FOOD - When in doubt, eat comfort food, says the...
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Dec 11, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

FOOD - When in doubt, eat comfort food, says the Gourmet Frugalista

By Jessica Ruby

Today, I was snowed on. It’s winter, and I’m not happy about it. I feel as though bear’s have the right idea. Hibernating sounds delightful.  I might make a personal protest to winter and build a fort on my couch and spend the winter watching movies and eating delicious food.

 I know I’m not the only one who is as affected by the cold, and not the only one hunting for a hot meal to ward away the chills. I have chosen three places to find comfort food favourites at a comforting, bear worthy price:

It is pronounced Verst, and the website explains it is a “sausage hall and other wonders.” It’s located on King at Bathurst. By ‘other wonders’ I assume they mean duck fat fries and beer. Drooling yet? This beer hall has a great atmosphere created by its nifty interior design and shared long tables.

The concept is simple; you order food at the window and beer at the bar and they give you a number and deliver your goodies in a timely manner. Their sausage options range from chicken, artichoke and basil to kangaroo and are simply delicious. Toppings such as curry mayo and sweet sauteed onions are offered and the sausage is served on fresh toasted buns with the option of whole wheat.

The prices range from $6 to $9 for the sausages, and the fries are $6.50 for a large, which gets a big stamp of approval from my wallet. Oh, and the beer is good, too. Tip: They are vegetarian friendly.

The Grilled Cheese
I’m a simple lady, therefore I like my comfort food simple. A staple in my childhood home when we wanted to warm-up was grilled cheese and tomato soup.

The Grilled Cheese, located in Kensington Market, offers just that. They offer grilled cheese variations and a daily soup option. The sandwiches range from $6 to $8 and vary in types of cheese and garnishes such as bacon or even veggies if you want them. A cup of soup on the side is only $3. This simple but delicious meal will make winter feel less daunting.

Hotel Gelato
Don’t let the name fool you, this Eglinton and Avenue restaurant serves more than just (incredible) gelato. Having been an already established destination for weekend brunch and weekly lunches, they have recently launched their dinner menu.

The decor is hotel themed and classy. In an effort to find a happy medium and eat some healthy food as well, my lovely tasting assistant and I ordered the kale salad, which was topped with goat milk feta, apple and pickled beets and was light and tangy. Then, I dove into the comfort food. They boast three different kinds of mac and cheese. I opted for the Hotel Gelato speciality, which has spaghetti squash, kale, cherry tomatoes and aged cheddar in it.

Surprisingly, the vegetables complemented the heavy dish, making it lighter but still creamy and cheesy. Their prices are in the $10 to $15 range, which is amazing for such gourmet fare. Of course, no matter the weather, you have to try their gelato; I would leap over tall buildings for their sugar-free chocolate. 

So help me protest the cold, build your own fort and get some comfort food; I’ll see you all in the spring.  

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 Follow her on twitter @really_Ruby. 

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