This week marked the halfway point in my time here in Toronto, and it has really flown by. Four weeks in, I know my way around pretty well, I recognize faces on the street, and I’ve settled into a routine.
Exploring the furthest west I’ve travelled thus far, on Monday, I hopped off the streetcar in Roncesvalles, a Polish neighborhood. There, I went to Café Polonez, a restaurant serving up classic Polish dishes including pierogi, bigos (hunter’s stew), and golumpki (cabbage rolls). I tried a Hungarian Style Potato Pancake–a humongous potato pancake stuffed with a rich pork Hungarian goulash and served with a “bouquet of salads”—warm buttery diced carrots, pickled shredded beets, and a vinegary slightly sweetened cabbage slaw with celery (no mayo!). Super filling and satisfying, this dish ticks all the boxes, and the salads? OH THE SALADS–simply amazing. I’ll be coming back here one more time before I leave.
Afterwards, I walked up the street to check out some of the local shops and came across Muttonhead, a Toronto-based Canadian apparel brand focused on slow design–a movement focused on designing and creating quality + ethically produced garments that outlast trends. I couldn’t resist their toques (knit hats), and bought one in army green.
Tuesday I had to get some work done, but didn’t want to stay in so I headed to Bobbette + Belle (cake serves as an excellent motivator). I slowly ate a slice of salted caramel toffee cake while drafting + scheduling social media content–this is the third kind of cake I’ve tried there, and it was delicious, though I’m still partial to their chocolate hazelnut.
On Thursday night, I went to an art exhibition called The Last Straw at The Freedom Factory, where my friend Tiffany had a piece hanging as part of it. The exhibition was in partnership with Greenpeace Canada, focusing on climate change and our ability to help make a positive change. This event was the first stop on Greenpeace’s Follow The Throne Tour, a traveling throne (yes, just like that HBO show everyone watched) made out of Tim Horton’s cups–Horton’s is the second largest producer of plastic waste in Canada (Nestlé is #1).
Friday was another work day, but in the late afternoon I rewarded myself with a walk to the Distillery District. There, I went into one of the shops, SOMA Chocolatemaker, a fair-trade + organic bean to bar chocolate maker. In addition to a wide variety of creative confections, gelato and sorbet are also on offer. I tried a scoop of chocolate sorbet and bought a mango lassi bar. I highly recommend the sorbet–it tastes just like a fudgesicle! The mango lassi bar isn’t bad, but a bit too tangy for my taste–think they need to dial back the citric acid a bit.
In search of a botanic garden on Saturday, I walked to Allan Gardens, a small jungle oasis in downtown Toronto.
After a stroll amongst some pretty tropical plants, I went to St Lawrence Market, an overwhelmingly large public market filled with produce and other food vendors. Navigating my way through the crowds, I made my way to Uno Mustachio where I bought the largest eggplant parm sandwich known to man–it was so good.
So it seems like I’m slowly weaning myself off of gelato + baked goods, though I’m not convinced that will last. Until next week!