Oh, sorry. My cat was lying on my keyboard there. I was just in the other room daydreaming about all the delicious morsels of tantalizing goodness that await my taste buds at this year’s Vegetarian Food Festival.
That time it was me.
There are a lot of reasons to eat things: health and nutrition, satiation, losing a bet. These are all well and good, but one reason stands above these others as our true guiding principal in cuisine – the reason I bother to get out of bed at all some mornings: Indulgence. Sometimes you just gotta eat because it tastes too dang good to resist. So if you’ve been good this week, and deserve to indulge in something without regard for its nutritional label (come on, just do it), then come along with me as I walk you through a few things at this year’s Vegetarian Food Festival that you would be *cheating* yourself not to try.
First off, what’s a walk around an outdoor festival without a delicious gourmet sausage in hand? Well, if you want to try one of the newest and most delectable vegan sausages available in Canada, from Field Roast, get in line. Seriously, last year, the line up to try these previously unavailable grain-meal sausages was massive, but the reward was totally worth it. In flavours including Smoked Apple Sage, Mexican Chipotle, and Italian, a Field Roast sausage is hands-down a must-try.
Food from a stall is okay, I guess, but it’s lacking a certain je ne sais quoi only possessed by food from a truck. Well, you can load up on all kinds of quoi from Karma ChaMEALeon (get it? Meal), Hamilton’s favourite vegan food truck! If looking at their website’s pictures of the loaded philly cheeze steak sandwich and crispy fried corn dog doesn’t convince you that this truck is a mandatory indulgence of the Fest, consider upgrading your graphics card, maybe? The issue could be with your graphics card.
How about we wash down the sausages and corn dogs with something to complete the trifecta of tasty street food: Burritos! Toronto local shop Hot Beans will be at the fest, with a stall at the World Cafe, and man, oh man, if you haven’t yet sunk your teeth into their tacos and burritos, waste not one minute longer. Offering perfectly seasoned fillings like chunky TVP, BBQ jackfruit, and their namesake hot beans, these fine folks do vegan burritos like no other. And lo, doth legend speak of a secret menu…
Why are you walking so slow? You can’t possibly be full yet! We haven’t even gotten to long-time Festival mainstay, King’s Cafe. For just a couple of bucks, King’s always has an assortment of grilled goodies for sale. Grab a tofu skewer, or sample some of their fantastic mock meat offerings. They also have a stall at the World Cafe, if you’re more in the mood for a full meal.
Guys, I don’t normally get this emotional, but – *choking up* – it’s dessert time.
This is maybe the hardest decision of the day. Toronto is blessed – Blessed, I say – with a wide assortment of vegan bakeries in attendance at this year’s fest. I could (and will) rave about them all. Bunner’s, Tori’s, Bloomer’s, and many more will be there with all the cupcakes, cinnamon buns, and scones your happy cholesterol-free heart desires. But I’ve got my eye on a gooey, crumbly, melty, sweet and salty S’mores Pie from Apiecalypse Now! (Get it? Pie) Crafted with love and hand-made gourmet vegan marshmallows, this little pie guy stole my heart at last year’s Fest. You can’t see me, but I’m actually crying right now.
Good show today, guys, let’s call it there and start back again in an hour. If you need me, I’ll be lying here in a food coma, drooling on myself.