If snacking was a sport, I think I’d do well. Here’s some of the quick eats, good and bad, that we’ve willingly put in our bodies in the past two months:
A Pork Belly Sandwich
Temporary and hyped up, pop-up shops are in. The newest addition to the Toronto scene is the much talked about Come and Get It on Spadina & Queen. Their current offerings are sandwiches, poutines and salads with the choice of Hawaiian Pork Belly, Chipotle Beef Short Rib, Granny Smith Chicken Caesar, and Herbed Crunchy Green Beans. Obviously, we went for the pork belly sandwich ($8), which came with a pineapple salsa, pickled red onions and crackling. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as meaty as Porchetta & Co’s and the pineapple salsa was rather flavourless.
Come and Get It
170 Spadina Ave. | Tweet Tweet
A Salad (Pork Rind)
Speaking of more pork…! Agave Y Aguacate‘s new menu features a pork rind salad ($7). While not necessarily a heavy or warm snack, it had enough weight and bite to feel right for winter. (Whereas the flank steak salad from their spring-summer menu was light and refreshing. Hoping it’s coming back…) I would recommend having some gum on hand though, because the guacamole that the pork rind sits on is loaded with garlic.
Agave Y Aguacate
214 Augusta Ave | Tweet Tweet
I’m quite serious when I say this: there is nothing like warm Korean food in winter. Nothing. That’s a fact.
Last month, my friend came down to visit me at work with a big box of Korean fish-shaped waffle cakes called Bungeoppang; the Japanese version, which differs a bit, is called Taiyaki. The ones my friend bought were warm and very filling, with scoops of red beans and green matcha flavoured beans nestled inside. In Japan, taiyaki fillings can also include chocolate, custard and even sausage! We’ve even had ones with strawberries and blueberries inside. They’re piping hot when they come out of the waffle iron, which makes them perfect hand warmers when you’re out fighting against the cold. You can find the little fishies at Korean-Japanese food stalls across downtown Toronto, including: P.A.T. on Bloor Street, Pancho’s Bakery in Kensington (next to Agave Y Aguacate), and the Dundas West and Bathurst food market stalls. If you find that you’ve bought yourself one too many, you can always save it for home and reheat it in a toaster or maybe a pan.
W Burger Bar can be a hit or miss. They’re refreshing in that it’s one of the few downtown burger joints that don’t claim that they are offering you 100% organic, grass-fed beef, but their burgers can be mediocre at best. They’re better as an after work hang out for drinks and a quick meal if you’re around College Park, and even better during the summer when they have their slider and fries combo specials. In our most recent visit, we opted to share a slider plate ($17.99) that came with Angus, lamb, bison, Kobe beef , turkey, and pulled pork. The stand outs were the Kobe beef and Angus burger. The turkey tasted like falafel and the pulled pork was dry. You can’t go wrong with the fries though.
A Montreal-style Hot Dog
Steamies is a Montreal-style hot dog. I don’t really get hot dog culture, but New York and Chicago have made it a thing, and Montreal has steamies – and as does Toronto now. We got the original all-dressed Montreal, topped with a slaw, mustard and onion. While nothing extraordinary, the place will probably be the nicest smelling hole in the wall you’ll ever go to; it’s connected to The Big Chill and smells like ice-cream and waffles.
The Little Dog Steamies and Fries
566 College St. | Yelp