Hot dog! Finally some real food on our sidewalks

City hall finally gets its act somewhat together and tentatively offers a smattering of spice on sidewalks to somewhat match the greatness of Toronto’s restaurants

By Frank Touby —

Jerk Chicken joins Kim Chee, Souvlaki, Injera and other ethnic fare on our sidewalks.

Jerk Chicken joins Kim Chee, Souvlaki, Injera and other ethnic fare on our sidewalks.

Say goodbye to Toronto’s strictly tube-steak sidewalk cart vendors. Hot dogs will be joined by some ethnic offerings that, while far short of the sidewalk fare offered in most big North American cities, still brings some of Toronto’s fabulous resto scene to curbside. The bureaucrats and city councillors have at long last come up with a small smattering of non-hot-dog fare for our fair city’s al fresco diners.

Vendor Seemab Ahmad, who immigrated to Toronto from Pakistan in 2006, plans to bring the Central Asian rice dish Biryani to customers at Nathan Phillips Square. “When I heard about this program, I decided to apply because it posed such a delicate blend of challenges for a chef,” said Ahmad.

“I thought my ethnic background, culinary skills, and restaurant experience could make a small contribution to this endeavour which will add variety to the street food currently available.

The new vendors will be at the following locations:

Location                          Ethnic Origin of Food           Sample Menu Item

Mel Lastman Square                    Thai                        Pad Thai with fresh rolls

Metro Hall                       Afghani/Central Asian                 Chapli kebabs

Nathan Phillips Square      Central Asian/Persian                      Biryani

Nathan Philips Square                Greek                                  Souvlaki

Queen*s Park                     Middle Eastern                Chicken/beef kebab wraps

Roundhouse Park                     Eritrean                                   Injera

Yonge and Eglinton                   Korean                         Bulgogi with seasonal kimchi

Yonge and St. Clair               Carib fusion                            Jerk chicken