Last Saturday, Torontonians gathered at the Evergreen Brick Works for a fantastic and delicious, Cinco de Mayo-themed evening of street food. Street food has been on a rising trend in the GTA in the last year, with a growing number of food trucks and pop-ups showing up on the streets and at events. Two of Toronto’s most popular street food events, Food Truck Eats and the Toronto Underground Market, joined forces to bring hungry foodies food trucks and food vendors all under one roof at the Street Food Block Party.
My favourite food truck, El Gastronomo Vagabundo, dished up some awesome tacos in the first half of the evening—twice-cooked beef cheeks and their popular spicy tempura cod. I heard their Babe Marley (crispy braised pigs’ ears) off their late-night menu were equally delicious. I’m only sad that I missed them!
Other highlights of the night included Babi & Co, who specialize in Indonesian street food. I tried Babi back at the April TUM, but their Cinco de Mayo menu for the Street Food Block Party was really impressive, offering a wide array of eats while staying true to their Indonesian flavours. The grilled Padang-style yellow curry wings were perfectly spiced and so tender, while the beef rendang taco had lots of flavour and went very well with the mango salsa.
Merguez House, serving up Moroccan fare, brought back their popular merguez sausage (alongside their equally popular harissa), as well as one of my favourite dishes of the evening, chicken bastilla. The chicken was perfectly spiced, with beautiful flavours of cardamom coming through, and the alternative use of crispy spring rolls crumbled on top worked so well. It was so good I ordered another one to take home with me!
Pizza-flavoured rice balls! Paese Ristorante (part of the L-eat Group) dished up some delightful pepperoni and smoked mozzarella arancini with salsa verde. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, these balls were savoury and smokey and oh-so-delicious.
At the end of my short evening, I made a pit stop to The Lunch Room to pick up some sweets. Their sweet corn crème brulée was super rich and luscious—incredibly creamy, smooth, and silky. The custard base impressed me a lot, and I especially loved the minty freshness in it. I just wished there was a tad bit more sweet corn to it.
I barely scratched the surface at the SFBP, with the various vendors and so much good food being served, but I went away stuffed and happy. And clearly the large crowd and long lines again solidified the fact that Torontonians are desperately wanting a better food scene on their streets.
Huge congratulations and kudos go to Suresh Doss of Food Truck Eats and Hassel Aviles of the Toronto Underground Market, and their respective teams, who have both worked endlessly to organize and pull this event together. They both continue such wonderful and important work in redefining the street food scene here in Toronto, and everyone's continued support of such events only help their cause.
Looking forward to another street food event? Food Truck Eats and Peller Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake are hosting 16 food trucks on Sunday, May 20 and Monday, May 21. Ticket includes admission to the event, one glass of wine, and a souvenir Govino glass. For more information or to purchase your tickets, click here.
You can find my full set of Street Food Block Party photos here.