This past weekend’s CraveTO — Ignite your Senses food festival was more amazing than I expected. This is my now fourth time attending an outdoor food festival and it could not have happened in better weather and food selections.
I’m actually not sure how I first found out about CraveTO; I’m not sure if I found out about it via facebook or if it was when CraveTO tweeted me and asked me what a good pairing would be for summer. Great job on CraveTO’s part to get someone interested in their event because it definitely worked. If it weren’t for that gesture on social media, I doubt that I would have come out for the event.
I bought tickets online for this event which was around $16 for admittance. The food and drinks inside the venue was advertised to cost $5 or less. It wasn’t bad, I thought!
Friday, May 30 was a beautiful sunny spring day that felt like summer. It was a perfect 24 degree late afternoon when we arrived at Wychwood Barns. The event started at 5 p.m. and we were one of the first ones to enter. It was nice this way to walk around to see what vendors were selling without being smushed or crowded.
The venue itself was very spacious as all the drinks and food stalls and food trucks were set all around the area with ample room for lines to form. I also loved that were was a beach-like area with tables and chairs to lounge in after you got your food. The entire atmosphere and setting for the entire night was chill and relaxing. 🙂
Betty and I ordered quite a number of food to share. It’s lovely to go with a foodie friend who is also up for trying different foods with you at these events. 😀
The first thing we tried was the jerk chicken from Alberts Jamacian Food. It was funny since we actually passed by the actual store on our way to the food festival. I was looking forward to some delicious jerk chicken and peas and rice but was only satisfied with the delicious peas and rice. It was so good! The jerk chicken was a disappointment. It was a little dry, mushy, and lacking in flavour. 😦 The frozen vegetables on the side provided the only source of moisture on that plate. So disappointed!
We tried the beef braised perogies from The Saucy Pierogi. They were okay. The description sounded better than what the actual perogies tasted. The cucumber was nice and crunchy.
Next, I ordered a set of 6 raw oysters from Oyster Boy for myself. Betty wasn’t a fan of oysters, so I got to enjoy and slurp these up all by myself. 😀 I’ve been to Oyster Boy to dine before and enjoyed the oysters. Having it this time around reconfirmed to me why they’re so good. Every oyster was succulent, juicy, fresh, and sooooo delicious! I tried 3 of their sauces, a red wine one, a spicy one, and a pepper one, plus a hot sauce from their next door vendor. Every sauce matched the oyster perfectly well in its own way. I was sooo impressed!! The lemon wedges that they offered were perfectly cut for one oyster’s use. It was amazing! I would have been up for ordering more if there weren’t more amazing things on the way to try!!
Next up, we had the chorizo sausage from Tocino Boys. Although it was a simple sausage on a stick, it taste really good! It was tender and sweet, almost like honey garlic -type sweet. The casing was a bit chewy though.
We tried the mini deep-fried pizzas from Pizzeria Libretto. This pizza place has been on the top of Urbanspoon’s cheap eats list but I haven’t had a chance to try their pizzas until now. They offered mini pizzas called ‘Montanara’ for $2 each. It was really good, but I think it was a little too greasy.
The entire CraveTO venue was not only littered with unlimited food possibilities but also drinks! There were almost as many drink vendors as food ones, but it would have been silly not to try at least one of these amazing offerings. We tried the cute looking Real Jamaican ginger beer.
I loved it!! It was non-alcoholic but tasted just as fizzy and refreshing as one. I loved the ginger aftertaste of it. It was so, so good!! They were selling non-stop and i saw many ppl with this little drink in hand.
We also tried the Pabellon Arepa from Mango Pinton. It was an interesting sandwich with a flatbread that is made of ground maize dough with a fried plantain, beans, cheese, and beans. It was a little difficult to share. The texture of the flatbread was certainly different from what I’ve ever had.
We had 2 desserts, a beer cupcake and a beer ice cream sammich and a banana and peanut better sammich. I am soo glad that I am not allergic to any type of nuts or food for that matter. This means I can eat pretty much anything I want! 😀
The beer cupcake from The Sassy Lamb was really good! I loved the frosting on top and the chocolate stout was rich and satisfying. I loved that it was a one-bite cupcake for $1. It didn’t fill you up and you could save room for more food in your stomach 😀
The ice cream sammiches from Sweet Sammies were very good too! They were big cookies smacked around beer ice cream! Both were uniquely tastes but I couldn’t really differentiate which was which. I still enjoyed it though 😀
Lastly, I had my eye on The Food Dudes truck and couldn’t leave without trying one of their creations. They only had 3 things to choose from so I settled with the Mac and Cheese Balls instead of the Reuben (too heavy) or the fish tacos (too common nowadays).
The Mac and Cheese balls were giant! They looked great and were covered with thin slivers of cheese. They were gooey inside with lots of cheese and macaroni. It wasn’t heavily cheesy though.
That’s it! That’s all we had. I think CraveTO did an absolutely amazing job covering all the different varieties of food. There were cheeses, meats, sandwiches, burritos, desserts, loads of drinks, and seafood! Way to go!! I most of all loved the ‘beach chairs and table’ and patio. It was amazing weather and soo relaxing. Compared to most food festivals where you are shoulder to shoulder in line with strangers, this was a welcome reprieve and start to summer patio season. Well done, @CraveTO and #cravepatioseason! 😉