So, the last time I was at Rashers, I wanted to eat everything on the menu, but it was a case of so many bacon, such little time. So I scarfed down a scrumptious BLT sammy, but I knew I’d be back for this culinary masterpiece, the bacon burger:
Now, this is like paradise by the bacon-board light, bro! For starters, they’re putting bacon bits in the ground beef for that extra pork kick. You’ve got fresh, crisp lettuce, a nice, juicy tomato, some zingy chipotle aioli and a toasted bun…but really, it’s all about the bacon. The texture is just perfect, not too crispy, not too chewy, and the pork flavour is utterly redonkulous. If they made me a body bag outta bacon, I would zip myself up in it and eat my way out–it’s just that good!
Of course, you can’t have a burger without fries, and these ain’t yer grandfather’s spuds, son! At Rashers, they’ve got both kinds: curly AND wedges, and they come with your choice of seasonings. I went with smoked paprika, cuz dude, this is body by smoked paprika! And with the nice kick on that crispy coating, I don’t need no ketchup, bro!!!!
So, we’re hanging out at Soi Thai, this funky fresh Thai street food joint on College Street, right in the heart of Little Italy. You might not find Italian on the menu, but they are mixing Mexican up with mushu—check out these Moo Krapao nachos, bro:
So, basically, they take these corn chips, load ‘em up with spicy ground pork, then stick cheese on top and melt it with a blowtorch! It’s like culinary shop class in Flavourtown, son!
And then you’ve got their Tomyum fried chicken bites with a sweet and spicy sauce. It’s like General Tso on stick—it’s Tomyummy in my tummy!
But you know we ain’t seen na-na-nothing yet, Bachman Turner Broverdrive! They call this dish Mee Kati, and lemme tell ya, me likey! It’s got pink coconut noodles, with little pieces pork belly and then some scrambled egg strips on top? Shut the back door and open a window, bro!!!!
Now this was definitely the funkiest dish of the evening. We’re talking deep-fried mozza in a green curry sauce. So I guess there is a little Italian after all. It’s like Giuseppe drowning in curry, without the rising crust. Pretty sure I could slam six of these—if I wasn’t already drunk on noodles!
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But of course, we still had room for dessert, bro! And this had to be the most outta-bounds popsicle I’ve ever licked on a stick. They take sticky rice, slide in a few mango slices, and freeze it in water till it’s solid like Metal Gear. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a salty popsicle before…but now, if they took some of that Tomyum chicken and put it on ice, that would be TheBomb.ca, righteous brosephs!
OK, so we’re hanging out at Wenona Craft Beer Lodge, this cozy neighbourhood brewpub in the Dufferin Grove area. I actually went here for Poutine Week last year, and while their curds didn’t quite squeak like they were supposed to, the pulled pork was actually pretty decent. So I figured I’d come back and try the BBQ, too…
They call this the Memphis Peace Maker, and it’s like walking in Memphis if you really know the way I feel. You’ve got a couple big slices of tender brisket, a pile of pulled pork, and a biscuit that’s sorta shaped like a little piggy. But the sides are what makes it, bro! What other place can you get a side of nachos next to beef brisket!!!???
Now, most of this meal was pretty legit, but what really makes it was the pulled pork kimchi spring roll. Dude, this was like a culinary three-way in Flavourtown, bro! You’ve got the crispy breading, a tangy sauce, a nice kick from the kimchi and then some of that pulled pork inside—it’s honky tonk redonkadonk!
Now, while this wasn’t the best beef brisket I ever had, it was still nice ‘n tender. But here’s where I got beef with the brisket. While I got two big, juicy slices with the Peace Maker, the rest of the Triple B Krew who went with the brisket were given lean slices—without even being asked. Friends don’t let friends eat lean brisket, bro. I’m just sayin…
Now, you know I like my chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, and all that other southern stuff. We may not be from the South, but we’re in Southern Ontario, son, hanging out at Southern Accent, this real-deal funky neighbourhood joint serving up Cajun food since 1984–that’s 10 years before Joe Diffie, bro!
Now, this place has got some good ol’ fashioned Cajun cooking, like jambalaya, shrimp ‘n grits and catfish, but what really caught my eye was the blackened chicken livers. Hey, if I eat enough livers, maybe mine will grow back stronger?
Now, these are like blackened balls of goodness in Flavourtown, son! It’s sorta like chicken pate with Cajun seasoning, then you’ve got some garlic toast, and a little lemon butter on the side. One of the best appetizers I’ve had all year–and that ain’t no joke, cowpoke!
But one does not simply snack on some chicken livers before calling it a night–and it wouldn’t be my kind of night without a little catfish dinner, dude! This farm-raised filet comes coated with crackers and served with greens, rice, and a holla-at-ya-peno tartar sauce. You may not find this dish in no Luke Bryan video…but gimme Alabama any day, bro!
So, we’re hanging out at Ebisu, this funky Japanese joint on Queen Street West, just like a block or two from University Avenue. Now, this place has got sushi, they’ve got ramen, but they’re also serving up all kindsa crazy stuff that I’ve never even tried before, like this funkalicious Flavourtown fishfuck—BBQ cuttlefish, bro!
Now, the last time I tasted cuttlefish, it was spraying me from the stage of the Opera House. But this was a totally different beast here. It’s got the texture of calamari, grilled up Japanese style, all chewy and rubbery, but the tentacles are totally what makes it. I actually didn’t need to eat more than one of these, cuz they give you like 17 pieces, bro!
Of course, that wasn’t the only seafaring creature I shoved down my piehole. One of their monthly specials was the soft-shell crab, served up crispy with some mushrooms on the side. It was kind of hard to pull this guy apart with just a fork, but once you got to the meat inside, it was well worth the effort!
But this has gotta be the piece de resistance, right here. Now, my brother from another lover Anthony Bourdain is always going on about beef tongue—it’s pretty much his go-to taco, bro! So when I saw the BBQ beef tongue, I knew I had to try it. But here’s what I wasn’t expecting…they give it to you raw, and then you gotta cook it up yourself like some Fine Young Cannibal! But at least it’s like having your own personal grillsus, with this mini hibachi here. Turns out I like my lengua extra crispy. Who knew?
Now, I only go to the Maple Leaf Garden Loblaws like once a year, on Easter Sunday, cuz it’s the only grocery store that’s open. And they’ve always got some funky finds I never see anywhere else. Last year, I scored some wild boar, and even tried frozen microwavable Chili’s. (It probably wasn’t any worse than regular Chili’s.) But this year, I spotted something so honky-tonk redonkadonk it made all those other dishes go redneck crazy, bro! It’s Quebec meets Indian in a box—PC frozen butter chicken poutine!
So basically, there are three elements to this dish. You’ve got your fries and your sauce, which you heat up at 425 for 25-30 minutes, and then your curds, which you’re supposed to let thaw, conveniently, for 25-30 minutes. They say to combine everything in a bowl, but I ain’t got a bowl that’s big enough, so I had to put it all in this big ol’ dish, which is like a culinary hubcap in Flavourtown:
Now, this dish actually came together better than I thought. The fries were nice and crispy, the curds were warm enough to melt, although they didn’t really squeak, and the butter sauce was pretty much on point. The chunks of chicken were, well, edible at least, although they didn’t really add that much in terms of texture or flavour. But hey, while I won’t be opening a frozen wing of the Poutine Hall of Fame anytime soon, I will say that this was just as good as I expected, if not better. It’s definitely not the worst thing I ever ate out of a box—that would have to be Swanson Hungry-Man Cheeseburger, bro!
My motto in life has gotta be “Why eat one meat when you can have four?” Real talk, bro. But hey, that’s only because “When it’s right, it’s right” was already taken by Ron Burgundy. So, we’re hangin’ out at Greenwood Smokehouse, this cozy, homestyle BBQ joint just a Will Ferrell fastball away from Pape Station. This is probably the first BBQ joint I’ve been to–and I’m certainly no stranger to barbecue–where they had an open kitchen, so you come out of there smelling like hickory. But that’s the price you gotta pay for eating four meats between two slices of bread sometimes, y’know?
They call this the Danforth Decker, and it’s like a house party upper decker in Flavourtown–this sandwich is the shiznit, son! You’ve got beef brisket, you’ve got pulled pork, you’ve got ribs, house bacon ‘n cheddar, all between dry white toast. And they don’t just give you one section, or two sections, or three sections, but four whole sandwich sections, dude! Because why eat one meat sandwich when you can have four is pretty much my life story, bro!
Now, I will say that when you get this many meats slathered in the same sauce, you can’t always taste everything. I really didn’t get too many bacon-y notes, and if there’s cheese on this sandwich, it clearly dissolved into the meat tsunami. Not that I’m complaining–meat tsunami was my nickname in high school. It’s sorta like a sharknado, except instead of live sharks, you’ve got beef brisket, bro!
(Actually, I did have a shark sandwich in Cleveland, and hey, it wasn’t bad…)