This event was all about food, and so was the crowd that attended it. As people arrived, lines for food formed, and by 9:30 the queues for Rock Lobster Co. and La Carnita were winding around tables and into eachother. I had to stare a man down, teeth bared (I was chewing a whole cheesecake ball), and point silently to the back of the line. He slunk away, afraid to risk my ravenous wrath. The couple in front of me indicated their support with grumbles and fierce head nods as they gnawed on their own bites of cheesecake. We were hungry. We were here first. We would fight for those lobster tails if necessary. Our primitive natures surfaced with our desire for food.

I recently watched the first five minutes of a movie about our contemporary eating habits. It explained that we are biologically inclined to seek out fat and sugars because until quite recently, we would die during periods of famine if we didn’t bulk up. It said that in western society we no longer go through such periods of feast and famines, and that we need to curb our fat and sugar cravings. AH. NOT LIKELY. I went straight back to cavelady times: Find it. Glance furtively. Devour it. The crowd became hunter/gatherers, sending some friends to grab as many Laura Slack chocolates as they could while the rest guarded their territory in line for Hot Bunzz. I overheard couples mapping out their foraging plans: “You get the lobster bisque, I’ll get the pancake thing, and then we’ll eat them while we’re back in line for that bone marrow dish. Go. Go now.” I also saw a couple feeding each other oysters, but that was just my bad luck.

As soon I gulped down as much food as I could gather, I found that my gluttonous neanderthal eyes were bigger than my two-pairs-of-nylons enclosed stomach. After three rounds of the rich and delicious food, I was way too full—which makes a LOT of sense (refer to “three rounds” and also the first five minutes of that movie). Looking around me, I could see the same feeling setting in for the rest of the crowd. People sat, or leaned, taking a break from the hunt in order to sigh, recognize their present surroundings, and converse with their friends. Some people listened to the band, while others snapped photos of their food for an Instagram contest. The “food as entertainment” gambit could only sustain the crowd for so long. When the thrill of the hunt was over and the food supply trickled away, so did the people. Like many before us, we took everything we could from the event, sapped its resources, and moved on. When the land replenishes itself (the next Toronto Underground Market event is on March 9!), we will returnfor another feast.

Rating: 3/5 Lobster Tails (I ate three lobster tails. Secretly dipped one in a cup of hot chocolate. It was good.)