Summer and fall involve a lot of celebrations in my family – lots of birthdays (including my mother’s, which is tomorrow – happy birthday, Mom! Hope Spain is lovely!), lots of holidays, and our anniversaries (there’s two of them because we got married twice, one day after the other). This year, we celebrated Anniversaries #8, although we both nearly forgot about it as we didn’t realize how quickly the month of September was passing.
Due to our apparent inability to notice the passage of time, we didn’t really plan much by way of celebration. So we played it by ear, and wound up having a great day in a part of our local area that we didn’t realize was so interesting.
We kicked off our small adventure by walking up to #gerrones – that’s apparently what the cool kids are calling the area around Gerrard and Jones – to the Maple Leaf Tavern. Growing up, we’d go past this rundown, strange old place that no one ever seemed to go in or out of, and wonder what exactly it was. A couple years ago, an enterprising restaurant owner found the building, renovated it, and launched this latest, cozy incarnation (complete with the original sign out front).
I didn’t take any food fotos, but we had a sharing brunch with scrambled eggs, beef sausage, baked beans with pork, thick bacon, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, and toast, served family-style in bowls and platters. It was all excellent – well worth a visit.
After brunch,we walked east on Gerrard, past the (in)famous Gerrard Square mall, and over to the part of the street that’s really taking off. There’s about 20 bars/restaurants/ coffee shops that have launched within the last two years. We window shopped a little, scoping out menus and the like, and stopped in at Hype Food Co. for a Dole Whip, which I haven’t had since the last time I went to Disney World. It’s basically (dairy-free) pineapple soft serve ice cream, and its amazing. Also comes in mango. Hype has a great selection of gluten free, dairy free baked goods and other foods. You should go.
We walked home past Greenwood Park.
Then we relaxed at home for awhile.
For supper, we decided to keep things pretty simple and try out another restaurant near Gerrard and Jones, a Vietnamese spot called Com Tam. It’s, well, cheap and cheerful, and really, really tasty. When all those adjectives can describe a place within walking distance of my house, you should bet that we’ll be going back. We were greeted with a pot of tea, and I ordered a salty lime beverage that instantly made me even hungrier than I already was. My husband had pho, and I had bun (vermicelli rice noodles) with beef wrapped in betel leaves, as well as some grilled pork. It was delightful, especially the beef, as the betel leaves added that instantly recognizable taste (like paan, for anyone reading this with an Indian food background!). For dessert, we shared a Vietnamese iced coffee.
Our anniversary celebration concluded with another walk home, and a plan to head up to Gerrard and Jones again quite soon.