Monday, November 10, 2008

one hike, two dinners


Longtime readers may have noticed that I'm not quite as speedy as I once was in posting about things going on in this corner of the world. Writing for other sites, fatigue from increasingly busy times at my day job and a hectic everyday life in general have dented some of the grandiose schemes I've had for this blog and its offshoots (examples: brief election coverage, tales of the family summer roadtrip that will stretch into 2016, a Backstreets of Toronto sitting in "draft" for nearly two years).

So, in an attempt to play catch-up, here are a trio of recent events, all of which are fully fleshed out in their respective Flickr photo sets (hit the link on each event name):


Taking in the Landscape

Dog Regulations at Mono Cliffs Along the Trail Lower Observation Area Lounging by the Lake Stay Clear of Cliff Edges Jumping to the Crevice

Mono Cliffs: Growing out of a suggestion at a party, a group heading out near Orangeville in September to go for a hike in Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. Fueled by burgers and Blizzards from the Dairy Queen we met up at, we spent the afternoon roaming around the park, checking out spectacular views and rugged crevices. I didn't explore the latter too much, partly out of nervousness, mostly due to knees I banged up while taking out the garbage the day before. Perfect weather conditions made it difficult to tear ourselves away from a rest stop at a pond. We wound down the day at a local pub, which took the phrase "hands-on service" literally (and made a mean lamb burger).


Omakase Sushi (2) - Second Round

Zen Japanese Restaurant Complimentary Edamame Dinner Special Omakase Sushi (1) - First Round Tempura

Zen - September's dining group adventure was at a Japanese restaurant in a sketchy plaza in Scarborough. It was the type of plaza where the first thing you see after hopping out of the car is a group of men engaged in a loud, confrontational conversation. A great way to ease into dinner.

Because of the set-up of the room, we were split in two groups, so getting a sense of what everyone was sampling took a little running around. Most chose the omakase sushi set, which consisted of two platters of the chef's selections (round two shown in the main picture) and a hand roll. This was the first time I tried sea urchin and found it to my liking. Going back to cheap sushi proved difficult for sometime afterwards.


The Lazy Susan Fills Up (2)

Grand Scallop Dumpling Saucing the Shrimp Shrimp Mousse Tempura Steamed Cake with Green Tea and Lotus Seed Paste Red Bean Past Pancake with Homemade Sesame Ice Cream

Grand Chinese Cuisine: October's meal saw the group head out near the airport to sample dim sum. It didn't take long for us to play with the lazy susan on the table. Each of us chose a different dish from the various menus, most of which were stomach-pleasing. I was partial to the Deep-Fried Sesame Balls Stuffed with BBQ Duckling, Taro and Pine Seed (main picture, right) and the sesame ice cream. 

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