Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Swatow's Hot Sauce, Nguyen Huong Banh Mi & Emma Goldman

Travelling back the other day to one of my favorite downtown Toronto restaurants, Swatow, I was thrilled to discover that they are now selling their house hot sauce that I love to put heaping spoonfuls of into the Shrimp Dumpling Noodle Soup that I always order when I go there. It is available in jars for $5.

This is a terrific hot sauce -- it was seeking a substitute for it that actually led me to discover the excellent Lao Gan Ma line of hot sauces which I now regularly buy. Swatow's homemade one is very oily, flavorful and slightly smokey. It is also very hot!

Really perfect in a noodle soup or drizzled over a stir-fry. Pick some up next time you are in Chinatown.

Swatow's house hot sauce on a stir-fry I made at home.

Great Banh Mi below...a piece of history above!
With hot sauce in hand I then made my way, as I often do, to pick up some Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwiches from Nguyen Huong Food right across Spadina from Swatow. These are an incredible value at $2.50 for regular or $3.00 for large, and are served on a fresh french style bun filled up with freshly sliced vegetables, assorted sliced meats, a pate, sauce and, if you wish, gloriously hot sliced red peppers. If not having them right then and there (though there is no seating, so you have to find a bench or eat while strolling around) I take them home and they make a perfect late afternoon snack or lunch that or the next day. My kids like to take them for lunch at school.

The shop also carries a whole array of other quick take-out dishes, like assorted meat or shrimp rolls, ready-to-go lunches, buns, etc, all well made and tasty and all at very good prices.

There is another reason to make the trip to Nguyen Huong, however, and this one has an historic and leftist connection!

The shop is located below the apartment that the great Anarchist writer, activist and revolutionary Emma Goldman lived in in the years of 1926-1927.

The city of Toronto has erected a small plaque right in front of the store to acknowledge and commemorate this.

How cool is that!

Swatow is located at 309 Spadina Ave. & Nguyen Huong Food is located at 322 Spadina Ave. 

See also: Swatow Restaurant -- Shrimp Dumpling Noodle Soup & more in the heart of Toronto

See also: Lao Gan Ma Oil Chilli Sauce and steamed dumplings.

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