Cooking Burgers With Beer At The Works

The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro has been making headway into their planned nationwide expansion, with more than 20 restaurants throughout Ontario and one in Newfoundland so far. Yet the fast-growing full service restaurant chain has been experimenting with what they can put in between burger buns since they first opened their doors in Ottawa. With more than 50 burger options on their menu today, they show no signs of stopping their domination and innovation on the gourmet burger scene.

I recently had the chance to preview their newest burgers, which will be sold from Oct. 20 to Jan. 4. The new theme, Cooking With Beer, was highlighted by thoughtful beer pairings and beer-based ingredients in every dish.

Root for Mah Piggy
Root For Mah Piggy– Jones root beer BBQ glazed pulled pork, crunchy onion strings, beef patty, topped with housemade root beer BBQ sauce, lettuce and tomato, on a toasted pretzel twist.

Barking at My Cow

Barking at My Cow – Smoked brisket, Barking Squirrel beer-braised onions, Jack cheese, bacon, beef patty, topped with Barking Squirrel beer BBQ sauce.

Beer Goggles Burg

Beer Goggles Burg– Beer battered and deep-fried beef patty, topped with creamy Moosehead beer cheddar sauce, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickles.

All of this was capped off with a beer nut milkshake which was the perfect blend of sweet, salty and crunchy.

Beernut milkshake

There were also awesome sides, like the Tower O’ Rings, which came with a variety of sauce options, and fresh baked pretzels, with a cheesy dipping sauce made from beer.



The clear winner of the day was the Root For Mah Piggy. The housemade BBQ sauce was so delicious I wanted to take a jar or two of it home with me and I can’t wait to head back to the St. Lawrence Market location, to give each of these burgs another try.

This post also appears on Fat Girl Food Squad

Women don’t forget about your health too! #getthepap

Cue the wave of complaints and compliments for those growing moustaches this November. While this month is definitely off to a hairy start and lots of us have balls on the mind I thought I would take a quick second to talk about something us ladies rarely do. Last week was Cervical Cancer Awareness week, and the Canadian Cancer Society wants us ladies to know that pap tests save lives. I make sure to get checked annually but as extra motivation:



This is Shannon’s story.

Shannon Pethick was just 32-years-old when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She hadn’t had a Pap test in six to seven years, which finds changes in cervical cells that could lead to cancer. Once found, these changes can be treated before they become cancer. Shannon is now cancer-free but sadly the radiation treatments she underwent put her into menopause at 32 and she’s unable to have children.

Shannon wants to prevent other women from going through the same thing, and as a Canadian Cancer Society volunteer she’s educating women about the importance of Pap tests. If you’d like to chat with Shannon she’s available by Skype, on Twitter, Facebook or even to chat over a cup of coffee.

I really encourage everyone to keep this conversation going, because at the end of the day the more people talk about this, the more people will feel comfortable getting themselves checked. Please share and follow the conversation on Twitter, or check out the Canadian Cancer Society website for more information.

I have a very special place in my heart for Couchsurfing. As an active (not as much recently) member since 2007 I have had the opportunity to meet and experience some incredible people, places and, things. Janice is the primary reason I got involved in the project in the first place.

Janice Wong- CouchSurfing Project

Janice’s CouchSurfing Project Final Presentation

She was (and still is) this really rad girl who I would always be in the front row with at shows right through the early and mid 2000’s in Toronto. I never remember how we officially met but I just know that I’m glad to have her in my life. We have both surfed at eachother’s places in different cities, and at one point might have contemplated becoming roommates.

Janice is someone I model my approach to communities both online and off upon. She is open-minded and respectful of people. She is constantly wanting to learn from others in any way possible. She is a ridiculously talented designer currently living in The Windy City, working on a dual Masters of Design and MBA.

Take a second to check out her work and also Couchsurfing. Feel free to ask me any questions you have about Couchsurfing, including how to get involved. It’s a such a unique experience that I hope more people I know get involved with.

Kittens! Dolphins!

Here’s a video of a kitten and a dolphin, it makes me love the internet more because things like this exist:

Online Shopping and Manicures

I spend an extraordinarily large part of my day online; I get most  of my news, and plan my life through social networks. I think  it would makes perfect  sense for me to extend my online activities towards also shopping online. I’m already in front of a computer screen, so why not simplify my life even further. Despite always being online, I am the kind of girl who likes brick and mortar stores, having the option to price match and return items without blinking an eye, this is why I’ve been so hesitant to shop online.

Rayanne invited me to be her guest for a event, where there was a demo of their new online shopping portal. Who can pass up the opportunity to have a free manicure and cocktails in exchange for a little bit of learning, maybe even some shopping? Having it at a snazzy venue like Sassafraz doesn’t hurt either.

It has been a really long week, and I had been looking forward to last night(November 25th 2010) immensely. It was a low key (but still exciting) event where ladies were there to be pampered and find out ways to make their lives easier by using online shopping as an alternative (especially at this time of year) to malls and crowds. I got my nails done with the trendy “You don’t know Jacques”

my fancy manicure

and then went to go watch a demo of how it works. All I can say is WOW, the tool is so clever, in between historical price watching, being able to see if it’s a good deal on a sliding scale as well as cross border comparisons, they have really thought of everything. The representatives from Bing were truly knowledgeable and showed genuine love for the product. I even made the ONLY guy in the room Anthony Wolf show me how to online shop for men and picked his brain for fashion tips this holiday season.

I have to give a huge high five to the organizers of this event. On occasion, I’m invited as a blogger to events that I walk away feeling a bit underwhelmed. Last night was really fun and gave me a lot to think about in terms of my shopping habits. It took away all of my hesitation towards online shopping, and I will certainly use Bing as a go to for camera gear price comparisons and to buy those cute shoes I forgot to buy in-store.

Thanks to the ladies at High Road for having me.

Crisis Response, Community Management and YOU.

I have to commend Kristie Wells and Chris Heuer for all their hard work on Social Media Club. In the day and age where everything we say and do can be broadcast instantly I have never met two such people with such honor and integrity both offline and on.

They have recently been dealing with a few trolls who chose to hijack the work that they have been doing for 4 years. Kristie addressed what happened here.

I wanted to share my experiences with a similar circumstance.
In my case I had a situation where a community event was hijacked from me.

It’s a little known fact that I hopped on board to organize The “Toronto Twitter Brunch” back in 2009. I chose dates and restaurants and reached out to the membership that the “stewards” had neglected. I was eventually made an admin on the page. I planned an event at a restaurant that could cater to the demands of the earliest forms of a tweet up. Imagine my surprise when an event that had been posted for days suddenly got changed, the time was changed, and someone else’s contact and reservation information was put into the information box. I immediately changed it and found that it was changed back. After this game of cat and mouse I received a Facebook message from the other admin person on the group, there was a series of messages back and forth and not once did the person who instigated the event changes choose to hop into the conversation. The end result was that I was booted as an admin and all the hard work I had done in the past was overshadowed by the need to grandstand and take credit for my hard work.

Please understand that I’m not asking for credit for spearheading the event. I did not start it, but I did make sure it had momentum. The second I exhibited any signs of leadership that’s when my services were no longer deemed necessary. I have never really addressed what happened until today, I’m sure you can understand why.

The reason why I emphasize SO closely with Chris and Kristie is directly related to my story. Have you ever put your heart and soul into something only to find someone else taking credit for your work. Have you ever been in the position where you feel powerless against the wrongs you have experienced?

I am an experienced community builder, both offline and on. I have been active within online communities since the early 2000’s and have been planning community events since my early teens. I live and breathe community and it’s because of experiences like this that I continue to work harder on making sure my community events are inclusive and to give credit where credit is due.

I would love to hear your stories about how you addressed adversity with regards to community building. Feel free to comment or respond on twitter @rochlatinsky

Tiff 2010 Festival Music House night 4: Diamond Rings, Born Ruffians,Zeus, Beast, Gord Downie,

First, a huge thank you to Casie for the opportunity to cover this event. For those of you who know me, it’s pretty obvious I’m a huge music fan, more specifically local and Canadian music. The Tiff Festival Music House had been showcasing some incredible Canadian talent during the Toronto International Film Festival, and I knew I couldn’t miss the last night of the series. Diamond Rings, Born Ruffians, and Zeus are some of my favourite bands. Better yet, they are all beyond incredible live.

I got there in the middle of Diamond Rings set, but within seconds, I was in my own zone dancing along to his catchy tunes. Dressed in a bright pink tank top, skinny white jeans, high top sneakers, gold chains and the best application of blue eye shadow I have ever seen, it’s nearly impossible to have a bad time when he’s on stage.

For me the primary reason for coming to the event at the stunning Roosevelt Room was to see the Born Ruffians play. These 4 gentlemen are not only easy on the eyes but also remarkably talented musicians. They started their too short of a set with Oh Man, a new song from their recently released album Say It and continued to crank out the new tunes, by then the audience was getting bigger and slightly rowdier, which is what a Born Ruffians show should always be like. I took lots of photos and some video and tried not to look crazy being the only person in the front row that knew all of the lyrics. They closed with Foxes Mate for life, which is a quintessential Born Ruffians show closing song by then my throat was hoarse singing along and my mouth hurt from smiling.

Born Ruffians

Lots of schmoozing happened and I bumped into some old pals . Wound up with lots of ridiculous not so internet worthy photos.

Eventually Zeus took the stage. The room was almost packed to the gills and their guitar heavy but still catchy songs kept with the overall spirit of fun and camaraderie. By then, my camera was dead and my body well lubricated. So I danced some more and called it a night shortly after they ended their set.

I couldn’t have asked for a night to be any more fun then this was. It makes me glad I do what I do and inspires me to keep doing it.