Now, I’ve never understood the hatred for Hawaiian pizza. OK, so it might be kinda weird to put fruit on a pizza pie…but how else am I gonna get six servings of fruit a day, bro???
So, we’re hanging out at General Assembly Pizza, this funky little joint where they don’t just put pineapple on a pizza–they pair it with jalapenos and double smoked bacon. This is the Porky Pine:
OK, now let’s break it down. You’re got the crispness of the bacon, a little sweetness from the pineapple, some great big globs of ricotta cheese, along with aged mozzarella…but it’s the jalapenos that really kick it up a notch. This ‘za is super-spicy, bro! I pretty much had to chug seven tallboys just to beat the heat!!! But when their tallboys of Mascot Pilsner are only seven bucks, I just mighta chugged seven tallboys anyways.
Now, who needs peanut butter and jelly when you can have ice cold beer and country music, bro? The fine folks at Whitewater Brewing Co, up in the Ottawa Valley, probably know how to skin a buck and drive a truck, and this juicy little blonde ale has got me rocking a tank top like Kenny Chesney…even in the middle of November!!!
This brew is coming at you hand-crafted with ingredients from the Ottawa Valley. Local hops, malted barley, yeast and water is all you need to make this a nice, crisp, tall drink of beer… And you KNOW she’s always staring at me when I’m chugging along, bro!!!!
Now, I’ve had some legit Nashville hot chicken in Toronto, and I’ve also had the real deal in Nashville, so I definitely know what’s up. Man, even the “medium” will melt your face off at some of these joints! But at the same time, you’ve got these places that just stick “Nashville hot” on stuff that isn’t even spicy. (Nashville hot shrimp, anyone?) So when I saw that Porchetta & Co., this funky little joint on Dundas known for serving up roast pork sammies, had a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect…
Now, don’t get me wrong, this was a pretty tasty sando, bro. The chicken was thick and juicy, the pickles were super-crunchy, you’ve got a nice white bread that dissolves in your hand…but it was definitely not Nashville level spicy. The heat reminded me of a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich. They definitely kick it up a notch in the flavour department, but there ain’t enough heat here to call it Nashville.
Now, I wanted to order a side of Fries Supreme–dude, this is body by Fries Supreme–but it turns out there were all outta cheese sauce…which is like a cardinal sin in Flavourtown. Instead they suggested the poutine, which I would normally be OK with. But once again, this dish wasn’t quite what it was supposed to be. Don’t get me wrong, the fries were chunky and delicious, the gravy was super thick, and they put little bits of crispy pork skin on top, which were TheBomb.it, bro! But those sure as shit ain’t squeaky cheese curds — more like shredded mozza, which is a major letdown. The rest of the equation was solid enough that some real-deal cheese curds would make it too legit to quit, but instead it’s more like Yo!!! Sweetness…
You know me–this is body by chicken wings, bro! And I’m all about finding the best deals on wings in the city, whether it’s hitting up a couple friendly neighbourhood bars on Bloor West, or destroying four pounds of AYCE wings at St. Louis. Now, I’ve been to Southern Accent before for some badass blackened chicken livers, so when I heard they had jerk chicken wings on special on Thursdays, for just eight bucks an order, you KNOW I was ready to get back on that horse, cowboy!!!!
Now, normally when you’re thinking jerk chicken, it’s gonna put a little fire in ya wire. But that was definitely not the case here. On a scale of one to wingsanity, these were pretty mild. But the meat was nice and tender, and the seasoning was quite tasty… Let’s just say they go pretty good with a beer:
Way up high in the atmosphere, it’s Elora Borealis, from the Elora Brewing Co in Elora, Ontario. This pale ale was light, not too bitter, with just a hint of lemony freshness. Now, while they also had specials on bourbon this evening, the beer was not half price–this pint cost me just as much as a whole order of wings, bro!!!!
Now, I’ve never been to Bangkok, but I often rock out to Murray Head’s Greatest Hits on cassette when I’m cruisin’ in the Camaro, so there’s that. And there just so happens to be this funky little joint downtown, just a go-go dance away from Yonge and Dundas, that’s been serving up real-deal Thai food since the early 80’s… Cue the synth flute solo, cuz we’re spending one night in Bangkok Garden, bro!
Of course, if we’re spending one night in Bangkok, you can bet your bottom baht that we ain’t drinking Coors Light! This here’s Singha beer, the original Thai lager since 1933. If you take Molson Canadian, and actually add flavour, it would taste a little something like this. And if you’re gonna crush some spicy Thai food, you might wanna chug a few of these brewskis, bro!!!
Now, this place has got some seriously spicy dishes with some totally awesome names — we’re talking Demon’s Dare (stir-fried chili beef), Neptune’s Nemesis (deep-fried fiery chili fish), Totsakan’s Revenge (red curry fish) and Warrior’s Beef Curry…it’s like their menu was written by Kerry King or something! But since the Camaro doesn’t run on fart juice, I went for something a little less spicy — the grilled seafood satay:
OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got shrimp, mussels and squid…all grilled up and served on a stick — which was also the name of my Meat Loaf cover band in college (I was the varsity tackle). It comes with a side dipping sauce that actually had quite a bit of a kick, and then you’ve got a bed of rice to soak it all up. All that’s missing is the oysters!
Now, porter is probably not my favourite type of beer. I find a lot of them are too gimmicky, too desserty–they taste too much like coffee or chocolate or Guinness. But then I came across these crazy cans at the LCBO, and I figured they’d look good in my fridge…
Yes, this is all the same beer, even if it comes with different artwork. Collective Arts out of Hamilton is all about the local art scene–they even give you music recommendations–on their funky cans of Stranger Than Fiction porter.
Now, even though they do put chocolate in the beer, it’s also got a bit of a pale ale hoppiness to it. Not too much, mind you–you can still taste the molasses, but at least this one tastes like a beer, and not a chocolate milkshake or something…
Now, there’s a few funky Ethiopian joints all over this city, but there’s only one that gets to be called Ethiopian House. This place is actually a house, just off of Yonge Street, that’s been turned into a restaurant, so there’s that. But hey, when you put it right in your name that you’re the home of Ethiopian food, then you know it’s gotta be pretty legit…and when it comes to this classic, pan-fried beef dish, I definitely can’t complain:
Who needs beef ribs when you’ve got beef tibs, bro? OK, so maybe I still need beef ribs, but this dish is pretty tasty. You’ve got lotsa saucy beef bites, sauteed with onions, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes and jalapenos, served up on a great big piece of injera, a magical bread spoon in Flavourtown. Oh, and it also comes with a side salad…which you still eat with your hands for some reason???
Mmm, finger salad…