Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Mezes, The Danforth, Toronto


I spent this past weekend in Toronto at Food Bloggers Canada (more on that later). On Saturday evening my Bestie M and I met her husband halfway between his work and their home where I was their guest for the weekend. We started at a place called Allen’s that maintains the tag line “Air Conditioned” not “where good friends meet”, not “why not tonight?” but “air conditioned”. I got such a hoot out of that! The beer was ice cold and I chose my favourite Canadian brand Moosehead, whereas R selected a cream ale. M stuck to her fav white wine. The place was hopping and the vibe very comfortable so we stayed and enjoyed another.

By the time we walked down and across the Danforth to Mezes, the place was lined up to the sidewalk. In a very small way, I felt in solidarity with the fellow pedestrians and diners. The memory of this summer’s violence was too acute to have faded, and yet here we all were strolling the Avenue and gathering on the side walks when hunger struct us.

Out of the many Greek restaurants to choose from, Mezes was the first choice.

The emphasis here is on sharing; a kind of collective dining that transforms a meal into an experience. Mezes promotes the most genuinely Greek method of dining: order multiple dishes, celebrate variety, and sample everything. There’s a remarkable unfussiness to the process that enthuses more vigorous conversation, and rippling laughter. While their list of entrées is considerable, it’s their Mezes they hope you’ll try.

Try, we did. With the guidance of our waiter, who encouraged us to take our time, start with a variety of dips and fried anchovies and go from there. If we were still hungry, we could keep ordering.


First up were a small trio of Mediterranean dips: an amazing Tzatziki, a fish roe dip called Taramosalata, a chick pea Homous, and Melitzanosalata which I thought was very similar to my favourite baba ganoush. All were delicious with garlic pita and then when that was all gone, with the fresh baguette delivered to our table. We had watched in fascination when platters of flat cheeses were set on fire and then doused with lemon at neighbouring tables.


Next I tasted fried anchovies for my first time. They were prepared like calamari with a more pronounced flavour. I had not had anchovies since I miss-ordered them in Positano Italy (see link here).


I had been out for a big lunch and passed on the lamb chops although the nibble that I had was divine.


I opted for sharing this fantastic salad as well as a very big surprise…


these white beans recommended by our server had been slow cooked in a luscious tomato sauce.

Every thing was washed down with a couple of lovely house wines. It was a wonderful evening. We hailed an Uber home as the streets got increasingly crowded with folks from nearby neighbourhoods.

Kath’s quote:“The Greeks’ fierce pride in their heritage has kept the basic culture intact. Whether a slave under Roman rule, a captive under Turkish domination, or a newly arrived immigrant, the Greek is always aware that he is the direct descendant of men like Plato, Homer, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Aristophanes. The Greek who begins life in a new land on the bottom step of society as a dishwasher needs only to remember how Aesop left a legacy of poetry while cooking as a slave.”-Theresa Yianilos


Love never fails.


Benjamin’s Traverse Bay Corner, Manitoba


We have two restaurants almost equidistant from us when we are at the beach house. This past summer has been an unusual one. I have been so pleased with our reno and expanded kitchen space that I did not eat a meal outside of our place. That is not entirely correct, as I did dine with siblings at their homes. Although I visited Benjamin’s Bistro just as they opened, I had not sampled their fare until this past weekend.


I was with one of my Besties and had purchased supplies for French Toast but while visiting good friends who live permanently at Lester Beach we were encourage to give Benjamin’s a try.


We had spent a leisurely morning, sipping tea and coffee around the fire place to keep warm when all of a sudden the power went out.


Candles were already lit.

This typically happens during a windy storm but we could not discover any reason for this outage. Without skipping a beat, we changed our plans to head to Traverse Bay corner.

The improvements to the space create a positive first impression. The grungy carpet had been torn out and replaced with an attractive laminate. The walls were no longer full of ding marks from people pulling their chairs in and out. The addition of white trim made the space look contemporary and fresh.

The menu retained a couple of my favourites like the pickerel but there were a whole lot of new options too. I wanted to order a sandwich to ensure that I could sample the side of hand cut French fries. We saw the Breakfast Skillet and Traditional Breakfast go by to other tables and the laden plates looked delicious and great value.


My Denver was plump with meat and green onions and I dunked it liberally into ketchup as I enjoy at home. But the fries, oohh the fries, were my favourite part of our brunch. They were appropriately crispy and limp at the same time, just the way I like them. Only a splash of vinegar and a glistening of salt is needed for a quality fry, and these certainly made the mark.

Speaking of chips and vinegar, my Bestie is from Great Britain and so was Benjamin. In fact, so were our friends who recommended we stop in! This necessitated the discussion about football (so called there but not to be confused with North American football), favourite teams and recent scores.

When extended our time out and about with visits to the Lakehouse and Carol’s on Leon but when we arrived back at the beach house, the power was still out. It did not stop us from continuing our conversation where we left off and snuggling up in front of the fire.

Kath’s quote: