Toronto Underground Market

Chaotic, frenetic, delicious. Those are the three words that spring to mind when I think about T.U.M. in Toronto at the Evergreen Brick Works.

Yes, there are long line ups for food (including waiting for the shuttle bus AND just to get inside the market itself!).  But, patience is a virtue (so I’m told) and they are working out these kinks.  In terms of food fare and selection, it is slightly lacking but I think this is because it takes time to get more participants on board. I noticed that rich, meat dishes (pork belly, porchetta, etc) are on heavy rotation from many vendors as well as dishes involving meats (again! surprise?!) in roll, bun, taco shell, or bao form.  It would be nice to see some lighter fare offered as well as more vegan/vegetarian representation at the market.

However, is this event worth attending?  Yes, if you’ve never been.  It is an experience unto itself–To be in an expansive location like the Evergreen Brick Works surrounded by people who adore good eats is indescribable.  It may be my hunger pangs showing, or it is that I’m super-uber proud that we have our own home- grown, monthly food event, in Toronto. Yay!

A few words of advice (and things I learned the hard way).  Arrive early. As in, right when the event begins and doors open.  This way, you’ll avoid the loooong wait times and will have the opportunity to peruse the various vendors and selections they offer.  It will also give you a chance to speak to these fine folks who are making your food and to get some insight into their passion.   By the time I arrived, it was apparent that stress levels were high and that there were many tummies to be satiated…aka. less talk, more feeding.

You can bring Tupperware, but IMHO, I didn’t and don’t think it is necessary.  I doubt those lobster rolls (for instance) could be reheated without overcooking the meat and taste just as good the following day.  It is better to do such delicate foods justice and eat only what you can when you are there.  It is all the more reason to convince your friends and family (who you are probably getting these extras for) to attend themselves!

–Onto the photos.  They were captured using my bf’s iPhone (which died before the night was through, so I couldn’t take all the photos I wanted. drat!) but next time, I will be more prepared and bring my DSLR.

A big letdown. Was expecting the pastry to be flaky and crisp, but got a soft, chewy, doughy mass instead. The flavours inside were forgettable. From Comida del Pueblo.

Jalapeno Grilled Cheese Cornbread Sandwiches on the grill from Comida del Pueblo
Comida del Pueblo Jalapeño Cornbread Grilled Cheese Sammy. Fellow blogger Tummy Points and I both agreed that it was far too rich to be enjoyed. After a few bites, I had raised my white flag in defeat. A great idea but sometimes, less is more.
Lobster Rolls baby! Boy howdy: The line up was about 30-40 minutes for this.
Inside the Market! This is BEFORE it became busy
Dishes offered at Babi and Co.
BBQ-ing at Babi and Co.

One thought on “Toronto Underground Market

  1. wow, sorry i missed the event, it looks amazing. i especially love when people prepare the food they’re selling on the spot, like the bbq stalls, and the air is filled with amazing smell. glad to see the tradition of food markets spreading, it’s unbelievable how much communities around Toronto evolved over the last couple of years.

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