Meet Erica Scime, a blogger and writer living in Toronto. Erica is one of Canada’s rising food bloggers: her blog, The Starved Writer, has been listed in Canada’s best food blogs lists, an honor she gained with her open-hearted writing and delicious vegetarian recipes. In addition to being a blogger, Erica’s also a student in journalism and she has a budding interest in urban agriculture and local, organic food, topics about which she hopes to write about after she graduates. Here’s Toronto, in her own words.
My Edible City
Toronto. I grew up in Ancaster, a small town in Ontario, so moving to the big, gritty city of Toronto for university meant I had to learn where to buy subway tokens, how to find my way to the Toronto Island ferries and how to jaywalk without being killed by a bike messenger. But I have learned about more than just the transit system and the proper pronunciation of Queens Quay since I moved to the city. Toronto has taught me where to go for the tastiest pizza in Little Italy, where to get mangoes in Kensington Market and how dim sum is made in Chinatown. I may not have travelled much but I know that Toronto is one of the few cities in the world where you can eat Cuban, Japanese, Pakistani, Caribbean, Italian and Lebanese food all in one day. Toronto is made up of so many vibrant, flavourful cultures and this skinny, white girl is eating up every bowl of biryani she can.
My Favorite Dish
Vegetarian Curry. One of the best restaurants that I have been to in Toronto is Mehran, a small, unassuming Indian restaurant that was hidden behind my first apartment and always had a parking lot packed with hungry cab drivers. I must have walked past Mehran hundreds of times but it wasn’t until one swelteringly hot day last summer that my boyfriend and I finally sat down for dinner there, not wanting to cook in my already steamy apartment. The inside of Mehran is little more than white tile walls and harsh lighting but the smell of spicy Indian sauces simmering on a stove in the back of the restaurant had me as soon as we walked in the door. I ordered the vegetarian plate, which was made up of rice, chickpeas, potatoes and other vegetables in a curry sauce. The dish was warm and satisfying but it was the flavours in the curry sauce that blew me away! They were unlike anything I had ever tasted! I can’t say which spices Mehran used in its curry sauce, whether there was cumin, coriander or tumeric, but I can say that, together, they were heated, vibrant and full of life! My meal at Mehran not only gave me the taste of Indian curry that I would crave for months after, but it also taught me to take a chance on those plain restaurants with the faded signs and crowded parking lots. Often, they are a hidden treasure.
- Erica’s restaurant recommendations in Toronto
- Learn more about one of Toronto’s colorful Kensington Market through this travel guide, this walking tour, and the market’s official site
- My favorite resource for Toronto restaurant inspiration: Toronto Life Magazine (the Best of the City section is an excellent travel guide)