Tag Archives: apples

Hipster brunch: Skillet, Columbus

23 Apr

Skillet is a hipster spot  in Columbus’ German Village  that serves “rustic. urban. food.” Yes, with the punctuation. The place is a square room with small black booths, metal chairs like a classy diner, and wooden tables branded with the restaurant’s name. The menu changes daily but you’re sure to find something mouthwatering. We went on a Saturday for brunch, and found comfort foods like poutine, pain perdu, and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Skillet - Huevos rancherosHuevos Rancheros – a fried egg, black beans, cheese, and pulled pork  on two corn tortillas

Veggie pan roastThe Veggie Pan Roast – A  veritable garden of vegetables, including slices of patty pan squash, chanterelle and lobster mushrooms, tomato “gravy,” and topped with a poached egg.

apple galetteHoneycrisp apple galette with hard cider syrup and whipped snowville cream. This was my only disappointment –  it was more like a danish than a galette, and it wasn’t warm. I definitely expected more bang for my buck here.


IMAG1504The Final Word: Creative food with fresh ingredients in a simply decorated restaurant.  If you’re a visitor to the Columbus area, the German Village is a great neighborhood to visit, and Skillet should be your go-to brunch spot.

Info: Skillet, 410 East Whittier Street, Columbus, OH, 43206 USA
Skillet, Rustic. Urban. Food. on Urbanspoon

Toronto Gems: Fried apples, Milk tea, House-made pita

1 Jan

Happy new year! Not only is this my first post of 2014, but also my 100th post! What could I write about to make this post extra special? Such pressure…So I thought I’d share some gems I recently found in my hometown.

1. Fried Apples.

No, this isn’t some redneck deep fried apple you might find at a deep-fryer party, beside some deep-fried Twinkies. In fact, the English name doesn’t do it justice. In Chinese, these are “silk apples.” At Asian Legend (505 Hwy. 7 East, Thornhill, ON Canada), they are apple pieces fried golden brown, brought to your table along with sugar syrup, and a bowl of ice water. The server coats the apples with the syrup, and then dunks the pieces into the ice water.

apples in ice water

The sugar caramelizes over the tender apples pieces, forming a delicate, crunchy layer. If prepared exactly right, you’ll see thin sugar strands on the apple pieces, like silk.


Silk apple

HK iced milk tea2. Milk Tea.

Not too far from Asian Legend is Marathon Cafe (155 East Beaver Creek Road, Richmond Hill, ON, Canada), the home of award-winning Hong Kong-style milk tea. If you go in the summer, try the iced version. Absolutely smooth!

Marathon Cafe

3. House-made Pita.

In Toronto’s downtown core, Paramount Fine Foods (253 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada) is a Lebanese restaurant that makes the largest, poofiest, pita bread I’ve ever seen.

Paramount - pita

Dip it in mousakaa – a delicious combination of grilled eggplant, diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, and chickpeas mixed in a tomato sauce. Or, wrap the pita around crunchy falafel and top with tahini.

falafel (Paramount Fine Foods)

The Most Impressive Apple Strudel

25 Aug

I’ve never actually had an apple strudel while in Germany, but I had a slice after dinner once in nearby Czech Republic. It was very good….but not nearly as astonishing as the strudel I ate in Hong Kong.

Stanley is a touristy destination in Hong Kong, and the Victorian-era Murray House is one of its main attractions.  We decided to stop by the King Ludwig Beerhall at the Murray House for an afternoon snack. I really wasn’t expecting much from a German restaurant in such a touristy Hong Kong spot, but I was blown away. I ordered the apple strudel, which is intended to be shared by 2-3 people (or for one gluttonous American to devour alone).

Apple strudel

This two-inch high slice of strudel was jam-packed with apple slices, inside the perfectly crispy exterior. A yummy vanilla sauce filled the rest of the large plate.


Afternoon Tea Sets are very common in Hong Kong, and the Beerhall offered a Set for two. This included two savory snacks, two desserts, and two drinks.

Afternoon tea set at King Ludwig

Two small fruit-topped cheesecakes, part of the Afternoon Tea Set:


The Beerhall has ample outdoor seating with unobstructed views of the water. For a true “beer hall” atmosphere, however, head inside where you’ll find rows and rows of beer steins lining the bar.

King Ludwig Beerhall

I can’t speak for the rest of the menu, but when it comes to apple strudel, this beer hall can’t be beat!


Info: King Ludwig Beerhall. Shop 202, Murray House, Stanley Plaza, Hong Kong, China.

Apple Pancake

30 Sep

It’s the season for apples, and what would be better than an apple pancake for brunch? This one serves 2-3 people.


  • 3 large apples, thinly sliced (I use Granny Smith, Cortland, or Gala)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use skim)
  • 1/4 tsp salt


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a 12-inch cast iron (or ovenproof) skillet, melt butter and  sauté apples, sugar, and cinnamon until tender (3-5 minutes).
3. Remove from heat.
4. In a bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Whisk in flour and milk.
5. Pour over apples, and bake until pancake is puffed and golden brown (25-30 minutes).
6. Serve immediately, with maple syrup.

Nutrition Info
Per serving (3 servings per pancake)
Calories: 328
Total Fat: 8.4 g
Saturated Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 175 mg
Fiber: 6.4 g
Sugars: 31.4 g
Protein: 9.1 g

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