Who needs a SlapChop when you can have a veal chop, bro? We’re hanging out at Blu Ristorante, this funky Italian joint on Yorkville, within stumbling distance of Bloor-Yonge Station. Now, this place is serving up linguine, martinis and bikinis, but when I saw the 14 ounce veal chop, I knew I was riding it right down to downtown Flavourtown!!!
Man, this veal was funktastic, cooked a perfect medium rare with a red beetroot risotto. Not the biggest steak I’ve ever eaten, but maybe the biggest piece of baby cow. I also paid extra for truffled roasted mushrooms, cuz dude, this is body by truffled roasted mushrooms!!!
Now, even after slaughtering that small animal, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro! And when I heard they were baking chocolate cake to order, I wasn’t gonna NOT order it…
OK, so this isn’t really a cake — it’s more like a five-bite brownie in Flavourtown. But you’ve still got that warm, gooey, chocolately centre, and it comes with a scoop of vanilla gelato — cuz you gotta have cake ‘n ice cream, bro! It’s not quite the hot chocolate cake at Morton’s, but I still believe in miracles!!!
So, I know there’s been a Big Smoke Burger at the Eaton’s Centre for a while now — I sometimes go there for lunch. But when I got a coupon for a free poutine, I was all over that like Fieri on frijoles…dude, this is body by free poutine! The deal is, you had to order a combo to get the poutine, so I figured this would be a good time to try the lamb:
This lamb burger is righteous, bro! Grilled to order, with a little pink in the middle, and then you’ve got onions, lettuce, tomato and this funky cilantro-feta spread. Dude, I would put that on a flip-flop!!!
And now it’s time for the poutine du jour. I gotta say, this is one of the best fast-food poutines I’ve had. You’ve got lotsa thick, melty curd action, the fries are tasty, even on their own, and the gravy gets the job done. This body checks McDonald’s poutine into the boards, bro!!!
So, we’re hanging out at Green Mango, this pretty fancy Thai joint that’s been serving it up on The Kingsway since 1995. Now, the menu at this place is frickin’ huge, but when I saw they were cooking with duck, I knew I had to come check it out!!!
We’re starting off with the curry pumpkin soup, which was sooo outta bounds, bro! You’ve got the richness of the pumpkin, combined with yams, a little coconut milk on top…and I swear, they had this thing in front of me like 60 seconds after I ordered it!!!
But now it’s time for the main event. They’ve got a handful of duck dishes to choose from, and the roasted duck curry caught my eye…until I saw the two chili peppers next to it on the menu. Me ‘n spicy food just don’t get along, bro! Instead I went with the ginger duck, and I can’t say I’m disappointed. Ginger beef is one of my go-to Chinese foods, and it’s got a similar sauce, with little slivers of ginger, alongside onions, broccoli, bell peppers and carrots. Even with all the veggies and the rice, the meatiness of the duck still cuts through the mix – this dish is all it’s quacked up to be!!!
You know me, this is body by BBQ, bro! So when I heard about Plan B – Handmade Burgers, Boerewors and Braai, this funky little joint on the Kingsway, serving up a South African style of BBQ call braai, I knew I had to come check it out!
We went with the Variety Braai Platter for 3, which is serving up steak, chicken, and this funky South African sausage called boerwors. You also get two sides — in this case, bean salad and a South African cornmeal polenta called pap, served with tomato chutney — all for just 45 bucks! And while it might be a lotta food for one, it divides pretty evenly between three people:
OK, now let’s break it down. All the meat is super-charred, you’ve got a nice grilled chicken, some juicy beef sausage. Steak is on the thin side — this ain’t no ribeye — but it gets the job done. The pap goes nicely with the chutney, but what makes it is the cold bean salad. I was thinking pork ‘n beans, but it was maybe more pinto, served cold though…and it was actually quite tasty:
Now, after having a surprisingly satisfying dinner at Canoe, we decided to check out the other fancy O&B joint, waaay up in North York – Auberge du Pommier. This upscale funky French place has been going for 30 years, so you know it’s gotta be good. And when I heard they were serving up not one, but two kinds of lamb, I totally had to try it!
But first, we’re starting off with some escargot. These slimy little snails are served with a couple little croutons on a big green sea of watercress. Whatever happened to mushroom caps, bro?
And now it’s time for the main event. When the menu said they’re serving up lamb sirloin and shank, I figured that’s gotta be a lotta baa-baa black sheep! But as you can see, they really only give you a little taste of each. I’m soooo gonna have room for dessert, broooo!!!
When it comes to dessert, what could be more français than crème brulée? But just like that crazy deconstructed chocolate cake at Canoe, this was not your normal burnt cream. You’ve got these little mini cream brulees, served with passionfruit, Thai basil and a coconut ice cream. It might be a little too funky, but I’d eat that ice cream off a flip-flop, though!!!
Now, the best part of this meal has gotta be the beer. They’ve imported this Loirette Saison from Brasserie de la Pigeonelle in the tiny little town of Céré-la-Ronde, France. Well, Céré-la-Bouche, cuz that’s some good stuff, son!!!
Yo, so last Sunday we’re hanging out in Yorkville at Buca Osteria & Bar, for some real-deal Italian brunch. And we ain’t just talking ’bout pasta and pizza in the morning — although you KNOW there has to be pizza involved. They’ve also got this crazy Italian take on eggs benny…they call it bombolone:
OK, now let’s break it down. What you’ve got is an Italian doughnut, topped with porchetta, non-fried green tomato, salsa verde, a perfectly poached egg, and then a whole lotta marscapone on top. It sure beats the hell outta back bacon on an English muffin at Tim Horton’s, son!!!!
Of course, Italian brunch means you’re not just eating one thing. We’re also throwing down some far-out farinata! This Genovese chickpea crepe is topped with stracciatella, hen’s eggs and a buncha black truffles, all the way from Lazio… Mamma mia!
And like I said, it wouldn’t be Italian brunch without pizza. This funghi pie is topped with mushrooms, gorgonzola, more marscapone — dude, this is body by marscapone! — and then some marjoram leaves, for that one serving of green stuff. Man, this fun guy is crispy, chewy and soooo not leaving for L.A. anytime soon, bro!!!!
Now, I’m all about the pizza – dude, this is body by pizza, bro! And man, I’ve had all kinds of pizza from all over the place…Detroit-style pizza, vegan pizza, even spam and pineapple pizza! But this is not pizza – it’s a pide, bro!
This thin-crust Turkish flatbread is baked like a pizza in a stone oven at Mr. Pide on the Danforth, where they’ve got 20 different kinds to choose from. I went with the Sucuklu Yumurtali, topped with eggs and Turkish sausage…this one doesn’t actually have cheese.
Now, the crust is nice and crispy – I like the flaky end pieces – with a whole lotta eggy goodness, and a nice little kick from the sausage. They actually stuff sausage inside and then put more on top – it’s a Double Sausage Party in Flavourtown! And they come with added veggies like tomatoes, onions and parsley – but who needs veggies when you’ve got so much sausage???