Monthly Archives: May 2016

Toma’s giving me a little BLC—beef, lamb ‘n chicken!

You ever stumble into McDonald’s at 3 am after 17 Coors Lights and order a Land, Sea and Air Burger? I’ve done it before, and believe me, bro, the results weren’t pretty. But Toma Burger Addiction, this funky little joint on Queen Street West, has taken that concept and elevated it. This isn’t a Land, Sea and Air Burger, but rather a Lamb, Sea and Air Burger, son! (I mean, cows can swim, right?)

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They call this The John Wayne, although I have no idea why. It’s more like the Everything But Tofu Burger, bro! You’ve got your beef, you’ve got your lamb, you’ve got your chicken…but it doesn’t stop there. You’ve also got double-smoked bacon, chorizo sausage, prosciutto and soppressata, along with some sautéed onions, y’know, for that one serving of veggies. This burger’s so big, it could barely fit in my mouth. I had to hunch extra hard for this one!


Evviva’s taking it way downtown with funkalicious chicken ‘n waffles!

So, we’re hanging out at Evivva, this funky little joint that just opened up on Lower Simcoe Street, just a Jose Bautista batflip away from where the Blue Jays play. But don’t even think about coming here after the game—unless it’s a matinee. They’re only open for breakfast ‘n lunch, bro!

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Man, this place has everything—chili chicken, Philly cheesesteak, a burger topped with bacon, egg ‘n Havarti…oh yeah, and fried chicken ‘n waffles:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got the super-crispy, chicken-finger-tender breast strips, deep-fried to perfection. The waffle is super-fluffy, soaks up the syrup like Guy Lafleur at a sugar shack (bellbottoms not included), with some sour cream and hot sauce served up on the side. I know what you’re thinking—who puts sour cream on waffles!?—but it actually mixes nicely with the chicken, adding a cool creaminess to the dish.

My only complaint is that they could fit another 3-4 waffles on this super-sized plate. I wouldda finished them, too…and still had room for a dugout dog, dude!


This Nashville-style sandwich is hotter than Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean combined!

So, we’re hanging out at Let’s Be Frank, this funky little dive bar right next to the El Mocambo. I first was here in February for Poutine Week, where their bacon blues poutine wasn’t quite a winner, winner, poutine dinner. But I said I’d be back, and I came to check out this honky-tonk hero of a sandwich, the Nashville Hot Chicken:

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Now, here’s the deal. This dish comes with three levels of heat: Flocking Good, Bad Ass Bird and What the Cluck!!!??? (Not even making this up, bro!) I was in the mood for some badass bird, but the server talked me down to Flocking Good—and I’m awfully glad she did!

Even at its lowest level, the heat hits you right away. It’s not overpowering at first, but it’s got a wicked aftertaste; a nice, slow burn. Kinda makes you wanna shotgun some of the crazy craft beers they’ve got in the cooler—which couldn’t hurt their bar sales. That’s smart marketing, homeslice!

But man, these dudes are super legit. They even went down to the Music City to try a buncha different places before perfecting their recipe. It turns out that the Flocking Good doesn’t contain ghost pepper, which is probably why I’m still standing, son!

St. Louis is serving up all-you-can-eat wings. Guess how many I ate?

When I heard about the shooting at the Anchor Bar yesterday, I was outraged beyond belief. What kinda dipshit walks into the Chicken Wing Palace and shoots two people in the kitchen, where all the magic happens!? They even had to close the Wing Temple on the May Long Weekend, which is really bad for business. Man, if I ever meet the guy who did this, I’d love to spit some beechnut in that dude’s eyes and shoot him with my old 45! (Cuz a country boy can survive, son!)

But let’s face it, that’s probably not gonna happen; I don’t think they’d let me take my old 45 across the border on a Greyhound bus, no matter how lonesome, on’ry and mean I may be. So I wanted to pay tribute to the victims of the Anchor Bar Massacre in the best way I know how: by stuffing my face with Buffalo wings. And it just so happened that St. Louis is serving up all you can eat wings for $19.99. This one’s for Buffalo, bro!

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So, here’s the deal. They start you off with a pound and a half of wings, along with fries and dill dipping sauce. And then from there, they give you a pound at a time, so you can pace yourself. Now, I used to pound two pounds of wings every week on 2-for-1 night at The Puck in The Annex, so I felt that I could get through the first couple rounds, but I also knew I had to do better this time for the city of Buffalo.

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Pound #2.5 came out of the fryer fast and furious, and I chowed down on these when they were still screaming hot. Temperature hot, that is. St. Louis’ Buffalo wings really aren’t that spicy; I think they just throw some Frank’s Red Hot Sauce on ‘em or something.

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By the time the third batch hit the table, I wasn’t really hungry, but I still wasn’t full, so I made pretty quick work of these ones, too. After three and a half pounds of wings, I was wondering if I could eat more meat than that time I tried to tackle a 67 oz steak…and in the end, I came pretty close.

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Now, if my eyes were smaller than my stomach, I might’ve only asked for a half-pound for my fourth go-round. I made it through the first four no problem, but then my stomach started to hurt, and I wasn’t sure if I could get through the last half-pound. But that’s when I dug down deep and called on all the strength and resilience of the people of Buffalo in this trying time. I knew that justice would not be done unless I finished these wings …so I did. And now I need to lie down for a couple days. But at least I can rest knowing that Buffalo’s been saved, cuz I’ve done my part by eating 36 chicken wings.

#NeverForgetAnchorBar #PrayForBuffaloWings

FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY FRIDAY: Winner, Winner, Chicken Lunch!?

(Originally written May 16, 2014)

Another food-truck with a vaguely political-sounding name…although in this case, I’m pretty sure Localista refers to the fact that they get their ingredients from nearby.

The sum of these parts is this crisp and juicy, two-bite-sized fried chicken, with a coating that’s crisp, but not heavy. The biscuit added a doughy chew, and the bed of veggies are certainly healthier than fries. Yeah, I should probably be eating more of the former and less of the latter.

Son of a gun, gonna have big fun down on the bayou!

Down in N’awlins, they celebrate Mardi Gras in February, but for me every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday. So last night, I’m at Fat City Blues, this funky Cajun joint on College Street. Man, this place has everything: crawfish pie, Philly gumbo*…and a great big bowl of jambalaya, bro!

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Now, when they said it wasn’t spicy, I asked them to kick it up a notch. So I took this side serving of hot sauce and moved it all over. You’ve got some nice big shrimp, cooked to perfection, and several chunks of thinly sliced sausage. A little kick from the red peppers, and sauce that’s still saucy, not too thick. Just enough rice to sop up the sauce, but not so much that you’re drowning in it. The meat was the star of this show, not the rice, bro!

It’s like when you’re down by the river, half a mile from San Antone, on a three-day tequila bender with Eric Church…except instead of a drink in my hand, they’ve got beignets for dessert:

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These hot balls of dough were sprinkled in enough powdered sugar to make Tony Montana say hello to my little friend. Pretty sure I could slam back 47 of these and still have room for dessert. These beignets were bananas, bro, and bananas are good!


*crawfish pie and Philly gumbo not available, but they do have a winner, winner fried chicken dinner…

When the moon hits your eye like a beef ‘n beer pie, that’s amazing!

So here’s the deal. I was heading down Dundas to Rotate This to pick up tickets for the Misfits reunion tour, when this sign stopped me in my track pants. Now, I dunno if it was the amazing moustache or the bitchin’ bowler hat that got my attention, but I knew it was time to take a pit stop at The Pie Commission.

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This cozy neighbourhood joint is serving up all sorts of righteous pies, from braised beef ribs to butter chicken to beef tacos, bro! But you know I had to go with the beef ‘n beer pie. Dude, this is body by beef ‘n beer!

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got the flaky, fall-aparty crust, the beef is super tender, and it’s got a nice savoury veal stock with just a hint of beer. I even slathered some of their house-made BBQ sauce on top for some added smokiness. Serve this up with a side of thick, scrumptious, just-salty-enough fries and an Orange Whip, and you’ve got yourself a lunch, bro! The only thing that would make this meal any better is if they had Hostess Fruit Pies for dessert…

Pretty sure I could smash seven of these, son!

Loaded Pierogi’s serving up surf, turf ‘n earth, son!

Loaded Pierogi, this funky joint on Church Street, puts almost anything you can think of on these pillows of Ukrainian goodness, including buffalo chicken, duck confit and Philly cheesesteak. What’s better than steak and lobster? How about steak and lobster on top of pierogis?

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OK, let’s break it down. The pierogis are on point—warm and crispy, fried to perfection. (You can get ‘em boiled, too, but why boil food when you can fry it, bro?) You’ve got these thick chunks of peppery steak, a bit of kick from the onion, nice creaminess from the sour cream. The only complaint is that the lobster gets kinda lost here. It’s more stringy than chunky, and can’t really compete with the meat. Now, if they served it up thick and meaty like a lobster roll, this dish would be so far outta bounds that it might break your windshield in the parking lot. But it’s still in my top five pierogis of all time. Pretty sure I could eat 27 of these!

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Cool thing is, though, on Fridays, you can get the loaded surf and turf with a pint of the house brew for just 18 bucks. Dude, that’s less than it costs to park at a Jays game! And hey, the beer’s better, too…

Jimmy’s lamb dinner is my go-to Greek comfort food!

So, I was super-stoked when the Urban Eatery opened back in the day. You’ve got like, 27 different places to chow down, son! But my number one has gotta be Jimmy the Greek, and it’s all because of this roast lamb dinner:

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Dude, I love lamb! It’s super-tender, falls off the bone, with a great chewy texture and some nice flavour from the Greek spices. But I would be remiss not to mention all you get with this dish—it’s a whole lotta food for $10.99!

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So, you’ve got a yuuuge Greek salad, with onions, tomatoes and olives, a fistful of feta and a super-creamy dressing. Some yellow rice with peas and carrots, a whole buncha potaters, with a little tzatziki and hot sauce for that extra kick. Bro, my breath is gonna smell terrible for the next little bit, but I’m gonna be in a great mood all day, cuz I’ll be lambing my troubles away with this lamb chop!


Are these Greek fries the new poutine?

True story, bro. This one time, I was going to make pizza poutine, but I couldn’t find any cheese curds at Longo’s, so I used feta cheese instead. It was less than fantastic, cuz feta doesn’t really go with gravy. But when you combine it with tomato sauce, oregano, and French fries, that’s a totally different story:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got a nice, warm, thick fry. A little saltiness from the feta, just enough tomato sauce that you can taste it, but the fries aren’t swimming in it. And the oregano adds a nice bite. This was a pretty tasty dish for 6.99 in its own right, but you know me bro, I’m just getting started!

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Winner, winner quail dinner! What I like about Astoria, this great Greek grill on the Danforth, is that they’re all about the meat. You don’t get a buncha vegetables, a big salad, and one little stick of souvlaki, no siree, the meat takes up most of this plate!

Now, they call these “charcoal-kissed quails” on the menu for a reason, son. You can really taste the charcoal, right off the grill. And I don’t think there’s really a civilized way to eat quail—you just gotta go at it. Man, I’m ripping, hacking and clawing away at these things like I’m in a mud-wrestling match with Steve-O from Jackass The Movie in 3D. I’m stuffing chunks of potato into my piehole, spitting out the bones, and shoveling rice right into my face, not to mention smothering everything in thick, creamy tzatziki. This stuff is like garlic wasabi for your tastebuds, bro!

But hey, your food tastes better when you hafta fight with it. I’d take this dish over chicken any day. Rudie can’t fail, she’s eating quail! But if you think that’s all, then b-b-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen nothing yet!

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Call your mama, that’s a lotta baklava! You’ve got a nice crunchy phyllo pastry, a good chew from the almonds, and all sortsa sweetness from the honey-like sauce. Pretty sure I could eat three of these, bro, and still have room for dessert!