My Highlights of Niagara Vegfest 2017

Hi everyone,

It’s officially the month of June and with the start of the official summer this week, the weather has gone from cold to very humid and hot fast here in Toronto!! Thou I am not enjoying the humidity too much, but loving the warmer and sunnier weather now to enjoy esp the outdoors. Maybe less humid lol!!

With sunny and hot days upon us, this means one thing that festival season is officially here and what a great way to cool down and enjoy delicious foods outdoors. I am excited and love attending food festivals especially during the summer days sampling and discovering new foods to share with you all my readers. I already have a few food festivals planned that I would like to attend from June – September so I’m looking forward to it. If you have any suggestions for a food festival you think I should try out, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I always love attending new food festivals that I haven’t been to. I’m looking out for new food festivals for the Fall too. Feel free to comment below or you can reach me by e-mail at blooi24@hotmail.com

RECAP:

quick recap since my last blog entry, since leaving my previous work, been busy with a few projects and prepping for the summer months for my blog of course. Enjoyed my mini getaway to London, Ontario where enjoyed lots and lots of delicious foods including some vegan desserts and looking forward to sharing with you all in another blog post next month. If you were following me on Twitter and Instagram, then you would have seen my foodie London getaway..:)  I’m still learning how to use Instagram stories so please bare with me lol…😉

My 1st food festival for this pre-summer season that I attended was 2 weeks ago during the first weekend of June was to Niagara Vegfest. It was my 1st time attending the Niagara Vegfest as I always love visiting Niagara Falls so I thought it would be great to also attend this food festival to see, discover and sample the Niagara Region culinary vegan foods. I had the most amazing and fun foodie day as someone of you may already seen from my Instagram and Twitter posts. I’m happy that the weather ended up being sunny and warm as it was supposed to rain and I got lucky and it only rained in the morning. I arrived in St.Catherines by bus that day with a beautiful sunny day and enjoyed every minute of Niagara Vegfest.

If you haven’t been to Niagara Vegfest before, here are some quick information about it:

  • Niagara Vegfest is a 2 day multi-venue event – Day 1 (June 3, 2017) is the Niagara Vegfest in the Vineyard and Day 2 (June 4, 2017) is the Vegan Festival Main Event
  • 6th Annual Niagara Vegfest
  • Location: Market Square, downtown St. Catherines (91 King Street)
  • Admission: Free / donation of $2 or canned foods
  • It includes 80+ vendors and exhibitors, guest speakers, kids zone and TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage
  • “A celebration the many benefits of a healthy, compassionate, plant-based lifestyle, and showcases exhibitors, vendors, and speakers from the Niagara region and beyond” -Niagara Vegfest

Overall, I had an amazing and very foodie day at Niagara Vegfest. I loved the atmosphere at the Market Square in St.Catherines as this festival was some vendors indoors and some outdoors, which to me is good because I liked the flow of the traffic it gives for attendees when they attended this event. It also gives options for weather if it rained or if it was sunny to have the indoors and outdoors available. I loved that they had the TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage outside where I was able to enjoy the beautiful jazz music whether I was inside or outside. It brought a different element to the festival by adding music and creating a fun atmosphere to the Niagara Vegfest. Though I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed with so many vendors to check out, but at the same time it was great to have a variety of vendors and exhibitors to offer to people. I spent half the day at the Niagara Vegfest as there were so many delicious and yummy foods to sample along with checked out a few non-food vendors.

My Top 4 Fave Foods at Niagara Vegfest are:

1) Pizza Rolls by Rise Above Restaurant

  • Best pizza sausage roll I ever had, yum, it was crispy the pastry part and the most tastiest sausage inside, loved it!! As someone who is now dairy free, it’s hard to find places with vegan pizzas so happy to have stopped and had the most yummiest is that a word lol…pizza rolls by Rise Above Restaurant.
  • Quick information about Rise Above Restaurantis the Niagara’s 1st 100% vegan restaurant and bakery. They are located downtown in St. Catherines. They specialize in comfort foods, healthy choices, and fresh baked desserts. Only wish they would open another location in Toronto, I look forward to stopping by the actual restaurant one day.

2) Peach Fritter doughnut by Beechwood Doughnuts

  • I was so full from all the delicious vegan foods that I had to still get a doughnut from Beechwood Doughnuts as I heard they had the best vegan doughnuts. So I bought one to bring home to eat and chose the Peach Fritter (peaches are one of my fave fruits) and so glad I did lol…Beechwood Doughnuts hands down the best vegan doughnut I ever had!! Wow, I don’t usually eat doughnuts too often, but I would if it is for the sweetest and soft doughnuts that Beechwood Doughnuts make. The Peach Fritter the best lol!! If you haven’t tried, Beechwood Doughnuts, you are definitely missing out!! I would definitely travel for these doughnuts!!
  • Quick information about Beechwood DoughnutsNiagara’s first and only 100% vegan doughnut shop. Located in the heart of Downtown St. Catharines. They opened in January 2015 and become popular and have a reputation for quality in the Niagara Region and beyond. They also won 3 awards in 2015 at the Toronto Vegetarian Association Veg Awards – best vegan bakery, best vegan doughnut and best vegan dessert.

3) Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake by Dolled Up Desserts

  • One of my fave regulars is definitely Dolled Up Desserts who I always enjoy visiting at any vegan food festivals and always love seeing what Katarina (Dolled Up Dessert owner) new delicious desserts she has for that day. She comes up with the most delicious vegan and creative desserts, I love it!! She also has the most beautiful display for her booth I love how creative she is! This time I tried her delicious & sweet Strawberry Lemonade mini cupcake. Loved it!!
  • Quick information about Dolled Up Desserts – Her main shop is based in Hamilton, Ontario. Dolled Up Desserts creates and share high quality desserts that are gluten free and vegan, and are made with 25-50% less sugar, ingredients that are organic, locally sourced.

4) Banana Split Cupcake by Fairly Frosted Bakery

  • I love cupcakes so it was hard to resist when I saw the delicious vegan cupcakes display at Fairly Frosted Bakery. One of my friends also recommended them so was excited to try them and they had an assortment of different baked goods to choose from. It was hard to choose besides the cupcakes. I ended up choosing their Banana Split Cupcake and it was delicious minus the chocolate topping as some of you might know I don’t eat chocolate I know it’s a shock lol!! The frosting wasn’t too sweet either so it was perfect.
  • Quick information about Fairly Frosted Bakery  – A bakery from Guelph, Ontario founded in 2011. Fairly Frosted Bakery serves vegan, gluten free and nut free baked goods.

One of my fave vegan ice cream is food truckSweet Teeth, which is not mentioned above, but they always been my fave regulars at any vegan festivals. So it goes without saying that I always visit their food truck of ice cream and waffles, yum and this time is no difference. I got their OG waffle, which consists of fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and of course the ice cream. If you haven’t tried Sweet Teeth food truck, I highly recommend it!! This year they also added shakes to their menu and love their new flavours added to the menu. They always come up with new flavours, which is great to see.

One of my fave vegan jeweler is Jewels by SJB, I discovered Sue’s beautiful jewelry last year at one of the vegan food festivals and instantly loved her unique and beautiful handmade jewelry. Sue is from Toronto, ON and has a collection of hand forged, cruelty free jewels and creating beautiful detailed pieces. She uses genuine gemstones that includes .925 sterling silver and 14K gold fill metal. She is also a vegan who shares her message through her jewelry.

I was excited to visit Jewels by SJB booth and see what new pieces she had this time. I always love seeing what new pieces that she brings to each festival as she makes the most beautiful unique pieces. I ended up purchasing a beautiful purple amethyst gemstone to go with my Vegan necklace as well bought a new rose/light pink bracelet with the letter “v” on it. The new bracelet matches my other bracelet (purple amethyst one) I bought from her last year to make a stacking bracelet. I am happy with my new jewelry!! It is always great to see Sue again, she is always so kind and amazing to me especially if I needed any customizing to her jewelry. I love how she can custom to each customer needs. I look forward to seeing what new pieces she has in the next festival!!

My collection of bracelets and pendant necklace from Jewels by SJB

What an amazing 1st visit to Niagara Vegfest filled with delicious vegan foods, desserts, shopping local & unique items, and enjoying amazing jazz music!! If you didn’t have a chance to check out Niagara Vegfest, I highly recommend to see what delicious vegan foods & to experience this festival yourself at Niagara Vegfest next year. Look out for details on their website (information below)! I look forward to joining them again next year after this fun foodie day!! I can’t wait to see what next year they have planned out!

If you managed to read most of this blog post as I know it was a bit long, thank you!! I appreciate you taking your time to read my foodie adventure!! Summer is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to my next foodie summer festival as some of you might already know (from my Twitter and Instagram posts) I have attended my 2nd one just this past weekend! With the busy summer months ahead, I look forward to not just food summer festivals, but also to my mini getaway in July. Don’t worry I still be posting shortly after I’m back. But this summer along the way, I am still searching for my next sweet vegan dessert place!! Stay tuned!!

As always, for the latest updates or to keep up with me on my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, let’s get ready for summer filled with hot weather for foodie summer festivals, cool desserts, travelling and beaches & more!!

-Sweet B.

For more information on Niagara Vegfest and any of the vendors I mentioned, please see below:

Niagara Vegfest – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @NiagaraVegFest, Twitter @NiagaraVegFest and Instagram @NiagaraVegFest.

Rise Above Restaurant – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @RiseAboveRestaurant, Twitter @RiseAboveFoods and Instagram @RiseAboveRestaurant.

Beechwood Doughnuts – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @BeechwoodDoughnuts, Twitter @BeechwoodInfo and Instagram @BeechwoodDoughnuts.

Dolled Up Desserts – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @DolledUpDessertsBaking, Twitter @DolledUpBaking and Instagram @DolledUpDessertsBaking.

Fairly Frosted Bakery – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @FairlyFrosted, Twitter @FairlyFrosted and Instagram @FairlyFrosted.

Sweet Teeth Food Truck – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetTeethVegan, Twitter @SweetTeethVegan and Instagram @SweetTeethVegan.

Jewels by SJB – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @JewelsbySJB and Instagram @JewelsbySJB.

 

 

 

My Fave Sweet Summer Treats by Eva’s Original Chimney Cones

Hi everyone,

Can you believe it’s almost summer in just a few weeks while our Spring in Toronto has been pretty mild and lots of rain (maybe a bit too much rain as it been causing floods in some parts of Toronto, yikes, not a fan of rain) with a few hotter sunny days. As May is coming to an end, I always get excited around this time just before summer starts because summer for me means food festivals, beaches, watching live baseball or tennis and summer getaways. What does summer mean for you? What food are you excited to eat during summer??

I’m looking forward to this exciting summer as already lots to enjoy starting with a few food festivals in June and more to come this summer. I can’t wait to share them with you my sweet readers!! I’m ready for a fun and yummy summer! Are you??

RECAP:

As a quick update – there are some new changes in my life, I have decided to leave my Admin work and start fresh, needed a new beginning and looking forward to new opportunities as well as re-focus my energy and passion with my blog where I enjoy working and writing, capturing photos and more. It was a difficult decision, but I believe I made the right one to be in an environment where I am more happier and less stressed. I took a few weeks off in May to relax and unwind as some of you may have seen on my Instagram acct that I enjoyed a day trip to Niagara Falls and time for myself.

I’m still adjusting and hoping this will lead more blog posts for my readers to enjoy. My next city and food getaway is to London, Ontario (not London, England..lol…one day) next week and I’m excited to share this adventure with you all in another blog post in my Travel Review.

When you think of summer, what refreshing and sweet treat do you usually think of?? For me, I love cool and sweet treats like ice cream!!!! Now that I am having dairy free products, I am looking for alternatives such as dairy free ice creams and sorbets to enjoy in the summer.

I’m excited to share with you – Eva’s Original Chimney Cones treat which also offers vegan (dairy free) treats and I discovered Eva’s Original last year at one of the food festivals I attended. Ever since then, I’m always excited to have an Eva’s Original Chimney Cone at any festival.

Me having Eva’s Original Chimney Cone last summer

Eva’s Original Chimneys was first a food truck and within a couple of years grew into a successful business that early this year 2017, Eva opened her flagship store location on Bloor Street West in the Annex area of Toronto.

What is a Chimney Cone you might ask?? Well the owner, Eva was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. Her creation and idea came from Hungary and they are unique, bread-like freshly baked Hungarian pastries, named after their hollow, cylindrical shape. They have a satisfying crunch on the outside and a delicious, light and fluffy dough on the inside. Their Chimney Cones are all sweet and they also make Chimney cakes that are sweet or savoury flavours.

Eva uses the best ingredients including organic and local wherever possible as they believe in serving simple and wholesome food. Their base dough is suitable for vegans and they also offer toppings that are suitable for vegans as well. The Chimney cakes and cones are baked fresh daily and right before your eyes in the store in their custom-made open rotisserie grill, they are baked dough and not fried.

My first visit to Eva’s Original flagship store was a few weeks ago, I was excited to enjoy a sweet Chimney Cone before the summer started and now that she had a store, I didn’t have to wait for a festival. Eva’s Original store is a cozy, friendly, welcoming and European style decorated bakeshop. You can smell the freshly baked cones being made in the store as you walked in. With the space they had, they utilized it pretty well and there are space at the back to enjoy your sweet treats as well. I enjoyed watching the bakers make the actual cones on site as well.

It was hard to choose which Chimney Cone I wanted as they had a variety of choices, which is great to make it suitable for different people. From savoury to sweet toppings and different cone choices as well. For those who want the vegan soft serve, it is only served at the flagship store. But during the festivals, they offered the vegan version as with no ice cream, but with the whipped cream instead (hoping that they still will continue this as last summer they did).

I ended up choosing the Thai Mango Sticky Rice with the golden glazed cone instead with a crispy coconut wafer on top though I think I was supposed to get the mango sliced instead. But I loved the chopped mango pieces inside, as some of you know I love any mango desserts so that is probably the reason why I picked that flavour. The only disappointing factor was I think the staff who served me forgot the mango drizzle, I was sad to miss that and only noticed it after I started eating it…☹  Otherwise, it was simply still delicious, loved the cone and this tropical dessert feels like it is summer time and at the beach!! Hoping next time I get that mango drizzle to enjoy!

If you stop by for an Eva’s Original Chimney Cone, come hungry as they are very filling, which is great!! Or they also offer a mini Chimney Cone if you aren’t up to the full size one. I love that there are 2 sizes!!

Whether you are a vegan (dairy free) or non-vegan, Eva’s Original Chimney Cone has a bit of every sweet dessert flavours and taste for everyone.

Why don’t you come stop by Eva’s Original Chimney Cone flagship store or find her food truck this summer during any of the food festivals her truck is at (on her website, see below) and see for yourself why I love Eva’s Chimney Cones sooooo much. You definitely won’t be disappointed!! I’m looking forward to getting my next Eva’s Original Chimney Cone again soon in the summer!

Cheers to a Sweet Chimney Cone Goodness delicious summer!! 🍦🍦🌞

I leave you here with the sweet Chimney Cone yummy dessert as I continue my search for the next delicious and vegan dessert hunt and looking forward to my 1st summer food festival coming up in June, looking forward to sharing my experience with my readers! So come on back next month and see what I been up to.

Don’t forget for all updates on my next blog post along with my foodie & travel adventures, follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 (will be trying out Instagram stories too), why not follow along my London, Ontario trip this coming week to see what yummy food I discover in a new city. 🍰 Until then….

-Sweet B.

For more information on Eva’s Original, please see below:

Eva’s Original: website – click here

Location: 454 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario

(Please remember her flagship location – it is cashless)

For her Food Truck schedule – please find it on her website – here

You can also follow Eva’s Original on Facebook @originalchimneys, Twitter @ogchimneys, and Instagram @ogchimneys.

 

Easter Treats by Short & Sweet Bakeshop

Hi everyone,

Hope everyone had a relaxing and foodie during Easter weekend (April 15-16) celebrating with your family and friends. I love celebrating Easter at this time of year in April where it starts feeling like Spring with warm and sunny days ahead, flowers are starting to bloom, and it starts looking like Spring with colourful flowers, trees leaves and Easter eggs.

The best part of celebrating Easter is of course the delicious desserts after your huge dinner feast surrounded by your family and friends. It is the perfect excuse to savour some sweet desserts and at the same time sharing it with your family, which makes it sweeter to enjoy together.

During long Easter weekend, I stopped by Short & Sweet Bakeshop at their new location on Yonge Street located at Yonge and Davisville. I been to Short & Sweet Bakeshop a few times now at their Avenue Road location and enjoyed their delicious cupcakes. I thought it was perfect timing to finally stop at their new location on Yonge Street as they opened it earlier this year in January 2017.

For those who haven’t heard of Short & Sweet Bakeshop, here are a few quick facts about this sweet bakeshop.

  • Founded in December 2009 by Orli Levy
  • Their baked goods are handcrafted using only the finest ingredients
  • Freshly made everyday
  • 100% Nut Free Bakery
  • Offers cupcakes, custom cakes, sammies, cookies
  • Also offers gluten-free cupcakes
  • Cater Events such as weddings, baby showers, and more

I love the new location on Yonge Street as it is conveniently a short walk about 5 minutes from Yonge & Davisville intersection, easily accessible those taking transit. It is a cozy, bright and friendly bakeshop. I like the interior look with wooden tables and the fresh look with little plants on the tables making it feel like home. I love how the sun shines inside the bakeshop creating an uplifting and welcoming feeling.

I was greeted by two friendly staff at the counter. There were quite a few cupcake selections left even though it was in the late afternoon when I arrived so I got lucky as I know usually they sell out pretty quickly. It was hard to decide which one as they all looked so pretty and delicious to try.

I finally decided on 2 of their Easter theme cupcakes and the lemon Raspberry cupcake to share with my sisters. I love sharing my desserts with my sisters as it is always sweeter to share…:)

I ended up loving the lemon Raspberry cupcake as I love the surprise lemon filling inside the cupcake that made it so delicious! The cupcake itself was moist and soft. Overall, definitely would stop by again to Short & Sweet Bakeshop for more delicious cupcakes and other baked goods as I would love to try their cookies as some of you know, I love my cookies so hopefully next time I would get to sample one.

Even though Easter has come and gone, if you are looking for a delicious and sweet cupcake to satisfied your cupcake craving, I highly recommend stopping by Short & Sweet Bakeshop yourself to enjoy a pretty & sweet cupcake and see why I love these cupcakes.

For now, I leave you with these pretty & sweet cupcake thoughts and I’m off on my next search for my next sweet or maybe healthy dessert bakeshop or cafe.

Don’t forget to come back next month to see what I discover. Also you can get my latest updates for my upcoming blog posts or follow my food adventures through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 OR Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 so you won’t miss a thing of my yummy foodie adventures.

-Sweet B.

 

For more information on Short & Sweet Bakeshop, please see below:

Websiteshortandsweetcupcakes.ca

Locations (Please check website for Store Hours)

Avenue Road Location – 1945 Avenue Road, Toronto, ON, M5M 4A2

Yonge Location – 2025 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON

Social Media – You can follow them on Facebook @ShortandSweetCupcakes, Twitter @ShortandSweetTO, and Instagram @shortandsweetcupcakes.

 

Happy 3 Year Blog Anniversary!!!

Hi everyone!!

On this day, February 23 back in 2014, is when I first started this food blog site! I can’t believe it’s been 3 years now since I started this blog and taking a look back on how much I have grown from 3 years ago to now is something I didn’t expect.

I started this blog to share with everyone my love for food and more particularly my love for desserts and sweets. I couldn’t imagine how much my blog has grown within 3 years and how much I have grown in learning about food itself and my own food sensitivity with non-dairy products. I am still learning about the new “vegan” foods & desserts and discovering what my body can take. I still love my sweets & now share delicious yet healthy dessert places with my readers.

I am also happy and excited to share on my blog with my readers my passion for events and travel through attending Toronto foodie events & my travel experiences.

I have to thank Food Bloggers of Canada (website -> click here) for providing me a place to share and network with other Canadian bloggers as well as providing food blogging resources to assist me in the world of blogging. I continue to learn, network and grow within this friendly and amazing food community.

Of course, I wouldn’t be here without my readers, so I would like to take this time to THANK YOU each one of my amazing readers for letting me share my love for desserts, sweets, events, and travel with you!! I look forward to bringing you more sweetness and foodie adventures for many years to come!!!

On my 3rd Year Anniversary, I celebrated at one of my newly discovered fave vegan bakeshop, Tori’s Bakeshop. Tori’s Bakeshop is located in the Beaches area on Queen Street East. This bakeshop is an all-natural organic bakery that offers dairy-free, egg-free, and refined sugar-free treats and even carry a selection of gluten free products. Their bakery items range from breads, cakes, mini loaves, cookies, cupcakes, macarons, muffins and even croutons. Along with baked goods, Tori’s Bakeshop also has light healthy sandwiches for brunch/lunch. They also offer beverages such as tea & coffee as well.

I thought that this was the perfect spot to celebrate delicious sweets for my newly diet as a semi vegan now where I still enjoy yummy desserts, but with non-dairy products now.

I discovered Tori’s Bakeshop during the summer at one of the Vegan festivals and absolutely loved her delicious sweet treats. My sister and I sampled her delicious donuts.

I stopped by Tori’s Bakeshop on a warm & sunny winter weekend, it felt more like Spring weather as there were many people on the Queen street enjoying this beautiful weather. Tori’s Bakeshop is a cozy and welcoming bakeshop filled with a selection of delicious baked goods!! I couldn’t choose which sweet treat I wanted as each item looked so delicious! I ended up choosing a Strawberry Vanilla cupcake as cupcakes are one of my fave desserts and it was simply perfect, soft, moist and I loved the raspberry & strawberry filling inside, which tops the cupcake as one of the best I had. I also picked up a few shortbread cookies to go.

I will definitely be coming back to Tori’s Bakeshop for more delicious and sweet desserts as there are still lots that I haven’t even sample yet. If you haven’t been to Tori’s Bakeshop, I highly recommend you try this vegan and all natural, organic bakery. You don’t know what you are missing out on and will not be disappointed!!

I’m looking forward to continuing to share my food, events and travel adventures with you all!! I hope that you all will continue to join me in discovering new bakeries and restaurants along with sightseeing to new cities and countries for my travel foodie adventures!!

Cheers to many more sweet adventures & the years to come!!! 🍹🍰🎉

-Sweet B.

For more information on Tori’s Bakeshop:

Website – Tori’s Bakeshop -> click here

Address – 2188 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON., M4E 1E6

Phone – 647-350-6500

For Hours of Operations, please check the website.

You can find Tori’s Bakeshop on the following Social Media:

Happy Valentine’s Day 2 my Sweet Readers!!

Hi everyone!! 🙋

Wishing everyone a sweet Valentine’s Day!! This Holiday for most people is about showing their love for their “loved ones” while for me, this day I love to share & enjoy my love for delicious desserts and sweets. This is the perfect day to indulge in delicious & beautiful desserts, how could you not resist? 😀

I stopped by this past weekend at one of my fave dessert places, Pusateri’s – Saks Food Hall at Eaton Centre, where there were so much delicious desserts to choose from. I love the variety here and was craving for cookies and tarts so that is what I ended up choosing! Thou also craving for macarons & cupcakes? Hmmm…lol…you can never have enough desserts. 😊 Might be picking up my 2nd Round of sweets today! 😀 What yummy, sweet and delectable desserts will you or going to be enjoying on this Valentine’s Day? Would love for you guys to share your desserts and I’m always up to try new bakeries / dessert shops, so please feel free to share below! Thank you!

Don’t forget to stay connected with me on my next blog posts, updates and yummy food photos, you can follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24. Check out my Instagram later tonight to see what my 2nd Round of sweets for Valentine’s Day was! 💝💌🍰🍫🍸🌹

xoxo,

Sweet B.

For more information on Pusateri’s:

Website – Pusateri’s Saks Food Hall

My New & Healthy Fave Vietnamese Place – Pho Vistro

Hi everyone!!

This is my 1st official blog post for 2017 (not including My Year in Review for 2016) and it’s already the month of February 2017, which means winter is half over…:) With Chinese New Year’s 2 weeks ago, this is technically the start of my New Year’s and the start of the Year of the Rooster, which I was born in. I’m excited that it is MY year, the Year of the Roosters & looking forward to what this exciting year will bring me!! Most of all, I look forward to discovering new foodie & healthy bakeries & sharing my sweet adventures with my readers.

Starting off this Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster, I thought in honor of this special occasion to share my love for pho and a Vietnamese type of cuisine, which is also part of the Asian cuisine/culture. I thought it would be perfect to match this type of food with Chinese New Year as noodles in the Chinese culture represent happiness and longevity.

I believe that this is a great way to start the New Year with delicious & simple food that represents happiness and a healthy long life. I recently discovered a new healthy, simple and delicious Vietnamese pho restaurant called: Pho Vistro on Queen Street West. They are not like any other pho place, their focused is on all-natural, organic and old-fashioned Vietnamese cuisine with zero MSG and their traditional broth is slow-cooked with intense flavoured broth that takes over 10 hours of cooking process with fresh herbs/spices. They offer an assortment of Vegan menu options along with gluten free, which is rare for a pho place and believe that this is a great option to add.

They consider their pho soup to be a healthy alternative to other soups to help your immune system. I believe that this is a great concept to have in this type of food as it is rare and I love the option of having vegan options.

Pho Vistro - Interior - 2

Last weekend, it was my first time trying this cozy & warm new pho place, Pho Vistro and when you walk in the door, the first thing I noticed was their beautiful interior design and loved the modern yet home feeling to this medium size restaurant. You can smell the aroma of their freshly made broth as well when you come in. I thought that the size of the restaurant was a good fit as it wasn’t too big or too small. I came just after the lunch rush as I was having a late lunch. It was still relatively busy and more customers arrived after I sat down so I would consider this a good sign that people really enjoy the pho here.

I ordered the Fried Chicken Spring Rolls to start and ordered the Pho Classic with beef, they also had options with chicken and vegan as well. They also have smoothies with option for vegan/sugar-free as well, which is great to know next time I would love to order one since I only drink dairy-free now.

The pho itself I really liked it, I can tell the broth was freshly made and can tell there was definitely no MSG in it, I felt the cleanse / clear of the broth thou this broth had less flavor than other broths I usually eat and I believe that has to do with no MSG in it as it is more healthier. I added a bit of hoisin sauce on my beef for a bit of more flavor. I loved the noodles itself as I can tell it was made fresh and it is the thicker noodles than other pho places have thinner noodles. They have excellent customer service at Pho Vistro, very friendly and efficient servers and the owner who I saw is very friendly as well engaging with customers and assisting with staff if they required help.

The Back of their Menu

Overall, I would definitely come back for a hot bowl of pho especially on these colder winter days we are now having. I been to many Vietnamese (pho) restaurants before and I definitely think this is one I would recommend people to come and try for yourself as Pho Vistro stands out to me more particularly with their concept and healthier version of pho soup. I look forward to coming back and enjoying some delicious & healthy bowl of pho this winter and anytime during the year as I enjoy my pho all year round.

I hope that you all give Pho Vistro a try and see for yourself why I love this pho place so much! Please let me know what you think of it by leaving your comments below.

Don’t forget to stay connected with me for all updates, when my next blog post is and follow my yummy foodie photo adventures, you can follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, in my search for my next sweet & healthy adventure…

-Sweet B.

For more information on Pho Vistro, please see below:

Website – Pho Vistro -> click here

You can also follow them on Twitter @phovistro, Facebook @phovistro and Instagram @phovistro.

My 2016 Year In Review

Hi everyone,

Welcome to a brand New Year of 2017 🎉, though I started my 2017, a bit rough with a horrible cold, but I am finally recovering from this cold and ready to take on a brand new Sweet & Healthy 2017 Year!! 😀🍎🍰 There’s a saying that “it is not how you start, but how you finish” so in my case how tackle the challenges for this year and how I will finish it strong & on a positive note!! I’m excited for this Year 2017 with many exciting things happening with travel and new food adventures (especially with my Las Vegas trip already booked in March 2017 to name one of the many fun things happening)!

Typically you would find most Year In Reviews blog posts at the end of the year, but I am continuing my tradition here being the 2nd time doing this that I like to reflect on the Year before to start off this New Year 2017.

Thank You’s

I like to start off by thanking each one of my “sweet readers” and as well as any new readers who have checked out and decided to follow along on my sweet adventures!! I always love to welcome and invite new readers to my blog. I really appreciate each and every one of you who comes to visit my blog truly mean it as a still beginner blogger I love seeing and getting to know my readers whether you are from Toronto or from overseas in UK or Europe. So on that note, I would love to hear from you with any comments or a suggestion for my blog. Please don’t hesitate to share them with me.

My Stats from 2015 to 2016

It will be 3 years next month that I have started this blog and I feel that I have grown from where I started yet I am still learning new and exciting things in the blogging world everyday. I believe that there is still more room to grow with my blog and I should say thanks to an amazing & friendly community called: Food Bloggers of Canada (click here for their website -> here) who I have mentioned in other posts how joining this community expanded my networks and provided me with learning resources and tools to help me in this blogging world. They will continue to be part of my blog in this growing experience providing me with guidance and networking.

With my blog still growing, in 2016 I can’t believe it was viewed in 53 countries, which doubled since 2015! Wow!! Most readers are from Canada & USA and then expanding to new readers in UK, Europe, Denmark and Asia countries to New Zealand, which is great to know that I have people on the other side of the world interested in reading about my love for food, travel and events.

According to the stats on WordPress, my Blog was viewed 906 times in 2016, which doubled the views from the year before in 2015! In 2016, my stats showed that I had 715 visitors to my blog, which also doubled since the year before in 2015! That’s pretty impressive as I’m still a beginner blogger and my blog is still growing so thank you again to all my readers for the continuing support and coming back to read my blog!

My Sweet & Healthy Year In Review For 2016

2016 was a year of change and discovering my food sensitivity (intolerance) to dairy products. It has been a slow adjustment to non-dairy products as now I’m part Vegan and learning & discovering that I can still enjoy what I love like sweet, desserts, etc in non-dairy products. It is still a learning experience becoming part Vegan and also helped me eating more healthier, but it doesn’t stop what I love most, which are my love for desserts. I’m able to still balance being healthy and still enjoy my sweets but vegan style now…:)

Besides my big adjustment in my diet, in 2016, I still attended several delicious food events in Toronto including my 1st Vegan Food & Drink Festival, Vegfood Fest, Taste of Toronto 2016, and more. Also, in 2016, I attended my 2nd Food Bloggers of Canada Conference held in my own city this time in Toronto for their 5th Anniversary. I enjoyed this year theme “Do the Work”. It showcased a lineup of bloggers/speakers who have done the work whether they have found success on their terms by doing what they love and by putting hours into it. I enjoyed learning, networking and of course the delicious foods.

At the VegFood Fest in September 2016, sampling Nanashake Nanapops, mango flavour!

In 2016, some of my travel adventures continued and started a new feature for the blog on Travel, in the Fall of 2016 went to Kingston, Ontario for my 1st time and discovered this charming and historic city where I discovered lots of delicious bakeries and restaurants for a foodie like me to enjoy. Want to check out this historic city & don’t miss out on this adventure, read my blog post here -> link.

As well, summer of 2016 went on a magical adventure with my family to Orlando, Florida where we went to Disney World as it is my niece 1st time going and enjoyed the delicious and variety of restaurants at Universal Studios & Disney Springs. I’m looking forward to 2017 to new & exciting travel destinations and rediscovering places I visited to share with you my readers.

In May 2016, at Magic Kingdom in front of the Disney Castle

What would you like to see more of on my Sweet B., the Exploring Foodie blog? Is there a specific dessert place or restaurant you would like for me to try? All suggestions are most welcome!

Check out below my Top Review Posts for 2016

My Most Views for Dessert Review Posts

1 – My Sweet Adventure on Macaron Day 2016

It is no surprise that the most views and likes are from my sweet Macaron Day adventure. Macarons are one of my fave desserts and to have a dedicated day for it, is even sweeter..:) I love my macarons!! Check out my review post on which macaron places that I visited that day to enjoy my sweet, little and elegant treats!

Read here -> link.

2 – My New Fave Healthy & 100% Yummy Dessert Place: Nanashake

One of my fave new frozen dessert place is Nanashake and I’m happy that my readers also liked it as much as I did being the 2nd most viewed dessert review post. Nanashake is a friendly, healthy plant-based and delicious frozen dessert place. If you haven’t heard of it before and is looking for a healthy and non-dairy frozen dessert, definitely check out Nanashake, it’s my go to dessert place, I love it!

Check out my review post on why I love Nanashake so much -> link.

My Most Views for an Event Review Posts

1 – Food Bloggers of Canada Conference 2016 in Toronto

My most views from the many events/conference I went to in 2016 was not surprised, but my Food Bloggers of Canada 2016 Conference I attended in Toronto. It was a great networking and learning experience along with feeling inspired after a fun one day conference with so many talented and inspiring bloggers. As well, you can’t forget about the most delicious & healthy food served at this conference.

I have already purchased my ticket for this year 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference being held in Ottawa this year, how exciting to celebrate Canada’s 150 Birthday there. It will be my 1st time attending the full 3 day session, can’t wait!! It is already sold out this year wow so fast, happy to have got mines early!! This is how exciting this conference is so be sure to always check early!

For more information about FBC Conference in 2016, please read my blog review here -> click here.

2 – My 1st Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival

My 2nd most views of attending my food events is the Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival that I attended with my sister. With my new dietary having non-dairy products, it was my 1st vegan festival that I attended and I’m happy that my readers enjoyed reading about my 1st experience at a vegan festival. Despite the rainy day, it was a great experience sampling and learning what vegan products are there and particular for me desserts.

To read more about my 1st Vegan festival experience, check it out here -> click here

My Dessert Review Post That Was Missed

1 – Best Homemade Pies in Toronto: Wanda’s Pie In the Sky Bakery Cafe

I am highlighting my review post on one of the best pies in Toronto in my Review as I believe that Wanda’s Pie In the Sky, has one of the best pies in Toronto, if you haven’t been to her cozy and warm bakery shop located in the Kensington Market then you are missing out. Wanda’s Pie In the Sky has daily freshly baked desserts such as pies, tarts, cakes to take home or stay with plenty of space to sit with large windows or their patio on warmer days. Wanda’s pies are known for reminding you of home, a freshly cut pie from home. She also offers freshly homemade vegetarian lunches and brunches on the weekends.

Why not stop by this cozy and warm bakery perfect especially for the winter time to warm up with a warm delicious pie, read more why I love Wanda’s Pie In the Sky here -> click here.

Stay Connected

I am excited for this exciting 2017 Year to discover new, healthy and sweet food adventures, travel and events!! I look forward to sharing them with all of you. So why don’t you come and follow me on this sweet & healthy travelling foodie adventure!

To stay connected with me and updates for the next blog post, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Thank you again for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and more importantly sharing my love for sweets & desserts!

Here’s to a sweet & healthy 2017 to all my sweet readers!!! 🎉🎊🍰🍭🍩🍹🍜🍎🍓🌽🍆🌴✈😀

Your sweet vegan foodie,

-Sweet B.