On Sunday, September 27th, something’s coming up that you won’t want to miss!
Toronto’s known for its foodie culture, hosting people and their dishes from virtually every corner of the planet, giving our citizens a discerning palate that you won’t find anywhere else. But because as a diverse city we’re so used to searching across the seven seas for the inspiration that’ll sate our dining desires, we often forget to look within our national borders to see what one of the largest and most diverse countries has to offer!
The preview I had for the upcoming Lobstahpalooza was just that—a cast of friends bringing their skills and resources to the table so they could put the kind of experience together you don’t see these days!
Little did we know how true that’d be… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
As with many things in my #BloggerLife, Lobstahpalooza started with a tweet.
— Casey E. Palmer (@CaseP) September 4, 2015
Now—I know plenty of bloggers who tag brands in everything they put out, hoping to catch a bite for their next sponsored post or whatnot, but that’s not me. Me, I’m still about having as much fun with social media as possible—if you’re not having fun, why do it, right? So when any of my online hijinks turn into anything substantial, I’m always pleasantly surprised, and Lobstahpalooza was no exception.
Hosted by the very gracious Chef Matt Dean Pettit of the super-popular Rock Lobster Food Co. with his friends and supporters, it was a night centred around a scrumptious Nova Scotian Lobster Boil, fuelled by The Samuel Adams Beer Experience. Situated behind El Gordos Food Market on the colourful Kensington Market’s August Avenue, the crew wasted no time in making me feel welcome, immediately getting me to my seat at the communal table in the back lot. Though only 8 of us were invited, you couldn’t turn your head without bumping into a camera—everyone was in full food blogger mode!
But me? I was mostly there to stuff my face with deliciousness and stuff it, I did! Here’s a quick rundown of everything that vanished down my gullet!
I only developed an appreciation for oysters in recent years, previously believing them to be food only the wealthy ate. Please don’t ask me why. The oysters were fresh and slid down wonderfully, and I’d have eaten the whole platter if I wasn’t busy being polite.
Matty’s Seafood Co./Rock Lobster Food Co. Lobster Rolls
As the Rock Lobster Food Co. evolved, so did the way it does business. Now offering retail food options in Sobey’s, through the Matty’s Seafood line, Matt and Chris are now able to make things available like frozen individually-packed lobster rolls that stay good for weeks! We tried them out at the media preview, and as someone who’s tried them fresh and frozen, I could totally see myself taking a frozen pack home so I could satisfy the cravings when I need a midnight snack!
Sam Adams Cooked Mussels
Mussels were on point—if I have my ratios right, it was one can of beer to a few pounds of mussels, and they definitely tasted like they were cooked right! Also, Chef MDP made sure there wasn’t a closed shell in sight (i.e. a sign that the mussel isn’t fit for consumption)—the man has solid standards and a good eye for detail!
Ketel One Caesars
— Meg Button (@megbutton) September 10, 2015
However, I’m told by multiple sources that I need to try a legitimate Rock Lobster Caesar, as they’re evidently second to none. They’re apparently so good that Matt and Chris are soon launching their own Caesar mix through their Matty’s Seafood brand to meet the demand.
I’ve gotta try it sometime!
Other goodies included Mom’s potato salad (delicious!); grilled local sweet corn (made just right—barely any charring); and a dinner roll (which I’m pretty sure I ate, but I was too focused on the main event to know for sure.)
But the biggest draw was obviously the lobster.
Honestly, words fail me. The gents had a 2-pound lobster lined up for each of us, going ’round and teaching any lobster newbies about getting to the flesh inside with the tools provided (or—if you knew what you were doing, you could use your hands!)
But that lobster was sinfully delicious, complemented by the buttery goodness Chef MDP put forward as a suggestion. If you’re on the fence about going to Lobstahpalooza, this should sell you! As someone who’s lived in the GTA his whole life, I know I haven’t had much occasion to nosh on lobster, the price point often off-putting with my dining budgets as a youth.
But good food is worth investing in, and if the Lobstahpalooza preview was but a fraction of the awesomeness you can expect on the 27th, my friends you’re in for a treat!
But naturally, this wouldn’t be a Casey Palmer story if everything went according to plan, and I was about to throw a curveball that’d change the entire tone of the night!
Sometimes You Find Great People in the Oddest Places.
Now, this could’ve been just another food event where we dined, drank and dashed, but we forgot to account for a life rule that should always be factored in when planning a night out — you can’t take Casey ANYWHERE.
Our bellies full of lobster and well-fed grins on our faces, as we rose from the table wiping all evidence of the last hour from our fingers, I was horrified to discover that my wedding ring had gone missing.
I panicked. I started looking around, trying to bring as little attention to myself as possible. Still, word soon spread, and the entire event—hosts, chef and guests alike—started combing everywhere possible to try to find the white gold circlet that should’ve been around my finger!
Over the next 90 minutes, I saw a group of people—some of whom I’d only met that night—go to insane lengths to help me find my ring and keep my rear end out of the fire! We grabbed some rubber gloves and starting sorting through the trash to make sure it wasn’t swept up with the meal. Someone got on the ground in their new boots and a dress to sort through lobster shells and refuse in case we missed anything. We went through cloudy puddles, searched under moving trucks, and tore the place apart to track it down.
Which made me feel really guilty when I learned it’d been in my shorts the entire time.
For those out there wondering how I could’ve possibly missed the ring in the very shorts I was wearing, let me assure you—I checked the pockets multiple times. But what I missed (largely because I rarely wore shorts before 2015) was a little secret pocket near my waistline in which 8 PM Casey Palmer had stuffed his ring, apparently knowing that 9 PM Casey would be a complete idiot and lose it otherwise. I mean, all’s well that ends well, and though I’m incredibly sorry for putting everyone through that ordeal, it was a great reminder that there’re still stellar people out there in the world, and we shouldn’t be so quick to forget that. I made sure to thank them all at the bottom of the post if you want to check any of them out!
So if you’re not up to anything this Sunday, you should really consider hitting up Lobstahpalooza! You’ll be treated to an amazingly delicious dinner courtesy of Chef Matt Dean Pettit and the gang, and seriously—we don’t make enough time these days to interact with the people in our communities… we need to stop being so shellfish. (Couldn’t resist.) If you’re interested in attending, click on the image below!
As for me, though I can’t make it due to commitments at church, I know I had a delicious meal with some wonderful people, and learned an important lesson about cherishing good people when you find them… and maybe an even more important one about knowing how many pockets you have on your pants!
Until the next,
Disclaimer and Links
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post by delicious food and copious amounts of ginger beer I will very likely have to start investing in by the gallon if I’m ever to be satisfied. And yes, I assure you—was I in town, I’d find myself in Kensington Market this Sunday getting my nom on with like-minded foodies looking for a good time, great food, and unforgettable company… so why don’t you go in my place?
Live a little! You won’t regret it!
Now, as I said, it took a cast to make this night as memorable as it was, and I have to give credit where credit’s due with some shout-outs!!!
- The Rock Lobster Food Co. and Matty’s Seafood Co. are Chef Matt Dean Pettit and Chris MacNeil
- Rey Pan is the man with the plan, helping to use his love for food and social media expertise to engineer events like this! You can find him on his site, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or of course, his booming Meetup group!
- This event couldn’t have come together without a solid marketing company—Branding & Buzzing is Sean Beckingham and Marian Staresinic.
- You can find info on Branding & Buzzing—their site, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube.
- You can find Sean on his Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts!
- You can find Marian on her Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts!
- And of course, they’re the masterminds behind the creative for Samuel Adams Boston Lager Canada—find them on their Twitter account!
- And of course, I couldn’t wrap this up without a shout-out to my fellow media reps who wanted to make sure the night didn’t end up in a divorce:
- Jenn Decan of Jenn and the City—find her on her site, and her Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube accounts!
- Anna of Food Diva Toronto on Instagram!
- Grace of Phone Eats First on Instagram!
- Hubert of Good Food Toronto on his site, and his Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts!
- Alice of Meet and Eats on her site, and her Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts!
- John of Best of Toronto TV on his Best of Toronto TV profile, or his Instagram and Twitter accounts!
- And finally, you can find Brock McLaughlin, one of the few other people I know in the Toronto scene who’s a narcissist like me with a site dedicated to himself on his site, and his Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts!
And of course, you have me, Casey Palmer, who spends all his time crafting stories because it brings a smile to my face? If you want to see more of what I’m up to, I ain’t hard to find — I’m over on my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts!