I’ve got a candy crush on this super-sweet waffle!

So, we’re hanging out at Junked Food Co, this funky little joint on Queen W that served up the most totally awesome taco at Tacofest 2016. They actually don’t have tacos on the menu, but you can get mac ‘n cheese, deep-dish pizza, Dorito-bag nachos…oh, and save room for dessert, cuz they’re serving up these funky waffles with all kinds of junk on top!

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got a Belgian-style waffle, with Froot Loops, vanilla fluff, Swedish Berries, sour gummies and icing sugar. Eating this in one sitting will leave you wired for hours! You can’t buy this sugar high anywhere else, bro!!!

 

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Real-deal, authentic Nashville Hot Chicken in Toronto!

Now, I’ve had actual Nashville hot chicken in Nashville–even on a pizza!–but I never thought I’d find the real deal in Toronto. Most places that offer “Tennessee Hot Chicken” in this city are about as authentic as Red Lobster’s Nashville Hot Shrimp. But then this new funky chicken place opens up on Bloor Street…

Five Points is this traditional hot chicken joint inside of a craft beer dive bar called Open House, where you order in the window, and then they ring a bell when it’s ready for you to bring back to your table. (Kinda like how they do it at Casino El Camino in Austin, but with chicken.) And man, they’ve got everything: chicken legs, chicken thighs, chicken breast, chicken wings, chicken tenders…all done up Nashville style:

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Picture the best Shake ‘n Bake chicken you’ve ever had, but with a bit of sweet, and more than a bit of heat. Mind you, I only got mine mild, which wasn’t so bad. The bread underneath absorbs a lot of the sauce, though, and I gotta say, that was some of the spiciest bread I’ve ever eaten! Definitely needed a ice cold beer after that one!!!

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Now, this here brewski definitely hit the spot. Black Bellows White is a light, refreshing wheat beer, with just a touch of elderflower. If I’d gotten my chicken any hotter, I’d probably hafta pound a few more of these!

That’s some pho-king good pho, bro!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Pho Vistro, this funky little Vietnamese soup joint on Queen Street West. Now, I don’t usually eat soup, unless the only other option is salad, but this place is pretty legit. Their all-natural broth is cooked for 10 hours, and packed with more herbs and spices than the Colonel’s Original Recipe. You can get it with beef, chicken or vegan, or go for their signature Pho Vistro, which has beef AND chicken, for literally just a dollar more:

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This pho totally reeks of deliciousness, bro! The broth is light and not too salty, which goes great with the noodles. You’ve got strips of both chicken and beef, along with some sprouts and some onions, for a little extra flavour. But what makes it is the beef short rib:

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Where’s the beef!? It’s right here, bro!!!! This chunka-chunka burning rib is so tender, it comes right off the bone…although you still gotta bite it a bit. Kicking this dish up a notch with short rib will cost ya an extra two bucks, but since the soup’s only like 12 dollars to begin with, it’s an upgrade that’s totally worth it!

I’m about to goo goo g’chew this Walrus Burger!

So, we’re hanging out at Walrus Pub and Brewhall, this funky downtown joint that just opened at Bay and Wellington a few weeks back. Now I like pubs, and I like beer halls, so you put ‘em together and it’s gotta be great, right?

Well, for a place with Brewhall in its name, I gotta say their draught list ain’t all that special—especially when you’ve got places like Craft Beer Market and King Taps close by. Mind you, The Walrus is classier than Craft and much more spacious than King Taps, although it seems to be lacking in the patio department. But hey, its mascot is pretty sweet:

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I ended up going with the Henderson Food Truck Ale, which was a little malty, but not overpowering. I think it would go nicely with some taco truck fajitas… It also didn’t taste too bad with this burger:

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No walruses were harmed in the making of this sandwich—the burger’s just named after the joint, is all. Instead you’ve got some thick, juicy ground beef patties, American cheese, lettuce and bacon on a potato bun. Of course, I made mine a double. You gotta pay extra for the bacon, but that’s not even a question, bro!

While the patties were meaty, beaty, big and bouncy (whoops, wrong British Invasion band!) and the cheese was nice and melty, the bacon was actually undercooked and chewy. Maybe I gotta kick in an extra buck for crispy bacon???

Slammin’ a mac ‘n cheese meat loaf sammy @ Bar Hop Sessions

Craft beer is blowing up all over this city, bro! So when I heard that Bar Hop was opening a third location, right by my old stompin’ grounds at Pape and Danforth, you know I was all over that like foam on beer, bro! And they’ve definitely got some funky golden goodness on tap–like this beautiful brew, the Rabbit of Caerbannog White IPA:

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Dude, I’m all over a beer named after a Monty Python sketch, bro! And this rabbit goes right to the throat with flavour. You’ve got the citrusy fruitiness of a witbier meets the hoppiness of an IPA. I would not say “Ni!” to another one of these!!!

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But you know I’m not about to slam these beers on an empty stomach, bro! So we’re starting off with these stuffed jalapeno poppers, with smoked cheddar and mozza, topped with bacon jam. The first one did not have any heat to it, but the second and third packed enough of a kick that I had to order another beer.

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Now this one kicked the funkaliciousness up another notch. What we’ve got here is a There’s No Way of Knowing Saison from Sawdust City. This beer is brewed with lemon verbena and grains of paradise, which means it might actually be good for you. And it tastes pretty good, too!

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And finally, we get to the main event, Mr. Tuesday Night Special…a meat loaf sandwich with a deep-fried chunk of mac ‘n cheese on top. Dude, this is Comfort Food 2.0, bro! The meat loaf is hot and chewy, with some nice onion seasoning, you’ve got a bit of arugula for that one serving of veggies, and then the mac ‘n cheese block just hits you like a bomb baby, come and get it all!!!

Now, I don’t know if this will ever be added to the regular menu, but hey, it’s not like I need an excuse to go back… 😉

A golden ale for the Golden Knights

Now, you may not know this about me, but I like to drink beer while I watch hockey. And I try to match certain beers with certain NHL teams. So when the Vegas Golden Knights joined the league, I needed to find a new brew to slam down when somebody scores a natural hat trick in the second period to beat the Flames…and I think I found it, courtesy of Sweetgrass Brewing Co.

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Not to be confused with the company that makes beer from artificially filtered marijuana, this local Ontario craft brewery is serving up ales, stouts and maple butter tart beer(!) from its spot on the Danforth. But their signature is the Golden Ale. Described as the “perfect food pairing beer,” it also pairs with shutout losses and bitter disappointment. Hey, if you’re too cool to drink Molson Canadian, this would be a pretty good replacement beer.

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Chicken shawarma poutine at Swiss Chalet… Whaaa?

I didn’t even know you could get poutine at Swiss Chalet, but apparently that’s a thing now. And not just any ol’ poutine–they’ve got rotisserie beef poutine, taco poutine and chicken shawarma poutine. Now, you know I love shawarma, and this is body by poutine, bro…so I was gonna hafta try the chicken shawarma poutine, even if i didn’t really expect it to taste like either of those things.

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First of all, it’s safe to say that Swiss Chalet is not roasting this dish on a big shawarma spit. This is basically the regular Swiss Chalet chicken–both white meat and dark meat–pulled off the bird, bro. They lay it out on a bed of Chalet fries with lettuce, tomato, some feta cheese and great big globs of garlic sauce. Dude, Great Big Globs of Garlic Sauce was my nickname as sous chef at Joey Tomatos, bro!!!

Now, while this isn’t quite as good as the chicken shawarma nachos I made a couple years back, it will totally still fill you up. Actually, the Chalet sauce kinda brings everything together. But what really gets me is the lemon pepper seasoning they put on the fries. There’s just a touch too much of it. And I don’t think lemon pepper belongs on poutine–or on shawarma, for that matter. Next time, I might go for the rotisserie beef poutine, instead…