Rave: Summer of lobster

Lobster, once an expensive food associated with the elite, has experienced a boom this summer in Toronto. Perhaps it’s as a result of the historically high hauls Canadian fisherman have been experiencing this year. Whatever the case, record low lobster prices mean we’re all able to dine like the Kennedys. Whether you’re a lobster-eating newbie or an old pro, we round up our top ways to enjoy the celebrated crustacean. 


DIY


Lobster is incredibly simple to cook, once you’ve gotten over the fear of killing your own dinner. The first step, naturally, is to pick up some lobster – 1 to 1.5 pounds per person is about right. Heading to the Maritimes for the weekend? Then grab some live lobsters on your way back (when packaged properly, you can carry these onto the plane). For the rest of us landlocked folks, stop by Hooked to get your lobster fix – they carry them most Fridays. 


GOOPy is a lobster-cooking pro!



Now, for the cooking part. There are a ton of videos and tutorials online outlining the best ways to do this, but Simply Recipes and Bon Appetit are our faves. Once you’ve boiled the sucker, we suggest letting it cool and eating it with hot butter and lemon; preferably outdoors and with an ice cold beer. A tip for amateurs, eating lobster is messy, so leave your fancy clothes for another time.

Drake’s Sunday Lobster Fare




Every Sunday evening this summer, The Drake Hotel serves up lobster on the Sky Yard. Beginning at 7 p.m., and by reservation only, lucky diners can snag a seat and enjoy lobster and its accoutrements in a fun, family-style dinner. For $32 (plus tax and gratuity) diners receive a one-pound lobster, grilled corn, butter and herb potatoes, coleslaw, a biscuit, strawberry shortcake and a bottle of Keith’s. Oh, and hot butter – of course. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us. For non-beer lovers, there’s also a special Bin End wine list. Email specialevents@thedrakehotel.ca or call 416.531.5042 ext. 1 for reservations. 


LobstahPalooza 2012


Their signature lobster rolls. Yum!

Craving a good, ol’ fashioned East Coast party in Toronto? Then LobstahPalooza is the place to be this Sunday, August 19. Hosted by Rock Lobster Food Co. and 99 Sudbury, this lobster-focused jamboree begins at 1 p.m. Tickets are $50, which includes a 1.5-pound lobster, a variety of summer sides (including corn-on-the-cob, potato salad and a fresh lobster salad) and three drink tickets. Tickets can be redeemed from any of the local craft beer, wine or spirits partners, which include Tromba Tequila and Kesington Ale Beer. There’ll be live music and prizes on-site. For those craving one of Rock Lobster’s signature lobster rolls (pictured above), they’ll be available for an extra price. Visit the EventBrite page to purchase tickets. 

Buster Sea Cove Food Truck


We’ll take two of everything. 



Will 2012 be known as the year of the food truck? Maybe, but you won’t hear any arguments from us. This May, St. Lawrence Market stalwart Buster Sea Cove joined in with their very own, seafood-focused food truck. They’ve got a bevy of seafood delights, including fish tacos and crab rolls, along with (what else?) lobster rolls! You can find the mobile seafood-shillers most lunch hours at the corner of Queen & Jarvis, but food truck expert Suresh Doss is a great resource to locate Buster Sea Cove, along with other food trucks.  



Yum, Yum: Food Truck Eats

Toronto has long been home to a sinful trinity of street eats: hot dogs, French fries and ice cream. Yes, we love our street meat, and with hot dogs poised to be one of the foodie top trends this year, we say pass the ketchup.

Image via Toronto Star.
But, a new trend has hit the streets, putting the regular hot dog cart to shame. Food trucks have captured our hearts and stomachs with their sophisticated fare and rock bottom prices. While the mobile foodie trend has already taken root in the United States, as well as Niagara Falls, Hamilton and Newmarket, the roving eateries have hit the brakes on parking in this city until recently.

On Saturday, July 2, the first Toronto food truck festival caused serious traffic in the Distillery district as pedestrians swarmed the trucks looking to satisfy a sweet tooth or nibble on savoury gourmet creations.

The pretty trucks lined up outside.
Image source
Gorilla Cheese was there, sans wheels, serving up ooey-gooey sandwiches. We also adored Hamilton mobile newcomer The Cupcake Diner and her pink truck. Her cupcakes, including flavours from classic vanilla to caramel apple pie, were a hot commodity and sold out by noon.

Delicious cupcakes went like…hotcakes.

Niagara’s El Gastronomo Vagabundo was a popular choice, with lines-up snaking its way along the cobblestone. We were rewarded for our patience and perseverance in the form of “Buddha Belly” pork buns topped with cucumber and coriander. 


This little bun packed quite the tasty punch.

We can’t wait until the next food truck pit stop in Toronto! The hype is already building for part two which will be held on Saturday, August 20, and will feature our favourites from the first foodie frenzy as well as the addition of local smoked meat aficionado Caplansky’s. Until then, an office road trip might be in order – look out food trucks, here we come…