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Tapagria Restaurant

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5 Things You Should Stop Saying to a Food Blogger

April 3, 2016 by

I only seriously began food blogging recently (2015?), but I’ve written about and taken photos of food for over six years now. And by “seriously”, I just mean I’m posting more and more about food although I’m not really critiquing or offering reviews as thorough as my other amazing food blogging counterparts.

Throughout my years of documenting food, I’ve heard the same things said to me and my fellow blogger friends over and over again. Here are five of the most common phrases that us food bloggers are getting sick and tired of hearing. ; )

Markham Food Bloggers at Tapagria

Photo taken by Markham Food at Tapagria Restaurant
Left to right: @baoislife.to, @qqfoodjournal, @sincerelykn, @meetandeats

5 • FIVE

“How many photos do you need to take? Can we eat now?”

These questions are pretty much interchangeable (or sometimes said one after the other).

If there’s natural lighting, we can take our photos pretty quickly. However, we’re sorry if you get caught in a situation where we need to move your plate just to get that perfect shot! For some of us, withholding our hunger just comes naturally. That perfect photo – especially for a unique dish or a restaurant we’re visiting for the first time – is necessary for our social media pages and blogs. These shots help us help you discover new places to eat! Admit it – you’ve discovered one or two restaurants through our blogs/social media pages, right?

4 • FOUR

“Is there anything you wouldn’t eat?”

Personally, I’d eat almost anything (no bugs plz) placed in front of me. Pig blood (love it with chives), duck embryo (or balut) (love it dipped in salt & pepper), chicken feet (too much effort for too little meat, IMO)… you name it, I’ve likely tried or am interested in trying it.

With that said, I can promise you that each blogger has their own limits and many might not be open to trying “weird” things.

Markham Food Bloggers at Tapagria

Photo taken by Markham Food at Tapagria Restaurant
Left to right: @qqfoodjournal, @sincerelykn, @goodfoodtoronto, @feedmygains

3 • Three

“You must have so much fun getting all this free food at events/tastings!”

Well, yes and no. Sure we get a lot of free food, but many agencies and restaurants expect us (especially if we have large social media followings) to post photos onto our pages. Though we’re never under any obligation to post (unless we’re paid and have signed a contract), most of us do post “for free” out of courtesy, to thank the restaurant, or simply just to share good food and reviews with our audiences.

So yes, we do get tons of food and drinks, but technically, they’re not free if we’re expected to post (or “work” for it).

As a side note, for the restaurants and agencies who are reading this, never follow up with bloggers with, “So when are you posting?” right after an event – ESPECIALLY if you didn’t pay them or it wasn’t originally communicated on your invite. Taking photos, editing them, writing captions, and posting take a lot of time and energy. Sometimes, it can take weeks before a photo goes live, but other times, things aren’t posted simply because our photos weren’t good, we didn’t like your stuff, or we forgot.

Markham Food Bloggers at Tapagria Restaurant

Photo taken by Markham Food at Tapagria Restaurant
Left to right: @cjnoms, @baoislife.to, @goodfoodtoronto, @sincerelykn

2 • Two

“You eat out a LOT! How much money do you spend on food? Do you even cook?”

We dooooo eat out a lot, but that’s because we love to! Why else would we become food bloggers? There are a few different types of us though:

  1. The types who are so popular that they’re invited to tastings almost every night, so it looks like they’re spending a lot of money at restaurants.
  2. Those who love trying new places out and don’t wait for an invite to do so. They spend their own cash at restaurants so that they can write reviews and take photos for their audiences.
  3. Those who are invited to a handful of menu tastings, but also enjoy eating out on their own as well as cooking at home.
  4. And we can’t forget about this type – the ones who cook and share recipes! These food bloggers probably spend more money on groceries than eating out (which is actually a lot cheaper).

Regardless of what type of blogger we are, why should our finances affect you? Everyone has their interests – toys, cars, handbags, etc. – and food happens to be ours!

1 • One

“How are you not fat? / Why are you so skinny?”

This is probably THE most common question most of the smaller-framed food bloggers get asked a lot. While it does look like we eat out a lot, a lot of the photos we share aren’t even of our own dishes. When we go out to eat in a group, we take pics of each other’s dishes (and sometimes have a bite from each other’s plates) just so we have content to post.

I get this comment all the time. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t actually find it annoying and I’ve never been offended by it… but I just never have a good response!

Have an opinion? Comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Like this post? Check out my previous one, 5 Best Photo Editing Apps for Food Photography!

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Dessert Dinner Drinks Italian Japanese Lunch Miscellaneous Spanish Sushi

Top Places for Dates in Markham

February 13, 2016 by

For the First Date

Chit-Chat Play Board Game Cafe

Chit-Chat Play Board Game Café
Get to know your date in a fun and casual environment where you can stir up some healthy competition between the two of you. Chit-Chat is a small, but popular board game cafe with more than 400 adult- and kid-friendly games to choose AND buy from. There are also plenty of yummy desserts including gelato, waffles, and cheesecakes if you want to treat your date to a sweet surprise!
Bonus: there’s no time limit here so you can stay as long you’d like (our record was 5 hours!).
Price: $12 per person on weekends for unlimited play and a drink valued at $3.25 (or upsize for extra charge)
Cotton Candy Latte Art - Initium
Initium Co.
Want to really impress your date? Initium takes “going out for coffee” to the next level with their extravagant lattes. From cotton candy espresso drip drinks (‘cause who doesn’t want a fluffy cloud of goodness?) to their beautiful latte art, their drinks are worth going for the picture alone! They’re almost too pretty to drink. Almost. In addition to the fun drinks they also have a small brunch menu where you can get light snacks such as smoked salmon and croissants!

For the Ones Who’ve Just Dropped the “L Bomb”

Markham's Inspire Restaurant in Markham Village
Inspire Restaurant
Looking for something out of the ordinary? Enter Inspire Restaurant, where their dishes truly are “inspired” with Asian-fusion. From a variety of cool dishes such as Udon Carbonara or Butter Chicken Serpentini (pictured above), they take common Italian dishes and spin it to include Asian flavours. We say Asian flavours because you’ll see flavours from all corners of Asia from Korea to Japan to China to India. Prepare yourself for the nap you’ll want to take after eating here because their dishes are decadent, rich, and oh-so indulgent. We suggest their Inspire Burger with Pulled Pork Frites (above) – it is DELISH.
Pizza at Levetto in Vaughan
Levetto
Homemade pasta? Check. Huge portions? Check. Seriously, Levetto’s best feature is their portion size to price point – it’s impressive. The pastas are definitely one of the biggest highlights of the menu (as in you NEED to order it!) – they have their very own extruder in-house so pasta is made fresh on site and the result is a variety of shapes that are each dense, chewy, and delicious. We recommend splitting a pizza and a pasta between the two of you. You won’t regret it!

For the Couples Who Have Put WORK in


Tapagria Spanish Tapas Restaurant
Don’t want to trek all the way downtown for Spanish food? You don’t have to. Tapagria offers a variety of pintxos, cold and hot tapas, and our favourite, paella! If you really want to treat your sig-o out, order the $72 Chuleton Asado, a massive 32 oz roasted rib-eye that is seasoned and marinated with beautiful flavours. Served with roasted potatoes, romesco, and charred scallions, this brings a welcome and elevated twist to your classic steak and potatoes.
Zen Japanese Restaurant in Markham
Zen Japanese Restaurant
Previously located in Toronto, Zen has moved uptown to grace Markham with its presence. This humble features delicate and incredibly fresh pieces of sushi. Opt for a spot by the bar and have the sushi chefs personally place sushi one-by-one in front of you, Jiro-Dreams-of-Sushi-style. Enjoy their MASSIVE Spider Roll which has some of the meatiest soft shell crabs we’ve ever seen. We dare you to try to eat it in one bite (we deem it impossible)! Don’t forget to leave space in your tummy to end your meal off with a slice of their Mandarin Pie – tangy and a refreshing dessert to a delicious meal.
Who said you need to drive all the way to Toronto to have a nice night out? Whether you’re just getting to know a person or you’re the long-term couple, we hope you enjoy these as our top places for a special date in Markham!

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Dessert Drinks Giveaways Spanish Taiwanese

Giveaways with Tapagria, Lohas Cafe, and CoCo Tea!

January 29, 2016 by

We’ve been on a roll lately! What better way to kick off the new year than to give something back to our supporters? Here are three giveaways that are ending soon!

coco-tea-richmond-hill-markham-giveaway

Visit this page to enter for a chance to win a drink vouchers for CoCo Fresh Tea & JuiceSix winners will be chosen, but ONE lucky winner will get a Pandora charm along with their two drink vouchers.

tapagria-giveaway-markham

Get Tapagria‘s Paella de Tapagria and a pitcher of Traditional Sangria for only $40 on any Monday! Their paella is already $45 on a regular day, so this is a steal. 😉 Or… you can enter for a chance to win this deal (redeemable on any Monday) on our Instagram page.

lohas-cafe-first-markham-place-giveaway

Craving dessert? …Well, we’re not really giving dessert away, but LOHAS Cafe is offering three winners a chance to try their kimchi or wasabi mayo fries! BUT once you’re there to claim your prize, why not order one of their adorable lattes (taro & coconut above) or their amazing honey toast (in the background or here). Enter for a chance to win on our Instagram page!

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Brunch Dinner Drinks Lunch Out with Markham Food Reviews Spanish

Tapagria Restaurant Review – Out with Markham Food

December 1, 2015 by

We recently partnered with Tapagria to host a fun night of food tasting for our bloggers friends. The night came with a lot of appetizers, different entrées (including a couple of brunch items), and lots of hand-crafted sangrias. Tapagria is the only restaurant in Markham right now that serves Spanish tapas. Not only is the food delicious, but you have to check out their interior too. The restaurant is designed with a lot of attention to detail and just about every corner is “Insta-worthy”. 😉

Tapagria-Restaurant-Markham

Tapagria-Sangria-Flavours
We tried so many flavours of their hand-crafted sangrias we can’t remember all of the flavours… Some of the ones we remember are lychee-lime, peach, raspberry, guava, fig, and strawberry. All were amazing, but if we had to choose one: the strawberry!

Tapagria-Restaurant-Sangria

Tapagria-White-Anchovie-Pintxo

One of the many apps we tried was the White Anchovie Pinxto above. Our two favourites (not pictured) pinxtos were the Angus Tartare and the Foie Gras. These dishes definitely opened up our appetites and we were ready for more food.

Tapagria-Mussels

If you’re feeling for more seafood, we’d recommend these steamed mussels. They have a bit of a kick to them thanks to the chilli peppers, but nothing we can’t handle. 😛 This small dish was the perfect way to start off our round of main dishes.

Tapagria-Pecado-Frito-fried-fish

The Pecado Frito (literally “fried fish”) above was perfectly fried, seasoned, and prepared. Although the potatoes and veggies paired nicely with the fish, but we thought there were a little too salty.

And now onto the most popular mains of the night! The following three were hits among the bloggers – with many of us rushing to claim every last bite.

Tapagria-Paella

Above is one of the two paellas that Tapagria serves. The Paella De Tapagria is made of bomba rice, shrimp, chorizo, hen, mussels, jamón, octopus, and peas – a terrific combo packed full of flavour and served at the perfect temperature.

Tapagria-Chuleton-Asado-Steak

It’s safe to say that the Chuleton Asado (“grilled steak”) – the 32oz roasted ribeye – was the most popular dish of the night. Every time we look at this picture, we get hungry. LOOK AT THAT STEAK! The level of doneness, juiciness, and tenderness…everything about it was good. Like with the fish above, we thought the veggies were overly salty. When we go back for this, we’ll definitely ask for less salt.

Tapagria-Mega-Dessert-Platter-Markham

And finally… the secret item that’s not listed on their menu: the Tapagria Mega Dessert Platter. Get this platter of all of their dessert options to share with your group. From back to front, we have the Crema Catalina, Chocolate Cake, Churros with three dipping sauces, and Spanish Toast. Customers are known to order multiple Spanish Toasts in one sitting – they’re that good. And again, this platter was devoured almost as quickly as the steak was.

If you go to Tapagria with a bunch of your friends and/or family, we recommend that you order a variety of dishes to try and share. It’s a great environment for dining, socializing, and drinking with your loved ones. Explore the #TapagriaRestaurant hashtag on Instagram to see more pics!

Address: 230 Commerce Valley Drive East – Unit 2, Markham, Ontario  L3T 7Y3
Phone Number: (905) 771-8868

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