For some Torontonians, sizzling days of summer can only mean one thing – food festivals! No myth here, this city is host to an eclectic array of international cuisine, including a three-day marathon of the finest in street meat. Joining the urban stampede, I made my way to the heart of Greek Town – Danforth Avenue – for ‘opa’ worthy skewered carnivorous bites.
Hellenic Gods smiling, I got more than just Greek fare at this year’s Taste of the Danforth. Conveniently guided by ballooning clouds of grey, where there is smoke there’s undoubtedly fire. Pleasingly so, charcoal-flamed ‘hot spots’ served my senses well, guiding me to paramount offerings of authentic Mediterranean cuisine ranging in starters, mains and desserts.
Fueling my inner-Olympian – long distance food traveller – I commenced my epic feast with an iron-rich favourite in spinach and cheese wrapped spanakopita; an aromatic herbed triangle not to be missed, unless you’re a fictional character – sorry Popeye. Fortunately, being in the right place, I moved on to witness more appetizing butter-brushed layers of flaky phyllo sheets. Also in production and ready for consumption, baklava! Soaked in mouth-watering simple syrup, this nutty package uses the same thin dough to contain an energy-boosting filling of ground walnuts and sugar. Sweet or savoury, masses clearly are all Zorba’s at heart, embracing life’s simple pleasures – delicious
Entertainment abound, folkloric sounds of bouzouki (mandolin) kept me pleasantly occupied as I recorded another personal best, in expected wait-time, as I stood in queue for succulent pieces of marinated meat. Ears melodically-content, I knew I was in for more enriching lessons – a plate of classical foodology upon receiving grilled souvlaki. Yes, it does taste like – moist lemon and oregano-infused – chicken! Also available on a stick or gyros, try flavourful tender pork carvings with some thick and zesty garlic tzatziki or opt for something new and ‘gamey’ at this triathlon of eats – whole roasted quail. Basted in its golden juices, this gorgeous bronze bird spins – like no other – on a spitfire, low and slow.
Clearly having fun, my day at the Danforth was made more eventful with a celebrity sighting. Meeting and greeting former NHL player Nick Kypreos was unanticipated, yet a pleasant ‘taste’ of welcoming charm. Delighting hockey enthusiasts, young and old, Mr. Kypreos was kind to take time to engage with fans at this local autograph signing. Evidently catering to more than just hungry appetites, this downtown food festival feeds all your senses – proportionately Greek full.
Copyright © DISHFUL, 2013.