NOT Greek Food in Greek Town
Last weekend (August 11th-13th) I went to #TasteoftheDanforth for the first time. Now you may be thinking: "for someone who considers herself a foodie, how could this be her first time?" Well, inquiring mind, when you live in a city full of rich culture, delicious food, and summertime street festivals you have to be selective with where you spend your precious time. This was the summer that I finally decided it was time to see what the fuss was all about.
Listen, I had every intention to get so full on Greek food at this festival that my boyfriend Adrian would have to roll me home. There were enough vendors to cover three entire city blocks, each sharing their own unique traditions and interpretations of Greek life in Toronto. They had gyros, souvlaki, and spanakopita, enough to feed an army. But did we partake in these Hellenic delicacies? No, we did not.
We did, however, have some pretty tasty alternatives. The one Greek-style dish we did have was a sausage called Loukaniko. It's a pork sausage flavoured with orange peel and fennel seeds. They grill it to a perfect char, serve it on a soft sesame bun, and then douse it in tzatziki and crumbled feta cheese. Safe to say, this cheese fanatic was in heaven.
While perusing the other vendors, trying to decide what else to eat, Adrian deciding to try something a little different (here's where the Greek food ends..). He pointed me toward a sign that read "Jerk Chicken Perogies", which seemed quite out of place at a Greek food festival. I was pleasantly surprised when he walked over with these spicy pockets of chicken. Filled with the flavours of Jamaica (one of the countries I've had the pleasure of visiting), the perogies brought me back to the beach in Montego Bay... in a weird fusion of cuisines and cultures kind of way. Still, not Greek food.
If you've never been to Von Doughnuts, are you really living your life to the fullest? My mother told me about this place a while back, and I learned this weekend that I need to trust her recommendations more often. The booth that they had set up outside the doughnut shop was not very conspicuous, but the smell coming from it was strong enough to draw quite a healthy sized crowd. We ordered two flavours of these little pillows of goodness: blueberry lime and my all-time favourite cinnamon sugar. Each order came with four medium sized doughnuts served on a skewer, all of which we consumed within less than 5 minutes.
Now I know it seemed at the start of this post that I was disappointed in my lack of Greek food at the Taste of the Danforth, and I was at first. Yet, looking back on it, I realized that my experience revealed something special about the city that I live in. Even though the Danforth neighbourhood is known for its history of Greek culture and settlement, there are pockets of diversity all over the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). I can get Greek food on the Danforth, I can get Greek food on Ossington, and I can get Greek food in the Forest Hill Village. And among those Greek restaurants are all types of other histories and cuisines. That's the beauty of living in Toronto.