What’s good: Where to eat August 17-23

Jerk lobster, a citywide tapas crawl, never before poured craft beer and more


Nope, it’s not 2010 in here – the tapas trend is back with a vengeance in Toronto. If you’re looking to sample some unusual small plates, go on the Estrella Damm Tapas Journey, and learn all you should know. From now until August 23, 20 restaurants will be offering three special tapas and a pint of Estrella Damm for $20. Though some of Toronto’s top Spanish kitchens are represented (Patria, Cava, Marben and Salt Wine Bar), you’re by no means limited to Spanish cuisine – you can try beef heart souvlaki at Mamakas, salmon tartare “kibbeh” at Byblos, or popcorn chicken at Kanpai (you may have seen one of their chilled shrimps’ star turn on the NOW cover this week). Check out a full listing of restaurants here.


Last week, we mentioned that Bake Shoppe brought their handmade Pop Tarts to the mini-farmer’s market outside Club Monaco at Bloor and Avenue. Here’s an important update to that developing story: You can now get your Pop Tart turned into an ice cream sandwich, both at the pop-up market and at the bakery proper at 859 College. Eat it, Bang Bang! (Just kidding, Bang Bang, I still love you.)

If, however, your main thought upon hearing all this is “That sounds alarmingly nonvegan,” go west to scrappy punk cafe/event space D-Beatstro, where the friendly staff have begun making their very own animal byproduct-free Pop Tarts in flavours like mango raspberry, mocha Nutella, and classic berry. (Also coming this week to the Beatstro: Vegan pizza pops!)


It’s a good week to be a beer nerd in Toronto. This Friday, brand-new music venue / restaurant / beer hall Burdock will officially add “microbrewery” to that list, with six housemade beers being poured on the premises for the very first time. The brewers promise “traditional approaches and ingredients, just in non-traditional combinations”: In terms of the beer list, that means an IPA, a California Common, a pilsner, a grisette, a saison, and a “summer stout”. To get a sneak peek at their brewing process, watch the video below.

The next day (that’s Saturday, August 23), get out of bed and head straight to Bar Volo for their Great Lakes Brewery takeover, GLB Crashes Ralph’s Place, on from noon until 2 am. A whopping 32 core and special edition brews will be on offer, including a few Bar Volo collabs (“Hanlan’s Point” Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coconut Coffee Porter, “Gilligan Is Still Dead” Guava Saison, and “Insane Frown Posse” Brett Pale Ale with Strawberries & Blackberries).


Between the jerk-butter lobster topped with cilantro and lime, the cocktails served in hollowed-out little watermelons, and the brunch scallop-and-shrimp burger topped with hollandaise, I wasn’t sure which of Patois’ gorgeous-looking Asian-Caribbean dishes to plug this week, so you should probably just go follow their Instagram account (@patoistoronto).

Do you know of a food event, special promotion, incredible new dish, or unbelievably trashy snack in Toronto? Email me your tips.

food@nowtoronto.com | @nataliamanzocco

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