I hope you’re having a nice weekend and Happy Father’s Day! Yesterday, I went to Taco Fest Toronto (located at Ontario Place) with KH and YH. Here are my thoughts on going to food festivals and the food:
First of all, I think food festivals are a nice thing to try with friends, but it’s quite expensive because you have to pay to get in ($10 for a ticket). You choose a 2-hour window when you have to enter, and you can stay as long as you want once you’re in. Once you leave, you can’t go back in. You pay for food and drink tickets once you’ve passed security and check-in. Plus, if you add the subway and streetcar rides to get there and back, that’s another $6 (if you’re using tokens, $6.50 for cash). So, you’ve already paid almost $20 just to get in the festival and to make it worth it, you buy a few strips of tickets to try at least 3 or 4 tacos and a drink. I paid $30 for 15 tickets and most of the tacos that appealed to me were obviously the tacos that were worth 3 or 4 tickets (so I got a booze popsicle, 4 tacos and a bottle of water for 15 tickets). The one good thing about food festivals is that the vendors are all in one spot so you can try them all and know which ones you would go visit their restaurant or food truck.
It was a fun experience with delicious food, but I probably wouldn’t go to another food fest. I think you could easily have a mini food fest with your friends by finding restaurants that are in close proximity and sharing a meal from several restaurants.
There were 24 vendors at the Taco Fest (2 popsicle/slushie drink stands, 2 dessert stands, 1 corn on the cob stand and the rest were taco vendors). Amongst the three of us, we tried 12 different vendors. The servings were pretty good (especially the Mexican Poutine, they sold out at around 5pm, I don’t know if they restocked for the evening crowd). Despite the good portions, it was still quite expensive to pay the equivalent of about $4-6 for one taco.
What I tried:
- Avocado Tempura Taco from The Food Dudes- creamy poblano sauce, grilled corn salsa, pickled cabbage, hot sauce, cilantro (I asked for no hot sauce because I can’t handle too spicy. I’m sure the hot sauce gives it extra flavour, but it was delicious even without it)
- Fish Taco from Buster’s Sea Cove– fish, roja, creamy coleslaw, pico de gallo, and sour cream on a corn tortilla shell
- Beef Short Ribs Taco from Playa Cabana– Ontario beef shortrib braised in ancho chiles wrapped in fresh corn tortillas. Served with pico de gallo, guac and homemade crema
- Carolina Fried Chicken Taco (rated #1 in 2016) from Fidel Gastro’s- Carolina BBQ sauce, corn and tomato salsa, fried chicken
- Watermelon Margarita Boozy Pop from Chill Pops
I can honestly say that I would get all four tacos again. It’s hard to choose a fave but I think I liked the beef short ribs the best (I love my beef/steak). The battered fish from Buster’s Sea Cove was good, but there wasn’t a lot of toppings. The fried chicken from Fidel Gastro’s was yummy and the Avocado Tempura taco would be a good vegetarian choice.
What KH and YH tried:
- Mexican Poutine from Heirloom– crispy potato, local cheese curds, pickled jalapeno, chipotle and lime aioli and cilantro
- Shrimp Ceviche Taco from Little Fin- citrus-y Wild Northern Pink Shrimp, avocado, tomato, and srirach a-lime aioli
- Bulgogi Ground Beef Taco from The Food Dudes- FD cheese sauce, kimchi spicy slaw, cilantro, mint, scallions, taro crisps
- Tuna Sashimi Taco from Frida Restaurant & Bar- fresh raw tuna, pineapple, and white cabbage with chipotle mayo
- Banh Mi Chorizo Taco from Los Vietnamita- spicy chorizo sausage sauteed with green peas and spices, served in a soft flaky taco shell layered with lettuce, cucumbers, scallion verde, pico de gallo, and pickled carrots and daikon- spiked in-between with our famous ancho chipotle sauce
- Lobster Taco from Buster’s Sea Cove– chunks of lobster claw and tail, coleslaw, pico de gallo, chipotle mayo, and roja on a corn tortilla shell
- Pollo (Chicken) Taco from Taco.TO (not pictured, forgot to take a pic)- homemade corn tortilla filled with shredded chicken topped with fresh vegetables, salsa and homemade taco sauce. Garnish: cilantro and lime
- Yummy Mango Lassi from Kathi Roll Express- mango and yogurt smoothie
- Mango Lime Ice Pop from The Pop Stand
Both YH and KH liked the lobster roll and would get it again. KH’s favourite was the Bulgogi Ground Beef Taco from The Food Dudes. KH and YH have both gone to a few food fests: Brunch Fest and Mac & Cheese Fest. They both liked the taco fest.
We didn’t get any of the desserts (they had funnel cake and ice cream) or corn on the cob because you can get those at any fair .
Where do you get your tacos and what are your faves?
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!