I know I should be quiet about this but I'm sure the cat's already out of the bag. I suspect a lot of ya'all will be heading out to One Table today as part of Luminato in the Distillery District. I, for one, am very excited although I'm not looking forward to the crowds. For those that go, please post your thoughts on what you eat!
Just back from One Table and I have to say it was one of the best ever organized events I've seen in Toronto. I went from 12-2 and although it was busy I did not have to wait more than a minute for tickets and food.
Restaurants had their booths lined up along Mill St. with the one table running parallel. Ticket booths were set up on the west and east side of the stalls so that when you finished one pass you could buy some more tickets for your second pass!
A friend and I bought 6 tickets each ($30) and shared almost everything. Here is the rundown:
C5 had a cheesesteak with cumbrae farms hangar steak and thunder oak gouda. Incredible.
Lucien had a banh mi sandwich. This was a disappointment since you can usually get banh mi for $2. I've never eaten at Lucien so I had to try it but it wasn't anything special.
My friend had the chicken tamale from Dos Amigos.
Rodney's served up four lameque (sp?) oysters which were fantastic.
Patrick from Starfish was also there shucking his own malpeques and gave us a sip of his vodka pickled horseradish. Starfish actually had 3 choices... the oysters, a steamed crab dish and a lobster snowcone which was amazing!
Southern Accent served up a very large shrimp poboy with a mayo chili lime sauce.
Local4 (not a fave) had a pulled pork with shredded cabbage that didn't look half bad.
Had a crab falafel with lemon garlic aioli from North 44 which was unfortunately a disappointment.
Tappo had a good looking osso bucco risotto which sounded better than it tasted.
There were a few caterers there too. One, who's name escapes me was serving cupcakes which I found to be pretty MEH. But the goat cheese tart with caramelized shallots from Jean Pierre + Co. were rich and delicious.
If you still have some time today I would totally recommend going. I'm not sure what the crowds will be like this afternoon or tonight but it is worth it alone for the great food! You really can't go wrong for $30 and I am completely stuffed.
Very much impressed, as I too was expecting crazy crowds and bad food, and was delightfully wrong. Would have liked to have seen more vegetarian options, and beer/wine available. I've got photos on my blog, but ya'll will have to search for that, as I'm sure if I post the URL the evil CHOW overlords will delete my comment.
Sure hope this becomes a yearly event, and not just because I work for the theatre which bordered the south side of the event ;)
Really liked the Chicken Tamale from Dos Amigos; might have to make the trip and give them a try sometime soon.
Liked the Vennison Sausage from Amuse Bouche.
Pulled Pork Sandwich from Local 4 was rather dissapointing.
Hmmm - the chicken tamale was actually my least favourite dish today. The flavour was nice, but I didn't care for the texture, it seemed overcooked to me.
Really liked the "Toronto Cheesesteak" from C5, though. And the 5 oysters for 5 bucks from Starfish was impossible to resist - my wife and I went through 4 tickets there.
I didn't try the sandwich from Local 4 today, but I'm not surprised to hear it was disappointing. I tried one at the restaurant a couple of months ago, and it was waaaaaay too sweet. Not good.
I enjoyed it too, but it seemed there definitely wasn't enough food. I got there at 3 pm and there were already several booths closed (didn't see C5, North 44, etc.). Walked around the district for a while, came back for one last taste around 5:30 pm, and about the half of the booths were empty. Considering it was supposed to be on from noon - 9 pm, anyone who got there later would be very disappointed!
I agree. I arrived around 4:00 PM and there was nothing exotic left - just some grilled meats, and some overcooked tamales from Dos Amigos (though more vendors should adopt their generous portion size!). Would have liked to try some of the anchor-stalls (JK, McEwan, etc.) I think vendors should plan to stick around to the end of the posted event (6PM) with enough food to satisfy their fans. We came all the way out to enjoy the event, and were quite disappointed with what was left. :( It shouldn't just be 'face time' so that marketers can use their names to advertise the event. If vendors are not planning to stay until the end, I suggest organizers cut the length of the event and advertise the 'real' end time. That way people don't waste the commute down for 1/2 empty stalls.
On a positive note, loved the Oysters from Rodneys (fresh and plump! - though their clam strips were quite over-priced), and found the Risotto to be not bad from Tappo (though I noted they ran out of glasses and cut their portions by about 1/3 by around 5PM). Upon re-reading this review, it sounds rather negative (just some constructive criticism, guys, so that next year's festival will be even more successful and fulfilling for all participants). So let me end it off on a high note - I'd definitely go again next year, but I'll definitely plan on arriving nearer to the start! Great street food festival - Toronto should have more of these :)
Here are some photos of the event I finally got onto flickr:
Rodney's Clam Strips & chips:
Great lobster cake:
Tamales by Dos Amigos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28531775...
in addition to what other posters had i saw but didn't taste:
empanadas or shrimp from viva tastings
mini waffles with ice cream from goed eten
sausage rolls, sandwiches or chelsea buns form brickworks bakery
brownie/blondie/smore's slice w/ ice cream from sweet indulgence
choc truffles from sassafraz (they also had an ok lobster taco)
fried clam strips (good) with fries (not so good) and fresh oysters 4/$5 (delicious) at rodney's
stands i can't remember the name had:
tortilla (the potato omelet not the chip) with a red pepper chili sauce and jumbo shrimp
kobe beef hot dogs
eclairs with cyogenically frozen ice cream (didn't look good and very gimmicky... they also had a pulled pork sandwich they sold out of)
jamie kennedy was there but i don't recall what his stand might have had.
Thought it was a fantastic event - we got there at about 2 or so, still lots of food. My wife and I had 8 things - the lamb sausage at Amuse Bouche really stood out as did the lobster and crab corn dog from 35 (I think that's the name). Other things we tried:
- JK had a croque monsieur, it was ok...he was cooking while his son was serving.
- Perigee and Via Allegro both had bison burgers, only tried via one, very tasty.
Probably the best outdoor tasting event that I've been to in Toronto.