Yeah, yeah, the "10 things" column is usually about a person, but when you've lived a stone's throw from Donlands station for seven years, local events like the Taste of the Danforth festival seem to take on a life of their own like a perennial visit from an old, dear friend. So, without further ado, here's all you need to know about one mother of a Greektown blowout - Opa!
- This year marks the 15th year the Greek community has celebrated Hellenic food, culture and music on the Danforth.
- The three-day bash was originally inspired by the windy city's Taste of Chicago festival, which started in 1980 and runs for ten days in July.
- In its first year, the Taste of the Danforth was only attended by 5,000 visiting the 23 participating restaurants.
- After three years, the city agreed to a partial road closure on the Danforth to accommodate the ever-swelling crowds.
- Organizers expect at least a million people to visit this year's festivities.
- While held in the heart of Toronto's Greektown, the festival includes restaurants from a veritable cornucopia of cultural backgrounds thereby allows visitors to sample food from Japan, India, Thailand, Italy and just about anywhere else you can think of (don't forget Licks Burgers, as well). My wife whole heartedly recommends the fresh Ontario corn often found outside Sun Valley Fine Foods (583 Danforth ), and I concur.
- Many non-restaurants also participate in the event. Just last year I picked up a cheap but very good penny whistle from Elite Music (822 Danforth). I sound terrible, by the way.
- Wine connoisseurs will have a chance this year to meet Greece's master of wine, Konstantinos Lazarakis, and Canada's master sommelier, John Szabo for a whole lot of wine chat, tasty treats, product sampling (Huzzah!) and cooking demonstrations in the Wine Garden.
- The festival's Wikipedia page is promising an "Iron Chef Greek" event sometime during the festival. No official word whether this is officially associated with the Japanese cooking show, but it could be a treat for the foodies.
- Parking is typically a nightmare for many, many blocks north and south the Danforth all weekend. Local residents tend to leave their cars where they are for fear of losing hard-earned street parking. The TTC is your best bet indeed. Come up at either Chester or Pape subway stations and you'll be right in the thick of things (as you should be).
The Krinos Taste of the Danforth Festival runs this weekend (August 8-10) on the Danforth (just in case there was any doubt) between Broadview and Jones.
Photo "Taste of Danforth ~ Megas Cooks" by blogto Flickr pooler ~EvidencE~