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Posts from — November 2006

Gone Fishing

Saturday night. Every new restaurant you wanna try is booked. Every old fave is, well, old. So you (I) let down your (my) guard and let the friends take care of the venue. Some place they went to a while back and liked. A place we never heard of, and had no on-line reviews (that counted). A place at the wrong end of the right street. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?

WRONG! Tho’ it did start out a bit iffy…

Ferillo. We’d booked a table, but there really was no need. ‘Cuz it was Saturday night and the joint was anything but jumping. In fact, it was Deadsville. I guess no one else had heard of Ferillo either. But what the hell! We’d bring our own atmo. We braved the subtle bleachy/worn mop smell and took our seats in the window.

And were we glad we did!

We started off with champagne. OK, it wasn’t really champagne. It was the Portuguese version. But at $130 for a bottle of Veuve vs. $32 for the cheap swill, do you blame us? Guess what? It was delicious!

Maybe it was the bubbly, but what followed was a feast that met – and surpassed – even the snootiest of gastrosnobs: a massive appetizer platter filled with grilled octopus and squid, fried calamari and shrimp, and their tasty (but somewhat mismatched) salsa. House salad for four was served family style, complete with feta cheese and chickpeas.

And then came the mains: the fish.

This was the kind of place that brought out various fishies and mollusks so we could pick ourselves a winner. We ordered, they told us they’d run out of some things, we thought was strange (considering no one, but no one, was there), and we re-ordered. The fish arrived, heads or tails in tact for those that wanted it; deboned and perfect for those who didn’t. The chef put together a platter of sides too – mushrooms, potatoes and a smattering of veg. But I didn’t pay attention because I was too busy ooh-ing and aah-ing over my porgy and sampling my man’s dorado.

In a word? Deeee-lish.

Homemade sugar crepes and frothy caps finished us off. We marvelled how such a yummy spot could be so, well, not hot. Why why why? They had a massive saltwater fishtank in the entrance, and even that was nearly empty!

You know how desperadoes are extra super nice? And how those who, erm, lack in physical perfection can compensate with sparkling personalities? That’s Ferillo. It’s a Meditteranean fish joint that, while having much in common menu-wise to that swanky hot spot at Ave and Dav, couldn’t be more different.

In other words, Ferillo may be the poor cousin, but so what? It’s tasty, the folks there are lovely, and food is great. All it needs – aside from some (any) customers, is a chance. The menu was nearly identical to That Other Fish ‘n Tits joint – but with lower prices. The food was on par – if not superior.

And the only tits in the place were ours.

924 College W.
Doubt you’ll need to book, but here’s the #: 416 840 1144


Anonymous said…

Could told you all that– it’s in me ‘hood. Thanks for stopping by to say ‘hi’! (ummm… not)


November 27, 2006   No Comments


Afternoon Delight

I hate 4PM. 3:30 too. Hate ’em both. The day is winding down. It’s finish-up-and-get-ready-to-go-Time. Too-late-to-start-something-new-Time. Too-tired-to-care-Time. For some, it’s TV Time. For others, time to hit the gym. For me, it’s please-perk-me-up-before-I-empty-the-fridge-Time. In other words, it’s Coffee Time.

It used to be all about Grande Soy Lattes and low-fat, no-whip fraps. Then the unsweetened green tea lemonade took over, followed by my current fave, the non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte. Spending my children’s tuition at Starbucks? Uh, yeah…Who isn’t?

Well, as of today, I’m not. Because there’s a new drink in town. One you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home/office/personal space. And one that, while not all that cheap, is definitely cheerful and absolutely delicious. It’s not really winterized, but who cares?

It’s Pom Tea.

That’s right, Pom Tea. I am now a walking ad for the stuff, ‘cuz it’s incredible.

Y’all know Pom, right? Or, sorry, PomWonderful (but who in their right mind actually calls it that? Puh-lease). It’s that sexy bottle full of pomegranate juice. Some freakshows drink it straight, but it’s far more palatable diluted. Better still diluted with fizzy water to make Pom Pop. Yum.

And now, the sequel has arrived. Pom, the Tea. Blackberry Black, Passion Peach White and, my personal fave, Lichee Green. All with pomegranate o’ course. It’s not too sweet, doesn’t need to be diluted at all, and the packaging’s kinda fun too, if a little odd. All Pom Teas come in their own somewhat ceremonial glass. Yes, a glass. I dunno know why. It just comes that way. With a lid.

Shake, sip, enjoy. But wait! It gets better: You can convince yourself you’re actually drinking some sort of anti-aging elixir of the gods. A potent potion to ward off evil (lined) eyes. They call it PomRx but whatev. It just tastes good.

Will I be giving up my Starbucks fix forever? Of course not. What kind of gal do you take me for? I’m true blue loyal to their ripoff fancy coffees. But I’m also true blue loyal to all the friendlies, which is why I’m passing on the Pom.

Try it, you’ll like it. And if it ends up being as good for you as it claims, you can thank me later. When we’re all old, happy, healthy and hot.



November 22, 2006   No Comments


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You

Did everyone watch Oprah today?

No, wait…I mean, did everyone PVR Oprah today?


Oh, poor souls, you missed out. You really did.

Disclaimer: I am not, by nature a daytime TV person. Never have been. When the sun goes down, that’s a different story – the remote comes out. But I have too many guilt issues with daytime telly – unless I am severely under the weather or there’s some hideous ambulance-chasing newsflash I can’t turn away from. Reruns of sitcoms, maybe Ellen, OK. But Oprah? Very, very, rarely. I did watch the cast of Friends goodbye show, but that’s about it.

See, when it comes to Ms Winfrey, I’m not a fan. In fact, she kinda bugs me. I kinda liked Fat Oprah. And Sophia-from-The-Color-Purple-Oprah. And I can appreciate and barely stomach Do-Gooder-Friend-of-Nelson-Mandela-Oprah. But thin-, marathoned-, and star-f&cking Oprah? Not for me. Too condescending. Too Benevolent Ruler of Minivan Moms in audience. Too earnest. Too annoying.

BUT I put it all aside for today. I got over my aversion to Oprah and to daytime TV for today. I really let myself go to the edge of the couch for today….For today was DREAMGIRLS day.

Yes, it’s true. DREAMGIRLS has arrived. Ish. More specifically, it’ll arrive at your local theatre on Christmas day. The lucky ones in LA and NYC will, as always, get it sooner, as will a handful of other selected spots (please please please let Toronto be one of them) (I know, it probably won’t) (if you don’t ask, you don’t get) (why am I having a paranthetical conversation with myself) (because I can)…

My Euro friends, you probably don’t even know what DREAMGIRLS is, let alone when it’s coming. So you can just read along, safe in the knowledge that a damn fine show has been turned into a supposedly damn fine film and that you can – and should – book your tix AND your seats in advance.

So there they were: Beyonce, James Foxx, Anika-something-or-other, Ed Murphy and my fave, Jennifer Hudson. Her god-fearing (and spouting) ways aside, I love her. And so did the audience. She got a longer standing O than the Mighty Murphy. More whoops than the other folks combined. Rightfully so, folks, rightfully so.

For the eight of you people who didn’t watch American Idol a couple of season back, she was one of the 3 divas. Fantasia, someotherchick, and Ms Hudson. She sang the Dreamgirls’ showstopper (do I have to spell out everything? “I am Telling You I’m Not Going”). She was the first of the best to be booted, but baby, look at her now! Word on the street (and on the web) is she’s the one to watch. As it should be. She was Effie on Idol and she’s Effie now. Jennifer Hudson? The new Jennifer Holliday.

Beyonce (and, parents, it’s pronounced Bee-yon-say, not Bee-Yawns) was, as always, a real lady. Babydoll Pajama dress aside, she was poised, stunning, and modest. A glamorama movie star ’til the end – complete with costume change. And, yes, she sang. She sang the one song that didn’t come from the original soundtrack. Y’know, the Disneyfied, lyrically-on-the-nose, lame song: the Oscar song. B’s pipes were so outstanding that she actually gave some life to a truly lame tune. Now that’s star power.

There was the other chick, the Tony award winner whose name escapes me. She plays Lorell. The one no one really gives a shit about. But she gets a solo, and a paycheck and gets to be on Oprah, so let’s not pity her.

Moving on.

Jamie Foxx. Talented? Yes. Hot? Yes. Somewhat runty? Kind of. He described himself as shiny. That says it all. Shiny good and shiny bad. And then they played some clips of him as Curtis. Clips he was proud of. Clips in which he sang all his own songs. May I remind you that he did no such thing in Ray. And maybe that’s good thing. ‘Cuz I’ve got two words for you: Weak Link. Yes, yes, yes, I’m sure his performance will be stellar. But a balladeer he ain’t.

Now, was it me, or did Funny Murphy seem kinda sad? Cliche, I know, the sad clown and all, but he did. He seemed out of sorts and kind of down. Maybe Eddie finds Oprah annoying too. Or maybe he’s just whipped by Scary Spice. Whatev – the few sound clips of him as James Thunder Early? Erm….smoking!

I first saw Dreamgirls when I’d pulled my braces off at sleepover camp so I could go home and call a boy I liked. I was that kind of girl. His number turned out to be unlisted (loo-hoo-ser), but I got to go and see Dreamgirls. And then I saw it again on Broadway. I’ve had my mother quoting it to me for years. I’ve sung every breath of every song in countless car rides. I’ve participated in (and nearly wrecked) an amateur production of the thing. I’ve cast the movie in my head and – I don’t mind bragging – pegged Beyonce and Jenny Hudson long before the producers even did. I even watched The Oprah Earnest Show to get a glimpse of the Dreamgirls Dreamteam. Along with a handful of other diehards, I’ve been waiting for this moment for 25 bloody years, so please, forgive my excitement.

And now, I pass that excitement on to you, loyal readers. Let the countdown begin:
One month, five days…


Anonymous said…


1:13 AM

Anonymous said…

“When I first saw you… I said “oh my, that’s my dream”. Not only is DREAMGIRLS THE SEMINAL 80S MUSICAL (ok– name another one, c’mon… just as I thought) and Michael Bennett’s last (notable) hurrah– it would be really easy to mess the movie up. (‘Rent’ anyone?) This is the same guy who directed ‘Gods & Monsters’ & ‘Kinsey’. Fine films, yes, but paced like the tortoise from the age-old fable. DREAMGIRLS is the definitely the Hare. In any case, it looks like they did the right thing– the movie looks stunning– and not just from a theatre-geeky, broadway-only p.o.v. I’ve been casting Dreamgirls in my head for years and while I would’ve liked to have seen it made when La Holliday was still young enough to play Effie onscreen (again, ‘Rent” anyone?), Ms. Hudson certainly fills those shoes. But I really think this film was waiting for the ascent of Ms. Knowles. She IS Deena. (And Deena, it’s only the beginning!) And hello, no slighting Lorrell (who loves Jimmy, it’s true…)– Anika’s got the most chops of the three, and for a theatre chick she even looked stylish. Besides, they had to get a bargain on someone to pay for Foxx & Murphy. By the way, Eddie Murphy, get your Oscar speech ready. I called it when they announced the casting and I’m sticking by it. Beyonce, you may have to wait your turn when they call Ms. Mirren to the podium. But everyone in the room will know who’s really the Queen! Lastly– who knew all it took was writing a letter to Oprah to get tix to the L.A. premiere. That D’Shawn guy was the highlight of the show– ultimate Dreamgirls fan, though? I, and perhaps MOAM, beg to differ!

9:17 AM

Anonymous said…

By the way, that some other chick on Idol was your pick to my Fantasia!!! How soon we forget. And Jamie Foxx did his own singing in Ray. Also as Ray in Kanye West’s Goldigger. (note to Other comment – Gods & Monsters is paced perfectly and gay enough to prove he could direct Dreamgirls! No pacing aside please.) Lorrell does love Jimmie and even though “Lorrell and Jimmie are through” – who does give a shit about Lorrell. I’m with the MOAM on that one. Can’t wait for Murphy to be getting in the “Hot tub!” He will finally make up for “My girl wants to party all the time.” I have loved him forever and think he is brilliant!


November 21, 2006   No Comments


Halloween 101

Smash your pumpkins, ‘cuz everyone’s favourite pagan holiday has ended. Christmas Bargains have (already!) replaced Halloween Spooktaculars. I’d say it’s about time for….a Halloween post mortem! Just in case you weren’t sick and tired of all things black ‘n orange, here’s your last chance to sit back and reflect on Halloween’s gone by…Aaaah yes, the olde glance backwards to see what we can learn for – and forget about by – next Hallow’s Eve…

Grab some candy, then read on….

Things have definitely changed since I was a trick-or-treater. Where have all the caramels gone? And when did candy get so pricey? And so puny? Two Hershey’s kisses in a mini pack? That’s just rude. Even the-already tiny Rockets have shrunk into mini versions. It ain’t right.

We used to go with pillow cases and come back with them overflowing. Sure there were a few duds, the odd, ahem, bad apple, but on the whole, score galore. My own kids didn’t do nearly as well. I don’t know if it’s the new punes, the rising price, or if the competition. My kids don’t care, and I should be grateful – the less they get, the less I steal from them.

I also think in certain ‘hoods (ie, mine), the overcorwding becomes an issue. People spend hundreds on dollars on the candies and then dole ’em out in single servings. The only supersizing going on was at the new infill houses. If you made it up the stairs you were rewarded – big time.

Around the corner is one of THOSE houses – ghouls on the roof, ghosts on the trees, corpses in the garden. The line up goes down the street as people come from miles around to see That Crazy House – or maybe they just want to try to get on tv. Yup, even the cameras are there – I should know, I pimped out my kids to try and make ’em stars. But they were too busy wiping the noses on my shoulder to bother screaming on cue.

That kind of place is a real draw, it is. But we’ve discovered that by going destination shallouting around there, you simply don’t cash in come sorting-out time. It’s the regular streets that are the winners. Even the quieter sides of the traffic-y ones kick candy butt. Choices, reach-ins, multiples. It’s confection porn -and not in a creepy way.

‘Cuz let’s face it, Halloween is kinda creepy. Forget the fact that all the marketing crap has worked.

(aside: North Americans spent almost as much on Halloween as Christmas. I chalk it up, in part, to the fact that all non-Christians can finally get over their Christmas envy by decorating their houses. I know mine subsided a bit when I strung up the fairy lights…I mean, lit up spider web…on my front porch.)

But back to the creep factor. Let’s discuss. Hologram skeletons on doors? Creepy. Grown women dressing up as schoolgirls? Creepy, creepy, creepy. Bunnies, kittens, curves-ahead road costumes? Whatev. I get it. Not for me, but I get it. That’s not creepy. But the schoolgirl fetish stuff? Sorry, it’s creepy. Giver-outters getting a bit wasted? Not so creepy. Trying to include us in their revelry? A little toooo welcoming. Creepy.

And the creepiest of all? The mask factor. I get chills just picturing them. Those who know me know I have mask issues. Big time. But come on people, who doesn’t?! They’re revolting. Those rubberized ones are the worst! I took my son (also mask-phobic) for a test drive of masks. He found most of them creepy, but titillating – the gorilla, the zombie, the werewolf. The scariest? The rubberized blond woman. What happened to makeup? Or that fun face-painting pray? Down with mak! Up with people!

But what have we learned from it all? That candy and costumes go on sale the day before Halloween, but that prices are halved the day after. That crowded streets make for lousy end-of-night paydays. That every girl under 6 dresses up as a Princess. They just do. And every one over 6 goes witch or goes home. That no one makes their own costume anymore.

And, finally, we learned that sometimes the parents get to fish their wish. And not just by eating all the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and pretending it’s for their children’s health. No, they get lucky by wishing for a shot of something to keep their energy up and then – poof! Finding a house with a couple of blokes dressed as Russian Sailors and handing out, yep, shots of Vodka. Cuz it really happened! Now that makes for a Happy Halloween!



Anonymous said…

For the record and on behalf of your huge male crowd – grown women in school girl outfits is sexy as hell.. love live halloween!

submitted by: husband-of-the-mother-of-all-mavens.

2:50 PM

Anonymous said…

Love you MOAM– and you’re right on the money regarding the halloweens of yesteryear. And I know you don’t have a “real” job– i.e. one in the “corporate” world– but if you want some frights, try spending the day of All Hallow’s Eve at “Dunder-Mifflin”. My company planned to bring in pizza and award prizes for scariest, silliest, and most elaborate costumes. What? No “highest concept”? Sorry, then I shall not partake. Sadly, the city announced they were shutting off the water so the party was canceled. I left early so I never saw the email. Imagine if I was suddenly moved by the corporate spirit and threw on my Captain Canada costume? Thankfully I went high concept– I wore jeans and went as “that guy who thinks it’s casual Friday”. Better than the poor soul in telesales who apparently also didn’t see the email– and came to work in full witch regalia. I hope they gave her all the prizes! The corporate world is scary enough. No extra Halloween frights required…please!

3:22 PM

Mother of all Mavens said…

Pedophiles? Creepy


November 3, 2006   No Comments