Monthly Archives: April 2016

Can one man survive five of Ontario’s unhealthiest meals?

You may not have heard about it yet, but a new Ontario law will force restaurants with more than 20 locations to include calorie counts on their menus, starting next year. They’ll also be forced to “flag” items that are high or very high in sodium. Some people want them to go even further, by putting a food wheel on the menu, including sodium, sugar and saturated fat. Man, I could spin that thing for hours—here’s hoping I land on saturated fat!

Now, we’ve still got another seven months before these rules kick in, but why wait till 2017 to increase your calorie count? Me, I’m starting next week, with five of Ontario’s unhealthiest meals. Keep checking this page for updates as I chow down all week!

Sunday: Milestones’ Prime Rib Hash (1,990 calories, 1,770 mg sodium)

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Now, I know hash is usually made up of whatever’s left in the fridge after a big family dinner, but I still wanna know who came up with this recipe—seems like somebody went on a tequila bender with Anthony Bourdain till 2 am.


Monday: Boston Pizza’s Smoky Mountain Spaghetti and Meatballs (1,760 calories, 2,820 mg sodium)

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These balls are so big, bro, that I had to cut ‘em in quarters—quarters!—before I shoved em down my piehole. And I’ve scarfed many a meatball in one bite, so that’s saying something!!!


Tuesday: Jack Astor’s Spicy Shrimp Fajitas (1,305 calories, 3,481 mg sodium)

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Honestly, my only complaint about this dish was the mini tortillas they were served with. I like eating my fajitas like a wrap, not a taco, bro! That being said, I still finished five of them…


Wednesday: The Keg’s sesame tuna (582 calories, 3,928 mg sodium)

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The Keg’s sesame tuna is more like a light snack, with only 582 calories. But this dish more than makes up for it in sodium. Health Canada says we should only eat 1,500 mg of sodium a day, so I got almost three times my daily dose in just one meal, bro!


Friday: The Burger’s Priest’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (I don’t even wanna know!)

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What you’ve got here are two cheeseburgers and two cheese-stuffed mushrooms served between two grilled-cheese sandwiches. Dude, this burger is cheesier than a Poison reunion tour with Enuff Z’Nuff and Firehouse opening!


THROWBACK THURSDAY: That time I ate poutine at McDonald’s

(Originally written December 19, 2013)

Now, one sign of a good poutine is a thick, meaty fry, so when McDonald’s announced it was adding poutine to its menu–following in the footsteps of Wendy’s, Burger King, and most other fast-food franchises in this country–it seemed like pretty much the worst idea ever.  After all, McDonald’s renowned salt-rockets are about as thin a fry as you’ll find in a cardboard pouch.  Dump a small bag of cheese curds and some not-warm gravy on top, and you get this:

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You’ll notice that the curds aren’t remotely close to melting.  That’s cuz they took ’em straight out of a sealed plastic bag and pumped some cold gravy on top.  I mean, I wasn’t expecting sauce en canne, but at least Burger King keeps its poutine sauce warm enough that it actually melts the cheese.  All this stuff did was make my thin, yet deadly, fries soggy–which is kinda gross.  In any case, the curds had good flavour, but they didn’t exactly squeak in my mouth.  And what was up with that gravy!?  Man, I’d even take KFC’s artery-busting lumps of doom over this.  You can really tell that McDonald’s has never used gravy on any other menu item before, put it that way.

Of course, I didn’t have high hopes for this dish; I was really only trying it in the name of science.  Cuz hey, there are really only three types of people who buy McDonald’s: students, the homeless and parents of small children.  Let’s just say that if this serves as your kids’ first taste of poutine, they’ll probably never want to eat it again…

…which just means more crise cardiaque sur une assiette for the rest of us.

McDonald’s has finally found a suitable successor to the Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Man, even when I was a kid I wasn’t a huge Big Mac fan. I grew up on Chicken McNuggets, before I discovered the since discontinued Crispy Chicken Sandwich. That burger was, bro! You had breaded chicken, a whole buncha mayo, lettuce and tomato on a bakery bun. Dude, this is body by Crispy Chicken Sandwich!

But now they don’t make ‘em anymore. Every once in a while though, McDonald’s rolls out a premium chicken product for a limited time offer. I thought the CBO was only OK, but this new sandwich, the 12, is a 10 in my books, bro!

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OK, let’s break it down. You start with a crispy chicken breast (you could get it grilled, but why bother, bro?) and add a tasty slice of Swiss cheese. Glop on some “Applewood seasoned sauce,” which is like tangy mayo with a kick, and toss some lettuce and tomato between a double-seeded bun. That’s right, this one’s got both poppy and sesame seeds, son! This deluxe chicken sandwich is about to make a merger with my piehole!

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Can you say Merger, Merger, Chicken Burger?

Wahlburgers’ turkey club is a wicked hahd slapshaat to the taste buds!

So, I haven’t really been watching much hockey this month cuz no Canadian teams are in the playoffs. You know who else isn’t in the playoffs this year? Boston. Mark Wahlberg would surely be disappointed if he wasn’t busy filming Transformers 7 somewhere deep in the heart of Hamilton.

OK, so I don’t think they’ve started filming that one yet. But a few of Marky Mark’s funky films were made in TO, which is why we’ve also got the only Wahlburgers outside of America. There’s even one at Pearson airport now, but I ain’t flying to the Stanley Cup Finals this year… so I took off to the one downtown, where I had this massive slab of Milan Lucic-approved turkey:

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Doesn’t it look just like him? You’ve got not one, but two patties of lean ground turkey, topped with bacon, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato and both salsa and guacamole. It’s like a fiesta in a bun, bro! Only thing is, there was nothing holding the two patties together, so they were slip-sliding all over the place. I needed like eleventy napkins when I was eating this! But wait, that’s not all…

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These super-stringy onion ringies are Chuck Swirsky approved. All that’s missing is the salami and cheese. Which would actually make a nice appetizer, dontcha think?

FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY FRIDAYS: Can corn be a meal in itself?

(Originally written May 8, 2014)

Today, I ate from a food truck that only served corn. Let’s see, they had corn salad, corn soup, Mexican corn—as seen above, topped with feta cheese and a paprika-heavy spice mix. The kernels were sweet and fresh, while the toppings made things interesting. And though that might not look like a very big bowl, I can attest it contains about a full cob’s worth.

I don’t always eat salad, but when I do, I put a buncha bacon in it!

OK, so here’s the deal. Sometimes, after chowing down on three kinds of BBQ, lobster nachos and a 67-ounce steak, I need something light and leafy, that actually has vegetables. But hold the queeno bro, cuz this ain’t no health food:

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What we’ve got here is some chicken breast, cucumbers, swiss cheese, a hard-boiled egg in the middle and about three full slices of bacon. Cuz hey, the only way I’ll eat lettuce is if it’s touching bacon. Now, I’ve had some manly salads in my day, but this one’s definitely right up there. I’d even eat it off a beach sandal!


How to make a better Swiss Mushroom Melt than Harvey’s

As far as limited-time offers go, Harvey’s swiss mushroom melt is far superior to its puketastic pulled-pork sandwich. (Trust me, you should be glad you missed it.) But it’s still not next-level, shut-the-front-door, supercalifragilsitic burger bliss, bro. So I’ve decided to make me a better one.

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So, I started with these Butcher’s Cut beef burgers, which were on sale at Longo’s. I don’t always buy frozen burgers, but when I do, I fry ‘em up in a goddamn pan:

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Now, once I got the burgers cooked on one side, I drop the cheese on top, so it melts right in. They don’t do this at Harvey’s, but they should, cuz it makes shit taste better. I also chuck some mushrooms into the pan, although I don’t think it makes much difference, cuz they came out of a can.

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Now, that’s a pair of pretty good burgers right there, but hold on to yer seatbelts, cuz I’m about to kick it into overdrive! I’m adding some jala-at-yer-pino peppers and some crunchy Rold’s Gold pretzels to take these burgers to the next level:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got some nice backyard BBQ flavour from the beef, with some melty, chewy cheese, a little heat from the peppers, and an added crunch from the pretzels. I’ve also added some honey garlic BBQ sauce for just a little bit of sweetness. Dude, this dish takes Harvey’s down to downtown Flavourtown, flips it upside down, and goes back up for the rebound. These burgers are bananas, bro, and bananas are good!

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What to do when you don’t know what kinda BBQ you want

So, we’re hanging out at Breakwall BBQ & Smokehouse, this funky neighbourhood joint in The Beaches, where they actually took this little house, and turned it into a BBQ hut. Man, this place has everything: beef brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs…it’s hard to pick a favourite among so many great dishes, so why not try ‘em all? This is what they call the Indecisive Sampler:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got super tender, smoky brisket, ribs that literally fall off the bone, a pile of juicy pork—and some fries and coleslaw in the background. You can actually choose any two sides, including carrot sticks and quinoa, but why eat quinoa when you can eat fries, bro?

They’ve also got some solid side sauces, like a zesty horseradish aioli and a tangy house BBQ for dipping. Dude, I would so dip my face in a vat of that BBQ sauce! There was so much food on this plate that I had to eat a bunch in order to fit everything into one picture, so here you go:

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And believe it or not, but I still had room for dessert!

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Maple bacon beer comes to Canada

(Originally written May 30, 2012)

Yes indeedy, Rogue brewery’s infamous Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale is now available at the LCBO!  Picked some of this stuff up last nite, as a matter of fact.  The clerk thought I was crazy, but you know what?  It’s actually pretty good.

The first thing you notice is the maple flavour.  You can both smell and taste it on the first gulp.  It’s kinda like going to a cabane à sucre in Quebec where they leave a big vat of maple syrup at your table and the idea is to pour some on everything.  Hey, when in Rome, right?

There also is a subtle hint of smokiness, but truth be told, even if it was brewed with real bacon, this beer doesn’t taste like piggy.  It’s got a smoky, wood aftertaste that reminded me of Sam Adams, and while I’ve only had Rogue Dead Guy ale once when I was in Portland a couple years back, I recall its colour being similar to this stuff.

Although listed as a “strong beer,” at 5.6 per cent alcohol, it’s not enough to knock you out.  A 750 ml bottle, while listed as one pint, was also enough to fill two of those glasses pictured above.

Final Verdict: I gotta say, even if it didn’t taste like bacon, this brew wasn’t too bad.  I might buy another bottle to have with dinner on a hot summer night, or maybe bring a couple of these to be the toast of a party.  BTW, I must say this stuff paired nicely with the evil concoction I threw together for dinner:


That’s bacon poutine from Smoke’s Poutinerie, with some Hostess Hickory Sticks on top for that extra smoky kick.  Mmm, bacon…

I almost destroyed this chicken souvlaki pizza

Sometimes, frozen food can give you bad directions. Like, I bought this box of chicken wings that says to cook ‘em for 60 minutes. Dude, who’s gonna wait that long for wings!? Another case in point: President’s Choice Chicken Souvlaki Thin Crust Pizza.

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Now, it says on the back of the box to cook on the lower oven rack (they even bolded this) at 450 for 11-13 minutes. That’s pretty hot, bro! And while I set the timer for 12, I could smell the burn as I got closer. This pizza came out extra crispy:

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But even still, this is elevated frozen food. The chicken is nicely seasoned, really tastes like souvlaki, and the peppers added a nice kick. Little light on onions and tomatoes, but those olives were on point—great burst of flavour in my mouth. I would probably eat this again, only next time, I might put ‘er on the middle rack instead…