Words by Shelby Morrison & photography by Alison Silveira
If you’re looking to change your lunchtime routine or simply just want to get out of the office, take some time to stop by Adelaide Eats in downtown Toronto. For it’s third year, the second floor terrace of Adelaide Place (150 York Street) has been turned into a food lover’s paradise. From now until July 28, you will find a variety of different food vendors to satisfy your appetite. The market is open on weekdays, and on Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Enjoy every moment of summer and those sunny days by having lunch outdoors at this downtown food destination.
I was thrilled to attend on the first evening to try samples from each vendor. To start off, I opted for red wine sangria, which was a refreshing start to the evening. As for the food, I started with the fried chicken sandwich at District 28. The crispy chicken is topped with a dill pickle, mango slaw, chipotle maple aioli, and Tahitian treat BBQ sauce, sandwiched between a fresh brioche bun. The sweet, savoury, and spicy flavours all pair very well together and make for a really tasty sandwich.
Cassia Northern Thai comes to us from the winner of the UberEats pop-up kitchen contest, and has been serving up delicious and authentic Thai cuisine in pop-up locations. After speaking with chef Scott Roberts, he created a meal especially for me based on combining his menu items. He started by pounding away the dressing for the green papaya salad in a mortar and pestle, which included peanuts, chilies, baby shrimp, and many other secret ingredients. He then topped white rice with his homemade smoked lemongrass chicken (see photo above). The flavours and authenticity of Cassia can really be seen in all of his dishes, as well as the chef’s passion for food and Thai cuisine.
Fish’d by EDO was serving up sushi burritos and poke bowls with fresh fish and veggies. Poke is the newest food trend that has taken Toronto by storm. I chose the salmon poke bowl which is served on a bed of white rice, topped with kale, edamame, corn, crushed macadamia nuts, and tossed in a spicy mayonnaise sauce. It is also sprinkled with nanami, which is a Japanese spice mixture that includes chili pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, ginger, and seaweed. The freshness of the fish and all of the other ingredients make for a flavorsome, healthy dish.
If you are looking for a Halal option, or just want something delicious, visit Ishtar Catering. I tried the chicken shawarma which was wrapped in a pita and stuffed with french fries, pickled vegetables, hummus, and drizzled with tahini and garlic sauce. Everything came together really well, and the chicken shawarma was pleasantly moist and flavourful.
Tacos are everywhere these days, so of course I had to try one from Tacos 101. The grilled chicken taco is served with marinated peppers and spices, and garnished with pico de gallo and fresh salsa verde. The flavours of Mexico feature well in this simple taco. Add some house-made hot sauce for a spicy kick!
Momofuku is known for their noodles and buns and I sampled the spicy fried chicken option. The simplicity of the fried chicken with lettuce and spicy mayonnaise could not have been more perfect, as was the soft, fluffy bun.
I have been wanting to try Wahlburgers since it came to Toronto and they were sampling their cheeseburger, as well as the Thanksgiving burger, which is made of turkey and topped with stuffing, mayonnaise, butternut squash, and a homemade orange cranberry sauce. The burger is good, but nothing absolutely special. However I did enjoy the turkey burger, which is a nice change from your usual beef patty with cheese. The tater tots on the side are delicious!
As if I hadn't eaten enough yet, I was still determined to try more. The BBQ chicken from Mikey’s had the perfect flavour and really brought me some cool Caribbean vibes.
Next up was Toben Food By Design, which is a catering company in Toronto. I tried the hickory smoked Angus beef brisket topped with a bourbon molasses BBQ sauce, and an apple, fennel, cabbage slaw. The sweet and tangy sauce combined with the juicy and tender meat is a wonderful combination. It is served with a refreshing and tasty watermelon salad, which was tossed with heirloom tomato, pickled onion, black beans, corn, feta and lemon-basil vinaigrette.
Since I am a fan of Little Fin, I sampled their shrimp taco, which was simple, yet fresh and tasty. It is topped with tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, and spicy mayonnaise.
After finally having enough to eat, I still needed to end off on a sweet note and try some dessert. The 'cookie monster' from Chimney Stax is filled with vanilla ice cream, topped with blue raspberry icing, and chocolate chip cookies. The cone is made out of rotisserie-baked bread and rolled in cinnamon sugar. This unique treat is derived from an Eastern European street food and has been welcomed here in Toronto with open arms, and for good reason. Chimney Stax offers different flavours and varieties and they do not disappoint!
Short & Sweet Bakeshop is one of my favourite bakeries in Toronto, so I was thrilled to taste their dulce de leche cupcake, which is perfectly moist and filled with the most luscious caramel.
Take a break during the day and enjoy the sunshine on the Adelaide Place terrace. The food will not disappoint and you are sure to leave with a smile on your face and a happy belly!