Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!

Galito’s No.1 Flame Grilled Chicken

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Tried Nando’s and loved it? Then you must try Galito’s flame grilled chicken!

There are 2 camps: one who cannot stand Galito’s and the other that prefers Galito’s over Nando’s any given day.

One of us sisters is a huge fan of Galito’s and has since then given up on Nando’s. The other sister turned down this place after just one visit. Galito’s is Nando’s competitor offering Portuguese flame grilled chicken. However, Galito’s is slightly spicier, juicier and has a slight South Asian spice touch to it. Price wise, it is almost about the same, if not slightly economical.

Our Galito’s favourites include Chicken Sandwich with Cheese and recently discovered Beef Burger with Cheese. Beef Burger with Cheese is certainly worth a try! The flame grilled/bbq taste brings out the best in this burger. Of course no meal is complete without Peri Fries.

The decor and everything else is very much in line with Nando’s.

Addendum: According to the flyer we got from ISNA they serve hand slaughtered meat.

Thus far, they have locations in Mississauga, Richmond Hill and Pickering/Ajax.

Locations:

Woodbridge

7887 Westen Road, Unit 5 & 6

Vaughan, ON, L4L 1A6

Mississauga

731 Central Pky West

Mississauga, ON, L4B 4L1

Whitby (Opening Soon)

75 Consumer Drive, Building B, Unit 4

Whitby, ON, L1N 1C4

Website: http://www.galitoschicken.com/home.php

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Myth or Fact: Red Lobster Menu Items Contain Alcohol?

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FACT (Unfortunately).

We recently heard through word of mouth that Red Lobster menu items may contain alcohol. Since we like do our own research and not follow others blindly we decided to get in touch with Red Lobster to find out for ourselves. We absolutely love their shrimp dishes compared to the other seafood dishes they offer. Hence, most of the menu items we inquired about are shrimp-based dishes.

We sent them an email inquiring whether the following dishes contain alcohol and they requested if we have any particular location in mind.

The following are the 2 locations we inquired about:

  • 790 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W., Mississauga, ON L5C3X3, (905) 848-8477
  • 3252 Sheppard Ave. East, Scarborough, ON M1T3K3, (416) 491-2507

Below is their response:

I have researched your question about the alcohol in our menu items. Upon review of these menu items, here is a list of items that do or do not contain alcohol:

  • Walt’s Favourite Shrimp – no alcohol
  • Garlic Shrimp – yes, contains alcohol
  • Shrimp Linguini Alfredo – yes, contains alcohol
  • Crunchy Popcorn Shrimp – no alcohol
  • Cheese & Crumb Crusted Tilapia – yes, contains alcohol
  • Garlic Grilled / Fire Grilled Shrimp – yes, contains alcohol
  • Haddock & Chips – no alcohol

While Red Lobster has made every effort to provide complete and current content information, our recipes and ingredients can change at any time. Additionally, we cannot guarantee that cross-contact with other foods containing this ingredient will not occur in our kitchens. Please keep these considerations in mind as you decide if these menu items can meet your individual needs.

We appreciate the time you took to write to us. If Guest Relations can be of further assistance, please reply to this email or write us again through our website at http://www.redlobster.com.

Please bear in mind that the response is strictly for the menu items we inquired about and only for the 2 particular locations. Therefore, do not jump to conclusions about all their locations and it’s best to contact them directly for further clarification and details.

We contacted Red Lobster to see if it’s possible to request the aforementioned menu items without alcohol:

Currently, we can not modify our recipes, so we would ask that you please select the menu items that are free of alcohol already.

We appreciate the time you took to write to us. If Guest Relations can be of further assistance, please reply to this email or write us again through our website  at http://www.redlobster.com.

We are uber upset because Red Lobster was one of our favourite places to eat and we always enjoyed their fabulous service. I guess we can still go for their complimentary biscuits 😦 .

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Flavors Cafe & Eatery

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Times have changed. These days we are more likely to find out about a new restaurant through social networks than through word of mouth. This was definitely the case with Flavors Cafe and Eatery, which we found through Twitter. The owner is doing a great job by promoting the restaurant on this social network through frequent tweets about the menu, the timings and all the cool things about this new eatery. Right away the address seemed very familiar: 2200 Brock Road. Wait a second…that’s the same plaza as Affy’s! That plaza is a happening place now: Affy’s, Flavors Cafe, Silverspoon, a new grocery store that offers halal meat and Masjid across the road. Perfect location!

We visited this place on a Monday night to see what all the hype was about. The place was well lit and well kept with a modern look. The walls were freshly painted, the tiled floors were clean and the tables were ready for customers. The chalkboard menu boards were definitely the hippest detail of this cafe.

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When our server handed us the menu cards we were a little surprised at how small it was. Hmm…just a few items of the menu? However, on second thought it made sense for a cafe (remember it’s not a restaurant) to keep their food menu simple. We are all in favour of a menu that has 5 solid items than a menu with 25 items that all taste the same.

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We ordered the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich with fries and the Southwest Chicken Sandwich (server’s recommendation) with poutine (instead of plain fries). We were excited to see the chefs in the kitchen in proper uniforms and hoped for good food.

ImageChicken Parmesan with fries

This was hands down the best item we tried at Flavours. The breaded chicken breast was fried to perfection so that we each bite we took was full of crunchy goodness. The chicken was topped with parmesan cheese and a jalapeño-tomato sauce served on a toasted bun. The sauce complimented the chicken perfectly and enhanced an otherwise simple sandwich. The fries were unique with a bit of a sweet taste to them. We think they may have been sweet potato fries? We liked the way the sandwich was presented with the red sauce, the green lettuce and the golden fries against the white plate.

ImageSouthwest Chicken Sandwich

We were a little disappointed the way this sandwich was presented. The presentation lacked colour (aside from that green leaf sticking out) and we wished there was just a little something somethin’ to jazz it up. We admit that the plate would have looked more complete if the fries were served on the side but since we had asked our fries to be upgraded to poutine, it was served separately. As for the sandwich itself, we were not wow-ed by it. It seemed like a piece of chicken between two slices of bread with some fancy sauce. The sandwich had a strong tamarind chutney taste, which we think may have been an attempt at fusion cuisine.

ImagePoutine

The poutine looked scrumptious. We were happy to see cheese curds being used instead of shredded mozzarella cheese. The poutine had an overall sweet taste to it which was probably due to fries. However, the gravy also seemed to have a bit of sweet taste to it. Overall, it was an interesting take on poutine.

ImageHush Puppies

We were surprised when the server brought over another plate of food. The chef had sent complimentary Hush Puppies for us to try. Talk about good service! Hush puppies are made cornmeal batter that is deep fried to bite sized pieces. We quite enjoyed the savoury taste of the hush puppies with the mustard sauce provided on the side. Yum!

The portions of food were generous and good for the price. We really, really wanted to try the creme brule for dessert but we were so stuffed that we had to skip dessert.

Flavors Cafe is a also shisha bar but since us sisters are not the shisha-smoking kinda girls we did not check the shisha menu. They do have a lounge set up with comfy couches for that purpose.

There are a lot of things going for this cafe:

-A menu that doesn’t overwhelm the customers

-Southern food options not available at other halal restaurants

-Coffee, tea, smoothies, food and shisha all under one roof

-Great hang out place

-Clean and tidy!

-Free wifi

-Open late (sometimes past midnight)

There are some things we think they can improve on:

-The paint colour doesn’t really work for us. The green walls didn’t give us the cafe or shisha bar vibe. A warmer colour for the walls may help in creating the intended ambiance

-Ditch the TVs. No need TVs in a cafe. However, we were glad that the TVs were tuned to Food Network and not CP24.

-Some wall art

-A description of the food items on the menu

Flavors Cafe is a great addition to the list of halal food establishments and we are hopeful that they will do great, inshallah. Their good food and great service will definitely lead them to success.

Address:

2200 Brock Road

Pickering, ON, L1V 2P8

Website: http://www.flavorscafe.ca/

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Myth or Fact: McDonald’s Fries are Haram?!?

Myth.

Someone was concerned about the halal-ness of McD’s fries in Canada. Called and clarified over the phone, plus found the following on their website, which I thought I should share:

“We do not use beef tallow in our fries. Our fries do not have any meat additives and do not come into contact with any meat or meat-containing components during their preparation. They are cooked in 100% vegetable oil with vegetable-based natural flavour (we phased animal fats out of our fry oil in 2007). Our restaurants also use dedicated fryers for cooking our potato products, which are separate from fryers used to cook fish or chicken products. Long story short: our french fries are suitable for vegetarian diets.”

This is from McDonald’s Canada website.

Addendum (January 31, 2015):

At Canadian McDonalds, the fries have a seasoning that is from a vegetable source. The ingredients for the ones sold in the United States may be different. This is the list of ingredients for the fries as of January 2015 from the McDonalds website:

French Fries: Potatoes, canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, safflower oil, natural flavour (vegetable source), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain colour), citric acid (preservative), dimethylpolysiloxane (anti- foaming agent), cooked in vegetable oil (canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil (TBHQ), citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane).

http://www1.mcdonalds.ca/NutritionCalculator/IngredientFactsEN.pdf

Pretty Sweet: A Mobile Cupcakery

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Pretty Sweet: A Mobile Cupcakery (Picture taken from their Facebook page)

For those of you who know us sisters, you’ll know that we have a HUGE sweet tooth. The only reason the I went to CNE this year was to catch all the food trucks on their last day. Specifically, I wanted to check out the Pretty Sweet cupcake truck. I purposely left this food truck for the end: I wanted to leave the best for last and let me say it was totally worth it!

I am usually quite disappointed with gourmet cupcakes from fancy schmancy bakers because:

-cupcakes are dry from the inside

-there is way too much frosting!

-the frosting is sickeningly sweet

-I usually want to wipe off the frosting from my cupcake…

The cupcakes I tried from Pretty Sweet were, to my surprise and pleasure, different! Owner and baker, Savera Hashmi of Pretty Sweet, not only has a pretty Tiffany Blue truck but she has pretty amazing cupcakes hidden inside. It was quite hard to decide which flavour to get as all of them sounded so tempting. Pretty Sweet has flavours such as: Red Velvet, Coconut Chocolate, Apple, Vanilla, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Chocolate Banana and others. On my trip to CNE I tried the Chocolate Coconut and Vanilla with Chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Coconut (left) & Vanilla with Chocolate Frosting (right)

I got the Chocolate Coconut cupcake first and after taking the first bite I was in heaven! I had to close my eyes so I could concentrate on the amazing taste and take it all in. Like I mentioned above, I am seldom amazed by cupcakes and these cupcakes took my breath away. The chocolate cupcake was super moist and the coconut frosting was divine. The amount of frosting was perfect: you got a decent amount of frosting with each bite. This cupcake was definitely gourmet and at $2.75 each I thought it was definitely worth the price. After finishing the first cupcake, I ran back to the truck to try another flavour. I got the Vanilla cupcake which was freshly frosted in front of me with a milk chocolate frosting. Again, the vanilla cupcake was delicious! I shared this one with my mom and even she approved of it (which is huge btw because she doesn’t like cupcakes at all). She told me to make sure I had gotten their business card, which I did (and passed it on to a friend already).

For all our readers, I have contacted Savera personally and she has confirmed that all the cupcakes she serves on her regular menu are halal.

To try these cupcakes you need to track down the Pretty Sweet truck. You can follow the truck on Twitter for locations: Pretty Sweet.

I have had an intense craving for Pretty Sweet’s cupcakes for a few weeks now and I am almost going crazy trying to make it to the truck. Every morning I check the locations on Twitter to see if it’s close my work. No luck so far but I will not give up! I will not sit in peace until I get the older sister to try them. Whenever I find this truck next time, I am buying at least a dozen cupcakes!

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