Filed under: Foodie Swellness

Foodie Swellness: 3 reasons to celebrate the holidays at The Keg (+ GIVEAWAY!)

The Keg cheers

The holidays are all about getting together with friends and family, right? Even though we have all year to get together, somehow we’re all compelled to make the extra effort to reunite this month. I guess we all feel a little more festive this time of year.

If you’re anything like me, you have high standards about where to get together. Throw in just about everyone having some sort of diet restriction, and this can make choosing a place to eat and drink that pleases everyone stressful. And extra stress is not what any of us have on our holiday wish list. Which is why The Keg is a great spot to to celebrate the holiday season–there is something for everyone there.

The Keg bar

I’ve got three reasons The Keg is an ideal spot to get together for your holiday merriment–I even went there for dinner this week with friends to research this (I am thorough, people!):

The Keg crispy cauliflower

1. The menu has so many choices. Yes, the Keg is known for steaks, but there are plenty of other choices, too, such as the pistachio-crusted salmon a few of my friends considered. A few of us wanted escargots to start, but we compromised and got the lobster au gratin special instead, along with the crispy cauliflower, calamari and baked brie (yes, my friends and I have healthy appetites!).

The Keg lobster tails with filet mignon

When it came time to decide, for our mains, we did all end up going with steak (the New York strip loin I ordered was heavenly and cooked perfectly medium-rare). And because two of us were indecisive between beef or seafood, we each added some surf to our steak entrees: I went with king crab (so meaty and delectable) while my friend got the Atlantic lobster tails, which I wanted to grab from her plate, they looked so incredible. You know it’s a good dinner when the conversation lulls because you’re all devouring your food.

The Keg striploin with crab

People with restricted diets can easily find dishes to enjoy, too. The items that are gluten-free are clearly marked (the heirloom tomato and burrata sounds like heaven on a plate); so you don’t have to grill the server about what gluten-free options you have (although they, of course, will gladly answer your questions — we had many about the different cuts of steak and sauce choices). For vegetarians, you’ve got some options, too, but I think the one that sounds most delicious is the cauliflower “steak'; with chickpea and sundried tomato relish and asparagus.

And by the way, if you’re counting calories, those, too, are clearly indicated on the menu.

We also ordered several dessert to share. I was very into the Billy Miner pie (I love mocha ice cream!) whereas my friends really liked the creme brulee, which was incredibly smooth and creamy and which had a slightest hint of salt to balance the flavours.

The Keg desserts

2. Let’s talk about the affordable wine and cocktails at the Keg. No word of a lie, the cost of the wine and cocktails at The Keg had all four of us (1) very surprised, and (2) planning on making it a regular place to meet for drinks. In fact, we ordered a bottle of prosecco to start (which I believe was $26), and then a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy with our meal. I usually only order a bottle if I’m feeling like splashing out but with the prices being so reasonable, it just made sense to order bottles.

The Keg dining room

3. The cozy atmosphere. While I’ve been to other locations of The Keg, this was my first visit to the location on King St. West in Toronto. It’s modern and dimly lit and it just feels cozy inside. There’s the sleek bar closer to the entrance; we sat in the dining room in a comfortable booth. The design aesthetic manages to be both refined and comfortable. I’d also say it’s a touch more masculine in design (the dark wood tones, for example), but it’s definitely a place a group of girlfriends would feel at home in as well. It’s a spot that is entirely appropriate for a client dinner and yet also somewhere you can go with a date or out for a fun evening catching up with friends.

Sold on The Keg yet? Guess I’ll see you there. You’ll find me trying the escargots dish we didn’t end up ordering and sipping on some of that delicious, affordable wine!

(And by the way,  if you’ve got a secret Santa exchange you need to shop for, a giftcard to The Keg is something everyone can make use of — with several locations, and all of the reasons above, it’s a stocking stuffer that I think most everyone would enjoy).

UPDATE: I’ve got a $100 giftcard to The Keg to give away! How to enter to win? Comment on this blog post about what you’d order at The Keg! The giveaway ends at noon E.S.T. on Thursday, December 14th. For additional ways to enter, visit my Instagram! The winner will be chosen at random.

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and The Keg and have received compensation for this post. All opinions in the post are my own.

 

 

59 Comments December 5, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Hello, Absolut Lime

Absolut Lime

I’ve been slacking on the beverage posts. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t slacked on the drinking and enjoyment of them this summer (erm, sometimes before I have a chance to photograph them, oops!), but am just behind on the posting about them!

Absolut Lime mojito

One of my new faves is Absolut Lime. It’s the latest addition to the core flavours from Absolut, and I’m surprised it took so long for them to add lime, especially since it’s the leading flavour profile for many cocktails!

For those watching your sugar, there are no added sugars to this flavoured vodka (although if you’re truly watching your sugar, you wouldn’t be drinking this at all!); I think it’s all about moderation, anyhow, obviously since I drink these cocktails on occasion. This Absolut is smooth and offers a refreshing hit of fresh lime. I’ve been using it to make the Absolut Lime Mojito, but once I pick up some ginger beer, I’ll be making some Mules, too. Here are the simple recipes for both of those cocktails, cheers!

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Absolut Lime Mojito

  • 1.5 oz. Absolut Lime
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup
  • half lime
  • 6 mint leaves plus one mint sprig
  • Soda water (I used my Bonne O for this)

Muddle mint leaves and simple syrup in a  highball glass. Fill with crushed ice. Add Absolut Lime. Stri, Toip up with soda water.

Absolut Lime Mule

  • 1.5 oz. Absolut Lime
  • 5 oz. ginger beer
  • 1/3 oz. fresh lime juice

Fill a mule cup with ice cubes. Add Absolut Lime and lime juice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedge.

Leave a Comment August 15, 2017

Foodie Swellness: 3 ways I maintain my on-the-go schedule (including Good & Simple Muffins and Bars!)

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When you work freelance like I do, and you make your own schedule, it can be both a blessing and a curse. Sure, if I want to take the afternoon off because it’s a gorgeous sunny day, I can…but it also means I’m always juggling my schedule and fitting in meeting, events, fitness and a social life however/whenever I can.

As much as a 9-to-5 job can be a drag, sometimes I envy the structure it gives your life. Although that does mean you have to cram everything else outside of those hours, doesn’t it? So life can get chaotic for all of us–whether it’s kids, fitness, travel, friends, work–we all have times we feel like we’re just struggling to stay ahead of it all.

How do I juggle my responsibilities and make it work? It’s not rocket science by any means but here are three ways I’ve found have helped make my busy schedule more manageable.

Snack on the go. I try to eat three meals a day, and snack as needed depending on my workouts and how hungry I am. But sometimes i legitimately forget to include time to grab a meal because I’ve scheduled my day to run from one meeting to another. And often, since I’m not a morning person, I’m running out the door trying to get to an early workout or event, and I haven’t eaten a thing. This is why ready-to-go snacks like Good & Simple Muffins and Bars are a staple in my house. I’m partial to the Bars (they’re just easier to eat and I find they taste slightly less sweet than the muffins); Walnut and Grains is my fave but the Blueberry Oatmeal is a close second. Made with real ingredients such as whole grains (in the blueberry oatmeal bar, for example, there’s 13 grams of whole grains in each bar) and no artificial flavours or colours, Good & Simple offers a wholesome and tasty quick way to fuel up quickly and when you’re on the move.

Create some routine to your day to day. While I love making my own schedule (although I do curse that very same thing when I’ve taken a few hours off in the day to go to a sample sale and I’m typing away on my computer at 2 a.m.!) , going through each day with zero structure can be taxing mentally. So I try to have some routine to my day: I try to do a quick journal entry morning and night (this is still a work in progress), and now walking my recently adopted dog, Billie Jean, a minimum of three times a day helps me break up my schedule into distinct chunks of time, which makes managing my time easier to do.

Find a calendar that works for you. My smartphone calendar is my bible. I use the Informant app to keep track of my events, meetings, phone calls, deadlines, workouts, appointments and plans with friends. It’s all colour-coded, and I’m very, very lost without it and refer to it a few times a day. I didn’t find the iCal had all the functionality I wanted, which is why I purchased Informant. Before I bought it, I was forgetting about deadlines from time to time. It remains the most expensive app I’ve ever bought but it was worth it (and that’s even without using it to its full capabilities, I still need to learn how to make use of all of its features).

I’d love to know if you have ways to streamline your busy life! And in the meanwhile, to learn more about Good & Simple, which are now available in Ontario, here.

(sponsored)

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Leave a Comment July 27, 2017

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