Burger Week @ Gangster Burger

It is Burger week in Toronto. Many of the different burger joints in Toronto are offering a special $5 burger for people to try. Today, I decided to try the burger from Gangster Burger. Their special was the KDH – beef patty, sautéed kimchi, chipotle mayo, fried egg, spicy ketchup. I already went there later around 2pm to avoid the lunch crowd yet I still had to wait in line for 35 minutes before I got my burger. The place was very small, just enough space to have 2 lines – to order and to wait. It was a very hot day and with the open kitchen there, I was dying of heat. I don’t know how the staff can manage to work there all day, I was suffocating in the 35 minutes I was there and couldn’t wait to go outside to have some fresh air.

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The burger was pretty spicy for me and I have an ok spicy tolerance level. The first bite of the kimchi and the chipotle already started burning my taste buds and stayed there for the remaining of the burger. I had to get some milk to drink in the middle of the burger to fight the burning fire in my mouth. The egg was suppose to die down the spiciness but it didn’t. The patty was still moist even with black crust on the side. It was a good burger, next time I will try something less spicy so I can get a better taste at the other ingredients in on the burger.

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Gangster Burger
607 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 2B7

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Doors Open – Redpath Sugar Refinery

Redpath Sugar is the popular Canadian sugar refining company but now owned by American Sugar Refining. It was first established in Montreal by John Redpath. The raw sugar are transported by ship through the St Lawrence River. There are a lot of different steps involved in processing the raw sugar to the packets of sugar we consume.

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Just in luck, they just received a shipment of sugar in there warehouse the day before so we were able to see it. It is a big mountain that looks like sand.

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Beautiful sunset

Every time I visit another city, I would usually love to watch the sunset at the skyline or at the beach. I never pay attention to the sunset at my own home. Usually busy walking or driving, never notice that some days, the sunset here is beautiful as well. I should look up more often! happy

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Doors Open – Steam Whistle Brewery

Last year, I came here later in the day and all their brewery tours were filled so I missed the opportunity. This year, I purposely went there first thing in the day so I don’t miss out. When I got there, it just opened and only a few people in line for the next tour, so I was able to make it to the tour. Luckily, I live close by here so I was able to get there before the others started coming in. After my tour, there was a long line up building for the tour.

The tour is a shorter version of the actual tour they give out. But I did get a complementary tour coupon so next time I come, I can get a free “real” tour, awesome! The girl was very informative in the tour. They only make one beer here and it is the pilsner. It is made just from 3 ingredients – water, barley and yeast. That’s it!

The brewery was founded by 3 guys who were fired from the Upper Canada Brewery which was later brought by Sleeman. They initially wanted to name their beer “Three Fired Guys Brewing Company”, that’s a mouthful! At the end, they decided to name it Steam Whistle because of the image of the steam rushing out when the factory whistle blows to signal the end of the day. Their distinctive green bottles uses thicker glass so that it can be reused for up to 50 times before they start cracking. So they are environmentally friendly compared to the other companies.

An interesting note is that when they bring the bottles back from the LCBO etc, there is one thing that if it is in the bottle, there is no way that they can wash it out to reuse. Can you think of what it is?? It is the bottle cap! I never done it before but apparently, people like to squeeze the bottle cap in half and shove it in. So don’t do that! It hurts the environment.

Also, their location – Roundhouse is a designated National historical site. At first when the City wanted to rent it out, the Metro Convention Centre wanted to make a multi-level parking lot. But because it is a historical site, they turned it out but made a compromise and build the underground parking lot instead. They teared the Roundhouse to build the underground parking but then use the same bricks to rebuilt the Roundhouse back after construction. So the Roundhouse that is standing still was still build from the same materials. There was a lot of graffiti on the walls before so when they rebuild it, they turned the graffiti side to the inside and not the outside. After the tour, of course I got to have a glass of their beer. Refreshing!! If you are ever in Ontario, must try our local beer!

Buster’s Sea Cove

I can’t believe it has been this long since I finally tried this place. I heard a lot of good things about it but every time I’m here, it is always packed at the seating area and line ups which just drives me away. This time, I actually waited in line, it was pretty long as it was during the weekend but they were taking orders as we waited in line so the actual waiting for the food was not that bad once you paid.

I got the lobster roll with fries. The bread was grilled with some garlic butter, nice and hot. The lobster filling was big chunks of lobster meat with very little seasoning. Large portion of fries on the side. I don’t know if it was because I waited too long or that it was an expensive sandwich, it didn’t meet my expectation. Also maybe because there was too many orders so the quality was not the same. The lobster was cold and didn’t really have any flavour at all. It was all real lobster meat in the sandwich but it just didn’t cut it. And it was a small sandwich, the fries cover most of the portion. Next time I come here again, will try something else on their menu. But for a $15 sandwich, I expected a bit more “wow” to it.

Buster’s Sea Cove
93 Front Street East (St. Lawrence Market)
Toronto ON M5E 1C3

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Doors Open

This weekend was another year of Doors Open where a lot of the buildings around Toronto are open for the public to see and tour for free. This is a great opportunity for those who are curious and want to learn more about the history of the buildings. Many of them, they are never open to the public so this is really the only chance to see. I learned a lot this weekend, much like information overload with all the new places I saw this year. This was my second year going only so I already only picked the ones that I didn’t see last year. I must say, I still have a lot on the list to see – hope they will continue this next year! I did A LOT of walking these 2 days as I was on foot around downtown and refuse to pay for TTC. I’ve calculated my routes for the past 2 days and it came out to 20 km, that is a lot! Luckily, I wore running shoes the whole time, not trying to be fashionable and wear flats. My feet are tired right now but at least not in pain with blisters.

There is a lot to share but I think today’s eye-opener or highlight of the day was when I was at Massey Tower. So from the short description from the website, it said it will showcase “This tour will offer a mix of past and present as visitors to this unique building will have an opportunity to see a historical Toronto landmark from 1905, complete with its original facade and floor mosaics as well as the beautiful and opulent interior of Massey Tower’s high-rise presentation centre.” So in my expectation, I thought I would be seeing the history and architecture of this building, didn’t clue into my head that it turned out to be a condo presentation centre.

It was weird, when I got there, there were a bunch of mandarin speaking Chinese people in a tour group, with tour leaders waiting at the entrance for the centre to open. I couldn’t really understand what the tour guide was saying but basically, he was pointing at the picture of the condo to prepare them. Then, when the doors open, they just rushed right into the door, typically of them without any orderly manners. I managed to squeeze in but during the whole entire time, I did not want to be associated with what so ever. The sales centre was really pretty, I loved the black chandelier and the wallpaper with the fake moldings.

It turns out, they were all eager to see the model suite and taking pictures of random decorations. I don’t know if this was a “buying” tour cause once I finish seeing the model unit, I walked out but there were so many sales agent all ready to attack the people. And the people were all sitting there, waiting to be greeted. I really liked the painting they had on the wall, very urban chic. But as for the model unit, they said it is 645 sq.ft. which is even bigger than the condo I’m living now. The layout makes it look so much smaller than mine. The den was probably 1/2 the size of mine. All the furnishings were very elegant but not practical for sure. For example, there is no way I can have this desk as my home office, my computer will take up 1/2 the space and what do I do with all the papers that I have??

The bedroom was probably the same size but it doesn’t have a real door, just a hole and the closet is actually outside of the bedroom. The kitchen was even small than mine and all the appliances like the stove was definitely like a 24″ or even smaller, you can probably only fit 2 pans at the same time. There was even no room for a TV… the sofa pretty much was facing the dinning table. I would rather keep my unit. And I’m sure the price costs super high because of the prime location at Yonge St / Queen St. I pretty darted out the door once I was done looking… getting away from these mainland ppl, they are scary when there are crowds of them. And I did not learn a thing about the history of this building.