Last weekend was the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Festival. If you’re interested in the music portion of the festival, you can check out my reviews here. This, however, is a look at some of the delicious food options that were available.
Collective Concerts did a great job organizing the event. They hired mom and pop restaurants instead of chains like Pizza Pizza. Environmental Defence was a sponsor providing free filtered water via Event Water. Nestea and Vitamin Water were also on-site giving people an unlimited amount of free drinks. I have to say this was one festival where I hardly saw any garbage on the ground. All the patrons were very courteous and thoughtful of the environment.
Per Se Mobile
I ordered their Short Rib Sandwich ($9). There was a generous portion of meat with cheese, arugula, pickled red onions on a fluffy bun. There a chipotle-esque flavour in the sauce. Kettle-chips were included with the sandwich.
This place shares my last name, so it only seemed fitting to try them. I had 6 dumplings ($8) and told them to mix it up. Vinegar was sprinkled on them. I’m not sure what kinds I had, but they were all moist and delicious. Pricing wise, I thought it was a little expensive at more than $1 a dumpling.
Manual Labour Coffee
I had seen the adorable Manual Labour truck on the grounds on Thursday and Friday night. I was really excited to have them Saturday morning since the festival started bright and early that day. However, they were not set up until 3:30pm that day. What a missed out business opportunity! Anyways, they seemed to learn their mistake because on Sunday they came much earlier.
A popular option was the Coffee Pop. ($2.75) It was a carbonated expresso drink. I added some liquid honey in mine to taste. It was a bit weird. One sip would be bitter than the next sweet and tingly with carbonation. It was definitely something unique!
I also tried their Ice Break (not on the same day). They described it as a take on an Australian frappuchino. It was sweet so no additional sugar needed and cold enough for the hot day.
As per a security guard’s suggestion, I ordered their Smoked Meat Sandwich ($8). It came with a pickle and there was a variety of mustards to choose from at the truck. I went with a simple honey mustard. I thought I may have been lacking vegetables during the festival so I had a small order of potato salad ($1).
My favourite food item at TURF was probably Bacon Nation’s Porkfection ($8). It was a spectacular sandwich with pemeal bacon, pulled pork and crispy bacon strips that were actually crispy. It was worth the messy fingers.
To limit my amount of caffeinated and vitamin filled drinks, I decided to buy a classic lemonade.
For $5 I had a slice of their Mexican pizza. It was just okay that day. It was a little dry from sitting out in the sun.
On Sunday it started raining really hard during dinner time so I forgot to take photos of food. But I did have Kanga’s delicious meat pie and blueberry iced tea!
Overall, I thought there was a fantastic food selection at TURF. There was a very homey and family atmosphere to the entire festival and I quite miss it already!