, sister restaurant of Pai, is a small, neighbourhood restaurant serving up Northern Thai and Laotian flavours. Though we’ve been to Pai many times in the past and love it, we tried Sabai Sabai this past month and found the same charm and wonderful flavours there that won us over. If you’re in the Union Station area of Toronto and haven’t tried Pai yet, try it. If you’re in the Bloor-Yonge area, check out Sabai Sabai. Either way, you wont be disappointed.
is a casual, pub-like restaurant in Liberty Village with a large patio out front. Though it’s a bit of a trek for us to get to, we tried it once before a few months ago and we enjoyed the food and beer well enough to return again this month. They offer everything from quesadillas to edamame to a delightful caesar salad with avocado to a dozen different burgers and sandwiches – including a most satisfying fried chicken sandwich – to curry rice bowls to Carolina-style barbecue ribs. So far, they’ve gained my trust enough to try just about anything on the menu.
Sobey’s Urban Fresh New York bagels were a pleasant surprise when we tried them out last month. Having returned from a trip to Manhattan in February where we ate nothing but bagels for breakfast, I have been craving a dupe that comes close to the full-bodied flavour and soft, airy texture. Sobey’s Urban Fresh has succeeded. We’ve been having them for breakfast with cream cheese or as a BLT sandwich for lunch. And, it’s right across the street from us. This was a lovely find this month.
gets a huge shout out in this month’s favourites because they were celebrating their two year anniversary on the 1st of May. Congratulations! That day, the day we completely coincidentally decided to stop in for the first time, they were serving any drink for 50 cents. The best part though: they didn’t tell anybody! You walked up to the counter, ordered your drink and then they announced their anniversary special. Now, before you cheapos get all like, “Aww, man, I would have had something more expensive, had I known…” think about how busy the place would have been if they had advertised. Two acclaiming thumbs up from the girl who never takes part in Krispy Kreme’s national donut day free donut or Pi Co. free pizza slices because of the mile-long line ups.
Sam James Coffee Bar has actually been a favourite coffee shop ever since we tried it a year and a half ago. The PATH location gets a very special spot on this month’s list, though, because they did me a wonderful favour while on my way to a class at 7:30am. Being a cash-only spot, I’ve seen it before where someone will order before realizing they don’t have cash to pay. SJCB offers the acceptance of IOUs where they will spot you that drink and you can pay them back later in the day or even the following day, at their discretion, I imagine. I’ve seen it happen, but I’ve never been in a position to appreciate it myself until recently. And, believe me, I did appreciate it. It was a Friday morning and I wanted nothing more than to be back at home in bed. I ordered my beverage and before they had even begun making it, I hollered for them to stop because I realized I had zero cash. The barista pleasantly offered to spot me, no questions asked, or judgement made. Made my day.
The Keep Cup is a reusable coffee cup – though it can be used for any beverage – sold at several independent coffee shops, eco friendly shops and online. There are several series’ to choose from: made of coloured plastic, clear plastic or tempered glass; found in a variety of colours and sizes; and even double-walled for increased durability and touch protection. I have their 16oz cork collection cup, made of tempered glass. I love it because it’s more eco friendly than plastic, more aesthetically pleasing and still super durable and comfortable.
Ratatouille, the movie, is named after ratatouille, the stewed vegetable dish. This favourite is actually the movie, though. If you haven’t seen it already, find it and watch it. It’s about Remmy, a rat with “highly developed sense of taste and smell” who loves food and cooking. He finds himself teaming up with a garbage boy who doesn’t know what rosemary is, cooking at one of Paris’ finest gourmet restaurants. This is the cutest, funniest animated foodie movie I’ve had the pleasure of rewatching and re-loving this month.
My 2015 MacBook Pro is the biggest purchase I actually couldn’t afford to make in the past two years, but I absolutely love it. A little behind the times, I admit, but I’ve actually never owned an Apple computer. I had a five-year-old Dell laptop running Windows 8 and I actually didn’t mind it, but it’s big and clunky and heavy and not at all suitable for what I wanted from a portable computer. I am finding it much easier and infinitely more enjoyable writing, researching and editing photos on my gently used MacBook Pro.
Glossier Boy Brow in brown is my top makeup pick for the month. Spring and summer are the times for natural, effortless makeup so my absolute must-haves are a BB cream, mascara and brow gel. I had the boy brow before but it finally dried out after a couple of months of using it literally every day. Since then, I’ve tried some drugstore products and even Benefit’s Gimme Brow but nothing lives up to the tint and hold that the boy brow has. I finally repurchased it, complete with a backup, this month and I don’t see myself bothering with anything else anytime soon.
My Puma sneakers I actually bought last year to replace my old skater shoes that actually cracked in the soles. Over the winter I wore the crap out of my Blundstone boots – which I also love – but with the warming weather comes a lighter shoe: enter, Puma sneakers. I actually forgot how much I love these shoes and I was so happy when I was able to bust them out again. I actually find I can wear them with all the same things as I wore my Blundstones with: bootleg jeans, cropped jeans, rolled up jeans, skirts, dresses, anything! Love them.
Cowbell Brewing Co. t-shirts are amazing and I’m not going to talk a lot about them because I’ve already gone over them in my Cowbell Brewing Co. review. However, I had to give a little update because I mentioned that I recently bought a second one, one size larger for a looser fit, and I love it too. They both fit, wear and wash so nicely and I love that they are made in Canada. Nuff said.
Our Bose Portable Speaker was a bit of an impulse purchase this month but we are thoroughly enjoying it. We went to Best Buy and narrowed our favourite down to the Sound Link Color II – in soft black, if anyone cares – after comparing and listening to several different brands and models. It wasn’t on sale, though, and things like that go on good sales fairly often so we left empty-handed. A few days later, what do we find on the oh-so-tempting electronic shelves at Costco? The Bose Sound Link Color Bluetooth Speaker II, in soft black, naturally. “It’s fate,” we told ourselves as we slowly place the box in our cart. It was a luxury buy but we are really enjoying it. The sound fills our little condo very well and I especially like singing along to the Songs to Sing in the Shower Spotify playlist while, you guessed it, in the shower. Highly recommend both the speaker and the playlist, too.
Well, that’s it! Those are my top favourites of the month, both foodie picks and some miscellaneous picks. Let me know if you already love any of these things or if you’ve discovered something new here that you’re going to try!