TIFF ‘ 15 Eats


If you follow me on social media or know me personally, I have been attending TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) for about five years and been volunteering for the festival for four years.

In the previous years, I’d eat mainly popcorn and other movie snacks, since I had little time to prepare food or have a proper sit down meal. This year, Andrea and I decided to be a bit more prepared (as we say every year ha!) and actually eat better for the film festival.

Since I have this food blog, I decided to document most of my eats, aka TIFF ‘15 Eats. (FYI: I know this post is EXTREMELY overdue.)

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I had a pre-festival volunteer shift and it was my first volunteer shift of this year’s festival. I believe it was for 9:00am and naturally, I went to Tim Hortons to grab breakfast.
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I ordered my usual: A plain bagel (normally I ask for Everything) toasted with cream cheese and a small double double coffee. If you’ve ever had Tim Horton’s, it’s nothing spectacular but it gets the job done.

Day 1 of TIFF

I had a Chai brûlée doughnut from Room 2046.
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It was like a sweet, burnt chai flavour. It quite enjoyed it.

For dinner, I had a burrito from Mucho Burrito. I didn’t make it mucho but it was a tasty burrito for a fast food place. I can’t remember which kind of meat I ordered, but I think it was beef.
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Lastly, Andrea and I walked along the Festival street. We tried the Canadian Parmesan Cheese Popcorn and had samples of the Pure Leaf teas.

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The popcorn did not taste like Parmesan cheese! It had no hint of it. It was more herb and garlic than anything.

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I tried all the flavours except unsweetened. My favourite was the raspberry. Out of all the flavours, it’s the sweetest one. That’s why I liked it so much but I think the peach one would be more popular than the raspberry.

Day 2 of TIFF

For dinner, Andrea, Raquel, and I went to Elephant and Castle before the premiere of I Saw the Light. I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie thinking that it would be decently sized, so I wouldn’t be too full.
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But again, I somehow managed to order a dish that’s bigger than it sounds. It wasn’t enormous but the Shepherd’s Pie came in a deep bowl, creating an illusion that it’s not. It was very filling. The potato part was good and so was the beef and vegetables but it was little to oily for me. It didn’t make a huge issue for myself, but I wasn’t used to that for a Shepherd’s Pie. It did come with fried onions on top and a side of salad. I particularly loved the fried onions. It gave a nice crunch to the pie. The salad was mediocre – it was just a mixed green salad but the dressing quite tangy.

Day 3 of TIFF

First PSL of the year!
tiffeats I got mine with whipped cream but Andrea didn’t .. tsk tsk 😉
Andrea, Raquel, and I went to Lonestar for dinner. We each ordered different tacos.
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I had the Cabo Tacos. The tacos were generously stuffed but they were pretty mediocre. Honestly, I would rather dine at Taco Bell than here if that says anything about their tacos. The rice was very dry and overcooked. It tasted as if the rice was premade, like Uncle Ben’s rice. The side dish of beans was okay. If you’re planning to dine at a more casual place along King Street, I’d suggest going to Shoeless Joe’s which is about two doors down from Lonestar.

After Lonestar, we went to highly acclaimed ice cream shop, Sweet Jesus. I love the branding of the place. It’s quite small though and there’s barely anywhere to sit down. Luckily, it was nice out so we sat outside to dive into our ice creams.

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I ordered the Cinnamon Cone Crunch. It was great and tasted exactly as it sounds. I watched how mine was made. All they do is take the vanilla coned ice cream and dip into into the kind that you ordered. Mine was heavily covered in Cinnamon Toast crunch cereal. The inside is just plain vanilla soft served ice cream – one of my favourite kinds of ice cream. However, it pretty much tasted like McDonald’s ice cream cones, and McDonald’s is much cheaper. Sweet Jesus is good, but it’s not as hyped out to be.

Day 4

During the afternoon I ventured to Union Juice, which is right beside Sweet Jesus. I had heard good things about this place and hoped it lived to its expectations.
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I ordered the Top Shelf. It has avocado, cocoa, and banana in it. I’ve always been skeptical about avocados in sweet stuff but you couldn’t really taste it because the cocoa overpowered it. It was difficult to drink. It’s a smoothie but it’s viscosity was thick and the straw was not meant for it. It was tasty but pricey. For the same price, I could get a bigger portion serving at Booster Juice, which tastes just as good.

For dinner, Andrea and I went El Caballito, a newly Mexican style restaurant on King Street. The way the menu works is you order single tacos. I think there was one that had a set of tacos but it was quite pricey.

We started off with Guacamole and chips. Hands down, this was the best guac I’ve had so far. Andrea will second that too. It was exactly how you’d want a guac dip to taste like.
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For the tacos, I ordered the Beef Brisket Adobo and Flank Steak. The Beef Brisket Adobo my favourite between the two. The beef was nice and tender and the taco was full of flavour. The Flank Steak was not my cup of tea. I only ordered it because Andrea went through reviews and people said it tasted great. Unfortunately for me, it tasted like this beef noodle dish I’ve had at numerous Chinese restaurants. I was not expecting that taste at all and when I had my first bite, I was highly disappointed. I wanted a new taste, not something familiar.
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We also got one of the margarita drinks. I can’t remember which one but I believe it was the Margarita De Casa. It was good and you can really taste the alcohol in it. It was a good kick, pairing nicely with the tacos.
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Lastly, we ended our meal with Churros. They were fantastic. Sweet, crispy, and delicious.
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Day 10

On the second last day of TIFF ’15, Andrea and I ate at Hey Lucy. We’ve actually dined at the restaurant before and reviewed it after. We actually looked at my post to see what we both ordered last time. In the post I mentioned that my second time dining at Hey Lucy, I’d order a pizza. Well, that didn’t happen. I went with the Classic Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. Boring, I know. But I was craving pasta so much that day.

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Andrea ordered an appetizer (which I didn’t document) and one of the salads (which I also forgot the name of).

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We were both satisfied with our meals, so I think we’d probably go back third time. Maybe then I’ll order the pizza ‘)

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I didn’t document much in the second half of the festival. I think it’s because I had to actually go back to work in the second half. I actually don’t remember much of what happened in the second half of the festival, so it’s probably a good thing that I leave the post right here.

If there are food places you’d like me to try for this year’s TIFF, leave them in the comments below 🙂

– Synthia T.
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Another self-proclaimed foodie.

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