Well I did abandon this for a while didn't I? Sorry about that. I don't really have any reason for it. Just neglect and laziness. I've even been eating some pretty delicious things lately, I just haven't actually sat down to tell you about it. So let's start with something short and simple. With something I didn't actually cook.
I went to grab a bite to eat with my sister and her friend yesterday. We popped into this little Indian place on Yonge Street, just south of Bloor, called TKRE, which stand for The Kathi Roll Express. It hasn't been open for very long and it's one of those places that, from the outside, you could miss completely.
You hit the order counter the moment you walk in, where everything is prepared for order in front of you. They even make the whole grain wraps - Indian-style flat bread called parathas - in store. Past the counter is a sizeable sit-down area colourfully decorated with logo-painted table-tops, graffiti laden backsplashes, and old Bollywood film posters.
The gentleman at the counter, who I believe is also the owner, gave us a rundown of the menu and explained the concept behind the store. He was very enthusiastic about the food and more than willing to answer any questions we had. It's a rare thing to get such attentive service at what is essentially a take-out joint. You can tell that he cares and wants you to enjoy the food. He has based the menu on street food you'd find in various parts of India, namely Kolkata and Mumbai. The rolls are filled with anything from chicken to lamb to chickpeas, and then doused in a house-made hot sauce that has just enough kick to be called spicy, but not so much that I couldn't eat the whole thing. They come in two sizes, mumbo or jumbo, depending on the size of your appetite.
I purchased the Achari Paneer roll (paneer is an Indian pressed curd cheese), one of several vegetarian options, along with a mango lassi. My two dining companions ordered chicken and lamb respectively, onions held on the chicken roll. We then took a seat and waited while they cooked our food.
The mango lassi was one of the best drinks I've tasted in a while. Thick and smooth and pure mango, no filler flavours. It was more or less like drinking a mango and it was delicious. The roll was equally tasty. As I said above, it has a good kick of spice to it, and the paneer was perfectly cooked for optimum texture. I got the mumbo size, which was perfect for how hungry I was, though if you're looking for something more dinner-sized, you'd probably want to go for the jumbo.
Overall it was a great experience and I'll definitely be going back. As someone who's been a vegetarian now for about nine months, I can attest that it's difficult to find vegetarian fast food (though, to be fair, Indian cuisine usually has vegetarian options). TKRE has numerous veggie dishes, including a couple that are vegan, which is really refreshing. I'm especially interested to try the chickpea roll and their chai tea (whose origins are Indian). I'm also keen to get another of those mango lassis.
So if you're in the Yonge-Bloor area and looking for a quick bite to eat, something that's a little different, check out TKRE. You won't be disappointed.