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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pedestrian Sundays :: Kensington Market



K-Market Entrances

On Pedestrian Sundays @ Kensington, Torontonians spill onto the car-free streets to enjoy a day of music, artsy performances, random shenanigans, and delicious face-stuffing. Held on the last Sunday of every month, it has a different atmosphere than some of the more widely advertised festivals.

I love wandering the streets as I shop at the various markets and try different treats. An extra Pedestrian Sunday was held on the 7th anniversary of the '03 Blackout - what a great way to thank a few overgrown Ohio trees for a spike in pregnancies ("blackout babies"), intense street-partying and raw sewage pouring into the Rideau Canal!


The next two PS@Kensington will be Sunday, September 26th and Sunday, October 31st.

Pedestrian Sundays @ Kensington
Verdict:  Go! A fun Sunday full of eats, wandering, and fresh produce.
Meal: Lunch/Snacks/Dinner
Price: Varies


Although my major draw was The Bellevue's fish tacos (which was a fail since they didn't end up serving them the day that I went), I stuck around and did what I do best: explore and eat.

There's always something random going on on the streets!

Several restaurants were offering street-eats, both from their regular menu and PS-treats. Here's a run-down of what we tried:
Segovia
Most of my eats came from Segovia - I couldn't help returning to this vendor again and again! The owners happily described each one, and my mouth was positively watering at each description.

Patacone
Platanos with pulled pork and sauce

Plantain Patties = win
 
Intrigued by the plantain patty, this was immediately ordered. Covered in spicy mayo, I liked the plantain but (as expected) the pulled pork wasn't that great. I would love to see plantain patties used for other sandwiches though! Their hot sauce was perfect for giving it a good kick.











Empanadas
Beef, chicken, chorizo, ricotta with mozzarella, & humita empanadas
Chorizo Empanada - best filling!

Their empanadas were good - I especially liked adding chimichurri - one spoonful was not enough! I tried their chorizo empanada, which was tasty and not too filling...perfect because I wanted to try lots of different food that day! I would like to go back to try their traditional beef empanada, to compare it with Jumbo's version [Click to Compare]. Definitely my favourite empanada so far.

Stuffed Pobleno

Delicious!

Yum!!!. Stuffed with mozerella and Mexican cheese, this deep fried pepper is topped with a marinara-like sauce which I mixed with some more of their hot sauce. The owner kindly gave me a second helping of the tomato sauce upon request =)


El Gordo

Right next door is empanada-competitor El Gordo, known for their kimchi-beef empanadas. Trying something new, he traded them for spicy-beef and a burrito version. My ears perked at the word "burrito" and I promptly ordered one.

Burrito Empanada
Thumbs up for flaky pastry
Filled with beans and cheese, I was lucky enough to grab one right when it came out of the oven so the pastry was very flaky and fresh. While very tasty, I think I wouldve preferred the beef as I found it was a bit of a cheese-overload by the time I finished it. If you like cheesy food, go for it!









Churros

Next to Segovia, there was a stand with freshly-made churros filled with you choice of caramel, strawberry, or chocolate syrup. Despite my friend's utter disgust with the squishy dough slithering out from the machine, a chocolate-filled churro was ordered. Mmm, fresh and crispy.

Churros! Now if only they offered a Nutella option...


Fresco's Cuisine Inc. Fish & Chips
Kabobs
Also tried were a trio of fried seafood skewers from Fresca. As they weren't fresh, the battered pieces were not crispy or particularly tasty. Not the best advertisement for their fish & chips - I won't be trying anything from them in the future.

Other vendors were selling Indian cuisine, pastries, jewellery, and sandwiches. As we munched away, we wandered the streets and enjoyed the fun vibe. In the spirit of Pedestrian Sunday, some locals were playing music and there were children selling some fun treats.

Get your picture drawn, buy some water balloons, or some lemonade :3

An oyster-loving friend was happy to discover these on sale outside of New Seaway Fish Market. Shucked to order, there were 4 varieties: French Kiss, Lucky Lime (PEI), and Kumamoto (2 for $5) as well as a BC variety (3 for $5).


Oysters from New Seaway & Watermelon from Lola

And of course...what's a trip to Kensington Market without leaving with armfuls of fresh produce and bulk food?  I'm going to go into withdrawal once the season is over.

Looking at this picture makes me realize that I eat an abnormal amount of squirrel food - I've already purchased more almonds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and most of that peanut butter is gone!




Segovia on UrbanspoonFresco's Fish & Chips on UrbanspoonEl Gordo Fine Foods on UrbanspoonPedestrian Sundays on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

kirill said...

Very delicious, except for the stuffed pobleno - that looks like a rat :) lol

Me ... said...

I don't think I ever even knew about these markets when I lived in toronto ...

Erin said...

A rat stuffed with cheese and smothered with tomato sauce! hehe

Kensington Market is by far my favourite neighbourhood in Toronto - it has everything that I love: Cheap eats, fresh food, friendly stores, brunch spots, and excellent people-watching. I'm sure that there are similar pockets in New York!

Anonymous said...

Fresco's Fish and Chips is pretty amazing from what i've had in the past little while.
I'm going to guess they were having a slower day. They're also a pretty new place so getting into the pace of a pedestrian Sunday can be pretty difficult.

I'd definitely say give it a try again, (unless of course you don't like fish) because it's actually quite good.

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