Winners + Exciting Things in Toronto

How is everyone doing? Surviving snowpocolypse or whatever they’re calling it these days? Snow storms are significantly more bearable when you don’t own a car to shovel out…

So, I know I promised a vlog tonight, but I forgot it takes a gazillion hours to upload a video to YouTube. Soooo…. tomorrow!

I instead present you with a hodgepodge of information. Things I photographed and deemed blog-worthy, but never found a space in a post to talk about them.

But first and foremeost, the winners of The Simply Bar giveaway!

The winner of the box of Simply Bars:

Bree

I swapped out diet soda for green tea, and also have tea when I get sweet cravings.

And the Ultimate Healthy Prize Package:

Colleen C

I’ve popped over from the great balancing act, and wanted to let you know that for the new year, I have given myself the gift of “unsubscribe” clip_image001 to help me reduce the clutter in my inbox. So, I have been practicing switching out unreplied and unread emails for ones I want to receive and read.

Thanks for some great inspiration!

Congrats you two!! Please e-mail your address and what Simply Bar flavour you want to thegreatbalancingact @ gmail.com ASAP!

In other news, I got to see my boyfriend George in person today…

IMG_5467Non-Canadians probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Unless you’re in Michigan, because I think they have the CBC there.

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After months of being on my to-do list, I finally went to a taping of George Stroumboloupoulos Tonight. I don’t actually have any pictures of George because I was too nervous to whip out my giant SLR while sitting thisclose to him! I will say that he was superduper high energy and spent A LOT of time interacting with the audience. There were a lot of J-School kids in the audience so we talked about getting into the broadcasting biz. Oh yeah, and Strombo’s got the mouth of a motherf*cker.

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I wasn’t there to just see George though! Other Canadian icons Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans were performing. Overall, a pretty awesome and FREE way to spend a weekday afternoon :)

That wasn’t my only run-in with celebrities today. I also saw Justin Bieber driving in a car. That is, after getting run down by a mob of screaming 13-year-old girls. He made an appearance in the CTV building. It was Biebemodium in downtown Toronto.

As I alluded to in my last post, I recently saw one of my favourite bands from high school!

IMG_5417 In case you don’t know yet, I used to be a punk ass back in the day. While I may have normal-coloured hair these days, I still love the punk music I used to listen to. In fact, I would probably still classify it as my favourite genre of music.

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The Queers were one of my favourite bands ooohhh, 10 years ago. Getting to see them live at the Horseshoe Tavern pretty much blew the mind of 15-year-old Susan. Amazing that I can still remember all the words to “Teenage Bonehead” but have a hard time remembering my own cell phone number…

Finally, my last musician tale: Jim Cuddy came into my running store! This may confuse non-Canadians as well, as Blue Rodeo is a band mostly popular in the Great White North. Jim Cuddy is the singer/guitarist for the band. He came in the day after The Queers show and I was, ahem, not on my “A” game. Thankfully my boss served him, but I totally freaked out when I realized it was him!!

Alright, enough of my “celebrity” sightings in Toronto. Let’s get on to the FOOD of Toronto!

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Anyone ever see that episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay where he takes on the arepa ladies? I’d never heard of arepas until seeing this episode a couple years ago in my apartment in Fredericton. They were nowhere to be found in the area, so when I came to TO and heard there was an Arepa Cafe, I was allll over it.

IMG_5398

Arepas are small pockets made of cornmeal and filled with all sorts of goodies. They’re most popular in South and Central America, although vary from area to area.

I met up with roommie Megan at Arepa Cafe on Queen West after an intense yoga class at the Downward Dog studio (which apparently Sting went to??). The instructor had us hover in chaturanga for an ungodly amount of time. It worked up quite the appetite.

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A quick look at the menu, and I immediately decided on the heartiest one I could find: Pabellon Arepa. Shredded flank steak, beans, sweet plantain, cheese.

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Doused in an array of sauces. The green stuff was the best. The red was deadly.

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Thoughts on this long awaited dish? I loved the fluffy corn pocket. The plantain was an incredibly tasty addition. My only complaint is the ingredients weren’t evenly stuffed. The first few bites were all steak, then I got to the beans, and then it was just bread. I know, petty, but these things matter! It was also an expensive meal at $9.50 and I still had to eat an apple after to feel satisfied. Overall, I’m happy I finally got to try it, but I probably wouldn’t regular the place. With that said, I wouldn’t turn down Bobby Flay if he offered me an arepa ;)

And that’s all she wrote! Tomorrow you’ll get to see me ramble in person – promise!

Question of the Day: Have any celebrity sighting stories to tell me? Everyone’s got one! I interviewed Corey Haim when I was working as a reporter (and before he died). My mom and I also stalked the Rolling Stones. I can confirm that Keith Richards is indeed alive.

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Posted on February 1, 2011, in Fun, Restaurants, Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. I have some celebrity sightings…but it wouldn’t be fair to list them. The one that was not work-related was that I ran into Marisa Tomei in NYC. Oh and Hank Azaria (Simpsons: Apu, Comic Book Guy, etc.) in NYC as well. BOOM! Awesome you finally made it down to see Snuffleupagus!!! Woot woot. Also your blog makes me hungry, I should stop visiting, but I can’t resist.

  2. Oh my, i had NO idea who George st….(however you spell his last name) was! I also had no idea Canadians have celebs that Americans dont know about! but I suppose I’ve been living up a big american rock.
    Uh, I live in LA so I have way too many celeb sightings to count. Renee Zellweger goes to my gym and shes so skinny and annoying. She hangs around the locker room on her iphone and does hundreds of sit ups. ugh….I miss her “Bridget Jones” body….

    • Yess!! I was hoping some of you LA folk would respond! And most of my favourite “celebrities” and musicians are Canadian. Not really sure why. But I probably freak out more than appropriate when I see them, seeing as Canada is a pretty small market ;)

      • Its weird, but I also see a lot of paparazzi at farmers markets and stuff. Sometimes, they are after no one I even know! Hmm…I did see P. Diddy at my gym too, he wasn’t working out. He was talking on his blue tooth while strolling through the gym and looking like a total nutcase because it looked like he was talking to himself!

  3. I got to chauffeur Dan Savage around in my car for a weekend. He gave me relationship advice and made fun of my husband and we did whiskey shots together. He was so nice!

  4. Whilst the north are surviving the snow, Australia is getting absolutely belted at the moment. Queenslands coast line has had near record floods since 1974, including flooding in the 3rd largest city in Australia, Brisbane. A Cat5 Cyclone is about to hit the northern tip of Queensland, a place called Cairns, gonna get messy. The clean up bill for all this is gonna be in the many many billions

    Where I live in Sydney we’ve had 35-40 degree days for the last 3-4 days. It’s crazy, we’re melting down here and have yet to make it to the beach :(

    Stay safe in the snow everyone.

    My most recent celeb spotting was a fav rugby league player of mine after a legends fundraising game last week. A friend and I stayed out the back to get her fav old footy players card signed and my fav player, David Peachey came out and I got a photo with him.

  5. As a Canadian myself, I think that’s awesome that you saw/met all those people! Aside from seeing musicians in concerts (which I don’t think really counts), the only random “celebrity” sighting I can think of is when I was in line right behind Chris from Student Bodies (also from “Are you afraid of the dark?” and can now be seen on the weather network) to get skis at Lake Louise. I was way more excited about this sighting than I probably should have been.
    Again, I’m guessing that noncanadians will have no idea who this person is – but I hope you do!

    • You mean Ross Hull!? I would have freaked out too! Although, I don’t know what’s more sad. The fact that I know everyone from Student Bodies, or that I know all the hosts from the Weather Network :P

  6. My husband’s favorite band is The Weakerthans! I just showed him this post and he was so jealous. How fun!

  7. i get to see a lot of celebs in LA and “at work” but the one time i really geeked out was when i met ralph macchio at an awards show, and admitted my obsession with him in the karate kid. he was so sweet.

  8. Strombo, Weakerthans, Beiber and Cuddy? Woman, you have outdone us all. Especially the Beiber sighting. ha, ha, ha…..beibemodium. Brilliant.

    I heart weakerthans!

  9. I live near NYC (originally from TO) so seeing celebs is not that big a deal and the rule is to pretend you don’t see them at all. On my first day in retail I served Janine Turner (who once starred in a great TV series, Northern Exposure) and also served Jill Connick, the model who is married to jazz singer Harry Connick Jr. Random street sightings include Sam Shephard and Jessica Lang, Woody Allen and his wife.

    I saw actor Wallace Shawn twice while living in TO, once in Eddie Bauer.

    • Yes, one of my main goals in life is to not embarrass myself in front of celebrities, so when I see them I go out of my way to not have to talk to them :P

  10. Beibmodium… bahaha. Sounds like a fun celeb-filled day you had! :P

    And so jealous of your horseshoe concerts! I need to get on that.

    I’ve met Diane Sawyer, kind of a celeb I guess, and John Edwards… you know, the psychic guy. Oh, and I once played bingo with Marc Jacobs at a drag club. I kid you not.

    xo

  11. I think George might be cheating on you with me ha ha :) Seriously that guy gets better looking every single day!

    • I know!! My love for him started back in his Much Music days. When my mom messaged me to ask how the show was, I just responded with the word “handsome” :P

  12. My celebrity sightings are pretty lame compared to the others. I met Wil Wheaton from Stand by Me (and more embarrassing Star Trek, lol). Stand by Me was one of my favorite movies when I was young strangely enough. Then I had the only a celebrity to me and fans of Swedish death metal sighting of the Haunted. Peter Dolving kissed me. :) Jensen let my husband play his guitar.

    My husband has met tons of people, mostly heavy metal guys. Zakk Wylde signed one of his guitars. Again, only exciting to metal fans. ;)

  13. BTW I love that you pointed out your interview with Corey was before his death! lmao!

  14. Wow, that’s a lot of celebrity sightings in one day! I think my head would’ve exploded. :) I’ve had some good arepas, but I totally agree that the ingredients need to be evenly distributed. I always feel like restaurants are being lazy when they aren’t!

  15. Sarah @ Long Legs Healthy Life

    I used to work down the street from Sarah Richardson’s office, so I would see her at the coffee shops.

    When Queen was performing at the acc in 2006, I was backstage and got to talk to Brian May for a second. That was the coolest thing ever because I loooooooove Queen

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