Summerlicious – PROHIBITION Gastrohouse and Oyster Bar ★★1/2

Price: Over $15+ I went with a group of my foodie friends for a $15 Summerlicious lunch at PROHIBITION Gastrohouse. Decided to try this place out after seeing the popular reviews on Urbanspoon. It was a bit far for me … Continue reading

Summerlicious – Stock ★★★1/2

Price: Over $30+ Decided to try a new restaurant with some foodie friends this year and after a vote, settled on the $25 lunch menu at Stock in Trump International Hotel & Tower. Right as I walked in, I noticed … Continue reading

Interview: FoodPorn.net

Interview with Onyx Clemente, Owner of FoodPorn.net

Onyx was generous enough to accept a brief email interview. Read on to learn about how FoodPorn.net was created and her advice for aspiring writers. Hope you enjoy!

Lets start off for any readers not familiar with FoodPorn.net; please provide a brief explanation about the site and how it was developed.
FoodPorn.Net was created so that food lovers can share wonderful pictures and recipes of food they have created or eaten. This collection of delicious photos is sure to make us all hungry. Many of the images are submitted by foodies, photographers and cooks!

There also isn’t a lot of personal information on the creator/creators of the site. Could you give readers further insight on this or is there a particular reason behind this discretion?
Since the site is created to be a place where anyone can submit photos, the focus of the site is not on the creators. Instead we would like to focus on the food and those who make these masterpieces.
Onyx Clemente, the owner of the site, is in the medical field and has triplets. She is also an avid foodie who loves “food porn”, cooking and entertaining.

Food Porn” is such a unique term and has already become a trendy slang within the foodie community. Was the website just named after this as well or was it from some inspiration/brainstorming?
The website was inspired by the trendy slang used within the foodie community. The idea behind the slang is that a photo of food has the ability to awaken our senses and arouse within us a hunger for the mouth-watering food in the photo.

There is great buzz about FoodPorn.net and from such success, are there any milestones or particular memorable accomplishments you would like to mention?
FoodPorn.net was created to be a community of foodies sharing their photos and successes in the kitchen. These foodies are able to create an account, login, and manage their personal photos. We have also grown to have nearly 800 likes on Facebook as well as regular Pinterest and Twitter followers. We have expanded to include mycookbook.com which is a similar community including recipe storage, meal plans, and more.

With great success, I am sure there were great challenges too. What were FoodPorn.net’s chief difficulties and how were they solved? Or are they still ongoing problems today?
The greatest obstacle that we have faced is that not everyone is familiar with the term “Food Porn.” The word porn has a very provocative connotation and may be found offensive by some. Our challenge is to educate our audience on the meaning of food porn and expose them to a whole new world of delicious edibles.

How about advice for aspiring bloggers wanting to turn their blog into something more profitable or into a career endeavour?
Don’t forget to engage in the entire blogging community. Take the time to see what others are writing and reading so you can stay current with your topics.

One of my own key challenges is gaining more public awareness. I found creating a stronger Facebook and online presence has been really difficult. Do you have any tips concerning this issue?
I think the idea behind social media marketing is simple. You need to engage your audience and be offering them something that inspires, intrigues, or interests them. And, you also need to be willing to ask for their referrals. Once you have an engaged audience they are willing to spread the word.

Finally, from your experience do you have any important last words for aspiring bloggers, entrepreneurs and photographers?
Whenever you take on a new challenge or endeavor, choose something you are passionate about and connect with others that share the same passions. I believe that if you can get excited about what you are doing, the excitement will pass through to your target audience.

Revisit: Aji Sai ★ 1/2

Price: Under $25 for ACYE dinner.

So I rarely make these revisit posts but felt the experience from my last visit warranted it.

I went to Aji Sai one night with a large group – about 15 or so approx. Knowing this was would be a hassle for the restaurant, I made my reservations 2 weeks in advance and even called a week before to make sure I still had my reservation. No problems so far. Well, on the day of I call about 15 minutes before my reservation to adjust my seating numbers. Only to discover they have no such reservation noted!! MY WORST FOODIE NIGHTMARE! There was nothing in their books, not my name, phone number, nothing!

I was so embarrassed, mad and baffled as this rarely happens to me (besides that time at Pure Spirits), especially since I confirmed days ago. The hostess said she couldn’t help me unless I could provide proof I called them, mentioning I could have accidentally called their other location up North instead.

I don’t think I would ever make such a mistake and fortunately I had my call history to prove it. It was crazy busy at the restaurant so I tried to be understanding but the hostess had us wait for an 1hr and 20mins before the next table was free even though she said it would be only be another 30-45 minutes. We stuck around that long because everyone was looking forward to AYCE and there were no other nearby AYCE restaurants.

I know the hostess was trying her best given the circumstances but I just didn’t like how they didn’t have any back up solutions. Whether it was offering us a greater discount or getting the manager to help, etc. All I heard was “well, what can I do?” and “I can’t do anything about it.”

They did provide a 15% discount at the end of the meal if we paid cash (something I have had before because I was a student. Saved me about $4). Still, I thought they could have done better to handle our customer service situation. We were generally cooperative and didn’t cause any trouble. Decided to just stay outside the restaurant while waiting for our table, browsing wasn’t much of an option since everything else was mainly closed in that area.

We were finally seated at 9:20-9:30pm and finished around 11pm. I guess one of our servers was tired because he seemed very lax in taking orders and was barely coherent.  Felt like he might pass out or something, very strange behaviour. The  sushi also started to look sloppy too. Some of them seemed like they were just quickly meshed together. I know its was late but it doesn’t excuse the laziness in food presentation.

In the end, I would probably still visit them again because realistically it is one of the few if not only one decent AYCE sushi restaurant downtown. However, I have been greatly disappointed with their service and will probably keep this in mind next time I suggest a sushi restaurant to friends.

Lesson learned: write down the name of who is doing reservation!

TIP: Suggest coming here in small groups.

Website: http://www.ajisai.ca/
Location: Various locations. Review for 467 Queen St. West, Toronto Ontario M5C 2A9
Telephone: (416) 603-3366

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Aji Sai on Urbanspoon

Yummy BBQ ★★

Price: Under $15

Also known as Yummy’s, this restaurant is one of the go-to places for some cheap korean food. It’s frequented by many students and popular with my friends for their kimchi stew and many side dishes. I like their dukbokki too but it can be a hit or miss sometimes. Something to do with the soup I guess.

The restaurant isn’t anything fancy but serves its purpose if you are in the area and hunkering for some Korean food ASAP. Servers are nice and polite.

Dress-code: Casual. Good for friends and family but not work.

Note: They play Korean music on their TV’s, so you can enjoy a bit of Korea’s pop songs if you like.

Website: N/A
Location: 522 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4Y 1X9
Telephone: (416) 921 – 5158
Hours: N/A

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Yummy Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Bloor Street Diner ★★

Price: $20-30+

I was roaming around the area with friends on a weekend and we decided to try this place. I have to admit from the outside it doesn’t look all that great and for some reason when I see “diner” it conjures up the stereotypical image of old diners you see while on a road trip. Haha.

However, thankfully Bloor Street Diner is anything but. The restaurant was pleasantly more upscale than I imagined. It’s split into two sections, bar and dine-in. The bar section has wooden furnishings and smaller tables while the dine-in section is noticeably more upscale with white drapes and booths.

Right when we walked in, I could smell the waft of food being cooked. This could bother certain people, so up to you if you find it a detraction or not to your foodie atmosphere. I just had a drink while my other friends tried the dessert (sorbet & ice cream) for $8.00 and an omelette (which I thought was a bit weird since it was 7-8pm). Haha. Both claimed it was alright though. Service was good too.

I can’t give a concrete rating on food but this restaurant in terms of service and appearance is nice enough. I would visit again.

Dress code: Casual to semi-dressy. Good for dinners and drinks after work with coworkers and friends.

Website: http://www.bloorstreetdiner.com/
Location: Manulife Centre – 55 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M4W 1A5
Telephone: (416) 928 – 3105
Hours: Monday to Thursday – 11:30am to 12am, Friday & Saturday – 11:30am to 2am and Sunday – 11.00am to 12am



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Bloor Street Diner on Urbanspoon

Comments

To all foodie readers,

It has come to my attention that I have been missing people’s comments. I found out they were all sent to my spam inbox so if I haven’t answered your comments, please don’t misunderstand! I’m still new to WordPress, so at the moment I am working out the kinks and figuring my way through it slowly. Haha.

I do appreciate your comments and enjoy reading them!! ❤

Note* I also look at all comments before allowing them to be posted on my blog. This is only to check for spam and any inappropriate language. I will not edit comments, as long as they are polite. I’m all for free speech but it doesn’t necessarily mean being rude. I want to build a foodie community where everyone can enjoy Toronto Foodie. So if your comments follow this and you don’t see your comment posted right away, don’t worry…its just because I haven’t had the chance to approve it yet. 🙂

Important – Please keep comments in English, I cannot approve it otherwise.

Thanks and keep spreading the foodie love!

– Danthanh