Friday, September 30, 2011

Urban Eats @ The Toronto Underground Market

Toronto is a world-class city full of people who love to eat. Between monthly food festivals, thriving farmers markets and a fledgling food truck scene, it can be hard to make a name for yourself. Luckily, Hassel Aviles had no problem charming the city with her new social food experiment, the Toronto Underground Market.

Designed as a market to showcase some of Toronto’s best amateur or home cooks, Aviles is not only supporting the local food scene, but she’s also discovering some of the best hidden talent in the city.

It’s a win-win situation that drew a sold-out crowd of 1200 eager foodies to the inaugural event at the Evergreen Brick Works this past Saturday. Diners had a chance to sample dishes and drinks from 25 different food vendors, four Ontario craft breweries and one local winery.

Plates and snacks generally ranged from $2-$8 and we couldn’t resist sharing some of our favourite picks for the night!

First stop was at the Big Smoke Coffee Co where Chef Taylor was serving up some “Carne de la Calle” or marinated and smoked pork belly sandwiches. This tiny slider was full of flavour and came with a smorgasbord of fixings too.  

We topped ours with herb and coffee infused queso fresco, avocado butter and a rustic relish made from grilled pineapple, jalapeno and salsa. Delish!

Next up was The Beech Tree for the “Auld Spot” – a roast pork belly and crackling sandwich topped with English-mustard aioli, homemade onion pickle and served with fresh hand-cut chips.  The pork belly stole the spotlight again in this sandwich and its hearty goodness made it the perfect comfort food.

To change gears, we ventured over to Tricia’s Tasty Treats for some whole grain pasta tossed with kale, pesto and roasted seasonal veggies that was full of fresh and healthy flavours.

Finally, to finish off the night, our triple dessert feature consisted of Katrina’s raspberry macaron, The Picnic Society’s watermelon-basil lemonade and a triple fudge brownie from Wheelie Sweet.

The October edition of the Toronto Underground Market sold out in less than 24 hours; so expect to fight ‘fork and knife’ to get tickets to the following edition on November 19. Increase your chances by following the Toronto Underground Market on Facebook for all of the latest updates!

-- Amy Ng. Check out her blog @

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