Monthly Archives: February 2020

Slaying a sausage & rapini sammy @ La Vecchia

Now, I’m not just about burgers — any solid sammy definitely works for me. So, we’re hanging out at La Vecchia, this funky little Italian joint on Yonge St, just a couple blocks north of Eglinton, where they bake their own focaccia daily, and they’re filling it with all kinds of good stuff, like Italian sausage, rapini, sweet peppers and mushrooms:

sausage_rapini_sandwich (9)

OK, now let’s break it down. I thought I’d be getting some thicker slices of focaccia here, but this bread is much more crushable. The bread is warm and crusty, you’ve got nice meaty bites of sausage, some crunch from the rapini, a hit of sweetness from the peppers.  This sandwich is so outta bounds, it ended up on the opposite bocce court, bro!!!!!!

I’m gonna slam some Mexican lamb!!!

It’s no secret that I loves me some lamb, bro! Man, I’ve had Indian lamb, Ethiopian lamb, BBQ lamb, lamb tongue, lamb & eggs… even lamb in a taco! But when I heard that Pancho y Emiliano on King St was serving up this delish Mexican lamb dish, you KNOW I had to check it out! Say hello to ma lil’ friend, Mixiote de Cordero!!!

mixiote_de_cordero (9)

OK, now let’s break it down. What we’ve got here are super-tender chunks of stewed lamb, slow-cooked in a banana leaf, with guajillo chilies, cumin, thyme and garlic, for that little extra kick. It actually kinda reminds me of an Indian curry, with a side of rice and all kinds of veggies — dude, that’s gotta be the most veggies I ate all month!!!!

mexican_bulldog (5)

Washed it all down with a Mexican Bulldog — that’s when you take a margarita, and stick a bottle of Corona on top. The first few sips were equal parts beer and tequila, but once you get to the bottom, it’s really just Corona with ice. I dunno bro, but I think I prefer Dos Equis…

pancho_emiliano_churros (3)

Of course, you KNOW we still had room for dessert! This plate fulla churros comes with all the fixin’s — strawberries, blueberries, sprinkles, marshmallows…even chocolate pretzel sticks! Dude, this is body by chocolate pretzel sticks!!!!!!

This vegan black-bean cheeseburger wasn’t LOV at first bite…

Now, I’m no stranger to vegan food — whether it’s mushrooms ‘n waffles, jackfruit tacos or vegan poutine pizza. But I haven’t actually had a vegan burger since A&W first brought out the Beyond Meat. It wasn’t bad…but it definitely wasn’t beef. So we’re hanging out at LOV, this funky vegan joint on King West, and I figured I’d go for a different kind of vegan burger — their black bean Big LOV Cheeseburger:

big_lov_cheeseburger (7)

Now, there were some good things going on here. The potato bun was warm and squishy, onions were nice and crisp, and the vegan mozzarella was surprisingly cheesy. But the black bean patty really wasn’t the star of the show. I didn’t expect it to taste like beef…but it didn’t really taste like anything. I guess I was expecting a little zip, like a black bean dip, but nada. It was sorta like an unseasoned hockey puck in Flavourtown. So I guess I’m still looking for a really great vegan burger?

lov_vegan_caesar (2)

On the other hand, this vegan caesar was quite tasty. I’m not sure what parts of a regular caesar aren’t vegan, but I definitely didn’t miss ’em here. This drink had a nice little kick from some Tia Lupita hot sauce, alongside the usual suspects — vodka, caesar mix, tomato and lime juice. And during Saturday + Sunday brunch, they’re two for $15, so you can totally slam, like, six of these… Happy Family Day, bro!!!

WINTERLICIOUS 2020: PB&J Bacon Burger @ Liberty Commons

So, Winterlicious ended yesterday…but we’re saving the best for last, bro! We’re hanging out at Liberty Commons, this funky craft brewpub in Liberty Village, which is serving up the one dish I’ve been waiting all Winterlicious for — the PB&J Bacon Burger! But you know the drill, we always start off with an appetizer, so say hello to some smoked meat jelly:

smoked_meat_jelly (4)

Now, this dish was pretty far outta bounds. It’s kinda like a pate or a terrine, but made with beef brisket, pickled mushrooms, some rosemary and thyme. And these little crostinis were so teeny-weeny that you couldn’t really put anything on them. Epic fail whale!

pb+j_bacon_burger (6)

But hey, the burger more than made up for any smoked meat mishaps. You’ve got a nice, thick patty, topped with super-thick maple bacon. You definitely get the crunchy nuttiness of the peanut butter, but I didn’t really taste the green tomato jam. On the other hand, they put a lotta gooey, chewy bananas on here — and bananas are good!!!

chocolate_brownie_sundae (4)

Now, for dessert we’ve got this chocolate brownie sundae: soft-serve ice cream, whipped cream, peanuts, sprinkles and brownie bites — nothing wrong with that at all! Well, the soft-serve was maybe a little too melty a little too quickly…I didn’t wanna get brain freeze, bro!!!

WINTERLICIOUS 2020: Double cheeseburger & chicken wings @ Museum Tavern

Dude, you KNOW I can’t go through two weeks of Winterlicious without eating a burger, bro! We’re hanging out at Museum Tavern, this funky joint down the street from the AGO, where they’re serving up one of the top five burgers in Toronto. Not only that, but you also get an appetizer AND dessert, all for just 33 bucks? Shut the front, back and side doors!!!!

museum_tavern_chicken_wings (1)

So, we’re starting off with these funkalicious buttermilk fried chicken wings. Dude, I wish I could eat these babies at the start of every meal! Hot and crunchy, straight outta fryer, with a spicy adobo sauce on the side — I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!

museum_tavern_double_cheeseburger (8)

One thing about this cheeseburger — it sure is cheesy! You’ve got two thick ‘n juicy patties, smothered in American cheese, with lettuce, onion, tomato and special sauce — it’s like a Big Mac on steroids in Flavourtown!!!!!

museum_tavern_tres_leches (10)

You know the deal, we still get dessert even if you don’t have room for it…and you KNOW I still have room for dessert, bro! This tres leches combines sponge cake, sweet cream and whipped cream, and puts some chocolate on top, for that extra kick. Nothing wrong with that at all!!!

WINTERLICIOUS 2020: Veal chop ‘n mussels @ Cafe La Gaffe

Now, when it comes to Winterlicious, some places don’t give you too many options to choose from. Usually, you get to pick from 3-4 different dishes for each course. But at Cafe La Gaffe, this funky little joint in Baldwin Village, their Licious menu has 6 different appys, 12(!) mains and four different options for dessert. With so many possibilities, it’s hard to narrow it down…but just about everybody went with the PEI mussels to start:

cafe_la_gaffe_mussels (8)

Dude, these mussels from Charlottussels were off the hussels! Nicely steamed in a tomato and chili pepper broth, with a few onions and peppers, and a couple pieces of bread to soak up the sauce. Man, you could put this broth on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!

cafe_la_gaffe_veal_chop (12)

Now, it’s time for the main event! You’ve got a 12 oz, bone-in veal chop with a whole smorgasbord of veggies — mashed potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and beets! Man, I didn’t eat this many vegetables the last time I went to a vegan restaurant! But at least there is plenty of meat to go around, too…

cafe_la_gaffe_cheesecake (2)

For dessert, I tried their lavaless lava cake (where’s the ooze, bro?) and had a bite of the creme brulee, but the go-to dessert has gotta be the raspberry cheesecake. Nice and creamy with a crunchy cracker crust, and just enough raspberry sauce on top — I could finish at least three of these!!!!

WINTERLICIOUS 2020: Patchy tandoori pizza @ Bannock

I’m Greedo Catucci, and this is 2020. We’re talking Winterlicious, the annual extravaganza where restaurants ALL OVER this city are serving up three-course meals for some pretty sweet deals! We’re starting off at Bannock, this funky joint on Bay St, where you can get an appetizer, dinner AND dessert for just 33 bucks, bro!!!

fried_mac_n_cheese (6)

First up, we’ve got some deep-fried mac ‘n cheese. Dude, this is body by deep-fried mac ‘n cheese!!! These golden yellow bricks are on a road to my mouth, with chunks of cheddar and some smoked ham hock thrown in, for that extra kick. There’s a little cup of ketchup on the side, but they couldda used a little more seasoning, though…

tandoori_chicken_pizza (7)

And now it’s time for the main event — tandoori chicken pizza! Dude, this is body by pizza, so when I see it on the menu for Winterlicous, you KNOW I’m gonna hafta order it. (Last year, I even ate two pizzas at Piano Piano, bro!) This slice is covered in chunks of chicken, Indian yogurt and mozzarella, with a few pieces of cilantro. While the ingredients were all pretty good, they don’t quite come together cuz I can’t really get ’em all in one bite…

bannock_chocolate_brownie (2)

Of course, you KNOW we still had room for dessert — and this dessert was definitely the best part of the whole meal! You’ve got a rich ‘n creamy chocolate brownie, with sponge toffee, powdered sugar and mixed berries…nothing wrong with that at all! Man, I would even pay 33 bucks for three of these. But then, I’d probably still have room for pizza!!!!