The Junction has recently taken on the theme “If we build it they will come”, the most famous line from Field of Dreams. A bit off the beaten path, this area has been overshadowed by others in Toronto which have more established destinations, better parking and more convenient transit access. Most vendors along Dundas West will state that the local community keeps business alive but they would more than welcome a larger crowd moving forward. This optimism has resulted in an explosion of new eateries, from small sandwich shops and coffee shops to hipster destinations such as the Farmhouse Tavern and the Indie Alehouse Brewing Co.
Humble beginnings is a modest joint which focuses on quick meals and catering in addition to coffee and baked goods. Although the lion share of the menu is dedicated to dishes with a focus from local meat, poultry and fish suppliers, special attention is given to vegan and gluten free options as well. I popped in around lunch, so I leaned more toward the soup and sandwich menu as opposed to the larger entrees.
The soup of the day was pumpkin served with apple croutons (which were essentially dried apple rings). It was absolutely delicious. Small bits of fragrant ginger were like pop rocks within a smooth slurry of wonderfully seasoned pumpkin. The apple added a morsel of sweetness and chewiness which was a pleasant contrast. For around $5, it was a large portion. I also appreciated the fact that it was heated to order on a gas stove as opposed to drawn out of a luke warm cauldron with an unknown start time.
As for the sandwich (or as they put it… got to run, but it on a bun), I opted for the grilled chicken with a cherry chili aioli. It was a simple concoction of nicely cooked although a flimsy amount of chicken. What it lacked in content it made up for in flavour, dressed with a tornado of sweet and heat matched with a blanket of peppery arugula. Although the bun was a bit mediocre, in the end it was a decent sandwich. I found $11 a bit steep but not asinine.
Humble beginnings is exactly that…humble. It attempts to serve fresh and locally sourced foods without a lot of noise. In addition for those looking for fresh food options, consideration is given to vegans and those with gluten sensitivity. There aren’t animal heads hanging on the wall or house music blaring in the background. All the dishes are under 15 bucks, the sandwiches under $11 and include a pleasant array of all things that grow. swim or walk. The soup was delicious and the sandwich was satisfying. By itself, it isn’t Field of Dreams in the sense that it won’t bring bleachers of patrons into the Junction, but it’s certainly a building block in this growing community’s attempt to attract the otherwise trend centric foodies looking for the newest place to swing a bat.