Eat: Paintbox Bistro

It’s Coffee O’clock.
Sweet potato wedges and Moroccan Tagine ($14) – chickpeas, zucchini, turmeric, peppers, tomato sauce.

 With not much in our fridge and the weather being stormy, we went to Paintbox Bistro for dinner. Paintbox operates as a social enterprise with a mandate to provide social changes to the neighbourhood of Regent Park. They offer catering services and the space is often used as an event space. As a business, it’s commendable of their purpose to the neighbourhood; it’s a decent place for coffee or tea time. However, for a meal, it’s not that great.  Food was a bit underwhelming and pricey.

Paintbox Bistro
555 Dundas St. East
Toronto, ON
M5A 2B7


Eat: Thoroughbred Food & Drink

Thoroughbred Food and Drink is a contemporary bar and restaurant located in the Entertainment District. Across the street from the Scotiabank Theatre, it is almost hidden aside for a sign with a horse on it. Fun fact: the area used to be populated with nightclubs.

My friends and I decided on their tasting menu (they have different price point where the cheapest is offerings from their menu, mid-price where you get some offerings from their menu as well as some surprise from the chef and the higher price where most dishes are surprises). We chose the $55 tasting menu, which is the mid-priced one. It is a good way for a group to sample majority of the menu, especially if you’re indecisive. Please note, their menu does change so some dishes may vary or no longer available. It is served family-style.

Fun fact: Thoroughbred is a term for a pure bred horse used in horse racing. No horse meat is served at Thoroughbred though.

TB Beef Tartare with honey mushroom and Cape Vessay ($14 on menu)
Chicharron (fried pork rind) with dehydrated ramps ($5 on menu). It had a bit of an onion-y flavour from the ramps.
Tea Smoked Trout with blood orange and fennel ($14 on menu)
Asparagus Salad with bufala, lentils and king oyster mushroom ($15 on menu)
Broccoli Falafel with smoked yogurt and cucumber dill salad ($13 on menu)
Wild Ramp Gnocchi with stinging nettle, sunchoke and Madeira ($21 on menu)
Kung Pao Cauliflower with cashew, cilantro and chili ($14 on menu)
Pan Roasted Octopus with rapini, potatoes and green olive tapanade ($15 on menu)

Pork Loin with apple. This was not on the menu.

Assador de Barro for two ($24), daily sausage flamed table side. This is not a part of the tasting menu. We came back for a second visit and ordered this.

The kung pao chicken is one of our favourite, as well as a favourite amongst people who have dined at Thoroughbred. Think kung pao chicken, but with deep fried cauliflower. It’s sweet, spicy, sour and salty all at the same time.

We liked how the dishes started out light and then progressed to more heavy, meaty dishes. Surprisingly, we got full by the time the pork loin arrived. Dessert is also included, but I didn’t take a picture of it.

Thoroughbred Food & Drink
304 Richmond St. West
Toronto, ON
M5V 3M6

Eat: Shake Shack (New York Grand Central location)

If In-N-Out Burger is the place I’d go straight to after landing in Los Angeles, Shake Shack is the equivalent after landing in New York.

Simple burger, but oh-so-good. Don’t like line ups? My friend told me that ordering from their phone app will help you save time. We didn’t try as we went to their Grand Central location, but if you go to their original location at Madison Square Park, the app may help you.

Double ShackBurger ($8.35 USD) – cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce
Single Hamburger ($4.55 USD) with lettuce, pickle, onion and tomato
Crinkle-cut Cheese Fries ($3.99 USD) and regular fries ($2.99 USD)

Shake Shack (Grand Central Terminal location)
49 Grand Central Terminal, Lower Level Dining Concourse
New York, NY 10017
United States