or, how to stuff your face with different food every day while in a different city.
This summer’s work trips – usually very manageable, evenly spaced, and reasonable for my family to deal with – took on a whole new level of crazy. Thankfully, in addition to some nowheresville towns, I was able to spend a whole week in Washington DC with the family unit tagging along. And, oh, there was that vacation to Toronto last month. Needless to say, spending two weeks in two large – and diverse – cities means awesome ethnic food options. By the end of our vacation we had our kids eating doner and shawarma like old pros.
Sadly, I didn’t hit as many food trucks as I would have liked, but I think that would have taken more planning than my full-to-the-brim head was able to manage. Besides, both cities are currently having debates around food trucks (much like the one happening here in Pittsburgh) and modernizing outdated municipal restrictions on mobile vending, so they were not as prolific as I expected in cities of their respective sizes. No worries – there’s always next time, and in the meantime, there’s plenty of other food options to go around.
Why ethnic? (Why not?) Granted, not every place was an ‘ethnic’ restaurant, but most places we visited were. 1) more likely to be locally owned (do chain restaurants really need your business? not as much as locally owned businesses do). 2) more likely to be healthy. 3) more likely to be delicious – when was the last time you were blown away by chain food? Yeah, didn’t think so. 4) more likely to have something on the menu we’ve never heard of or had before – always a plus. And the list goes on.
So here’s our lineup, in varying degrees of picture quality (we upgraded our cell phones between DC and Toronto). Not a poor choice amongst the group.
Teak Thai (sorry, no pictures, I was kid-wrangling)
Thai Tanic (didn’t go there, but had to grab a picture of the sign)
Roti (technically a chain, but damn. So good anyway)
Orange & Black burgers
Lebanese food in Alexandria
Park Bruges – yes, I know, it’s in Pittsburgh, but we ate there the weekend we left for Toronto, and I was on vacation in my mind already. Close enough.
Sukho Thai – best spring rolls I’ve ever had. So good we had it twice. Spring rolls for breakfast = awesome.
Stout Irish Pub – amazing poutine
Shawarma near the CN Tower
Gourmet Burger Company – I’m still chuckling at Yuengling beer being exotic, but the burgers and poutine were very good.
Daniel et Daniel – a dangerous place to stay a block away from
Doner on our way out of town
Places we wanted to try, but didn’t make it to:
Market 707 – maybe not adventurous enough to try the camel burgers, but you never know