i saw posters in the subway last year for Restaurantacular and thought that it sounded interesting because it was an Uptown neighbourhood initiative but I didn't have time to go because it's only a 1 day event but this year my friend Vicky (Momwhoruns) told me she went last year and liked it and said she was going again this year so we went together this time.
Restaurantacular is an event put on by the Vendors at Mount Pleasant Village on Mount Pleasant Road between Eglinton and Davisville. It was held on June 24 from 4pm to 9pm.
The streets aren't closed like they do at other street festivals and some participating vendors have tables outside on the sidewalk and some are just special menu items inside their restaurants. The cost of the menu items are $2, $4, or $6 each. No need for tickets or advanced anything. All you need is a stack of toonies and an empty stomach.
Vicky and I found it sad that not all of the restaurants on Mount Pleasant participated and many of the stores were closed even. I think that's a really bad business move on their part because if people from outside the area are walking down the street they might stop into the store out of curiosity and find something they didn't know was there and could possibly purchase something or return in the future. These street festivals are meant to attract new customers and gain more exposure so I can't understand why vendors wouldn't make the effort to bring on extra staff or extend their hours for only 5 hours. It's bad business sense to me. There were even musicians outside some of the locations providing some fun.
The vendors that participated were marked by colorful balloons and sometimes posters outside of their restaurants and of course the vendors that had tables outside were obviously participating.
Vicky and I only had an hour to speed through as many vendors as we could and unfortunately Vicky ended up getting a parking ticket because we parked on a side street for just over an hour.
We got there at about 4 pm and had to find the organizer who was walking up the street with a handful of balloons. Then we started to plan our attack. Because Vicky had been there previously I let her lead the way. We stopped into Smoked and Cracked first but I didn't want a butter tart and wasn't in the mood for gazpacho so we bounced across the street to Bread and Butter where we split a great veal schnitzel sandwich. We went to China House next and Vicky decided to order something there. They said they just opened and I don't think they were prepared for the event because Vicky ended up waiting about 15 minutes for her order and that really sucked up the little time that we had to hit all the vendors.
While walking down the street I ran into a guy I know from Pimenton and he said he was making Paella. I eventually made it to his booth but was full and out of time by that point. His paella was just ready then too. Because I wasn't going home after the event I couldn't get any take out to bring home for later. That would have been on my list for sure. But I know I will see him do that again soon and he can be found at the Brickworks market on the weekends.
What I did eat was delicious. I had some really great Butter chicken from Marigold. Has to be the best Butter chicken I have had uptown because the ones in my area aren't very good. I will have to go back there again.
Vicky and I also split a tiny Cherry shortcake slider from Flaky Tarts and it was fantastic.
We got free freezies from Sobeys and Vicky had an Oyster from one a small inside place but I don't know the name of the location. She loved it.
I picked up a chicken Empanada which I took with me, it was the only small thing that I could take that I could eat later. I ate it when I got home later that night and I really enjoyed it. The spices were great. They really smelled amazing on the street so I knew I had to get one.
Well that's all I squeezed into my belly in an hour and I wish we both had more time to take our time to check out all of the vendors. I wish it was a sunday afternoon festival when you have more time to explore but I guess it's designed for the neighbourhood and people to stop in to get food after work or at the end of their day.
I wish more people were there and I hope more vendors participate in the future. It's nice to try unique restaurants that you might not get to try normally. They were all independent businesses except for Sobeys.
I hope that you have a chance to check it out next year and I hope I have more time to eat and explore more dishes next year.
Mount Pleasant Village also have an APP that you can download on your phone and you can get 5% rebates on purchases and it acts like a credit card with the vendors and you can use it to give gifts even. It's Mount Pleasant Village Member rewards and you can find it on the apple store or Google play.
Find photos on Restaurantacular using the hashtag #restaurantacular
Disclaimer: Some of the food was complimentary but the opinions in this post are my own.