Event: Front Street Foods
Location: 250 Fort York Boulevard, Toronto ON M5V 3K9
If you live in Toronto and commute daily, you know how horrible the traffic at Union Station were. The construction there seemed to last forever, subway was dirty and to get around Union was extremely difficult. Well you can put all those things behind you now because the construction (for the most part) is completed and everything is fully functional! To celebrate the “grand opening” of Union Station, Toronto Market Co added a food market in front of the station on Front Street throughout summer until September 27th.
Despite having the the pop-up shops on the side walk, the venue is actually spacious enough for all the foot traffic, and there is plenty of tables for people to relax and enjoy their food. Occasionally there will be live music and shows going on throughout the days to entertain everyone. I also found most of the shops to be super efficient and lines up were short for most of the time. Of course the price is generally more expensive than what you would get in their own restaurants, but at least you are getting something different than your usual food court stuff.
FRESH OFF THE BOAT – 2.5/5
Most of the stalls offered few of their popular dishes in their own restaurants. You can find Fresh Off the Boat on Queen Street West and I actually have been to that location, a review will be up soon :).
The price for the lobster roll at their restaurant was $14.95 and here was $15 so it’s not too bad. However I can’t remember how much the frisco fries go for though…
To be honest the lobster roll here isn’t as fresh as the ones in their brick-and-mortar store. I felt the mayonnaise was overpowering the natural lobster flavor and considering the amount of lobster that you are getting here, I found it to be a bit too expensive for $15. I’m not really a coleslaw person, yet I enjoyed this as it wasn’t overly drenched in dressings and had a great crunch to it :).
I don’t understand the hype for the frisco or snow crab fries at all, or at least I didn’t enjoy this one from Fresh Off the Boat. There was an equal ratio of fries to snow crab, however I found the snow crab pieces were dry and the texture was like eating pork floss (if you are Asian you know this lol). The aioli was almost none existent and the snow crab was flavorless so I ended up dipping my fries with ketchup instead..
HOTBUNZZ STREET CUIZINE – 4/5
I got the street bunzz combo of 3 buns for $10 and they were a little bit small. I think next time I would try the gourmet bunzz since I actually never had bison before.
The bread was really smooth and soft without being too doughy or heavy. For some reason I thought these only had toppings with no fillings, however these with filled to the brim and I liked how the bun was so light, it was the perfect vehicle to carry all the yummy goodness inside!
This was my favorite! Chicken was juicy, packed with flavors and just melted in your mouth. That sweet and smoky bacon jam was the bomb!! The garlic aioli was smooth and intensely rich in flavor. It added a hint of spiciness to the bun and helped to bring out the flavor of the chicken.
My least favorite out of the 3 buns. I can’t remember what was the filling here, however I found it to be overly sweetened and the beet was a bit sour too, a very unpleasant combination of flavors.
Another favorite!! Although it was a bit messy to eat, there were just enough spicy kimchi puree to add some tanginess to the bun. Beef was soft and melted in your mouth, and I believe the toppings were fried onions which added some crunch with every bites.
LITTLE FIN – 3/5
The fish portion was tiny and a bit burnt on the outside, but surprisingly the fish was moist and really flavorful. Though it was a tad too salty for me, the fresh slaw helps to cut it down and the potato wedges were delicious with some garlic seasoning in them!
MAD MEXICAN – 2/5
🙁 Why are you cash only!
My most favorite taco was the braised pork as it was juicy and seasoned just right. Their guacamole is to die for, very creamy yet had the right amount of lime to cut down that fatty flavor from the avocado, definitely top your taco with some of that!! However I felt the taco shells were a bit too warm and it kept falling apart :(.
I didn’t enjoy the fajita vegetable as I found it a bit sweet from the bell peppers and too bland. The yucantecan had chicken in it and it was so dry and tough to chew on. The chicken was tasteless as well, really disappointed :(.
There were also two stands for Uncle Tetsu stores at Union Station, the original and matcha cafe. I strongly recommend everyone to come here instead of lining up at the Dundas locations as these stands had no line up! Also if you don’t want to buy the whole cake, they sell 1/4 and 1/8 slices of the cake as well, a bit expensive but convenient if you just want to try a slice.
I understand due to the horrible weather during winter, it’s impossible to have an outdoor food market, however Toronto have been blessed with such nice patio weathers for the past months that the city should consider bringing Front Street Foods back annually! All the shops are conveniently located outside of Union Station and the event seems to be well-liked by both locals and visitors. Some of my favourite shops were Holy Chuck (I have their burgers in the past and while it’s not as good as Burger Priest, they were pretty solid!); Hot Bunzz; Little Fin; and Fresh Off the Boat (maybe they had an off day on the lobster, but definitely get the lobster roll than the frisco fries).