I just learned about this Wednesday night Supper Market at the Market at the Village in the last few weeks and thought it sounded like a perfect thing to do on a hot summer night - drive out to Niagara on the Lake, eat some great food and then drive back to Toronto with the top down just as the day starts to cool off while the sun is setting. Today turned out to be that perfect day.
It was actually a totally perfect day because it started with a trip to the AGO to see the Picasso exhibit and if you are from the area and you haven't seen it yet, you should hurry up because it's gone at the end of August!
Anyhoo, after spending a couple of hours looking at art we set out for Niagara on the Lake to try to get there right at 4pm when the market opens. The drive from Toronto takes about 1 1/2 hrs but if you can avoid commuter traffic, it's quite a nice drive. Make a day of it and visit a few wineries before hand if you can to round it out and really make the drive worth your while if you are not a big fan of driving, like we are. We will happily drive hours to eat something delicious but we are kind of crazy people so I try to be understanding of those who avoid driving more than they have to. This will definitely not be the last visit to this place and I might even venture back next Wednesday with The Kid (he missed out this week because he is off being grown up and independent and spent the day scooting around with a buddy although he did have a Burger's Priest burger so it's not like I feel sorry for him).
So, Shack has never had a Gastronomic Vagabundo taco and I was afraid that there would be huge lines but I was thrilled to see that there was only one lone taco seeker in front of us when we got there. These guys really paved the way for other food trucks in Ontario and are considered pioneers of the whole movement but I just love them for their great food.
We ordered the fish tacos and a "home brew" which is some sort of delicious, carbonated grapefruit drink they make and waited anxiously to hear them call our name.
I watched as Shack took his first bite and through a mouthful of food he exclaimed "HOLY SHIT" but it sounded more like howy hit because he had a huge chunk of fish taco in there but I knew exactly what he was experiencing because it was the exact same reaction I had when I had my first gastro fish taco. If you love tacos, you have to love these guys. One of my big complaints about most fish tacos is that there is always too much damned fish. It's often hugely battered like a big old chunk of English fish and chips fish and there isn't room for the other toppings, it doesn't fit inside the tortilla and it all falls apart when you try to eat it. I appreciate the desire to give me my money's worth of fish but what I really want is a perfectly balanced little taco with just the right amount of fish to condiment ratio and these guys have it right. The pineapple habernero sauce has a big kick to it but then it's cooled down with the coconut sour cream immediately.
LOVE THIS STUFF!!
They make other great stuff too but tonight we were all about the tacos since it is also Gastropost time and I hadn't made any tacos all week myself and we had to stick to the program and eat some tacos instead. They had some delicious looking scallion crepe things that I wanted to try but that will have to wait until next time.
|stairway to fish heaven|
Next, we went to investigate and see where the amazing bbq smells were coming from and we found these guys:
I am sad to report that we didn't try the ribs or the pork because we are still on this god forsaken diet and we had already broken it by eating tacos but we DID buy their candied beets, which were the bomb and I can't wait to eat them up. To be honest, I think we aren't supposed to eat beets because they are pretty high on the sugar scale but what is the point of living if you can't eat beets?
|pickled golden beets, oh my|
We stopped by the chef@the market and he told us to try the guacamole from a gentleman with a company called Eh Jose down the way a bit. We also love the guac but, again, this stupid diet means we can't gorge on tortilla chips so ordering guacamole without chips would just be rubbing salt in the wound, you know? Fortunately, he also made tacos so all was not lost - he offered to put a slather of his delectable guacamole on our tacos al pastor. As you can see, we both enjoyed these tacos very much - they are not fancy pants tacos like you will find on the food trucks but they were tasty, old school and authentic and the enchiladas looked crazy good too.
By this point, I was getting kind of full or else I would have totally bought a salad from these gals but I will get one on my next visit for sure :
Instead, I went back to the chef@the market and got his curried red quinoa salad to bring home for my lunch tomorrow while Shack went and got us each a glass of Pinot Grigio from RIverview Cellars. I was not familiar with this vineyard but the wine was delicious and it was served to us, in the parking lot, in a real wineglass and we were free to wander with it, as long as we stayed on the pavement - how civilized, no? Listen up Ontario, we can drink wine and act like responsible adults without you babysitting us.
Our last stop was at Tide and Vine for some tasty, freshly shucked oysters and a crazy delicious grilled skewer of scallops and peaches with a honey drizzle. To die for, really. Grilled peaches seem to be kind of "in" right now and I finally get it. Okay, I will go and get some more damned peaches and grill them too, okay?