EATING LAS VEGAS: Losing my In-n-Out virginity with a 4×4 burger!

In-n-Out Burger might be one of the most iconic burger joints in America…but we still don’t have any of them anywhere close to Canada, so when I found out there was one just off the Vegas strip, about a 15-minute walk from my hotel, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!

And here on Triple B, we’re all about go big or go home. So while the Double Double might be the most popular item on the menu, I’m doubling down on that with a 4×4, son!!!!

in-n-out_4x4_burger (5)

Now, when I ordered the burger, they told me it comes with 4 slices of cheese, and asked if that was OK. We’re not big on substitutions here on Triple B, so I just went with it. But it turns out that’s a LOT of cheese — even with the burger paper soaking up some of it, there was still all kinds of cheese oozing off this bad boy!

Oh, and I also ordered it Animal Style, cuz that’s the way to do it, apparently. I can’t say I noticed that there was mustard grilled into the meat, but the pickles, grilled onions and extra spread made things super messy — it almost needed an actual diaper instead of just a burger diaper, bro!!!

animal_style_fries (10)

On the other hand, I’m not so sure that Animal Style goes great on fries. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve eaten some ridiculously overloaded fries in my day…but there was just so much of that signature sauce on here, and it doesn’t taste as good on cheese fries as it does on a burger IMO.

in-n-out_aftermath (4)

Now my biggest surprise was how small this thing actually was — it easily fit into my mouth without too much smooshing — and it was pretty filling, but not uncomfortably so. The second biggest surprise was the price… Dude, a Quad Quad will only set ya back $7.55 and this whole meal, with Animal Fries and a drink was less than 15 dollars. You’re not getting a deal like that anywhere on the Strip, son!!!!

EATING LAS VEGAS: Trash can nachos & cheeseburger tacos @ Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho

Now, I had already been to Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Kitchen & Bar, but when I heard that he opened this funky Mexican joint at the Rio, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro! Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho is only open for dinner, and they don’t take reservations, so I totally had to be first in line…well, actually third in line, but good enough?

I walk into this joint right when they open the doors to the tune of “Breaking the Chains” by Dokken, followed by “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” so I already knew this was gonna be a good night!!! Soundtrack is all 80’s metal — Judas Priest, Tesla, Accept, Quiet Riot… Better start charging me rent, cuz I think I might stick around!!!!!!!

trash_can_nachos (9)

Of course, the main reason to come here is for the Trash Can Nachos, which come inside an actual trash can (or at least a coffee can; I ordered the small version). These chips are topped with beans, jalapeños, pickled onions, pico de gallo and two types of cheese — cotija and queso — plus you can pay extra to add meat (I went with carne asada). Now, while its presentation is TheBomb.com, you end up with some chips that get all the goodies, and others that get nothing at all. Hey, these are no Sneaky Dee’s nachos, but still not bad, bros!!!

cheeseburger_tacos (4)

Up next, we’ve got some cheeseburger tacos. Who else but Guy Fieri would combine cheeseburgers and tacos, bro??? Ok, so these are basically your typical ground beef tacos, topped with a whole lotta queso — but I’d still put it on a flip-flop!!!

burro_borracho_churros (2)

Of course, even Guy Fieri knows that no Mexican meal would be complete without churros, bro! And man, these were some of the best churros I’ve ever had (the Mexican chocolate sauce was 2 legit 2 quit!) but there were enough churros here to feed a family of cuatro, cinco, cinco, seis… You KNOW I still scarfed em all down, though!!!!!

burro_churros_aftermath (3)

Washed it all down with a couple pints of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. Nice ‘n hoppy, pretty heavy (7%) — soaks up all that Mexican food nicely! I almost died in my pants on the way back to my hotel, though… 😮

ballast_point_sculpin_ipa (3)

EATING LAS VEGAS: The buffet to end all buffets…

Dude, now that the USA is finally letting fully vaxxed Canucks back in, it’s time for Triple B to go on our first Flavourtown Roadtrip since 2019! And what better place than Sin City, baby!? We’ve crammed two weeks’ worth of high-end eating into the U.S. Thanksgiving long weekend…and we’ll be rolling it out on the blog over the next two weeks, bro!!!!

Now, the last time I was in town, I tried to get a table at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace — but even at 9 am on a Sunday, the line was over 90 minutes long (I ended up at the Flamingo instead). So this time, making a reservation was one of the first things I did when I booked this trip — 5:30 pm was the latest time they had available. But hey, that just gives me more time to digest?

With international food stations representing Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Middle Eastern, Italian and Mexican food, along with roast beef and turkey carving stations, a seafood bar and an entire section of desserts, you can’t possibly eat it all in 90 minutes. In fact, you’ll probably fill up before your time’s up. Me, I was outta there in an hour…but not before polishing off five plates of food.

Plate 1: BBQ pork, fried rice, kalbi beef, Wagyu hot dog, pork skewers, crab rangoon, lechon

The Asian stations were the closest to where I was sitting, so I started off there — and probably grabbed too much pork, what with the pork skewers, BBQ pork and Filipino lechon. All that was missing was the bacon, bro!

Plate 2 (right): Pepperoni pizza, pozole, cheese tortellini, pretzels, blue cheese, pita bread

Now what sets this buffet apart are the side quests — dishes that already come pre-plated on their own little plates, so you can’t really pile them up on top of your plate with all the other stuff on it. So that’s how I ended up bringing two plates back to my table at the same time…

Plate 3: falafel, chips n guac, Mexican street corn

Of the side quests, the highlight had to be the Mexican corn station. They had a guy roasting corn on a spinning grill, and topping it to order with your choice of toppings — I just went with butter and Mexican cheese, which is really all you need…

Plate 4: Prime rib, stuffing, potato salad, shrimp, mussels

Now, even though they had turkey, brisket and ribs at the carving stations, it wouldn’t be a buffet for me without prime rib, bro! And while there were plenty of people who pretty much just filled up on crab legs, I didn’t even take one. (Gimme crab cakes over crab legs any day!!!) But I did make this a surf ‘n turf plate by grabbing some shrimp and mussels, though…

Dessert: confetti cupcake, red velvet cake, macaroons, pumpkin pie

Now, at this point I was getting pretty full. I had to limit myself to only five desserts, bro! Man, I actually think I set a record for steps on my Apple Watch that day…but let’s just say I didn’t lose any weight after this buffet. 😉

I’m about to bite into some bison balls, bro!!!

You know me, this is body by meatballs, son! So when I heard that The Drake Hotel was serving up bison meatballs as part of their fall/winter menu, you KNOW I’m gonna be there with balls on, bro!!!!

drake_hotel_bison_meatballs (4)

They may not be the same size as the balls on a buffalo, but there’s nothing wrong with these round mounds of meat, topped with grated cheese, swimming in a sea of marinara with some little polenta croutons on the side — dude, Lil’ Polenta Croutons is my rap battle name, bro!!!!

drake_hotel_pumpkin_ravioli (3)

Now, I probably couldda stuffed at least twice as many balls down my piehole, but I wanted to save room for another fall/winter seasonal classic — pumpkin ravioli. The last time I had this dish was almost four years ago, in Yorkville, and it’s even better than I remembered! Pasta is cooked perfectly, and you get a nice, meaty texture with just enough spice to remind you that you’re eating pumpkin. Plus, they’re topped with all kinds of crazy stuff like fermented cashew brown butter, parsnip purée, crispy sage and hemp-seed parm — shut the front, back and side doors!!!!

midtown_brewing_kolsch (4)

Washed it all down with a couple pints of County Kolsch from Midtown Brewing Company. This light, cripsy boi goes down nice and smooth, with little to no aftertaste — unlike that pumpkin ravioli. 😛

Hummus royale…without cheese.

Now, you KNOW I loves me some Middle Eastern food — dude, this is body by shawarma, bro! So when I heard that Byblos, this funky Eastern Mediterranean joint in the Entertainment District, was fully reopened for business, I had to come in and check it out. They actually don’t serve shawarma here, but you can get a short rib kebab, roasted lamb shoulder or wagyu brisket pide, among other things. But me, I’m gonna go for the wagyu beef in this funky little first course, hummus royale.

byblos_hummus_royale (6)

Basically, what you’ve got here is hummus, topped with wagyu ground beef, pine nuts and barberries — say what now? Plus, it comes with these little pieces of Persian barbari flatbread for dipping. These little bread chunks don’t dip as easily as a pita, but I guess they’re more authentic, eh?

byblos_hummus_royale (8)

But you know that hummus was just a light snack in Flavourtown — now it’s time for some Middle Eastern fried chicken!!!

middle_eastern_fried_chicken (2)

When they told me there were five pieces to an order, I figured it would be a decent-sized dinner — but these are more like boneless chicken bites, bro. Still pretty tasty, topped with tahini, za’atar herbs and with some spicy shug hot sauce on the side — I definitely needed to eat all those pickles to cool my mouth down, son! And hey, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, right?

hazelnut_chocolate_mousse (1)

Dude, this hazelnut chocolate mousse is some next-level shit. It’s got that rich, chocolately taste, but there’s also some Middle Eastern spices, a bit of coffee syrup, edible flowers and a couple crunchy wafer cookies sticking out of the top. This dessert was the best part of the whole meal, bro!!!!

Who needs porchetta when you can have lambchetta, bro???

Now, if porchetta isn’t my favourite sandwich, it’s gotta be somewhere in the top 10. You’ve got tender pork belly, crispy pork skin, with maybe some mustard or rapini on a bun… You can’t go wrong with that, son! So when I heard that Marked, this funky South American joint around the corner from the Scotiabank Theatre, was serving up something called lambchetta — which is pretty much the same thing, except with lamb — you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!!

marked_guasacaca_dip (6)

We’re starting off with some guasacaca, a Venezuelan avocado dip. Holy guacamole, bro! But while guac is chunkier, guasa is more creamy, with big bites of onion that make it more like an avocado relish. I’d still put that on a sandalia de playa, though!!!!

marked_lambchetta (18)

But now it’s time for the lamb event! This lamb belly is grilled on the churrasco till it’s nice and tender, and served on a bed of green olive puree. There’s not a lotta crispy skin here, and you can’t get it as a sandwich, but other than that… I can’t complain!

marked_feijoada (11)

They mighta replaced pork with lamb in that last dish, but we’ve got yer little piggy right here, bro! We’re scarfing down a side of feijoada, Brazil’s national dish, a hot ‘n hearty stew with pork hock, chorizo and black beans, bro! Last time I had this dish, it was served with white beans, but me, I like my beans how I like my metal — blackened progressive sludge, son!!!!

marked_jellyvision (6)

Now, this here’s what they call a Jellyvision. You’ve got a pint of Bellwoods Jelly King dry hopped sour beer, and a shot of Blanco Tequila, infused with toasted cinnamon and szechuan. The sour fruitiness of the beer plays off against the warm, rich kick of tequila…although you only get the full experience for a few sips. (Let’s just say I switched to an IPA after this.)

marked_alfajores (4)

But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro!!! This here’s their crazy spin on alfajores, a South American classic. These are usually sandwich-style cookies, a cross between an Oreo and Jos Louis…but their version is clearly something completely different — a cross between a cake and a chocolate bar. It’s still got a whole lotta layers, though:

marked_alfajores (7)

What we’ve got here is chocolate hazelnut cake, buttercream, banana caramel and chocolate mousse, with a scoop of banana ice cream on the side. But even with all these different things, you mostly taste the banana. Dude, that’s bananas… and bananas is good!!!!

Steak & Eggs Benedict, hold the English muffin…

Now, I don’t usually get up in time for breakfast…unless there’s a whole lotta meat involved. So we’re hanging out at Siempre Restaurant, this funky little joint on Front Street, just a Marcus Semien longball away from Rogers Centre. This place is only open for breakfast and lunch — they close at 4 pm, bro! And while they’re serving up all kinds of classics like omelettes, waffles, parfaits and seven kinds of eggs benny, I got my mind set on steak, Bro-rge Harrison!!!!

siempre_steak_eggs_benedict (8)

OK, so this wasn’t the greatest steak I’ve ever had; it’s pretty much the kinda meat you get at the grocery store. But the eggs were nicely poached, the Hollandaise was super-creamy…and the hash browns are what makes it!!!!

siempre_hash_browns (4)

Dude, I could slam these french-fried potaters any day, Sling Bro-de! Perfectly crispy, lightly seasoned… You could make a flip-flop outta these hash browns, wear it to the beach, put it in the sand and it would still taste good!!!!!

Dim sum for dinner @ Dasha!

Now, you KNOW I loves me some dim sum, bro! Dude, I once doubled down on chicken corn soup, shrimp rolls, shrimp cakes and siu mai from Dim Sum King — and that was just for breakfast! Of course, dim sum is usually the first meal of the day, so when I saw that Dasha, this funky joint on King West, was doing dim sum for dinner, I figured I should probably check it out…

dasha_steamed_pork_buns (3)

Dude, these steamed pork buns were actually steaming, bro! (They put some dry ice on the plate below to give all their dim sum dishes that extra-smokey effect.) These were a bit different than your typical BBQ pork buns, though — for one thing, the pork wasn’t BBQ, but rather a ground pork mix that might make more sense in a spring roll. But they don’t actually have spring rolls on the menu, so…

dasha_hargow_shrimp_dumplings (15)

Ain’t nothing wrong with these har gow, doe! These simple shrimp dumplings were coming in so hot, they’ll melt your face off — you almost hafta take ’em outta the basket to let ’em cool down before you chow down. I guess some people might need 2-3 bites to finish these, but you KNOW they’re heading down my piehole whole, bro!!!!

dasha_scallop_shumai (3)

Now, it’s time for something a little bit different. Siu mai might be one of the most classic dim sum dishes, but here at Dasha, they’re funking it up a notch with these scallop siu mai. Instead of pork, they double down on the seafood with shrimp and scallops — dude, I don’t think I’ve eaten this much shrimp since that one time, at Dim Sum King

And they don’t even have dessert here, except for fortune cookies. My fortune said “Be open for an exciting opportunity…in bed!” 😛

This Korean BBQ joint actually cooks the meat for you…

Now, I don’t always do Korean BBQ, cuz I’m like, why go to a restaurant that makes you cook your own food, dude? But we’re hanging out at Mapo Korean BBQ, right in the heart of Koreatown, where the servers actually slice and cook the meat for you — I can go for that! Man, this place has got autographs on the wall from all the big Korean baseball stars like Hyun Jin Ryu, Ji-Man Choi and Alek Manoah…who might not be Korean, but I’m sure he can destroy a whole buncha grilled meat, boi!!!

mapo_pork_belly (4)

We went for Combo D, which combines beef brisket, ribeye, pork neck, mushrooms and two kinds of pork belly — this here’s the skinny kind. You also get complimentary cheesy corn, egg, and a whole lotta banchan (side dishes) like kimchi and macaroni salad.

mapo_ribeye_steak (10)

While you can’t go wrong with pork three ways — Pork Three Ways was the name of my Primus cover band, bro! — the ribeye steak is what makes it. They blowtorch this baby with propane and propane accessories, then cut it into pieces so you can serve yourself. Mine was still a nice medium-rare…

mapo_beef_short_ribs (9)

But there wasn’t quite enough beef to go around, so we also ordered some short ribs a la carte. Unfortunately, the place got really busy, so we were left to grill them ourselves, and they came out extra crispy. But I would still put that on a flip-flop…because even burned beef ribs taste better than a sandal, son!!!!!

BBQ beef brisket burger @ Beertown, bro!!!

Dude, Beertown Public House is pretty much my new favourite place on the planet. Their beer selection is TheBomb.ca, bro! Now, last time we were here, I chowed down on nachos, chips ‘n guac and some soft-baked pretzel sticks…but now I’m heading back to check out their burger selection. Somwhere there’s a BBQ Brisket Burger with my name on it!!!! More on that in a sec, though…

beertown_pretzels+dip (2)

Now, last time we were here, we discovered that you could get two pretzel sticks with a side of mustard for $1.99. But I even said that next time I was gonna go for the full-sized pretzel…and I did! Turns out that it isn’t actually a whole pretzel though; you just get a handful more pretzel sticks, along with some beer cheese dip — dude, this is body by beer cheese dip! I’d put that on a snow boot, bro!!!!

beertown_bbq_brisket_burger (16)

But now it’s time for the main event… Say hell to ma lil’ friend, BBQ Brisket Burger. This bad boy is topped with Monterey Jack, coleslaw, chips, chipotle donkey sauce and an ancho chili BBQ sauce — it’s a mess and a half! And of course, there’s the brisket. I wasn’t a big fan of the beef brisket nachos last time, but this brisket had a lot more texture and flavour. I guess sticking brisket in a nacho oven is no bueno, bro! Oh, and I would definitely smash this burger again!!!!!

youngs_double_chocolate_stout (10)

Of course, we ain’t about to walk into Beertown and order a Coors Light, son! This here’s Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, coming straight outta England… Not gonna lie, I was expecting more chocolately richness, but it basically tastes like a Guinness — not that there’s anything wrong with that.

merit_theres_always_room (3)

And because There’s Always Room for more beer, this key lime pie sour from Merit, coming straight outta Hamilton, will do nicely for dessert. 😉

1 2 99