Grilled meats & craft beer @ Melrose on Adelaide

Even though I’m a massive meatatarian, I don’t go for charcuterie very often. I dunno bro, but it’s like why eat a buncha little meats when you can have one great big one? So now we’re hanging out at Melrose on Adelaide, this new funky joint in the heart of the Entertainment District, and this place used to be the Corned Beef House, home of the 16 oz sammy, so I know they’ve got the meats…even if they’re serving ’em up on a cutting board:

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So, we’re starting off with the grilled pastrami.. Call your mommy, that’s a lotta pastrami! Put it on a crostini, with some triple crunch mustard, and I’m all over that like Guy Fieri on garlic salt!!!

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At this establishment, they’ve got both kinds of sausage — jalapeno AND turkey! The jalapeno smokie is nice ‘n juicy, while the turkey has got some extra chunks of cheesiness. And they give you three of both at this crazy sausage party in Flavourtown!!!

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But the best thing on this charcuterie board might not even be meat! Man, when I heard it came with warm pretzels, I was like sign me up, son! Dude, this is body by warm pretzels!!!

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Of course, since this website ain’t Burgers, Bacon and Honey-Spiced Mead, you KNOW we’re diving in to some local craft beers, bro! Symington Saison from Henderson’s was light and refreshing, while Collective Arts’ Jam Up the Mash was even funkier than its Motor City counterpart. Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa, broseph!!!

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Pork tacos three ways @ El Sazon Mexicano

Dude, you KNOW that Taco Tuesday is always my favourite day of the week, bro! So, we’re hanging out at El Saz√≥n Mexicano, this funky little joint just east of the Italian part of St. Clair West. Now, I’d pretty much eat any kind of taco — you could make a taco out of a flip-flop, put it on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good! But when I heard they were serving up not one, not two, but three kinds of pork tacos…I pretty much had to try all of them!!!

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So, we’re starting off with chorizo. This meaty Mexican sausage was super greasy, but not too spicy. All of their tacos come the same way, topped with onions and cilantro, but I also added a little salsa verde to this one…

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Next up, we’ve got the Mexican radio star, Taco Al Pastor. This pork was nicely seasoned, super-tender…but maybe couldda used a slice of pineapple or two for that extra tangyness.

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Of course, we’re saving the best for last — las carnitas, cabron! This Mexican pulled pork had the perfect texture, with an extra squeeze of lime… Dude, this is body by carnitas!!!

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Now, because I didn’t get enough chorizo in my diet, I also went with an order of choriqueso. This dish is kinda like queso fundido, but less queso, more fun, bro! You pretty much get three large, cheesy chorizo tacos for just seven bucks here. Dude, all this food and a Mexican Coke was only 25 dollars after tax… That’s like 357 pesos, hermanos!!!

Why settle for a pancake burger when you can have a double pancake pork burger???

So, we’re hanging out at Lisa Marie, this funky fresh joint on Queen West. Now, we’ve been here before for some real-deal ribs at Winterlicious, and I also scarfed down some spaghetti and massive meatballs here on Toronto Beer Week…but I’ve heard that they’re really killing it for brunch — and they weren’t kidding — this place was packed, bro!

And lemme tell ya, their menu goes right after my bacon-loving heart. They’ve got steak ‘n eggs ‘n bacon, a peameal bacon sammy, and even something called the bacon explosion benedict — but when I saw the double pancake pork burger, I KNEW it was gonna be love at first bite!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got two meaty pork patties, topped with lettuce, tomato and cheese, served between three pancakes with a side of maple syrup. Now, I gotta say, this dish was super messy, even without the extra tree juice. The thin pancakes weren’t really designed to hold together that much meat, and everything was falling apart all over the place… But you KNOW I still ate this all with my hands, bro. Dude, eating a burger with a fork is like a five-year sentence in Flavourtown County Jail!!!

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Of course, you can’t have a burger without fries, and these duck fat home fries were like Breakfast Fries Gone Wild! The potaters were hot ‘n crispy, straight from the fryer, with a good crust and a nice grainy mustard smeared on the plate. Not to mention these things are friggin’ huge — pretty sure I’ve seen ducks at High Park that were not as big as these babies!!!

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Now, I don’t always drink beer for breakfast, but when I heard they were taking one of my all-time favourite brews, Big Rock Grasshopper, and mixing it with lemonade, well, I figured that pretty much counts as a fruit juice, right? This was actually quite refreshing, like a summer shandy wearing a toque or something… Too bad it was like -4 outside, bro!!!

Super-crispy fried chicky @ Gdous Juicy Chicken House

I guess I’ve been eating a lot of fried chicken lately. Whether it’s cheesy Korean style or a serious southern sammy, nothing clogs the ol’ arteries like some deep-fried white meat. Man, my doctor even said I should cut back…so I fired my doctor. And now we’re hanging out at Gdous Juicy Chicken House, this funky Taiwanese fried chicken joint just a stage dive away from Lee’s Palace at Bloor and Brunswick.

Now, I’ve had Taiwanese fried chicken before, and just like Hot Star, this place is known for its chicken steak. So well known, in fact, that it was all sold out at 7 o’clock. So I had to go for a three-piece meal instead. But am I complaining? No way, Jose!!!

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Now, this bird was super-crispy, deep-fried to perfection with a thick, crunchy batter…but still nice ‘n juicy on the inside. The fries had just about the same amount of breading, which made for a nice, heavy snack. I ordered mine “hot,” and while it really didn’t have much of a kick, that didn’t stop me from shoving it straight down my piehole, bro!!!

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Now, I know what you’re thinking…but no bro, this ain’t a frozen margarita, though! While they don’t put booze in a blender here, they do have a Tea Shop 168 right inside, and you can upgrade your combo to a bubble tea for just one dolla. That’s money well spent in Flavourtown!!!

 

This waffle should be illegal, cuz nobody should feel this good!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Cacao 70, this funky little dessert chain that’s all over Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary… they’ve even got one in Kingston! But right now we’re on Queen St W, just a projectile vomit’s spray away from the worst McDonald’s in western civilization. Only we ain’t after-gaming it, bro — it’s the middle of the afternoon, and we’re here for dessert!!!

Now, they call this the Illegal Chocolate Waffle, and I’m pretty sure Lee Aaron wrote a song about it or something. You’ve got a fluffy Belgian waffle, topped with milk chocolate and caramelized bananas. Then on the side, you’ve got more chocolate — crunchy chocolate cereal, melted chocolate for dipping…and oh yeah, some ice cream with chocolate on top!

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This is pretty much the perfect bite right here. You’ve got that waffle swimming in chocolate sauce, with a big piece of banana on top…and some ice cream on the knife coming right up. Dude, ice cream on the knife was like my favourite Helix song, bro!!!!

(Oh, wait…)

Five-course fried chicken feast @ Beast

Now, you know I’m all about Beastmode, bro! So when I found out there’s this funky little joint serving up righteous wild game dishes, just offa King West…and their logo looks like a deathcore band??? Man, I didn’t care if I was gonna hafta run 67 yards to get to Beast!

And when it comes to this place, you wanna get there early. Right up until 7 pm, they’ve got a couple local craft beers for five bucks, along with get-em-till-they’re-gone tasting menu options, like this chorizo tostada. You’ve got a super-crunchy tortilla, crisp lettuce, Mexican sausage and cheese sauce…served up on a Sesame Street plate:

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Now, if you think that last dish was pretty funky, well you ain’t seen n-n-nothing yet, Brody Broman! Say hello to some crispy pig ears done up all Japaneezy:

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They call this dish okonomiyaki, and I’m about to go all Mr. Miyagi on it… Banzai, Daniel-san!

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Now, after crushing a couple Ace Hill Pilsners before Happy Hour ends, it’s time to get to the good stuff, like these garlic parmigiano rolls. These soft, chewy, buttery flavour nuggets come topped with fresh shaved parma, and a side of marinara. Mamma mia!!!

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Now, since I didn’t get enough of the pig before, now I’m pigging out on some wild boar belly, bro! This unctuous oinker comes with a side of apple butter, topped with bacon bits, for some hardcore pig-on-pig action!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. Weighing in at 300 pounds of deep-fried goodness, it’s the Beastwich. This southern-style sammy is smothered in sausage gravy, with a layer of pimento cheese, between a badass buttermilk biscuit. There are so many good things going on here that I don’t know where to start… but you can poooour that gravy on me, Bro Elliott!

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Now, once Happy Hour was over, I had to make like my backroad buddy Tim Hicks and switch to a stronger beer. This Moroccan Brown Ale from Spearhead, straight outta Kingston, is made with dates, figs, raisins and a dash of cinnamon, and it’s as freaky as Guy Fieri’s face made outta fondant, bro!!!

(You cannot unsee this…)

Killer grilled cheese cheeseburger @Montana’s, of all places…

Now, I don’t usually go to Montana’s, unless it’s like AYCE ribs or AYCE fajitas or something, cuz they’re waaaaaay out in the suburbs and I don’t wanna drive the Camaro on the 401, bro! Turns out they actually are doing AYCE ribs right now, and I was just about to rack ’em up…but then I saw this tasty two-hander in Flavourtown, the Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger:

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Man, this sandwich is like two great things rolled into one thing! The patty’s thick and nicely grilled, you’ve got a bed of lettuce between two grilled-cheesy Louise-y buns. There’s supposed to be some bacon in there, and sriracha ketchup, but you don’t really taste it. What you do get is a whole buncha crispy Cajun onion strings. Dude, this is body by crispy Cajun onion strings!!!!

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Now, that mighta looked like a pretty big burger to you, but it’s really just another light snack in Flavourtown! Let’s just say, if this joint ever had AYCE burgers, I could probably pound 4-5 of these… Sheeeet son, somebody at Montana’s betta get on that one–if I had my little way, you KNOW I’d eat burgers every day!!!!

(Picture this, but with burgers.)