99 Sudbury Market

Posted on August 26, 2011


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What is true this year is that I have discovered a lot of hidden gems in Toronto. After all this time in Toronto, I haven’t really experienced Toronto as I have been now.  It is such a novelty to me, as if I were a tourist myself.

This past weekend, another discovery I made is 99 Sudbury Market.  Utilizing an old glass factory south of Queen and Dovercourt, this place is bustling with local joie de vivre, now with a popular event space, acclaimed restaurant and a high-end gym.  But these are not the reason I made it there last weekend.  I came to see 99 Sudbury Market, where fresh produce and local food products are available, amidst an eclectic mixture of art and fashion.  Me being me, I gravitated and oohed and ahhed over the food, rather than the trinkets.

I started off checking out some gourmet marshmallows, they seem to beckon for me to sample.  They were soft and delightful, nothing like the gelatinous grocery-store brand.  I find I do have a short attention span as I moved rather quickly to the next booth selling artisan bread.  She too have samples for me to try.  I eventually ended up picking up some demi baguette and brioche.  It was too good to pass up.

As I went further, I see fresh produce and a crate of fresh and plump heirloom tomatoes.  There were carrots of different shades.  Towards the end of the table is another crate of zucchini flowers and squash.  Seems like fall is creeping in.  Fall is a favorite season of mine.  But I don’t think I have grown tired of the warm weather just yet.

I moved on and I see a table of different varieties of honey and another table of pies and cupcakes.  Turning around, I see a rows of coffee beans in pouches.  Towards the end of the hall, amidst the fancy trinkets and all sorts of art pieces, I see another big table of sugary treats.  I always liked loitering around food and flea markets.  I do get a satisfaction from knowing I am eating food prepared with care and passion.  It makes all the difference. My stomach started growling as I came close to a booth making quesadillas.  I checked it out and the aromas were so tempting.  As I was waiting for my friend, Valerie,  I held off a bit and sauntered further to other tables.

As I was checking out other tables, a man approached me.  It was probably the sight of having two cameras at hand that peaked his curiosity. He cordially introduced himself as Dejan Lazic, one of the organizers responsible for getting all the independent vendors together in this space.  I was meaning to find this gentleman after I did my first round as I was trying to get images for CityBites.  It would be good to meet the people who has gotten this place churning.

From Dejan, it was good to know that 99 Sudbury would be more than just a summer event.  It is their intent to make the market a regular destination all year-long. It was a comfort to know that there are places like these to visit in the middle of winter, even if it’s only on Sundays that they intend to open.   I would surely want to know what are the things I am missing during the coldest months of the year.

CityBites food writer arrives in the form of Ivy Knight.  I have read some of her published work online and it was very good to meet another die-hard foodie.  We go around a second time the market and we talked about what makes the 99 Sudbury special.  When we reached the lounge, she surprises me with the opportunity to meet a chef working in the kitchens.  She introduces me to Lucas of twobrothersfood.com and this was hands down the high point of my afternoon.  Having an inside look and personal time with the people behind the swinging kitchen door was an absolute treat.

Lucas introduces me to his brother, Jacob, who was enthusiastically prepping BBQ roast porchetta.   Jacob confessed that he is a shameless carnivore as he gives me a rundown of what he did to prepare the smoked meat.  I must confess I am much like Jacob.  It took me consciously telling myself to not swipe a small piece from his butcher’s block.  The aroma made my tummy churn some more and I get reminded I haven’t had lunch yet.  A lunch of BBQ roast porchetta was definitely at my line of sight.  From Lucas, I learned that they are setting up a table outside to sell their BBQ.

Following his lead, I went outside and I felt immediately torn as I see another caterer, put jerk chicken and pork on the grill.  Such is a dilemma to a foodie, what to choose, slow roasted and tender smoked meat or grilled chicken or pork?  Living in a condo, grilled meat on coals is such a treat as my condo prohibits the use of a BBQ.  I solved the issue  by eating the BBQ roast and taking home the grilled jerk chicken for dinner.

Sometimes I do feel so guilty about being indulgent.  Such was a very good afternoon for a foodie like me.  I found good food and good conversation with people who can give me a run for my money where passion about food is concerned.  I am sure to come back to this place.  There is no question about it.

Posted in: Toronto Eats