TO Food Fest

By the time you read this post, the doors and vendors at TO Food Fest would have closed. Lots of Toronto and GTA visitors would have left with full tummies wanting to have more of these kind of festivals hit the streets again.Today, Sunday July 29 2012, TO Food Fest launched its first food event with the hope of promoting local hidden restaurants and allowing food entrepreneurs to launch or promote their business via a unique festival. The vendors featured at today’s event were all great, had unique takes on food and were welcoming to us food critics.

 
We started our media tour at noon with a very welcoming host, Jing Loh, who introduced us to each vendor and helped us get tastings, pictures and all the deets. We sampled, we ate, we laughed, and of course, we Tweeted!  
 
TO Food Fest was executed perfectly and it was well planned. From over 20 vendors, I narrowed it down to about 5 that were the highlight for me and my taste buds:

 

Vendor #1: CASA Manila
 
The food was excellent, traditional, and well seasoned. Its flavours spoke of the rooted Filipino tradition that is housed in this restaurant as well as how its taste was influenced by the Spaniards, Chinese and Americans.
 
This was all explained, in a cute and inspiring manner, by owner Mila.
 
Mila was by far the best food vendor I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She knew her food, told us what Casa Manila was all about, and even hinted at how food to her was an aphrodisiac!
 
The food from Casa Manila was not only fresh and delicious, especially if you had their garlic rice; but the set-up of this vendor was perfect, clean and almost elegant. Kudos once again to Mila.


 
Cupcakes, Muffins, Curry, Peppercorn…I am sorry, did I lose you? Maybe not, from sweet to savory, this vendor takes the lead in innovation at TO Food Fest. Introducing chocolate curry and strawberry peppercorn cupcakes by the mother-daughter duo behind this gig. These ladies know a thing or two about how to mix the most interesting flavours into a sweet treat. If it wasn’t because they add to my “muffin top” (pun intended), I would have taken a whole dozen just for me!


Vendor #3: Baoss
 
A Bao, is the Chinese translation for bun. Baoss is all about steamed buns that are hand-made and open-faced. With 3 kinds of buns being featured, this vendor had line-ups up the wazoo.
The favourite steamed bun at the event was certainly the lobster bun which had poached lobster, wasabi mayo, crushed wasabi peas and lettuce.

 

Vendor #4 – Comida del Pueblo
 
Comida del Pueblo is a neat new vendor that, like Baoss, has been hitting the tents at many food festivals such as TUM (Toronto Underground Market) and now TO Food Fest.
 
Known for its fantastic take on fusion street meals, Comida del Pueblo consists of three chefs that combine their talents and passion to bring Latin inspired street food to Toronto. Their Jalapeño Cornbread Grilled Cheese is one to inspire indeed. What the chefs have done, is mix the traditional cornbread from Latin cuisine, and have fusion it with American in a grilled cheese format that also includes black beans, jalapeños and its then topped with guacamole and cream. This was a fantastic treat and quite tasty. 
As friendly suggestion to the chefs, I would recommend to check out the cheese used in the Arepa de Choclo from Antojitos. I believe it will give your grilled cheese that much more depth and texture.

Vendor #5 – Big Moe’s Burgers
 
Big Moe does not mess around when he means beef! He likes his burgers, halal, from the grinder to the grill. His concept? Just put it on the beef! From cheese to egg and even poutine, Moe’s burger will always have something inside that patty. When I tried the Jucy Lucy, with cheese inside the beef patty, I knew I was in for a treat. The dedication, welcoming smiles and unique take on burgers made this vendor another hit at TO Food Fest.
 
Buen Provecho!
 
Until next time Foodies,

Foodies Inked.

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