I just wanted to stop in real quick and share my adventure in Toronto a few days ago. I headed down to the city on Wednesday to see my boyfriend, Andre, who has been working his butt off doing acting auditions, script readings, shoots and other actor-ish things. Can I just get sidetracked for a second and say that I’m super proud that he has found something he really enjoys doing! You can always tell that a passion has developed when ,despite the hard work, the person just keeps trekin along with a big smile on their face. 😀 So ya, happy and proud girlfriend over here.
Back on topic…
So once I made it down to the city, I met up with Andre at Union Station and because we didn’t really have any special plans we just started walkin. Fairly close to Union is a really nice few blocks of restaurants, cafes and the star of this post…..
THE FARMERS MARKET! 😀
Yes, you heard me, the farmers market. You know you’re a foodie when you get over the top excited for places like this. 😉 My boyfriend knows me too well! To be more specific, this was the St. Lawrence Market, as I’m sure there is another market somewhere in the big TO (like the Kensington, which I would still love to see also). When we stepped inside I knew it was gunna be a good one to parooze about in as it was HUGE!Huge as in two whole floors of farmer’s market delights. This also means 2 whole floors of vigorous exploring for this lil 5 foot girlie to do.
BUT before I go on further, what about a few lil fun facts about the St. Lawrence Market because I know that everyone is dying to know some history before I show you the goods right? 😉
- The market in it’s entirety is made of 3 buildings: the North Market, the South Market and St. Lawrence Hall.
- 1803 was when the plans for the market were first developed
- The building you see today is nothing like the original wooden structure. The market has gone through numerous demolitions, renovations and re-modelling over the past few 100 years
- National Geographic named the St. Lawrence Market as the number 1 food market IN THE WORLD!
So now that we know a lil bit more about the market, what were some of the top things I found while exploring?
First and foremost was this place! Whitehouse Meats!! Why you ask was I so excited about meat?
And these were just their homemade slider varieties. They had it all (or what I perceived to be it all as I never see this stuff ANYWHERE). Wild boar, bison/buffalo, venison, elk, moose, and the list goes on. They also had a bunch of game bird meat for sale too (quail, duck, emu, etc) but I was less interested in those. I love me some game meat not only because they are the leanest cuts of meat you can get your hands on but also for their amazing flavour. Bison has not steered me wrong yet even if I overcook it..opps. Anyways, I knew that I had to pick up at least one variety or I would regret it. In all honesty though, I wish I could have bought more but game meat ain’t cheap! There could be many reasons for this, but one other thing about game meat that I like (which probably racks the price up) is that these animals generally roam free, are not pumped with antibiotics and can feed on grass rather than grains. So for that reason, I supposed I’m okay with the 12-14 bucks I spent on my final pickin:
Awww yeah, got me some Roo meat. So excited to try it! Kangaroo is super lean (2g of fat per serving) on top of being a great source of iron (15% of your DV) for those anemic peoples like myself. So this is just over 1 lb of protein…Now I have to figure out what to do with it. Here’s my thoughts right now:
- Burgers (obviously)
- Tacos? I was thinking a sweet tater take on tacos with sauteed roo meat and all the fixins
- Lil meatballs
- Shepherds Pie (I know this is winter thang but I have always wanted to try it…Roo + veggies+ garlicy cauli/sweet tater/squash mash)
Feel free to throw out any suggestions!
Anywho, what other cool places did I spot while in the market…
LOTS of gourmet cheese shops including some which sold lactose free cheeses! 😀 Unfortunately, I wasn’t about to trust fresh cheese in my backback for a few hours (the kango was frozen solid so I was a lil more okay with that…and I just had to have it…) in the 45 degree weather. Oh well, I’m not the hugest cheese fan anyways (except for goat cheese :-D)
My friend Molly would love this lil cafe/restaurant…It’s called CrudaCafe, and they have quite the selection of ‘cruda’ or raw goodies…
On top of that, they make sure that all of their goodies are fresh, gluten-free and as local as possible. Despite being a raging carnivore, this place seemed interesting to me.
Also spotted were a number of lil sweet’s shops like this one I have pictured.
This was Aren’t We Sweet and its a lil shop located on the lower level with all sorts of baked goods, candies, syrups, chocolates, etc, etc from all around the world. Authentic French macaroons anyone? If you have a sweet tooth you would wanna check it out!
One booth I missed out on…conveniently placed in the far corner of the entire market….was Rowe Farms. This is a new ‘brand’ to me that I found in the organic meats section at Fortinos and have been going back for more whenever I wanted some really good quality meats in my life. So why is it so special? Well I have mentioned before that I am really trying to get in the habit of purchasing higher quality (ie. grassfed, free range, organic) meats and poultry…more emphasis on meat as I don’t buy that as much as poultry products…and that is exactly what this company stands by. Ethic consideration of their animals through allowing them to roam free and eat what they should be eating (ie. not grains and other crap). This is not only better for the animal’s life, but also better for our health. So I’m really sad that I missed out on them, but hey, I shall return…. 😀
So yeah, that was my adventure in St. Lawrence Market. Unfortunately I only had about an hour to roam about, but maybe next time I will have more time and the ability to take more stuff home! BUY ALL THE GAME MEATS! lol. I shall leave you with my delicious salad from my go-to CLEAN dinner spot in TO:
Nom! My customized salad beast from Fast and Fresh Foods in the Eaton Centre. No need to call this meal a cheat as I decide what enters that bowl. As usual I decided that rainbow bowls with some good quality protein (roasted turkey breast chunks are my fav) are the only way to go! 😀
Have a good rest of your weekend friends!
Favourite salad toppings? Sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, roasted veggies (top 3 favs: kabocha, brussel sprouts and beets)…I can go on
Ever been to the St. Lawrence Market?
Favourite Farmer’s Market buys? Peaches during peach season, fresh greens
Do you like game meat? Favourite recipes?