Saturday, August 7, 2021

Robo Cafe

August 2021 - Toronto ON

2021 - Kensington Market Toronto

Rainy Saturday and Sunday of a long weekend. Lake Shore W was closed to cars so traffic was brutal.
Saturday July 31 was my birthday and I was truly spoiled. I had gotten a present earlier in the week but it was too small so John sent it for an exchange.
But I received lots more good stuff!

A friend dropped off some goodies.

Tuesday we headed downtown for lunch and browsing.

Lunch was at Basil Box a Canadian totally gluten free chain restaurant featuring Thai and Vietnamese food, nothing greasy here. We went to the one in the Ryerson building on Yonge St.

You have the option of building your own box, small or large. Bold were our choices and I forgot to take a photo.
Get started - salad, rice or noodles
Select your veggies - lemongrass corn, peppers, roasted edamame, charred sweet potatoes, eggplant, water chestnuts and peas
Pack your protein - lemongrass chicken, satay steak, chili lime shrimp, coconut curry tofu
Get saucy - tamarind, peanut, Saigon curry, siracha, sweet chili lime, Penang curry
Top your box - super seeds, pickled veggies, crushed peanuts, fresh herbs, fresh Thai chilies, siracha spiced pumpkin seeds, crispy shallots

I was curious about this building.

When we crossed over I saw it had a historic plaque.
The building was designed in 1922 by John M. Lyle (1872-1945) for The Thornton-Smith Company, a British antique and interior design firm. Lyle, who was one of the pre-eminent architects in Canada at the time, was very vocal about the proliferation of false shopfronts and unregulated billboards on Yonge Street. Through The Thornton-Smith Building he was given the opportunity to inject an architectural gem amongst much less distinguished buildings in the increasingly crowded Yonge Street retail corridor. In 1926 his design received the first gold medal awarded by the Ontario Association of Architects, along with recognition in international architectural journals in London and New York.

The girls are vaxed and waxed!

While eating lunch at a window table, I was wondering what people were lining up for. $25 PiercingTuesday!

Stopped at Dundas Square for John to see the additions. Click on image for a bigger view of this panoramic.

Lulu and Maxwell Canadian children books.

Massey Tower is a new complex, being built spanning the block below Shuter Street, between Yonge and Victoria streets. The Northeast corner of the complex will add much needed backstage space to historic Massey Hall. To the south of the complex lies the historic Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres. The Yonge Street facade will use the 1905 Canadian Bank of Commerce headquarters, vacant since 1987. The complex's tower will rise 60 storeys and stand 208.3 metres (683 ft) in height.

Artist rendering

In June we took these photos of it, still under construction. Massey Tower is on the left.
The glass building in the middle is the Massey Tower condo building with 700 units. Pricing is $700,000 and up.

John found this outside Metropolitan United Church. Click on the link to see more of the church.

In The Bay

Eaton Centre

I had read interesting things about the Imperial Pub that has been around for 75 years. First we had to sign in at the window before we could enter.

We went up to the library area, it was too hot for the patio. After looking at their beer menu, they were out of our first five choices, we left. At least I got a photo.

Drake One Fifty restaurant and bar is permanently closed.

Wednesday John golfed and I did a tour of the $ store, Winners and picked up some groceries are Longo's.

Thursday we headed out at 11 to Kensington Market.

"My" gardens are doing well.

Taken from our table at La Cevicheria, Mexican with gluten free options.

My ceviche Mexicano, average but good sized serving. I wouldn't come back for it, it was flat.

They didn't have mussels so the diablo shrimp were John's second choice. Hate it when they don't peel the shrimp,
Cute little place and our server was a sweetheart.

Inviting cannabis shop.

Donut store called Dipped


Finally I spotted Geoffrey the robot.
Creator and founder of Tiny Mile AI Ignacio Tartavull says the idea behind Geoffrey was that they — the company says robots are gender neutral and their pronouns are "they" and "them" — free people from running errands.
He says Tiny Mile AI charges restaurants significantly lower delivery fees than other companies while operating robots that are environmentally friendly.
"A few years from now it's going to sound ridiculous that we use a car to carry a burrito," Tartavull said.
A "pilot" drives Geoffrey around using a controller and laptop. Maryann Matias says it's very similar to playing a video game.

The AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, is all dressed up in summer colours.

I finally took the photo as these two were not making any effort to hurry up for the people waiting behind.
Mizzica Galeteria and Cafe, a cute brand new gelato place opened on McCaul this week.

Mango, cherry and mixed berries.

Friday John headed to golf and I went to Yorkville to see Fleurs de Villes.

Church of the Redeemer

Some of the Brains project.

I don't think I need any more Fridas!

I didn't go in. Thierry Guetta, best known by his moniker Mr. Brainwash, is a French-born, Los Angeles-based street artist. According to the 2010 Banksy-directed film Exit Through the Gift Shop, Guetta was a proprietor of a used clothing store, and amateur videographer who was first introduced to street art by his cousin, the street artist Invader, and who filmed street artists through the 2000s and became an artist in his own right in a matter of weeks after an off-hand suggestion from Banksy.
Click on Mr.Brainwash in the tags/labels below this post to see more of him.

Road is closed so that the street can be used for cafes.


This was on my wish list and John got it for my birthday although he thought it was an odd thing to want LOL!

Saturday birthday dinner was my choice so we picked up sushi from Krazy Roll a short walk away and then got some ice cream as well. A friend called with some treats for each of us.
We started with a warm sake. Then heated the gluten free spring rolls in the air fryer and steamed the dumplings - chicken gyoza pot stickers and har gow shrimp. I make dipping sauce for the dumplings. The spring rolls were delicious and we liked the dumplings (John didn't care for the shrimp) but I would fry the dumplings next time.

Very good and that rice is purple. Purple rice has a deep black color, but it turns purple when people cook it. Sometimes, people call it black rice. It grows mainly in Asia and is slightly chewy with a nutty flavor.

Sunday I needed to use up the glut of overripe bananas (thanks Costco), frozen blueberries (Costco) and opened applesauce I made two of these blueberry banana breads. I baked them in the air fryer. For dinner I did shrimp in a tomato coconut milk curry sauce with rice.

Monday chicken thighs with mushroom sauce, mashed cauliflower, carrots and potatoes.

Tuesday John used the air fryer for sausages and it worked well. Normally I boil my sausages first but didn't in this case. A blogger had said no need to prick them but I would advise you to. We finished the cheeses since we had lunch out.

Wednesday pork belly bites with sauteed broccoli, bok choy, onions and sliced tomatoes.

Thursday wieners and beans, don't judge me, we had had lunch out.

Friday steak and fully loaded baked potato.


I finished Indian Summers and started PBS Grantchester, I needed something that didn't require a lot of concentration when I am in the kitchen. It's entertaining and since it is set in the 50s the lifestyle and fashions are interesting. The complicity of the church, the double standards, bigotry, sexism, misogamy, prejudice all give us a good history lesson.

We continue to watch Longmire together.

John is watching Luke Cage.


This is one of several cookbooks I received for my birthday. It is a good book with great sauce recipes and I must try the dumpling recipe!

I read Members' Only, think of it as an exclusive club that you have to be interviewed by a committee to judge your suitability as a member.

I also finished The Other Woman and it had me mesmerized and also shaking my head as to why she saw anything in that a$$ and with a mother like his, so despicable and determined to ruin her life, why would you ever stick around? But that ending...

I started An Isolated Incident, set in Australia. Got fed up with it and didn't finish, it just went on and on.


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! What a great celebration you had. Love your Friedas and cookbooks and more. As always, it's a pleasure to see your city through your camera.

  2. Sound like a lovely birthday. I'm fan of Frida Kahlo and the surrealism period. And the planter with monster is sure cut.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  3. A fabulous collection of street art - such a variety! The decorated planters are particularly entertaining!
    So much good food ... those donuts are quite unbelievable!

  4. The Thornton-Smith Building doesn't have chimneys or perhaps they are hidden at the rear.
    Vaxxed and waxed, haha.
    It is sad about businesses closing, no doubt partly because of lockdowns but businesses do close down often enough regardless. The Imperial Pub may be having liquidity problems or is running down stock before closing.
    I agree about shrimp/prawns. They need to be peeled and come with the tail as a handle.
    It must be tempting for some people to interact with a passing Geoffrey, especially if Geoffrey is passing a bar at closing time.
    The 'royal' we cooks sausages in the air fryer and never boils sausages first. I must check if 'we' prick them. We still use the barbeque for lamp chops and beef steak.

    1. HMMM interesting point about chimneys, I will get around the back next time.
      I did feel bad about leaving the pub without getting anything, and did say to John about it being hard times for these businesses. The pub is sitting on some prime property that the city was interested in years ago.
      I just realized the only reason I boil my sausages is because my mother did that!

  5. Happy birthday! Another great trip around Toronto with you!

  6. what a fantastic birthday you had!

  7. As always your photos are fabulous and take us all around the city. Happy birthday and I love the goodies your friend made you.

  8. Happy birthday, Jackie! I agree with you...I think you might have enough Frieda for right now.

    I enjoyed reading through The Flavor Thesaurus very much. I occasionally like to browse through the book when I have a lot of something I want to use up in bread and need to think of a good combination.

    "Vaxed and waxed!" Love it.

    I shall look for Grantchester. We have not looked at PBS in a while.

  9. Happy Birthday! Looks like you had a wonderful dinner. As always, I love seeing all your photos.

  10. Happy belated birthday! Lots of good food and colourful photos. Thank you for your #weekendcoffeeshare.

  11. Happy belated birthday, Jackie. I must never visit you when I am hungry. Seems all you two do is eat, then go around looking for murals. Just joking, but it sure looks like a fun week and a great birthday, too. Of course, there was golf for John and shopping for you. LOVE that brain project. You lead a far more interesting life than I, that's for sure.

  12. Happy Birthday!!! And I totally get wanting a variety pack of salts. How fun to try them all!

    60 stories. Nope, nope, nope.

    Ughhhh no. I was traumatized this week when I discovered I had bought shrimp with shells still on and I had to remove those squiggly little legs.

    I need one of those s'mores donuts!!!

    The little burrito delivery robot is adorable! So I'm assuming you have a secret code to remove your burrito when it arrives at your house? I picture some prankster on the street grabbing it and helping themselves to a free lunch. I wonder what they do if someone DOES grab the robot and takes off with it.

    I don't prick or boil my air fryer sausages.

  13. We loved Longmire, it was one of our favorites. Also Justified with Timothy Olyphant is a good show about the US Marshall service.
    I could live in your city and never tire of all the cool things it has to offer. I like the rural living mostly but sometimes I miss the bigger city life. Growing up outsde Philadelphia was great, but that was in the 1960's.

    Great gift for your birthday! I hope you enjoyed :-)

    I want that book An Isolated Incident. Sounds great and i love the setting. I just finsihed Stolen by Tess Stimson and it was good. Never ever saw the ending coming!

  14. I'm one of those gluten free people, how did the pies taste? they look really good


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