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1000 Tastes - 2011 Edition - John Street (Toronto) June 18 and 19 - Luminato

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As part of Luminato they are once again doing the 1000 Tastes event.

Here is the thread from last year to get an idea of it :


and a link to the Luminato page describing the event:


This year they have a "Stage" too.. Schedule of what is on at the stage at link above.

Some restaurants mentioned on the site that are participating:

Tom Filippou, Executive Chef PC Cooking School
93 Harbord
Chippy’s Fish and Chips
Jedd's Frozen Custard
Khao San Road
Poutini's House of Poutine
Queen Margherita Pizza
Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill
Woodlot Bakery & Restaurant

If you go on Day 1 please post here to let people know what is good (or, for that matter if you are browsing on your smart phone while eating something on Day 1 )...

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  1. real-time updates are what twitter is made for! #1000tastes

    that being said, I'm going to prolly go on Saturday. I think.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jlunar

      Oh yeah... geez, totally forgot we are in the modern age... Too bad my phone isn't a fancy one where I can check it "real time"... I should give you my number so you can text me all the best spots.. haha

      1. re: ylsf

        You can definitely get updates via SMS if you have a twitter account. Not sure if you can follow hashtags, but you can follow people.

    2. Luma is serving Lobster Sliders

      Milagro is doing pork tacos

      LEE is doing the chesseburger spring roll as well as a vegetarian option crispy tofu

      We are making:
      "Dry" Khao Soi with Braised Beef Shank
      Pork Belly Chiang Mai Style Sausage with Fresh Papaya Salad
      Sweet Mango on Sticky Rice with Coconut Milk
      ...and a couple surprises!

      also, since i will be there on saturday, i will try to tweet what i can: @khaosanroadTO

      330 King St W, Toronto, ON , CA

      1. What time do they start selling food? The site only has stage times.

        1 Reply
        1. Worst 1000 Tastes ever! Poor venue, very few food vendors. Starfish booth was empty, Suser's spring roll was a complete ripoff. Best deal is Dufflet. Organic free trade chocolate ice cream by the poutine table was really good. This is the fourth 1000 Tastes we have attended. If it was our first, we would never have tried it again. My DH was completely disgusted and we had to make dinner when we got home. A huge disappointment. First time we have ever seen NO line for tickets.

          787 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

          6 Replies
          1. re: durhamgal

            I agree. I know they want to centralize the event around that area but having it on the street like that (with King still open splitting it in half) was far from ideal. Maybe move it down to the Roundhouse or somewhere else next time (Queen's Park was a great spot last year, plenty of room, nice trees to eat under, picnic tables, etc).
            I don't understand the huge line for poutine today (I guess it was because of the perceived value vs. a single "lobster slider" for like $5 from Luma). There was also a big line for Fish and Chips at Chippy's. The 1/2 pizza from QMP was over a 30 minute wait according to the lady taking names (not sure how that process worked, hopefully it was relatively accurate, at least you could go enjoy the rest of the stuff and come back).

            Sounds like Starfish hadn't planned for the turn out. I heard it was just one person shucking earlier in the day, and, even if it was one of their "champion" shuckers maybe they under estimated demand.

            Although when I got there KSR was temporarily closed when I walked back by later I was tempted by their offering but I was so stuffed. They seemed to be offering a combo with drink and food together. Anyone try it?

            The other thing I was perplexed by was the long wait time for the "Kobe" (their term for it) hot dogs at Edo. It seemed like the hot dogs were cooked up and waiting on the BBQ, why was it taking so long to process people? I recall in previous years there being long waits for the same thing...

            1. re: durhamgal

              Mid-afternoon yesterday it was a different story -- while there weren't all that many stalls those that were there were pretty good. Milagro had chicken tinga and cochinita tacos with delicious pickled onions. Woodlot had oven-baked bread and really good madeleines. Cruda, the raw place in St. Lawrence market, had a mushroom "burger" thing that was large and tasty. Khao San Road was the best of all -- both pork belly sausage and the noodle thing were great and the Thai iced tea came free with the reasonably generous portion of food. Unfortunately 93 Harbord was waiting for fresh supplies when we stopped by so we couldn't try their dishes. We gVe up on Starfish -- huge line, one shucker. The QMP wait was lengthy but for they brought brick oven all the way there, so probably worth the wait. Sounds like maybe some places were out of food by dinner time. There was certainly more than enough for a meal at lunch.

              93 Harbord
              93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

              Khao San Road
              326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

              1. re: dalton48

                My wife and I were there yesterday,
                We had the Poutine, was good, friends had the oysters (6 for $5 was a steal), I had the Kobe beef hot dogs which weren't bad and had the frozen custard, it was good, enjoy the stuff in the US more..Never really understood why Frozen Custard isn't as big up here as it is in the US. Friends also waited for the pizza, said it was worth the wait for sure.

              2. re: durhamgal

                1000 Tastes was tiny in 2011. I eyeballed it at 15-20 static vendors this year (YSLF's list up top IS the list), many of them familiar to veterans of the event. It took maybe 10 minutes to cruise the two blocks and scope out the booths. By 6pm, at least a few had already wrapped up operations. By 8:30, they were no longer allowing ticket sales.

                I'd have been more disappointed were I not already in the area and instead made a specific trip out. Long lines were seen at Chippy's, Poutini's, and Edo (I don't get this, why?!). I didn't eat everything, but here are my thoughts on what I did have:

                - The lobster slider from Luma was really tasty. But small.
                - From Khao San Road, the pork belly sausage was good but very strong on the lemongrass. The papaya salad complemented the sausage. It was nice that all their dishes came with a cup of Thai iced tea. Good value.
                - Wasabi mayo on one side and Japanese curry on the other of a Kobe beef hotdog from EDO. I thought the Japanese curry topping was decent. Still, it was a hot dog.
                - We were one of the last to get pies after 9pm at Queen Margarita Pizza. Very cool they had the wood-burning oven set up. Made me want to go to QMP. Might do that still.
                - I got lucky and scored two loaves of bread from Woodlot at the end of their day. I missed the Madeleines, which I hear was good.

                I might head back over today and scope things out.

                Proper photos forthcoming on the blog. iPhone shots on the twitter stream.

                http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

                484 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M5N1A5, CA

                1112 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                330 King St W, Toronto, ON , CA

                Khao San Road
                326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

                1. re: jlunar

                  We have always made a specific trip from Pickering for this event, and have never before been disappointed. Fortunately, this year we were also downtown to see Women Fully Clothed (very good!) at the Royal Alex, so did not consider it a wasted trip.

                  I totally agree that Queen's Park Circle was the best venue ever; trees, grass, lovely. Wish they would just keep that as their permanent venue. Easy for most people to get to.

                  Pre-theatre it seemed there was not all that much available, but to be fair we didn't have a lot of time to check things out, and actually thought that the food stalls extended much further north (which as it turned out they did not).

                  After the show (around 4:15), KSR was not serving any food at all (love Thai food and would definitely have tried it), and even the Poutine people, who had a huge lineup, announced that they "had run out of gravy" and there would be a 15 minute wait until more arrived.

                  The wait time at QMP was long, and didn't seem worth it to us.

                  Didn't realize the slider at Luma was lobster (which we both love); thought it was fish because it actually smelled 'fishy'.

                  We don't go to 1000 Tastes for fish and chips, hot dogs, or poutine, but apparently many do (surprisingly) because that's where the lineups were.

                  Oh, well, let's hope for better next year.

                  330 King St W, Toronto, ON , CA

                  1. re: durhamgal

                    We went by today around 2 and really enjoyed all of it.. The sausage from KSR was out of this world and was the winner of the bunch. Chicken Tinga tacos from Milagro were good but a bit on the oily side. Got lucky with QMP, after I'd ordered soemone didn't show up for their order so they just gave me that. The portable oven was really great and gave the crust an excellent char.

                    Biggest disappointment, aside from Starfish having already packed up, was Lee being a total rip off. I love those cheeseburger springrolls and have had them at other events. They usually charge $5 for one cut in half and served with some veggies to garnish. Today it was the same price for just half of one. There was no line up for Lee when we were there so clearly others were put off by this as well.

              3. starfish only had one guy shucking. yes he was a championship shucker (his t-shirt said 38 oysters in a minute). apparently he did around 1700ish yesterday and brought in only 600 for today. it was around 2-3pm when he told everyone lining up that there wouldn't be enough :( i absolutely agree that they were a steal for 6 oysters for $5. they were salty up front and had a great sweet aftertaste.

                1. This was my first year at 1000 Tastes and I was kind of disappointed. It had been hyped up in previous years by friends that had gone to the Queens Park event. It sounded like in the past you could easily spend a few hours there.

                  This year with less that 20 stalls (and a lot fewer than 1000 tastes probably!) you could walk the strip in about 15 minutes. I also felt like there wasn't much of a vibe there at all. Maybe they needed some music or smaller stages with demos throughout or something to give the event a different energy.

                  With that said I enjoyed the food that I tried. I had the sausage "combo" at Khao San Road and thought that it was not only delicious but one of the best values of the festival. I also had the pork tacos from Milagros and thought they were good but nothing to write home about.

                  Next year I wouldn't make this a destination but would couple a quick visit to the festival with other errands in the neighbourhood.


                  Khao San Road
                  326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

                  1. We decided to skip it this year based on the lukewarm reviews here and on RFD's, I has really unhappy with the venue change, as well the list of participants was nowhere near what it once was.

                    Hoping next year they get more restaurants and head back to Queens Park, it was the perfect venue, a huge step up from Queens Quay, and I'm sure much better than John St.

                    1. Okay, wrote things all up!

                      photos: http://bit.ly/j1cWlC

                      Based on previous 1

                      Tastes events, I’d timed my arrival at 5pm on Saturday to cover two shifts, guessing that there’d be a rotation at 6pm. When my first pass over the two blocks (John Street between Adelaide and Wellington) took about 10 minutes, I was a bit perturbed at so few stations. But I was truly aggrieved (demanding, aren’t I?) when I discovered that the vendors were also static this year! That meant less than 20 restaurants were participating in total, making this the smallest 1

                      Tastes that I’d attended. To add salt to the wound, by 6pm (with another 3 hours scheduled to go!) at least a few restauranteurs had already wrapped up operations. I’d have been more disappointed if I’d needed to do more than just roll down the street.

                      That being said, I ended up attending both days anyway since I had madeleines on the brain.

                      Woodlot‘s glazed chocolate madeleines were the reason for my return to 1

                      Tastes on Sunday. Though I managed to score two loaves of bread for the price of one ticket as they wrapped up their Saturday, I missed out on everything else. Taking the first bite through the sweet and crunchy shell of glaze and down to the chocolatey goodness of airy cake made me crave a cappuccino. The madeleine was worth returning for, even without the caffeine accompaniment. I also snagged a sandwich of prosciutto, goat cheese, pickled fennel and cucumber, dill, and apples. Thought the apples went well with the goat cheese, but I would have preferred something milder and creamier. I’m just nit-picking though, it was a good sandwich overall.

                      But my absolute favourite thing of the entire festival (also from Woodlot) was this pistachio ice-cream float with a house-made lemon-ginger soda. A marinated cherry topped the paper straw. Really great flavours and a neat concept made this a very cool treat.

                      Luma had lobster sliders on offer. With marinated and compressed cucumber, fried onions, and mayo. Though small, this was a tasty snack. The fried onions added a really nice crunch and the lobster smelled so intense.

                      From Khao San Road, the pork belly “chiang mai style” sausage was good but very heavy on the lemongrass. Decent snap to the casing. The freshness of the papaya salad complemented the sausage. “Dry” khao soi with braised beef shank and a sweet mango on sticky rice (with coconut milk) were the other dishes on offer. All of these were accompanied by a cup of Thai iced tea. One of the better deals for your ticket.

                      Wasabi mayo on one side and Japanese curry on the other of this Kobe beef hot dog from EDO. I thought the Japanese curry topping was pretty tasty. The sausage was juicy, but I couldn’t actually say I tasted the difference.

                      We were one of the last to get pies after 9pm on Saturday at Queen Margarita Pizza. Very cool they had the wood-burning oven set up. A whole pie was 2 tickets and easily shared. The smell was so enticing while we were waiting. I could have done with more basil on my pizza, but it’s a minor complaint. While I enjoyed it, it just made me want to visit QMP proper. Which, I guess, is the point.

                      Champion oyster shucker Patrick McMurray of Starfish does his thing. While I didn’t partake, 6 oysters for your ticket was one of the great deals at the festival – as evidenced by the long lines and the fact that he’d sold out on both days. I read online that he’d sold over 2

                      oysters over the weekend. That’s a lot of shuckin’.

                      Milagro had chicken tinga and cochinita tacos on offer. They were out of the tinga when I got up to the front of the line. The pulled pork was really oily and messy to eat, which was a bit of a detractor. I really enjoyed the pickled spicy onions, however.

                      nother good deal was Dufflet‘s tart and brownie combo.

                      I love Delight’s mint chocolate chip ice cream and will be making a point to eat it again this summer. At 1

                      Tastes, they had Ontario strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla up on offer.

                      s a side-note, the ice cream vendors were somewhat ignored by the crowd. I noticed this for both Delight and Jedd’s Frozen Custard. On the other hand, both Poutini‘s and Chippy’s had a perpetually long line ups. I like them just fine, but I couldn’t figure out why everyone was going nuts over them. Lee was offering their staple cheeseburger spring roll (with a spicy crispy tofu as a vegetarian option). Cruda Cafe I saw briefly on Saturday, Aravind was there all weekend, and I didn’t see Rendez-vous at all.

                      Sunday afternoon had a better atmosphere than Saturday evening – things felt more lively and there were fewer empty tables (or almost-empty tables). But with the reduced number of vendors, 1

                      Tastes shrank from (I’m guessing) 60+ options and being a 2-3 hour event, to something that you’d be hard-pressed to spend more than an hour at.

                      I also think the event also suffered from its location. Missing the warmth of Queen’s Park, the John Street venue came off as a little cold and oddly set up with all the vendors on one side of the street and no ready places to sit and eat. But what I really missed was the vendor rotation. I’m sure it’s a big pain to organize, but it really made things more interesting. Though I would have been happy with no rotation and just more vendors.

                      I’ve had a lot of fun at past 1

                      Tastes and will that they can turn things around for next year.


                      http://www.foodpr0n.com -- food. is. love.

                      787 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                      1112 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                      330 King St W, Toronto, ON , CA

                      Khao San Road
                      326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

                      1. at first I was disappointed by how many booths there was but after thinking about it, I found it was a good amount since the size of the event gave me a chance to scope out the places then decided.

                        If you take a look at other food events like taste of little Italy, so many of the booths sell the exact same thing, with the Toronto event each booth sold different style of food and with the toronto being only half the street it never made you feel crowded or caused the bottle necks that little Italy had, last: I found I liked that it did not have to much noise, I could talk with people but I agree with the person who posted some sound would be nice just not over lapping sounds like some of the other events. (I am not bashing little Italy just comparing different food fests)

                        I enjoyed most of the places we tried but we avoided the places like poutini and fish and chips since we can get that any time (besides the line up was stupidly long)

                        we arrived around 1 and starfish had a huge line up by the time we passed an hour latter they were packed up. Maybe next year they will bring the second top shucked and might last both days

                        My fav was Luma even though I found the lobster slider a little small for 5 bucks but it was my favorite (I could never place what the little hit of hot that was in it) However, I looked at there menu online and they do not sell the lobster slider but great that they brought out something you can not get anytime (even though I want more!)

                        My friends tried Lee's spring roll , which they all loved (but my only complaint was is that they seem to do the spring roll at all events since they sold it at the night market)

                        I do not remember the name of the one place we were disappointed in (I think next to lee or two down from it) my friends had the grilled beef with fig and couscous. Which they found the beef over cooked and I had the grilled eggplant with tomato salad, the salad was really good until you got to a point where it just was nothing but parsley steams and the grilled eggplant was to big for eating with your hands, bland (and only one on the plate)

                        everyone LOVED delight, I have been going for a while since they have a milk free ice cream that is to die for but was I disappointed that they did not bring it (since I am sure it would have gone like hot cakes and my friend says it taste as good as there chocolate). But the strawberry ice cream just smelled amazing.

                        my only complaints is, the no refund on tickets (I bought 4 but was full after 2) and I was full after two places.

                        I would go again, it seems to be a more high end food fest and I really enjoyed it. However, I agree with most the people here, that it is not a whole day event, it is more of a pit stop between other things (we went to the small press expo afterward)

                        330 King St W, Toronto, ON , CA