Unexpected Culinary Adventures at the Flea Market

On Saturday Evan and I were hanging around with not a lot going on, so in the late morning we decided to take a trip over to our good ol’ neighbourhood flea market at Downsview Park (that link has a sweet virtual tour of the flea market).

I haven’t been to a flea market in years and years. Well wait, that’s not true.. Evan and I did go when we were in Florida last year but it was super lame and the only thing I remember them having were T-shirts. More specifically, T-shirts with ironed on patches in random places because the purpose of the patch was probably to cover a hole… It wasn’t the flea market I had been anticipating and I feel like it didn’t count.

Anyway, the Downsview Merchants Market was awesome. It had everything imaginable and also nothing really important, all at the same time. So many treasures. I have been all about Storage Wars lately (YUUUP!) and the antique area reminded me of a storage locker packed with goodies. Really fun browsing around in there. I also really enjoyed the electronics booths because they had things I probably would never think to buy. And the toy booths because they had all kinds of throwback toys.


LOVE Wrinkles! He looks just like the one I used to have! (actually I still have him, but he is naked and missing his bone…)

There is also this game that I really want. It is two separate controllers that you can plug into your TV, and one has hundreds of old school Nintendo games on it, and the other controller has old school Sega Genesis games. Sega Genesis is my FAVE console and I would die if it had Toejam and Earl on it.


best game ever.

I can’t find the controllers by Googling but I did see them recently in this weird random store in this weird random mall near us also, so I have been debating for a few weeks now. The only thing stopping me is that I don’t think the controllers seem to be of the best quality… When Evan was testing it the direction buttons kind of jumped around, and if that happens while I’m playing I’ll be annoyed. Just didn’t feel very legit. I’m regretting not getting it though, so we’ll see.

Seriously digressing over here, so back to the flea market.

In a surprise twist, the flea market also had live lizards.



And books! So many books!


I spent the longest in that booth. I really miss working in a book store and being surrounded by books. It was such a dream job and I am so out of the book loop these days. I might go back to that booth one day and take a more serious look, but the only book I bought was The Glass Castle. I have read it about four times but I love it so much and I lent my copy out to someone and never got it back. I don’t even remember who it was so I can’t even ask them for it.

The highlight of the flea market was definitely the food court though.


It was not your typical food court. It was like an international food festival! I saw authentic Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Afghan, Caribbean, Jamaican, and Dominican Republic food stalls. I’m probably missing some. And typically the food booths had two older ladies and a stove, making their authentic dishes on the spot. No McDonalds in here.

We first went to the Trinidad and Tobago stall and got doubles.


Not photogenic, but very delicious

Lucky I had Evan with me, since he lived in Trinidad and is very doubles savvy. I had never even heard of them. He said in Trinidad when you come out of the bar in the early hours in the morning, vendors are set up outside with doubles. Just like sausage vendors here. It is a sandwich made with two pieces of fried bread called bara (it reminded me a little bit of naan bread, it had that stretchiness to it) and filled with channa (chick peas). You can put other toppings in the sandwich like sweet and spicy mango and various chutneys. They were delicious and I could definitely see myself packing away one of those at 2am after a night out. They also had shark and bake which really intrigued me… Next time, apparently it’s a must try (says Evan).

For my actual meal I popped over to the Philippines booth because I don’t know if I have ever tried authentic Filipino food


I feel like the lady who was working there became my new best friend in the five minutes or so that I talked to her. She told me all about her dishes. I could not understand everything she said, but when I pointed to two and asked what they were I heard pork in there so I decided to go with that. She also asked me if I wanted to try the chicken soup she was making and that was a big yes over here.


Ground pork adobo and some other noodley dish with pork

Really good. The pork adobo especially.

Evan headed over to the Jamaican booth and ordered salt fish with festivals (fried dumplings), fried plantains, and avocado.

I tried everything on his plate and loved it all. I think we are going to have to stop at the flea market for lunch more often. I had no idea of the culinary adventure that awaited us.

We went to the farmers market there also and picked up a TON of fresh produce, and also these fancy tarts from an English bakery booth.


And then we came home and napped with the Winster.


Such a sasspot she is. I just love her little feets. (PS I clipped her nails after I saw this picture as they are a little out of control…)

And then we made dinner together – pork tenderloin, rice and Evan’s fantasic beans, and green salad with avocado and oil and balsamic vinegar.


Pretty good low-key Saturday. And if you’re ever in the Downsview area, check out that flea market!


4 responses to “Unexpected Culinary Adventures at the Flea Market

  1. Looks delicious and different. I want to go to the flea market too. Are you keeping this list of things we’re going to do when I visit? Because you better be.

  2. Pingback: Happy Birthday Eric! And the last of my mom’s visit | Happy or Hungry

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