Now, if there’s one thing I love more than shawarma, it’s brunch, bro! And at The Depanneur, this funky little pop-up kitchen on College, they’ve serving up the best of both worlds with their Big Lebanese Brunch:
OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a personal pan pita, topped with halloumi cheese, chunks of salted lamb, scrambled eggs, hash browns and bit of middle eastern fried tomatoes, for that added colour. Man, if this was an actual pizza, I could slam at least seven slices, no problemo!
Now, the portion you see at the top of the page is actually intended for two people, but you know what they say… Just another light snack in Flavourtown, son!!!
Now, you won’t find “vegan” next to “BBQ” in the Flavourtown dictionary, but I’ve noticed a few BBQ joints in this city that have a vegan option…and it’s almost always jackfruit. Of course, I would never order BBQ jackfruit if I could get some ribs or beef brisket, bro! But now we’re hanging out at Planta, this funky vegan joint on Bay Street–and since all the food is vegan, I guess I might as well try it?
They say that jackfruit “deceptively resembles pulled pork in texture” and they’re not completely wrong. Although I’d say it’s a little less stringy, and a little more clumpy. At Planta, they’re serving it up in their Jack of All Tacos with pineapple chutney, tomatillo salsa and a whole lotta cilantro. They also season the jackfruit with some guajillos, so it tastes like it belongs in a taco… but I dunno, it’s definitely missing the unctuousness of pulled pork. Malfunction at the Unction!!!
On the other hand, their chicken fried mushrooms are pretty much on point. You know I like my chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, pair a jeans that fits just right and the radio uuuuup, Zac Broseph Band! And hey, turns out I like my mushrooms fried too…
Not gonna lie, I was pretty bummed out when I found out that Graffiti’s, home of the black metal brunch, in Kensington Market shut down. But now I hear that spot is home to this funky Japanese joint called Koi Koi that’s serving up a convenience store classic from the Land of the Rising Sun. I’ve been seeing katsu sammies all over my Instagram feed, but never had the chance to scarf down this sando until now, bro!!!
OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a pretty thick pork chop, breaded ‘n fried, between two pieces of toasted white bread, with some great big globs of spicy mustard and one sad little leaf of romaine. And then, on the side you’ve got these burdock fries. Dude, what the fuck are burdock fries???
Turns out that burdock is a root vegetable that’s pretty popular in Asia…but I can’t say I’ve ever had it before, and I’m not sure I would have it again. It sorta tastes like a bitter, chewy turnip–even when french-fried, I would NOT eat it off a flip-flop! In fact, I think I’m gonna need an ice cold brewski to wash this taste down…
Good thing this place has got a few brews from Godspeed, a local craft brewery that gives all its beers Japanese names…even when they’re not even close to Japanese. Like Irori, a peated scotch lager that’s blended with scotch whiskey, and tastes an awful lot like scotch whiskey. I didn’t even realize this beer was 8% until I started singing air karaoke to Kirsten Dunst’s version of “Turning Japanese…”