The Brunch Fest: Toronto's First Brunch Festival
Today's post isn't about a particular restaurant, for once: instead, it's about several. The latest addition to Toronto's many festivals, The Brunch Fest brought together many of Toronto's finest brunch restaurants and food carts to provide a variety of flavours and tastes all in one location... and would we REALLY be a Toronto brunch blog if we didn't venture out to try it?
Immediately upon entering, attendees were handed a can of Bud Light Radler--the official sponsors of the festival. Since there was no free water to be found (boo!) this came in handy for quenching our thirst while trying a variety of delicious brunch dishes.
The layout of the Toronto Brunch Festival was much like any other food festival: stalls were laid out in a row, with large menus displaying the prices of each meal. Most stalls displayed between two and five items for sale, and each was between two to four "tickets", which could be purchased on site in groups of five and cost two dollars each.
We had tickets for the entry time of 10 - 11:30, right as the festival was opening (because, as usual, we hate waiting) and although it was empty at first, it quickly filled up with eager brunch-goers.
There were fifteen vendors in total (the full list of which can be found on The Brunch Fest Instagram) which provided a fair amount of variety (although there seemed to be a disproportionate amount of Eggs Benedict).
The event space at 99 Sudbury St, where the Toronto Brunch Festwas hosted, provided a variety of seating locations both indoor and outdoor to relax and talk while trying out the different dishes provided.
And what did we try?
Although the appearance of this dish was underwhelming, the taste certainly wasn't. This version of a breakfast classic was quite tasty and not too heavy, making it a great choice for anyone who wanted to sample lots of dishes.
This twist on Indian street food, with paneer coated in spices and egg-covered bread, was a smash hit. Spicy but also sweet (due to the liberal dose of tamarind sauce coating it), the flavour combinations in this savoury dish were not to be missed.
And of course, we also had dessert.
The sweet combination of whipped cream cheese icing and Nutella eventually became a bit much, but the light, fluffy pancakes were delicious.
Although the "coffee" part of this dish was not very much in evidence, the whipped cheesecake filling combined with the crunch of the corn pops (not to mention the blueberries sprinkled throughout) was sweet but not unbearably so. It was a must-try for any cheesecake lover!
While we ate, we watched local band Dwayne Gretzky perform a variety of popular songs on the main stage. They injected some liveliness into the grey day, and got the crowd dancing (what better way to burn those brunch festival calories?).
Finally, to inject a little bit of healthiness into our brunching, we had some cold-pressed juice. The spice from the ginger and lemon provided a well-needed jolt of energy to end this brunch adventure.
For the inaugural event, The Brunch Fest certainly seemed like a success. Although we'd like to recommend a few more vegetarian-friendly, and at least a couple of vegan-friendly, dishes, we can't wait to see what next year will bring!