October is a great month. It hosts some of my favourite holidays such as Thanksgiving and Halloween. The trees turn beautiful colours and it’s not too cold out yet. It also happens to be the month my birthday falls in, and the only good thing about getting older is treating yourself. I try to take the whole month to do just that.
Since my budget is always on the small side, I have to figure out affordable treats. This month, I went on a mission to find my three favourite things under $10.
I suggest you take November not only to grow unfortunate facial hair for a good cause, but to treat yourself with some delicious and affordable things.
The Steak Tartar at 416 Snack Bar
Living in Montreal, I developed some unusual tastes and habits; two of those being my penchant to swear in French and my love of tartar. I have no idea when I started craving raw food, but it happened and it’s here to stay. So is the swearing. Toronto has some amazing tartar, but the accompanying price is usually atrocious. 416 Snack Bar is only a year old, located at Queen on Bathurst. Its name is descriptive - it offers snacks and drinks.
The portions are little but mighty and, as advertised, they make great snacks. Their steak tartar comes on thin baguette (they’re cutlery-free) and perfectly spiced. It was exactly the taste of tartar I had been craving, and the best part is it costs $6, after tax. Taxes are included in all of their pricing. Word to the wise: it is a small place and while they were accommodating to our large group, go early or you’ll never get a table.
The Zazzu Hot Cones at The Mad Italian
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I love pizza. Put pizza sauce on it and I’ll eat it. The Mad Italian is a gelato bar with different locations on College Street, Bayview and Danforth avenues. Along with delicious gelato, they do have hot food and they also house a very unusual creation called the Zazzu hot cones.
These are cones made out of pizza dough, filled with pizza sauce, your choice of toppings and covered in cheese. Simple, but delicious. My favourites are the Hawaiian or the pepperoni, but there are more adventurous choices such as the Mac & Cheese with Bacon if you want something more tantalizing for your taste buds. This delicious and slightly odd meal will cost you $5.49 or $8.99 with a salad. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it, so go try it.
The Pumpkin Pie at Wanda’s Pie in the Sky
The fall is a great season for pie. I love pumpkin pie, not that I discriminate against other kinds. There are lots of great bakeries in this city, but my favourite is Wanda’s Pie in the Sky in Kensington Market.
Their pumpkin pie is light, creamy and spicy and the portions are generous. For under $6, it’s an amazing treat. It is also only served in autumn so be sure to get a slice before it’s gone.
After leaving her hometown in B.C., school brought Jessica Ruby to Montreal and then Toronto, which increased her love for gourmet food and her desire to uncover the latest trends and best new restaurants in Toronto, all on a low budget in a hard economy. Now Jessica is working for Gemini Public Relations www.GeminiPr.ca. Follow her on twitter @really_Ruby.