I've been hanging out on Corso Italia this past week, starting with last Sunday's World Cup party (including dins at The Big Ragu) and then dinner at Da Gianni e Maria on Friday night. I'll do a separate post with my restaurant reviews but for now, I wanted to write about the Salsa on St. Clair festival- the annual (though I've never heard of it before) Latin/South American street party on St. Clair between Christie and Winona.
The festival started on Friday evening and ran all day yesterday as well. Within a 10 or so block span, there was a main stage with rotating musicians, a mariachi band, dj's and radio station booths, a bunch of percussionists, plenty of sexy salsa dancers and...lots of street chow. The lines were huge - and it was hot! - but we persevered and enjoyed some amazing bean and cheese papusas, some good pork and beef tacos from the Mariachi restaurant and some splendiferous artery-clogging churros - hot and fresh from the fryer and dusted with icing sugar from one place and rolled in cinammon sugar at the other - yes, we lined up twice for these. YUMMMMM! There were also loads of places selling empanadas, gyros, souvlaki, roast pork and steaks. We did try the bbq'd steak, rice and salad from one tent but alas, far too much effort in the way of biting, tearing and plastic knife cutting was required to break that meat up - possibly the toughest cut of meat I have ever tried. And when I did manage to get a bite, it badly needed salt - yuk.
But apart from that little chow letdown and the fact that there was virtually no place to go to the bathroom, it was a very fun and yummy night. Highly recommended for next year.