Chicken shawarma poutine at Swiss Chalet… Whaaa?

I didn’t even know you could get poutine at Swiss Chalet, but apparently that’s a thing now. And not just any ol’ poutine–they’ve got rotisserie beef poutine, taco poutine and chicken shawarma poutine. Now, you know I love shawarma, and this is body by poutine, bro…so I was gonna hafta try the chicken shawarma poutine, even if i didn’t really expect it to taste like either of those things.

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First of all, it’s safe to say that Swiss Chalet is not roasting this dish on a big shawarma spit. This is basically the regular Swiss Chalet chicken–both white meat and dark meat–pulled off the bird, bro. They lay it out on a bed of Chalet fries with lettuce, tomato, some feta cheese and great big globs of garlic sauce. Dude, Great Big Globs of Garlic Sauce was my nickname as sous chef at Joey Tomatos, bro!!!

Now, while this isn’t quite as good as the chicken shawarma nachos I made a couple years back, it will totally still fill you up. Actually, the Chalet sauce kinda brings everything together. But what really gets me is the lemon pepper seasoning they put on the fries. There’s just a touch too much of it. And I don’t think lemon pepper belongs on poutine–or on shawarma, for that matter. Next time, I might go for the rotisserie beef poutine, instead…


Green shells & octopus at Union Station

So, we’re hanging out at Amano, this funky underground pasta joint beneath a train station in downtown Toronto. For people who don’t speak Eye-talian, they use words that you can understand like Little Ears, Black Trumpets and Pope’s Hat. It’s actually kinda cute. Me, I went with the Green Shells, aka conchiglie. Conchi-whaa???

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got a perfectly cooked, al dente pasta, with some spicy sauce, a bit of basil, chunks of black olives…and a whole lotta octopus, son! Nice chewy, rough ‘n tender octo-meat is what makes it bro! And you know I chowed down this entire dish and still had room for dessert—can you say holy cannoli?

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This Caesar salad eats like a meal—that’s right, I’m eating salad, son!!!

Now, you KNOW I don’t normally eat salad, bro! But back when we were at Wildfire Steakhouse for Winterlicious, one of the Triple B Krew went with the Caesar, and I was like damn, dude… This was the first time in my life I’ve ever been jealous of someone eating salad! So you know I had to go back and get me some!!!

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Now, I don’t normally say this about salad, but this might be the manliest salad I’ve ever seen. You’ve got a great big hunk of grilled romaine, with a nice blackened char, topped with parmesan cheese and a roasted garlic dressing. Then there’s these huge chunks of smoked pork belly bacon and crunchy croutons. Dude, this salad eats like a meal! But you know I still had room for a 20 oz porterhouse afterwards—it’s Steak Night in my piehole, bro!!!!

wildfire_porterhouse_steak (3)Mmm, steak…

Snakes & Lattes?? More like Snakes & Brewskis, bro!!!

There’s nothing better than drinking some beers and playing some board games, bro! So we’re hanging out at Snakes & Lattes, this massive underground gamer heaven on College St, just a nacho run away from Sneaky Dees. This place has got just about every board game you can think of…oh, and their beer menu ain’t bad, either!

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So, we’re starting off with a Cheval Blanc, a nice, citrusy wheat beer from Brasseurs RJ in Montreal. Who needs orange juice when you can have witbier, bro???

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Now, like Johnny Cash once sang, “The beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had one more for dessert.” And when it comes to dessert beer, it doesn’t get much better than a Brown Cow, this funky little milk stout from Calabogie Brewing. If Guinness had a baby with Lions Winter Ale, it might taste something like this!

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Now, I don’t know about you, but when I drink beer, I also like to eat bacon. So this Challah BLT, with bacon, lettuce and tomato on toasted challah bread, served with a side of home fries, that oughtta do the trick!!!

(Oh, and I totally kicked ass at Hungry Hungry Hippos, bro!!!)

Stuffin’ my face full of steak frites @ Bacchanal

Now, I don’t know if you know this, but I like steak. I can eat a lot of it. For me, a nice steak dinner is a real-deal Alberta meal, but when I found this funky French joint that’s serving up steak ‘n fries from P.E.I., I was like, shut the back door, bro!!!

So we’re hanging out at Bacchanal, this funkalicious orgy of French flavourness on Sudbury St, in that no-man’s land between Liberty Village and West Queen West. This place has definitely got some funky dishes–escargot, confit pork shoulder, even Icelandic cod, but I was here for two reasons only: drink some beers, and eat some steak, son!!!

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This eight-ouncer was cooked on the rare side of medium-rare, slathered in Asian five-spice, and served with a hunka-hunka butter on top. Dude, Hunka-Hunka Butter is my stripper name, bro! The fries were thin, crisp and super-salty, so it’s a good thing they came with a massive side serving of donkey sauce! After slamming this steak, I almost didn’t have room for dessert…but I did have room for beer!

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This Woodhouse Brewing Co. Stout is kinda like Guinness…except it comes in a can, and they serve it in a fancier glass. You’ve got a dark, slightly chocolately taste that’s blacker than a banker’s heart, and it definitely goes great with steak, dude!!!!

Eating all the tacos @ Tallboys

Man, Taco Tuesday is probably my favourite day of the week-even though we can’t call it that anymore because Taco Time owns the trademark. But that don’t stop me from eating tacos non-stop, bro! So, we’re hanging out at Tallboys, this friendly neighbourhood craft beer joint around Bloor and Ossington, where they’ve got six different tacos on Tuesdays for four bucks a pop.

But man, making me choose between tacos is like asking me to pick my favourite player from the 1989 Calgary Flames. OK, so it’s Lanny McDonald, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. So that’s why I ordered all six:

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These tacos have got everything from pork to chicken to fish, beans to mushrooms to chili. But in this case, if I had to pick a favourite, it would hafta be the fish taco:

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Man, this fish taco is festival of funk in Flavourtown! You’ve got a tasty piece of basa, with a light, yet crispy Steam Whistle beer batter, stuffed inside a corn tortilla with salsa, guac and a nice crunchy slaw. Dude, next time I think I’ll just order six of these…and at least one of everything else!

Alberta Lamb: It’s the other red meat!

Now, when you enter Alberta, there’s this great big sign that says Welcome to Beef Country…or at least there will be after Jason Kenney gets elected. Growing up in Calgary, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be eating steak, but one thing I’d never heard of before was Alberta lamb. I thought all lambs came from New Zealand, or something…

So, now we’re hanging out at Montecito, this funky upscale joint just a stage cigarette pass away from the Royal Alexandra, Scotiabank Theatre and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. This place is owned by Ivan Reitman, the man who brought you Stripes and Ghostbusters, so you know it’s gotta be good! And on the menu, they’re serving up Canadian culinary classics like Quebec Venison, Fogo Island Cod…and Alberta Lamb Sirloin.

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Now, you KNOW I love lamb, bro, but this might be the greatest lamb dish in Flavourtown history! You’ve got these thick, tender slices of lamb steak, served medium rare, with lamb sausage, navy beans and chunks of bacon–dude, Chunks of Bacon was my nickname in culinary school! About the only thing that could make this better is if you added some wild mushrooms on the side… Oh, wait!!!

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Now, you know that after slamming down a 36-dollar lamb dinner, this cowboy’s still got room for dessert. And this sweet treat is brought to you by the StayPuft Marshmallow Man himself:

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Say hello to my little friend StayPuft Semifreddo. I’m pretty sure he had a small role in The Godfather, Part III. What you’ve got here is a chocolate ganache, with graham-cracker crumbs and a whole buncha marshmallow fluff on the side. Dude, this is body by marshmallow fluff, bro!!!!