What you’ll eat while cheering on the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena

Ahead of the Raptors’ season opener at Scotiabank Arena, the Star was invited to try their new concessions for the first time, including rotis and doubles, pork belly dips, tacos, smoked brisket sandwiches, meringue pie lemon and some very luxurious macaroons. and cheese.

The move makes sense since Raptors fans are as diverse as the city’s culinary scene, so hot dogs and fries are no longer enough.

On the list: Trinidad place Leela’s Roti from Mississauga (and Scarborough); Aloette, the informal branch of the fine-dining restaurant Alo; Cherry St. BBQ oceanfront southern barbecue restaurant; Colibri in the Assembly Chef’s Room; and the west end food cheese emporium Cheese Boutique.

“This year we have 35 new items and (we celebrate) the issue of our partners in the restaurant industry,” said Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) culinary director Chris Zielinski in a preview of the menus for the media. on Tuesday.

Given that the ongoing pandemic hits those who work in restaurants particularly hard, Zielinski later added that it made sense to promote local businesses in a large venue like the stadium. He started approaching restaurants four months ago.

Annie Khan of Leela's Roti prepares doubles at a media preview event for new culinary offerings at Scotiabank Arena.

Leela’s (at level 100, section 110) will offer doubles and a variety of rotis including jerk chicken, chickpea curry and potato, beef curry, and butter chicken. An order of two doubles will cost $ 9.

Co-owner Annie Khan said there’s something universal about the love of basketball and Toronto Islands food, so it makes sense to see doubles and roti on the menu.

Khan said some last minute logistics are still being worked out, so Leela’s food is scheduled to be available on Friday.

Colibris offers simmered chicken tacos with refried beans and a selection of hot sauce.  An order will include two studs.

Chef Elia Herrera from Hummingbird (at level 100, section 119) will bring the flavors of his childhood in the Mexican city of Córdoba downtown with his tacos that include tender chicken braised in charred tomatillo sauce with refried beans, cheese, and a choice of one of all three sauces in your next seasoning line (opt for habanero for adequate but not overpowering spiciness, or chipotle for smoky). An order of two tacos will cost $ 14.

Cheese Boutique owner Afrim Pristine puts Beemster on his Tri-Cheese Mac and Cheese, which is now available at the Scotiabank Arena.  Pictured is sample size for preview, Pristine says actual portion is larger.

the Cheese Shop You already have a few menu items in the sand, but owner Afrim Pristine developed a new mac and cheese (available at level 100, section 104 for $ 14) using Ventagli pasta, a die-cut pasta that has an arch shape and wavy edges ( think mini lasagna sheets). Pristine said she does the best job holding on to the cheese sauce.

The sauce itself is a combination of a three-year-old organic Ontario cheddar, a six-month-old Emmental, and a grass-fed Ontario mozzarella. Each order is finished with a pinch of three year old Dutch Beemster. The result is an ultra-silky, thick sauce cradled and seeped into the crevices and curves of the ventagli.

“The Beemster is the secret weapon,” Pristine said, adding that there will also be a grilled cheese with a combination of Monterey Jack and Munster. “The Beemster is the salt and pepper that make it.”

Aloette's offerings include a slice of their famous cake topped with a graham cracker crust, lemon custard, and a lime meringue on top.  It also serves a shrimp roll served on a milk roll (sample size shown in photo, regular orders will have two shrimp rolls).

AloetteOfferings (at the event level, section 105) include slices of their iconic lemon cake ($ 12), which has been on the menu since the restaurant opened, featuring a lemon curd centerpiece, graham cracker crust, and a lime meringue on top.

There are also shrimp rolls with jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, and purple cabbage served on a milk bun (a lighter, non-fried option for sports fans at $ 18 for two); a wedge salad (it will be cut into smaller pieces for easier eating); and a crispy chicken sandwich.

As for how its fancy sister restaurant Hello there it is doing, the head chef and owner Patrick Kriss said it is booked until the end of November.

Representing the eastern end of the city center is Cherry St. Bar-B-Que (at level 300, Draft Deck, section 313).

Pictured is a sample size half brisket sandwich from Cherry St. BBQ.  The full-size sandwich will cost $ 18.

The restaurant’s Lawrence La Pianta made beef brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, smoked chicken wings, pork ribs (smoked and boneless pork ribs), and chili cheese fries with burnt ends. Plus, a Frito Tarta ($ 9): A bag of American corn chips sliced ​​and topped with smoked skirted beans, cheese, sour cream, and pickled jalapeños.

“Barbecue is very technical and takes a long time to produce,” La Pianta said. “But in 2018 we did a pop-up at the Rogers Center and we learned a lot about numbers and wait times when it comes to cooking on this scale.”

The half brisket sandwich we tried (full size will cost $ 18) is spicier (keep the tray closed) and the Frito cake is a bag of pure American state fair for those who don’t know the taste of CNE.

Seared pork belly with Sriracha-sambal sauce, pickled daikon and coriander on a steamed bun from Noodle Bao's stand.

MLSE’s in-house culinary department created Pork Belly Baos, Braised Beef Baos, Beef Broccoli Udon, and a Chicken Peanut Satay Udon (available from the Noodle Bao booth at level 100, section 107 for $ 14.50 for two).

The baos are stuffed with a 72-hour sous vide pork belly with Sriracha-sambal sauce, kimchi, pickled daikon, and cilantro (the belly was juicy and well-seared, and a throwback to the steamed bao trend that hit town. about a decade ago). behind).

There will also be Poutinerie stands (level 100, section 119 and level 300, section 322) with a vegan mushroom poutine and a barbecue seasoned meat poutine, pico de gallo and chimichurri sauce.

The Raptors will begin the season and host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.


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