One City, One Table

It could have been, truly, a clusterfuck, but the weather gods and organizing gods shined down on the One City One Table event today at the Distillery District. Part of the Luminato arts festival, this food fair took over a whole block with one long table down the centre, and local restaurants offering tastings and street food items for $5 a pop along one side.

While it was busy, it wasn’t stupid packed, and there was very little wait time at each booth to get the food. Most chefs had put some thought into their offerings so it was mostly hand-held stuff like sandwiches, tacos or things that didn’t need a fork and knife.

Enamoured of the food as I was, I completely missed getting a shot of the 500-seat table, although it was never all full at once as people kept getting up and moving around as they tried new things. I missed photographing a few things that we tried and really enjoyed like the baked perogies from Chef Nathan Isberg at Coca, and the braised hangar steak sandwich from Chef Ted Corrado at C5.

My only complaints – I’d have liked to have seen more vegetarian options, as there really weren’t many. And also, a plate of oysters on a sunny afternoon really deserves a beer to go with it. I’m sure getting a liquor license for such an event would have been a nightmare, but we actually sat and strategized at one point, trying to figure out if we could sneak a plate of oysters onto the patio at the Mill Street Brew Pub just so we could have beer with our bi-valves. Instead we just plunked down in front of the Starfish booth and enjoyed some Malpeques at a buck a shuck (photo above).

Fried clams from Rodney’s Oyster House. I once called Rodney’s in search of fried clams and they were aghast that I’d suggest such a thing. Seems they’ve changed their minds on that front, and good on them. These were awesome.

This tamale from Dos Amigos was the only thing we bought that didn’t wow us. They were pre-made and slightly soggy by the time we got to this one.

Lobster taco from Sassafraz. Seafood seemed to be the theme of our day, and this was pretty yummy.

Despite the fact that they only came with the sandwich on offer, people kept trying to buy just the pickles from Chef Michael Steh at Reds.

I was headed for the pretty cupcakes at Eini & Co. but got distracted by the filled-to-order cannoli at 7 Numbers. I loves me some cannoli.

La Creperie. And the city’s entire inventory of Nutella.

Lovely strawberry shortcake from Karuchie.