So, we’re hanging out at The Cheesecake Factory, the first one to open in Canada, up at Yorkdale Mall. I’ve heard of lineups up the ying-yang for this place, but if you get there right when they open, at 10 am on a weekend, you can be seated around 11:15 and finished eating by 12:45. That’s assuming, of course, you save room for dessert. And who goes to The Cheesecake Factory and DOESN’T save room for dessert!? That’s such a weak move, bro!!!!
The menu at this place is the size of a Guy Fieri cookbook, and it definitely takes a while to flip through it. But one of the first things I spotted was these Nashville hot chicken nuggets. They’re not quite the same as eating hot chicken in Nashville, but it’s a nice snack to tide you over when you’ve skipped breakfast to get there early!
Unfortunately, all the cheese from my stuffed cheddar burger leaked out onto the plate before I could take a bite. I had to scrape it up with my knife to give you this ooey, gooey money shot right here…and that meant I didn’t get cheese in every bite. Still, it’s not as painful as having hot cheese squirt out onto your arm, lemme tell ya!
And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
Man, it was hard to pick a favourite among so many great cakes. But when the server told me that Chris’ Outrageous Cheesecake tastes like a Nanaimo bar, I knew that was so outta bounds that I had to shut the back door and buy a ticket! What you’ve got here is a chocolate chip coconut cheesecake, with layers of chocolate cake, brownie, coconut pecan frosting and a side of whipped cream. So you’re basically getting three desserts in one. This cake was super rich and decadent…but you KNOW I licked the plate clean, bro!!!!!
So, we’re hanging out at Craft Beer Market, this massive new brewpub that just opened last week, right at Yonge and Adelaide. Man, this place has got so many different kinds of brews that I don’t even know where to start…but like a tin man once said, just follow the yellow brick road, bro!!!
This here’s the Wizard of Gose, a funky sour beer from Bandit Brewery on Dundas West. Now, I’ve never gotten drunk on apricots before, but I could probably slam at least three of these…if there weren’t so many other beers to choose from!
This here’s the Juicy Ass American IPA from the funky chunkies at Flying Monkeys. With 69 IBU, it’s pretty much grapefruit juice…if grapefruit juice were beer.
So, after going ape over apricots and shaking a tail to some grapefruit-bitter beer, there’s only one thing left to do–and that’s go bananas, bro! This Banana Split Stout is a collabo between Wellington Brewery and the bar itself, and it’s only on tap for a limited time. I gotta say, it’s not super banana-y, but if you ever wanted to drink Guinness for dessert, this is probably the next best thing.
Oh yeah, and they’ve got stuff to eat, too. This massive pile of nachos was only nine bucks. In fact, every app on the menu is nine bucks on Monday, but this one’ll save you the most money. While these might not be the best nachos ever (Holy Uneven Cheese Distribution, Batman!), they get the job done after a buncha beers, though!
Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had a latte in my life. I don’t even go to Starbucks unless they serve booze. But if you put pumpkin in ravioli, I’ll probably try it at least once. Chef Boyardee taught me everything I know, bro!!!!
So we’re hanging out at Trattoria Nervosa, this funky little Italian joint in Yorkville. I know you hear Yorkville and you go “that’s super expensive,” but this place is serving up pizza and pasta for under 20 bucks–including this dish, ravioli di zucca:
OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got some nice, creamy, pumpkin-stuffed squares of goodness, in a brown butter sauce, with pine nuts, sage and some pumpkin seeds, cuz you can never get enough pumpkin. Now, this dish was tasty ‘n all, but I probably could have eaten twice as many raviolis. Dude, this is body by ravioli, bro-li!!!!
(Where can I get me some of those shorts???)
Now, I like ribs and I like cheese, so if you put them together, you KNOW it’s gotta be good, bro! We’re hanging out at James Cheese Back Ribs, this funky Korean chain that just opened in Toronto a couple months ago. They’ve got all kinds of funky dishes like chicken wings, deep-fried squid and Korean-style McRib sliders, but it’s all about the cheesy ribs…and the cheesy chicken!
Now, this tastes a lot like the Korean chicken you get at Hoga, this funky underground food court joint in the PATH…except, you know, with melty mozza cheese on top. And then you’ve got sides like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, hot cocktail sausage and corn, all of which taste pretty great with some cheese on top.
Don’t get me wrong, the chicken sets the table, but the signature cheesy back ribs are the star of the show. Nicely marinated in Asian spices, I could eat these on their own–but then you put the cheese on top, and it really kicks it up a notch. Man, I wish I had one of these sick grills at home so I could put melty cheese on everything!!!!
In case you needed another reason to hit up this funky hangout, they’re serving up six-dollar cocktails on Saturdays, son! This sake Caesar tastes just like the real thing, except it makes you want to lip your stockings…
Now, it’s been a long time since I last went to Burger King, but I can’t stop seeing ads for this Bacon King sandwich pretty much every time I turn on the TV. (I guess that’s what happens when you watch The Bacon Network 24/7, son!) And hey, it definitely checks all the boxes–beef, bacon, ketchup, mayo, processed cheese on a bun–those are pretty much the five food groups of funk in Flavourtown!
Now, I don’t really like paying nine bucks just for a burger, but this is not a small sandwich, son! You’ve got a buncha nice bites of beef, with the cheese melting into the meat, and some tang from the ketchup…but where’s the bacon, bro???
I dunno guy, but I didn’t think six strips of bacon would result in so many small bites. And it’s got kind of a funky texture–not quite crispy, not quite chewy, kinda like a thinner version of beef jerky. Don’t get me wrong, these burgers weren’t bad–and you KNOW I pounded all three of them, bro!–but I would probably take one Wendy’s Baconator over we three Bacon Kings.
Now, if only BK brought back the bacon sundae, then we’d be gellin’ like a felon, Doctor Broles!!!!
So, I was at the LCBO, picking up some Steamwhistle for the Flames and Leafs game, when I looked up at the top shelf, and spotted this righteous brew. I mean, the name of the brewery is Cowbell, so it’s gotta be good, right?
This beer’s got a bit of an interesting back story, to boot. The small town of Blyth, a couple hundred clicks west of T-Dot, had a vet in the 1800’s with a pet bobcat. One time, when he was out drinking brewskis with his broskis, some dumb bartender cut him off—so he brought the wildcat to the bar! Now that’s badass, bro!!!
I gotta say, this brew takes Rickard’s Red out behind the woodshed, dude! You’ve got a nice, citrusy finish, not too bitter (30 IBU) with just a bit of an extra kick (5.5%). Man, I could slam sixteen of these before bringing my bobcat back to the bar, bro!!!!
So, about a year ago, we went for Kamayan at this funky little joint called Platito Filipino. In case you didn’t know, Kamayan is a massive Filipino feast–no cutlery allowed, bro! Now, that place funked it up with fried chicken, tacos, and beef stew, but I heard there’s this other joint in the ghetto that’s doing a more authentic take on the Filipino tradition, so you KNOW I had to check it out. This is Tinuno:
Now, there’s just so much going on here that I don’t even know where to start! You’ve got three different kinds of grilled fish, along with grilled squid, pork belly and BBQ pork skewers. Then there’s the grilled okra, and some mango slices on the side. But wait, there’s more…
Can you say peel ‘n eat shrimp, son? These slippery crustaceans are a lotta work, but they’re totally worth the effort. And did I mention the mussels from Brussels? Dude, there is so much food here that I don’t even have room for the orange slices for dessert!