4 tacos chingados @ La Chingada

So we’re hanging out at La Chingada, this fucking Mexican joint on Dundas West. (If that offends you, don’t bother translating the restaurant’s name, bro!) Now, this place used to be Smoke Signals, one of the better Texas-style BBQ joints in the city, but now they’re taking it south of the border with some Mexican street food classics. Of course, Taco Tuesday is my favourite officially trademarked holiday, so when I heard this joint was serving up three-dollar tacos al pastor, solo los martes, then you know I had to come check it out!

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Now, this Taco Tuesday is a pretty sweet deal, cuz all of their tacos are normally $6 or $6.50 — mucho dinero, hombrecito! It’s also pretty sweet, cuz they put a whole pile of pineapple in each taco, along with a buncha onions. These tacos were very, very messy — I needed extra napkins — but for three bucks a pop, I ain’t complainin’!

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Now, tacos al pastor weren’t the only thing I shoved down my boca. When I saw choriqueso on the menu, you know I had to have it, bro! You’ve got melted cheese, chorizo, green onion and some house picante, all in a corn tortilla — I could eat like seven of these…

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But you know I had to save room for some chicha-atcha-rones, cabrones! This deep-fried, crispy pork skin comes with three side sauces — salsa verde, pica de gallo and guacamole… It’s a Flavourtown Triple Threat!!!

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Now, while I do always drink beer, I wasn’t about to wash this Mexican fiesta all down with Dos Equis. Instead, I went with a Michelada Chingada, which is sorta like a Mexican Caesar, but mixed with beer. Of course, they didn’t say what kinda beer they used–for all I know, it mighta been Dos Equis!!!

 

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Beer & brats @ Steam Whistle Biergarten

Man, nothing beats an ice-cold beer and a hot, greasy sausage on a summer day! We’re hanging out at the Steam Whistle Biergarten, this funky little food hall inside the Steam Whistle Brewery, just a Vladdy Jr. moonshot away from where the Blue Jays play. And this place is serving up all kinds of German classics, like ham hocks, chicken schnitzel and not one, not two, but three kinds of sausage — along with this classic soft pretzel:

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Now, I was kinda hoping with a supersized pretzel twice as big as my head, like the one I had at Blake Shelton’s bar in Nashville. This was not nearly as huge. But it’s still warm and salty, and the Steam Whistle beer cheese is what makes it! (Not really a fan of the spicy mustard, though…)

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I don’t think you’ll find these German fries anywhere in Munich, but they were still pretty legit, You’ve got deep-fried potater discs, topped with thick chucks of bacon, green onion, and drizzled with donkey sauce — I would eat that any day of the week!!!

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It wouldn’t be a sausage party without bratwurst, bro! This German wiener is coming in hot, topped with a ton of onion flakes(!), arugula(!!) and a mango relish(!!!) on a nice, grilled bun. I could probably pound two or three of these…

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a beer hall without the cerveza. This Von Bugle Munich Lager is brewed using German techniques for that perfect balance between malty and bitter. It even upholds the Bavarian Purity Act…even though it’s brewed in Etobicoke!!!

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Now, I probably shouldn’t go to the Steam Whistle Biergarten and not drink a Steam Whistle. This is their unfiltered pilsner, which tastes a little richer and maltier than the one you get at The Beer Store. I think I like it a bit better…although it’s pretty much still the same beer.

 

Who needs democracy when we’re in a Beerocracy?

Now, I’ve never lived in a dictatorship…but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Dude, you’ve gotta be drunk to buy some of the stuff that these politicians come up with — I mean, whoever thought that Buck a Beer was a good idea??? Good thing that at Beerocracy, this funky craft beer bar on College, you won’t find any PC Brand, Barley Days or Cool Beer on the menu…

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We’re starting off on the lighter side with some Yacht Rock, a sessionable sour beer from Stone City Brewing. This gose goes down easy, at 4.4%, and comes with a hit of pink rock salt. Now, pink rock might not be punk rock, but it’s still heavier than Seals & Crofts, bro!!!

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But now we’re getting a whole lot heavier with Rainbow in the Dark, a winter rye IPA named after my third-favourite Dio song. This brew comes in at an evil 6.66%, and tastes so good, I’d even pay to drink a hologram of it… OK, maybe not.

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Now, I have heard a lot aboot Canadian Breakfast Stout, but being that it’s brewed by Founders in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and our local politicians have decided that we can only buy beer from two places, I have never had a chance to taste it until now. This super-strong (11.7%) bourbon barrel stout tasted a lot like the Trou de Diable I had at Beerbistro, but it’s even more potent… it’s so strong that they only serve it in a 12 oz glass. But that doesn’t mean you can order just one — this is a Beerocracy, after all. 😉

Sassy club sandwich + fries @ Sassafraz

Now, I don’t always wake up in time for brunch, but when I do, there’d better be bacon awaitin’ for me. So, when I heard that Sassafraz, this upscale funky joint in Yorkville, was serving up a brunch club sandwich with house-roasted turkey and peppercorn bacon, I knew I had to come check it out…

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Now, this had to be one of the top five club sammies I’ve ever had, and I’m pretty sure I was partying in da club when it was invented. The turkey was fresh-carved and tender, the bacon was super-crispy, the way it should be, and then you had some crunch from the apples, melty cheese with a bit of sharpness from the brie at the end… You could put that on a flip-flop, sprinkle it with chicken base and garlic salt, serve it with bananas…and it would still taste good!!!

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As you can see, the fries were thin ‘n salty, but I loved the fact that they gave you both mayo and ketchup for dipping. You could go back and forth all day, or even make your own Mayochup… although you might wanna avoid getting shitfaced at 11 am. 😉

You put the beef in the coconut and curry it up!!!

Probably the best thing in Tim Hortons history was when they had chicken stew in a bread bowl. Dude, you could put a flip-flop in a bread bowl, and it would still taste good! So when I found out that Pai Northern Thai Kitchen, this funky joint in the heart of downtown Toronto, was offering a tropical twist on green curry, inside of a coconut, you KNOW I had to come check it out! I’ll get to that in a sec, though. First, let me scarf down some sausage…

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These funky lumps of Flavourtown come with great big chunks of pork belly stuffed right inside! Dude, this is body by great big chunks of pork belly!!! Plus, they’re serving ’em up with cucumbers, lime leaves, Thai relish and some sticky rice — it’s an app that eats like a meal!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. This was some of the best beef curry I’ve ever tasted — it’s got a pretty good kick, but it won’t bite yer face off. And the meat is what makes it, son! It’s fork-tender, fall-aparty, braised in that green curry… The only thing that’s bad about this dish is you can’t eat the bowl!!!

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Of course, because this website isn’t called Curries, Coriander and Chai Tea, we’re washing this all down with an ice-cold brewski! Armed ‘n Citra, this dry hopped pale ale from Rainhard Brewing, goes great with curry — it even says so on the back of the can. And at 40 IBU, it’s not too hoppy, so it evens out the spicy quite nicely. After a few of these, you KNOW I’m armed and dangerous, bro!!!

AYCE BBQ @ Broadview Hotel

On Sunday, it was finally starting to feel like summer, so we’re hanging out on the patio at the Broadview Hotel for their Ultimate Summer BBQ Series, where they’re serving up all the meat you can eat for 25 bucks, bro! And they’ve got all the backyard classics — burgers, sausage, ribs, chicken legs, pulled pork, and even mac ‘n cheese!!!

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With so much meat and such little time (they only give you 90 minutes), I didn’t know where to start… So I piled some pulled pork, onions and pickles into a sammy. It was maybe a little dry — needs some sauce, boss! — but still quite tasty.

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Now, I’m not a guy who likes a lotta stuff on his sausage — gimme some onions, maybe a little sauerkraut, and I’m happy. But this place was all aut of kraut, and the non-diced onions weren’t optimized for maximum sausage delivery…but that didn’t make this smokie any less tasty!!!

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Unlike pulled pork, I don’t actually need a lotta sauce on my ribs. These ones were just about right…and I can’t complain about the meat ratio on this one, either!

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These chicken legs mighta been the best thing at the BBQ. Hot, meaty, with just enough Cajun seasoning… I could slam, like, 17 of these!!!

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a backyard BBQ without burgers. Tomato, onion, pickles — I’ll leave the leafy green stuff for the cows, bro!

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Now, you KNOW I’m not just having one burger, bro! For round two, I’m talking beef, topped with pulled pork, topped with sliced sausage, on a bed of pickles, onions and coleslaw — it’s a Flavourtown Triple Play, times two!!!

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Hey, you can’t have a BBQ patio party without beer, bro! These ice-cold brewskis came from Eastbound Brewing Co, just a couple blocks down the street. Their Hidden Lake Hefeweizen was light and refreshing, but surprisingly strong at 5.7% — it’s probably outlawed in at least a few States. 😉

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Now, that 25 bucks (plus tax) only gets you one drink ticket, but the last time I only had one beer at a backyard BBQ was that time I sharted on the slip ‘n slide after a bad batch of baked beans. So paying five bucks for another brew was a no-brainer, bro! This Nerve Tonic saison has a nice hint of juniper berries at the end, and it doesn’t seem like 6.1% — I could totally crush a ton of these!!!!

 

Burgermania’s running wild on Yonge-Dundas Square!!!

Now, burgers and bandanas are two of my favourite things, so when I heard that Burgermania was coming back to Toronto, I was all bouncing off the ropes for a big leg drop, brother! They’ve serving up sliders, fries and milkshakes all weekend in Yonge-Dundas Square — I don’t need to cook until Monday, bro!!!

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Now, the biggest line at the whole festival was for Ronto’s Burger, which was all over Instagram with its mac ‘n cheese sliders. But you know how things always look better on Instagram, bro? In reality, this mac wasn’t very cheesy, and most of it didn’t stay between the buns, meaning you had a half-decent double cheeseburger with a side of mediocre mac instead.

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Now, on the other hand, Ronto’s other culinary creation, the Barnyard Burger, was pretty legit. You’ve got a beef burger topped with fried chicken, bacon, drizzled with honey, and then some pickles and coleslaw to balance out the sweetness. Man, I could go for another three of these — if I didn’t hafta wait in line again!!!

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Right next to Ronto’s stall, Good Fortune Bar was serving up this classic cheeseburger with a twist — Hickory Sticks, the greatest chips known to mankind. I’m pretty sure I have eaten Hickory Sticks off a flip-flop before…but when you put em on a burger, they taste even better!!!

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Cherry St Bar-B-Que, home of the best beef brisket you’ll ever find in a food court, was offering up this culinary challenge. You could get their 100% ground brisket Cherry Mac burger for five bucks, or for just two dollars more, you could add another patty, and another, and another… It’s a Flavourtown Quadruple Down, Fieri-san!!! And while the rest of the toppings could not compete with all that meat, who needs lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles when you can have brisket, brisket, brisket and more brisket, broseph????

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Of course, you can’t have four burgers without fries, so we’re hitting up Chef Michael G’s World Fry House, where they’re fresh cutting french fries right in front of your face! These are The Italian, topped with Parmesan and parsley. Who needs Crimson and Clover when you can have Parmesan and Parsley, Bro-an Jett???