Toronto Weekender: November 15 through 18, 2012

In case you haven’t noticed, the holiday season has officially begun. Which means it’s time for cheer… and plenty of beer. Kidding! (Or not.) But the Jolly Big Fella’s comin’ to town on Sunday, so you better watch out… 

Well… in case you were wondering. It is true. The city has officially been taken over by ramen fever. Case in point: The opening of Santouka Hokkaido Ramen. At a corner of town known for little more than nighttime shadiness, Santouka hopes to brighten up the area with bowls of broth, noodles, and other Japanese delights, in a trendy and modern atmosphere to boot. Check it out for your Thursday dinner. 

It’s funny what a coat of paint, a menu crafted by a well-known exec chef, and two set price points – $5 for the food, $9 for the cocktails – will do for a joint. The recently revamped College Street Bar was given a bit of facelift before Chef David Adjey was called in to design the recipes for the sharable menu. The cocktails are prepared by Gavin MacMillan, and they’re tasty to boot. Pop by to say goodbye to the work week and hello to your weekend out. 

#MOgasmTO is back for a third year, this time ’round at The Drake Hotel. Featuring MO’Sista models, music by Speedboats and Big Explosions, auctions and more, this is one event where the hairier the face, the more popular you’ll help make the place. Check it out and support the Movember movement. 

Over on the Danforth, we have a new entry to the small bite restaurant scene. Slider Revolution just opened its doors, offering a casual, grab-and-go style slider diner. From meatballs to pulled pork and even sloppy joe’s, Slider Revolution’s got ’em all… they even have brunch. Try the breakfast slider, or smoked salmon on, surprise, a slider, or the shrimp and lobster on… you guessed it… a slider! 

Featuring over 1,500 different wines and tons of food to boot, the Gourmet Food and Wine Show takes over the MTCC this Thursday through Sunday for four days of non-stop sampling. From vino to cheese to meats and beyond, this trade show is one that even the most mass event averse YPs can enjoy. 

First it was Bohemian Gastropub. Then it was Lucid Cocktail Kitchen. Then Lucid Pizza and Cocktails. Now… now we have Lo Zingaro. Keeping with the gourmet pizza and cocktails theme, Lo Zingaro takes over the space held by the previous three establishments (in the last year no less), and goes less frou frou in lieu of tasty homemade pastas and carefully crafted drinks. Try it out for dindin on Saturday evenin’. 

It’s the day we’ve all loved ever since childhood: The Annual Santa Clause Parade sees elves, fairies, polar bears, and the list goes on all adorning large-scale floats and leading the way for the arrival of Good Ol’ St. Nick. It kicks off at 12:30 by Christie Pits, heads east on Bloor to Avenue, South to Wellington, and over to the St. Lawrence Market. It really is one of those days kids, adults, teens, and the like can enjoy. 

Want to warm up for some brunch bliss? Check out the Firkin Revolution and head over to Quail and Firkin on Yonge Street in Rosedale. The decor’s been overhauled, the menu, revamped, and the Brit punk amplified.

Photo courtesy Firkin Pubs