What I Ate At TURF 2016

Now that TURF post you’ve all been waiting for! Here’s what I ate at the festival.

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Delight fries from Delight Bite. It was fries with mayo and oregano. It was super simple but pretty good.

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Mango peach fish tacos from 50 Pesos. This was definitely my favourite new eat of the weekend. The fish was perfectly fried and there was a perfect combination of sweetness and textures.

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I really wanted to like this Apple Pie Waffle from Sweet Teeth Vegan, but I thought the lack of egg made the waffle kind of lifeless. The toppings helped saved it though as the candied apples, nuts and vegan soft serve were actually delicious.

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This Jerk Chicken Mango Salad from Come and Get It was light and refreshing to have in between fried meals.

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Smoothe Operator refreshed me with a lemonade.

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So did this Cucumber, lime, mint grapefruit popsicle from my favourite place The Pop Stand.

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Mill Street and Hop City Brewing had a free samples station on site.

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Of course I couldn’t resist Indian Tacos from The Flying Chestnut Kitchen at every festival.

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Chocolate & Vanilla cannolis from Holy Cannoli were a must eat.

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I also tried a Guinness Gingerbread popsicle from The Pop Stand.

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Iroquois Kettle Corn’s white cheddar flavour was highly addictive.

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This fried shrimp and fries combo from Mustache Burger was a bit too much fried stuff in one go.

I Went to Bestival

A few weeks ago, I went to Bestival. While the music was heavy on DJ sets (which I’m not the biggest fan of), I still had a lot of fun. There were a lot of things that this festival did differently that made the overall experience an interesting one.

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Finally inside @bestivaltoronto

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There were plenty of things to do besides see music, including a tent where you could knit.

People got married in an inflatable church with a rapping pastor.

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Hammock #selfie at @bestivaltoronto #getcurious

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There were hammocks.

Sponsor Perrier brought in a private greenhouse party.

I randomly received a free signed Owen Pallett CD from Fido for tweeting about the festival!

You could drink fruit juice out of the fruit.

and of course the food was delicious! Will talk more on that later.

Tall Ships Hamilton

Since we sort of failed at finding the ships last weekend, we decided to go see them in Hamilton. We saw them this time as they were all settled along Hamilton’s Pier 8.

The area is much smaller than Toronto’s Harbourfront so we found all the booths full of historical 1812 paraphernalia as well. Oh, and delicious ribs.

Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013

Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013

Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013

Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013

Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013
Tall Ships Hamilton 6/30/2013

Soupstock 2012


Yesterday I attended Soupstock at Woodbine Park. There were over 40,000 people in attendance trying out soups from 85 different booths. Bands also played in support of their land. The festival existed to raise funds to stop and raise awareness for the high-land mega-quarry. To put it shortly, the Highland companies want to blast a pit deeper than the Niagara falls in more than 2300 acres of farm land in Ontario. It would also require tons of water to be removed from the pit every day, water that people who live downstream from it need. All this just for some limestone. Though many people (including myself) originally came just for the soup, most learnt about and supported the cause.

Nash signing a giant petition.

Soup tickets were $10 for 3 and me and Nash bought 6 altogether. I brought my own bowls from home. I brought these old ugly ones because we chucked them away before heading off to a concert for the night. The first soup we had was a Pumpkin, squash and pear soup.

Pumpkin, squash and pear soup

The booth was in a corner, and lines were non-existent, but it was actually one of my favourites. I generally love butternut squash soup but this was perfect in texture. It was bursting with flavour and the hint of pear was lovely. It wasn’t something we immediately tasted, but when thought about, it was definitely there.

Next we braved a line at the Rock Lobster soup tent.

disappointing lobster soup

We both unanimously decided that it was definitely not worth the wait. The broth was too thin, and almost water-like. It was also pretty flavourless, or rather had a strange after taste that felt like spicy, but was definitely not spicy. There were a handful of mini lobster pieces, but not enough for it to have been worth the long line.

Chili
Chilli

After that thin soup, I wanted something with more substance so we tried the chili. It wasn’t spicy, but they had plenty of hot sauce at their station to add whatever amount of heat was desired. We dabbed quite a bit and enjoyed the filling beans, meat and cheese combo.

Susur Lee serving me soup

Up until this point we were just wandering about looking at the stands without a map, but while in line for chili, I heard one of my favourite food network chefs Susur Lee was serving soup! I haven’t been to his restaurant yet (not in my budget) but I have tried a couple of his items at various other food festivals. Sunday he was serving hot and sour soup!

Hot and sour soup

To be honest, I’m not regularly a fan of hot and sour soup. I always thought it was one of those fake Asian foods made for white folk. However Susur’s was delicious! There were a ton of flavours going on including a mouthful of flowery coriander. The ingredients in his soup reminded me of shark fin soup (which I have had plenty as a kid), without the shark fin.

Since the lobster soup was a fail, we decided not to judge a soup by its line. Instead for the last two, we went to booths with virtually no line at all. The first was the Fraser Cafe which had a lemongrass noodle soup.

Lemongrass noodle soup

There was a strong flavour of lemongrass, and pieces of it were visible in the soup. The noodles were thin and soaked up the flavour. Strangely, it almost kind of reminded me of the pumpkin soup in aftertaste.
Lastly, we got a potato leek soup with sweet breads in it.
Potato leek w/ sweetbreads

Sweetbreads, just as a reminder is weird organ meat. We’ve tried it once before at last year’s Food and Wine festival. The potato leek soup was perfectly thick. The sweetbreads were thick and this time, we didn’t mind the texture at all. In this soup it was a soft meaty delicacy.

Though I hope the mega-quarry doesn’t happen, I hope another Soupstock does, even if to raise support for another cause. It was a lovely Sunday, with a lovely mixture of happy people, food and music.

Surviving Music Festivals

Random photo of me and Montreal's Honheehonhee

Canadian Music Week was keeping me busy last week, hence the lack of blog posts. This year, I didn’t want to bother any of my Toronto friends with crashing on their couches so I commuted back and forth. I was kind of like Cinderella, disappearing to catch the last bus at 1:20am. I’m pretty exhausted but here is how I survived the past week.