I thought that our big ole walk (5K return) to the night market on Friday night was my big walk of the weekend but there, I was wrong.
In the past few weeks (or longer) I’ve had the most horrid sleep patterns. I keep napping after dinner for stretches from one to four hours and then I can’t figure out what my new bedtime is… four hours after my regular bedtime between 1:30-2? On Saturday, I slept in just a little and generally indulged in lying around on my bed or sofa and catching up on the online world and trip planning! Oh, so much of the latter done this past weekend it makes me happy and satisfied.
We rolled out the door and made it to the Hot & Spicy Food Festival (660 meters from my place) in time for a late lunch if there was lunch to be got there but I was really disappointed by their notion of “festival” after the night market the day before. We got some really pitiful vegetarian Indian appetizers from a cart. (The offering was slightly better on Sunday.) We did sit down and enjoy the semi-finals competition of “Iron Chef”: Hot & Spicy Food Festival that was being taped by CBC and hosted by Christian Pritchard. And since we were left wanting, I suggested that we walk to Market 707 which we saw last fall in a segment of some show on CBC where Metro Morning host Matt Galloway cycled around Toronto.
That felt like a long walk but was in fact only 3.4K away. We walked through the crowds of Toronto FC and Liverpool FC fans (all wearing red jerseys) tailgating outside Rogers Centre before the match. We ducked into new-last-year Loblaws at the Shoppes on Queen West that also house a Winners and bright and shiny Joe Fresh. The Loblaws was decorated in what I’ll call “industrial chic” and I actually took pictures of the industrial typography on the walls and the impressive bakery display that hits you when you arrive by escalator. We also checked out the new-earlier-this-year CB2 and I mentally added clear acrylic furniture, particularly an acrylic bed tray. And then we finally arrived at Market 707 which definitely has a different feeling than television lended, with under ten shipping containers just lined up against the external wall of Scadding Court Community Centre.
So I got to try a Salvadoran pupusa from La Pupusa on Dundas and an “amazing” (definitely unique) grilled cheese sandwich from Monforte Diary with a combination of sheep and water buffalo cheese. And then we were off looking for dessert…. We walked through Kensington Market laughing at how many markets we were hitting up in a day. I was looking for “my” ice cream truck which parks on Wellington during the week but claimed to be in Kensington Market on the weekends. We didn’t see him but came across Baldwin which reminded me of Guu’s new ramen joint in Toronto, Kinton Ramen. We had the time to wait 20 minutes for a seat because Balwin Village is really cute and we could kill some minutes in CubeShops which featured beautiful, high-end Japanese wares.
We were seated across from each other with a couple on either side of us and I felt like I really wanted to share the experience with NPY although he would be shocked by the prices. The ramen bowls started at $9.50!! As each of the couples on either side of us received their ramen bowls, there was a pause while one of both halves of the couple took a cell phone photo of the steaming noodles. I was no different! The noodles were good but even I found the charsiu was really salty. We split a bowl of shio ramen with extra noodles which was probably a bit gauche at that joint but they didn’t know how much we had eaten already!
It felt interminable but a good 3K walk back home.
The next day we were back at the Hot & Spicy Festival where it was busier but not really stellar. We caught the “Iron Chef” finals and had really bad seats. Yay, Mexico won but I did not feel very invested in either dish too much not being able to see the preparations. When the competition let out, it was just in time to get birthday chocolate & cayenne mini donuts (two) which were a satisfying bite and then we got a taco and tostada from the Salsas stand merely because one of the “iron chefs” mentioned the tostadas. A home cooked meal with my favourite ingredient–tofu–capped over the weekend.