Sunday, July 23, 2017

Captain's Boil Pirate Ship Party

AYE Matey!


Event:               Captain's Boil Pirate Ship Party
Location:          Queen's Quay
Date:                July 5, 2017
Reason:            Lobster Roll & Bisque Launch

Have you ever been on a Pirate Ship?  No,  well I can say I have now.  I got a chance to board a Pirate Ship for a party hosted by the Captain's Boil to launch their new Lobster Bisque and Lobster Rolls in their restaurants.  The Captain's Boil Chain have 22 locations in Canada and 16 in Ontario.  I haven't had the chance to dine at one of the restaurants yet but I hope to soon, so this was my first taste of their food.

If you are not familiar with their restaurants their concept is to choose your seafood choice and then you choose your flavours, the heat and add ons and sides and they take your seafood choices and boil it in a bag and serve it to you with the bag and all the juices from the boiled seafood and flavours.

They also have a sizzling plate combo that you can order.

The items that I tried on the Pirate Ship were their new Lobster Bisque.  I enjoyed the bisque, it was very mild though.  They also served up bags of drinks with straws.  I had the Soju lemonade.   There were also mini Lobster rolls with bacon.  They were ok but I think a little lemon and a squirt of mayo and some seasoning would have boosted the flavour.

It was a perfect night to hang out on a Pirate Ship though.  It's too bad we were just docked because it would have been fun to cruise around Lake Ontario in a Pirate Ship.   Although their locations aren't on a boat so if you want to try their food you will have to check out one of their restaurants soon.  There are a few more opening soon to check out.  

*Disclaimer- The food and drink was provided by the Captain's Boil but the opinions and photos are my own.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hot Summer Night at St. Lawrence Market

Event:          Summer Series Season 2
Location:     St. Lawrence Market
Date:           July 20, 2017
Tickets:        $30

It's not often that you will hear me say that an event went off without a hitch.  It almost never happens.  But I can honestly say that the stars aligned for the Summer Series at St. Lawrence Market.

Because it's held on the Patio on the Upper Level of the St. Lawrence Market the success of the event is really contingent on the weather cooperating.  After a quick rain around lunch time the weather cleared up and the sun came out just in time for this spectacular event.  I think it would have been a very different outcome it had happened during the lunch hour.

The Summer Series is a way to celebrate the St. Lawrence Market vendors with help from the Food Dudes caterers.  The Food Dudes are quickly becoming caterers who do full entertainment events like this one.  It's all about Food, Music, Art, and interactive entertainment.

This event got so many things right that I need to really highlight them.

1.  Amazing FOOD,  a great variety of really fresh food for everyone.  From fresh Ceviche to Vegan Ice Cream and things that anyone could eat and it was all fantastically delicious.  Healthy and light dishes like Jhal Muri to decadent Banquet burgers and Paella.

2.  Music and Entertainment,  there were live artists who were great and didn't overpower the conversations people around them were having but still noticeable to people interested in listening to them.  There was also a DJ and the music really complimented the chill patio vibes. There were also a couple of stilt walkers wandering around and posing for pictures.

3.  The Art,  I really loved the live artists painting huge mural paintings as people strolled by.  There was also a guy doing body painting on some models.  There were some sand creations and lovely touches of artistic decor.

4.  Decor,  It was beautiful.  They rented a nice mix of couches, high tops and tables so that people could be comfortably seated in groups, or couples or singles.  I am sure someone carefully thought about the placement of the decor because there was a nice flow.  It made the normally picnic table studded patio look elegant.

5.  The STAFF,  fantastic staff all around.  I have been noticing this a lot lately and everyone delivered in spades.  The food vendors were on top of things and served quickly.  The clean up staff were on top of things.  The security were present but not overbearing.  The check in staff were very efficient.

6.  The TICKETING,  The invites went through Eventbrite which made it pretty quick to get in.  I entered and checked in with the media desk quickly and was presented with a lanyard with tickets for food and drink tucked into the plastic lanyard.  This was a really smart way to do it.  No fumbling with where you put your tickets.  I wish everyone would adopt this system.  It's so much simpler.

7.  DRINKS,  this was really important for me.  They had many large iced self serve water dispensers on the many bar stations with cups beside it for people to quickly help themselves.  There were great bar servers providing an assortment of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.   Not the standard just beer and wine and maybe some soda.  I really loved the Kahlua and Hennessy Iced Coffee.  That really did it for me.

8.  PRICE,  I thought the $30 price was really reasonable for the amount of entertainment that was provided and the quality of the space and the food.

9.  EXTRAS - A couple of excellent extras were the lovely Fun Flower Stand girls handing out flowered hair clips and hair bands.  Even some of the boys got in on this little cute touch.   There was also an amazing woman doing Henna tattoos on peoples hands.  Two of my friends did this.  It was a long line to get it done because she was really good at it.

10.  PEOPLE and VIBE - There was a really great mix of people.  Not the same people that go to every event but people who enjoy a night out with friends.  From young professionals to old friends.  My 3 blogger friends and I were the only bloggers there and the Instagram invasion were nowhere in site and it really made it more about hanging out and enjoying the food and the people you were with.  We really enjoyed it because it's rare that we can all attend the same event and just hang out and not be rushed to just get photos for our blog content.  It was one of my friends birthday the day before and another the week before so it was a great way to hang out and celebrate their birthdays.  We had a really great time and the fantastic weather really made the whole thing really pleasant and enjoyable.

I had 4 food tickets and a few drink tickets so with my food tickets I got the Ravioli with meat sauce and pesto and alfredo sauce.  This is one of my favourite things at the market on a usual day.  We all went crazy for the Sea bass ceviche on a tostada.  They were perfection.  One thing I have been wanting to make and find around the city and was really happy to see was the Indian spiced Jhal Muri, a mix of freshly diced vegetables like onions, cucumbers and tomatoes mixed with spiced crunchy chickpeas and lentils, puffed rice and a few other things served in a cone.  Super portable for an event like this and it was light and refreshing with loads of textures.  There was a big smokey lineup for the Banquet Burgers.  It was the first thing I tried and probably the most filling.  Nice and juicy and great flavour.  I also tried my friends Polenta fries and Buffalo Cauliflower.  I was too full to try the Paella and arepas, the oysters, the Brie Quesadillas and the Vegan ice cream sandwiches and the frozen yoghurt and a few other things but my friends tried everything I think.   I also sampled the sweet bbq ribs that were being passed around.  
My favourite thing of all was really as I mentioned above was the Booze infused Iced Coffee.  it was dessert, coffee and refreshing at the same time.  It really was the finish to all of the great food I enjoyed at the Summer Series

Have to give a shoutout to all of the vendors and food providers:

Items prepared by The Food Dudes:
Banquet Burger
Brown Brothers Meats prime beef, Olympic Cheese sharp cheddar,
Enjoy with a selection of Kozlik's Canadian Mustard
Buffalo Cauliflower
Fried cauliflower, buffalo tahini, pickled carrot & celery, black sesame, mint scallions from Urban Fresh Produce.
Ceviche Toastada
St. Lawrence Fish Market sea bass, avocado puree, pickled watermelon, grilled corn, yuzu chili aioli. Fresh produce from Urban Fresh Produce.
Jhal Muri Salad
Rube's Rice crispy rice, cucumbers, tomatoes, pickled ginger, shallots, cilantro, thai basil, smoked peanuts, puffed lentils, tamarind. Fresh product from Ponesse Foods.
Di Liso's Smoked Chicken Quesadilla
Di Liso's Fine Meats chicken smoked Al Pastor, aged cheddar, pineapple relish, sambal crema, crispy leeks. Fresh produce from Ponesse Foods. Johnny Di BenedettoOlympic Cheese Brie & Mango Quesadilla - Fresh produce from Urban Fresh Produce.
Polenta Fries
Semolina, Parmesan, aged cheddar, caramelized garlic, San Marzano sauce, pickled chilies, basil puree, pea shoots. Ingredients from Olympic Cheese @ Domino Foods.
Oli's Froyo
Grapefruit vanilla frozen yogurt, grapefruit caramel, shortbread crumble. Fresh dairy from Sheldon Creek Dairy, grapefruit from Ponesse Foods.
BBQ Ribs Carnicero's  
Spicy Salmon SlidersMike's Fish Market 

St. Lawrence Market merchant prepared items:
PIZZA Scheffler's Delicatessen & Cheese barbecued pizza featuring Black Cow cheddar and with samples of Black Cow vodka.
Vegan gnocchi carbonara & raw vegan tarts. - CrudaCafe 
Everyday Gourmet Coffee Roasters "The Founder" iced latte with Hennessey & Coffee Liquer. Also serving hot & iced espresso based beverages.
Traditional Spanish Paella (seafood & vegetarian) and Arepas  & agua de jamyca
Fresh Pasta - St. Lawrence Pizza & Pasta
St. Lawrence Fish Market - Freshly shucked oysters

It was a fantastic event.  The only thing I think I would add would be some lighting to the vendors stations for when the sun went down to make it sparkle a bit.  Because it was a beautiful night there was a huge turnout so it got pretty busy most of the night and people did stay and chat so the tables were all full so we did a lot of standing but that shows the success of the event that it completely filled the space.
Congratulations to the organizers.  I almost don't want to share this for fear of it getting too big for me to attend again in the future.   We need more summer events like this were people can connect and enjoy some great food and entertainment.
Thanks very much for all of the attention to detail. 
There is another one coming up in August and I am sure the tickets will go fast.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Friday afternoon Krispy Kreme Donut Party


It started out as a simple idea.  Krispy Kreme were celebrating their 80th Anniversary and to celebrate this BIG Milestone they had a deal for each Dozen donuts you purchase you could get another dozen for 80 Cents.  WOW that's a great deal.  But I had a feeling there would be a long line around the block and I wouldn't have the time to wait to get some but I mentioned it on social media to another friend who works closer to the location in our area.  To my surprise someone from Krispy Kreme contacted me to have some boxes set aside for pickup and to contact their team to arrange it.

I requested 2 dozen and the other 2 dozen at 80 cents each.   I thought it would be a great thing to share with my co-workers on a Friday afternoon when energy and patience wares thin.  I couldn't leave the office so I asked one of my coworkers if he could pick it up and he agreed.

We arranged for him to go to the store at 11am and speak to the contact person provided by their Social media people.   My coworker arrived and then called me to tell me that they didn't have enough donuts but he paid for 2 boxes and they gave him vouchers for another time.   I told him to take the donuts in the meantime and we would figure things out.   2 Dozen isn't much for an office with staff of about 70 people.   What was I going to do.   I contacted the person I had been dealing with and he said that they still had the 4 boxes originally set aside and there must have been a mixup at the counter.   By this time my coworker had gone for his lunch break but I managed to reach him by cell phone and he was about half way between the office and Krispy Kreme so he went back to pick up the rest of the donuts.  Now he had 4 boxes of donuts to bring back to the office and they didn't charge him anything for those donuts.   I should say that our Director agreed to pay out of his own pocket to cover the cost of the donuts for everyone because he is a super generous guy and I thought this would make everyone happy.   OH YES it DID.   When my coworker returned for the second time he almost got jumped for those donuts.   He barely got them to my desk before the hungry masses started circling my cubicle.   I let him choose first since he really went out of his way and didn't even get lunch because of returning the second time.   I told the hovering hungry people to wait until I at least sent out a mass email to let everyone know.   This was supposed to be my surprise for everyone.

I must say that those Krispy Kreme donuts really had a great impact on the happiness of the staff.  They perfumed my cubicle for a little while until I decided to move them to a table outside of the kitchen which is sort of a free for all to share table.

I walked by a few times checking the status of the boxes and slowly we whittled down boxes one by one.  At first I was worried that 6 dozen donuts would get wasted because I originally only planned for 4 dozen.  But by the time I left the office at 6pm they all disappeared.

I must say my coworker must have worked up a big appetite running back and forth because he scarfed down a total of 8 donuts that afternoon.   We went through 6 dozen donuts from about 2pm to 6pm on a friday afternoon.

Do you think we have a bit of a problem?   All I know is everyone enjoyed it and it put a smile on a lot of people's faces.  I am not sure they would have had the same reaction if I brought in a bushel of apples.  We did that before.  Much different reaction.

Well even though it's not the healthiest thing, I looked at it more as a mental health break which people over look but we are leading the way in trying to find ways to deal with it.

Thank you Krispy Kreme for sorting out your customer service and taking care of our office.

Captain's Boil Pirate Ship Party

AYE Matey! FEAST LIKE A PIRATE, DINE LIKE A CAPTAIN Event:               Captain's Boil Pirate Ship Party Location:         ...