Best of the City 2011: Three stops for your meat, fish and fruits and veggies
Game Fish Farmers’ market
93 Front St. E., 416-366-4465
Leila Batten, the ebullient 50-year-old owner of Whitehouse Meats in St. Lawrence Market, presides over the city’s most glorious display case of game meats and birds. Federal regulations limit the sale of hunted meat to approved culls of muskox and caribou, which Batten stocks when it’s available. But she also deals directly with farmers to maintain a staggering selection of venison, buffalo, wild boar, ostrich and partridge. She even flies in kangaroo, emu and camel from Australia, and happily assembles a dinner party selection of cuts and sausages for a game neophyte.
888 Queen St. E., 416-828-1861
Only a few months after opening its doors in March, Dan and Kristin Donovan’s sustainable seafood shop already has a loyal following. And it’s little wonder: there are few places in the city where the fishmonger can tell you exactly how his products made their way to his case. Take, for example, the excellent farmed rainbow trout from Kolapore Springs in Collingwood, one of the few farmed products that Dan brings into his store. It’s harvested at 5 a.m., driven down the 400 in a refrigerated truck and at the store by noon. And for those who have misgivings about the sustainability of a farmed product, just ask Dan, but plan to stay a while. It’ll be a fish story worth listening to.
Evergreen Brick Works
550 Bayview Ave., 416-596-1495
It’s not just the Arcadian Don Valley setting or the stunning industrial architecture that makes the Brick Works market a Saturday morning ritual for some 2,000 shoppers—and their accompanying spoodles. Eighty vendors offer a selection of meat, cheese, produce and baked goods that is fresher, tastier and more diverse than any other in the city. It includes beans and brew from Merchants of Green Coffee, chèvre from Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, root veggies from Cookstown Greens, sourdough from St. John’s Bakery and venison from Deer Valley. Jamie Kennedy’s fries help the peckish refuel mid-browse.