Toronto Welcomes Foodee Inc. from Vancouver

Rack of lamb prepared by Brassaii
Rack of lamb prepared by Brassaii

What better place to hold Foodee’s welcome launch featuring the best of the best restaurants in downtown Toronto than Brasaii. One could easily miss the place; Brassaii is tucked in an alleyway sandwiched between Crush Wine Bar and The Firkin on King.

I was greeted by the friendly staff at The Mint Agency on October 21, 2014, then ushered into a private room to sample some of the delicacies of The Good Press, Brasaii, Belly Buster, Japango, The Pantry and Butter Avenue, who are part of Foodee.

Foodee is a new food ordering system geared to Toronto offices, who will now be able to place group orders from menus from the city’s best restaurants, including The Pantry, Fresh, Portland Variety, Porchetta & Co., Japango, North of Brooklyn Pizza, and more. Foodee uses biodegradable packaging, low emission delivery methods and has partnered with in-office composting programs to lower its carbon foodprint.


The Good Press

Features fresh pressed organic juices; however, all have some processing with nuts, so they are not ideal for those with nut allergies. I don’t, so I tasted all the juice shots presented.
Ruby Tuesday (beet, carrot, apple, ginger, lemon) was my favourite, but I just can’t get enough beets!
Emerald City (kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, romaine, apple, lemon, ginger) had a warm ginger spiciness.
Cashew Crave (activated cashews, b-grade maple syrup, dates, pure vanilla extract) was very mild. Tasted a little like milk.
Black Beauty (cold pressed apple juice with kale, spirulina, wild blueberries) was good too if you like apple.


Brasaii (coming soon)

Rack of lamb prepared by Brassaii
Rack of lamb prepared by Brassaii

Succulent phe-lamb-enol rack of lamb accompanied by a tasty mint sauce only at Brasaii, but not available to order.
Ravioli with ricotta and mushrooms was buttery, salty, but tasty.
Warm cracker fish tacos were delicious with all the ingredients melding together when warm, but the fish taste was more pronounced if cool.

Fish taco from Brassaii
Fish taco from Brassaii

Belly Buster

I couldn’t believe my belly buster eyes when I saw the submarine sandwich table with my beloved Turkey Bacon sub on white. Belly is a long-time favourite of mine, but I am not as familiar with this location as the one at Yonge near York Mills. This location’s sandwiches are pretty good; however, if you are a connoisseur of the Belly on north Yonge, you will agree that the kids on King Street still need a few tweaks to get their lettuce shredded as finely. The bread had begun to get wet and mushy as tomatoes and mayo will do. I brought this to the attention of one of the Foodee staff and she assured me that the sub would not have time to become soggy for customers; it was just unfortunate that the sandwiches had been sitting on the table for a while.

The Pantry

The meat and cheese were high quality. They will be making sandwiches and meals for Foodee clients.

Japango (coming soon)

Their sushi is one of the best in the city. I tasted the Dynamite and spicy shrimp rolls. My favourite are the shrimp ends!

Spicy shrimp rolls from Japango
Spicy shrimp rolls from Japango

Butter Avenue

Macaroons in all different flavours and colours. As tasty as they are pretty. (Assorted half dozen $16.25)

Pink spotted had a tapioca taste with slight lemon flavour, light and fluffy.
Pumpkin face featured nutmeg and subtle pumpkin mousse filling.
Chocolate tasted heavier, leaving me with a truffle-like rich mouth coating.
Salted caramel salty-sweet=deliciousness!!

I got the opportunity to speak to Corey Shankman, the Toronto City Manager, who started only in September, hiring staff and getting the business up and running. I congratulated him on his ability to swiftly get the business off the ground so quickly. He explained that they currently have four delivery cars, but aim to have twenty cars by the end of this year. They currently have five concierges answering customer calls and orders. I asked what their rationale was in choosing restaurants and Shankman advised me their goal was to choose only the best quality downtown restaurants for corporate catering (not individuals). The locations had to be conducive to getting the food to customers in the downtown core while still hot and fresh. Prices range from $8-14 per meal. All meals are individually packaged in compostable materials. Customers have the option to pick meals from several different restaurants as well, time permitting.

You can order online or by telephone. Foodee will keep a database of past orders including any preferences or food allergies, which will enable them to make recommendations for future orders.

Since Foodee originates in Vancouver, their business model is based on local ingredients, using electric cars/bikes for delivery, individual compostable packaging and caring about the carbon footprint. I spoke to both Corey (a fellow Torontonian) and Ryan Spong (CEO, Founder) about the difference in the Toronto style: while mindful of the environment, we tend to be more concerned about “promptness” and “price”. We joked that Torontonians probably wouldn’t mind a Hummer truck running over a smart car to get our food to us on time!

I mentioned to Judy Wu, Marketing Intern, that very few downtown offices have green bins to dispose of the individual compostable packaging so I asked if they would be picking up the garbage. She said that she would look into that. Christine Overweel, Marketing & Events Coordinator, also came and spoke to me about the event. The staff are all very team oriented and are working together to create this original idea. We wish them all the best!

I wasn’t quite able to get to the bottom of the meaning of the fox in their logo. Cory said it had something to do with foxes foraging for food. On their site it says, “Quick like a fox…we are now here” so perhaps to do with quick service.