Ever since my friend Dafna found the perfect place to purchase in Kensington Lofts in, where else, Kensington Market, we've been checking out the local cafes as a way to keep in touch and expand our culinary horizons.
For those unfamiliar with this chock-a-block retail and residential vintage neighbourhood of narrow streets and numerous dead-ends, it's bounded by College Street on the north, Spadina Avenue on the east, Dundas Street W. on the south, and Bathurst Avenue to the west (as shown on map below).
Kensington Market has its roots as the original Jewish Market through the first half of the 1900's, but as other immigrant communities arrived many chose to set up shop. It has been a revolving door of ever-changing Italian, Portuguese, Caribbean, and Asian entrepreneurs, along with the Somalis, Ethiopians, Iranians and Vietnamese. Add some great bookstores, photo galleries, vintage shops and cannabis cafes, and you've got more flavour than food. This is one dynamite pedestrian crowded location.
Loving great food, one hot steamy summer's eve Dafna and I perched on the patio of the very french bistro La Palette on Augusta Avenue. Within minutes a frenzied thunderstorm lashed in, prompting all us patrons to push our tables together under the flailing awning in a failed attempt to stay dry. Soaked but merry all the same, the steak frites, and service, were brilliant.
Basking in the warmth of October's Indian summer, we found ourselves indulging in tapas on the back yard patio of Torito Tapas Bar on Augusta Avenue. Sitting under an architectural canopy of sailcloth, our candlelit small-plate fest was fresh, inventive and prompted our taste buds to dance. I return here often. The owner Veronica is lovely! (I'm sad to announce that recently, years after this blog was posted, Torito has closed its doors!)
In the freezing chilly winds of winter, Dafna and I converged at Caplansky's on College Street last week to eat comfort food. Slow cooked bbq beef brisket in tomato sauce and fried onions served with mashed potatoes, plus latkes with apple sauce, put smiles on our faces. I miss the former location in the Monarch Tavern on Clinton, only because it was down the street from me...now I have to walk thirteen minutes instead of four. Cry me a River!