things slightly out of order. On the second of our two nights in Toronto, I was delighted to fit in an early dinner with Hannah of Wayfaring Chocolate at one of Toronto's three Fresh stores. 

If you read Canadian food blogs, you are likely to have seen Fresh reviewed previously. The restaurants (there are three) were on my list of must eat places for this trip, and feature many vegan salads, grain/noodle bowls, smoothies and juices, wraps and burgers, and a whole lot more besides. As I said to Hannah, I could eat the whole menu. 
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Fresh on Bloor

After exchanging blog comments for almost 3 years, it was wonderful to meet Hannah in person. She dazzles in person as much as she dazzles on her blog, and I think we talked for an hour pretty much non-stop. I also find it amusing that two Australians met for the first time in Toronto, on the exact opposite side of the world to where we originated. Given how briefly we were in Canada, I'm delighted we pulled it off.

The special menu, which we didn't see until after we'd ordered.

We visited the Fresh on Bloor Street, which was, I kid you not, a 2 minute walk around the corner from where we stayed. Mr Bite was suspicious of our accommodation choice when I discovered this, but it was entirely unplanned and fortuitous!

Tangled Thai salad and gojicinno.

Meeting at an odd hour (5.30pm, after Hannah finished work) we agreed that ordering from any section of the menu would be appropriate. Actually, I think we would have agreed that regardless of time - food conventions are meant to be broken, and Hannah is someone with whom I'd feel entirely appropriate ordering dessert for dinner. I did,  however, stick with dinner-esque food, choosing the Tangled Thai salad (shredded carrot and yellow beats, jicama, napa cabbage, chopped peanits, cilantro, cucumber, peanut-lime dressing) with grilled tofu added.

Hello, salad.

The salad was wonderful. The carrot and beats were noodle-like and held the peanut-lime dressing beautifully, delivering a combination of fresh crunch, slight sweetness, and peanut butter goodness in every mouthful. The grilled tofu was perfect and if I could eat this every day, I'd be very happy indeed.

I also ordered a gojicinno with almond milk, a complete novelty that could have tasted awful but instead tasted incredible. The drink is made from goji berries and was described by Fresh as a mix between a cappuccino and a hot chocolate but not quite either. I agreed with that description and would add 'a bit like a chai latte' to the mix too. Allysia of The Real Meal talks about how to make your own in this post, if you're interested in trying one out at home.


Hannah ordered the muffin of the month, a vegan banana strawberry option made by Sweets From The Earth, a local Toronto bakery that makes all vegan products. In case she wants to discuss it herself, I shall leave descriptions to her - but I believe it was good. In fact, I believe anything by Sweets From The Earth is likely to be good. I wish they'd come to Australia, along with Fresh itself and a good many other place besides!

Hannah, thanks again for squeezing me into your week and allowing me to enjoy Fresh even more than I would have otherwise.

Are there restaurants you've seen reviewed elsewhere and long to visit? Fresh and Sweetgreen were big ones for me.

24 comments:

  1. I have heard of fresh and would be there myself if it wasn't so far - sounds like fantastic food and even better for being able to visit with the delightful Hannah.

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    1. I think you'd have loved it Johanna - pity we could't beam you across!

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  2. Glad you enjoyed yourself. The company especially. I am one of those that used to love Fresh but now refuse to go. I have made a few of their dishes at home -their miso gravy is glorious - and find that better. Did you go to Belmonte Raw? That is my fave resto in Toronto but off the beaten path if you are downtown. Totally worth the trek though. :-)

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    1. Am I missing something with why you refuse to go? Making things at home is always wonderful though, especially if you manage to pull it off and then can have it whenever! I didn't make it to Belmonte Raw unfortunately - too little time, too many places!

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  3. This looks divine! And so nice you were able to meet up with a fellow blogger :)

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  4. Isn't it fun to meet people in IRL? Glad that you got to meet Hannah after exchanging comments for as long as you had.

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    1. It really is! This is the first year I've done it but all meetings have been great :)

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  5. It's so good meeting up with blogging friends in real life isn't it :-)
    Wonderful Kari!

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  6. I love meeting blogging friends. You two have done so well organising it on such a quick trip. The food all looks so wonderful and healthy!

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    1. I'm pretty impressed we pulled it off!

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  7. Hey, you were in Toronto? Awesome! I've gone to Fresh on Bloor countless times, it's good stuff. Isn't the gojiccino ridiculously good? I get that every time I go there, just because. Thanks for the shoutout and hope you had a great trip. :)

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    1. I was! Very briefly though :-) And I was so ridiculously thrilled to see the gojiccino after your recent review of it - it was incredible.

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  8. Aw, bless your shining heart! Was so glad we were able to make this dinner (erm... dessert-dinner... ;) ) fit into both of our schedules. Completely and utterly lovely to finally meet you in person! Hurrah for Aussie accents and hugs! xoxoxo

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  9. How lovely to meet the very lovely Hannah after all those years of commenting on each others blogs and with you being in Toronto for such a short time. That's an amazing coincidence that the one restaurant you absolutely had to visit ended up being a stone's throw from your accommodation. I would love to try that goji drink xx

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    1. The coincidence was so amazing that I can understand Mr Bite being a little skeptical as to it being a coincidence! But it truly was - in the best kind of way.

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  10. What a fun meet-up - 2 Aussie bloggers in Canada! That salad looks lovely too.

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    1. It was a somewhat mind blowing meet up to have managed!

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  11. Oh, how lovely to meet up a fellow blogger friend and to hit it off instantaneously.
    The food looks so good.

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  12. Your salad looks devine. I don't know about Canada, but in Amercia, they do ready to go salads way better than they do here.

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    1. Absolutely Cakelaw - I am going to miss them! They were amazing everywhere we went in North America.

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