Getting my money’s worth @ Maison Close

So, we’re hanging out at Maison Close 1888, this funky little gastropub in Kensington Market. This place changes up its menu so often that they can’t post it online, but you’re always gonna get some real-deal, homestyle comfort food, like this hearty-har-har beef stew…and it won’t cost ya a pound of flesh!

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OK, let’s break it down. The beef is super-tender, you’ve got some carrots and potatoes in a nice gravy. And then there’s mashed potatoes on the side, and a big ol’ hunk of buttery bread. And all this for 14 bucks, bro! You won’t get that kinda deal at just any ol’ establishment!

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Not only that, but they’ve got some pretty great taps, too. Normally, when I drink Canuck IPA, it comes in a can, but they’ve got a hook-up at Great Lakes Brewery to serve it straight from the keg–and I gotta say, it’s better that way!

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Chugging down the last Lions Summer Ale of summer…

Now, I wouldn’t normally drink a fruity light beer that’s infused with pineapple and papaya, and has a craptastic 14.3% score on Beer Advocate. But these past few days, it’s been hotter than hell on high heels, and I’m sweating like Gene Simmons in spandex, so you know I’m gonna lick it up, lick it up bro!

Now, this basically tastes like pineapple juice, if you could get drunk on pineapple juice. It’s super citrusy, goes down easy peasy…and tastes great when you’re seeing the Stamps stomp the B.C. Lions, Bro Levi Mitchell!!!!

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(For what it’s worth, I think Lions Winter Ale is a much better beer, but we gotta wait till wintertime for them to bring it back!)

This massive Persian meatball tastes like peace in the Middle East!

So, we’re hanging out at Tabriz Persian Cookhouse, this funky, modern Persian joint up around Bay and Wellesley. Now, you know I loves me some shawarma, but this place is a little more fancy than the shawarma shop across the street, bro. They’re serving up stuff like roast lamb shank, saffron chicken, and this Bomb.com Iranian delicacy, koofteh tabrizi:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a massive mound of meat, with fresh herbs, berries and walnuts, and a hunka-hunka burning plumb hidden in the middle. They serve it up in a bowl with a tomato-based broth, and a side of cucumber and tomato salad. Now, I think it mighta been better if you could pour the broth overtop, or maybe had some bread to soak it up…but still, I would put these big balls in my mouth any day, bro!!!!

Japanese pizza & hot dogs & fries… Oh my!

Now, there’s all sorts of funky eats in Toronto’s Little Tokyo, but there’s only one izakaya in the hood, ninja homebro. Don Don Izakaya has been dishing out Japanese bar food and serving up all sorts of sake at Bay and Dundas even before Uncle Tetsu set up shop ’round the corner, and they’re packing ’em in like tunafish on a Friday night!

Now this place has got sushi, it’s got ramen, it’s even got a twisted take on the pork bao called Fwhat-Fwhat Pork…but you know I’m always after the most funkalicious dishes on the menu, so when I saw they had Japanese hot dogs, I was all like “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!!!!”

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Now, if you’re looking for a seat at the sausage party, you might be disappointed–this is more like meatballs to the wall, man. These Swedish-style flavour nuggets are served with sauteed onions, teriyaki, and I think that might even be some donkey sauce on top, although it looks like they put it all on one…

japanese_hot_dog (6)Mmm, donkey sauce…

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Now, they might call them “Potato Wedges w/ Curry Powder” on the menu, but these are really just regular fries, bro. But still, they’re super hot and crispy, straight from the deep-fryer, and that curry powder gives it a nice little kick… I’d put that on a flip-flop!

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But you know we’re saving the funkiest for last, Fresh Prince of Bro-Air! When I saw they had takoyaki pizza on the menu, I figured it might be more like the funky fresh duck pie I had the other day, but this…this was something completely different.

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So, check it out. They take these deep fried octopus balls, bathe ’em in tomato sauce, then melt a buncha cheese overtop. It’s like a Japanese cartoon show in Flavourtown–Samurai Pizza Balls, bro! Pretty sure I could pound about 22 of these…but when three little dishes plus a pint of Sapporo sets you back 35 bucks, then mayyyybe not.

My oh my, duck confit pizza pie!!!!

Now, I’m definitely no stranger to duck confit. I’ve had it on a burger, put it on poutine, and even served it up jerk style with red beans and rice! But I’ve never done a duck confit pizza before…until last night.

This culinary creation comes courtesy of Pizzeria Libretto, a funky fresh homestyle joint just a couple blocks from the opera house–no, not that Opera House, we’re talking COC, and I don’t mean Pepper Keenan, bro! Dude, this dish is like a duet between Pavarotti and Brigitte Bardot. Let’s break it down:

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Now, they’re serving it up Straight Outta Napoli style, so this pie comes out of the oven after just a couple minutes, which gives you a nice, chewy crust. The duck is nice ‘n tender, the mozza melts in my mouth…and then they kick it up a notch with some pear slices, son! Man, I think the last time I ate pear is when I fell face-first into a fruit salad at the buffet in Caucasian Barrel. (I musta slipped on a banana cream pie or something!) But while I’m not normally a fan of fruit on pizza…they totally do it up right!

The thing is, this crust is so thin and flop-a-lopa-gussy that I gotta fold it up NYC style to shovel it down my piehole. No sleep till Brooklyn, bro!!!!

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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!!!!

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