Hibiscus, Butterscotch Pecan Bars, and Nuit Blanche

Anyone else hit up Nuit Blanche this year?
For those not in-the-know, Nuit Blanche is/was an annual all-night art exhibition at 155 locations across downtown Toronto. This year, a million people attended. I dunno, I was pretty underwhelmed. The art was supposed to be really edgy and provocative, but in the rare occurences that I actually saw any art through a swarm of people, I didn’t really see anything memorable. Ducks in pond, cool… guy with a spotlight, neat… black-and-white video of naked men holding mirrors..?? wtf?? I don’t pretend to have much comprehension of the artsy-fartsy stuff in life, but this stuff was just weird or boring. Food is my art.

Speaking of, I was delighted to have dinner at Hibiscus on Friday night in Toronto’s Kensington Market area with my friend M. I loved how by all outward appearances, it was a little hole in the wall surrounded by clapboard fruit markets, hippie-flavoured cafes, and odds-and-ends shops; but inside it was warm and elegant.

The menu was sparse, so I ordered a salad and an apple-cinnamon crepes.

Oh my god, this salad was unbelievably good. It was so substantial, it could have been the meal in itself. The salad had everything--green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, chick peas, lentils, broccoli, quinoa, and more.

Mmmm... crepe-y. (not crappy!)

OH. MY. GOD. The soy ice cream was TO DIE FOR. I've never had anything this good. If you live in Toronto, go to Hibiscus NOW and order some soy ice cream. This was mango, raspberry, and chocolate (the kindly proprietor gave me three scoops for the price of two!).

I spend the “nuit” of Nuit Blanche at my friend Mel W.’s house (we also saw the Nuit Blanche exhibitions together with some other friends and ex-coworkers) and since I missed her b-day jam last week AND wanted to give her a housewarming gift, I made a batch of Have Cake, Will Travel’s marvellous Butterscotch Pecan Bars.

I think they went over well, based on the reception (okay, maybe I also ate one on the subway down... and on the way out in the morning; they are sooooo good and chewy).

That’s about it for food at the moment but I have another cool picture to share. After leaving Mel and Brian’s apartment Sunday morning, I grabbed an organic coffee at a local cafe and was impressed with their innovative use of pasta:

Win!

-Maureen

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16 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    VeggieGirl said,

    The salad, crepes, ice cream, and Butterscotch-Pecan bars look INSANELY delectable – wowza!!

    Haha, interesting use for dried pasta :-)

  2. 2

    Shelby said,

    Oh gosh…I could really go for a buttescotch pecan bar right now *licks her lips*

  3. 3

    Ricki said,

    I’ve heard a lot about Nuit Blanche but have never gone to it. . . don’t think I will, now!! But Hibiscus is definitely on my list. And that IS a cool use for linguine!

  4. 4

    Celine said,

    funny, I just read about Nuit Blanche on a livejournal community!

  5. 5

    They call that a salad?! Looks like an entree to me! Yum! I like how its all separated in the same bowl.

  6. 6

    Anna said,

    Those butterscotch pecan bars look delicious. I want to bake!

    Do you a) take a camera with you every where you go, b) take a camera with you when you know you’re going out to eat or c) take photos with a cell phone?

    Just curious about the contents of your purse…

  7. 7

    shellyfish said,

    Nuit Blanche is actually international! It’s all over Europe, too. I believe it started in France, but I won’t put money on it. The best Nuit Blanche I ever attended was when I was living in Versailles – there were parts of the castle and gardens which are normally closed to the public that were all decked out for the occasion – it was amazing. There were some cool things in paris this year, but it’s hard to go with a little one.
    Oh, and I wish I was eating that crêpe!

  8. 8

    Rachael said,

    Thanks for the information…I bookmarked your site, and I appreciate your time and effort to make your blog a success!

  9. 9

    Kristie said,

    Oh droolllll, do those bars ever look delicious!
    Love the pasta stir sticks too. Super cute haha

  10. 10

    Christie said,

    Those look so good (the bars) I love have cake will travels website… I always say I want to make some of the stuff I just never get around to it! Do you use? I have never used it before and I am not very familiar with it. sucacant

  11. 11

    mmm….those bars look so good!

  12. 12

    I also think Nuit Blanche is pretty much overrated, no matter the country. The food, on the other side, doesn’t disappoint!

  13. 13

    Apple-cinnamon crepes?! You always have the best food!

    Oh, and Pita Pancakes = Peter Pan Cakes… yeah, I’m a dork!

  14. 14

    I want to live in Toronto, go to Hibiscus and order some soy ice cream! It looks so freakin’ good!! The Butterscotch Pecan Bars look so deliciously chewy!

  15. 15

    Allison said,

    Okay so EVERYTHING in this post is making my mouth water! Even though it’s a given that I’m in love with the sweets, that salad is calling my name! I love everything that was thrown in it…I know what’s for dinner tonight! :0)

  16. 16

    Vegannifer said,

    I would much rather use pasta to stir my coffee than wooden or plastic sticks! What a great idea!


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