An August 2004 trip
to Toronto by dcgrrl
Quote: We chose Toronto for our vacation this year because of Rue Morgue magazine's Festival of Fear, taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Of course man cannot vacation on horror alone, so we tried to take in as much of Toronto as we could while we were there.
We did not have enough time to explore all this area had to offer. If only we hadn't walked so long during the day, we could have really done some serious partying. We'll definitely be back to take care of that.
And the Festival of Fear, Rue Morgue magazine's first Canadian National Horror Expo, was worth the trip, if only to witness the genesis of what we hope will become a long tradition.
And I dare say, it helped having some off-the-beaten-path destinations selected, which drew us to two or three of the four corners of Toronto. We could easily have stayed in one neighborhood for a full week and not have experienced it all. So plan ahead - unless you have a month.
For vegetarians, Toronto is great. Not a veggie commune, but there were options in nearly every neighborhood. AND there were hot dog stands downtown that actually sold veggie hot dogs. WOW! (They also offer beef hot dogs and Polish sausages.)
These tokens, which unfortunately look a lot like dimes, work for one fare from anywhere to anywhere via subway or trolley car.
Since I'm from Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but notice that subway stations and trolleys are not very accessible for wheelchairs. This is a town to do a lot of walking in!
We did take a taxi, and it worked just like most other cities I've been in (besides D.C.) - just your basic taxi meter, with clicks by the distance and for waits in traffic.
Let me mention traffic again. We drove in on a Friday afternoon. Yuck! Again, like most other cities I've been in - slow heavy traffic, gridlock, and smog. So, once we parked our car, it stayed parked until we left.
We saw foot-high letters in the window reading "Vegetarian" and I recognized the name of the restaurant from a vegetarian directory, so we leapt out of the cab and hoped for the best.
We found we had two options - next door is Buddha's Vegetarian Foods, which looked more like a take-out place, and we needed a more pleasant atmosphere, since we planned on feasting. So we chose the sunnier looking Cafe 668, which is small, but they've used lighting and simple decor to make the best of their space.
The menu is pan-Asian, and lucky us - the restaurant has actually won some local recognition.
We started with the fried mushrooms in lemongrass sauce. The batter was a bit disappointing, but the quantity was impressive, as was the sauce. For our entree, the two of us shared the king mushroom with veggie beef and satay sauce over rice noodles, and although more beef would have been just fine, it was tasty.
We were on our last night there, and on our last few Canadian dollars, the prices were just right. We'd definitely spend some time exploring this menu the next time we go back. There's a lot to choose from! See their website at: http://www.cafe668.com
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 5, 2004
885 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario M6J 1V9
Now, the focus here is on juice (that's the pulp reference), and they do make every juice to order on the spot. As someone with a good juicer at home, this was nice because 1) I could get fresh juice away from home, and 2) I didn't have to clean the juicer. Otherwise, the juice was ok.
From there we move on to the menu. This was awesome. Where it's easy to get homemade juice away from home, finding homemade vegetarian goodness away from home is rough.
Pulp Kitchen offers a brunch menu of good basic North American food. I had fabulous "huevos" rancheros with tofu scramble and salsa one day, and liked their faux eggs so much I had the egg-less omelette the next day. My boyfriend had pancakes the first day, both of us devoured the veggie sausage, and he had to get huevos rancheros of his own the second day.
They've got a website at http://www.pulpkitchen.ca/ with the menu - the staff was very friendly, as were the patrons, and vegans are welcome too!
Be aware - Queen Street East is the 'other' side of town from the Entertainment district. It's a longish trolley ride, or a $10 cab ride from central Toronto.
898 Queen Street East