The Stop’s Night Market has, in previous years, namely: 2012, 2013, and 2014, been about a charity hosting some of the up and coming food and beverage makers with local designers in Ontario for mutual benefit. The event was hosted in the historical “Honest Ed’s” building. Good times were had by all, and the events had been successes and good value at $65/ ticket.
The 2015 event was held on the 16th and 17th of June at 121 Sterling Rd, having lost the historical venue. The vacant lot, south of Bloor St., West of Landsdowne T.T.C. station, was the cheapest back lot to be found. It is rough area of town for foodies to walk around inebriated at night.
The booths, whether they were food or beverage, were all created by local designers, and who were paired up by the Stop’s organizers. This allowed for an interesting visual change from booth to booth, as it had in the two previous years.
Tents were erected to cover the services in case of rain as was a feature of last year’s downpour at the start of the evening.
The foods were served off of platters like hors d’oeuvre, in cups or served on cardboard banana boats, that one was to balance on a specially designed wood artists palate, which they no longer included in your $100 admission price this year. You could have bought the palate at the front table for $5, which holds a drink and 3 to four food items, if there had but been enough to go round. Alas this was not the case. I had a few desperate juggling people ask where they could be found for purchase.
Drinks were more free flowing and easier to get as the nights wore on due, in great amount, to the conversations that ensued. Of special note was a drink including 2 types of vermouth from Ontario winemaker ‘Dolin’s Vermouth’, and also a tequila lime sour slurpee on the 16th. Wine booths such as Hidden Bench, Rosehall Run and Benjamin Bridge were excellent and well stocked. Keep6/ Bar Volo, on the second day, had 6 local beers to choose from and Lake of Woods had two, both served patrons until the end on the night, a good showing for both.
Disappointingly, on the second day (Wednesday 17 June this year), Muskoka beer, who had such a good showing in 2014 by having enough supply right to the end of the night, had to shut down early due to technical difficulties with equipment after the 1st hour. Very sad as they had been awarded with the choice booth set up in front of the entrance this year.
A 6 piece live band marched around toting a sax, a trumpet, 2 percussionists, a violin and a squeeze box. And on the 17th there was an additional band including a stand up bass.
There was a good balance of dishes on both days, with three notations of interest:
A common food item served on the first day was ‘crockets’; a deep fried meat dumpling historically popular in countries like Holland; from duck, chicken, beef to vegetarian. Definitely a current food trend.
The food trend on the second day seemed to be chicken; from super hot wings at ‘Bar Fancy’ and General Sanders chicken leg at R&D to Asian fusion salads and sandwiches. I overheard a few attendees who were walking by who voiced their concerns that; ‘I couldn’t look at another piece of chicken’. Of the other food notables: Ada Mok and Cameron Pounder at ‘feasTO.ca’, ‘The Daughter’ at daughtereatery.com, corn soup at ‘Kanpai’ at kanpaisnackbar.com; Me & mine at me and mine.ca, Universal Grill at universalgrill.ca, a pot sticker at ‘Dock Ellis’, BBQ pork with chicharon at ‘Barque’, and Oyster boy for the fresh shucked oysters!
A good cause, good food, good drinks, a good time had by all. Lets hope that for next year, the organizers can move to a better venue than a back alley west end parking lot, and get some palates made and include them in the one price entry.