Real-deal English breakfast in downtown Toronto!

Now, I’ve never been to England, but I did lose a ton of money on the Connor McGregor fight…so I think that makes me an honourary Irishman or something. Anyways, I found the perfect place to drown my sorrows in the District formerly known as Entertainment–this is The Anne Boleyn, bro!

Dude, this funky joint is like a neighbourhood British pub on steroids–the place is freakin’ HUGE! They’ve got lotsa beers on tap, pictures on the wall, and flat-screens showing footy on TV. I think I even saw a couple in their Man U kits, if that’s what they’re called. I don’t usually watch soccer unless there’s Guinness involved…

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Now, after throwing back a couple Irish breakfast smoothies, it was time for some grub. This place is serving up brunch from 10 till 2 on weekends, and they’ve got UK classics like corned beef, smoked whitefish and kedgeree, but you know I’m here for the Full English. Cuz why only eat half an English when you can have a full one, son????

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got two eggs, sunny-side up, both bacon AND sausage, a couple crispy potato patties, half a fried tomato, beans, mushrooms and toast. I don’t think I’ve put this many things on my plate since the last time I went to Vegas, bro! The bacon’s got a nice chew, the eggs are yolkalicious, and the sausage is legit, but the mushrooms is what makes it. I could probably eat a whole plate of mushrooms alone, and still have room for dessert!!!!

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Robert Pinto, eat yer bloody heart out, mate!!!!

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I would tap that $30 burger, bro!!!!

We’re hanging out at King Taps, this funky new craft beer sports bar right in the heart of the Financial District. Now, I have wanted to make sweet, sweet lovin’ to their Burger Royale ever since this joint opened about a month ago–and I finally had my date with destiny. It was totally Orgasmatron 9000!!!!

Now, they do have a regular King Burger, with cheese and bacon, for 17 dollars, but why get a 17 dollar burger when you can have a 30-dollar burger, bro? My motto’s always been if it’s right, it’s right, why wait to shove it straight down my piehole on a cold dark night???

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OK, let’s break it down. First of all, this bun is too legit to quit–you can’t touch this, son! And then you’ve got not one, but two super-scrumptious, thick ‘n juicy beef patties, two kinds of cheeses, mushrooms, onions…and oh yeah, beef short rib on top! And did I mention it comes with a side of gravy that you pour on it? Dude, this is body by side of gravy!!!!

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Of course, you can’t go to a joint called King Taps and drink a Diet Coke–that’s like a five-year sentence in Flavourtown Penitentiary! Do not pass Go, do not collect 200 Doritos, bro! Man, this place has got more beers on tap than Equifax has angry customers–their rotating taps alone have more variety than your average bar!

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Speaking of doing time, this little craft brewery from our nation’s capital is serving up a funkalicious wheat beer that’ll blow your mind! Say hello to my little friend Orange is the New Pink, from Beyond the Pale Brewery. This hoppy wheat ale tastes like oranges…because they brew it with oranges, dude! And believe it or not, but it wasn’t even the funkiest concoction on their massive beer list. You know I’ll be back, body-builder bro!!!!!!!!!1110

I’m about to go all Kung Fu Panda on this funky Fu-Schnicken sammy!

So, we’re hanging out at Fresh Off the Boat, this funky fresh seafood sammy shop on Queen St W. Now, this ain’t no Joe’s Crab Shack, bro! Sure, they’ve got lobster rolls and fish ‘n chips, but they’re also serving up a funky catfish bahn mi, a mac-daddy soft-shell crabwich…oh, and this Frankenstein of funk in Flavourtown, the Fu-Schnicken:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got a one-two punch of Korean-style beef and crunchy tiger shrimp. There’s a bit of a kick from the kim chi, and a tangy house aioli, with a nice sprig of fresh cilantro on top. And these fries are outta bounds, bro! Thick and crispy, with a whole lotta salt, the way you’d get at a real-deal chip shop. The only thing that’s missing is the malt vinegar—oh wait, it’s on the table, next to the ketchup and the sriracha!!!

Who knew they had barbecue on Bourbon Street?

Now, I don’t usually think Louisiana when I think BBQ—the only thing I’m throwing down on Bourbon Street is beer-battered beer, bro! So, when I heard about this new funky joint called Bourbon Street Smokehouse, just a drum-stick’s throw away from Long & McQuade at Bloor and Ossington, I was wondering what the heck they were smoking!

Turns out they’ve got a bit of stuff from all over the place—St. Louis ribs, Texas beef brisket and even some funkier choices like smoked candied salmon and corned beef. Actually, make that Mississippi Texas brisket. I didn’t even know that was a thing…

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Now, I’m pretty sure that Mississippi and Texas don’t actually share a border, but at Bourbon Street, they smoke this beef extra long until it’s got the texture of Mississippi pot roast, then serve it up Texas style without any sauce. Now, I normally like my brisket extra fatty—Fatty Brisket was my nickname on The World’s Biggest Loser—but this still kinda worked, even if it felt like I was eating pulled pork. Where’s that coleslaw when you need some, son?

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By why eat coleslaw when you can have super-smoky mac ‘n cheese? These noodles were massive, and tasted like they were cooked in the smoker…although I’m not sure how that would even work????

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Now, these St. Louis cut ribs came out without a whole lotta sauce, and maybe were a little dry without it, but then they gave us all sorts of sauces on the side—you had Memphis, you had Mississippi, you had Texas, you even had New Hampshire… Nah, just messin’ with Sasquatch, son! What would New Hampshire sauce even be—lobster bisque or something?

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Now, I don’t normally think of cornbread as a dessert, but this was almost more like a cake. It even had fruit baked right in! I don’t necessarily want fruit with my BBQ, but as long as you saved it for last, it was pretty darn-tootin’ tasty.

You know I like my steak fried, too…

When I was in Nashville, before I headed down to the Grand Ole Opry, I stopped by Logan’s Roadhouse, which is kinda like Montana’s…if Montana’s was actually American. But man, these prices are on point–you can get an app, a main and a beer for less than the price of a rack of ribs in Toronto, bro!

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Of course, you’re not gonna find country-fried steak north of the border. This hunka-hunka burning beef is breaded and deep-fried to perfection, with country gravy on top! Then you’ve got mashed potatoes, with more country gravy, and a skewer of mushrooms. But the deep-fried goodness don’t stop there, bro!!!!

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They call these Roadhouse Shrooms and they’ve got me trippin’ balls in Flavourtown, bro! These crispy, breaded mushrooms are straight outta deep-fryer, and they’re still so hot they burned my hand, not to mention my face! And yes, I know I already had an order of mushrooms on the side, but there’s no such thing as too much mushrooms, broseph!!!!!

NASHVILLE MUSEUM MUNCHIES: Johnny Cash chili dog vs George Jones tritip dip

While the Country Music Hall of Fame might be the biggest attraction in Nashville, it ain’t the only museum in town. Two of the greatest country singers of all time also have their own hallowed halls–three if you count the Patsy Cline Museum upstairs from Johnny’s. (It’s a separate admission, though.)

JOHNNY CASH’S CHILI DOG

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Now, right down by the gift shop and the main entrance, there’s a little cafe serving up coffee, tea, sammies and what they call Johnny Cash’s chili. Not sure what the tie-in is, but if you put it on a hotdog with chips and a drink, all for less than 10 bucks, it’s hard for me NOT to shove it down my piehole:

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Now, first of all, this dog is pretty legit. It’s thick, juicy with a nice snap to it. The chili itself was OK, not too spicy, with some nice beans…but it coulda been alittle more beefy. Oh, and I paid 25 cents extra to add onions, cuz you can’t have a hot dog without onions, bro!

GEORGE JONES TRITIP DIP

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The George Jones on 2nd Ave is basically a sports/music bar with a museum on top. This place has got all kinds of Tennessee Whiskey, and even smokes its own BBQ–like this in-house special, the tritip dip sandwich:

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This was actually one of the best beef dips I’ve had in a while. The beef was nice n tender, the horseradish cheddar cheese is on point, and the au jus tastes like it’s supposed to. Did I mention it comes with a side of waffle fries?

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These spuds are pretty solid, son! Thick and crispy, nice n salty, tastes good with or without ketchup… I could eat these all day!

THE VERDICT: Johnny Cash would even tell ya that George Jones was his favourite country singer–and he’s got the better restaurant, too.

NASHVILLE HOEDOWN SHOWDOWN: Tootsies Orchid Lounge vs Robert’s Western World

Now, you can’t throw a horseshoe on Broadway without hitting a country music venue, but if you want the best, you gotta go up the street a bit to the corner of Broadway and 5th. Both Tootsies and Roberts have been around forever, and they’re bound to put a honky in your tonk, son! So, let’s break it down:

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TOOTSIES ORCHID LOUNGE: For my Toronto bros, if the Bovine was a country bar, it would be Tootsies. This little hole in the wall can fit maybe 200 people, and they sure pack ’em in! The stage is right in the window, and has barely enough space for a five-piece band–who on this evening peppered their George Jones and Merle Haggard covers with modern hits by Eric Church, Zach Brown, Cole Swindell and Chris Stapleton. (Of course, there were country classic singalongs like “Country Road” and “The Gambler” thrown in there too.)

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Beer is mostly of the cheap, domestic variety–although it’s not cheap, with a bottle of Blue Moon for seven bucks. You can actually get better beers at the Bovine, bro!!!

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ROBERT’S WESTERN WORLD: Now, Robert’s is at least twice, if not three times the size of Tootsies–it even has a second floor! In fact, the place is so big, you can’t really see the stage when you’re sitting at the bar. However, the beer selection is much better, and much cheaper, than Tootsies. For 4.75 I got a locally brewed, Belgian-style wheat beer called Southern Wit:

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Speaking of southern wit, the band on stage told us off the top they wouldn’t play anything after 1980–then started their set with a ripping rendition of “Folsom Prison Blues,” complete with stand-up bass solo! They covered a lotta classic country tunes by Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens and Johnny Paycheck, as well as a couple classic rock tunes like “Pretty Woman” and “Take a Load Off Fanny” before busting out a killer instrumental of “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” Yeah, they sold a few CDs that night…

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BOTTOM LINE: Robert’s has got the bigger space, better beers, cheaper prices…and they’re even serving up burgers and chicken fingers with a flattop and a deep-fryer behind the bar. I even liked their band better–but if you’re more into new country, you’d probably be better off at Tootsies.