HELLO CLEVELAND: This shark sandwich review is more than two words!

So we’re hanging out at ABC the Tavern Uptown, this funky college dive bar that would be just an (insert sports term) away from Case Western University…cept I don’t think they actually play sports at Case. But man, this place has everything: lamb quesadillas, pork belly BLTs, jerk chicken nachos–and all for less than 10 bucks! What’s more, it’s Happy Hour every day from noon till nine, which means we’re pounding two-fiddy bottles of Labatt Blue like it’s nobody’s business, bro…


Now, if they had this kinda funky joint back when I was in college, I’d be there every day till they kicked me out. But today, I’m here for that magical, mystical creature of the deep–the legendary shark sandwich:


Now, as any longtime Spinal Tap fan will tell ya, it was no Smell the Glove, but I think the critics mighta been a little too harsh on that one. ABC is serving it up blackened swordfish style on a bun with lettuce, tomato and a pineapple salsa on the side. The texture is more like chicken, but the Cajun spices add a nice kick. It might not be one of my top seafood sammies, but this ain’t no shit sandwich by any stretch!

Real-deal three-course meal @ Barque Smokehouse

So, we’re hanging out at Barque Smokehouse, this cozy neighbourhood joint on Roncesvalles in the west end. Now, I’ve had a whole buncha funkalicious, bananas, shut-the-back-door BBQ in this city, but they say Barque is too legit to quit, so I had to hammerdance on over to check it out.


I gotta say bro, they had me at “Nice throat.” Belle Gueule is one of my favourite Quebec beers, but you never ever see it over here. Not only did Barque have it on tap, it even came in its own glass! They hit that one so far outta bounds it took out a popcorn vendor, dude!

Now, it’s hard to pick a favourite among so many great meats, but if you get the Smoker’s Choice platter, they’ll give you some of everything: pulled pork, beef brisket, baby back ribs—all that and a chicken thigh, son! But that’s not all; it even comes with appetizers, side dishes and desserts. Now, I had something similar at Carbon Bar a little while back, and there was nothing going on but the meat. But while you end up paying nine dollars more, Barque gives you enough food for a family of four…as long as one of them has a small appetite and lets me eat the rest. (I ate about six ribs alone, son!)


But we ain’t even close to the main course yet, homeslice! We’re kicking things off with this crunchalicious salad. Man, this salad has got everything: napa cabbage, red peppers, carrots, cucumbers and crushed cashews—crikey! As far as salads go, this is pretty legit. All that’s missing is some bacon, or some tater tots or something…


Ain’t no thang but a chicken wing, mang! These smoked wings are super-legit. They’ve got a really great five-spice dry rub and come with a creamy curry dip that’s money like Steph Curry at the three-point line. Whoever came up with that one is like my saucy saviour, son!

Here comes the meat, all dressed in heat…


So not only do we get some superhero, rockstar smoked meat, but you know every superhero needs a sidekick, and this one comes with two of them. Say hello to my little friend Barque Fries Deluxe:


Dude, this is like Taco Bell’s Fries Supreme, except you don’t hafta yell “Fire in the hole!” before eating. You’ve got nacho cheese, sour cream, tomatoes and green onions. Now what would really take this dish to the next level is if they put some beef brisket on top—I would eat that off a flip-flop, hombre!


The second sidekick is a shady character by the name of crispy cauliflower. Now, I guess that cauliflower doesn’t cost, like, 200 bucks a head anymore, cuz it feels like I’ve eaten a fuckton of funky cauli lately. But unlike some of its cauliflower cousins, this dish wasn’t deep-fried, but it came with a nice combination of cashews, chilies and cilantro for that extra crunch.


Put it all together, and that’s quite a bit of food. Of course, I still went back for seconds, and even thirds. And you don’t even hafta ask if there’s still room for dessert…because dessert is actually included!!!!


Dude, this is one of the best food deals I’ve had in this city since that time I ate at Trump Restaurant for Winterlicious. They don’t make ‘em much greater than this, bro!!!!!!!!11111

This place used to be a laundromat…but now it’s a funky craft beer joint!

So, I was cruising the streets of Moncton in the Camaro, looking for a place that could get gravy stains out of a tie-dye t-shirt, when I came across this laundromat on St. George Street. I figured it was my lucky day, but then I walked inside to find that there aren’t any washing machines here, just a buncha ice cold beer. This is the Laundromat Espresso Bar, bro!


This cozy neighbourhood joint kept some of the original signage, but they also added artwork of their own, along with a bar counter, an espresso machine, a couple tables and a beer fridge. And because I didn’t eat enough cheese already, I went ahead and grabbed some salty cheese curds, along with my new favourite pirate brew:


This was kinda like eating Cheesestrings back in the day, cept they’re a bit more bitter and you can’t really pull ‘em apart. Also, my mom never backed Pilsner in my lunchbox; I used to chug it with Terry and Deaner while rockin’ out to Dio behind the Moontower at recess. Good times!

Now, you probably can’t get Old Style Pilsner in Moncton, but on the other hand, they did have about 99 bottles of Unibroue beers in the fridge:


Blanche de Chambly dans la maison, son!

This boar poutine totally tides me over!

So, we’re hanging out in Moncton, New Brunswick, where they’ve got this thing called a tidal bore. So twice a day, when the tide comes in, the river runs the other way, and you can get some pretty sweet waves for surfing, son! And just a couple blocks from where the magic happens, you’ve got the Tide & Boar, this funky local gastropub serving up local craft brews and real-deal dishes like this totally tubular wild boar poutine:


This dish is outta bounds, bro! You’ve got a nice bite from the beer-braised boar, some real-deal cheese curds, a bit of crispness from the caramelized onions, and a zingy house ketchup. For some reason, they put the gravy on the side, but I think it looks a lot better on top of the fries:


Why settle for turkey dinner when you can have turkey, ham and beef for brunch?

Now, when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I’m not really a turkey guy. I figure that anything you hafta spend a whole day cooking better have some bacon, burgers and beer in it. And it turns out you can’t cook a turkey over a tallboy of Old Style Pilsner–not without a massive oven, anyways. So this year, I headed out to the Old Mill Inn, a rustic, homely hotel in Etobicoke just a Josh Donaldson headfirst slide away from the subway…where they’re serving up a real-deal Thanksgiving Day buffet, bro!


So, we’re starting off with a salad and seafood plate. We’ve got potato salad, coleslaw, cold tortellinis, smoked mackerel and a seafood mix of shrimp, scallops and clams, along with some sun-dried peppers or tomatoes or whatever those red things are.


This plate is equal parts breakfast and lunch, son. We’ve got bacon and eggs, raviolis, Greek salad, and a nice garlic herb chicken. We kept the green salad is in the background where it belongs, not on my plate, bro!!!


And that brings us to the main feast, friends. We’ve got fresh-carved roast beef, hand-carved ham, and a side of turkey, with some stuffing and garlic mashed potatoes underneath. The turkey was nice and tender, the ham had a good crispy chew, but the beef is what really makes it. And if you’re asking, “Did he shove all this meat down his piehole and still have room for dessert,” well, I’ve got three words for you, bro:


CHOCOLATE FONDUE FOUNTAIN, DUDE! (Oh wait, I guess that’s four words…)

This is el primo prime rib, bro!

So, we’re hanging out at Harbour Sixty, the classy waterfront joint where Bay Street bankers eat steak during the first two periods of the Leafs game before showing up halfway through the third. The building doesn’t look like much from the outside, but on the inside, it’s super luxurious, with massive cuts of meat, real-deal side dishes and fine wines that cost more than a car payment on the Camaro. (Good thing I gulped down some moonshine ahead of time, son!)

Now, there are some other things on the menu, but if you’re not ordering the steak, you’re doing it wrong. The star of the show is the 22 oz prime rib…which would be the second-biggest of its kind I’ve ever eaten:


This hunka-hunka-slab of meat is super juicy and tender, served in its own juice with some horseradish on the side. But while I mostly eat meat, I can’t survive on steak alone, so I ordered up a couple sides, too.


These lobster mashed potatoes were pretty funkalicious, bro. You’ve got the piping-hot potato, served nice and creamy, with some tasty chunks of lobster mixed in for good measure. This is almost a meal in itself…if you’ve got a small appetite. But that’s not all, folks!


Now, this is pretty outta-bounds, dude. You’ve got buttermilk fried cauliflower, drenched in Buffalo wing sauce, with some blue cheese dressing underneath. I’ve had some pretty funky cauliflower before, but this one takes the cake!

Anyhoo, I didn’t actually have room for dessert this time, but I didn’t leave any leftovers, either: