Cafe California: A Neighbourhood Gem

 

A fixture in the heart of the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, Cafe California (538 Church Street) has been serving the community with a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes for over 20 years. Only an exceptional and special kind of place could last this long in an industry that seems to constantly crave the next new thing. Is it the food? The martini bar? The friendly staff? Maybe it’s the eclectic Mediterranean decor, or the sunny solarium that keeps people coming back for more. It’s hard to tell, but the restaurant is doing something right.

 

Photo courtesy of Cafe California

Photo courtesy of Cafe California

 

We spoke with General Manager, Bob Parsons, to see if he could put his finger on what sets Cafe California apart. We asked him about the vibe of the place.

 

It really depends on which seating we’re doing. We welcome all walks of life, it’s warm and inviting, kind of like a Cheers. We attract everyone from young people to seniors at different times of day.

 

The vibe fluctuates depending on the time of day and is influenced by the presence of the patrons. It’s truly a place for everyone because the customers create the atmosphere. The restaurant manages to stay ahead of new trends while remaining true to its Mediterranean roots. As Bob tells us:

 

Our food is definitely what brings people back year after year. Our menu has a very wide range and our customer service is excellent.

 

So, it is the food! Could it be that simple? Maybe. We asked Bob if there was a certain dish that a first time guest should try. Something that defines what Cafe California is.

 

It really depends on your food preferences, we have something for everyone though. Like for example, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll love our salads. Our menu changes a lot and there’s really nothing on our menu that I could remove. People love the quality and the quantity of our menu items. People come for our salads in the summer season — the Capri is my favourite. Our California salad is massive — most people share the small size — and it’s a great salad to try because it’s got a bit of everything. Every seating draws a different crowd to the restaurant. We really serve the entire neighbourhood — they love the food and the service they get here.

 

It seems that the secret to Cafe California’s success is both simple and indefinable. The accessibility of the food seems to have a lot to do with it, as does the inviting atmosphere and the vibe of the place. We think it might be the restaurant’s authenticity that brings people back year after year. The feeling of people dedicated to doing what they do best, with as much enthusiasm as possible. Day in, day out. That authenticity has made Cafe California a neighbourhood gem, and a fixture of the Church and Wellesley community for over twenty years. If you haven’t had the pleasure, come in to see and taste it for yourself.


Greenrock Property Management is dedicated to connecting you with your community. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

 

 

Order like a pro at Kintaro Izakaya

 

One of the greatest things about living in Toronto is diversity. A great way to familiarize yourself with a different culture is through food. Trying new cuisines is always an exciting experience, but it can also be an intimidating one. If your knowledge of Japanese cuisine is limited to sushi, you need to pay a visit to Kintaro Izakaya in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood.

 

photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

“Kintaro Izakaya brings the authentic Japanese tapas experience to the door steps of downtown Toronto” says William Shin, Manager. We asked him to give us a crash course in Izakaya cuisine to help you order like a pro the next time you visit Kintaro Izakaya.

 

So William, what is izakaya cuisine?

 

“I” (to stay) + “sakaya” (sake house) = Izakaya

Our specialties include a wide range of yakitori dishes (charcoal grilled skewers), sushi, ramen and traditional Japanese appetizers that perfectly accompany our extensive drink selection. Stay at our sake house to be immersed in the atmosphere with great conversations, food and drinks!


For newbies, what menu items are most popular at your restaurant and what drinks go well with them?


Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Our “must try” dish is Ebi Mayo. A delicious dish of deep fried prawns layered with spicy mayo, house-made tartar sauce, and crispy shallots. It is best paired with: Sapporo/Asahi beers, Kikusui Sake (Junmao Ginjo), Ozeki Karatamba Sake (Honjozo), and Kubota Senju Sake (Honjozo).

 

Sounds delicious! What other menu items do you recommend?


Some of our other delicious menu items are:


photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Maguro tataki. This is a beautiful serving of seared Pacific Bluefin Tuna with a ponzu drizzle, garnished with scallions, served with a side house salad. It is best paired with: Tamano Hikari Sake (Junmai Daiginjo); Gekkeikan Black & Gold Sake (Blended); and Miyanoyuki Sake (Junmai Ginjo).


Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Set A & Set B (Grilled Skewers). This menu item is a combination of 5 different skewer selections. It is perfect for first timers who would like to try a variety of grilled items. Sets include a combination of Chicken, Beef, Pork, Seafood, Bacon and Vegetable. It is best paired with: Sapporo/Asahi Beers; Kubota Senju Sake (Honjozo); and Hakkaisan Tokubetsu Sake (Honjozo)

 

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Premium Sashimi Set. This dish is 15 pieces of assorted sashimi, including selections from our premium menu. It is best paired with: Nanbu Bijin Sake(Junmai Ginjo); Miyanoyuki Sake (Junami Ginjo); and Gekkeikan Black & Gold Sake (Blended).

 

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Yuke. This dish features lightly seasoned raw beef tenderloin garnished with scallions and quail egg, served with a side house salad. It is best paired with: Sapporo/Asahi Beers and Otokoyama Tokubetsu Sake (Junmai).


That’s a lot of great menu options and drink pairings! Thank you, William. How would you describe the atmosphere at Kintaro?


Kintaro Izakaya is a cozy family owned japanese restaurant with an authentic japanese feel. A “sake house” to be immersed in the atmosphere with great conversations, food, music and drinks!


Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

We hope this interview takes the guesswork out of your Kintaro Izakaya experience! Now that you know what to order and what each specialty item pairs well with, the work is done! Pay a visit to Kintaro Izakaya (459 Church Street) to experience the bold flavours of your culturally rich community.

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to connect you with your community. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street, 55 Maitland Street) please visit our website.

Don’t miss the Toronto Festival of Beer: Spring Sessions!

 

Attention Toronto beer lovers! The Toronto Festival of Beer is back for it’s Spring Sessions this Victoria Day weekend. Don’t leave town for cottage country because for two glorious days (May 20th and 21st) Fort York will transform into an epic cottage in the city and kick off summer in style!

 

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

 

What better way to welcome in summer than with a great selection of cold beer and great food from the finest food trucks in the city! As Les Murray, President of Beerlicious Inc says:

 

Spring Sessions of Toronto’s Festival of Beer is going to be an incredible time to stay in the city. We have Canadian rockers Elliott Brood and The Trews headlining our festival, along with a fantastic selection of brews to sample and a great roster of local restaurants and food trucks for people to enjoy. We’re also bringing back the cottage in the city theme this year, with fire pits, outdoor games and lawn chairs to tie the theme together – you don’t want to miss it!

 

Pair your favourite brew with a hot and juicy Mustache Burger or some great Canadian poutine from Smoke’s Poutinerie. This is no ordinary poutine! Fresh, hand-cut fries are covered in cheese curds and smothered in Smoke’s signature gravy with lots of delicious options to throw in for added flavour. Choose beef, pork, chicken or veggie varieties. Be sure to save room for dessert! Indulge in the big taste of Tiny Tom Donuts or dig into hand-rolled Chimney Stax, baked in custom made rotisserie ovens from Chimney Stax Baking Co.

 

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

 

It goes without saying that a big part of the Festival is the the beer. From cutting edge craft breweries (like Barrie’s Flying Monkeys), to Toronto favourites (like Mill Street Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery and Brickworks Ciderhouse), and tried and true classics (like Budweiser) — there is something for everyone at this year’s Festival of Beer. But the real source of the fun is the laid back, cottage vibe and the games like Giant Jenga, Giant Soccer Darts and Bocce! You can kick back and chill by the fire pit, roasting marshmallows, or take in some great live music. This is how long weekends were meant to be spent!

 

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

 

When you’re sitting around the campfire, you don’t want just anybody to pick up a guitar and muddle their way through a song or two. The Festival of Beer understands this and they’ve taken care of the music, too!  On Saturday, May 20th, Elliott Broodwill be playing an acoustic Campfire Session, and on Sunday, May 21st, The Trews stoke the party and the fire with the second Campfire Session acoustic set. Choose your ticket for either May 20th or 21st. In addition to admission to the event, and seeing some great live acoustic music, your ticket also gets you 5 sampling tokens and a commemorative sampling mug.

 

Greenrock Property Management hopes the Toronto Festival of Beer: Spring Sessions will help you have an amazing Victoria Day weekend in the city! Please enjoy yourself responsibly. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, please visit our website.

The Churchmouse: your local pub

 

There is no substitute for a good British Pub. A casual neighbourhood hangout where you can grab a quick drink or a full meal and simply unwind after a long day. The Churchmouse at 475 Church Street is the local pub you’re looking for. They are part of the Firkin group of pubs so you can count on the perfect pub experience. They serve fabulous yet unpretentious fare, plus lots of local and international beers, including their very own Butler’s Pale Ale, wine, well-made cocktails and single malt Scotches.

 

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

 

The Churchmouse takes everything great about the British pub experience and leaves behind what you may not want. This is no dank, dark watering hole. It’s two storeys of spacious, airy comfort with lots of windows overlooking Church Street. They even have a perfect patio to soak up the sun and do a little people watching during the warmer weather. Belly up to the bar, take a seat in their comfy chairs at a table, or kick back on the Union Jack sofa and catch the game.

 

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

 

The food is not an afterthought at the Churchmouse. Along with traditional pub fare they offer daily food specials that have helped cultivate a loyal following for for 10 years. Start off by sharing some Bombay Chicken Tacos ($12) which feature Tandoori spiced chicken, mini naan, red cabbage, chickpea salsa and cool raita. Lighten things up with a Arugula Harvest Salad ($14) or sink your teeth into some Montreal smoked meat with the Butcher On The Rye Sandwich ($15) complete with red cabbage slaw, Swiss cheese and whole grain mustard on marble rye.

 

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

 

The good food, friendly staff and inviting atmosphere at the Churchmouse create a pub experience that will exceed your expectations.


Greenrock Property Management wants to connect you with your community! We hope that residents of our Village Green Community will visit the Churchmouse. It is patio season after all!


For more information on Greenrock Property Management and our Village Green Community (located at 50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street) please visit our website.

 

Check out Electric Island Music Festival!

 

If you’re looking for a fun and festive way to celebrate a long weekend this summer, you don’t have to head to a cottage or leave the city. Plan a visit to Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands to catch the Electric Island Music Festival. The festival takes place, each and every long weekend from now until Labour Day. It’s only a short ferry ride away, but it feels like you’re entering a different world.

 

Photo: electricisland.to

Photo: electricisland.to

 

Now in it’s fifth year, the Electric Island Festival just seems to get bigger and better. This isn’t the typical Toronto Island experience you’re used to. The festival peacefully takes over and transforms the island with unique decor elements and art pieces. As Electric Island partner Joel Smye says, “every year we seem to grow and add new pieces and try and create a better experience. That’s ultimately the goal.”

 

Photo: electricisland.to

Photo: electricisland.to

 

It all kicks off this Victoria Day long weekend, on Monday, May 22nd. Expect an eclectic mix of electronic artists from around the globe. They’ll perform on two stages with two different sounds. On the first stage, catch Andrew Choe, Night Vision, Brooklyn-based DJs Bedouin, Eats Everythingfrom Bristol UK, Dutch artist Joris Voon and finally, Berlin’s Ben Klock who will close the weekend’s festivities. On the second stage you can see Mexico’s Rebolledo, Red Axes from Tel-Aviv, and headliner Leon Vynehall of Brighton, UK. Click on any of the highlighted performers to hear a sample of their sound.

 

Photo: electricisland.to

Photo: electricisland.to

 

This busy but laid-back music festival is filled with fun-loving people and strives to create a fun atmosphere. As Smye says:

 

If you haven’t been to a dance music party, this is a great place to start. It’s not overly wild, it’s not out of control, it’s just a nice day in a park. It would be tough to have a bad time here.

To ensure that everyone has a good time, there are a number of prohibited items. They include alcohol (will be available for sale), drugs (including prescription containers), glass, tents, lawn chairs, laser pointers and outside food. Don’t worry about going hungry — there will be a variety of great food trucks to grab a bite from. This is a rain or shine event, so remember to bring sunscreen, a rain poncho and an empty, refillable water bottle to fill up once you’re inside.

 

Photo: electricisland.to

Photo: electricisland.to

 

You can purchase tickets for single festival events or purchase a season pass which gives you access to all 5 days of shows. The Festival takes place every long weekend, all summer long, beginning Monday, May 22nd. If you can’t make it this weekend, mark your calendar for Saturday, July 1st; Monday, August 7th; and the event’s farewell to summer on Labour Day weekend on Sunday, September 3rd and Monday, September 4th.

 

The Electric Island Music Festival is an amazing celebration of summer, electronic music and community. To learn more about Greenrock Property Management and our Rental Communities in Toronto, please visit our website.