Toronto, Days One and Two

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Toronto is hailed as one of the greatest food cities in North America, though you might not know it because Canadians can be so modest. But when I visited last fall, I was excited to eat, explore, spend time with Nishan’s family and enjoy some home-cooked Sri Lankan cuisine.

String hoppers

After a delicious new Canadian dinner at Marben in downtown Toronto, Nishan and I spent a couple of days in Brampton, where I was treated to an incredible Sri Lankan meal. Sri Lankan food isn’t for the faint of heart — it’s spicy, pulls no punches, and was almost too much for my wussy Iranian taste buds. There’s nothing a dollop of yogurt can’t cool, though, and I happily went to down on fiery mutton curry alongside seeni (onion) sambol, pol (coconut) sambol, biryani, fish cutlets, and hoppers.

What are hoppers, you ask? Similar to a crepe, hoppers are made from a fermented batter of rice flour, coconut milk and a dash of palm toddy. The batter is cooked in a hemispherical wok-like pan. There are many types of hoppers, like string hoppers and egg hoppers. Sri Lankan cuisine is nearly impossible to come by in the Bay Area, so this was a real treat.

After a couple of days in Brampton we were off to the Toronto suburb of London, Ontario. But first: Tim Hortons.

Tim Hortons

C’mon. What’s a road trip in Canada without a coup of Tim Hortons coffee and an order of Timbits doughnut holes?