Cafe 250 Does Cheese Danish Right

I am like the other 90% of the world – I have a giant appetite for anything sweet. Not overly-claw-your-eyes-out-sweet but something that has the right balance of sugar and cream to make it go goey in my mouth. Lately, I’ve been craving something different. I wasn’t sure what, really but I was aching to eat something that just completely blows my mind.

I had an appointment in this building in North York. It really is out of the way because when I was heading home and walked to the bus shelter, there was a sticker on the post that said “This route is not serviced Monday to Friday in the evenings, on weekends or on holidays” so you know this route just has buses to take people in during the work day and if you miss the last one, well, to be honest, you’re screwed.

Anyway, I was extremely early by some miracle, and had to figure out a way to burn time-about forty five minutes. I was nervous and the chaos around me was not helping my nerves. Think about it; the click of high heels against ceramic floors, the pinging and dinging of elevators coming and going, someone’s cell phone singing the theme song to Rawhide as he ignored it till the end while staring at the screen with an almost quizzical look on his face . Each time the glass doors open to allow someone inside, the sound of tires crunching wet earth beneath them with a mixture of rain would add to the other unattractive music of 250 Consumers Road.

Oh the absolute horror when all you can think of his how scared you are of what was to come.

My relief came in the form of a tiny sign on a little stand that said the specials of the day for “Cafe 250 I expected a kind of hole-in-the ground type deal with coffee in white Styrofoam cups and the

like. I followed the hall until it opened into this open space with the Cafe that completely threw me for a loop. First of all, the room was large, big enough to hold at least 80 people. It had the seating area to the left containing neat rows of seating, either four or two to a table and in a quaint, comfortable looking sections were beautiful, black Leather sofa with a giant, flat screen television. I was pleasantly surprised.

The walls were black with red highlights and were adorned with some of the most beautiful paintings and photography I’ve seen in a cafe in a long time. In the seating area with the tables and chairs was a giant television playing softly. Aside from the kitchen area that could be seen by customers, which looked clean and inviting, the only other thing in the seating area were a couple of glass fridge exposing the goodies one could buy to drink. Though it was in a business complex kind of place, the view wasn’t as chaotic as everything else around.

I greeted the man behind the counter, who by the way was busy cooking on this large to-die-for stove that I’m pretty sure my mom would die to have. He was pleasant, smiling and very helpful. I asked for Peppermint tea and he pointed me in the direction. I picked up the last Premium Peppermint tea packet, and waited patiently while the man ahead of me stood in a position that blocked the lovely Cafe 250 tea and coffee mugs. He was busy dumping a sugar into his coffee.  I stared, wide eyed, wondering how in the world he was going to drink that. Finally he stopped, stirred it, placed a cover on, thanked me for my patience and walked off. I set my tea up, handed it to the gentleman behind the counter and he filled it with water for me. I was on my way to pay for it when I saw these beautiful danish. My first thought was, if I bought one and it was horrible I would cry. It wasn’t like I could take it back and tell him it was horrible and get my money back. But I was starving.

So, I pointed and he laughed and said, “Danish?”

I grinned and nodded and he used a tong to place one in a plain, white, bakery bag for me. The prize an amazing $3.75 was another thing that surprised me.  But the shocks didn’t end there. I stopped, added some sugar to my steaming hot tea, mixed it then found a seat, out of the way and sat down to eat, go over some French while I wait for time to pass for my appointment. From time to time I glanced up at the screen but I wasn’t really paying attention. I took a breath, pulled my danish from the paper bag and sunk my teeth into it like someone skydiving for the first time–held my breath while praying for the best and preparing for the worse.

It was still warm which said one thing – They baked it right there that morning. It wasn’t sitting in their case from the day before and they simple repackaged for sale. No, it was warm and soft and delicious. It turned into beautiful, gooey, sugar in my mouth. The pastry was soft and the cheese tasted as if it was a lightly sweetened kind of whipped cream. But trust me, it was cheese. I ate it, savouring the freshness, the warmth, the tinge of sweetness that made it oh so perfect. It was so good, after I finished that one, I ordered a second one (pictured above) for when I was finished with my appointment as a kind of pick-me-up.

Honestly, this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth.

If you’re ever in Toronto and you have some time to burn, before you leave hitch a ride to Victoria Park station from there jump on the 24A bus and endure the trek to 250 Consumers. You will love the Danish there.

They serve food there as well as salads and the like. But I was just so into my Danish…




EAT PRAY LOVE – My dream!

Here’s what happens when I’m home alone, writer’s block kicking my booty and bored out of my mind. I take up to watching movies I’d never watch in a million years. After

watching Pretty Woman a few years ago, I swore never to watch another Julia Roberts movie.  But guess what? I adore traveling and would love to get up one day and take off for three months to Italy, India and Bali. Or any three foreign destination with no financial repercussion what-so-ever.  To my shock and surprise I actually liked this movie. I liked it so much I blogged about it here. Please check out the review and let me know what you think. Anyways, as I watched this movie, I wonder what would happen if I did what Elizabeth (Played by Julia Roberts) did. She went through a divorce, packed all her shiz into storage, hugged her best friend and got on a plane.  I don’t think she even planned where she would stay because once she got there, that was when she went to this place, in the middle of nowhere trying to rent a place to stay for the time she would be there. But the dream is the same for me.

As I went through this movie I was engulfed in a world of colour, culture and food. Ignore the romance for a while and just focus on taking off, not a care in the world and even if you do have a care in the world, being in a place like Italy would be perfect for me because of the history, architecture, food and the people. The music and the ease about their daily life would be another thing I’d enjoy. It would take away some of the stress of worrying about what tomorrow will bring.





Random Summer Musings

Summers in Toronto are supposed to be breath-taking – well aside from the smock being so thick sometimes you can’t see the CN Tower and you can’t breath right– I guess that could be considered Breath-taking – but its a wonderful place to be during the warmer months. There are plenty to do – from our International film festival to Caribana and the Pride parade – then there are different fests like Buskerfest and Afro-fest–then there are smaller things like garage sales, China Town a-buzzing, parties, concerts, beach days, Taste of Danforth! There are tons to do! But lately, I find I’ve been stuck. I guess I should start at the beginning.

Starting at the beginning–here goes–Toronto hasn’t been having a great summer this year. It’s like Toronto is bummed out and depressed – from rumors of our mayor being on crack (yeah THAT crack), to our CNE opening with people getting sick – its been a horrid summer for us. As the summer draws to a close however, I am forced to look back at all the things I wanted to do but didn’t get done. I’m suddenly feeling as if the whole summer was spent staring at deadlines and though meeting said strict timelines, nothing I wanted came to fruition.

I managed to get over to Centreville for the summer – spent a few hours walking over there and taking some pictures as well as teaching my niece about photography – I didn’t get to see nearly enough movies, didn’t have nearly enough beer and wing Saturdays, didn’t go to church once, nor travel anywhere. What is it about summer that we put so many things on some grand to do list and wind out crushing said list in a meaty fist at the end of August thinknig “aww screw it”?

There is something to be said for the summer time that make us feel so hopeful and positive. Perhaps it is the sunlight or the fact we no longer have to wear eighty layers of clothing just to avoid frostbite and amputations. There is something freeing about walking around in a little shorts or summer dress or being able to walk barefooted by the lake that just make me feel free and able to do just about anything. Then I leave the confort of the rocking waves and soft sand under my feet and get back to the crowd, noise and choas of my life, of the world around me, and I think well damn, here I go again.

Why is that? Why is the life we live so completely out of control? Think about it – you work, try to have a social life, try developing hobbies along with new skills, and constantly trying to improve yourself by taking a few extra classes at some college or university as well as hitting the gym, raising a family and the list of things we bombard ourselves with goes on and on. We don’t have time to breathe, to slow down and lay in the sun or just to sit down and breathe. Then if we do take some time for vacation we bring cameras, and books and cell phones and we worry that when we get back to our lives we would have fallen behind on the choas. That means, when we get back from time away, we need a vacation from our vacation.

And–even if we do take time away, we feel guilty for taking a break so we didn’t burn out because for some reason we fancy ourselves superman (I would have said Batman but since Ben Afleck is the new batman I lost all respect for the franchise- just my 2 cents).  Why? Why do we feel the constant need to be on green–to have our fingers so firmly stuck on GO that we miss our lives completely? It does not bring us happiness–sure it might bring us a little faster to our graves so who are we really helping when we’re burnt out and frazzled?

No one takes time to unplug and just BE anymore. I got on a bus and I watched these men in suits and the moment I got on the bus and sat across from them they didn’t look up from their screens once. First, they missed my gorgeous self and second, they didn’t know if I was some punk robber or what. They had their headphones plugged in, fingers poised and scrolled all during the 45 minute ride and when the bus reached the final stop, they got up and headed off the bus, looking up once to ensure they wouldn’t fall on their faces.

I watch teenagers on the bus, sitting beside each other texting. When did ignoring our friends who are right in our faces for others on the other side of a keyboard become more important? Somewhere along the way we’ve developed this obsession with technology and this force is causing marriage break downs, friendship implosions and some utterly horrid things.

What brought this on? Lately I’ve been thinking of taking some time off work, get on the GO train and just head somewhere. Not particularly sure where but I just wanted to take a me weekend. But each time I think about it, I think of all the things I would be missing out on, like working to get paid, and edits and other priorities in my life that barred me from doing what I really wanted to do.  I haven’t taken a break all summer – so who am I fooling?

It is time to look up from the blind screens of our lives – release the Matrix if you will. We have to look around at the world with new eyes, see what’s right in front of us and love those in front of us. We have to set new goals and stick to the plans of reaching them–for myself, I find I have to stop putting everyone else ahead of what I need to grow further as a person and just learn to live life for what it is.  So, pick a dream (a positive one) and go for it.