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Market day in Eğirdir

On a small spit of land far far away in the lake district of Turkey, there is a tiny little town I hesitate to even tell you about — I don’t want to ruin it. Four days last summer I hid away in the lakeside town of Eğirdir with three lovely people where we drank beer and savoured apple-flavoured nargile and ate a crap load of fish.

Where market day is on Thursday.

We wandered underneath the tattered rainbow of umbrellas experiencing what was just another day in this town beside the ruins of a fortress whose foundations date to 400Bc.

I smelled the earthy oiliness of the olives before I rounded the corner of the stall, the salty cheeses in plastic buckets made my mouth water, I palmed juicy peaches like a warm handshake, and a lady made us buy our weight’s worth in black cherries.

A bustling secret place no one knows about where you can buy anything from green beans to lighter fluid.

You’re lucky I’m even telling you about the tiny town on a small spit of land far far away in the lake district of Turkey.

Don’t go there, you’ll hate it.

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Winterlicious at The Saint Tavern

Winterlicious is pretty much the best part of shitty ol’ winter in Toronto: I can wear a loose sweater to dinner and eat lots of high-end food for cheap prix-fixe prices all over the city for two weeks straight. I had to control myself on how many reservations I made this year considering we are going to Chicago next weekend, but The Saint Tavern was top of the list. I had been wanting to visit the Ossington watering hole and I was pumped to see fried chicken on their Winterlicious menu.

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Cacao70 in the Distillery

Cacao70 is a diabetic’s worst nightmare and a chocolate lover’s wet dream. An establishment devoted to cacao confections like fondue, crepes, hot chocolate, etc., the Montreal-based chain opened in the Distillery during the annual Christmas market, so naturally I avoided it like the plague until things settled down in the new year. My friend Kara and I met up last week to give the new choc-spot a try.

The freshly minted space is brightly lit with industrial fixtures and decorated with painted tile floors, eclectically covered banquets and mid-century knockoff chairs with chocolatey notes floating through the air. It looks chainy, as to be expected, but it’s comfortable and smelled ridiculously good, even from the sidewalk.

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Brunch at The Drake

 

The following comments could possibly exile me from The Six, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about with The Drake Hotel.

I went there for brunch last weekend to catch up with a friend. After consulting my Toronto Brunch Map and strolling along Queen West, we decided on The Drake because we both had never been there, and not living under a rock for the past decade, we both had heard so much about it.

There was no line so we didn’t have to wait long at all for a table (tip: if you stay at the hotel you get to skip the brunch line; in the short time we waited, two couples were seated who had just checked out).

The space is absolutely gorgeous and the atmosphere oozes hip with whiffs of Ossington trendiness hanging in the air. But the service was below average — those servers in denim aprons did not perform. We both had the classic breakfast and it was good, not great, but good. I loved the beans, and the toast was thick and fresh, but the tough bacon was a disappointment.

Don’t get me wrong, I am dying to stay at The Drake Devonshire and have heard nothing but raves about the food there, but at $14 for an average breakfast at The Drake Hotel, I would rather spend $10 and get a solid Irish breakfast at George Street Diner.

The Lounge - The Drake Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Wvrst is the best

Growing up I despised sausages: They looked weird and I hated how the casing burst in my mouth when I bit into to them. I was always a bacon girl — then one day out of the blue, I ordered a sausage with breakfast at some random diner and everything changed. What had I been thinking? The bursting case, the juicy meat inside; sausages really are the whole package. Young Gabby was just plain nuts!

My dad, on the other hand, loves sausages, so when my parents were visiting for the weekend I knew exactly where I wanted to take them after a morning of shopping on Queen West: Wvrst.

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Beast

I’m a carnivore. My sharp canines love to dig into a meaty dish (one a little sharper than the other after I chipped it eating a slice of pizza on a flight to Australia), so it’s not hard to guess why Beast has been on my to-eat list for awhile. Owned by Chef Scott Vivian and his baker extraordinaire wife Rochelle, this charmingly carnivorous restaurant off King West opened in 2010, and serves up some of the most drool-inducing, meat-centric small plates in the city. Last Saturday night, Adam and I got ready for our favourite kind of date night: a meat feast.

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