I had the opportunity to visit the newly renovated Marben restaurant for the 3rd Annual Sausage League. The basic premise of the Sausage League is to have various local chef's make a sausage dish; with the winner winning a trip to Chicago. Different pairs of chefs compete head on, every Wednesdays. Marben customers vote on their favourite sausage dish and to be paired with a Muskoka Brewery beer. The final battle ends this summer. Check them out if you're looking for a cool vibe. Very smart of Marben to build community by inviting various chefs to collaborate in a fun competition.
Marben is just about finished with the renovations. I had the opportunity to preview the lower level of the restaurant which reminds me of the "Please Don't Tell" in the east village NYC. Nice leather booths and an extensive bar. Marben will be a hotspot for the King West area of Toronto. Looks like they've paid attention to the details right from the menu to the little design elements of the interiors.
The lower level lounge preview at Marben.
Bathrooom interior is cool.
Taxidermy fixture reminiscent of PDT NYC.
For more info on Marben: Marben restaurant
Info on Sausage League: $25 per person - Gets you 2 sausage dishes and 2 glasses of Muskoka Brewery Beer.
Disclosure: I was invited by Marbens Public Relations to enjoy a complimentary sampling for Sausage League.
Do you SmallenFreuden? SmallenFreuden means using your VISA card for small purchases you'd make anyway. You can earn rewards on your small purchases. For me, I'm trying to mimimize carrying pocket change and cash to some extent. Using my VISA card to pay keeps everything simple and in one place. I'll make my coffee or lunch purchases via the VISA.
SmallenFreuden might not be the way everyone makes purchases but it's a great option and simple way for transactions for all the small purchases if you are that type of person with these spending habits. It's always good to have options, right?
Currently with the NHL Playoffs and the Finals all set with Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, you can increase your chances of winning various prizes from VISA if you smallenfreuden.
Click for a chance to WIN a #smallenfreuden Ultimate NHL Experience. Vote for the smallest play of the game. SMALLENFREUDEN
You could smallenfreuden your way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs with VISA. Are you game?
Thanks to VISA, I'll be also giving away a $100 Pre-Paid VISA card to one of my Twitter followers. Enter now. WINNER will be selected on June 24th.
Tweet me: How you would smallenfreuden? Be creative with your tweet. For example:
@Clickflickca @Smallenfreuden I would smallenfreuden my coffee purchase. #Smallenfreuden
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
I recently was invited to the E11even restaurant to try a NEW Spring Menu Tasting that is not yet released on their menu. It was a great opportunity to sample some of the dishes and cocktails served and created by Chef Graham Pelley @E11evenChef. The New Spring menu will be available at E11even in the near future. A highlight for me was that some of the ingredients used in the dishes are local from the Mennonites and are Ontario hometown grown. It's always nice to see chefs and restaurants supporting local community.
I've always frequented Real Sports which is located next door to E11even and are owned by the same parent company MLSE which owns the Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. E11even is more sophisticated and refined than it's counterpart of Real Sports but don't let that fool you. It's quite affordable and fair in it's pricing. For example, the 2 hotdog sliders for $5(NEW Menu item) is a great game day appetizer to enjoy before a Leafs or Raptors game.
Shareable hot dog sliders from E11even.
I'm not going to bore you with more reading and just get straight to the food porn. Check them out next time you head to the ACC or want to find a spot to enjoy the patio in the heart of Toronto.
This is my favourite offering of the tasting: Tuna Tartare
It's tuna tartare with fried shallots, a touch of sirracha, chives, chiles, cilantro and ailoi. This reminds me of Hawaiian Poke or sashimi. It's plated like a small mini cake. All tuna goodness in there.
Wedge salad with oven dried tomatoes, blue cheese and country bacon. The cheese is from a Mennonite farm.
Sweet Peas. Simple and very addictive. Great healthy snacking.
Ling cod organic fish with wild mushroom and sweet pea purée squeezed with lemon citrus.
The dishes featured here will be on the Spring Menu at E11even. I still had the opportunity to try 3 different desserts. All 3 are great, my favourite is the Oreo ice cream cookie sandwich with Tahitian vanilla. All the dessert portions are shareable. Order the Oreo ice cream cake if you don't like to share your desserts. It's good enough for one person.
Oreo ice cream cookie.
Broken banana pie: Graham crust, bananas, banana cream and whip cream.
This Pavlova Meringue was amazing. It's got a "Macaron" chewy texture to it. Very nice and light dessert.
Please give E11even a visit and enjoy the downtown patio. It's a great opportunity to try many of the menu offerings. This is a shortlist of the Spring menu offerings. They've got a gnochhi dish and Caprese salad which are amazing too! Thanks again to the E11even staff for the hospitality and great food and drinks.
As you know I'm a very big fan of the Social Tool Twitter. Twitter has literally changed my life in a very positive way. It has allowed me to interact, communicate and engage with so many new friends. I do not think there is anyone else in the Toronto/GTA area that has tweeted more than myself. This should be the first indication that I enjoy Twitter; also it reveals the level of engagement I use with this tool. It brings forth a kind of spontaneity…tweets are never scheduled… they are "tweets" on-the-go!!
I had a vacation planned to visit San Francisco with friends and family and I had reached out on Twitter prior to my trip to see if anyone would be able to give me an opportunity to get a look or tour of the San Francisco offices. I want to "Thank" a fellow Canadian named Mark @shinypb who welcomed me, and made me feel being a Canadian, even prouder! On that note, I just want to point out that Mark is the only person at Twitter that does not wear shoes at work, literally!! Sorry Mark but I had to share this..what can you expect from a fellow twitterer?!
Upon entry to Twitter, I see this cuckoo style clock. This station takes a pic of you visiting the office and tweets it out that you've visited the Twitter Office. You can see other guest here: @Twoffice
I'm like a kid in a candy store visiting Twitter. I visited on a Friday evening at approximately 6:00pm. It was surprising to see a full house of people at this time. It seemed like know one goes home from work. The main foyer had ceviche and nachos for everyone to enjoy including unlimited beer for anyone to enjoy. Mark continued to give me a tour around the office. I was simply amazed because it looked like a really fun place to work. Here are some pics of the space at Twitter:
They have a shuffle board. Toronto needs more of this!
The exterior of Twitter Headquarters is an oasis and space of quiet and fun. Check out the pics:
During the tour I learned that Twitter was in the midst of construction and expansion of the San Fran office space. They are also continuously looking for developers, engineers and much more. If you're ever interested in working with them check out Twitter Jobs
So why would you want to work at Twitter? Well, to start, they offer a very flexible vacation policy. I do not want to elaborate on this but it's amazing!! They have catered breakfast and lunch; they get free drinks and snacks anytime. They get paid maternity and paternity leave and most importantly, they offer a challenging and very social community of people who are eager to learn and be challenged. This is something I find lacking in our Toronto community and why we lose so much talent to the US; it should be noted that many Canadians work at the San Francisco office. This is just a short list of advantages to working at Twitter and I'm sure there are many more additional benefits to be discovered.
If you look at the above picture that is King James and JAYZ with Dick Costolo the CEO of Twitter. I was lucky to meet and have a beer with Dick @dickc. He's a very nice guy… a very first good impression. My first day on my vacation and what are the likelihood that i get to meet the CEO of Twitter! That was one of the highlights of my trip.
In a total coincidence, Twitter Canada is opening up an office in Toronto which is exciting to hear. I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing what they have planned. A big thanks to Mark @shinypb and Ian @Chanian for making me feel welcomed to the Twitter office.
More photos of my visit to Twitter San Francisco:
Stay tuned as I blog more about my visit to Google, Apple, Facebook and the Silicon Valley.
****DUE TO SCHEDULING WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON SUNDAY**** SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE
Spring is here and the summer is just around the corner. Virgin Mobile Canada has created a cool infographics with some fun and cool tips on cleansing your phone. What do they mean by cleansing the phone? We've all got old text messages and we might even have old phone numbers of people we don't talk to anymore like your ex. Get rid of awkward or unwanted photos. Clean up your address book. This will help you be more organized and efficient. Simplicity breeds clarity is what I say.
On that note, thanks to Virgin Mobile Canada, I'll be giving away an HTC One phone. Now we've been talking about cleaning and detoxifying your phone. To WIN an HTC One phone I want you to tell me your most embarrassing phone moment. Just add @clickflickca and @VirginMobileCan with your most embarrassing moments and add the hashtag #HTCSpring in addition to the tweet, enter via rafflecopter for additional chances. Good Luck!
For info on Virgin Mobile Canada
Follow on Twitter: @virginmobilecan
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you SmallenFreuden? You're probably wondering what the word "SmallenFreuden" means ? SmallenFreuden is a fun word that refers to putting the small everyday purchases you would make on your Visa Credit card. I'm sure you've seen the commercials and billboards all around town as my social streams can attest.
I have a VISA Dividend credit card and I've always reserved purchases for large priced items. Since the inception of the "smallenfreuden", I've started to make small purchases. All these small purchases culminate to more of a convenience, control and rewards. My small purchases on the VISA all lead to a percentage of cash back which is specific to my particular credit card. Since I base my purchases on smaller totals, I may as well earn some money back right? To me it's more of a convenience without having to spend more while making cash in the interim.
VISA is the official partner and credit card of the NHL in Canada. In partnership with the NHL, VISA is challenging Canadians to identify the small plays of the game that make the difference. VISA isn't looking for the BIG plays but the small plays that lead up to these great plays or moments! Visit here for specific details:
Small Play of the Game
The NHL and VISA is currently running this promotion if you smallenfreuden using your VISA card, you can WIN an ultimate experience for your family at the 2014 Stanley Cup This includes round trip airfare, accommodations and much more.
Stay tuned for more contest and begin to "smallenfreuden" for a chance to win a giveaway! You've been warned. :-)
Follow @smallenfreuden for all the updates on Twitter.
Follow Ultimate NHL Experience for contest details. Good luck!
Disclosure: Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
I'm sure you've started to see this glowing ball around on the web or popping up in your local area…. Sphero! What is Sphero? Sphero is a robotic ball gaming system that you control via your smartphone or tablet. This is kind of similar to RC cars that we grew up playing with but even better. The Sphero enables you tilt, touch and swing your smartphone for play. This robotic ball will amaze your friends and family. I had the perfect opportunity this long weekend to show my family the Sphero and they were all amazed and confused in a good way. Why? To be able to control a glowing ball from your smartphone is cool and that's just remarkable advancement in technology.
To begin using the Sphero all you have to do is charge the robotic ball and download the Sphero App which is FREE, into your smartphone. It works with iphone, ipad and Android. Currently you can download several FREE Apps in conjunction with the Sphero. Using the additional apps makes using the Sphero even more fun and enhances the social aspect of the Sphero. I've only had the opportunity to use the single unit and experiencing it firsthand has brought back those fond memories where a kid can be a kid again but as an adult. You can do tricks, record and even take photos while playing with the Sphero.
In this video, I had my nephew test it out. We had the neigbourhood kids watching him play with this glowing ball.
The Sphero can also become a joystick which enables you to experience something very different. Here is another example of Sphero game flexibility using a game called Exile.
The Sphero has a whole Gaming Network "SpheroVerse" so you can track your achievements with your Sphero. It will track distance travelled, tricks you've completed etc.
This is one of the interfaces on the iphone for the Sphero.
I can't wait to give this a try! Augmented Reality with Sphero.
Overall, my favourite part about the Sphero is that it was really exciting to see my nephews and nieces' faces filled with enthusiasm and awe. They were so intrigued that they couldn't wait their turns to take over the ball and controls of the Sphero. Another cool thing about the Sphero is the flexibility that everyone can enjoy their own entertainment and of others. I haven't played the social games yet but that will be next in my blog updates.. having a ball for now. For now if you need more details on Sphero visit here: GOSphero
Where to buy: Best Buy Canada Retail Value: $129.99
Best Buy Canada and Spheros have given me the opportunity to reward a lucky winner. Tweet me and you can WIN or Enter below with various ways to ENTER. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I have received compensation for this post and all opinions are my own and not reflective of Best Buy Canada or Sphero.