[Review] Tasty eats at Inspire Restaurant in Markham

Website: http://www.insprestaurant.com/
Address: 144 Main St., Markham, ON
When I last visited: December 2016
Rate: 4.5, $$

Inspire Restaurant in Markham serves creative dishes from burgers, tacos, and chicken and waffles with an Asian twist. Owned by a young and cool chef that is passionate about creating dishes that tastes as good as it looks, where each dish is plated with finesse.  Come try out the dishes and let the food speak for itself.

The post is based on what I have ordered and tasted in the last few visits. During each visit, the food took a long time (20 minutes or so) to initially come out but the food made it worth the visit! The portions were generous for the mains, the service was attentive, and the food was an incredibly delicious.

Here are my top recommendations:

Panko Eggscobar ($10) Ontario Pork, Mashed Devilled Egg , Bacon , Tobiko , Soy Mayo, and Nori.

This was a wicked scotch egg with the works!

Waff Out Loud ($25)-Soy Marinated Grade Prime Strip Steak, Crisp Chicken, Ginger Maple, Spicy Berry Compote, Cheese Blend, and Homemade Waffle.
Who needs chicken and waffles, when you have crispy chicken AND tender medium rare steak on waffles. Talk about meat sweats. This dish is filling and outstanding!
Cry Me a River ($35)-Shrimps, Mussels, Octopus, Salmon, Uni, Scallops, Extra Butter Ginger Coconut, Buttered Toast, and Potato Cube.
I love uni very much, but the star of this dish was the buttery sauce!
Simply short rubs with 2 potatoes  ($25)-Beef Short Ribs, Blue Cheese Shitake Demi, Cauliflower Truffle Mash, and Potato Chips.
Awesome combination of flavours! Also, who doesn’t love crispy potato chips?

Capt’n Crunch banana ice cream sandwich ($12)- Banana Bread Waffles, Banana Cream, Peanut Butter Fudge Ice-Cream, and Capt’n Crunch Cereal.
This can feed 4-6 people easily!


A hip Markham restaurant doing things right with creative ingredients and combinations for the dishes at reasonable portions. Plus, it is a family friendly restaurant. Make sure to make reservations.

Inspire Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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[Event] Buy tickets for Dixonlicious 2017

Come support the 3rd annual Dixonlicious event on Wed. March 29th, 2017 to support Dixon Hall’s food programs. Dixon Hall is a multi-service non-profit in Toronto, focusing on the downtown east and Regent Park area. Their programs include ‘Meals on Wheels’, food for residents of their emergency shelters, and healthy snacks for kids at their summer camps.

At the event, expect mouth-watering cuisine expertly paired with complementary wines and craft beers. The evening will also include musical entertainment, and a live and silent auction.

Tickets:   General: $100 (includes a $65 charitable tax receipt), Youth (under 30): $70 (includes a $35 charitable tax receipt)

Tickets include food, drinks, entertainment, and a charitable tax receipt. Purchase online via www.dixonhall.org or by phone at 416.863.0499 x 2066.

How Dixonlicious helped the community:

  • Dixonlicious raised over $74,000, which allowed us to provide more than 20,000 meals to people in need.
  • 66,000 hot, nutritious meals are delivered a year to isolated and frail seniors and adults with disabilities, allowing them to stay living at home in comfort and dignity.
  • 160 youth from Regent Park attend our Summer and March Break Camps a year. At camp, youth have a chance to make life-long memories and friendships, as well as
    receive mentorship and engage with positive role-models who understand them.
  • Last year, 132,000 hot shelter meals were served to residents who rely on our Schoolhouse and Heyworth House Emergency Shelters.

It’ll be my first time covering the event.  Follow my food journey during and after the event at @maryshappybelly on Instagram and @maryshappybelly on Twitter, with hashtag #Dixonlicious.

Follow DixonHall and Dixonlicious on Social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DixonHall1929/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dixon_hall
Website: https:/www.dixonhall.org/
Event Tickets: www.bit.ly/dixonlicious
Hashtag #Dixonlicious

Venue handles:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Daniels.Spectrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/regentparkarts
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/regentparkarts/

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[Contest] Win a pair of tickets to Truth About Healthy Lives Conference-April 8, 2017

I had the pleasure meeting Carol Mark at Foodshare’s The Recipe for Change event a few years ago, and love that she is a passionate entrepreneur. Carol is the creator of Empower T; a plant based beverage with zero sugar, calories and artificial additives. She is the CEO and Founder for the Truth About Healthy Lives Conference, and is also a humanitarian who established the first girls library in Afghanistan with FemAid. On top of that, she had recovered from being diagnosed with breast cancer. What an incredible woman!

Carol Mark

Why should you attend The Healthy Lives Conference?

The conference goal is to help you “Get inspired. Get motivated. Get healthier. In one day, INCREASE your ENERGY, STRENGTHEN your PURPOSE, and FOCUS your ACTIVITY TO SHINE INSIDE AND OUT.” (Source: Truthabouthealthylives)

I think we can all benefit from that!

At the event, expect to learn about:

  • Amazing healthy lifestyle tips from today’s best & brightest innovators from the Medical, Naturopath & Homeopath fields.
  • Pick up makeup tips from Natural Beauty Experts.
  • Explore, Eat & Shop the Specialty Artisan Food Market (including healthy, gluten free, vegan, sugarless products & sampling).
  • Connect & speak with leading Scientists, Nutritionalists, Vendors, Artists & Fashion Gurus.
  • Check out the Women’s Boxing Ring, recoup & find your zen at home with Interior Design & Sleep Specialists.


Website: www.truthabouthealthylives.com
Address: Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON M4W 2G8 
 April 8th., 2017  8:00am to 3:00pm

Bonus: Take home a swag bag of sample goodies and coupons worth over $50 (500 attendees-while quantities last). The artisan food hall features healthy food samples of non-gluten, vegan, non-dairy and chocolates.


Contest Details:

  • The winner will receive a pair of tickets through e-mail.
  • The prize is not transferable.
  • The contest will end March 25th, 2017 11:59 PM EST.
  • All winners must be willing to provide their full name and e-mail address.
  • The contest is opened to Canadian residents only.
  •  The winner will be chosen randomly using https://www.random.org/. Mary’s Happy Belly will conduct quality checks.
  • I will contact the winner by direct message on Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook.
  •  The winner will be notified by March 28th, 2017 and must respond before the end of the day. Failure to respond in a timely manner means that another prize winner will be chosen. The winner will eventually be announced on the blog

Good luck!

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[Review] Golden Palace Restaurant-Best egg rolls in Ottawa

Website: http://www.goldenpalacerestaurant.ca/
Address: 2195 Carling Ave., Ottawa, ON
When I visited: August 2016

Summer is long over, but it’s never too late to reminisce on memorable eats. With family in Ottawa, I normally make a trip a few times a year. A trip to Canada’s capital is not complete without a visit to my uncle’s restaurant, Pho Bac Oriental cuisine, and my friend’s restaurant in Kanata, Authentic Vietnamese Pho House.

I am thankful to have been introduced to the tasty egg rolls from my blogger friend Vicky of http://momwhoruns.com. Now, my trip to Ottawa also means a stop to  Golden Palace Tavern Restaurant.

Bill Kwong is the 3rd generation owner and it is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Ottawa. Based on the sign and decor, it was obvious the restaurant was from the 1960s.

Golden Palace Tavern Restaurant

When I stopped by at noon, the restaurant was pretty quiet inside but there were several customers waiting for take out; specifically to buy the egg rolls. I imagine the restaurant to be booming with diners once upon a time.

Now, what makes the egg rolls so damn incredible?

Growing up, I have only seen egg rolls with a thick yellow and hard skin with a skimpy amount of fillings usually with just veggies; specially carrots, cabbage and bean sprouts. Egg rolls were typically served with a fluorescent pink sweet and sour sauce. I am sure you know what I am talking about!

I totally imagined the egg rolls to be small and thinly shaped, so I ordered 24 for take-out.

When my order arrived, I had NO idea they would be so big! The fillings were full of pork, and some veggies with a crispy wrapper!  The burnt ends didn’t taste bitter surprisingly. Yes, they were oily but they were worth the indulgence! The egg rolls were served with Dijon mustard which really accompanied the egg rolls well. To top it off, each egg roll was only about $2!

Inside the eggrolls

My husband and I loved them so much, we ate all 24 egg rolls in 2 days! They also freeze well, so pile up for your next party.

Golden Palace egg rolls

I am happy that a restaurant from the 1960s is still operating and adapting to the times. The Golden Palace has a modern website and are on social media as well (Instagram @goldenpalaceottawa and Twitter @gpeggrolls).

The egg rolls are so popular, they are sold at Scotiabank Place, and can be ordered online and shipped across Ontario.

My uncles used to own a Chinese restaurant in Ottawa when I was younger and made the egg rolls the same way as Golden Palace, including the wrapping of the egg rolls. Ah, if only their restaurant was still around!

I wish the restaurant continued success. Try them out and let me know what you think!

Golden Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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