Taste of the Danforth - Friday
Showed up at 5:45 PM. Nice, manageable crowds until about 7PM. Really congested after 8PM.
Lamb and Rosemary Pie at Ouzeri.
Pakora at Sher-E-Punjab.
Calamari at Silk Road.
Ribs and wings at Gabby's.
Any of your favorites?
I took my family up to the Danforth around 5 p.m. on Saturday. The crowds were so bad that I may not return next year. The family went without me last year, but the two years before that, the festival only went from Broadview to Carlaw, not to Jones. The lineups are now huge, typically 50 to 60 people in line -- the line at Zorbas stretched on and on, after a review in Now on Friday.
We tried the lamb rosemary pie at Ouzeri, and the kids loved it. Otherwise, the prices seem to be pretty standard -- $2 for a pork kebab, $3 for a chicken kebab, $4 for a pork kebab in pita, $5 for a chicken kebab in pita.
We walked from the Chester subway stop back to the Donlands station. A few pieces of maki from Katsu, one pork souvali in a bun, and a few cans of pop. The kids were at least temporarily sated, so we decided to just come home and have a late dinner in the quiet.
I know that these events draw huge numbers of people to the neighbourhood -- I just saw CityTv where the organizers say that the Taste of the Danforth was a huge success -- but I think that I'll confine my visits to non-festival times. My attitude may be shaped by parallel feelings about the Downtown Jazz Festival. I hear jazz all year round, and the Downtown Jazz Festival brings a few headliners to Toronto, but I don't take off the week to listen to jazz anymore. Similarly, I think that I'll enjoy the Danforth when there aren't such big crowds, and we can enjoy ourselves without struggling to walk 4 blocks.
The best spanokopita (spinach pie) on the Danforth is at "Athens" near Logan Ave. They're selling halfs for $2 but you can get a whole for $3.10 inside depending on how hungry you are.
The paella at La Caretta, a cuban restaurant in the Ferrier-Arundal area, is pretty good albeit expensive ($5 for a plate). However, the portion size is more than enough.
The ice cream they're selling at Demetres is $2 for a big waffle cone and comes in a variety of flavours (white chocolate!! Mmmmmmmmmm). Very high quality ice cream.
LOVE the Danforth! If you're going on a regular day, Mezes sells high quality tender souvlaki and is nice for ambience.
Christina's is also good because they have strong wines (or maybe I'm just a cheap drunk!)and a good calamari as well as a good patio.
Hope that helps!
It poured after 9:30 pm, partiers are all happily soaked.
souvlakis are still best from major restaurants, Astoria has line-up that is over half hour long, but worth the wait since they do not use cheaper cuts on the $2 skewers
roasted corn, there is a vendor with a lemon juice spiced rub on top of a freshly roasted butter coated ear - and his is only $1 a piece, less than 10 minutes lineup even at peak
most seafood joints are serving cut-rate ingredients at $4 - $8 per skewer/plate, nothing to sing about