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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Homegrown Delight

Pioneer has been known to have a teeny bit of an obsession with homegrown, local Ontario wine and so when we heard this little news tidbit we are about to share, we couldn't hold back our excitement.

At the beginning of this month, just days before the election call, the Wynne government passed legislation on a pilot program to allow Ontario wineries to sell their delicious and mouthwatering vintages at farmers' markets. This works out perfectly for Danforth East, since we have not one but TWO farmers' markets here.

The energetic and passionate team behind the East Lynn Farmers Market was on this like a toddler on fish crackers - they obviously know their audience here: hardworking young, hip parents who like to relax with local wine after the juniors are in bed.

Starting next Thursday, June 5, three Ontario wineries will be selling their wares at the market: 13th Street Winery, Pillitteri and Tawse (which is the one we are most excited about!). The 2010 Tawse Sketches Chardonnay was one of the best values at the LCBO for Ontario chard, and in recent years, their beautiful wines have won not one but 11 awards at the Ontario Wine Awards. 13th Street is also a rising star who has some great vintages on their hands this year.

So, next Thursday evening, instead of waiting in line at the ElCee for your generic, sugary shiraz blend from Australia, head on over to East Lynn Farmer's Market and take a taste test for yourself. Cheers!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Destination Curry

This blog has always been about exploring along Danforth East, but sometimes you don't have to go too far to discover something new. On Friday night, Pioneer and the juniors left Daddy Pioneer at home to slave away on our current renovation project while we enjoyed a 5-star meal at the Bus Terminal. You might think we are joking but here is one of those golden local tips that always amazes us! 

Previous to this dining adventure, the Pioneer clan had never ventured into the retro diner at Coxwell and Danforth past a certain hour of the morning. Eggs and bakey were pretty much all we've ever ordered. We blogged here years ago about a summer sangria special at the Terminal, but what's Sangria without the patio? It was only due to an invitation from another EEWSK (east ender with small kids) that we ended up at the empty, child friendly resto at dinner hour where the junior Pioneers and friends embarked on a (not so) quiet riot with their chicken "dolphins" and fries. 

A diner is a diner, so we expected the usual 'specials' menu but did a double take when we noticed a lamb curry and a lamb and lentil stew on the board. My inside source, who is a Friday regular, let it spill that the Friday curry is "to die for". Although we can't confirm it happens every Friday, the Sri Lankan staff and owners apparently make their own special curry from scratch. Pioneer couldn't resist a steamy (reasonably priced) bowl of stew and the verdict is that it IS to die for. 

So next time you're craving the slow burn of a lamb curry, don't walk south to Gerrard, head on over to the Bus Terminal for a one-way ticket to delicious! 

Monday, May 12, 2014


This past weekend found Pioneer and the Juniors trudging happily along Danforth East looking for a snack. From the caboose (ie. the red wagon) the Juniors were happily chanting "cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes". What's a Pioneer to do? After coming up empty at the Patisserie, a friendly passer-by pointed us westward to a brand new bakery called Sweet Serendipity which was exactly what a tired mommy was looking for.

Sweet Serendipity (1335 Danforth) opened April 19 and we are very sorry we didn't find this gem sooner. The airy space with it's white walls and hardwood floors is soon to be a favourite local hangout and a welcome addition to the block between Monarch Park and Linsmore. We didn't get a chance to chat with the owner Pina, but that's ok, because she was busy whipping up more of her delectable homemade baked goods.

The fridge packs a colourful selection of cupcakes, pastries, cookies and cakes into a mouthwatering display - all of them baked at the back of the shop by Pina herself. Pioneer could happily slip into a sugar-induced coma in this place. We chatted with Stacy behind the counter who mentioned they are now also offering fresh cinammon rolls and scones to nibble on with your latte.

The Juniors picked out their treats and it was love at first bite. Not that we are conoisseurs but we do eat a lot of cupcakes and these ones are excellent - light and fluffy icing and a moist, non-crumbly cake. Yum! Pina does custom orders for anything from cupcakes to cheesecake.

Sweet Serendipity could easily be an every day destination for this Pioneer (other than Monday's when they are closed) - how many cupcakes a day is reasonable do you think??