Sunday, August 26, 2012

Toronto Underground Market (TUM)

On Saturday, August 25, we went to our first ever underground food market! Toronto Underground Market (aka. TUM) is a social food market for the community to sample the food of Toronto.  Restaurants/food trucks and pop-up restaurants set up their own booths and offer one or two specialty dishes. This is a MUST TRY-experience event if you ever get the chance! This event happens once a month through out the year so there are plenty of opportunities to go!




Evergreen Brickworks


TORONTO UNDERGROUND MARKET
Where: Evergreen Brickworks (TUM provides a shuttle bus from Broadview Subway Station every 30 minutes throughout the night)
550 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, ON
When: August 25, 2012 - 6pm-11pm
Price: Food ranged from $2 - $7. There is also an $11.25 ticket fee.

***TIPS***

-- If you want to go to one of their future events, buy your tickets the DAY they come out. Usually tickets are sold out within 24 hours!!
-- Strongly suggest going at least 30-45 minutes before it starts. You may have to wait longer to get inside (as opposed to going on time) but it WILL pay off when the line ups for vendors are noticeably short earlier on in the evening. As the night nears the end, line ups shorten significantly but many vendors run out of food.
-- The venue, Evergreen Brickworks is a large open, covered space that is susceptible to outdoor temperatures. There are no heaters or air conditioning so be prepared for any type of weather!
-- BRING TUPPERWARE! Or if you don't want to bring it there, TUM also sells tupperware of various sizes, all for $2!

We arrived at Broadview at 5:20pm to take the shuttle in hopes of being early but when we arrived at Evergreen Brickworks, we realized that there was already a massive line up to go in.


The line extended a good 100m from where we were standing
  J: When they mean the "underground market" it really felt like you were in an 'underground market'. It has this rustic feel to it and it felt very different from mainstream food markets/festivals. The entire market was very spacious until later in the night when more people came in and huge line-ups started to form.


Evergreen Brickworks




J: We had done our research ahead of time and Rock Lobster (@RockLobsterFood) always gets extremely packed as the night progresses so we wanted to get it first thing.




A bit pricey but  for the quality lobster roll you are getting, its worth it. 



Line for Rock Lobster


Being some of the first people into Brickworks, the line was already quite long for Rock Lobster (~15-20 min wait) 


Lobster Rolls ($4 each)
J: Simply holding the lobster roll, you could feel the heat from the buttery toasted bread. After taking the first bite, I was in heaven. The lobster was tender and fresh and the Sriracha added just the right amount of spice to complement the lobster. Similarly, the toasted bread completes the roll. Overall, a simple and amazing dish that I ended up going back for seconds!

C:Our strategy was divide and conquer so we wouldn't waste too much time (since the lines grow pretty quickly!) While J was waiting for Rock Lobster, I decided to try out Seven Lives (@SevenLivesTO), a stand specializing in tacos.   I got the Salmon Vampiro taco ($7) which included salmon, fried cheese and guacamole



Seven Lives Menu Board


The piece of salmon was actually quite large!
J: There was also quite the long line up for Comida Del Pueblo (@ComidaDelPueblo) so we had to see what the commotion was all about. Comida Del Pueblo served two dishes, Duck Mole Empanada ($4) and Corn Bread Grilled Cheese ($5). We love grilled cheese sandwiches so we decided to try the corn bread. The portion of the dish is quite worth the price at $5. The cornbread was served with guacamole, crema fresca, and cilantro. You could definitely taste the sweetness of the corn. The guacamole, crema fresca (sour cream), and cilantro were excellent additions to the grilled cheese as its acidity really complimented the corn bread.


Adding the finishing touches of guacamole


Comida Del Pueblo


Forgot to take a picture of ours, but here is an excellent photo via. If Looks Could Kill!
C: One of my personal favourites of the night were Hot Bunzz (@HotBunzzTO). They only sold three buns but my goodness, these were killer. We got the Canadian Bison Short Ribs bun as well as the Tiger Shrimp & Diver Scallops bun (both $3). Both were delicious. The bun was thick enough to enclose the yumminess inside but thin enough that once you bit into the bun, all you got was the delicious filling inside. Love love love!








Panko crusted tiger shrimp & diver scallops in baked brioche style bun  ($3)
It was about the size of my palm!



As we stated in the tips above, there is no real ventilation system so it was getting quite hot. To cool off, we went to Augie's Gourmet Ice Pops


Augie's Gourmet Ice Pops




Blueberry Mojito Ice Pop

Look who stopped by!


Carl Heinrich - the winner from Top Chef Canada Season 2 !!

I look awful, but glad I could document this moment!

To take home, we ended up getting some Smores cookies and Brownie cookies courtesy of Eat Your Heart Out (@EYHObakingco) and cupcakes from Smashcake Desserts (@SmashCake_TO).


Smashcake


Eat Your Heart Out




Couldn't get a picture of the cookies so took this one from the YUM TUM facebook page



You will eat these cookies and die happy. They are SO chewy and soft - the brownie cookie quite literally melts in your mouth. I ended up buying half a dozen, they are that good!


Our take-home box
From left: Strawberry Red Velvet, Salted Caramel Mocha Fudge
 2 lobster rolls & Canadian Bison Short Rib Hot Bun

My only biggest regret was that I didn't bring enough money OR big enough appetite to try everything, but many more TUM events to come! Definitely going to come to another one.

For future TUM events, visit their website



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