Two days worth of sandwiches for us looks like: Bahn Mi, bacon peameal, Claes Oldenburg’s Floor Burger and Burger’s Priest. Toronto, you were filling!
We did some serious pavement pounding in between meals and got up close and personal with the colourful, bohemian Kensington Market; a tiny neighbourhood with cool cafés, bars, markets and vintage clothes shops. It was a great place for just mooching around and soaking up the laid back atmosphere.
The second market we paid a visit to was St Lawrence Market; an actual food market this time and one famous for its peameal bacon sandwiches. Although no longer made with peameal, Paddington’s Pump served up a great bacon sarnie – with lettuce, tomato, relish and jalapeños. They’ve made us rethink how we’ll be serving up our future bacon butties when we get back home.
At the risk of seeing our brunch again, we headed for the heights of the iconic CN Tower. Taking just 58 seconds to reach the observation deck, the ascending views from inside the lift were jelly-leg inducing. The day was clear and at our summit we saw planes taking off and landing at the small nearby City Airport.
As we braved the tower’s glass floor (thankful that our sandwiches had gone down as the view is 1122 metres straight down to the ground!), my belly was in knots. Gingerly I stepped onto the glass floor amongst the fearless kids who were sprawled all over the place posing for their obligatory photos.
Our feet were firmly on the ground when we visited the Art Gallery of Ontario. The architecture is fascinating, so too is the next door Sharp Centre for Design with its elevated ceiling – like a giant table supported by pencil-looking legs.
The restaurant supports the local blind community giving them jobs they might not typically have the chance to do, like waiting tables in a restaurant.
We ordered our food in a dimly lit holding room before we were seated. Dan opted for the ‘surprise’ main, and both of us the ‘surprise’ dessert. We met Dave our waiter who led us into the dining room which was in the pitch dark. As a sighted person, you know when you’ve been in the dark for a while and your eyes start to adjust? That you can start to see shapes and patches of light? Imagine if that didn’t happen; which for Dave is a constant, and for us was our experience for the next couple of hours – nothing but black.
Dave brought our drinks (in plastic glasses) and talked us through where everything was on the table. We then took a warm bread roll from his tray and without too much mess (we think!), managed to spread them with butter and eat them. When you’re deprived of one, it’s amazing how quickly your other senses are hightened. We soon learnt where the other diners were sitting, where to safety put our drinks down, and Dave’s voice. To get his attention, we just had to holler.
My veggie stir fry with soy and teriyaki was really tasty; the flavours were fantastic, so strong. Dan’s ‘surprise’ roast beef dinner was a very welcome taste of home; it was ‘surprising’ to have such a traditional English dish served so far away from the UK. Relieved the meat was already sliced into bite-sized pieces, he would only know he had finished by running his fingers across the plate!
Our ‘surprise’ dessert was a caramel mocha cheesecake. We won’t tell you if we licked our plates or not.