All hail saison… YES HAIL SAIIIIISON!

So, we’re hanging out at Escape Goat, this funky little dive in Parkdale, just east of Little Tibet. When I first saw this place, I thought it was a little Tibetan joint with a funny name, but it turns out there’s no momos here, bro! Instead, they’re pouring a whole buncha fresh ‘n funky local craft beers, like this Black Funeral in Flavourtown… Hail Saison by Blood Brothers!

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This hazy blonde saison is brewed with honeydew, which is probably the most evil of melons. Lotsa head on this one, too, although it’s not too strong at 5% and it’s got a nice, fruity aftertaste, too. Maybe not my go-to beer for a ritual sacrifice, but still pretty tasty…

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After that, we’re kicking things up a notch with False Awakening, a funky coffee IPA from Rorschach Brewing. This beer’s got a strong coffee kick, but still has the fruity bitterness of an IPA… What in the name of King Diamond is this???

 

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Ain’t no thing but a turkey wing!!!

Now, I’ll admit that I’m not really the biggest Thanksgiving fan. I don’t normally like turkey unless it’s been dry-rubbed and smoked, bro! But when I saw these frickin yuuuge turkey wings at Longo’s, I figured I’d give ’em a shot. I had done Buffalo turkey wings a little while back–but those were drums and flats. This not-so-little wing is about the size of a dinner plate:

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So, I smothered this bad boy in Diana’s Gourmet Original BBQ Sauce, then chucked ‘er in the oven for half an hour at 425. I gotta say, getting through this monstrosity was pretty tricky. I needed to use a fork and knife for some parts, and bite through other bits with my teeth. But I definitely got ‘r done, son–and I still had room for dessert! Too bad I didn’t have any leftover pumpkin pie…

Focu Meu, that’s some tasty pizza!!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Terroni, this funky fresh Italian joint on Yonge St, just a tallboy’s toss from the big ol’ train station LCBO. This place has got three floors serving up hand-made pasta and real-deal pizza — they’ve got no less than 29 pizza pies to pick from! Now, it’s hard to choose between so many great pies, but this one, the Focu Meu (pronounced pretty much how you’d think), was practically calling my name:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got tomato sauce and mozzarella, with some spicy nduja sausage, fried eggplant and then a whole buncha shaved parma on top. Cuz what pizza doesn’t need more cheese, please? You definitely get a nice kick from the sausage, but that fried eggplant is what makes it, bro!!!

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Now, I slay pizza the same way I crush potato chips–you bet yer ass I don’t eat just one, son! So, say hello to my little friend San Giorgio, an old school pie topped with hot calabrese salami and mushrooms. Dude, Hot Calabrese Salami was my stripper name in college…although I’d rather be shoving this pizza straight down my piehole!!!!

Sinking some sushi boats @ Fune

Now, I don’t usually eat sushi, so if I’m at a sushi joint, then you know it’s gotta be something funky. And lemme tell ya, Fune, this downstairs joint in the Entertainment District, is completely funkalicious. You can always order off the menu, but what makes it fun are the sushi boats that go around, with a buncha different dishes. Like a box of chocolates, you never quite know what you’re gonna get…but if you see something you like, you’d better grab it, cuz you don’t wanna miss the boat!!!

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Spicy shrimp with rice? Don’t mind if I do!

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You know I’m always down for sushi pizza — crispy, crunchy and magically delicious!

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Dude, this fish was so fresh, it had a dice in the mirror!!!

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Shrimp on top of sushi??? You can’t top that!

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You know I could always go for some creamy avocado, bro!!!

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How bout some with the avocado on top???

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Now, this dish was completely ridiculous. They take some sushi rolls and pour enough panko on em to choke a tuna! But man, I definitely scooped up every last breadcrumb off this plate…

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They gave this one a nice sear with a blowtorch… Dude, this is body by blowtorch!!!

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Turns out, this wasn’t actually ice cream…

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Avocado, crab and fish eggs — oh my!

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These ones were just straight up avocado!

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Check out the lines on that one!

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Yuuup, even more creamy avocado goodness!

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Of course, I still had room for dessert. Still not sure what this thing is, but it had a spongy, pancake texture with a Fig Newton kinda filling. I would try it again.

Now, in all that commotion back there, I’m not sure whether I had 15 plates of sushi, or only 14…

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Let’s go back to Tennessee…you and me!

So, we’re hanging out at Tennessee Tavern, this funky, dingy dive bar serving up Eastern European food deep in the heart of Parkdale. Now, this place does have live country music some weekends, but it’s mostly known as a dining destination–even if it looks like your Polish grandfather’s basement. Man, this place knows all the hits: cabbage rolls, smoked fish, kielbasa, schnitzel, pierogis–they’ve even got ćevapi, for all you Serbians in the house.

Now me, I couldn’t decide between schnitzel and pierogis, so I decided to do both:

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So, we’re starting off with pierogis. This plate of pillowy Polish goodness comes garnished with bacon and green onions, with a big ol’ mound of sour cream–dude, this is body by sour cream–and you can get six for just seven bucks, bro! Man, that’s less than a pint of Molson Canadian at most places…and these actually taste good!

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Now, this super-sized veal schnitzel is about as big as the plate–that’s why they put the mustard in a jar lid on top. And dude, this might be some of the crispiest, crunchiest schnitzel I’ve ever munched. It ain’t no Sign of the Schnitzel Queen, but it’s still pretty doggone delicious!

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Now, when it comes to beer, there ain’t no Molson Canadian here, bro! Instead, they funk it up a notch with Pilsner Urquell on tap along with a whole buncha outta-bounds craft brewskis, like Don’t Kill My Vibe, a tangy peach Berliner from Stone City Ales–all the way from Kingston, Ontario. This beer’s so hip it ain’t even tragic, and you don’t even need a 50 Mission Cap to slam six or seven of these…although they tapped out the keg after I chugged my second one, son!

Beef tacos two ways @ Grand Electric

So, we’re hanging out at Grand Electric, this funky little taco joint deep in the heart of Parkdale. Man, this place has everything: fish tacos, shrimp tacos, chicken tacos, carnitas tacos…even cauliflower tacos, for some strange reason. But when I saw they were serving up not one, but two types of beef tacos, I was all like “Uno dos tres, quatro cinco, cinco seis,” white guy!

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So, we’re starting off with the beef cheek, piled with onions, cilantro and a spicy serrano chile salsa. Dude, these tacos are loco en la cabeza, homes! Maybe not as loco as la cabeza at Seven Lives, but there’s no shame in being the second-best beef cheek taco in this city, right?

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But then they kick it up a notch with la costilla, beef short rib tacos. The meat is perfectly cubed, with a nice tenderness, and you’ve got pretty much the same toppings, cept I added some chipotle sauce to this one cuz dude, I would eat that off a sombrero, bro!!!

Oh no, there goes Tokyo… Go, go Gosezilla!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Northern Maverick, this funky craft brewpub on Bathurst, where they’ve got eight beers brewed in house on tap, but there’s only one I wanna try…OK, make that two. They’ve actually got two different goses, which they call Gosezilla, and they’re like a funky one-two fruit punch in Flavourtown!

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Up first is the Strawberry & Pineapple Gosezilla, brewed with fresh strawberries, and a little kick of pineapple at the end. Man, who needs Booster Juice when you can slam one of these smoothies, bro???

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Aaaaaand now we’re kicking it up another notch with the Peach & Mango Gosezilla. This one is super-refreshing, with millions of peaches, peaches for me…lookout!

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Of course, with all that fruit in the beer, I don’t even need to order a salad…not like I would have anyways, bro! Instead, we’re talking fried chicken, cornbread, and coleslaw (which counts as a salad, I guess?). The craziest thing about this dish is it’s completely boneless–they just shape it to look like a breast or a thigh. And you’ve got a bit of garlic ranch and some jerk sauce on the side–dude, Jerk Sauce was the name of my Sublime cover band, bro!!!!