There is a new market phenomenon taking off in downtown Toronto. An adjunct to the farmer's market, rather than providing locally grown produce, these "office markets" serve up locally and responsibly produced prepared foods so that office workers need not rely on corporate fast food outlets.
ING Cafe, at Yonge and Shuter hosts such a market from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30p.m. on Thursdays. Several of the 8 or so vendors would be familiar to anyone who visits markets regularly: ChocoSol, Monforte Cheese, Karen Viva-Haynes(known for appetizers). From Tiffinday, there is vegan food. Loic Gourmet To Go also has a storefront on Queen Street East.
We sample the wares of three vendors. Cheesewerks was giving away samples of their grilled cheese sandwich(They are located at 56 Bathurst.) What could be better than perfectly melted Balderson aged and smoked cheddars on a special St. John's Bread slice with cracked pepper? They also had lightly pickled garlic scapes.
Otherwise, it was a kind of apple-centric day. Quite often yeast goods at the markets are under-risen or undercooked --or both. However $3.00 got us an excellent apple cinnamon bun from Nice Buns that was properly risen and baked while being neither too sweet nor too sticky. Their breads looked just as good. Finally, we tried the caramelly, cinnamon-laced apple tart from York Town Pie. The crust was a little too think but would probably have been fine if reheated.
We will definitely go again. These little markets are a good way to give local food a higher profile during the growing season hiatus.