Thursday, August 2, 2012

TO Food Fest 2012

The Jalapeno Corn Bread Grilled Cheese with a little Guacamole and Mexican Crema from Comida del Pueblo (@ComidaDelPueblo)

I had the opportunity to go to the first ever TO Food Fest at the Chinese Cultural Center in Scarborough. The organizers brought together a few of the greatest (in my humbly biased opinion) GTA food bloggers for an early tour of the vendors and I had a great time seeing some people again such as Carmen from CarmenHungry and the team from The Urban Craze. Also met some other great food bloggers through guided vendor tour such as Joie from ZoeticEpics, and Jing, our guide!

I loved the fact that they brought together a bunch of different kinds of vendors. I loved being able to have a little bit of everything, from new to old businesses, raw oysters to Middle Eastern desserts. There were some new faces such as Bake'n who had their debut food event appearance and BLEW ME AWAY with their baked goods that all have bacon on them.

I finally got a chance to try Comida del Pueblo, pumped up Mexican food, who has been at the Toronto Underground Market (TUM) events ever since TUM started and have always had huge lines. Casa Manila (@CasaManilaTO), a long-time Filipino restaurant showed us some of that gracious Filipino hospitality - really, really wonderful people. And BAOSS, the Asian fusion sandwiches that have been making waves at events such as TUM and The Stop's Night Market. It was a really good mix of enthusiastic vendors who are passionate about their food.

Patisserie Royale (@PatisserieRoyale) was one of the first vendors I visited and also one of my lasts to pick up more of their desserts to bring home! "Voted Best Baklava in Toronto" by the Globe and Mail. Totally believable and well-deserved. This is definitely one of the best Baklavas I've had. It wasn't too sweet, too sticky, or too flaky. I can foresee myself going to buy this for future dinners, snacks at meetings, presents for people. Heck, anything. It's so good. I love it, others must too!

One of the new faces on the food scene is How Bout Those Meatballs (@HBTMeatballs). This isn't your regular meatballs, guys. This is stuffed with beef, pork, veal, Mozzarella cheese, proscuitto?!...I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of other stuff because I started smiling to myself as I was listening and I had to catch myself. Anyways it's basically everything delicious rolled up into a ball, and topped with fresh arugula.

Another new but delicious vendor is Bake'n (@BakenToronto). Baked goodies with BACON. Need I say more? You can never go wrong with bacon - ever. My favourite from them was hands-down the Sticky Toffee Bake'n Cake. Toffee cake drizzled in hot caramel and topped with thick-cut bacon. Bacon....

I'm so glad I found the Kanto by Tita Flips (@titaflips) booth in the corner because their Sisig Fries were delicious. I'm a huge sucker for fries to begin with. But top it off with some pork belly and garlic lemon aoili and you've won me over. Never knew Filipino food could be this good. For my more conservative friends, this is one of those items where it might be better if you don't read what it actually is before you eat it - similar to almost everything on the Black Hoof menu.

You know, I didn't even realize it at the time, but I think this is the best popcorn I've ever had. I mean at the event, they were giving out samples and I was like oh yeah, this is good. I bought a bag for $5 to share with the office the next day. And I literally could not stop. It was crunchy and light with hints of sea salt and cane sugar. Honestly one of the best guilt-free snacks one could ask for. Unfortunately, they don't have a store in Toronto to purchase at but are just traveling across Ontario from event to event. But I promise you, the next time I see you Jamie, I'm grabbing a duffel bag and filling it up!

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