Toronto - Canada's Largest City

Trip Start Oct 04, 2011
Trip End Mar 17, 2013

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Friday, June 22, 2012

We went to Toronto principally to go to The Feasting Room which is a new pop up restaurant opened by one of Marcelo's former colleagues, Noah Goldberg from St John Restaurant . 

 The concept behind a pop up is this - you come up with a concept or a new idea for a business, but are not sure how well it will be received. You don't make one big investment by opening your own establishment, but open one in either a restaurant just closed down, or a running establishment who will rent you some space. The principle is you don't renovate anything, just use the space provided to test out your idea, or establish a reputation for yourself. If it works, you have the practical evidence that it is worth while investing in your own place, and now have more capital to do so as well

The concept behind The Feasting Room is this - (as a legacy from St John) Nose to Tail eating, using the whole animal, returning to meats we used to eat but have lost from our repertoires with the introduction of supermarkets and less and less people going to the butcher. I know that there are great parts of the animal many supermarkets don't even sell. For example, the pork belly was only reintroduced in supermarkets after a big push by TV chefs. The cuts are cheaper as there is less demand for them. So the unique thing about the Feasting Room is they choose one animal per week and form a set menu from that animal. You can't chicken out (so to speak) when you get there, and choose the safe option. The menu is a butchers diagram of the beast you will be eating, numbered 1-6, each number representing a course of the meal (including dessert I might add). 

The first time we went it was Rabbit week. I was very nervous, I'd eaten Rabbit before and found it quite tough. I'm so glad we went that week however, as every mouthful had more flavour than the last. I had to stop myself from making those noises people on TV do when they try food from the TV chefs. It was delicious. We returned on the cow week (for our 3rd Anniversary), and though it was wonderful too, I preferred Rabbit week. I am glad we didn't chicken out and bit the bullet. My favourite dish in cow week was the Calves Liver and Chocolate Ice-cream with raspberry clafoutis. Delicious. Great job Noah and crew. Every week I see them publishing great reviews from Food critics and magazines. I think they will do very well. 

The Rabbit night there was some kind of Toronto Music Festival going on, on the street the restaurant was on, it was crowded with people, lots of stalls and stands and artists performing. Karin and Emma took us to the restaurant, but didn't want to risk trying the food and I had hoped they would go to the street festival, but unfortunately they couldn't find a parking space, so they just drove around the whole time we were there, bless them for waiting for us! That night Hannah was also in Toronto and was supposed to be going to a Radiohead concert, but tragically the roof of the stage collapsed and killed one of the stagehands, before the venue was opened. 

We enjoyed visiting Toronto the second time on our return from Montreal. We arrived at about 3am (due to me buying the cheapest fair ($10 each). We walked to Noah's house with our bags and arrived at about 4am. Bless him for getting up in the middle of the night to let us in to sleep on his sofa. We were very grateful for the few hours of sleep I must admit. Morning arrived and we walked into town. Tired of carrying our bags we decided to put them in lockers at the bus station. We paid the $5, shut the doors and then Marcelo realised that Noah's keys were still inside the bag! The lockers were those kind that once you close it, no refunds. We had to pay another $5 just to open and get Noah's keys out. It was worth it though, not to carry those bags around with us all day. The bags weren't heavy, but the weight of them on your back after a whole days walking weighs you down. I have added some pictures of our Toronto exploits on this day so you can see our journey through photos. That evening we went for the second time to dinner at Noah's (as I have already described) and then walked back to the greyhound station and took the bus to Guelph. (We enjoy walking as you may be able to tell- either that or we are to cheap to pay fora taxi). 

The third time we went to Toronto was with Karin, Hannah, Emma, Lisa, Llyod, Elise and Amber. Great-Aunty Rita was supposed to come too, but she injured her neck and had a stint in hospital. We went to the Toronto Docks for the summer festival they put on there. They had a french pop group singing and all sorts of stalls. Jewelry, coconut water, food, clothes etc. It was in the evening and was a lot of fun. 

We loved spending time with family and friends in Ontario and we were very sad to leave and go west. We stayed the night at Lisa's house and Lloyd and Aunty Karin took us to the airport the next morning. Very sad to go, but lots of happy memories. 
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