West Queen West is dear to me. I used to live on Lisgar Street and it was a dream. Slightly out of the downtown core, and you’ve got a real neighbourhood feel while being steps away from all the fun pockets of the city. Now, I still live downtown but around Queen West, not quite West Queen West. But despite the little move, I visit frequently because this is where a majority of my favourite bars, restaurants and people are. So when I heard that Metro was moving in at Queen & Gladstone, I was pleasantly surprised. For starters, there is a grocery store next door and a Metro in Liberty Village! But the more I thought about it, the more I understood that that it’s very nice to have the options and a little competition never hurt anyone. And after seeing it myself, I came to realize that Metro West Queen West is quite unique.
Last week, I had the privilege of a private tour where I got to meet all the specialists from every department and woah! For starters, all the immediate employees live in the neighbourhood. With people like this at arms length, it’s easy for Metro to get in touch with what their customers really want. Everyone’s gotta eat, but it’s about the little touches. A couple of items that jumped out to me immediately were well-priced spiralized veggies (butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini), for the home cook who doesn’t want to spend the time or money on purchasing a new machine to turn their vegetables into curls. Individual butters tarts and palm-sized packages of cookies are for the fitness geek who wants a cheat snack without committing to a full tray of brownies. Or as I said during the tour, just a person who’s in a rush and doesn’t have time for small talk at the bakery counter. In each aisle, there’s careful thought and solutions to everyday problems.
- BEER AND WINE. This is a big one. In an LCBO no mans land, Queen & Gladstone now has you covered!
- Tons of vegan and gluten free options, especially in the baked goods section.
- Hot table on fleek with yummy fresh pizza coming out of the oven.
- Prepared options at the meat and fish counters. I picked up a prepped, beautiful whole rainbow trout, stuffed with lemon and herbs and it was less that $15.
- The basement! There’s a large art and community space, and at the time two painters were going to town on large canvases for a live art installation. Can’t wait to see what comes of this space! There’s also a Starbucks, so you can get a caffeine fix during those post-work day or hungover shopping trips.
After the tour, we went on a shopping spree!!! I circled back for the fish, and got all kinds of goodies for a cabin weekend. Here’s a recipe for a kale salad that I’m constantly making and is a cottage staple. It’s like a Caprese salad, but better!
- 1 bunch of kale
- 2 small tomatoes, slice
- 1 package of bocconcini
- 1 bunch Basil
- 1 cup of dried cranberries or blueberries
- 1/2 cup of flax seeds or bee pollen
- 1 part olive oil
- 1 part lemon juice
- 1/2 part white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Salt & pepper
- Mix dressing together
- Massage kale with dressing first and let sit for 10-15 minutes
- Slice/prep all other ingredients and add them to massaged kale
- Serve and enjoy!
I felt like a million bucks/I was on a TV show with Oprah. Then I got a free hot dog. And this beautiful tote in collaboration with Ela Handbags! Then I got a ride home in a free pedicab, so I didn’t have to carry my groceries!!! These guys really did think of everything.