As we close in on Christmas, it becomes blindingly obvious there’re two classes of shoppers during the holiday season—the ones who know exactly what they’re getting for every person on their list… and the ones who keep it all ’til the last minute, ‘cuz they’ve no idea what they’re getting!
You might think it too late in the season to be looking at gift guides, but I know we’ve all been the victim of a poorly planned gift at least once. The kind of gift where it’s clear the giver didn’t really think about you—merely crossing another name off their list so they can pat themselves on the back.
But if you’re not putting any effort into it, why give a gift at all? Christmas isn’t about presents, right? It’s about family. Quality time. Going to church one of the few times many of y’all make it there. (I see you!)
I think you get the picture.
All that said, there’ll always be some grown-ups in your life to shower with gifts. Parents. Spouses. Maybe some teachers or a chiropractor. (They might be really good at what they do!) No matter who’s on your list, here are a few gifts I hand-picked for the occasion!
(And with it being so close to Christmas, here are the direct links so you can get what you need with the quickness!)
With temperatures in the 20s all week, I think we can finally say that summer’s on its way, and it’s high time Toronto get ready! We only get a few months of this sunshine and heat, so this summer—which we know and love as patio season—let’s make sure we make the right choices to make it one for the books!
Knowing how much I love exploring the world of craft beers and fine wines, On Q Communications sent some summer bevvie options that’d be up my alley! New Zealand’s Te Awa winery presented the Nelson 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from their Left Field line, full of tropical flavours and scents, and the Brew Box Co. is a home delivery service offering some of the newest and rarest craft beers in Ontario!
So let me show you why they’re strong contenders for the libations on your summer menu!
As a guy who rarely cooks, I’m guessing that God’s having none of that and making sure I can actually provide for my family.
Some time ago, I shared the story of my hatred for cooking, sure I’d avoid the kitchen for the rest of my earthbound years. But with daycare nipping hot at the heels of the East York Palmers, and with it the scheduling unpredictability that comes from a family with two working parents, I had to bite the bullet sometime!
So whaddya know — despite being loath for anything finding me in front of a stove, brands like Samuel Adams put their money where their mouth is (and product where mine is), challenging me to grab an apron and see what I can do to feed myself without calling the number for the local pizzeria — and yes, it is on my speed dial.
Everyone, for your viewing pleasure, I present — Cooking With Beer: Because it’s Not Just Good for Drinking!
As Lisa McPhee would tell you, the west side is the best side. While I can’t completely agree (since I rep the Danforth these days), there’s plenty of things it does right.
Like sausages made from animals that make no sense being on this end of the world!
Welcome to WVRST!
Planning for the WVRST
Trevor and I had been planning to go to WVRST for a good while now, but never seemed to get around to it. However, on a day where our schedules got flushed down the tubes due to oversleeping and being too tired to bother doing anything too nuts, getting this item off of the to-do list didn’t seem like — wait for it — the WVRST idea!
Making the Best of the WVRST
One thing to keep in mind about WVRST is that it’s not your typical restaurant. Yes reservations; no wait list — just a lineup; no specific waiter or assigned seating — just a bunch of benches where they bring your food to you after you order and pay for it at the front counter.
And maybe it’s because they keep things so simple (i.e. a beer hall-style restaurant that serves mainly beer and sausages) that they actually manage to understand customer service!
We did get there without a reservation and had to wait in line, just like everybody else. While some people were told an hour’s wait when we were at the back of the line, it was only 15 minutes in reality. And in those 15 minutes:
One guy was a complete jerk and wouldn’t let a German tourist pass to ask the guy manning the stairs a question about the wait time, causing her and her friends to leave angrily
Ironically, the jerk and his friends would leave angrily almost immediately after, helping shorten the line by about 10 people between the two groups
Even better, almost immediately after they left, one of WVRST’s staff came out with a ton of free fries, offering them to us to apologize for the long wait! Note to all restaurants: if patrons are waiting in line to get into your establishment, they’re probably hungry. A little food can go a long way in making that wait better!
From Better to WVRST
We got in and found some seats, but damn that place is loud!
One thing I forgot about King Street West is how trendy the area is. We’re not even 30 yet, but we were easily some of the oldest people in the room! It was a very different crowd than what I’m used to having around, but everyone looked to be enjoying themselves thoroughly.
But back to the food.
I went to WVRST to try something different, so I got some elk and kangaroo sausages, washing it down with some Church-Key beer from Campbellford, ON. The beer was a bit bitter to start with, but the sausages made it a lot sweeter! Not being a foodie by any measure, I could always tell the difference between a hot dog and a premium sausage I’d get from a butcher, but I never really appreciated the difference between different kinds of game.
What I can tell you is this — while I enjoyed both, the elk was definitely more to my tastes, with a pinch more spice and other spices. Because of the free fries, we didn’t get much more than just the sausages on buns, but next time I’d love to try some currywurst and duck fat fries!
So if you’re ever in the mood for something different, I recommend WVRST. With efficient staff, tasty food and a large list of international beers, I think it’ll do well to sate most people’s appetites. Well, you know — as long as they eat meat.
Seriously, check it out. What’s the WVRST that could happen???
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands: