Choose Your Own Adventure Burger @ Storm Crow Manor

Now, I wouldn’t say I’m a nerd or nothing…although I did spend my high school years sitting at the table next to the cafeteria cuz they would give me free food at the end of lunch hour if they didn’t sell out. But when I heard that Storm Crow Manor, Canada’s Nerdiest Bar, was opening up in downtown Toronto, I was all over that like a fat kid on cafeteria pizza, bro!

Man, if you like sci-fi or super heroes, you’ll go nuts for funky dishes like Rebel X-Wings, Wolverine Poutine, Big Truffle in Little Chip-a…and these heroes in a deep-fried shell, Teenage Mutant Ninja Pickles:

teenage_mutant_deepfried_pickles (6)

Dude, these pickles are super-hot and crispy, with enough batter to make everything better! They’re like, eight to an order, which is enough for two or three people–or one Guy Fieri wannabe from Calgary, bro! And you KNOW one does not simply go to Storm Crow Manor to eat pickles…

dungeon_burger_card (5)

OK, so here’s the deal. They’ve got this funky dish called the Dungeon Burger, which is kinda like going to Harvey’s…except you don’t choose your toppings, the dice chooses for you. With a roll of the 20-sided dice, you pick your bun, meat, cheese, toppings, sauces and sides…and it even comes with a trading card!

dungeon_burger_card (9)

I added one extra rule to this game–if I landed on something vegan, I got to go again. So I started out by rolling a 16 on the bun, which means baguette, and then for meat I got shaved prime rib, which should go together nicely. For toppings, I got tomato, shredded lettuce…and then I kept landing on lettuce again (they also have romaine). I definitely did NOT need two kinds of lettuce, so with a flick of the wrist, I rolled an 18…which meant tortilla chips. That’s right, this is nacho average beef dip, bro!!!

stormcrow_dungeon_burger (1)

OK, so let’s break it down. The baguette was nice ‘n toasty, the beef had a nice chew. A bit of juice from the tomato, some crunch from the nachos…and in the sauce department, I rolled ketchup, Storm Crow secret sauce and then a 20, which is Choose Your Own Sauce. I went with Sriracha aioli — dude, it’s like donkey sauce mixed with hot sauce!!! But having three sauces on the sammy made the chips a little soggy, and I couldn’t taste the secret sauce at all. Maybe next time I’ll just stick with two sauces…

stormcrow_baked_potato (1)

Now, when it came to decide on sides, there were two basic options–fries and green salad–and then a few more that cost extra money. To make it more likely you’d get one of the cheaper sides, rolling 1 to 6 would be fries and 7 to 12 would be salad, so you had to roll 13 or above to get something else. And wouldn’t you know I rolled between 7 and 12 like three times in a row–you don’t win friends with salad, bro! So finally, on my third re-roll, I got a baked potato, which is two dollars more…but hey, it does come with sour cream, chives and bacon, so I’d say that’s a big win!

dungeon_burger_card (2)

 

Advertisements

Grey Cup victory beers + beef dip @ The Undergound Tap & Grill

So, after Calgary crushed Ottawa in the Grey Cup last night, we’re partying it up in Edmonton, son! And what could go better with a Grey Cup victory than some Calgary craft beer and Alberta beef???

We’re hanging out at The Undergound Tap & Grill, this funky craft beer sports bar right in the heart of downtown Edmonton. This place has got over 70 beers on tap, but there’s only one that will quench my thirst after such a vicious beat down: Red Rage by Tool Shed Brewing Company.

tool_shed_red_rage (11)

This amber ale is coming straight outta Calgary with an easy drinking taste and a just a hint of coffee at the end. And what goes better with Alberta beer than Alberta beef, bro????

underground_beef_dip (19)

This beef dip was nothing fancy—roast beef, provolone cheese and sautéed onions, with a side of au jus for some dunkalicous action. But man, that Alberta beef sure is darn tootin’ tasty. I definitely missed this meat!!!!

tool_shed_rye_porter (7)

So, after slamming that roast beef sammy, I’ve still got room for a liquid dessert. This Rye Porter, also from Tool Shed, is nice and smooth, with just a bit of that coffee taste, but they brew it with rye malt to give it a bit of an extra kick. Man, if I ever come back to Calgary, I’m moving right across the street from the Tool Shed brewery!!!!!!!!

Hungry for Hungarian at Country Style Restaurant

Now you know I like my chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, chillin’ on a dirt road and all that good stuff. But fried chicken is not just a southern thing—there are a few funky Eastern European joints in Toronto that do it up right. Whether you go for chicken or pork, you gotta check out Tennessee Tavern, Schnitzel Queen, and this Hungarian joint that’s so old school it doesn’t even have a website. This is Country Style Hungarian, son!!!

country_style_pierogis (1)

Now, whether you’re in Austria, Switzerland, Poland or Hungary, you’ll find some of the same Eastern European comfort food classics—like this pierogi and sausage plate. These pierogis are boiled until they fall apart, with stringy fried onions, sour cream and a few nice bits of Hungarian sausage. Dude, this is body by Hungarian sausage!!!

country_style_hunter_schnitzel (4)

And now it’s time for the main event. This Hunter Schnitzel is covered in onions, peppers, mushrooms and tomato sauce – sorta like a Philly cheese schnitzel, but without the cheese – and you KNOW it’s searching for love on these lonely streets again, Dokken Bro! Even though there’s not enough to go around this dinner-plate-sized orb of deep-fried flavour, the sauce and toppings keep the schnitzel from being too dry…and hiding beneath all that breaded goodness, we’ve also got Hungarian dumplings and gravy:

country_style_dumplings (5)

Now, these little Flavourtown nuggets are sorta like spaetzle, except instead of being fried, I think they might be boiled or something. And they kinda look like cheese curds too, eh? Believe it or not, but there’s pretty much a whole plate of ‘em underneath all that meat!!!

hungarian_raspberry_soda (3)

Now, they don’t have any Hungarian beer at Country Style (I guess the closest thing would be Pilsner Urquell?), so instead I went with a refreshing glass of Malnaszorp, this Hungarian raspberry soda. It’s kinda like drinking a glass of water with cherry syrup at the bottom…but instead of cherry, it’s raspberry—which is definitely something you don’t see every day on this side of the pond!

This steak was imported from Argentina para Vos…

Man, if there’s one food I’d eat pretty much any way you slice it, it’s gotta be steak. I’ve tackled a 22 oz cowboy ribeye, a 20 oz porterhouse, a 22 oz prime rib…I even ate most of a 67 oz roast beef for one. But one thing I’ve never done was eat steak that was shipped all the way from Argentina–until now.

So, we’re hanging out at Vos Restaurante Argentino, this funky little joint just three doors down from Southern Accent on College Street. These guys get their hormone-free, grass-fed beef straight from the source, and they cook it with charcoal, just like back in the old country. They’re even serving up this killer take on an Argentinian classic–say hola to my short rib empanada!

vos_shortrib_empanada (5)

OK, first of all, this crust is so flaky it makes Gary Busey seem like a normal guy. They deep-fry it to perfection, and stuff it with tender chunks of short rib, along with some onions and carrots. Then they throw in some smoked chorizo for a double down in Flavourtown! Dude, I could crush, like, 16 of these…but then I wouldn’t have room for the main course:

vos_steak_two_ways (1)

Now, with so many great cuts of beef on the menu, I couldn’t have just one. So I went Splitsville on an entrana de ternera (veal skirt steak) along with some more beef short ribs. Who needs mas tequila when you can have mas asado, bro???

SkirtSteak_ShortRib

Now, the skirt steak was thinner and chewy, while the short rib was thick ‘n delicious–which is also my online dating handle on Plenty of Beef (why have fish when you can have beef, bro?). Both were nicely seasoned, with a nice charcoal flavour, paired with a side order of mushrooms with chorizo and then some rosemary french fries.

Now, this might not have been the most meat I’ve ever shoved down my piehole in one sitting (a full order of skirt steak is 8 oz while a rack of short ribs is 20…but I only had half), but it might be right up there in the top five steaks I’ve had this year. And this temple is body by steak, so that’s really saying something!!!

 

Toronto Christmas Market Beer @ Mill St Brew Pub

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…which means I’m diving head-first into the Stocking Stuffer Ale, son! We’re hanging out at the Mill St Brew Pub, right in the heart of the Distillery District, where the Toronto Christmas Market was kicking off last Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I might go for a mulled wine or a winter whiskey and save some room for a giant pretzel or two, but I’m mostly just here for the beer, bro!!!

stocking_stuffer_ale (7)

This bold and creamy Christmas ale is inspired by all your favourite holiday desserts. You’ve got caramel, nutmeg, with a bit of raisins and figs… It’s like a liquid Christmas pudding in Flavourtown! And of course, since the name of this blog isn’t Candy Canes, Mistletoe and Beer, you KNOW I gotta go for a bacon cheeseburger, bro!!!

top_shelf_stout_burger (12)

Now, the way they describe the Top Shelf Stout Burger on the menu sounds pretty amazeballs. Charbroiled chuck burger, Otttawa Valley vintage cheddar, double smoked pork belly and a Cobblestone Stout aioli!? Shut the back door! But objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are, Meat Broaf. The patty was a little too charred, that “double smoked pork belly” was really just two sad strips of bacon, and there were so many pickle spears on this thing that I had pickle breath for the rest of the night. But hey, I guess it drowns the beer?

Pineapple on a pizza? Don’t mind if I do…

Now, I’ve never understood the hatred for Hawaiian pizza. OK, so it might be kinda weird to put fruit on a pizza pie…but how else am I gonna get six servings of fruit a day, bro???

So, we’re hanging out at General Assembly Pizza, this funky little joint where they don’t just put pineapple on a pizza–they pair it with jalapenos and double smoked bacon. This is the Porky Pine:

porky_pine_pizza (15)

OK, now let’s break it down. You’re got the crispness of the bacon, a little sweetness from the pineapple, some great big globs of ricotta cheese, along with aged mozzarella…but it’s the jalapenos that really kick it up a notch. This ‘za is super-spicy, bro! I pretty much had to chug seven tallboys just to beat the heat!!! But when their tallboys of Mascot Pilsner are only seven bucks, I just mighta chugged seven tallboys anyways.

mascot_pilsner (1)

This Farmer’s Daughter thinks my tractor’s sexy!

Now, who needs peanut butter and jelly when you can have ice cold beer and country music, bro? The fine folks at Whitewater Brewing Co, up in the Ottawa Valley, probably know how to skin a buck and drive a truck, and this juicy little blonde ale has got me rocking a tank top like Kenny Chesney…even in the middle of November!!!

whitewater_farmer's_daughter (14)

This brew is coming at you hand-crafted with ingredients from the Ottawa Valley. Local hops, malted barley, yeast and water is all you need to make this a nice, crisp, tall drink of beer… And you KNOW she’s always staring at me when I’m chugging along, bro!!!!