On Sunday, July 29th with Festival of Beer hangover, I joined a 24-seat bus full of food enthusiasts for the inaugural Ride and Go Feast bus tour.
A joint venture between The Culinary Adventure Company (@culinaryadvco) and View the Vibe (@viewthevibe), Ride and Go Feast is a monthly event with a different theme each month. Board a chartered bus, ride to four secret locations and go feast. Food at each of four stops is accompanied by wines specifically chosen for the event.
The Hogtown Adventure
July’s theme: Hogtown Adventure. Did you know that Toronto is nicknamed “Hogtown” because of pork production? So explained Chef Scott at the start of the tour. I further learned that the nickname was “related to the livestock that was processed in Toronto, largely by the city’s largest pork processor and packer, the William Davies Company”. (Wikipedia)
First stop: Peameal bacon with a Hogtown view
On our way to secret location #1, Chef Scott explained the origins of peameal bacon. It was originally rolled in peas, hence the name. Outside Canada it’s known as “Canadian bacon”. Bringing it back to the Hogtown name, Wikipedia explains,
Peameal bacon… is a type of bacon originating in Canada. The name reflects the historic practice of rolling the cured and trimmed boneless loin in dried and ground yellow peas, originally for preservation reasons. Since the war years, it has been rolled in ground yellow cornmeal. It is low in fat, and slow cured…..
Peameal bacon sandwiches are often considered to be a signature dish of Toronto, with the most famous vendors located at St. Lawrence Market.
It was appropriate then, that the first stop be for peameal bacon sandwiches. Instead of St. Lawrence Market, we were delivered in collective confusion to the south-west corner of Broadview and Danforth and left to wonder where we were going while standing at the corner listening to Chef Scott share neighbourhood history. He then lead the group across the street to fitness facility Energy Xchange and up to the rooftop where Culinary Adventure Company resident chef Sahir Massoud was making peameal bacon sliders and tofu sliders with truffle oil mayo, Kozlik’s Sweet & Smokey mustard, tomato jam and augula on fresh mini-buns. We enjoyed our peameal bacon sandwiches with Sandbanks wine and a nice view of “Hogtown” while this gargoyle watched in envy.
Second stop: Feasting on oysters in Hogtown’s Little Italy
We were lead through an alley and ushered into the back door of The Hogtown Pub and Oysters. When you’re with Chef Scott he’ll take you the special way because he believes that all of his culinary tourists deserve a special experience. Anyone can go through the front door. Platters of oysters were served, then shrimp and halibut cakes with spicy aioli and a house-smoked Reuben sandwich that made my mouth happy.
Third stop: Fondue? Why yes, I do, at Cheesewerks
It began with cheese fondue served with fresh bread from St. John’s Bakery, pickled vegetables from The Bumpercrop and roasted vegetables. Fondue was followed by an Olympics-inspired duo of “Beijing mac n’ cheese” and “London Grilled Cheese”. My favourite of the two was the grilled potato bread stuffed with aged & horseradish cheddar, roast beef, parsnips, carrots and onion jam. I love aged cheddar, I love horseradish in and out of cheddar, I love onion jam. It was my thing.
Final stop: Greg’s. New location, same great flavours
There’s always room for dessert, especially when it’s ice cream. Some of the best ice cream in the city is made at Greg’s. They recently opened second location in The Distillery District (@DistilleryTO). Just look at these happy (food coma?) faces:
See full photo set here.
Ride and Go Feast, August: TIFF Style
Glitz. Glamour. Stars. Red Carpet. Hollywood… With TIFF just around the corner, the Good Food Limos are polishing up their coats for the 2nd Edition of Ride and Go Feast in support of The Daily Bread Food Bank. This time, 26 passengers on the 26th of August will hop aboard for the mystery food tour. Each stop will transport the ravenous guests to a glamorous locale, all carefully selected by the Culinary Adventure Co. and View the Vibe. It’s a TIFF-a-licious journey you won’t want to miss.
From cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at history’s doorstep, to appetizers at a favourite celebrity destination, a main course in the heart of the city’s stage to a delicious dessert denouement, this Ride and Go Feast is akin to an adventure flick of Spielbergian proportions. Dress to the proverbial nines and join us for this charitable ride amongst the glitz and glamour of TIFF’s impending arrival. All of the profits from Ride and Go Feast will go to The Daily Bread Food Bank.
Information at a Glance
What: Ride and Go Feast: Special TIFF Edition
When: August 26th, 2012, from 4 to 9pm
Pick-up and Drop-off Location: 39 Church Street
Tickets: $99 each, and can be purchased at http://qr.net/RideNFeast
Read more about our Hogtown Adventure: