Last Thursday there was a food event called St. Lawrence Mmmarket Night that was held from 7-10pm. I am all about checking out the different food events that are happening in the city (Toronto Taste, Brickworks Picnic and Toronto Underground Market to name a few). This one caught my interest because it was being held at St. Lawrence Market and part of the proceeds were going toward FoodShare. I love shopping at this market. There is something about visiting the different booths that each specialize in something different that I find very comforting. I love the variety and the fact that the prices are reasonable for what you get.
The only thing that I don’t like about the market are the hours. It closes at 6pm most days and is closed on Sundays and Mondays which makes it difficult for me to visit on a regular basis. Saturday ends up being the most convenient day for me to visit but Saturdays at St. Lawrence Market can be a total zoo! (although I have heard that the 5am farmer’s market in the North market on Saturdays is definitely something worth checking out).
Just the fact that St. Lawrence market would be open late (past 7pm) was enough reason for me to go. I bought my ticket (and would later find out that the event would sell out). The cost of admission was $50 which included two drink tickets which made this event a total deal. I was worried that with events like this that the food would quickly run out. Not so! There was plenty of food to go around.
I tried smoked trout, porchetta, pulled pork, French raclette, air dried beef, proscuitto, mussels, chicken and brie panini, codfish cakes, Portugese egg tarts, panna cotta, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne, pepperets, stuffed lamb shoulder, yam fries, pork ribs, chicken skewers, cheese fondue, fruit, duck breast, duck sausage, lamb sausage, crab cakes and duck burger. They were even cooking kangaroo! Mill Street brewery was also there serving up samples of their Cobblestone Stout. And this was all included in the $50!
After about an hour in I wish that I had paced myself as I was at my limit and didn’t have any more room to try the crepes, speck, chicken cacciatore, saganaki, bagels, apple dumplings, roast chicken or kangaroo that they were also offering up. In fact, I had to start getting picky – really picky. I didn’t let myself eat anything that I had tried at the market at previous visits and I started avoiding breads entirely (I would just eat the fillings). Yes, this means I had to pass up the famous Peameal bacon sandwiches that were at Carousel Bakery and the famous veal sandwiches at Uno Mustachio (I’ve had them before and do enjoy them immensely on a much emptier stomach).
This was such a great event. The $50 ticket sounded a little steep but the fact that it included two drinks and the event was all you can eat (and you got to learn more about the items that the vendors sell) made this event better than events like Rib Fest, Taste of the Danforth and the Food and Wine expo (where you still have to purchase drink and food tickets in addition). And you get to know your local food market purveyors and their specialty items! For me, that in itself was worth the cost of admission!
I will definitely be going to this event (and visiting the vendors at St. Lawrence market more often). Now that I know there are places that sell porchetta, pork belly and smoked trout as well as shrimp and chicken rissois (definitely, the best find of the night for me), I’m going to try to make the St. Lawrence Market one of my regular food stops.