Mid-September was remarkably early to commence fall activities, yet it aligned well with the rest of my schedule. Taking advantage of apple availability, we ventured to the farm closest in proximity: The Big'r Apple Farm in Brampton.
The McIntosh selection was quite compact, leading to commentary of the fruit being "unripe" and "not ready for picking". Regardless of whether they were unripe or simply undersized, I wasn't particularly keen on committing to twenty pounds of the same five-ish species. The quantity was excessive even in consideration of o̶u̶r̶ ̶h̶o̶u̶s̶e̶h̶o̶l̶d̶'̶s̶ my atypically high consumption levels and pie-making intentions.
It is also worth noting that plastic bags are additional charge (either fifty cents or less), while cloth tote bags retail at two dollars each. In other words, bring your own bag, or bring extra sets of hands.
Al Ferri and Sons' Ginger Gold were larger than those picked at Applewood. Their appearance was very reminiscent of Golden Delicious, though possessing less porosity in their cross-sections. This specific denseness and resistance to oxidation, however, confirmed it as the best candidate for baking projects. Once again, I am looking forward to incorporating thin slices into Sunday Baking's yogurt cake and crumble.
Our meal coincided with that of last time, leading to a relatively peaceful dining area with few fumes. That said, our booth was rather stuffy, even without ignition of the grill. Platters of raw meat would be excluded from our order this time around, with the objective being to sample the franchise's array of appetizers and side dishes at Happy Hour prices.
- Gyu Sushi - Delicious, balanced profile served with gritty yet potent wasabi. Often is this dish overlooked when included as part of meal courses, but it emerged as a solid standalone item.
- Wakame Seaweed Salad - The standard side salad with contrasting texture of diced red pepper.
- Tuna Poke Nachos - Least laudable choice of the afternoon. Fried gyoza wrappers were used as tortillas; due to their countless irregular air pockets, they failed at being scoopers, for the large chunks of tuna would merely roll off. The inclusion of wakame salad also felt repetitive given that we had already ordered an individual portion and wasn't advised that we'd be seeing the slimy green strands twice.
- Takoyaki - Insufficient sauce for six pieces: Okonomiyaki sauce and Kewpie mayo were included in scarce quantities. Scallions topped the six pieces instead of dried nori strips. The morsels were deep fried for a crispy exterior, while the inside was soft but encased minimal octopus pieces within.
- Shio Cold Negi Tofu - Cold tofu dish sprinkled liberally with green onion. Tasty, with the aromas of sesame and umami of soy. Green onions had likely been soaked beforehand as pungency had been removed entirely.
- Black Pepper Wings - Much better than expected! Embodied a nice char to its surface, supple meat within, and was not peppery whatsoever.
Meanwhile, the Glazed Pork Bibimbap was flavourful without being laden with sodium or monosodium glutamate. The pork belly was astoundingly fleshy as opposed to being comprised entirely of fat, as the grilled variety often appears.
Utterly disappointed, we departed the premises within twenty minutes of arriving.