Welcome to BoBo Feed

BoBo is a French expression, short for Bourgeois Bohème, and it pretty much describes who we are.

Bobo Feed will be sharing things that inspire us or please us-
from the worlds of architecture & design, fashion & styling, food and drink, travel, urban living, whatever...

We hope you enjoy.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Travels...apartment 9F ("F" is for "fate")

Isn't it interesting how sometimes plans just don't seem to be working out for you and finally you decide on a change in direction and suddenly everything just falls right into place? It's like Plan A was not meant to be. And Plan B had all along been ordained to be your proper course of action, except that you didn't know it till so much later in the game. For some reason this has happened to us with recent travel plans. We've wanted to "Copenhagenize" ourselves for a couple of years now, but trying to get things organized has been unusually challenging.
image courtesy cntraveller.com

We love to visit cities. And lately we've come to love spending an entire two week vacation in one town. Many people find the idea of devoting an entire vacation to one centre to be a bit much. We, on the other hand, relish having the time to explore a place in-depth, to really get to know a neighbourhood or three, and to try (to the limited extent possible as a short-stay visitor) to inhabit a place somewhat like a local. The key to doing this successfully, in our opinion, is an apartment rental; let's face it, a fortnight in the same hotel room, no matter how luxurious, would probably drive most of us a little crazy. And let's not even mention the cost!

An apartment, on the other hand, gives you freedom: freedom to get up in the morning, prepare a healthy breakfast, and take as long as you want to get yourselves out the door; freedom to make a picnic lunch to throw in your travel bag if you so desire; freedom to explore the city's exotic markets, to actually purchase some of that incredible stuff, bring home the goods, and have an enjoyable time in your kitchen preparing a delicious dinner; and freedom to come home after a day of sightseeing and have something more than a bed and a couple of tatty hotel chairs to relax on before you clean yourselves up and head back out for the evening. To us, an apartment is the key to a truly relaxing vacation.

We've yet to crack the nut that is the Copenhagen apartment rental scene, though. The few flats that have appealed- specifically, in a neighbourhood we want to stay in, of a size and condition that suits our sensibilities, and at a price we can afford- have been beyond our grasp. They either don't seem to exist or they are not available at the times we plan to visit. Perhaps there's a more limited supply of short- term rentals in Copenhagen than other places we've visited, perhaps our travel dates align with when the city is at its busiest (they do have a relatively short window of seasonable weather, after all), or perhaps we just haven't found the right websites (although we're pretty adept at ferreting these places out, we think). Or maybe it just isn't yet meant to be.

Commitments at work recently pushed the dates for this year's vacation into mid October. We were suddenly thrown into the position of having to reevaluate whether it was wise to continue making plans for a holiday in a North Sea environment half way through the autumn. Cool temperatures we could handle, but what if we encountered 14 days of rain? No one wants to risk washing away that precious time. So for the second year in a row we pulled the plug on Denmark. Except this time we said, "there must be some reason that it's proving so hard to get there. Let's respect what the travel gods are telling us."

It may be some time, if ever, before we understand that reason. But we still intend to visit and we will no doubt try again next year. But in the meantime, in casting around for places that strike our fancy yet remain reasonably dry as winter approaches, we were drawn once again to South America. And, magically, from out of the haze an old friend beckoned: Apartment 9F.

Apartment 9F is one of two modern condominium units owned by two Californian couples in the city of Buenos Aires. It is the first apartment we stayed in during our inaugural trip to Argentina, and it is one of the very best we've ever rented. On our second visit it was not available; we took a place in the same neighbourhood, but our substitute flat was inferior. Unfortunately we pined for 9F throughout the entire stay. So imagine our great delight to see on its website that 9F was available during our intended dates this year. We quickly contacted the owners and within a couple of days it was ours!

Moving onto travel arrangements we found that there were still plenty of seats on our preferred route, an Air Canada service direct from Toronto (with a quick stopover in Santiago de Chile). And best of all, the fares were great! Boom! Booked! 

Remarkably, we had just gone from a period of months, stretching across two vacation years, of trying in vain to organize a holiday to Copenhagen, to abandoning those plans and successfully organizing our entire trip to Buenos Aires all within six days! Sure, we didn't have to go through the usual process of researching dozens of apartments and drawing up a shortlist, contacting the owners and patiently waiting their replies, but still...it makes you wonder why everything fell into place so effortlessly.
B&W image courtesy digifocal.com
Below that, courtesy friendlyplanet.com
Bottom, courtesy planetajoy.com

The lessons, we suppose, are to trust in fate and heed the message when it comes at you loud and clear, and to accept the possibility- even the eventuality- of a Plan B. 

Or should we say Plan 9F?



Monday, July 30, 2012

Looking Up...shadow dance

New Sick Kids Hospital Research Building

Friday, July 27, 2012

friday frequencies...parabéns!

This one's for Jay, our birthday boy today!
Happy Birthday, Sexy!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Looking Up...Letterpress, Litho and Loose Leaf

Laneway mural, Peter Street north of King St. W.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Rituals- DIY Fruit Fly Trap

We absolutely love having a kitchen counter overflowing with fresh local fruit! What we don't love is the inundation of fruit flies that often seems to be part of the bargain. So every year we head to the cupboard where we store leftover plastic food containers and set about constructing a fruit fly trap. It's really simple and highly effective. Here's how you do it:
Step 1: Assemble your parts and your tools. You'll need a small plastic container and lid, the kind that you bring home wet food from the grocery store in; something with sharp tines you can use to poke holes in the container's lid- we use a carving fork; some vinegar; and some spoiled fruit, fruit peels, or trimmings.
Step 2: Being careful of your fingers while working, poke 6 or 8 small holes in the lid of the container. Make them just slightly larger than the size of a fruit fly. Too small and the little critters won't be able to crawl inside, which of course is the whole point; too big and they'll be able to crawl back out.  Be sure you poke in the direction of the inside of the container. When you make the hole you'll be creating a little plastic cone descending into the trap. Flies go up to the highest surface they can when trying to escape; the cone has the effect of making the entry hole slightly lower than the surface of the rest of the lid. Only the smartest of flies will be able to figure this out and make their getaway.
Step 3: Place a couple of pieces of the spoiled fruit into the container. There is no need to load it up. The gasses emitted from a small amount of bait will be enough to attract them.
Step 4: Add just enough vinegar to create a shallow pool in the bottom of the container. The vinegar will help attract the flies, and it is also what will ultimately capture them. Any vinegar will do. We use a white wine vinegar because we find its scent a little less harsh should we catch the odd whiff from the trap, and because you can see how effective your handiwork is (something that Balsamic, say, would not permit!)
Step 5: Et voila! Close up the lid and place the trap near your bounty of fresh fruit. It should work for 3 to 5 days depending on how hot your kitchen is and how spoiled your bait was to begin with. The trapped flies will end up floating in the vinegar- give it a swirl just before disposal to ensure any live ones get well wetted, and just flush your problems away! A word of warning: the captured flies will lay eggs on the bait, so if you leave the trap too long without emptying, you will actually end up with a fruit fly farm on your counter! Not really the intended results!
Now go out and buy yourself a quart of fresh Ontario peaches!
And don't say you never learned anything useful from Bobo Feed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Urban Spoon- Toronto Restaurant Advice gets the Bobo Treatment!

If you've been paying attention, you may have noticed the appearance of this little box on the right hand side of the blog. And if you haven't been paying attention, which we're pretty sure is the case for most of you, don't feel bad: we're about to explain. This badge means that Bobo Feed has joined the ranks of the official food bloggers who hang out on the restaurant review pages of Urban Spoon dispensing our wisdom.

Bobo Feed Toronto restaurants

While we know that you unwaveringly trust our sophisticated palates and our culinary knowledge, we appreciate that from time to time, for the same reasons that people like to watch reality TV, you may wish to read what others have to say about a place. Going forward we will be including the cute little Urban Spoon button at the bottom of our restaurant reviews so you can directly link to their page for the featured restaurant.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Agave y Aguacate- Oro Puro in Kensington!

 Update: Restaurant Closed

This, admittedly, is not the kind of shop entrance to entice the unadventurous: a hodgepodge of banners and signs, most of them in a language many would recognize as Spanish but not necessarily understand, in a riot of distracting information, followed by the sight of two or three miniscule food stands if one dares to stick head through door. Unless you know there's a good reason to cross the threshold and mount a few steps that lay ahead you would probably be tempted to keep on walking. But you mustn't. If you pass this by you'll miss out on one of the city's richest treasures laying buried within.

Once home to El Gordo's excellent empanada shop, the so- called Latin American Food Court on the west side of Augusta just north of Baldwin now has seven or eight food vendors in its cramped quarters, but the anchor tenant is without a doubt Agave y Aguacate.
No larger than its neighbours, it is nonetheless a standout, firstly because of its vibrant orange wall adorned with a sunburst of Mexican motifs, secondly because of the lineup of patrons patiently waiting to place their orders, and thirdly (and most importantly) because of the amazing food being meticulously served up.
Owner/ Chef Francisco Alejandri, who hails originally from Mexico, is both a graduate of Stratford's prestigious chef school and a veteran of numerous Toronto high-end kitchens. His pedigree is on display as he works, often single- handedly, to prepare each order. Precision, fussiness over detail, and fastidious cleanliness are his hallmarks.

Below he's making Agua Chile. A half cucumber is peeled & seeded, drizzled with lime juice and seasoning. Half a tomato is sliced super-thinly and nestled in the cucumber. The cooked shrimp bathed in Aguachile is piled on top and dressed with sliced red onion. A touch more seasoning to taste and you're set. Absolutely delicious, especially on a day as scorching as the last time we visited.
One thing we were completely impressed with while watching Chef Alejandri work was how he constantly tasted then adjusted the ingredients. He keeps a small spoon in his sleeve pocket, he uses an additional implement to drop the food on his tasting spoon, then after tasting cleans his spoon and returns it to his pocket. The tasting spoon never comes into direct contact with the food you will be served. This is indeed the mark of a well trained professional! A small sink behind his counter is also continuously used to clean his implements. Like we said earlier, he's fastidious.
You can see from the picture above just how tiny the food prep area is at Agave y Aguacate. The young lady is standing at a counter atop a fridge. The three induction hot plates are used to cook anything that requires heat. It can be a slow process, but there's the theater of the kitchen to keep you enthralled while you watch your order (and those of several folks ahead of you) being prepared. Inevitably the waiting patrons break into conversation: "Oh, that looks amazing! What did you order?"

Here our Anita Tostada is being readied. Avocado (aguacate) is scooped in flat segments to create a layer atop the fresh tostada. A generous portion of cooked beans and chorizo (again, tasted and seasoning- corrected  by chef) is ladled onto the avocado, drizzled with crema, topped with queso fresco which quickly wilts from the heat of the beans, and finally finished with a smoky sultry chile sauce. This plate is divine!
On another visit we tried the Chicken Pipián. The chicken is juicy, tender, and oh-so flavourful. But of course this dish is all about the mole. Our quick research tells us that Pipián is often a green sauce, but that Pipián Rojo, the red version, is a variety from central Mexico. In all its permutations pumpkin seeds seem to be the constant and essential ingredient, but we also came across recipes using sliced almonds, sesame seeds, or various combinations of all three, plus (of course) the building block of all moles, smoky chili. We're not sure of how Chef Alejandri builds his personal Pipián, but we're here to tell you it is sensational!
In the confusing space that is the Latin American Food Court it's not obvious that there might be seating on a bright hot patio out back. There are indeed a half dozen tables, though, with tablecloths barely hanging on in the breeze, and no shelter from the sun. Somehow, the blazing heat and the infectious salsa music coming from the adjacent parilla stand (barbeque, which we plan to try on another food court visit) whisk you to an imaginary place way down south. As you tuck into your fabulous fresh food, all is immediately right with the world.
You may or may not be familiar with celebrity chef and crusty New Yorker Anthony Bourdain, or his current Travel Channel TV series The Layover, but recent word is that he will be covering Toronto in the show's second season, now being shot. Apparently when presented with a short list of locations to visit, the man who travels the globe looking for "real" food put Agave y Aguacate at the top. 

In the time before the Toronto episode airs we suggest you visit this hidden gem. The lines are already long enough; why wait till the rest of the world discovers it?!
Image courtesy Now Magazine

Agave y Aguacate
214 Augusta Avenue, Toronto 
 (647) 208-3091

Agave y Aguacate blog

Agave Y Aguacate on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Seen...make way for Progress

Charming English style home on Peter Street between Richmond and Adelaide. Apparently one of the first houses in this part of the city, it now awaits its fate. I guess we all know what to expect on this site. Sad.

Friday, July 20, 2012

friday frequencies...Térez Montcalm- Amazing!

Here's another great Canadian voice! Térez Montcalm hails from Quebec, she's released seven albums since 1994 (!), and we think she's pretty amazing. Have a listen and see for yourselves. The clip is about 5 years old from a Quebec variety show called Belle et Bum, and the tune begins after a one minute intro. Here she is covering The Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams":

Wishing you Sweet Dreams all weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Seven Shoe Solution

 Great article from the fine folks at "Put this On"...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Looking Up... the ties that bind

Almost complete condo bridge facing Canoe Landing Park

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Old rooftops and modern skyline seen from Kensington Market

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Merde! C'est Lundi Demain

Seen...academic goth

A taste of English Gothic at the University of Toronto

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day!

Happy Bastille Day to all our French friends!

Friday, July 13, 2012

friday frequencies...this career's gotta Grow!

Have you heard of Elise LeGrow? Well, hopefully she'll be on your radar after this. We don't know much about her except that she's from Toronto, she belongs to another band as well called Whale Tooth, and boy, she fits right in with that current gang of R&B songstresses coming at us from across the pond.

Have a listen to No Good Woman:

Here's hoping you get up to a little "no good" this weekend! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Looking Up...Ionic order

St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church on Roncesvalles Avenue

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nipwitz is Nutz!

This is some crazy sh!t:

We first saw this via The Atlantic magazine's Cities blog and it blew our minds (link here). Crazed Finns making it look so easy! Here's their homepage.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Seen...smooth moves on Roncy

She's a foxtrotting gal from Gdansk, my cousin, 
and she's available weekend evenings for the right gentleman.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spiral Cut Wieners...one more important thing you need to know!

We were prepared for this to be totally lame, but in fact it's brilliantly functional! We'll have to give it a go:

Friday, July 6, 2012

friday frequencies...hot enough for ya?!

So what do you think? Too darn hot to be dancing, we say! Sit back, sip on a cool one, and let these folks do all the work for you!
Have a great weekend. 
Try to make time to run through a sprinkler or two!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day to all our American friends!
(no matter what corner of the world you find youselves in!)
 photo credit: ~bittykate
Who says it always has to be about hot dogs?!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Looking up...Canada Day sky

Absolute heaven. Happy Canada Day!