For most of you who follow me regularly through WordPress and Twitter, you know how often I frequent Market 707 by Bathurst and Dundas to hang-out with my good friend, Diona Joyce a.k.a TitaFlips. Last Friday I came for another reason. Last Friday, I had to check out the kick-off celebration of Scadding Court’s Annual Gone Fishin’ 2013. The launch aptly called Fish FryDay, celebrated new vendors of Market 707, food and retail alike, with guests food trucks and pop-up restaurants like Fidel Gastro and The Happy Hooker (just to name a few) catering fish-themed treats. Scadding Court’s Annual Gone Fishin’ 2013 would run through 13th – 22nd of June. During this time, the community pool would be converted to a fishing pond. If you are a fishing fan and can’t go to the cottage country to go fishing, I’d say check this out for this week. For Fish FryDay had the vendors of Market 707 cooking the live trout caught on site. See why I could not resist blogging about this? It is such a unique food event and I think that is such an understatement.
As I have no talent in fishing, I went and browsed with the new vendors. I planned to sample newer ones. I thought I would start by the new retail spaces. New stalls for art and gift items just opened and I hope it picks up traffic. I am one to vote for the nibble and shop experience when I have a chance at it. Pity I haven’t started eating yet as an ice cream sandwich stall was squeezed in-between the new stalls. I think I would just have to try that another day.
Moving on closer to Bathurst, I stopped by for a few minutes to listen to the concert from several singers from the Toronto Artist Collective. It sure did add to the vibe of the moment, having street performers catch the attention of pedestrians. It also helped that we had a break from all that spring rain that beleaguered Toronto for the past few days. The moment the sun broke out, people followed suit.
Moving to the pop-up tables set up for that night, I got to see a familiar face, Steven of Foodies on Foot. Later I learned that one of his food tours swing by Market 707. Now that would indeed be a good find if I were a foodie tourist. Market 707 being new still might not be in tourists books. It would be a good treat to know a gem of a place that does not add-on too much to the bottomline when on a trip.
On the next table right beside Foodies on Foot was Ocean Wise, an initiative by the Vancouver Museum to get chefs and the hungry public to get to know sustainable seafood. Handing out pins, pamphlets and having a raffle off its table, I am impressed they went as far as Toronto to get people on board. Lucky me that my favorite halibut was on the list of sustainable seafood. If you want to check out their Ocean Wise ocean-friendly choices list, click on the link.
Moving through the food stalls, I stopped by Gushi to talk to Shinji Yamaguchi. I am a big fan of his skewered Chicken Karaage. He handed me one Rich Chicken Onigiri to taste and he could have not chosen a better person to hand it over to. Any real Filipino would not refuse anything with rice especially when it is savory and filling. Standing there I could not resist ordering my usual Chicken Karaage too. When visiting Gushi, it is a must.
Moving on, I had to check out Fidel Gastro’s food truck. I haven’t been indulging in foodtruckeats lately and this would right that wrong. Checking his list for the night, I went for his Pad Thai Fries. I loved it that the fries has added texture on it that offered spice and tartness with each bite.
As I was waiting for my fries, I saw a kid walking towards me with a corn dog. Now that was a thing I could never resist. Deep-fried and crispy, the thing just beckoned me to grab one. I found the corn dogs on The Happy Hooker pop up table. I found out it was not your conventional corn dog as this one has shrimp filling instead of the regular hotdog.
I brought all my goodies to Diona’s Kanto stall to share it with her. There was no way I would be able to finish it on my own. With the exception of the chicken karaage (this is like Diona’s Lechon Kawali, the karaage will always be a preference), my favorite of the three things I gathered was the corn dog. I was not sure which one Diona like the best as I didn’t have that much time to talk to her. The line in her own booth was getting longer and longer and there was no time to talk.
Once I found my second wind, I went off to try one more item. From the new vendor Mac’N, I tried TNT Jackson. Cheesy macaroni topped with spicy beef, lettuce, red bell peppers and crushed blue tortilla came my way. Seemingly a deconstructed taco, it promised the twist of a little zing to the usual tame and salty mac n’ cheese. The spice was building up with each forkful. As I was finishing it, I knew I have to find a way to tone down the heat. Seeing someone with a bubble tea, I went to The Original One and got me a Taro smoothie bubble tea. This one reminded me of the flavors of my favorite ube ice cream and it was just what I needed to finish off my eating.
As I was just slurping the last ounce of the smoothie, the girl who have asked Diona to fry her fresh trout came to sit by me. Introducing myself, I asked if she would let me take pictures of her fried fish and she was glad to let me. Her name was Rachel and was originally from Vancouver. For the next few months she would be in Toronto to fulfill an internship. Being a foodie too, she has gone around Toronto, enjoying downtown with the curiosity of a tourist but with the detail of a local. I would gladly experience Vancouver the same way if given the chance.
I had such a good time swinging by once again at Market 707. It never failed to reinvent itself to draw the community in. There should still be a few more days for fishing. Swing by and enjoy the beginning of the summer right at the heart of downtown.
Here are the links once again for a quick reference to Market 707’s Annual Gone Fishin’ 2013.