All posts by Alan Chong

23 Jul 2018

Tuesday Announcements

Printed Program Corrections:

  • Room change for the keynote to BA1180
  • Active Statements of Diversity/Social Justice…, Tuesday, 10:30am-11:45am, in BA1230 not SF3201
  • Innovating Instruction Strategies, Tuesday,1:00pm-2:15pm, in BA1200 not BA2135
  • Check the website for up to date announcements and information: http://procomm2018.utoronto.ca

Lunch and Coffee Break:

  • Served in the West Atrium of the Bahen Centre
  • Please wear your nametags
  • Gluten Free/Vegan options labelled for those who identified

Rooms not in BA: 

  • GB202 – One session, town hall, reception
  • SF1105 – One session

 

23 Jul 2018

Monday Updates

Printed Program Corrections:

  • Student Management of Classroom Activities as a Project Workshop, Monday, 3:45-5:00pm in SF3201, not BA1240
  • Active Statements of Diversity/Social Justice…, Tuesday, 10:30am-11:45am, in BA2135 not SF3201
  • Check the website for up to date announcements and information: http://procomm2018.utoronto.ca

Lunch and Coffee Break:

  • Served in the West Atrium of the Bahen Centre
  • Please wear your nametags
  • Gluten Free/Vegan options labelled for those who identified

All Monday workshops are in Sandford Fleming 3201: 

See map below …

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20 Jul 2018

Dining Near the Chelsea

I’ve had a few requests for dining near the Chelsea Hotel, and unfortunately, it’s a bit of a culinary wasteland for Toronto. If you can’t move very far, there are only a few places I would recommend that are sit down restaurants within a 5 minute walk. The first is the Queen and Beaver, which is a British style pub known for its food, particularly its burger.

Authentic British Pub with amazing decor inside.

A post shared by Brey Malones (@brey05) on

 

The second is an all you can eat sushi place, called Kaka. Don’t be deterred by the name, it’s quite good (for an AYCE) and their menu includes arburi (blowtorched sushi). So if you’ve got a big appetite one night, and you want to try some arubri, this is not a bad choice.

 

If you’re looking for fast casual or takeout, let me recommend Bahn Mi Boys, vietnamese baos and subs that are to die for. Ask for the Club, which is on the secret menu, and involves a big slab of pork belly and fried chicken. Yummy!

 

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19 Jul 2018

Toronto Food: Cheap (and Good) Eats II

In another post, I outlined some of the many food options you have in nearby Kensington Market. This one will cover some of the other inexpensive, casual eateries located around town that are loved by many Toronto foodies.

The Burger’s Priest, 436 Queen West, plus various other locations around town

Trying to award the title “Best burger in town” always results in controversy, but The Burger’s Priest consistently comes up in these discussions. Inspired by Shake Shack and In N Out franchises in the States, this burger joint focuses on a traditional, American cheeseburger (to order a regular hamburger, you’ll need to order a cheeseburger, hold the cheese) made from fresh, local ground beef with minimal spices, cooked on a flat griddle top. The result is a decidedly delicious and beef-y tasting burger that stands out for its simplicity. Don’t forget to try items from the secret menu, including the Religious Hypocrite (veggie option with bacon), the High Priest, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Grilled cheese for buns, and a ton in between – pictured below).

Why battle Christmas shoppers when you could go toe to toe with The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse?

A post shared by The Burgers Priest (@theburgerspriest) on


Bahn Mi Boys, 392 Queen St. West, plus various locations throughout the city

Non-traditional Vietnamese subs, baos, and tacos made from premium ingredients, such as duck confit. My own personal favourite bahn mi is The Club, which includes fried chicken and pork belly. They’re fast, filling, and really inexpensive.

Porchetta and Co. 825 Dundas West or 525 King West

Home of Toronto’s Porchetta sandwich, this quick stop was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover: Toronto. Porchetta, a savoury, moist boneless pork loin, makes a fantastic meat for a sandwich, and it’s topped off with double cooked crispy crackling (pork skin): the House Special – grainy mustard and truffle sauce – it to die for. They also do killer specials, like the below animal style fried chicken sandwich. Well worth the short trip to their Dundas or King West locations.

Rol San, 323 Spadina Avenue

While the city’s best Chinese is in the suburbs – in Richmond Hill, Markham, and Scarbrough – there are a ton of good, inexpensive restaurants in Toronto’s Chinatown, only a few blocks away from U of T (try Goldstone or King’s Noodle for a traditional noodle house, Asian Legend for Sichuan cuisine, and Mothers’ Dumplings for – you guessed it  – dumplings; and if you want to break the bank on some serious(ly good) Chinese food, Lai Wa Heen) But if you’re looking for a good dim sum experience, this is the place to go. No carts in this no frills restaurant, but expect a busy, frenzied atmosphere with hot tea and dim sum served all day long.

Asian brunch ting 🍚 #dimsum #sunday #chinatown #toronto

A post shared by Carly McLarty (@carly_macz) on

Salad King, 340 Yonge Street

Located right by Ryerson University, this cafeteria style Thai restaurant serves up fresh, filling portions to many a Ryerson student (and others) every day. It’s not the best Thai in the city (for that, go to Pai, Sukothai, or Sabai Sabai, all run by the same family), but it’s fast, cheap, and has an extensive menu (try the Khao Soi).

Yummy 😋

A post shared by Vera (@hsumeiya) on

Again, there are so many good, inexpensive places to eat in the city that I can’t come close to covering them all. If you’ve got a specific request though, ask the conference concierge for a recommendation! Ice cream next!

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19 Jul 2018

ProComm 2018 Proceedings

…are now accessible for the duration of the conference … which is now over. Wait for the link to the IEEE Explore page!

We will provide you with the appropriate credentials over email and in your registration package.

 

16 Jul 2018

Conference Concierge

Toronto’s a big, messy, and wonderful city, but it can be really challenging to navigate and find what you’re looking for, and to find the best of the city – which is why we’ve made a conference concierge available.  Ask Alan for directions from place to place, restaurant recommendations, reservation tips – if you’ve read the food posts, you’ll know he really likes to eat – gallery and museum information, and any other questions you might have about enjoying the city … If he doesn’t have the answer, he’ll try to find it for you.

Unless he is presenting or otherwise occupied with conference duties, he should be able to respond fairly quickly via any of the means of contact below:

Twitter: @alchong
email: alan.chong@utoronto.ca (Subject: Conference Concierge Req.)
Text/iMessage/WhatsApp: 416-464-0959

Just let him know you’re from #ProComm18 and have a question!

* You can also find Alan in person, likely running around between sessions for most of the conference! He’s also the conference co-program and local arrangements chair, so if you have any questions about your spot in the program, you could ask him about that as well.

14 Jul 2018

Toronto’s Fine Dining Scene

You’ve already seen that Toronto has some great cheap eats. You probably won’t be surprised to find out that it’s got some excellent higher priced options as well. I’ll cover some of the nearby fine dining hotspots, but if you’re looking for something not of this list, feel free to hit up your conference concierge for recommendations.

First up is a place you’re not likely to be able score a reservation at right now: they reserve 60 days out, and are booked solid. Alo Restaurant, located at Queen and Spadina, was named the #1 restaurant in Canada this year, with a divine six course tasting menu designed by Patrick Kriss and excellent wine pairings to match. There is a bar that serves food, and a waiting list you can sign up for in person if you’re really looking to try it.

Bar Isabel  (College and Ossington)and Bar Raval (College and Ossington)are Chef Grant van Gameren’s homage to Spanish tapas, and both feature an incredible variety of small plate items to satisfy any appetite.  Bar Isabel is a sit down restaurant, whereas Bar Raval is a standing room only bar, with a distinctly European vibe, especially in the after work hours.   And the Gaudi inspired actual bar at Bar Raval is a sight to behold.

 

What’s wrong with this photo?

A post shared by Bar Raval (@bar_raval) on

Dailo (College and Palmerston) is another nearby hot spot, featuring Asian fusion with a menu of small and large plates built for sharing. Chef Nick Liu’s dishes up Asian flavours in new ways, making for an adventurous dining experience.

For those looking for Italian, there are two strong recommendations. The first is for Buca, which has posts in King West and Yorkville. The Yorkville outpost is Number 7 in The Best 100 list this year, which describes the fare as “boundary pushing Italian coastal” cuisine. It’s both non- traditional and very traditional to its Italian roots.

Polpo e vongole, braised #octopus, #clams, bone marrow, cavolo nero, crisp artichoke, fregola sarda. #Yorkville #Toronto

A post shared by Buca Yorkville (@bucayorkville) on


The other, Campagnolo, on Dundas West  is a bit more traditional Italian (though still modern), and if you can get five friends together, you should really try the family style meal. It’s a feast for the eyes and the palette.

New Venison dish @luca_tonato 👌roasted leg with crepinette of shoulder, Cookstown roots, cabbage and gremolata

A post shared by Campagnolo (@campagnoloto) on

Finally, Planta, at Bay and Bloor, features a completely plant based menu, with highly innovative, tasty vegan options. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you won’t want to miss this place; if you’re not, it’s still absolutely worth your while (thought I can’t promise it’s any healthier than meat rich options!)

We’re open today! Join us for a plant-based holiday Monday.

A post shared by Planta (@plantatoronto) on

Reservations are highly recommended at all of these spots, but if you haven’t snagged one yet for tonight, you might want to try the app DINR, which provides day of access to many of the city’s best restaurants, including many of the above. And again, don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations – there’s lots more where these came from, especially if you’re willing to stray from the area.

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14 Jul 2018

Toronto Food: Cheap (and Good) Eats, Part I

In Downtown Toronto, you’ll have access to a wonderful range of food options from different cultures. One of the best aspects of Toronto’s food scene is that you don’t have to pay a lot to get good food (though we do have a lot of mid-to-high end restaurants that will be covered in a subsequent post)! And the best part of being right downtown is that you have access to them on foot! Keep in mind, though, this list includes casual places only, with no or limited seating.

We’ll begin in Kensington Market, which has several great choices for cheap eats.

Seven Lives and Gobernador Paletas and Ceviche69 & 72 Kensington Ave.
If you like tacos, one of the city’s best taquerias is located here. Make sure to try the Gobernador, a mix of ground tuna and shrimp that makes an absolutely wicked combination in a soft taco shell. After your fill of tacos, go across the street for a Mexican ice pop or – even better – a Dole (Pineapple Whip) with graham cracker crumble (ask for this specifically)!

Taco Tuesday 😤🌮 Ft Baja Fish with Blue Corn Tortillas. 📸: @thecarbdiet

A post shared by Seven Lives (@sevenlivesto) on

Otto’s Berlin Doner, 256 Augusta Avenue: If you’re craving something to remind you of that summer you spent in Berlin, look no further. But even if you’re just looking for something yummy and filling, Otto’s is also for you. Otto’s serves two of Berlin’s favourite street foods, Doner and Currywurst, in its own unique German/Torontoian style, and is conveniently also licensed, with several German brews on tap.

Going full glutton today. 🐷 Shout out to lazy Sundays and meals like this delivered right to your couch ✌😋

A post shared by Otto’s Berlin Döner (@ottosdoner) on

North Poke, 179 Baldwin Street: Last year’s trendy food tastes just as good this year, without the line ups! North Poke serves a variety of Hawaiian poke styles – typically a marinated raw fish (tuna, salmon, but also for vegetarians, a marinated tofu) on rice with toppings (seaweed, edamame, sauces, taro chips, etc.). Their best deal is the three small bowls of different types of poke for $15, and don’t forget to top off your meal with a traditional Hawaiian Shave Ice.

Aloha indeed. 📸:@vivilcc

A post shared by North Poké (@northpoke) on

Hibiscus Cafe, 238 Augusta Ave: Vegan? Vegetarian? Or just looking for a good salad? Most of the restaurants above have good vegetarian options, but if you’re looking for vegan or more choices, try the Hibiscus Cafe, for completely gluten free salads, bowls, soups, and crepes. I hear their buckwheat crepes are city famous!

Don’t see anything for you yet? Don’t worry, this is just the first in a series of Toronto food posts. There’s also a ton of other restaurants in Kensington Market,  and you’ll always have access to your conference concierge if you can’t decide where to eat! Contact information coming soon! 😀

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