Where We Ate: Taste of Toronto

Me and a group of my friends from Western have been taking turns planning monthly outings. For the month of July, my friend A organized a trip to the Taste of Toronto food festival.

The 4-day event, held at the Fort York National Historic Site, gave visitors an opportunity to try various dishes from a number of Toronto restaurants, shop and sample from different vendors, participate in cooking classes and wine tastings, and listen to live music.

We went on Saturday during the day, which turned out to be pretty good because it wasn’t too crowded and the lines were manageable. The weather also held up, which is awesome because it was almost all outdoors!

What We Ate

  • SplendidoFresh oysters with apple and jalapeño
  • Khao San RoadCrispy rice salad (rice, ginger, cilantro, sour pork sausage, lime leaf, and roasted peanuts)
  • El CaballitoPollo con mole (cemita bread, mole poblano, pulled chicken, white onion, and avocado)
  • Rose & SonsRose and Sons BLT (Dr. Pepper bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, feta, and herb mayo)
  • The McEwan GroupBymark’s lobster poutine
  • Richmond StationCharcuterie with pickles
  • WeslodgeWagyu hot dog (house bun, beet mustard, and beef cheek marmalade)
  • Hopgood’s FoodlinerSmoked mackerel on oatcakes

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What We Bought

  • Philip’s Ice PopsI had to  buy a homemade lemon-ginger rosemary popsicle!
  • Nutra FruitThe vendors were from Québec and super nice. The chocolate-covered cranberries and the cranberry-based vinaigrettes were to die for!
  • A $5 wine tasting: We spent 20 minutes learning about and tasting 2 reds and 2 whites from California and New Zealand—not bad for $5!

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The Good

  • It was pretty well-organized for a first-time event! I guess it helps that it’s been held in other cities and that major sponsors were involved.
  • The number of vendors/restaurants: There were quite a few food & drink vendors and restaurants, which meant that there was lots to see and that we had a good selection of eats to choose from!
  • The free food samples: Highlights include the butter chicken bison from Carmen Creek Gourmet Bison, which was melt-in-your-mouth good, and Woolwich Dairy’s lemon & lime goat cheese.
  • The free drinks: 1L bottles of Bloo juice, Nespresso coffees, San Pellegrino‘s sparkling clementine drinks, and Pure Leaf teas.

The Bad

  • Crowns: Like many food & beverage festivals, they had their own currency, cards that you could load with Crowns (1 CAD  = 1 Crown). I guess it’s easier to manage than change/credit/debit, but it’s a hassle for patrons!
  • The prices were still a bit steep—not unlike events from Toronto Underground Market, SLURP Noodlefest, the Food & Wine Expo, and the like. We paid for $50 for 2 people (which included 2 general admission tickets plus $12 worth of Crowns), but dishes ranged from $6 to $8 each, which is pretty pricey!
  • While we were fine during the day, I heard from others who went to the night events that the lines were very long!
  • Port-a-potties: Fortunately, they weren’t too bad during the day, but they definitely aren’t my favourite!

Overall though, it was good food with good friends, so I can’t complain too much! 🙂

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